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#4675062 - 02/23/18 05:37 AM very impressed with Nokian's "budget" winter tire
lyle Offline


Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 427
Loc: Minneapolis MN
I bought a set of Nokian Nordman 7 SUV's unstudded last fall to replace a set of Cooper Weathermaster WSC's. I had run the Cooper's for 6 winters and overall was very pleased with their performance except last winter they became very hard and very harsh, probably due to age. They wore like steel though, still having 9/32 of tread after about 11000 miles over 6 winters. i could have run them another couple years, but i could not endure the harshness and stiffness anymore.

My first choice was the Nokian Hakka R2 SUV, but they were $190 each in my size. I was going to then get the new General Arctic 12 at $150 each, but the Discount Tire guy said there was a new Nokian out at $130 each in my size. He said they were an update of the older Hakka 7 SUV. I bit and got a set.

They are incredibly competent in all that nature has thrown us so far this year. I am very impressed with their packed snow, ice, and slush grip, a little better than the Coopers when they were new. Lateral grip is better than the Coopers, and deep snow grip is about the same. They are also very smooth riding and quieter.

Overall, I am pleasantly surprised how effective in winter weather they are at that price point.

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#4675123 - 02/23/18 07:31 AM Re: very impressed with Nokian's "budget" winter tire [Re: lyle]
Johnny2Bad Offline


Registered: 05/20/13
Posts: 1810
Loc: Saskatchewan, Canada
All true winter tires (ones with some capability in conditions other than snow, which could just be a lug summer tire; the infamous M+S designation) have dual compound layers. They make the tire with the standard compound material because they have to, but then they add a second outer layer of winter compound (one that remains soft below 40F or so, depending on brand).

That second layer is the one you drive on with new winter tires. The first layer is the one you're complaining about with regard to ride harshness; in essence you've worn the tire past it's winter layer. They are no longer effective as winter tires but feel free to use them as emergency spares or yard vehicle tires, projects in the garage roll-arounds, etc. They will still hold air and be adequate for off-road use.

"Off-Road" because winter tires are worse than all-seasons or three-seasons or true summer tires in summer weather as far as braking (especially) and corner grip. Far worse when it comes to braking, actually, so don't use them in warm weather. They also have softer treads and will wear faster in warm weather or dry warm pavement.

Any 6-year old winter compound tire will fare poorly compared to a 2017/2018 compound, as all tire manufacturers are still developing this compound. So even if they were new old stock Coopers, they would not be as good as whatever Cooper is offering today. The consumer benefit to all this is more manufacturers ... most, actually ... are making competent winter compound tires today. That wasn't the case 10 years ago.

I am very familiar with Minneapolis winter weather, having worked there for my (Canadian) employer for many winters. The Nokians in general I think are well suited to your winter climate, which has a relatively short very cold spell compared to where I live and a lot of cold temperature (as in below 45F or so) slushy spring conditions. They don't fare as well here (the Coopers do, actually) but I am glad you are happy.
_________________________
'57 FL Straight 50 wt
'90 Miata 1.8L w/Rotrex Supercharger [Mobil1 0W-40]
'96 Ram 1500 [3.7L Mobil1 0W-20 / 1L 15W-50]
'01 PT Cruiser [Mobil1 0W-40]

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#4675131 - 02/23/18 07:37 AM Re: very impressed with Nokian's "budget" winter tire [Re: lyle]
Rolla07 Offline


Registered: 11/05/11
Posts: 4732
Loc: MTL, CANADA
After having some bad experiences with winter tires, I can see the difference between a top rated winter tire and cheap winter tires, and its a huge difference. Its the one area I wont cheap out on. (Not trying to say you cheaped out! I have "cheap" Nokians on as well)


Edited by Rolla07 (02/23/18 07:39 AM)
_________________________
2007 Corolla Red Pearl 155k miles
PP 0w20 & ST 4967


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#4675139 - 02/23/18 07:46 AM Re: very impressed with Nokian's "budget" winter tire [Re: lyle]
Johnny2Bad Offline


Registered: 05/20/13
Posts: 1810
Loc: Saskatchewan, Canada
Nokians are made for Finnish and Russian winters. I'm sure their bargain compounds are at a minimum, decent.

You are correct, though, that Wall-Mart brands from China (for example), although they talk the talk, so to speak, cannot walk the walk.

It's also true that many tire companies are just starting to figure out the winter tire thing in general. None the less, they are available for sale, which brings competition to the market.

For the record, I run Continental ExtremeWinterContacts on my cars and Coopers on my trucks for winter tires. I have tried all the highly rated tires on the truck (started using true winter tires around 1990) and have to say that Cooper does better than Bridgestone, Nokian and Michelin when you are looking at true truck tires (not just big P-rated tires). Also note that there are different grades of tire from all the "Big 3" highly rated tires. There are, for example, 9 different Blizzak compounds. The top rated tires go to the reviewers and the shop sells you one of the value leaders with the same name on it.
_________________________
'57 FL Straight 50 wt
'90 Miata 1.8L w/Rotrex Supercharger [Mobil1 0W-40]
'96 Ram 1500 [3.7L Mobil1 0W-20 / 1L 15W-50]
'01 PT Cruiser [Mobil1 0W-40]

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#4675233 - 02/23/18 09:13 AM Re: very impressed with Nokian's "budget" winter tire [Re: lyle]
khittner Offline


Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 304
Loc: Michigan
I'm happy with my Nokian Nordman 7 SUV tires, as well. For significant snowfalls, I like the more aggressive tread patterns on most Nokians better than the "sipey", but otherwise tightly-arranged directional tread blocks on the Michelin X-Ice tires. Noise levels are not much different than the 3-season LTX MS/2s that we run the rest of the year. All of my previous sets of Nokians have been good for 5-6 years of use, typically 25K, or so. Can't pay for much in the way of bodywork repairs for cost of the considerable extra margin of traction the Nokians provide in winter driving conditions.

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#4675408 - 02/23/18 11:31 AM Re: very impressed with Nokian's "budget" winter tire [Re: khittner]
edyvw Offline


Registered: 03/08/12
Posts: 5027
Loc: Colorado Springs
Originally Posted By: khittner
I'm happy with my Nokian Nordman 7 SUV tires, as well. For significant snowfalls, I like the more aggressive tread patterns on most Nokians better than the "sipey", but otherwise tightly-arranged directional tread blocks on the Michelin X-Ice tires. Noise levels are not much different than the 3-season LTX MS/2s that we run the rest of the year. All of my previous sets of Nokians have been good for 5-6 years of use, typically 25K, or so. Can't pay for much in the way of bodywork repairs for cost of the considerable extra margin of traction the Nokians provide in winter driving conditions.

I have R2 on Tiguan. In deep snow, slush and ice, they are truly amazing. Equally they are so bad in weather above 45 degrees that it is actual accomplishment.
Now, in Colorado where temperature can swing 80 degrees in 24hrs, that is big problem.
I had similarly designed tires before, hard core winter tires, but cannot remember them being so bad in dry and wet weather.
On other hand, I got Michelin Xi2 for BMW and I was super skeptical about them due to design. I ski twice a week, and love to ski in blizzards. Xi2 truly impressed me in snow. Are Nokians better in snow? Yeah (although they are on different car, and Tiguan is better composed then BMW in snow, especially since I am running narrowest possible size on VW), they go thru slush better. But, Xi2 is I would say equally good in ice, and just bit behind in snow and slush. But like 10 light years ahead in dry and wet.
_________________________
13' BMW X5 35d (Mobil1 5W30 ESP+OEM filter)
11' VW Tiguan 2.0T (Castrol 0W40+MANN filter)

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#4675412 - 02/23/18 11:35 AM Re: very impressed with Nokian's "budget" winter tire [Re: edyvw]
SatinSilver Offline


Registered: 01/24/08
Posts: 10128
Loc: OH
I remember you not liking them from the start because of the old build date. You seem jaded and biased so might as well disclose that upfront. Kind of like someone coughing in your face, after that you don't like them anymore. Then bad mouth them at every opportunity you get. All because of a simple cough.

Originally Posted By: edyvw
So I ordered Nokian Hakka R2 around Thanksgiving for wife's Tiguan. She puts 5k on that car a year, maybe 2k at most during winter. I am thinking I do not care how fast tire wears out since they will make it 5 years for sure and still have enough tread.
So manager in DT says he will order directly from manufacturer so they are fresh. Great!
I get tires two weeks later, install them, as expected horrid in dry and sound that makes everyone know that car is rolling on winter tires. But whatever, as long as my wife and baby are safe if she hits slush or ice patch.
Anyway, today I am looking for DOT and tires are made 3515! I mean [censored]? That means in 2020 I will have to take it down with some 7k on them because of degradation of compound. Call DT, guy says: well, we sell them as long as they are under 3 years. So apparently DT expects you to wear out tires in two years.
Done, done with them! Good ole Costco. I was buying tires there before and I never bought tire set that was older then six weeks!

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#4676057 - 02/24/18 12:27 AM Re: very impressed with Nokian's "budget" winter tire [Re: SatinSilver]
edyvw Offline


Registered: 03/08/12
Posts: 5027
Loc: Colorado Springs
Originally Posted By: SatinSilver
I remember you not liking them from the start because of the old build date. You seem jaded and biased so might as well disclose that upfront. Kind of like someone coughing in your face, after that you don't like them anymore. Then bad mouth them at every opportunity you get. All because of a simple cough.

Originally Posted By: edyvw
So I ordered Nokian Hakka R2 around Thanksgiving for wife's Tiguan. She puts 5k on that car a year, maybe 2k at most during winter. I am thinking I do not care how fast tire wears out since they will make it 5 years for sure and still have enough tread.
So manager in DT says he will order directly from manufacturer so they are fresh. Great!
I get tires two weeks later, install them, as expected horrid in dry and sound that makes everyone know that car is rolling on winter tires. But whatever, as long as my wife and baby are safe if she hits slush or ice patch.
Anyway, today I am looking for DOT and tires are made 3515! I mean [censored]? That means in 2020 I will have to take it down with some 7k on them because of degradation of compound. Call DT, guy says: well, we sell them as long as they are under 3 years. So apparently DT expects you to wear out tires in two years.
Done, done with them! Good ole Costco. I was buying tires there before and I never bought tire set that was older then six weeks!

Then go get them. I am stating that they are amazing in snow and ice. Pure POS in dry and wet. I will keep them until 2020.
But if you think I am giving this opinion because DT sold me 2 1/2 tires and that they are actually good in dry and wet, well good for you. DT sold me also Michelin Xi2 for BMW but they turned much, much better then I expected in snow (i knew they will be good in dry and wet). Tire did not sell itself to me, DT sold me those tires, same like they sold me Michelin.
_________________________
13' BMW X5 35d (Mobil1 5W30 ESP+OEM filter)
11' VW Tiguan 2.0T (Castrol 0W40+MANN filter)

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#4676282 - 02/24/18 09:36 AM Re: very impressed with Nokian's "budget" winter tire [Re: lyle]
slacktide_bitog Online   content


Registered: 03/20/08
Posts: 6136
Loc: USA
Isn't the Nordman 7 just the old Hakka 7? So no surprise that they are good smile

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#4676349 - 02/24/18 10:35 AM Re: very impressed with Nokian's "budget" winter tire [Re: slacktide_bitog]
Finn Offline


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 572
Loc: Finland
Originally Posted By: slacktide_bitog
Isn't the Nordman 7 just the old Hakka 7? So no surprise that they are good smile

Yes, that is the consensus over here.
_________________________
2000 Jaguar XJR | 1978 Corvette 383" | 1986 Corvette 350" | 2003 FLHR | 1991 300 SE | 1993 GTS1000

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#4676351 - 02/24/18 10:40 AM Re: very impressed with Nokian's "budget" winter tire [Re: edyvw]
SatinSilver Offline


Registered: 01/24/08
Posts: 10128
Loc: OH
Originally Posted By: edyvw
Then go get them. I am stating that they are amazing in snow and ice. Pure POS in dry and wet. I will keep them until 2020.
But if you think I am giving this opinion because DT sold me 2 1/2 tires and that they are actually good in dry and wet, well good for you. DT sold me also Michelin Xi2 for BMW but they turned much, much better then I expected in snow (i knew they will be good in dry and wet). Tire did not sell itself to me, DT sold me those tires, same like they sold me Michelin.


Will you be buying tires from DT again?

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#4676562 - 02/24/18 02:09 PM Re: very impressed with Nokian's "budget" winter tire [Re: Johnny2Bad]
jjjxlr8 Offline


Registered: 09/10/08
Posts: 455
Loc: Ohio
Originally Posted By: Johnny2Bad
All true winter tires (ones with some capability in conditions other than snow, which could just be a lug summer tire; the infamous M+S designation) have dual compound layers. They make the tire with the standard compound material because they have to, but then they add a second outer layer of winter compound (one that remains soft below 40F or so, depending on brand).

That second layer is the one you drive on with new winter tires. The first layer is the one you're complaining about with regard to ride harshness; in essence you've worn the tire past it's winter layer. They are no longer effective as winter tires but feel free to use them as emergency spares or yard vehicle tires, projects in the garage roll-arounds, etc. They will still hold air and be adequate for off-road use.

"Off-Road" because winter tires are worse than all-seasons or three-seasons or true summer tires in summer weather as far as braking (especially) and corner grip. Far worse when it comes to braking, actually, so don't use them in warm weather. They also have softer treads and will wear faster in warm weather or dry warm pavement.

Any 6-year old winter compound tire will fare poorly compared to a 2017/2018 compound, as all tire manufacturers are still developing this compound. So even if they were new old stock Coopers, they would not be as good as whatever Cooper is offering today. The consumer benefit to all this is more manufacturers ... most, actually ... are making competent winter compound tires today. That wasn't the case 10 years ago.

I am very familiar with Minneapolis winter weather, having worked there for my (Canadian) employer for many winters. The Nokians in general I think are well suited to your winter climate, which has a relatively short very cold spell compared to where I live and a lot of cold temperature (as in below 45F or so) slushy spring conditions. They don't fare as well here (the Coopers do, actually) but I am glad you are happy.


Most winter tires just use a single tread compound in the wearable tread region. The winter tread compounds will generally get more stiff with use and as time goes by, becoming less effective for winter performance. 6 years is well past the optimum for any winter tire. I find that after 3 years of use you really start to notice a difference in winter performance, especially in the cold wet pavement conditions.
_________________________
1993 Toyota MR2 Turbo
2008 Mazdaspeed3
2014 Toyota Highlander XLE

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#4676839 - 02/24/18 06:38 PM Re: very impressed with Nokian's "budget" winter tire [Re: Johnny2Bad]
UG_Passat Offline


Registered: 05/27/08
Posts: 1964
Loc: NJ
Originally Posted By: Johnny2Bad
All true winter tires (ones with some capability in conditions other than snow, which could just be a lug summer tire; the infamous M+S designation) have dual compound layers. They make the tire with the standard compound material because they have to, but then they add a second outer layer of winter compound (one that remains soft below 40F or so, depending on brand).

That second layer is the one you drive on with new winter tires. The first layer is the one you're complaining about with regard to ride harshness; in essence you've worn the tire past it's winter layer. They are no longer effective as winter tires but feel free to use them as emergency spares or yard vehicle tires, projects in the garage roll-arounds, etc. They will still hold air and be adequate for off-road use.


The dual layer is only true for certain Bridgestone blizzak tires, namely ws series and dm series.
_________________________
2016 VW Tiguan|APR Stage 1|Neuspeed P-Flo|Osram CBI|Redline 5w30

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#4677166 - 02/25/18 12:54 AM Re: very impressed with Nokian's "budget" winter tire [Re: SatinSilver]
edyvw Offline


Registered: 03/08/12
Posts: 5027
Loc: Colorado Springs
Originally Posted By: SatinSilver
Originally Posted By: edyvw
Then go get them. I am stating that they are amazing in snow and ice. Pure POS in dry and wet. I will keep them until 2020.
But if you think I am giving this opinion because DT sold me 2 1/2 tires and that they are actually good in dry and wet, well good for you. DT sold me also Michelin Xi2 for BMW but they turned much, much better then I expected in snow (i knew they will be good in dry and wet). Tire did not sell itself to me, DT sold me those tires, same like they sold me Michelin.


Will you be buying tires from DT again?

Nope, what that has to do with Nokian and Michelin?
I told you they sold me Michelin=good in every aspect. Nokian, good in snow and ice, POS in dry and wet. Simple as that.
_________________________
13' BMW X5 35d (Mobil1 5W30 ESP+OEM filter)
11' VW Tiguan 2.0T (Castrol 0W40+MANN filter)

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#4679589 - 02/27/18 10:57 AM Re: very impressed with Nokian's "budget" winter tire [Re: edyvw]
mightymousetech Offline


Registered: 04/03/17
Posts: 1444
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: edyvw

Nope, what that has to do with Nokian and Michelin?
I told you they sold me Michelin=good in every aspect. Nokian, good in snow and ice, POS in dry and wet. Simple as that.


That is not my experience at all. Hakka R2 are amazing in dry/damp/wet. On wet pavement, they actually grip better than my Mich Super Sport. The R2 is the only tire I could put down all my power in first gear without wheel spin, and that is on wet pavement.
_________________________
Mighty Mouse Tech
Acura Tech
2010 Civic Si Castrol 0W40, Redline MTL
2013 BMW 135i M Sport Edition Castrol 0W40, Redline MTL

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