Winter is all fun and games until it comes to driving through the slippery roads. As per research, over 135,000 people in the US are injured with nearly 200 others dying from icy and snowy roads every year.
That’s why you need a solid winter tire. A tire that will withstand the harshest weather conditions. Two names lead the list Michelin X-Ice Xi3 vs Bridgestone Blizzak WS80. But which one is better? We find out.
Summary of features on a scale of 1-10, where 10 is highest –
MICHELIN X-ICE XI3
The X-Ice Xi3 is a winter tire manufactured by Michelin, a French company that has been in the business for the last decade. Their third-generation X-Ice winter tire, the Xi3, is an improvement over the previous generation Xi2. It comes with new features and technologies that guarantee outstanding performance. Its key features include:
The tires also have the advantage of incredible warranties, including a 6-year tread-life warranty and a 1-year uniformity warranty. It also comes in a variety of sizes, so you can be assured to find the best match for your car.
The Blizzak WS80, an improvement over the previous generation WS70, is designed to give you amazing performance in the worst winter conditions. This stud-less winter tire makes use of several new technologies developed to improve over the previous generation, including:
With these features, The Blizzak has become a choice tire for most people who live and work in snowy and icy areas.
Both being winter tires, the first comparison would be to see how the tires perform in snow. Both tires have been 3MPSF certified, meaning that they both passed the severe tests.
The results revealed that the X-Ice has slightly worse snow traction than the Blizzak, hitting a 6 second acceleration time as compared to Blizzak’s 5.9 seconds. The braking distance still puts the Blizzak ahead, getting a 51.6-meter braking distance as compared to X-Ice’s 52.9 meters.
Once again, Blizzak WS80 came out on top with a 5.5 second acceleration time, as compared to X-Ice’s 5.6 seconds. However, The X-Ice tramped the Blizzak in the braking distance, getting a 52.7-meter braking distance as compared to Blizzak’s 53.5 meters.
We tested both tires in wet conditions to see how well they would hold up. As expected, they didn’t disappoint. Their performance was splendid thanks to Bridgestone’s Multi-Cell compound and Michelin’s Cross Z and Micro Pump Sipes.
This test had the Michelin X-Ice Xi3 come out on top with a braking distance of 38.6 meters, while the Blizzak got 39.1 meters. In regards to wet handling, Michelin had a 35 second handling time while Blizzak obtained a 42.1 second handling time.
Normal tires form a film of water between them and icy/snowy roads to reduce traction. This is known as aquaplaning, or hydroplaning. Winter tires are designed to negate this by instead sloshing away that water from under the tire, thus making grip better.
Both tires have excellent hydroplaning resistance, and none was better than the other.
Due to their amazing technology, both tires have incredible handling. After testing both tires, the X-Ice came out on top with a snow handling and ice handling of 48.7 and 61 seconds respectively (lap time). Bridgestone’s Blizzak got 52.1 and 71.7 seconds respectively.
The rolling resistance of a tire is defined as the energy sent to the wheels by the vehicle to keep moving on a level surface. The Michelin X-Ice came out with a higher rolling resistance as compared to the Blizzak in this test, giving the Blizzak the win.
Both tires are pretty loud, due to their unique design made to give you better grip on the road. However, the manufacturers incorporated their own versions of noise-reducing technology to combat this.
Michelin use their trademarked Acoustics technology to reduce vibrations and give you a quieter ride. Bridgestone, on the other hand, uses Resonance Noise Attenuated (RENOA) grooves in the tire to reduce noise.
Your thoughts are probably similar to ours; you simply can’t choose! And for good reasons too. Both tires are amazing in their own right. We recommend choosing a tire based on your normal lifestyle, line of work, and area of expertise.
All in all, it comes down to personal preference. Since both tires are made by world-class brands, be assured of quality and life. You can, therefore, drive knowing that you’re in safe hands.
The Blizzak WS80 is a good choice if you:
Purchase the Michelin X-Ice Xi3 if you:
Hopefully, the comparison table helped out greatly in your quest to find the ultimate winter tire. Which of the two tires impressed you the most?