Winter Tire Test: Some Treads Are Better Than Others

2016 Ford F-150 With Snow Tires
 

By Bruce W. Smith

Every so often I find myself checking out the tires of the vehicles around me when stopped in traffic, wondering how this or that one performs compared to the factory tires on my pickup truck. My questions become even more pointed in winter: Should I invest in a set of winter tires? Would mud tires be a good choice or all-terrain? Would it be worth the investment to buy a dedicated snow tire and run them half the year?

Related: Choosing the Wrong Tire Is Easier Than You Think

To find out, we went to the snow-covered hills just a few miles outside Steamboat Springs, Colo. Carved into the deep snow were three perfectly groomed snow courses with big berms and a variety of twists, turns and elevation changes. These tracks are the training grounds for the Bridgestone Winter Driving School. They also serve as the perfect location to test tires — and for us to see how popular pickup tire tread patterns compare when pitted against each other under controlled winter driving conditions.

And even though it's spring, the information we're offering here should help you decide what kind of tires you want next winter.

The Contenders

We spent two days this past winter with Woody Rogers and T.J. Campbell, product information specialists for Tire Rack, comparing popular 275/65R18 tires on a twisting, curving half-mile section of track three behind the wheel of two identical 2016 Ford F-150 4x4s. The tire comparison contenders were:

  • Goodyear Wrangler Fortitude HT OWL SL (P-metric)
  • Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2 SL (P-metric)
  • Goodyear Ultra Grip Ice WRT LT (E load range)
  • BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 RWL LT (C load range)
  • Firestone Destination MT LT (E load range)

The two F-150 SuperCrew 4x4s came from the factory equipped with the Wrangler Fortitude HTs. The other four sets of tires were chosen by Rogers based on the most popular tread type with the highest customer satisfaction ratings from Tire Rack's customers: mud, all-terrain and dedicated winter tires — one studless (Blizzak DM-V2) and one studded (Ultra Grip Ice WRT.)

All tires were fresh from TireRack.com's warehouse, delivered to our test site mounted and balanced on steel wheels without tire pressure monitoring sensors. Sensors were not necessary for the type of closed-course testing we were doing because we checked each tire's pressure before rolling onto the test track. We should add that our P-metric tires (the Fortitude and Blizzak) had lower load capability ratings than the BFG All-Terrain (which had a C rating) and both the Goodyear Ultra Grip and Firestone Destination (both with work-truck E ratings).

Setting the Stage

2016 Ford F-150 Exterior and Tires

As noted, our test platforms for the tread comparison were two brand-new, identically equipped 2016 Ford F-150 Lariat SuperCrew 4x4s with the 5.0-liter V-8, 3.55:1 axle gears, a locking rear differential and features such as heated front and passenger seats to make our time on the snow track as comfortable as possible in the subfreezing temps.

Each truck's 36-gallon tank was filled and tire pressures were set to the factory-spec'd 35 pounds per square inch for the SL-rated (standard load) tires and 50 psi for the LT or light-truck tires. Rogers and Campbell then set up each F-150 with a Racelogic DriftBox data logger to record every aspect of the vehicle's movement around the half-mile section of our closed track. We also were able to set up an acceleration/braking area for the tests. The data from each tire's test session was then downloaded to laptops for analysis and comparison.

Rogers, who has a decade of experience doing testing for Tire Rack, was our driver for the data runs over the road course, while Campbell handled the acceleration and braking tests. Mark Williams, PickupTrucks.Com's editor, Campbell and I also did additional laps on the snow course to evaluate how each tread performed in overall handling. We should note that we also became the de facto pit crew, ready to make the tire changes when needed. In the end, our findings were interesting, but not exactly what we expected.

Acceleration and Braking Performance

Braking and acceleration testing was straightforward. We accelerated the F-150 as hard as our traction control allowed up to 30 mph. That speed was maintained for a few moments, then the brakes were hit hard to duplicate a panic brake stop, allowing the antilock braking system to bring the truck to a stop as one would in a real-world emergency-stopping situation.

The DriftBox recorded time and distance for acceleration and braking, and each set of tires was tested six times. The testing cycle, which we followed throughout the two days of testing, was to run the Ford factory control tires first, followed by two sets of contenders, the control tire again, then the remaining two sets of contenders. Finally, we tested the factory tires one last time. This alternating regimen allowed us to incorporate any temperature deviations in the track surface as we tested throughout the day. Here's how they performed:

How They Compare

During our acceleration runs, the Bridgestone Blizzak tires were impressive, needing just 82.1 feet to get to 30 mph, but close behind were the studded Goodyear Ultra Grip WRT tires, needing just 83.9 feet. The factory Goodyear Wrangler Fortitude tires on the F-150s took 89.1 feet, while the BFG All-Terrains needed 92.3 feet. Well behind the pack were the Firestone Destination M/Ts, taking 162 feet to get to 30 mph.

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Our brake testing, like our acceleration runs, was done on the same stretch of snowy open road where the surface was even and flat. The tires that stopped from 30 mph in the shortest distance were again the Bridgestone Blizzaks, halting in just 85.1 feet. Close behind were the studded Goodyear Ultra Grip WRT tires at 86 feet. The BFG tires stopped in 97.7 feet, the Goodyear Wrangler Fortitudes in 108.2 feet, and finishing in last place, again, the Firestone Destination M/Ts needed 150.8 feet to come to a halt.

 

Firestone Destination M/T

Firestone Destination M/T Tires

Our Firestone tires were our representative of typical high-void mud-terrain traction tires favored by many pickup owners worldwide who need to dig and sling their vehicles through mud, sand or deep water. These conditions require a tire that grabs and throws debris from the trail to get traction; unfortunately, snow traction is predicated on keeping snow packed in the tire treads, not ejecting it. The M/Ts' ability to dig and sling away traction was glaringly evident in their acceleration and braking performance results — or lack thereof. Of note: They took 80 percent more track to accelerate and stop than the Goodyear Fortitude and nearly wore out the Ford's ABS and traction control systems trying to keep these tires from spinning and sliding at takeoff. These tires were by far the players most out of their element. TireRack.com price per tire: $219.

Zero-to-30 mph: 162 feet
30-mph-to-zero: 150.8 feet
Overall rank: 5

 

Goodyear Wrangler Fortitude HT

Goodyear Wrangler Fortitude HT Tires

These tires served as the control set for all our testing since they were the stock factory tires under our Ford F-150s. They performed better than expected on snow-packed roads when compared to the tires with the all-terrain or mud-tire tread patterns. The Fortitude's four-rib design, tight tread blocks and deep tread sipes (multisurfaced grooves) allowed it to hold snow in the tread just long enough to provide the truck with a decent amount of grip during acceleration to 30 mph and braking from 30 mph. We found the Fortitude HT was better accelerating on packed snow than either the all-terrain or mud tires in this test, but it didn't provide the grip characteristics of either of the dedicated winter tires. TireRack.com price per tire: $131.

Zero-to-30 mph: 89.1 feet
30-mph-to-zero: 108.2 feet
Overall rank: 4

 

BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2

BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 Tires

The BFG tires were a good representative of all-terrain tires that have exceeded the Rubber Manufacturers of America's severe snow traction performance requirements to achieve a "three-snowflake" rating; as a result, according to TireRack.com surveys, consumers like its all-season performance. However, although the A/T KO2s are snow rated, they did not hook up off the line as well as the F-150's factory Fortitude HTs during acceleration. But they made up for it in braking against the control tread. The grip provided by the BFGs' all-terrain tread pattern during braking surprised us until we took a closer look at how the tread pattern keeps the snow packed in the tire more than some other competitors. We learned the tires that keep the snow packed in the treads are the ones that have the better stopping distances unless you're using studded tires. Snow on snow provides the best traction. TireRack.com price per tire: $200.

Zero-to-30 mph: 92.3 feet
30-mph-to-zero: 97.7 feet
Overall rank: 3

 

Goodyear Ultra Grip WRT LT

Goodyear Ultra Grip WRT LT Tires

Our studded competitor was also a highly rated TireRack.com option for both pickups and automobiles. Like the Blizzak, the Ultra Grip WRT uses a specialized ice tread compound that provides enhanced traction on ice- and snow-covered roads, resisting the natural inclination of rubber to go rigid in subzero temperatures. It also offers a directional tire tread pattern that helps channel water and slush away from the tread face for enhanced winter traction and handling while cornering. As an E-rated tire, it can carry heavier loads than three of our other contenders, a good thing to consider if you need to haul a load year-round. We chose the studded version for this test to see how studs compare to non-studded tires. The Ultra Grip WRT LTs have fewer sipes in the tread blocks than the Blizzaks and wider grooves/voids between the blocks. The WRTs performed right on top of the Blizzaks but, as you might expect, were noisier. TireRack.com price per tire: $167.

Zero-to-30 mph: 83.9 feet
30-mph-to-zero: 86.0 feet
Overall rank: 2

 

Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2

Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2 Tires

If there's a tire name that resonates with cold, slippery, snow-covered streets, it's Blizzak. The DM-V2 tire is a dedicated studless winter tire engineered specifically for larger, heavier pickups and SUVs. It represents the latest in tread compounds and design for driving on snow and ice. A major key to their success are tread blocks designed to stay flexible in subfreezing temperatures while the tread design has narrow grooves between tread blocks that are laced with deep micro ridges inside the sipes to hold snow. During our stopping tests, we found the DM-V2s stopped in a little less than half the distance of the mud-terrain tires. The DM-V2s' excellent acceleration and braking characteristics with our empty-bed half-ton on packed snow was reflected in the fact it had the fastest acceleration times and impressive stopping abilities. It's worth noting this tire also does quite well on cold pavement. TireRack.com price per tire: $164.

Zero-to-30 mph: 82.1 feet
30-mph-to-zero: 85.1 feet
Overall rank: 1

 

Road Course Evaluation

The second part of our tire testing was done on a half-mile curvy and sloping road course where the strengths and weaknesses of each tire were magnified. The abbreviated section of our road course (called track three) was quite diverse; it had a long, fast sweeping section followed by a sharp left-hander into a dip, followed by another short straightway leading into a gradual sloping downhill left turn into an off-camber right back uphill (this is the spot where things were fun). We ran each set of tires in 4-High with the traction control off, which is most likely the mode a normal driver would select in these conditions. This was a true test of a tire's ability to brake, steer and accelerate the F-150 4x4s on packed snow with a couple icy spots along the way.

Rogers ran several practice laps with each set of tires before doing four with the DriftBox recording data. The tests were then repeated, giving us a total of eight evaluation laps on each set of tires. We tested the factory Goodyear Wrangler tires first, followed by the Blizzak DM-V2s and BFG T/A KO2s, then back to the Goodyear Wranglers followed by the Destination M/Ts and WRT LTs, ending the track test, once again, with the factory tires. Our weather conditions were partially cloudy for the most of the day, with some sun at midday that warmed things up to about 30 degrees. We started the morning at 20 degrees.

2016 Ford F-150 Snow Tire Test

For this section, we combined both raw data and test-driver feedback to provide the real differences in how each of these tires performs in these conditions. Our results are combined and scored using a 10-point scale to highlight how the different tread types faired in a driving environment relatively similar to real-world conditions on plowed-snow roads; 10 is the best and 1 is the worst. Here are the averages of how each set of tires fared compared to the control tires, along with a driving comment from our Tire Rack expert.

 

Firestone Destination M/T; overall rank: 5
Average lap time: 74.7 seconds
Average lateral G/180-degree turn: .190 g-force
Subjective Ratings
Steering: 3.0
Cornering: 3.0
Handling: 3.0
Comments: Very weak grip. You feel it right away. Very weak braking, very weak cornering, weak acceleration. It certainly digs, but doesn't grip. Spins tires even in 2nd gear. Very slow to recover once a slide is started. A slippery tire on snow that has no forgiveness.

 

Goodyear Wrangler Fortitude HT (factory-installed control tire); overall rank: 4
Average lap time: 64.9 seconds
Average lateral G/180-degree turn: .198 g-force
Subjective Ratings
Steering: 5.0
Cornering: 5.0
Handling: 5.0
Comments: Good initial grip, decent acceleration. Modest brake ability at limits. Good initial steering response, but front grip falls off rapidly with lateral g-force when steering into corners. Once the rear starts to slide it's slow to recover.

 

BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2; overall rank: 3
Average lap time: 61.1 seconds
Average lateral G/180-degree turn: .253 g-force
Subjective Ratings
Steering: 6.5
Cornering: 5.0
Handling: 5.0
Comments: Good longitudinal strength, weaker lateral cornering. Front washes out easily. Rear slides with longer recovery time than DM-V2s, but not as bad as the factory tires. Transition from longitudinal to lateral is not as predictable as DM-V2s or even the factory tires. Grip is there, and then it isn't.

2016 Ford F-150 Taking Turn on Snowy Track

Goodyear Ultra Grip WRT LT (studded); overall rank: 2
Average lap time: 59.2 seconds
Average lateral G/180-degree turn: .302 g-force
Subjective Ratings
Steering: 8.0
Cornering: 7.5
Handling: 7.5
Comments: Very good longitudinal grip. Excellent acceleration, very good braking. Decent lateral, but the transition from straight to turn isn't as smooth as the DM-V2s. Overall capability is very good. Ice grip is good around the off-camber 180. The F150's rear end feels very planted everywhere.

 

Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2; overall rank: 1
Average lap time: 57.5 seconds
Average lateral G/180-degree turn: .332 g-force
Subjective Ratings
Steering: 8.0
Cornering: 8.0
Handling: 8.0
Comments: Better in all directions. It brakes like it accelerates. Great lateral; excellent reserve. Just keeps on working no matter what the attitude of the truck is. Equal balance in all directions gives driver confidence and is easy to trust in all situations.

Racelogic DriftBox Data Logger

Summary

Our final ranking factored in acceleration and braking as well as the tires' performance on the test track, where only two tires finished a lap around the road course in less than 60 seconds. The Firestone Destination M/Ts finished almost 20 seconds behind the test track winner. The factory Goodyear Wrangler Fortitude HTs finished in fourth place, well behind third-place finisher BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A. In second place, missing the top spot by a slim margin, the studded Goodyear Ultra Grip WRTs did a great job in every area except road noise (especially on pavement). The overall winner of our decathlon-style event were the Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2s.

Between driving the twisting road course and the straight-line acceleration and brake testing, it's no surprise the dedicated snow tires — Bridgestone Blizzak and Goodyear Ultra Grip (whether studless or studded) — came out leading the way when compared to the factory all-season treads. And it's no surprise that the popular and more aggressive all-terrain and mud tires didn't come close in performance either.

What was surprising was how poorly an aggressive mud tire performs on snow-packed and plowed roads. We also were expecting the all-terrain tires to fare better than they did. But as we learned from this comparison between tread types, tires with fewer voids and more sipes that keep snow packed into the tread face provide better traction than those that eject the snow.

The other enlightening and impressive aspect of driving these different tires back-to-back-to-back in these conditions is today's modern technology found in studless winter tires and how well they increase grip on icy, snowy road surfaces. Pickup owners concerned with maximizing vehicle control and minimizing the risk of accidents should keep that in mind when thinking about making seasonal tire changes.

Cars.com photos by Bruce W. Smith and Mark Williams

 

2016 Ford F-150 Filling Tires

Tire Treads Filled With Snow

2016 Ford F-150 Takes a Snowy Curve

2016 Ford F-150 Rear Exterior in Snow

Snow Tires Waiting for Test

Two 2016 Ford F-150 Pickups



Comments

I got the •BFGoodrich All-Terrain on my Silverado they do well in the snow, plus I like how they look on my truck. Not a bad tire but there are better options.

"heyouguys" I have had the KO's and I am on my 3rd set of Cooper AT/3's (on 2 trucks) and think they are much better in the snow...

I forgot to mention, my wife has Firestone Destination AT's and they are great in wet pavement and snow

So in all reality the BFG A/T KO2's are the best REAL world tire that you can run YEAR ROUND!

The top two tires are dedicated winter tires, this you will not only need to get another set for non-winter times, but store them likewise in the garage.

I run BFG A/T KO2's on both my 2010 and 2016 Tacoma's and I can tell you they handle just fine in winter conditions. Maybe using only the F-150 as a test mule impacts their results?

And the fact I do not have to change them out when the snow's stop falling is a huge bonus! I will stick with my BFG A/T KO2's for all around, all weather running!

Also most real truck owners run weight in the bed during the winter. I ran 2 sand bags in the far back of my 2016 Tacoma this past winter. I typically run a piece of treated wood from bed cubby to bed cubby in back and place both sand bags just in front of the rear tailgate. I plan to run 1 sand bag year round back there. It helps to put some weight on the rear springs and not only makes for a better ride but handling is greatly improved even on dry pavement.

I have the BF AT on mine work great! at least for the test they used the great and powerful Military grade off roading Ford!!! The reason they didnt use GM twins is the square wheel wells in them get snow caught up in there and then they loose traction and stall out....

The bottom picture explains it all.

2016 Tacoma pulling out the F-150, nice...

Nothing surprising to me. In addition the the tread pattern, MT tires are made of a much different rubber than snow tires. They get very hard when temps drop. Snow tires use special rubber formulations that allow them to stay soft in cold temperatures, which leads to better traction. It also leads to much higher wear in warm temps. That's why you don't run snows all year round.

A different day, different results..

And if you had tested the Nokian tires they would have won. Have some Rotiiva AT on a 97 Burb, amazing in the rain, snow and very quiet with a long life.

My favorite tire is my current ones http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Michelin&tireModel=Defender+LTX+M/S&partnum=87R7DLTX. Now I'm not 18's but 285/70/17 offers you a lot of tire choices and Michelin Defender LTX M/S are awesome.

Tires with loads of sipes built into the treads is where it is at for icy roads. This winter I put a set of general altimax arctic on my wife's car. The improvement in grip over the all seasons was unbelievable.

Had just bought a set of Blizzak's for the first time this past winter, --- for my '96 Dodge Ram 1500 pickup. They were A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! Like tank treads. For ultimate winter traction, I would get them again, hands down.

If you live in any area that has low temperatures and much rain or snow in the winter, I would now consider these tires as a "must have".

But there are some disadvantages (if you can call them that):

1) I can't "fish-tail" my truck any more. No fun at all!

2) They will only last 2-5 seasons, depending on the amount of high-speed, dry-road driving. (I limit my speed to 50 MPH.)

3) They had cost me about 1.5 MPG over my regular all-season tires. (What did you think it would cost to move tank treads?)

4) They are more expensive to buy than, say, General Grabber HTS-60 All-Season tires, which actually do a reasonable job in snow and ice and rain, to my great surprise.

Hey, Mark and Bruce, this is a great article, but where are the Nokian Hakkapeliitta and Michelin® X-Ice® Tires for this test?

========================

Any tire that is Snowflake rated by the RMA and RAC will do well in snow compared to an all-season or all-terrain/mud-terrain tire that is not. The fact that the two winter-specific tires finished 1-2 is about as surprising as sunrise in the morning.

I've had good results with the General AmeriTrac TR on my dually, and would consider Cooper's new Discoverer AT/W on a single-rear truck. Both are Snowflake rated with a "mild all-terrain" tread that can go year-round. For a winter-only set, Blizzak has been the standard for too many years.

For a valid comparison, you must use the SAME inflation pressure!
You should have declined to have studded tires in the test.

You should only use the Auto setting of the transfer case.
Forcing the front & rear driveshafts to turn at the same speed, is the recipe for instability.
The lock/High setting if for off-roading, or getting unstuck.

The F150 doesn't need load range E tires.

This test shows one thing loud and clear, tires have come a long way baby. Unless you live in an area with extreme winter conditions all seasons and AT tires will work pretty well for most. Would have been interesting to see how the MTs would have compared with some siping in the middle lugs. Of course hard core MT users would never do that.

great analysis of acceleration and braking. no mention about deep snow performance. not getting stuck!! why wasn't that addressed?

Military Grade tires.

I love my Cooper AT3 tires , last set lasted 80,000 miles

I too am very impressed with the cooper at3 tires. Great all around tire. Great snow tire. Good mud tire. the at3 really lives up to the name. All terrain. All traction. All the time. And when I compared prices on my last two sets they were by far the best deal.

Typical how the blue kool-aid drinkers can turn a tire test into praise for the truck.

I have Michelins all season and not even two feet of snow stopped me yet
And its only two wheel drive with g80 locker,,
(08 Silverado )
I also put lots of weight in the back of the box to get traction..works like a dream..

@Chevrolet builds...

putting weight on the rear of the bed is great for aiding forward bite, but it sucks for cornering in lousy conditions. Trade offs.

Sorry, but this isn't even a fair comparison for any of the tires. None of them are from the same class, so of course the results are what they are. While I can see the angle some people can argue with (people can know what type/class tire to go with), that end of the argument holds no valuable water... there is no additional substance to justify anything in this article. Absolutely everything about this article is subject to argument.

What do I mean by it??? Example: You used the All-Terrain T/A KO2 as the benchmark for the A/T tire. The BFG All-Terrain T/A KO2 is a horrible tire in the snow in regards to A/T tires, this article doesn't do justice.

Military Grade tires.

Posted by: blueman | Mar 18, 2016 2:47:35 PM

I bet those military grade tire side walls and the so called military grade pick-up door panels won't hold up against a box cutting knife.

Blizzaks are incredible--for about 1 year. After that, the performance drops off. I run KO2s on my pickup year round and will chain up if it gets dire. I run Nokia knock offs on my cars in winter and Bridgestone max performance tires on the summer.

papa jim - - -

Added weight in a pickup bed should be used sparingly in winter and other slippery conditions.

Rule-O'-Thumb: Do not add more weight than the amount needed to give your pickup a 50/50 weight distribution. (You can measure this by using the scales at your local gravel yard, putting each axle on the scale separately, in turn.)

If you go more than that, cornering and handling will suffer, as you mentioned. Less than that is certainly OK, but you will relinquish start-up traction, and show increased stopping distances during braking.

===========================

I want to see a test, or at least a summary of results from different winter conditions such as fresh powder, hard packed snow, ice, slush, and different depths from 1" deep all the way up to the height of the axle. Then tell us which tire did the best in which conditions and which did the best overall.

@NMGOM I'm standing on my previous comment. Take another look at what was being discussed.

It's not about putting weight on the bed, rather about the idea of putting added weight on the "rear" of the bed.

Adding weight between the front and rear axles is fine, adding weight behind the rear axle has tradeoffs, esp. when cornering.

I wonder how the Bridgestone Dueler Rev-2 would have done? An AT tire with a tread pattern not too different from the Blizzaks.

Hi agin, Papa Jim - -

Just wanted to caution against the idea if loading many sand bags or other severe weighting in back of the rear-axle line, causing the vehicle to become a "pendulum" on ice.

My experience with most 12/-ton pickups has been that 300-500 lbs is an adequate amount, depending on other things (like unladed vehicle weight, bed length, whether a camper cap is present, etc).

======================

Excellent information - good job.

Now the real issue comes to play economics - is it worthwhile to fork $164x4=656 plus tax

'Would it be worth the investment to buy a dedicated snow tire and run them half the year?' .....hmmmm.......

I wish someone would do a similar comparison but using popular AT tires like the Toyo Open Country AT2, Cooper AT3, Nitto's and what not.... I'm glad they did the BFG AT/KO2s, but it would have been better if they compared the BFGs to other AT tires for winter performance.

Funny, because FourWheeler magazine did a test similar to this a few months ago and got very different results. The MT tires actually were better in some categories.

And for the record, there are much better AT tires on the market today than the BFG. MUCH better. I'm not a Consumer Reports fan, but even they score the BFGs very low.

The optimal setup is two sets of tires. Blizzak for winter, and whatever else based on what you do the rest of the year.

I realize not everyone can afford this. But if safety is your concern for your family you should at least always put the Blizzaks on their vehicles.

Blizzaks.

Dumbest test ever. Run again with all tires at 40psi, more in line with real world. I smart driver will go off the recommended psi on the door not some pulled out of thin air number. This test holds no water.

I like these tests, since I am more interested in pickup size tires.

One thing to remember is different size tires of the same unique tire will act differently as the tread patterns do not necessarily scale.

A couple of contradictions to mention is my Firestone Destination A/Ts on my '70 K5 work great in the north country. Always been very impressed with winter performance going through deep snow I would have thought impossible -- they spin, but they just keep going forward. And although most like new Blizzak's for road driving in the winter (including me), they are horrible on my brothers E350 passenger van. The point is sometimes a tire-size/vehicle/driving-style combination can create different driving characteristics than seen on tests -- which just means tests that use the tire size you use tested on the vehicle you use are much more reliable then if size or vehicle is different.

The only limitation of this informative test is winter snow in Minnesota is a lot different then Massachusetts snow. I have driven all winter on bias ply tires on cold cold days in Minnesota, but have problems getting around on snow tires driving on half melted Massachusetts snot snow.

great test! these are REAL world results given the conditions, not people writing in saying how awesome or lame their tires are in their personal experiences. I run Michelin tires on my trucks. I was always a Dunlop guy 25 years ago, (save money) but those days are over. First thing I did after buying my 2014 Ram Hemi Crew was to put the LTX Michelins on. They are ranked for superior wet performance, and decent snow performance for an all season tire. I'm in Alaska, but south in the rainforest, if I was up where real winter hit for months and months, I'd be putting on set of real snow tires, and I'm studless all the way these days. Cheers!

Bridgestone Dueler Rev-2

These are my go to tire as well.

They are severe snow rated as well.

They have dual layer rubber compound so from 16/32nd to 10/32s they are fantastic. After that a fair amount of snow traction goes away as does most of the biting edges (sipes). The second rubber layer is stickier, so non-winter traction is fairly stable until the 5-6/32nds mark.

The Revo 2s are not as aggressive as the BFG KOs but what they give up in offroad they improve onroad.

Tires are all about compromises...

I'm not current, but at one point in my life I was BFG/Cooper/Goodyear/Bridgestone tire expert certified.

All that means is I understand tire construction tech, and the hows and whys of features and their implementations/intended use.

Surprising that the MT tires did so poorly. I put a set of mud tires on my truck and they performed much better than the standard all-seasons, surprising that the all-seasons did so well.

Why didn't you test them driving through 12" of fresh snow. Would like to see what the MT tires would do in that situation.

It would have been interesting to see what a set of tire chains would have done for the truck

I agree that blizaks are among the very best winter tires,but
they require you buy a second set of tires.
I roll with BFG a bit of a compromise but only need one set of tires no need to change tires.
For me that is the best solution though it is a compromised solution

BFG AT KO is a popular tire for year round use and mild off road use. Regular ATs don't compare and the BFG is in a different world. It performed very well for an off-road oriented single tire used year round.
But where this test lacks credibility is a MT in unplowed snow will dig to a firm base, while an AT will load up and even ice over if excessive wheel spin occurs. Many guys like myself get the center tread blocks siped and run MTs for severe snow in areas where county roads might be plowed after days, or weeks.
Each tire has their place.
Winter and good all season tires for the urban driver who never ventures off pavement or well packed and graded gravel.
BFG ATs for the hunter/fisherman who uses the truck daily and off road on weekends
Mud Terrains...if you have to ask, you don't need them.

All very interesting comments. I do agree that this test wasn't apples to apples, but rather apples to oranges. It does show the abilities in strictly snow/ice conditions of several completely different tires.

I live in Canada. Northern Alberta to be precise. We see everything from dry roads in the winter to slush, packed snow, glare ice and snow up to a foot or two at a time. And in our one other season (haha) we see everything else under the sun. I've ran Nokian Vatiiva's, Nokian Rotiiva's and the newer Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure with Kevlar. All three have a snowflake symbol and each of them were on an F150 Quad Cab, 4X4. The Rotiiva was hand's down the winner in all conditions. Vatiiva is no longer, so that makes the All-Terrain Adventure my distant second choice. The most concerning factor for me was loss of control while turning, on mild positive acceleration. In rain, ice and snow, the All-Terrain Adventure consistently lost traction causing spin outs. The Rotiiva also sticks to the road better in both braking and straight line acceleration.

I need to haul loads year round. For me, a dedicated winter tire really isn't an option and in the summer I don't spend my time slinging mud. Highway, gravel, off-road hunting and hauling, I'd say Rotiiva is the way to go.

Should have run them at the same pressure,
I would have like to see a test of the acceleration in about a foot a powder, not just on a groomed track. The M/Ts might have done better there.

Quebec: the only place in North America where snow tires (or winter tires), are mandatory.

http://auto.lapresse.ca/dossiers/dossiers-speciaux/201410/24/01-4812292-pneus-dhiver-pour-vus-et-camionnettes-nos-choix.php

It's -7 out now here in Colorado and over a foot of snow. I can tell you for a fact that the KO2's work great on my Hummer! Couldn't be happier.

I run Firestone Winter Force Snow tires on my 2014 Hemi Powered Ram 2500 HD Plow Truck during the winter months.
I find it funny that they were not used in this comparison test because they would have won hands down. They are priced right too. Instead they use a Firestone Mud Tire for comparison?
Well what can you expect from a Bridgestone sponsored tire test. What a Joke! LOL

Why would you run the tires at there max psi? This test was biased towards the snow tires from the start. It's a review to sell winter tires. Had the other tires set at 35psi. The outcome would have been minimal. This is obviously an exaggerated test to advertise and increase winter tire sales.

It would have been nice to see a 2wd tested, some of us actually make it through winter using 2wd and they still make 2wd trucks

Run again with all tires at 40psi, more in line with real world. I smart driver will go off the recommended psi on the door not some pulled out of thin air number. This test holds no water.



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