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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Everyone--New 2015 RAV4 LE owner here: I need to buy winter tires living in the snow belt of ON. I am planning on going pretty simple--going to stick with the standard tire size 225 65R17 and am going to install them on the factory steel wheels with wheel covers that came with the car. I will likely buy aftermarket alloys when I change back to the Michelin Latitudes in the Spring.

Question: I've seen a lot of postings by folks that like the General Altimax Arctic with their RAVs. I was also considering the Michelin Latitude X-Ice Xi2 but was concerned about the shallower tread design when going thru deeper snow. The Altimax Arctic seemed to fit the bill more, looks-wise, for snow belt winters.

Installation-wise, I have had generally good luck with our local Canadian Tire over the years but as this is a brand new car I have considered going thru the dealer for the purchase and installation, even though it will cost more, just to avoid the potential drawbacks of a CT installation and the fact that the dealer knows the car, etc. Not sure that's being too paranoid but you know how it is, that first scratch/dent that is surely coming and I'd rather not have it happen via CT, although I know it can happen at a dealer too.

Any opinions from other RAV owners greatly appreciated!
 

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Have you considered looking at some of the reputable tire shops in your area? I like regular tire shops because they will sell you what you want not what their store policy dictates. Meaning if you wreck a tire you can buy one tire if needed not at Canadian tire or Costco though they require you purchase 4 tires. I understand that 4 matched tires is best but if you need just one at least you can get it without hassle if the need arrises. Hope that makes sense.
 

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Right now the Generals are on sale at CTC and the Toyota dealers here have been advertising "price matching".... also at the dealer you can buy a real road hazard warranty. I only bought tires at the dealer a couple of times but always had good service.
 

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I have a LE fwd and got mine at tirerack. But no idea if you pay for tax or cause you are in the great white north. I got the blizak tires that tirerack offered, they had the genreal artic too and others but went with blizak one.

These will be my first real snow tires in probably in a extemely long time. We get snow where I am but you probably get alot more. In my area they keep the roads pretty good at times. Noticed at times. But have driven thru a 8 inch snow storm with all season pirelli's and had no problem. Maybe cause I was not gunning it and thus my car kept going. not like the others who needed to go 75 miles per hr and all over the road. dam fools. lol
 

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You can't go wrong with Blizzak's. Personally, I stay away from CTC for installations. I would suggest Costco instead.

Not sure where you are, but Talon Tire in Quebec have some good prices also and will ship to you. Also I got a good deal from Simply Tire on a wheel/tire combo for another vehicle shipped to me in Nova Scotia for significantly less than what I could get the same package for here.
 

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this is going to be my 3rd winter on our rav4's winter tires, Michelin Latitude XIce. got these from CTC using the mastercard options, payable in 12 months without interest.

going to the dealer for installing tires are better i may say, why?

* they know your car. especially you have the OEM or even steel rims
* those OEM or non-OEM TPMS sensors (if you have a problem, or reprogramming them)
they do cloning too.
* they check your brake pads and rotors if needed attention, if not, they wont say anything, what im saying is most of the time, by insticnt,
dealers' technicians know that obvious by looking at your vehicle.
* they know where to adjust your tire pressure, winter cold or summer
* they have free coffee, chocolate, milk, tea, green tea, and espresso
* some dealers, they have fast wifi access to the internet, and massage chairs
* they have the Toyota SHOWROOM,
* and they have the Toyota Master Technicians if you have questions about your toyota vehicles
* but again THEY charge a lot, even they do, they even throw some goodwill to loyal customers. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
this is going to be my 3rd winter on our rav4's winter tires, Michelin Latitude XIce. got these from CTC using the mastercard options, payable in 12 months without interest.

going to the dealer for installing tires are better i may say, why?

* they know your car. especially you have the OEM or even steel rims
* those OEM or non-OEM TPMS sensors (if you have a problem, or reprogramming them)
they do cloning too.
* they check your brake pads and rotors if needed attention, if not, they wont say anything, what im saying is most of the time, by insticnt,
dealers' technicians know that obvious by looking at your vehicle.
* they know where to adjust your tire pressure, winter cold or summer
* they have free coffee, chocolate, milk, tea, green tea, and espresso
* some dealers, they have fast wifi access to the internet, and massage chairs
* they have the Toyota SHOWROOM,
* and they have the Toyota Master Technicians if you have questions about your toyota vehicles
* but again THEY charge a lot, even they do, they even throw some goodwill to loyal customers. :)
Good points. How have you found the X-Ices? Are they the Xi2? These seem to be the tires that the dealership recommends for the RAV even though they don't say it outright. I am trying to decide between the Toyo GSi-5's or the Xi2. The complaints about the Xi2s seem to be mainly that their deeper snow performance leaves a bit to be desires although APA says that the AWD will somewhat compensate for this weakness. How have you found their deeper snow performance? What year RAV do you own?

The Toyos get very good reviews although the latest APA recs says that while its snow and ice performance is excellent that it scored below average for dry and wet pavement. I'm not sure what the specific weaknesses are on the latter but I assume that it doesn't perform with the smoothness of an Xi2 on cleared surfaces. I could probably live with that with its outstanding performance in challenging conditions but really curious as to what your comments are re the Xi2s owning them for two full winters.
 

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you live in canada, perfect, go to your nearest kal tire and get some nokian hakka 7's with or without studs
end thread
 

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you live in canada, perfect, go to your nearest kal tire and get some nokian hakka 7's with or without studs
end thread
Quoted for truth.

I went with Nokian Nordman 5 studded (basically Hakka 5's re-branded and sold at discount).
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Trying to decide--the Nokians and Blizzaks are hard to get, so deciding btw Altimax Arctic, X-Ice2, Toyo gsi5 (leaning twd this or Xi2), Winter Contact SI and Slalom KSI. One tire shop sells a lot of Hercules Avalanche RG2 and swears by them. Cheaper too.
 

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Quoted for truth.

I went with Nokian Nordman 5 studded (basically Hakka 5's re-branded and sold at discount).
I did a ton of research and went with the Nokian line. Hakkapiletta R2 SUV (non-studded) are only available through Kal Tire in Canada. They have the Nokian line pretty much locked up.

The local Toyota dealer has all kinds of signs up in their waiting room saying they'll price match tire prices ... but not Nokian cuz they can't get them. For other brands, your local Toyota dealer may be worth checking out.
 

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Between those ones, I've had the General Tire Arctic and Michelin Xice. I preferred the GT as they were better in deep snow and the tread wear was slower. I had mine studded so they should have been equal to or superior to the Michelin in all categories, except probably dry road conditions. I don't have any experience with the other brands you're looking at.

forgot to mention Tire Rack has great videos and information about all their products. Might be worth looking at to help your decision.
 

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I did a ton of research and went with the Nokian line. Hakkapiletta R2 SUV (non-studded) are only available through Kal Tire in Canada. They have the Nokian line pretty much locked up.

The local Toyota dealer has all kinds of signs up in their waiting room saying they'll price match tire prices ... nut not Nokian cuz they can't get them. For other brands, your local Toyota dealer may be worth checking out.
No Kal Tire dealers here in NB. Coast Tire seems to be the place to get Nokians if you're in the Maritimes. It's where I purchased mine, with a $50 mail in rebate from Nokian, and $20/tire discount through Coast Tire.
 

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Michelin Latitude X-Ice xi2. Installed in Drumheller. A tad pricey, but good warranty, $70 rebate offer 'til end of year. No snow yet, maybe this coming week! A nice ride...a bit softer than my all season Bridgestone Duelers that came with the car.
 

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A good test of some winter tyres here, with surprisingly Goodyear coming in first
Winter tyres test 2015/2016: reviews and UK prices | Auto Express
Although they obviously can't test every tire and conditions in the UK are different, with winter tyres also needing to perform on dry, but cold, tarmac.

This'll be my first year not on MTs, so will wait and see how my snowflake certified BFG ATs perform before considering winters.
 

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if you read the mags, and what the CAA says, the top tires every year are always the same... nokian (expensive but very good in all aspects) blizzaks (very good overall ) Xice ( expensive but great on ice and dry roads) toyos gsi5 and Ice3 (very good wear, good on ice and snow, average on dry roads) all the rest is not recommended. to be honest I'm sold on Toyos, I have been very satisfied with my last 3 sets of toyos. I am able to do 6 seasons with a set!

to me I don't cheap out on tires, since it's the single best upgrade for safety you can make.
 

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I ran a set of Goodyear Ultra Grip Ice on my 2013 RAV4 for 3 years (all year round). They are amazing tires on ice and I still had about 1/4" of tread left when we traded in the car 3 years later. I plan on buying another set for the 2016 RAV the fall, and run those all year as well.

I'm from Canada, but I live in the Western North Carolina Mountains at 3,800' (yes, it snows here just like Canada), and my mountain top driveway is on a 25° slope, which often ices over. I managed to get up using these tires, even on solid ice. I would highly recommend these tires to anyone living where it snows, especially on ice.

I have also used Nokian Studded Tires in the past (great snow tires by the way), but they wanted almost $200 a tire. I got the Goodyears for $130 each.
 

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I ran a set of Goodyear Ultra Grip Ice on my 2013 RAV4 for 3 years (all year round). They are amazing tires on ice and I still had about 1/4" of tread left when we traded in the car 3 years later. I plan on buying another set for the 2016 RAV the fall, and run those all year as well.
Why would you run them all year round?
 
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