Archive for January, 2010

Nokian Hakkapeliitta R Winter Tyres

Nokian Hakkapeliitta R Winter Tyres

Nokian Hakkapeliitta R

I bought my 2009 Pontiac G8 GT last year in December with summer only tires. I made it through the rest of our Ohio winter with only a few days of really tense driving conditions. I grew up driving rear wheel cars but over the past 10 years or so I had gotten used to driving a FWD car.

The summer tires made it far to easy to slide corners in even just a bit of cold, wet light snow conditions but my experience with RWD cars and the G8’s awesome traction control system made it passable for the rest of the season.

During the spring, summer, fall and even up to a few weeks ago I’ve had little problems with the summer only tires. Having been through the previous partial winter I knew how bad the Potenzas could be and had been planning on getting snow tires this winter but Ohio hadn’t been hit with much snow and there was Christmas to pay for so I put them off.

Two weeks ago on my way home from Dayton, about 1.5 hours away with my family in the car we got smacked with an impromptu high wind snow storm that only resulted in about 1.5 inches of snow but because of the winds and open location along with the traffic on I-70 it made the road conditions go south in a hurry. While very tense I was able to get the G8 back to Columbus where the road conditions were even worse. No plowing, no sand, no salt, etc… Even with only a small amount of snow and driving carefully (5-10-15 mph at times) the car’s tendency to slide at lights, not take corners because the front end would go straight, no traction from a stop, slide down sloped roads, etc… made me hate the very car I had loved for almost a year.

Knowing we were getting a much bigger storm coming this week I spent the bucks and put a set of Nokian Hakkapeliitta R’s on my 19″ rims. All I can say is Wow! The excitement I had driving my G8 for the first time hit me all over again even in 5 inches of snow and slush and crap on the roads. Braking time is significantly less. Corners are easy. Uphill, downhill, no problem. I’m not worried about making it up my driveway and in conjunction with the traction control system the G8 is a complete joy to drive now in the snow and all because of a tire change.

While you can drive a G8 in the winter with summer tires (and many similar owners have done it) why would you want to? The G8 comes alive in the snow with a good set of winter tires. My confidence is once again very high now in my car and I can love it again like the day I bought it.