while driving a
(195/50 R16 V) on
mostly country roads
With no clue about winter tires but a legal requirement to fit htem in the winter here in the Czech Republic, I purchased these tire rather blind. They were recommended to me by the tire company and boy he was right.
Having had to drive the car in a snowy winter on summer tires for 2 weeks whilst I found a a reliable cheap fitter, I realised very quickly how much more control all the other cars had over mine so getting my winter tires was an exciting moment.
The tires have been simply great. They provide assured grip in snowy conditions and amazing ability to manoeuvre safely at speed. Very assured during directional changes, you can drive with assured confidence.
In wet and slushy conditions, they are less comfortable and prone to aquaplaning in testing conditions and in standing water in ruts which is a real problem here.
Grip in dry conditions is good and positive. The tires feel softer in the dry which affects the handling but the grip is vice like.
In Icy conditions, they have been very good and give you confidence to tackle any road.
The winter last year (2012-13) was particularly harsh and the Nokians did the job with gusto. They have faded somewhat this year, last winter probably took its toll and this is their 5th winter on my car. They have ample grip but they don't feel as grippy as they were before last winter. The wear has been excellent. I had them checked 2 months ago and was told they will atleast do another winter which is great for the pocket.
All in all I cannot complain about the tire, they may not be the best but they are very good and cost efficient.
The only thing that is a bug bear is the handling in wet/slushy conditions which is a shame. The car just felt nervous all the time and didn't fill you with confidence.
On a positive note, it was a joy to see people enjoying the site of my little convertible driving up a very steep incline to a car park that 4x4's had failed to achieve on a recent visit to the UK. That is the winter tire for you!
I would recommend this tire to anyone whom like me wants a good all round tire with great grip and a favorable price tag. Beware of expensive imitations to this great tire.