Thursday, September 27, 2012

Winter Tires - Michelin vs Bridgestone

Michelin X-Ice® Xi2 Tires

It didn't take me long to figure out to go with either Bridgestone Blizzak WS-70 or Michelin X-Ice Xi3.   They are basically the top rated semi-affordable passenger tires on most sites.  The Xi3 are actually new this year, replacing the Xi2.  They have all kinds of funky technology built into them which you can read about here:

There are pros and cons to both tires.  The Blizzak's have a deeper tread which makes them better in deep snow but they also wear quicker than the Xi3 according to most reviews I read.  They wear especially quick if you drive them in above 0 temps, of course around here temperatures fluctuate quite a bit and we don't usually get the consistent deep cold snaps like in other parts of the country.  If the plan is to get Blizzaks you should wait to put them on and get them off as soon as winter is gone, but look like a great winter tire.

The Xi3 may not be as good in deep snow but they come with a 60,000 km warranty which is great for winter tires, most winter tires don't come with any treadwear warranty.  I'm sure there are some catches with that warranty but basically they are saying you will get 60,000 km before they need to be replaced.  That will probably cover 4 to 5 winters for most drivers.  These tires are supposed to be great for icy and packed down snow, which we get a lot of here.

So if both are equally priced I think the Xi3 are the way to go.  Unfortunately they are not equally priced.  Just for the heck of it I went to Crappy Tire to get a quote on 4 installed Xi3 tires on winter rims, they had a $70 rebate on a set of 4 tires.  The grand total came to $1,230...... that seemed like a lot.  I then went to Costco and got a quote on 4 installed Blizzaks on winter rims because they had $70 off a set of Blizzaks.  The grand total on those was $770.   WOW $460 difference, how can that be, the actual tire cost was $168 for the Xi3 vs $138 for the Blizzaks, that only accounts for about $150 of the difference once tax is taken into account.

Could it be that Crappy Tire is fleecing the unsuspecting consumer....... of course they are, detailed results to follow in a day or two!


  1. Hey there.. I am looking at winter tires for my Optima too.. Are you putting them on your existing rims, or are you going to buy new rims as well? My dealership told me that you can't buy rims that fit from anyone except them (typically expected response)because the car is so new. So out here in Sask at the dealership i am looking at $1800 for winter rims and tires... not in my price range... I was just wondering what the results of your search was..

  2. I am going to buy cheap black steelies. I currently have 18" rims but you can downsize to 205,65,16 for winter rims. That is the rim size for the standard model. You can get 17 or 18 inch winter rims as well. The dealer is being dishonest plain and simple. I am getting 16 inch winters, you will probably want the higher sidewalls for beating through the winter anyway. If you want to get 18" low profile winter tires they will be VERY expensive and you will probably damage your nice factory rims.

  3. Wow,

    I just called Kia to confirm I can downsize to 16" winters and since the EX Luxury has parger brakes, 16" will NOT FIT. In fact they say some 17" WILL NOT FIT. You need alloys built to fit they say..... and sure enough they are around $1,800. This will require further investigating!

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