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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Well the verdict is in. We had our first snow fall in MN. After driving around, my wife feels that the stock tires on our SXP is inadequate. That is, it doesn't make her feel confident. We've had her in Blizzaks the last few cars.. Crosstrek and Prius. It's hard to go back once you've ridden on snow tires. She said the Carnival was squirly and there was a lot of slippage. So this weekend we are going to put some snows on the Carnival. I will drive it tonight and this weekend again to see how much difference there is. Based on my experience with Snow tires, it's going to make 100% difference. How much? I will know more once I drive it.
 

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Couldn't agree more - currently looking for a set. Last year I bought Continental VikingContact 7s for my VW wagon and really love those, so I will probably go with another set for the Carnival. We don't even get that much snow here, but it makes a huge difference for traction when the temperatures drop.
 

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Buy some nice snow tires. If you wreck your Carnival it might be a long time before you can replace it.
 

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Well the verdict is in. We had our first snow fall in MN. After driving around, my wife feels that the stock tires on our SXP is inadequate. That is, it doesn't make her feel confident. We've had her in Blizzaks the last few cars.. Crosstrek and Prius. It's hard to go back once you've ridden on snow tires. She said the Carnival was squirly and there was a lot of slippage. So this weekend we are going to put some snows on the Carnival. I will drive it tonight and this weekend again to see how much difference there is. Based on my experience with Snow tires, it's going to make 100% difference. How much? I will know more once I drive it.
You can also try some All-Weather set of tires (which are different of the All-Season tires), so you can avoid changing it every winter. I've used the Michelin CrossClimate2. Hope it helps.
 

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You can also try some All-Weather set of tires (which are different of the All-Season tires), so you can avoid changing it every winter. I've used the Michelin CrossClimate2. Hope it helps.
All weather, all season, whatever you want to call them, they are the same catagory of tire. Can you install better 4-season tires than comes from the factory? Yes. Will it come even close to real snow tires in cold weather? No.

Why is this? Snow tires are soft rubber, the colder it gets the harder rubber gets so if you start soft you maintain the grip. You need a harder tire for hot weather or it wears out really fast. Anything for "all seasons" is a compromise tire.

Not having to changeover tires or a tire/wheel package is nice but there is a tradeoff in performance. Depends on how much performance you want/need.

For me, not having AWD was the con of the carnival and having a great set of alloys wearing X-Ice tires is good fix.
 

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My understanding is that the Cross climate being All Weather are pretty good in the snow and might be ok for some but as said here not as good as snow tires. The problem with those tires is that they don't last long as the softer rubber wears in the summer. You may get 30-40K miles on Cross climate (and they are expensive) which for me means less than 2 years, and in comparison - all season in the summer only that would last 70-80K+ miles, with your snow tires another 30-40K... I think the math and performance favors snow tires, but there is something to be said about the convenience of not having to change them twice a year
I am getting the Michelin snows tomorrow AM as we drive to the white mountains every weekend. Will report back after driving them in the snow for a while...
 

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you can also look at the long life you get out of both sets. I will toss the OE tires at around 5/32 in the name of upgrading, and that set driven 8 months out of the year should last us the entire ownership of the van. I dont see keeping it past the 10 year warranty if we even go that far.

do all the math you want on mileage per dollar or whatever but it comes down to maybe the snow tire saves an accident. That alone is worth it.
 

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you can also look at the long life you get out of both sets. I will toss the OE tires at around 5/32 in the name of upgrading, and that set driven 8 months out of the year should last us the entire ownership of the van. I dont see keeping it past the 10 year warranty if we even go that far.

do all the math you want on mileage per dollar or whatever but it comes down to maybe the snow tire saves an accident. That alone is worth it.
Agree 100%. I drove 14 years without them living in the northeast, because I didn't know any better.
2 years ago started driving to NH a lot and decided to get snow tiresomely to realize I made a mistake all these years not having snow tires and was lucky that I only had near accidents... and not to mention the 5 times I didn't get to where I wanted because I couldn't go up the hill. Snow tires are better than all/4 wheel drive period!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
We had a major blizzard tonight. I can tell you that the stock tires sucks. We had about 8 inches. I couldn't move. At a stop light, she was spinning. I actually missed the turn because I couldn't move forward. That's how bad it is. Is it the car? No. It's the crappy tires. I came from the tire industry. I know snow tires makes a major difference. There are no all seasons that can compete when it comes to acceleration, stopping and steering. We placed an order for some Blizzaks. Hopefully they will arrive in a few weeks. In the meantime, the Crosstrek with Blizzaks will be our main car. That thing with it's AWD and added Blizzaks can tackle anything. My wife volunteered to get dinner for us only if she drove the Crosstrek. The Carnival stays on the driveway. We won't take it out with this much snow on the ground.
 

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Well the verdict is in. We had our first snow fall in MN. After driving around, my wife feels that the stock tires on our SXP is inadequate. That is, it doesn't make her feel confident. We've had her in Blizzaks the last few cars.. Crosstrek and Prius. It's hard to go back once you've ridden on snow tires. She said the Carnival was squirly and there was a lot of slippage. So this weekend we are going to put some snows on the Carnival. I will drive it tonight and this weekend again to see how much difference there is. Based on my experience with Snow tires, it's going to make 100% difference. How much? I will know more once I drive it.
Yes, absolutely agreed that snow tires make a huge difference although I would still drive slower than normal even with those. I live in MN too and since the Carnival came with brand new all seasons, I was putting off the decision to go for winter tires but after sliding around even in the smaller snowstorm we had earlier this week, I ordered Blizzaks through Costco and am getting them installed next week.
 

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If you live in the cities where roads are cleared regularly, I would put on Michelin CrossClimate and not worry about winter vs summer.
 

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If you live in the cities where roads are cleared regularly, I would put on Michelin CrossClimate and not worry about winter vs summer.
I've got the Continental Extreme Contact and even in light snow they perform very well. It's a matter of the amount of snow you face during winter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I recommended these same tires to my nanny's Odyssey. She picked us up from the airport on a heavy snow day last year. We slammed into a curb rounding a curve.
On light snow, perhaps it's fine. But the stuff we get in MN during the winter? No chance on this car. We got the Blizzaks on our van but now the roads are cleared.
 

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If you live in the cities where roads are cleared regularly, I would put on Michelin CrossClimate and not worry about winter vs summer.
The rubber compounds in winter tires provide better traction when temperatures drop below 40. We generally only have a few days of snow per year in my area, but temperatures will be in the low 30s for a few weeks. Summer and all-season tires get very hard at lower temperatures and traction is compromised. All-weather tires are another option. All-seasons are the least desirable to run in cold and/or snow.
 

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All weather, all season, whatever you want to call them, they are the same catagory of tire. Can you install better 4-season tires than comes from the factory? Yes. Will it come even close to real snow tires in cold weather? No.
I’m with you that there’s no substitute for snow tires, but all-weather and all-season are, indeed, two separate categories of tires. They use similar compounds, but all-weather tires use a blockier tread to cope with slush and light snow.

Tread Carefully: All-Season vs. All-Weather vs. Winter Tires

That said - my area got wrecked with snow the past week. I had just swapped over to Continental VikingContact 7 tires (on new wheels, so I can swap in and out myself). I was amazed at how well the Carnival did - we never had any scary moments. We took it easy, but the Carnival felt solid and planted at all times. Highly recommend the VikingContacts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well I finally drove the van with snow tires. No surprise. It was very predictable. Driving through packed snow with no problems. Braking on ice sheets near stope signs were controlled. If you live in states where it snows once in a while, you're fine with all weather. In MN, snow tires are a must.
 
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