When we purchased our 2001 Nissan Maxima, we spent the extra money ($200 a tire) to put Bridgestone Blizzak tires on. After using these for a few years, we were sold on the Blizzak technology. We sold that car two years ago, and purchased our daughter’s 2004 Honda Civic, which came with four studded winter tires. Despite the excellent gas mileage the Honda gave us, my husband refused to drive it to work during the winter months. He said the car was “squirly” and was hard to control. A couple weeks ago, we shopped around for Bridgestone Blizzak tires, and ended up replacing the studded tires with the Blizzak’s, and boy have we been extremely happy with that decision.
The Difference Between Standard Winter Tires And The Blizzak’s:
The WS-60’s are the newest and the third generation of Blizzak tires. They are called “WinterBiter” tires, and that term describes them perfectly! When my husband and I were looking at the display in the tire shop, I couldn’t believe the difference between standard winter tires and the Blizzak’s. I asked the tire dealer for some information on the Blizzak’s to help me with my review, and this is what I can tell you about the Blizzak difference. The tires tread are very soft. You can actually pull the treads apart with your fingers! Bridegstone says these tires are enhanced with silica, with is a multicell compound, which is layered on top of the standard winter compound.
3-D Zigzag Sipes:
Tires contain something that are called “sipes”, which bite into the snow and allows for super traction. Bridgestone says that when you look at these tires under a microscope, they actually resemble swiss cheese. The tires are made up of thousands of 3-D zigzag sipes that wicks away water and reduces the chance of hydroplaning. The thousands of microscopic cells improve the gripping action of the tires. The information I have says that the new WS-60 tires have twin steel belts that are reinforced with nylon to give durability at high speeds and a great ride.
These tires have completely changed my husbands mind about driving our Honda Civic. Since we have had them on our car, he has driven the Honda to work every single day. He says the car performs MUCH better, and handles extremely well. I had a hard time believing tires could make such a dramatic difference, until I was able to drive the Honda on a weekend when we had very icy roads. I agree with his assessment, the Blizzak WS-60’s are supreme winter tires. There is a small hill before a stop light in our town, and even with the studded winter tires on our Honda, my tires would spin at this light. I had a terrible time getting any traction if the roads were not sanded (and that’s often the case here in Alaska). Since we’ve had the Blizzak tires on all four wheels, this section of town has not been a problem. Likewise, these provide a lot of control when going down icy hills.
Although we were completely happy with the original Blizzak’s that we ran on our 2001 Maxima, I wanted to do some research on the newest generation of Blizzak’s, and found a good deal of helpful information at the tirerack.com website. They have posted the results of 70 survey submissions, and the Blizzak WS-60 tires rated number one. 100% of respondents rated them the best in their category.
They were rated superior for:
* Light snow traction
* Deep snow traction
* Ice traction
* Ride comfort
And they were rated excellent for:
* Hydroplaning resistance
* Wet traction
* Cornering stability
* Dry traction
* Steering response
* Noise comfort
When asked if they would buy this tire again, 9.5 out of 10 consumers said “definitely”. Blizzak WS-60 Studless Ice and Snow tires were rated against Michelin X-Ice, Blizzak REVO 1, Blizzak WS-50, and Dunlop Graspic DS-2 tires.
In an effort to save money, two winters ago I purchased Michelin X-Ice tires from Costco, for our 2004 Buick Regal. The Costco employee told me these were just like Blizzak tires, but comparing them to Blizzak, there is a great deal of difference between the two. I would never again save a few bucks to buy a cheaper brand!
Not only do Blizzak tires give us superb control on ice and snow, they make the ride more enjoyable. I have never liked the clickity clack that you hear when you are running studded winter tires, and since the Blizzak’s are studless winter tires, they are extremely quiet and give a smooth ride.
When we first purchased the original Blizzak’s in 2001, I was concerned about the soft rubber compound wearing down quickly. We were told by friends who also owned them that this was something to be aware of. Because of this, we always changed out the tires as soon as possible in the spring. We were able to run those tires for four years on the Maxima, and the new owner continued to use them for one year that I know of, and she raved about their performance. I don’t expect the third generation of Blizzak tires to give us any less mileage. Bridgestone does give a warranty of 5 Years, prorated down to 2/32″ of remaining tread.
I may sound like a spokesman for Blizzak tires, or a commercial. But let me assure you, I am a simple consumer who can’t praise the Blizzak WS-60 tires enough. They are worth their weight in gold. In fact, we had a state trooper tell us exactly that. My husband was driving too fast for road conditions near Faribanks, Alaska, and and the trooper pulled him over to warn him there had been a lot of accidents. He asked if we were running Blizzaks, and we said yes. He said he wished he could afford to put them on his wifes car, and that the police cars use the Blizzaks on their vehicles. That is a pretty impressive endorsement if you ask me. One that we agree with 100%.
We paid $80 each for our Blizzak WS-60 tires, and had them put on wheels. Changing tires out year after year is not good for the tires bead, so we always spend the extra money to protect our investment, and have them put on wheels. They are worth every penny!