Review: Michelin X-Ice Snow Tires

Regardless of how abnormally warm this winter has been, a large snowfall at the end of January was a bitter reminder that winter is no joke in Canada, a country with one of the toughest winters in the world. In some regions, including Quebec and British Columbia, it is not only advised but also required by law for drivers to have a set of winter tires.

Contrary to what their names might imply, all-weather and all-season tires are not very durable in extremely cold temperatures. Their rubber compounds harden and stiffen once the temperature falls below 7 degrees Celsius, losing all of their gripping power on the ground.

On the other hand, winter tires are created from particular compounds to preserve a certain level of suppleness in extremely cold temperatures. In this manner, it maintains its capacity to adhere to road surfaces. The tires' distinctive tread designs also provide them the ability to successfully handle snow, slush, and ice. The 'Alpine and Snow' designation on winter tires assures that they adhere to the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada's performance standards for snow traction.

There is no one brand of winter tire that will fit your car the best because there are so many variations available. We regularly test snow tires every year to provide perspective on this matter. This time, we requested a set of snows from Michelin, and they responded by sending us one of their best models, the Michelin X-Ice Snow.

Michelin, a French business with a long history in North America, has long been recognized for its dedication to creating high-quality, high-performance tires. Each winter tire they sell is tailored to the kind of vehicle you drive, your performance requirements, and the weather where you are. It joins the Pilot Alpin 5, Pilot Alpin 5 SUV, Agilis Alpin, Michelin X-Ice North 4, X-Ice XI3, Latitude Alpin, Latitude Alpin LA2, and Pilot Alpin PA4 as the newest model.

You won't have any trouble choosing one that fits your SUV, sedan, or minivan because they range in size from 15 inches to as large as 22 inches. Prices for each 175/65R15 size start at about $200 Canadian, but if your rubber happens to wear 285/45R22, you may be looking at spending up to $700.

Special characteristics of Michelin X-ICE Snow:

The next-generation V-shaped tread pattern utilises the entire tire contact patch for the best traction on snow and ice. It also increases tire clearance and aids in water drainage for outstanding slush performance. When worn, it keeps its shape, continuing to offer traction over upcoming winters.

Two different types of full-depth, interlocking 3-D sipes are used to strengthen the claw effect, preserve the stability of the tread blocks, and add long-lasting biting edges to the tire.

FLEX-ICE 2.0 tread compound: This tread has a high silica content to maintain tire flexibility at very low temperatures for the best braking and acceleration on ice and snow.

EverGrip technology is a cutting-edge tread compound with hard polymer-based inclusions for longer-lasting grip on ice and snow.

Today's market is dominated by SUVs, thus Michelin specifically created this tire for vehicles like our current-generation Volvo XC60. The tires on our Volvo were 235/60R18 in size. Even though there wasn't much snow in December, the roads were very slick and icy in the morning. The X-Ice tires excelled and surpassed our expectations in this area. When the road wasn't dry, acceleration and braking weren't much affected, and traction wasn't generally thought to be hindered. Our pedal inputs were immediately and strongly responded to by the tires' bite.

Many drivers were taken off guard by a significant blizzard in January. Numerous cars were abandoned on the roadways as a result of the closure of the southern US border. not though, our Volvo. The unexpected amount of traction not only made it easy for us to travel down the 401, but it also encouraged us to venture off the main road for some photographs and sideways fun.

The Volvo's steering kept straight and stayed neutral through turns even though the roads were covered in so much snow that we couldn't even see the lane markers. The Volvo's stability and traction control systems barely provided any technological aid during the short stopping and braking distances. However, the XC60's AWD system did appear to take advantage of the tires' exceptional traction. Even better, we found that the tires maintained their exceptional level of quietness even at triple-digit highway speeds.

The Michelin X-Ice Snow tires are an amazing value for the money, and being backed by the Michelin Promise Plan, which includes a 60-day satisfaction guarantee, roadside assistance, and a 60,000-mile warranty, provided us the confidence to venture outside regardless of the weather. Additionally, 85% of these Michelins are produced in Nova Scotia; let's support our local economy!

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