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Old 10-08-2017, 10:35 AM   #1
Jarred767
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Winter Tires - A little overwhelmed with options

I've been doing a ton of research and read countless threads and the more I read, the more overwhelming it all seems, so I figured I'd start over and start my own thread.

First winter with the GTI and I'm in need of a winter set of tires. Planning on putting the tires on my stock Detroits (they currently have all-seasons on) and then keeping them as my winter set. I'll buy a new set of wheels in the spring for my summer set.

So I need a set of 18" winter tires, it definitely snows here in Central Oregon and gets quite cold, but usually the snow comes in three or four large dumps throughout the year (so a lot of bare and wet road driving in-between too). I don't drive the GTI a ton (pretty much 15 miles round trip to work and a few other short around town drives - wife's car is the AWD so it's the primary car in winter). I'm looking for a solid tire that will be able to handle in the snow, but cost will be a factor and I don't have a need to go overboard.

Thanks all!
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Old 10-09-2017, 03:57 AM   #2
snobrdrdan
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It might still be early, so maybe all the options might not be in stock yet, but the cheapest tire on TireRack is $144 + shipping right now

Whereas DiscountTireDirect.com has some for only $80/each (although not in stock right now) and free shipping:
https://www.discounttiredirect.com/f...interTires=on#

Any winter rated tire will/should do the job though, being way better than what you have, and you don't run them that long either...don't over think it
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Old 10-09-2017, 05:20 AM   #3
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If you can swing the upfront cost, getting some steelies and 16in winters will get you more effective snow tires and they'll be cheaper in the long run because they're smaller.

Blizzaks are phenomenal and sort of the name brand baseline. Either blizzak or Hakkas for the super serious. For budget, general Altimax winters are amazing and they seem to nearly sell out yearly.

I run a set of Yokohama winters that are totally fine - they were on sale when I first bought them and in the years since have been great.

In the end they'll mostly all be okay especially since it doesn't seem like you have any serious usage scenarios.


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Old 10-09-2017, 08:56 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clownish View Post
If you can swing the upfront cost, getting some steelies and 16in winters will get you more effective snow tires and they'll be cheaper in the long run because they're smaller.

Blizzaks are phenomenal and sort of the name brand baseline. Either blizzak or Hakkas for the super serious. For budget, general Altimax winters are amazing and they seem to nearly sell out yearly.

I run a set of Yokohama winters that are totally fine - they were on sale when I first bought them and in the years since have been great.

In the end they'll mostly all be okay especially since it doesn't seem like you have any serious usage scenarios.


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General Altimax Artic + Steelies FTW. Been running these for years and haven't had any issues.
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Old 10-09-2017, 10:10 AM   #5
Jarred767
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Thanks guys, yeah, maybe I'm overthinking it. Maybe I just need to go into a couple places and get some options. I've read countless amazing reviews on here about the General Altima Arctic, but unfortunately they don't come in 18's and I'd highly prefer to just keep my Detroits as my winter set. I've heard good reviews about discount tire, so maybe I'll check into them.

Thanks for the links, any further suggestions are definitely welcomed!
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Old 10-09-2017, 12:49 PM   #6
voidopolis
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I'm in Ohio and I ran 16" steelies with Blizzaks and my 2010 GTI was pretty good in the snow. I also ran Michelin AS/3's on Detroits and they were definitely not as well behaved... The AS3s were much better in dry than the blizzaks. but in snow the blizzaks were great. On my M3 I ran the Continental DWSs and they were pretty good overall, but I switched the blizzaks as the M3 needed snow tires being a rear wheel drive monster...

It sounds to me like you could get away with a good all season tire (possibly a dedicated winter). Something that is going to handle some snowy conditions and cold weather, but still needs to deal with the other days when there isn't 12 inches falling.

I like Tirerack's testing typically... and Tirerack likes Continental DWS's in their tests (they have rated them high for all season tires for quite a few years now).
https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tests...y.jsp?ttid=201

GL.
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Old 10-11-2017, 12:11 AM   #7
Jarred767
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Quote:
Originally Posted by voidopolis View Post
I'm in Ohio and I ran 16" steelies with Blizzaks and my 2010 GTI was pretty good in the snow. I also ran Michelin AS/3's on Detroits and they were definitely not as well behaved... The AS3s were much better in dry than the blizzaks. but in snow the blizzaks were great. On my M3 I ran the Continental DWSs and they were pretty good overall, but I switched the blizzaks as the M3 needed snow tires being a rear wheel drive monster...

It sounds to me like you could get away with a good all season tire (possibly a dedicated winter). Something that is going to handle some snowy conditions and cold weather, but still needs to deal with the other days when there isn't 12 inches falling.

I like Tirerack's testing typically... and Tirerack likes Continental DWS's in their tests (they have rated them high for all season tires for quite a few years now).
https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tests...y.jsp?ttid=201

GL.
Thanks for the advice, trying to get away with the all seasons has definitely crossed my mind, multiple times, but if I try to do that (and it works) I have no real incentive to get a new set of summer wheels in the spring Having the extra safety would probably feel a little more comfortable too, especially since the tires aren't exactly brand new either.

decisions must be made, and soon. The snow is creeping down the mountains
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Old 10-11-2017, 09:44 AM   #8
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If you can swing the upfront cost, getting some steelies and 16in winters will get you more effective snow tires and they'll be cheaper in the long run because they're smaller.
^^^^ This.

Here is a real in-depth Finnish magazine tire test/comparison link, and the nice part is that the test size is 205/55R16. Happy reading!

As a Swede, I got all prepped for the coming Canadian winter by picking up my Russian-made Finnish tires yesterday. Production date of "1517" so nice and fresh (mid-April 2017).

These Nokian Hak R2 replaced a set of Gislaved Nord*Frost 5 that served me well through six winters and 46,505 km. Cheers.

https://tekniikanmaailma.fi/wp-conte...16_english.pdf

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Old 10-12-2017, 04:01 AM   #9
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Nokian Hakkas are the truth if you need serious snow tires. Apparently they just expanded their presence in NA this summer; hopefully their quality stays the same.


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Old 10-12-2017, 08:48 AM   #10
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Do yourself a favor and get a set of 16" steelies or some other used rims and mount winters on that. I have the Dunlop Winter Sports now, they are ok, a little more aggressive tread for dry traction but lots of road noise. I used to have the Michelin Ice-X, they are much better in snow. 5-6" was no problem, nor was getting up my driveway, ~30deg incline.
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Old 10-12-2017, 10:36 AM   #11
riceburner
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Last winter on my MK7 i ran 2 blizzak ws80's on my 18" stock wheels and was AMAZED at the traction I had.

Literally had no issues, and the car would turn on corners like I couldn't believe, where the rear end would come out on me just slightly which would just point me directly where I wanted to go FWD drift brooo. It was great, and I will likely do the same thing this year. If you aren't comfortable with sliding your car around, would def. recommend blizzak ws80's on all 4 corners, and of course the taller, narrower tire you can put on the better. as others have said, 16" recommended.
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Old 10-12-2017, 01:56 PM   #12
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Nice price!

Quote:
Originally Posted by snobrdrdan View Post
It might still be early, so maybe all the options might not be in stock yet, but the cheapest tire on TireRack is $144 + shipping right now

Whereas DiscountTireDirect.com has some for only $80/each (although not in stock right now) and free shipping:
https://www.discounttiredirect.com/f...interTires=on#

Any winter rated tire will/should do the job though, being way better than what you have, and you don't run them that long either...don't over think it
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Old 10-12-2017, 08:56 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by riceburner View Post
Last winter on my MK7 i ran 2 blizzak ws80's on my 18" stock wheels and was AMAZED at the traction I had.

Literally had no issues, and the car would turn on corners like I couldn't believe, where the rear end would come out on me just slightly which would just point me directly where I wanted to go FWD drift brooo. It was great, and I will likely do the same thing this year. If you aren't comfortable with sliding your car around, would def. recommend blizzak ws80's on all 4 corners, and of course the taller, narrower tire you can put on the better. as others have said, 16" recommended.


I have Blizzaks on my 04 BMW (RWD) and they are amazing. Itís a snow beast!
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Old 10-13-2017, 01:09 PM   #14
zrickety
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Those Nokians look just like my old Blizzaks. Stick with a good brand and I like tirerack.com for the quick reviews and more in depth surveys if you're interested in specific handling. I see some affordable Yokohamas but I might steer you towards some great Michelins for a little more. They should last a long time.
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