Nokian Crashes the Party in the Consumer Reports Winter Tire Test

Bob Ulrich
Posted on October 5, 2015
The non-studded Hakkapeliitta R2 from Nokian tied for top winter tire in Consumer Reports’ latest tire tests.
The non-studded Hakkapeliitta R2 from Nokian tied for top winter tire in Consumer Reports’ latest tire tests.

In its November 2015 issue, Consumer Reports (CR) did more than reveal the results of its all-season tire testing, which I reported on in my Oct. 1 blog. It also rated 21 winter tires.

There was a tie for No. 1: the Michelin X-Ice Xi3 was listed at the top, but had the same score as the Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2.

The latest X-Ice tire scored five "excellents" out of the nine categories: snow traction, ice braking, ride comfort, noise comfort and, interestingly, low rolling resistance. In dry braking, handling and hydroplaning testing for "three-season driving" (winter excluded), the tire only received "fair" marks. In three-season wet-braking performance, the X-Ice Xi3 earned a "poor" rating.

The latest Nokian Hakkapeliitta almost matched Michelin's excellent scores; the only difference was a "very good" in noise comfort instead of an excellent. The ratings in the other four categories were the same as Michelin's scores.

Why the Nokian had the same score as Michelin, I do not know. But Michelin's one rating was slightly higher, and its cost was lower -- $117 to $135. That must be why it was listed first numerically.

Here are the top nine results of the winter tire "Road Report, which include all CR-recommended tires in bold. The price CR paid for each tire is also listed. I listed them numerically based on the CR score.

Winter tires

  1. Michelin X-Ice Xi3, $117.
  2. Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2, $135.
  3. Bridgestone Blizzak WS80, $112.
  4. Cooper Weather-Master WSC, $92.
  5. Toyo Observe G3-Ice, $173.
  6. Continental WinterContact SI, $135.
  7. General Altimax Arctic, $90.
  8. Dunlop Winter Maxx, $103.
  9. Nokian WR G3, $169.

The Nokian WR G3, by the way, was the only tire in the top nine to receive at least a "good" score in all nine categories.

To find out more about the tests -- the least expensive tire, at $84, finished last in the 21-tire field -- visit consumerreports.org/cro/tires (be prepared to be locked out of some of the information unless you subscribe to the magazine). Or just pick up the magazine on the newsstand.

Related Topics: Bridgestone Blizzak, Consumer Reports, Continental WinterContact, Cooper Weather-Master, Dunlop Winter Maxx, General Altimax, Michelin X-Ice, Nokian Hakkapeliitta, Toyo Tires

Bob Ulrich Editor
Comments ( 5 )
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  • Bob

     | about 2 months ago

    Interesting that the Michelin came out cheaper. In the size of R2 I bought last year, I got them for $105 apiece, mounted, balanced and installed on my car.

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