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After debating between the Michelin X-Ice, Bridgestone Blizzak WS80, and the Nokian Hakka R2, I decided on the Michelins in the stock size of 215/55-17. In southeastern MI, we don't get a lot of snow, and therefore, I will be doing a lot of dry pavement driving in the winter. I didn't want tires that were too squirmy or wore poorly on those type of days. I do about 100 miles a day with 75 of those miles being 70+mph on the freeway, and hope to get 2 seasons out of these. My buddy has a Cruze as well, and he went with the WS80s, so we will get to do a nice comparison over the next few months.

Initial impressions are good. The tires ride a bit smoother than the OEM Fuel Maxes. You can tell they don't quite roll as well though. Mileage is going to take a small hit for sure, but that was expected. They don't feel overly squirmy, and steering response is decent, but not as good as the stock tires, obviously. They are also very quiet. They will easily be tolerated on dry pavement.

I had a chance to drive my buddy's Cruze Diesel, with the same sized Blizzaks. They really don't feel any worse than the Xi3s on dry pavement. They do make a bit more noise, but nothing thats easily noticed. The real test will come when we get some snow and ice. They look like they will be better when the weather turns bad.

On a side note, when I had the tires installed, the tire place managed to scratch every single one of my wheels, while installing the tires. Then they had the audacity to try to say that they didnt' cause all of the damage. Mind you, I had just hand washed all 4 wheels, and carefully inspected them. They were flawless. I never take my car to tire shops, and let them remove the wheels. I always remove them myself, and take them to the shop, in a truck, to minimize the chances of them damaging them (impact wrench damaging the beauty lug nuts, socking dinging the wheel when they whiz the nuts off, messing up the car on the jack, etc.). The manager was honestly pretty unprofessional about the whole thing, and wasn't apologetic in any way. They also left the valve stem caps off of two wheels, and put the wrong ones on 2 others (weren't the TPMS style, so they didn't screw all the way down). Just left me with a bad taste in my mouth, and I have been a loyal customer there for years. Anyway, they eventually said they would replace all 4 wheels, but I'm sure they will be refurbs, which doesn't really make me happy.
 

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Epic Beard Man
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That's sad about the tire shop. I too take wheels in myself, so I completely understand your situation. Part of the reason why I have two sets of wheels. I even remove the valve caps before I take them in too. I'm running X-ice on Eco wheels as well, in a similar size because it's all they had available last winter. You'll really love how they perform in the snow and ice.

I run mine at 50 psi, and I notice it wiggles around a bit on the grooved 696. I also notice I have to correct it more when rolling on a highway compared to my summer tires, but it isn't that bad- an easy sacrifice for winter traction.

I suppose you could push for them to cover or split the cost for a new set of Ecos that you can mount your summer tires to!
 
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