while driving a
(155/65 R14 T) on
a combination of roads
Bought 4x Nokian WRD3s from Tyre Leader in summer 2014 for approx’ £38 per tyre in 155/65/14. Had them fitted locally in Nov’ 2014 ready for winter time.
These winter tyres replaced some fairly new Continental Contact Premium 2 as fitted by the vehicle manufacturer.
I’ve had a reasonable amount of experience with Continental tyres in the last 10 years and overall I’m not entirely impressed with them. Sure, they get rave reviews from the magazines that test them at Continental’s own proving ground in Germany. But in my experience they wear far too quickly, cost more than they should and in the last 3mm or so of tread life they ride harshly and road noise increases significantly. My Toyota Aygo (a very light car) had covered just 7k miles and the front tyres were at 3mm – this was not through aggressive driving, far from it.
Anyway, I have driven on the WR D3’s for around 4k miles now and I have to say I’m very impressed with them. In direct comparison to the Continental tyres the following was noticed:
1) Nokian have a more direct turn-in when tackling corners
2) Nokian are quieter on dry roads. On wet roads the noise from the tyres seems a little louder as you can literally hear all the sipes gripping the road surface, especially driving over white lines. This is only of note and does not irritate in any way.
3) Nokian’s softer compound offers as slightly more absorbent ride; road imperfections are soaked up more easily.
4) The 8mm wear indicator has just started to disappear from the front tyre’s central band after 4,000 miles. So, 1mm wear after that mileage is very impressive, especially given how quickly the Continental tyres were wearing out.
Dry Roads: The WR D3’s grip very well and provide a linear turn-in when going around corners. You can throw the car into corners or around roundabouts with the same grip that a quality summer tyre would provide.
Wet Roads: I feel they provide more trustworthy grip than the Continental’s did. They cut through standing water at motorway speeds with no affect on the car’s position within its lane; aquaplaning is well suppressed.
Frost: On frost-covered road surfaces the WR D3’s grip very well indeed and inspire confidence.
Snow: Driving on fresh snow the Nokian’s have a fantastic amount of traction off the line. The same can be said when cornering and stopping. On hard-packed snow delicate use of the throttle is needed whilst performing hill starts. This also applies for stopping and cornering. The deepest snow I drove through was 6 inches and this was tackled with ease - this also includes performing hill-starts and stopping on a 1:5 gradient.
Ice: Again, you have to be very cautious when accelerating, braking or cornering. If you want or need absolute grip on ice you need to buy studded tyres.
Slush: Travelling on slush due to its unpredictability is the most dangerous of all the above conditions. Happily, I can report that driving at about 50mph on a slush-covered M60 during a blizzard in Jan’ 2015 the Nokian’s were completely surefooted. I overtook several 4x4s on a trip I had to undertake when time was critical. I can only image what they were thinking when the little Aygo blasted past their £50k+ off-roaders’ with their fat tyres which dragged them out of their motorway lanes from time to time.
Nokian – winter tyres you can trust:
From Nov’ 2014 to Jan’ 2015 my Dad was severely ill and I had to travel a 60-mile round trip most mornings and evenings to see him at his home and, latterly, every single day at a hospice to help look after him.
Throughout this time the weather was mostly cold and snowy, sometimes worse. On numerous occasions before setting off to see him I was chiselling ice / snow off the car and driving in sub-zero conditions early morning and at night.
On Jan’ 17th 2015 I had left the hospice to go home at 4pm having been with my Dad since 7:30am. My 2 year old son had been asking his Mum where his Dad was each day, so I’d decided to come home to bath him and put him to bed. At 6:30pm I received a phone call from my Mum to say that my Dad had died.
I remember leaving home that evening to head to the hospice, again de-icing / removing snow from the car before setting off and travelling on deep, snow-covered roads to get onto the M60. A severe blizzard was already underway and all lanes of the motorway were quickly covered in icy slush about 1 inch deep. I travelled about 20 miles at 40-50mph on the motorway in these conditions to meet other family members at the hospice and to see and say farewell to my Dad in his room.
Why am I telling you this?
I live in the hills on about 2 miles of unadopted roads that the council don’t plough or grit and have been stuck a lot over the years with company cars that had ‘summer’ tyres. 4x4 soft roaders get stuck up here regularly, too.
I know for a fact that without these Nokian winter tyres I would not have been able to visit my Dad as often as I did in the last 2 months of his life or been able to make that final journey to say ‘goodbye’ to him.
In my book, that makes these Nokian WR D3 tyres pretty damn special.
PS I have also reviewed Nokian WR A3 and Goodyear Vector 4 Seasons (both lengthy reviews)