Help keep us on the road this winter!
October 27, 2012 12:47 PM   Subscribe

Winter tire filter: Looking for new winter tires for a 4-door Pontiac Sunfire.

My wife's car needs new winter tires and neither of us have a clue when it comes to knowing what is and is not a good set of tires.

We've been looking at two different types -- Goodyear Nordic Winter Tires and Nokian Hakkapeliitta R -- but aren't set on either one. We're mainly trying to find the right balance between tires that are good quality and will keep the car under control on snowy roads without being too expensive.

We live in Edmonton, Alberta and mostly do city driving during the winter (though we do occasionally hit the highway for trips to Calgary and a friend's cabin). We get snow, and the roads are sometimes icy, but our climate doesn't generally require studded tires.

Both general advice on selecting winter tires and recommendations for specific brands/models are welcome.
posted by asnider to Shopping (9 answers total)
Go to the Tire Rack's web site. You'll have more information than you can possibly use.
posted by davejay at 12:55 PM on October 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

The Nokians have always had a good reputation over the years.

I don't know anything about the Goodyears. I was going to suggest looking at for reviews, but they don't appear to carry the Nokians and they don't carry that particular model of Goodyear.

Agree with davejay, though, that TireRack has a lot of info on how to choose a winter tire.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:58 PM on October 27, 2012

Michelin X-Ice have been amazing for me. See if they are available in your car's recommended size. Don't get big fat winter tires--narrow tires have a better grip in snow. Are you a Costco member? I recommend Costco for several reasons--they sell good quality tires, the price is good (frequent discounts available), and after the initial installation and balance they will rotate and balance your tires free of charge any time you wish. So this means if you can find a good set of rims for your car and have your winter tires mounted on those, Costco will change over your winter wheels to the summer set free of charge--including balance. And vice versa. They'll do this for the life of your tires. They also are very professional with installation--they have good hoists, pro torque wrenches with a calibration machine, and after the attendant tightens your wheel bolts to the required torque, another attendant will torque them all again as a double check. I know a guy who lost a wheel on the freeway to Vancouver with his family in the car. He had recently had his tires changed at one of the regular tire places, and they forgot to torque the wheel bolts.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 1:24 PM on October 27, 2012

Response by poster: We are Costco members, but I totally forgot that they have a tire centre. Thanks for the tip.
posted by asnider at 2:03 PM on October 27, 2012

Check 'em out ASAP. They get really busy when it snows, since most people wait until the last minute.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 2:15 PM on October 27, 2012

Consider.Nokian WRG2 tyres. Just put them on my car here in Calgary. The advantage is that they are an all season tyre with full winter spec and you can drive all year without having to spend the money on spare rims. You can't get them from Costco but Kaltire has them.
posted by arcticseal at 10:49 PM on October 27, 2012

I had excellent service from Costco in the past, they just didn't stock the Nokian tyres.
posted by arcticseal at 10:51 PM on October 27, 2012

Response by poster: We ended up going with the tires from Canadian Tire and will be having our local garage install them for us. We got some unexpected snowfall, so we had to rush the decision somewhat.
posted by asnider at 4:59 PM on October 28, 2012

Response by poster: Oh, also, we were specifically told not to buy the X-Ice because they're designed for lots of ice rather than the deep snow that we tend to get in Edmonton. They're apparently good tires, but not well suited to our climate.
posted by asnider at 11:34 AM on November 2, 2012

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