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I'll be moving to Northern Illinois this October (30min south of Milwaukee), and I need to get some really good winter tires for my 2016 Mazda3 I just got. How are the Michelin X-ICE XI3? Handling and grip is obviously the most important, but I read in a post that Michelin causes an mpg drop?
What winter tires would you suggest?
 

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Those Michelin's are very good snow tires, I used to sell them and pretty much everyone I sold them to was very happy. Bridgestone Blizzak snow tires are also very good. A slight drop in MPGs is normal for ANY snow tire, you buy them for their traction and nothing more. Also consider getting another set of steel rims for the snow tires, preferably 16" or smaller depending on what can fit on the car.
 

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Those Michelin's are very good snow tires, I used to sell them and pretty much everyone I sold them to was very happy. Bridgestone Blizzak snow tires are also very good. A slight drop in MPGs is normal for ANY snow tire, you buy them for their traction and nothing more. Also consider getting another set of steel rims for the snow tires, preferably 16" or smaller depending on what can fit on the car.
What's the logic to have another set of rims? The rims on there right now are 16"
 

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What's the logic to have another set of rims? The rims on there right now are 16"
Saves money on having to re-mount and re-balance your tires twice a year, every year. For my daughter I bought the Bridgestone Blizzaks and had them mounted on a set of 15" black steel wheels. Her summer wheels are the 16" factory alloys. Downsizing your wheels by 1" is pretty typical for winter tires.

Both are excellent choices of tires (listen to Matt!) and you can read reviews at Tirerack.com for these tires as well as others. If you buy the tires and the steel wheels from Tire Rack they will mount and balance for free and also throw in lug nuts. If you have a shipping hub near you for Tire Rack, they will ship to the hub for free and you can pick up your tires. Otherwise there is a shipping cost if you want them delivered to your house.

TireRack.com is a great website for tire shopping. They do excellent testing and have great reviews.
 

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In addition to what Datsun1600 said downsizing your rims for winter means the snow tires themselves will generally cost less, you will have a wider selection of snow tires to choose from, and a taller narrower tire will grip better in the snow. In your case the difference won't be much but on cars with larger wheels and low profile tires getting snow tires in the OE low profile size can cost as much as a set of smaller wheels AND tires combined!
 

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general arctic altimax ,cheaper than blizzak, just as good imo
I had those in a 205/55r16 and while they got me where I wanted to go I didn't like them, I've driven on Blizzak tires and there is NO WAY that the Altimax Arctic is as good. I just bought a set of Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2s in 195/60r16 to replace them so I guess I'll see how much of a difference going to a narrower studless tire makes.
 
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