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So it's coming to the time of the year that I have to start thinking about the winter tires on the S60. I've had my Conti ExtremeWinterContacts now for 3 winters and they're starting to wear down. During one of our most brutal winters in Chicagoland in ages last year, I felt that I started losing confidence in the Contis as the winter went on. Definitely didn't grip as well as they used to (well, it doesn't help that they have around 30K miles on them).

As I've done my research, I'm down to 2 tires that I'm considering, which are about the same price: the Michelin X-Ice Xi3 and the Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2. Both look to give a refined ride and excellent ice and snow traction.

Any opinions on either? Any other options that I should consider due to your personal experiences? Any thoughts are appreciated!!

Also, I have to replace the TPMS sensors in the wheels. The Orange brand sensors I got never worked properly and I'm tired of having the dummy light on all winter long. Any thoughts on which ones I should get? Any opinions on aftermarket ones from, say, Tire Rack?
 

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I would buy the one that is cheaper or with better local support.
These 2 are one of the best studless available on the market.

Krzys
 

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I've had all 3 tires for my cars at one point in time and I find that out of all 3, Nokian gives me the best confidence on the road.

I've had Nokians on my previous BMW and loved them, then switched over to Michelin X-Ice and they didn't give me that planted, I have traction to get myself out of trouble feeling.

Currently I'm running NOkian Hakka R2 on both my Volvo and my wife's car, and let me tell you nothing compares to them. I will highly recommend the Nokians hands down. Up north we get really thick snow and a lot of ice, and let me tell you the Nokian gives you the traction that you are on dry road. The other good thing about the Nokian is the treadwear, that compound lasts FOREVER compared to the Michelin. I had to replace the Michelin after 3 seasons and the Continental like you mentioned after 3-4, that's with combined wet/snow and dry roads. I've had my R2's for my Volvo since 2012 (from my 12' S60) and the wear bar on the Nokians still says 8, and my wife's had hers for 1 season and she's a health inspector so she drives highway a lot and the 8 is still clearly visible.

Highly recommend the Nokians.
 

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I had the previous 2 generations of the Hakka Rs on my Mazda (RSi & R). You're going to pay a premium for anything from Nokian, but it's definitely worth it. Where the RSis were squidgy, loud & obnoxious, the Rs were very well-behaved....without sacrificing grip.
The road crews around here aren't always that attentive thanks to budget constraints, so highway & local street conditions are a mixed bag--the Nokians handled it all, and really started to shine the colder it got.
 

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I completely agree. From deep powder to packed snow to shear ice, the Hakka handled it all. Like you Major Error, I've had Hakka Q's, Hakka R and Hakka R2, I will NEVER buy another brand even though they are more expensive. It's the piece of mind that the money buys you.

I had the previous 2 generations of the Hakka Rs on my Mazda (RSi & R). You're going to pay a premium for anything from Nokian, but it's definitely worth it. Where the RSis were squidgy, loud & obnoxious, the Rs were very well-behaved....without sacrificing grip.
The road crews around here aren't always that attentive thanks to budget constraints, so highway & local street conditions are a mixed bag--the Nokians handled it all, and really started to shine the colder it got.
 

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While mine is a XC60, I've had the Hakkapeliitta R for two years and again convinced that Nokian makes a superior winter tire. I do have a way to get the Nokians at lower than retail, so that made the decision for me.

Since I have two sets of wheels, I also had to get a second set of TPMS sensors. Sorry to hear you had the Orange sensors. When I researched them the company was a mess - multiple US distributors closing, no support from Asia. I went with the factory OEM VDO brand sensors. Absolutely identical to the factory ones, but without the Volvo logo. Part number is SE51003. Amazon has them ($47 currently):
http://www.amazon.com/VDO-SE51003-TPMS-Sensor-Assembly/dp/B0080EQ3PO
 

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I will confirm that the Nokian WRG3 is a great year round tire.
I put the WRG3 on our Honda Odyssey and they stink! Soft and mushy in summer, bad in the wet, and pretty darn average in snow. That might be because the van is FWD, but I replaced Goodyear Fortera 4 season tires which were way better in the wet and similar in the snow, and sportier in the dry!

The real overriding problem is the poor wet traction.

I wouldn't put WRG3 on my S60 for fear I'd ruin the dry handling! Just my experience.
 

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I put the WRG3 on our Honda Odyssey and they stink! Soft and mushy in summer, bad in the wet, and pretty darn average in snow. That might be because the van is FWD, but I replaced Goodyear Fortera 4 season tires which were way better in the wet and similar in the snow, and sportier in the dry!

The real overriding problem is the poor wet traction.

I wouldn't put WRG3 on my S60 for fear I'd ruin the dry handling! Just my experience.
Fortura is rated 14 out of 20 on the TireRack survey....hmmm....

I agree, dry handling (cornering), is not what you will find in non snow rated tires. In my environment, not willing to do two sets of wheels and tires, it is an acceptable year round tire.

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/surveyresults/surveydisplay.jsp?type=CSTAS

Last time I checked on TPMS sensors the dealer price for OEM was the same as TireRacks.
 

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I had a set of the Ice-X Michelins on my MazdaSpeed3 and they were very good for winter tires. In fact they worked so well that I ran them year round. They were the quietest winter tire I've ever used and had a really good compound that seemed to be sticky in all temps and yet would wear exceedingly well. I have not tried the Nokians but I have driven other snow tires lie Dunlops and Bridgestones. The Ice-X tires were the best winter tire IMO and can easily be driven thru fall and spring .. all season I guess if you want to.
 

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I will confirm that the Nokian WRG3 is a great year round tire.
If one clicks on Winter tire Ratings instead of Performance Winter tire Rating the first two tires are:
Xice Xi3
Xice Xi2

I found my wife's H rated Xi3 to have very good road manners in all conditions (on S40 T5). Hard to tell them appart from previous Dunlop 3D except they were much better in winter conditions.

Krzys
 

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I run the Nordman R (in winter only) on our V70 wagon which winters in Stowe VT., and the WR G3's on our Honda CRV year around. Both are an excellent value. The Nordman is nearly as good as my past Hakkas, better than Blizzak, Pirelli, Conti Winter Extreme, Gislavid. We have a steep driveway in CT and make it with both tires even in slushy snow. We are gentle drivers and do not require a performance winter tire. Hope this helps.
 

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Fortura is rated 14 out of 20 on the TireRack survey....hmmm....

Fortera gets bad reviews because of the HUGE NOISE. And I had older Forteras, not on the reviews. I agree, I had Pilot Alpins and they are indistinguishable from a performance all-season (mid-range one) in wet/dry, and far superior in snow. I imagine X-Ice2/3 are even better.
 

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One word.......BLIZZAK
This. I've had 4 or 5 sets of Blizzaks on my Volvos over the years. Very good.
My S60R with Blizzaks held it's own quite well against WRXs, Evos, S4s, etc when ice racing. Those cars had all manner of snow tires on them.
 

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I'm a Nokian fan, Hakkas are the best snow/ice tire I've found yet.

I run Hakka 5 on my '05 VR on 17" Pegs; separate set of beater wheels means I don't have to do 2X tire swaps per year, and I can slap them on when I choose.

Nokian is pricey, but worth it not to go for slide in my R.

You might try Greg Galinsky for Nokian prices, I haven't bought from him in years, but he was reasonable back when.

G & G Service
4073 Hubertus Road
Hubertus, WI 53033 - View Map
Phone: (262) 628-1716
 
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