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Upgrades (non TDI Engine related) The place of handling, lighting and other upgrades that do not relate to the performance or economy of the TDI engine. In other words upgrades to your TDI that don't fit into TDI Fuel Economy & TDI Engine Enhancements.Please note the Performance Disclaimer

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Old February 11th, 2019, 08:42   #1
Intech
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Default All weather tire information

I'm in the process of getting an excursion van, mainly because my new puppy won't fit in my Golf or Jetta in another year or so. In fact, she's already to big for the Golf, so that went to my daughter. I'd like to put on another set of Nokian WR-G2's, but they are no longer available in most popular sizes, and the Nokian WR-G3's, while being touted as the same, are not even close, I had a set, and gave them away. I'm not looking for 'all season', because Winter in Michigan is not the same as Winter in Miami. I don't want to be bothered with having to change tires twice a year with the van, as I do now with my TDI's. Any ideas or suggestions?
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Old February 11th, 2019, 09:04   #2
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This may not be the best option, but I am a huge fan of BF Goodrich KO2s. They have been revamped and now have that official ice and snow rating. I have them on my golf. They are living up to the hype in all the snow here in the PNW.


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Old February 11th, 2019, 09:21   #3
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Originally Posted by brnsgrbr View Post
This may not be the best option, but I am a huge fan of BF Goodrich KO2s. They have been revamped and now have that official ice and snow rating. I have them on my golf. They are living up to the hype in all the snow here in the PNW.


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Thank you, that's the kind of information I'm looking for. Years ago, back in the eighties, they were my brand of choice, but then I got a set that soured me, and I went looking elsewhere. I'll look into them. If they are anywhere close to the WR-G2's, I'll be very happy
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Old February 11th, 2019, 09:33   #4
Rob Mayercik
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What about the WR-G4?
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Old February 11th, 2019, 09:43   #5
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What about the WR-G4?
Didn't even know that they had them. After having, both the WR-G2's and WR-G3's, I'm a whole bunch leery, on believing Nokian's hype, especially with what they cost. Tire Rack doesn't carry them, so I can't look up consumer feedback. If I were to get them, and they were like the WR-G3's I'd be one very unhappy camper
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Old February 11th, 2019, 16:41   #6
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We just bought a set of Michelin Premier LTX, which are marketed as "all-weather," and they are OK in the snow/ice we had the past few weeks, along with negative Fahrenheit temps.

Another option is the Michelin Defender LTX.
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Old February 12th, 2019, 04:55   #7
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Originally Posted by andreigbs View Post
We just bought a set of Michelin Premier LTX, which are marketed as "all-weather," and they are OK in the snow/ice we had the past few weeks, along with negative Fahrenheit temps.

Another option is the Michelin Defender LTX.
Thank you. I figured that other manufacturers had some sort of equivalent tires to Nokian's 'all weather' type. I just didn't know which they were, and now I'll see what consumers say about them
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Old February 12th, 2019, 06:04   #8
Intech
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andreigbs View Post
We just bought a set of Michelin Premier LTX, which are marketed as "all-weather," and they are OK in the snow/ice we had the past few weeks, along with negative Fahrenheit temps.

Another option is the Michelin Defender LTX.
I just did some research on both the Premier and the Defender, and the Premier got all rave reviews, except for tread wear, which seemed to be pretty low, around 20k. The Defender sounded pretty much the same, but there were not enough reviews on it to be more certain. However, the UTOG rating was higher, so, for the moment, I'm leaning in that direction. Thanks again
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Old February 12th, 2019, 06:15   #9
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Originally Posted by Intech View Post
I just did some research on both the Premier and the Defender, and the Premier got all rave reviews, except for tread wear, which seemed to be pretty low, around 20k. The Defender sounded pretty much the same, but there were not enough reviews on it to be more certain. However, the UTOG rating was higher, so, for the moment, I'm leaning in that direction. Thanks again
Good research going on.

You'll find that treadwear depends on many variables, not the least of which are overall vehicle weight and driving style. The tread warranty is 60K on the Premier, and 50K on the Defender. On the main Michelin site, the Defender gets better reviews. Again, each person's experience is just a data point. I take all internet reviews with a few grains of salt. In my experience, Michelins have been excellent tires even if somewhat overpriced at times.

Coming from a set of run-flat Dunlops on the GLK, the difference is night and day so far. Another data point for you to consider

Good luck in your search.
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2014 Jetta TDI // 21xxx miles // 38 MPG & 2014 GLK 250 // 92xxx miles // 36 MPG
2014 Golf TDI // 45xxx miles // 38 MPG - buyback'ed
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1997 Jetta TDI // 317xxx miles // 44 MPG - sold
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Old February 12th, 2019, 06:36   #10
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Originally Posted by andreigbs View Post
Good research going on.

You'll find that treadwear depends on many variables, not the least of which are overall vehicle weight and driving style. The tread warranty is 60K on the Premier, and 50K on the Defender. On the main Michelin site, the Defender gets better reviews. Again, each person's experience is just a data point. I take all internet reviews with a few grains of salt. In my experience, Michelins have been excellent tires even if somewhat overpriced at times.

Coming from a set of run-flat Dunlops on the GLK, the difference is night and day so far. Another data point for you to consider

Good luck in your search.
I know all about Internet 'reviews', and I agree with all your points 100%. I looked at what Tire Rack said. I've been dealing with them for decades, and they've proven they are very customer service oriented, and have not, to my knowledge, misled me. Whereas, the Nokian Dealer, seems to have only wanted to sell tires. I'll check out the Michelin site for their reviews
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Old February 12th, 2019, 09:54   #11
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We are a tire dealer here, and I have seen a LOT of different tires over the years on a LOT of different cars. What is good or bad often depends on what it is going on (I do not know what an excursion van is, if you could tell me, maybe I can give a better opinion).

There is generally no tire that is "perfect" in every sense. Longevity means a harder compound, which means poorer traction especially when wet, and louder road noise.

Michelin, as a brand, is probably the best overall for quality. They are round, and stay that way. Their lesser brands, BF Goodrich and Uniroyal, are hit and miss, and often are dependent on the application as well as the point of manufacture.

Goodyear is probably the worst of the big brands. They also are Kelly-Springfield, Dunlop, Cordovan, and a whole bunch of no-name garbage like Wal-mart level crap.

Bridgestone-Firestone, who also has the cheap line Fuzion, has some good, some bad, and some downright awful models.

Continental-General is usually decent enough, but I'd say it depends a lot on application and model.

I know some people like them, but Nokian from what I have seen have never shown me to be anything exceptional, at least for non-winter tires.

The Korean brands are garbage. Nexen, Kumho, Hankook, these have some of THE worst QC in the aftermarket I have ever seen, even worse than their cheap price would suggest. You may as well get some no-name house label Chinapop tire if that is all you want (and lots of people do, they place CHEAP at the very top of the buy criteria).

As far as the Michelin Premier vs. Defender: they are very different tires. The Premier focuses on quiet, smooth ride, relatively decent traction, whereas the Defender pretty much sacrifices everything for longevity. I have had both, and while the Defender will certainly last longer, its performance is no match for the Premier, wet or dry. And they are absolutely louder. But, they are Michelins, so they are true and easy to balance and stay balanced. They are not available in every speed range though.

As for winter driving, there is no "all season" tire that is as good in snow and ice as a true winter tire. It isn't just the tread design, but the rubber compound as well. But some all season tires will certainly be better than others, they'll be the ones that lose some of their not-winter strengths to do so.

On my cars right now:

Both my B5 Passats have Michelin Premier, and will return to these when replacement time comes (or whatever model Michelin may replace these with).

My one Golf has Continental Contipro Contact. While I have no issue with handling or treadwear, they flat spot if the car sits for a few days, and it takes ~10 miles of higher speed driving to get them round again. Worse in the cold. I will be going back to the Premiers when these wear out.

The other Golf has the Defenders. They will also be replaced with Premiers. Yes, they wear like iron, they also feel and sound like it.

My Sprinter has Continental Vanco tires, which replaced the OEM Kumho tires that I took off when it was brand new. It was virtually undriveable. 3 of the 4 tires were shaped like ostrich eggs. I will probably replace these Vancos due to age before I ever wear them out. They are a little noisy at speed, but not awful, and I really do not have anything to compare them to. They were about $200 cheaper for the set than the Michelins, otherwise I may have gone with the LTX MS.

My F150 has General Grabber AT, and have been fine so far, no complaints. I do not drive the truck often, and never in snow, but they seem satisfactory in any and all conditions in which I have used them.

I have a set of snows for a Golf and a Passat, Goodyear Wintermax and General Altimax Arctic, respectively. Cannot give a good comparison, as the Passat is bigger, heavier, and AWD, so... but the Golf with the Wintermax tires in snow feels pretty secure.
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Last edited by oilhammer; February 12th, 2019 at 10:03.
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Old February 12th, 2019, 10:53   #12
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I thought the OP meant he drives an actual Excursion, the big Fords which are almost the size of their Econoline vans. OP, please clarify.

I can concur on the overall craptastic cheapness of the Hankooks and Kumhos. Also the Fuzions. Crap tires, they either don't grip well in the wet or in the dry, or both. They don't like being balanced and usually don't stay that way. Flat spots, blowouts, extremely loud, etc., you name it.

Two Asian brands I would consider, though, are Sumitomo and Yokohama. Both have been decent in my experience but that's just one data point, right? And it varies from model to model, including where they're made. There's an iPhone app that you can plug in a tire's DOT code and it gives you a detailed report of that tire, including when & where it was made, even what the weather was that day. Look up "Tire Facts," a free app that's handy to have.

Good luck, OP. Choices, choices, choices...
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2014 Golf TDI // 45xxx miles // 38 MPG - buyback'ed
2004 Bora TDI // 146xxx miles // 42 MPG - sold
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Old February 12th, 2019, 10:57   #13
Intech
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oilhammer View Post
We are a tire dealer here, and I have seen a LOT of different tires over the years on a LOT of different cars. What is good or bad often depends on what it is going on (I do not know what an excursion van is, if you could tell me, maybe I can give a better opinion).

There is generally no tire that is "perfect" in every sense. Longevity means a harder compound, which means poorer traction especially when wet, and louder road noise.

Michelin, as a brand, is probably the best overall for quality. They are round, and stay that way. Their lesser brands, BF Goodrich and Uniroyal, are hit and miss, and often are dependent on the application as well as the point of manufacture.

Goodyear is probably the worst of the big brands. They also are Kelly-Springfield, Dunlop, Cordovan, and a whole bunch of no-name garbage like Wal-mart level crap.

Bridgestone-Firestone, who also has the cheap line Fuzion, has some good, some bad, and some downright awful models.

Continental-General is usually decent enough, but I'd say it depends a lot on application and model.

I know some people like them, but Nokian from what I have seen have never shown me to be anything exceptional, at least for non-winter tires.

The Korean brands are garbage. Nexen, Kumho, Hankook, these have some of THE worst QC in the aftermarket I have ever seen, even worse than their cheap price would suggest. You may as well get some no-name house label Chinapop tire if that is all you want (and lots of people do, they place CHEAP at the very top of the buy criteria).

As far as the Michelin Premier vs. Defender: they are very different tires. The Premier focuses on quiet, smooth ride, relatively decent traction, whereas the Defender pretty much sacrifices everything for longevity. I have had both, and while the Defender will certainly last longer, its performance is no match for the Premier, wet or dry. And they are absolutely louder. But, they are Michelins, so they are true and easy to balance and stay balanced. They are not available in every speed range though.

As for winter driving, there is no "all season" tire that is as good in snow and ice as a true winter tire. It isn't just the tread design, but the rubber compound as well. But some all season tires will certainly be better than others, they'll be the ones that lose some of their not-winter strengths to do so.

On my cars right now:

Both my B5 Passats have Michelin Premier, and will return to these when replacement time comes (or whatever model Michelin may replace these with).

My one Golf has Continental Contipro Contact. While I have no issue with handling or treadwear, they flat spot if the car sits for a few days, and it takes ~10 miles of higher speed driving to get them round again. Worse in the cold. I will be going back to the Premiers when these wear out.

The other Golf has the Defenders. They will also be replaced with Premiers. Yes, they wear like iron, they also feel and sound like it.

My Sprinter has Continental Vanco tires, which replaced the OEM Kumho tires that I took off when it was brand new. It was virtually undriveable. 3 of the 4 tires were shaped like ostrich eggs. I will probably replace these Vancos due to age before I ever wear them out. They are a little noisy at speed, but not awful, and I really do not have anything to compare them to. They were about $200 cheaper for the set than the Michelins, otherwise I may have gone with the LTX MS.

My F150 has General Grabber AT, and have been fine so far, no complaints. I do not drive the truck often, and never in snow, but they seem satisfactory in any and all conditions in which I have used them.

I have a set of snows for a Golf and a Passat, Goodyear Wintermax and General Altimax Arctic, respectively. Cannot give a good comparison, as the Passat is bigger, heavier, and AWD, so... but the Golf with the Wintermax tires in snow feels pretty secure.
Thank you Brian for your, as usual, accurate, detailed and very informative reply. I have respected your in depth knowledge, since I joined this forum, and have, many times, adhered to your advice on items that I was unfamiliar with. I made a mistake on calling it an excursion van. I meant to say conversion van. Specifically a 97' Ford Sherrod Conversion van. I'll post a link to some pictures, of similar ones. The one I'm getting is not on this computer. I have found a tire that may be just what I'm looking for. It's the Vredestein Quatrac 5. It's an 'all-season' with the 3PMSF symbol, not just M+S, and naturally, I would like your feedback and opinion

https://images.search.yahoo.com/sear...g&action=click
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Old February 12th, 2019, 11:25   #14
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I would likely put the same tires on that van as I did on my F150, and they are likely the same size. I stepped UP to an LT tire instead of the standard issue P tire. It will feel much more secure on the road, since the 1/2 ton based Ford conversion vans are already taxed pretty hard weight wise as it is.

And keep them rotated, Twin I-beam Fords chew through front tires in a hurry if you don't.
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Old February 12th, 2019, 11:47   #15
Intech
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andreigbs View Post
I thought the OP meant he drives an actual Excursion, the big Fords which are almost the size of their Econoline vans. OP, please clarify.

I can concur on the overall craptastic cheapness of the Hankooks and Kumhos. Also the Fuzions. Crap tires, they either don't grip well in the wet or in the dry, or both. They don't like being balanced and usually don't stay that way. Flat spots, blowouts, extremely loud, etc., you name it.

Two Asian brands I would consider, though, are Sumitomo and Yokohama. Both have been decent in my experience but that's just one data point, right? And it varies from model to model, including where they're made. There's an iPhone app that you can plug in a tire's DOT code and it gives you a detailed report of that tire, including when & where it was made, even what the weather was that day. Look up "Tire Facts," a free app that's handy to have.

Good luck, OP. Choices, choices, choices...
You're right, choices, choices, choices. Then come decisions, and I don't want to make the same wrong one I made on my WR-G3's. My wife's Cadillac, has always had Yokohama's, but that is a garage queen in Winter and inclement weather, so Summer tires are perfect for it. However, they are great and she loves them.
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