2020 Vi Bilagare Nordic Friction Winter Tire Test

For their second winter test of 2020, the excellent Vi Bilagare have tested eight Nordic friction (studless) winter tires.

As with the studded version, Vi Bilagare have performed a thorough test covering dry, wet, snow and ice, and should be considered one of the benchmarks for extreme winter testing in Europe. 

This test is particularly interesting as it has the new Michelin X-Ice Snow, Bridgestone Blizzak Ice, Pirelli Ice Zero FR and Nexen Winguard Ice Plus WH43 placed against the established Nordic winter tires from Continental, Goodyear and Nokian.

Scroll down for the full results, and don't forget to checkout ViBilagare.se for the full details of the test!


While Nordic winter tires aren't intended to have the best outright dry performance, dry braking is still a key safety test. In this test, the new Bridgestone Blizzak Ice proved to have the best grip, stopping the test vehicle nearly one meter sooner than the next best tire on test, the Goodyear UltraGrip Ice 2.

The Goodyear was the best subjectively during dry handling, offering the best balance and high levels of grip.


Wet braking is another safety critical test, and again Goodyear was impressive, beating the rest of the group by nearly three meters. This sort of advantage is almost unheard of during wet braking.

The Goodyear retained its lead during wet handling, finishing the short lap over a second ahead of second placed Pirelli Ice Zero FR.

Impressively the Goodyear rounded out its wet performance with another clear win in straight line aquaplaning.


The new Nexen Winguard Ice Plus WH43 had a good lead in snow braking.

The snow specialist Continental VikingContact 7 took its first win during snow handling, outperforming the pack by a small margin. Interestingly the snow braking winning Nexen could only manage seventh.


Once again the Nexen proved to have an excellent braking ability, winning the ice braking testing by over half a meter.

Continental repeated its snow handling advantage, showing its rounded ability to also win ice handling.


The new Michelin X-Ice Snow had the lowest rolling resistance, but the group was close overall.

The Continental VikingContact 7 was the only tire to score 5/5 in subjective noise and comfort testing.

The budget Nereus (also known as Firemax) was the cheapest tire on test, however the performance in other testing reflected this.


1st: Continental VikingContact 7

Continental VikingContact 7
  • 205/60 R16
Dry Braking3rd+0.95 M96.79%
Subj. Dry Handling3rd-1 Points80%
Wet Braking5th+3.98 M89.63%
Wet Handling5th+1.88 s95.82%
Straight Aqua4th-9.2 Km/H87.45%
Snow Braking2nd+0.16 M98.6%
Snow Handling1st100%
Ice Braking2nd+0.52 M83.01%
Ice Handling1st100%
Subj. Noise1st100%
Price8th+939 42.07%
Rolling Resistance4th+0.16 kg / t97.36%
A near faultless nordic winter tire, highest overall levels of grip in the ice and snow, combined with good grip in the dry and wet.

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2nd: Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3

Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3
  • 205/60 R16
Dry Braking4th+1.53 M94.94%
Subj. Dry Handling5th-2 Points60%
Wet Braking4th+3.74 M90.2%
Wet Handling4th+1.67 s96.27%
Straight Aqua7th-10.8 Km/H85.27%
Snow Braking5th+0.28 M97.58%
Snow Handling3rd+0.61 s99.16%
Ice Braking3rd+0.8 M76.05%
Ice Handling2nd+0.27 s99.45%
Subj. Noise7th-3 Points40%
Price5th+783 46.55%
Rolling Resistance3rd+0.14 kg / t97.68%
An excellent nordic winter tire with strong ice grip, and a balanced performance in the snow, dry and wet.
Relatively high levels of noise, poor aquaplaning result.

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3rd: Goodyear UltraGrip Ice 2

Goodyear UltraGrip Ice 2
  • 205/60 R16
Dry Braking2nd+0.69 M97.65%
Subj. Dry Handling1st100%
Wet Braking1st100%
Wet Handling1st100%
Straight Aqua1st100%
Snow Braking6th+0.31 M97.33%
Snow Handling6th+1.35 s98.17%
Ice Braking4th+0.81 M75.82%
Ice Handling8th+4.64 s91.32%
Subj. Noise2nd-1 Points80%
Price3rd+629 52.02%
Rolling Resistance2nd+0.05 kg / t99.16%
Strongest tire in the dry and wet, excellent choice for a nordic climate with less snow. Significant advantage in aquaplaning.
Average snow and ice handling with a difficult balance at the limit.

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4th: Pirelli Ice Zero FR

Pirelli Ice Zero FR
  • 205/60 R16
Dry Braking5th+1.61 M94.69%
Subj. Dry Handling1st100%
Wet Braking3rd+3.43 M90.94%
Wet Handling2nd+1.02 s97.69%
Straight Aqua6th-10 Km/H86.36%
Snow Braking4th+0.24 M97.92%
Snow Handling4th+0.84 s98.85%
Ice Braking6th+0.89 M74.05%
Ice Handling3rd+0.61 s98.77%
Subj. Noise2nd-1 Points80%
Price4th+630 51.98%
Rolling Resistance5th+0.22 kg / t96.4%
A good handling tire with neutral balance, good in the wet.
Average aquaplaning resistance.

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5th: Nexen Winguard Ice+ WH43

Nexen Winguard Ice Plus WH43
  • 205/60 R16
Dry Braking8th+3.59 M88.88%
Subj. Dry Handling6th-3 Points40%
Wet Braking6th+4.79 M87.78%
Wet Handling7th+3.24 s93.01%
Straight Aqua5th-9.9 Km/H86.49%
Snow Braking1st100%
Snow Handling7th+1.38 s98.13%
Ice Braking1st100%
Ice Handling4th+1.01 s97.97%
Subj. Noise2nd-1 Points80%
Price2nd+300 69.45%
Rolling Resistance7th+0.29 kg / t95.31%
God snow and ice grip with the best snow and ice braking distances, low noise, well priced.
Poor performance in the dry and wet, high rolling resistance.

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6th: Michelin X Ice Snow

Michelin X Ice Snow
  • 205/60 R16
Dry Braking7th+2.8 M91.11%
Subj. Dry Handling3rd-1 Points80%
Wet Braking7th+5.82 M85.53%
Wet Handling3rd+1.6 s96.42%
Straight Aqua2nd-8 Km/H89.09%
Snow Braking6th+0.31 M97.33%
Snow Handling5th+1.19 s98.38%
Ice Braking5th+0.85 M74.93%
Ice Handling7th+3.72 s92.92%
Subj. Noise5th-2 Points60%
Price6th+860 44.23%
Rolling Resistance1st100%
Good stability and precise handling in the dry and wet, very low rolling resistance.
Average performance in snow and ice.

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7th: Bridgestone Blizzak Ice

Bridgestone Blizzak Ice
  • 205/60 R16
Dry Braking1st100%
Subj. Dry Handling6th-3 Points40%
Wet Braking8th+8.71 M79.8%
Wet Handling8th+4.03 s91.45%
Straight Aqua8th-11.9 Km/H83.77%
Snow Braking3rd+0.2 M98.26%
Snow Handling2nd+0.48 s99.34%
Ice Braking7th+1 M71.75%
Ice Handling6th+3.38 s93.52%
Subj. Noise5th-2 Points60%
Price7th+904 43%
Rolling Resistance8th+0.31 kg / t95%
Shortest dry braking on test, good snow braking.
Very long wet braking, poor wet handling, very low aquaplaning resistance, expensive to buy for performance.

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8th: Nereus NS805+

Nereus NS805 Plus
  • 205/60 R16
Dry Braking6th+2.09 M93.21%
Subj. Dry Handling8th-4 Points20%
Wet Braking2nd+2.88 M92.28%
Wet Handling6th+2.2 s95.14%
Straight Aqua3rd-8.1 Km/H88.95%
Snow Braking8th+0.4 M96.58%
Snow Handling8th+2.99 s96.03%
Ice Braking8th+1.08 M70.17%
Ice Handling5th+1.81 s96.43%
Subj. Noise7th-3 Points40%
Rolling Resistance6th+0.25 kg / t95.93%
Low price, short wet braking, good aquaplaning resistance, reasonable ice handling.
Very poor grip in snow, longest snow and ice braking.

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