while driving a
Chrysler PC Cruiser
(195/65 R15) on
a combination of roads
This refers to the XL (extra load rating) version of the tire. The PT Cruiser has decent cargo space and is used to haul moderate loads from time to time (up to 400 LBs). The XL version can be expected to have somewhat increased road noise and somewhat poorer cornering and braking.
I live in an area that would be considered extreme winter conditions: Temps to -40C; typical winter temps of -20C. Light to heavy snowfalls, packed snow covered roads along with moderate to severe ice are common, as are cleared dry cold temperature pavement, wet cold temperature pavement, and a transition period where temps can rise up to +15 but below zero C days may still be encountered before it's time to switch to summer or all-seasons.
I always use dedicated winter tires with particular attention to ice braking traction, as intersections will typically be polished packed snow or ice. It's worse today with most cars now equipped with antilock brakes, as people hammer the brakes and polish the entry to the intersection when they encounter even the slightest skidding under braking, instead of properly modulating the pedal. Also, some vehicles transition to antilock before they should when encountering snow and ice, versus dry or wet pavement, so it's not always the driver's fault but the result is the same none the less.
My experience with these tires can be summed up thusly: they are essentially the second best car tire you can buy for ordinary drivers with little or moderate driving skill under winter conditions ... the premium versions of Bridgestone Blizzaks being somewhat better under ice conditions. However, for active drivers of moderate or better skill who need a performance tire, or for drivers who encounter more than light snow, they are in my opinion number one.
Snow, whether light or deep, is no problem for these tires. This is in contrast to most "ice-rated" winter tires which will tend to have problems with snow beyond a light dusting. In a blizzard I was able to keep up with 4x4's with true snow tires easily, the front dam of my car actually plowing the snow on the road. They're that good ... you do not need to compromise by buying a proper lug-tread winter tire and lose your ice traction and dry cornering and braking on cleared roads.
Secondly, they perform exceptionally well in wet and dry cold (cleared) pavement for a winter tire. Braking is outstanding for a winter compound ... better than any winter tire I've used and at least equivalent to an all-season for your fall and spring transition driving.
They are reasonably quiet at highway speeds.
Off-line traction is excellent; with a manual transmission in first gear you will find only a brief few turns of the wheels on a FWD vehicle before they grab and carry you through the intersection without further wheelslip, under all winter driving conditions.
Cornering, braking and road feel are also outstanding. This is a problem with winter tires because of the larger tread blocks which move much more than an all-season or summer tire. Were it not for the fact that all winter tires are much softer and would wear fairly quickly on warm pavement, you could use these year-round. They're that good.
If you need a tire with an outstanding combination of attributes in a winter tire, I highly recommend them. If you encounter very specific winter conditions where you are, you may be able to find a tire that beats the ExtremeWinterContacts for that condition, but only by a small margin.
None of the competition offer as well-rounded performance and most are considerably compromised in areas where this tire still has above average performance, if not the absolute champ. In my opinion this is an excellent choice for anyone who loves to drive and needs winter adhesion.