Nokian Tires Review: Best Extreme Winter Tires in the World

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Winter, and especially snow, bring a lot of joy to our hearts. There is something calming about snow that no person on Earth dislikes. However, it’s totally the opposite of transportation. Snow can cause heavy accidents – about 17% of the accidents in the US happen in those conditions, although it doesn’t snow that often, and especially not everywhere.

The thing is, snow can dramatically reduce the traction of the tires. As a result, cars can get stuck, won’t turn into corners, and wouldn’t stop on time. The main problem is – people often don’t use winter tires. With winter tires installed, your car will have a much easier time over snowy surfaces, but also ice and slush.

Nevertheless, not every winter tire is created equal. Some cheaper models will work but still won’t provide you with the best possible performance. Thus, if you live in areas with very harsh wintry conditions, you might want to check Nokian. The Finnish company specializes in building winter tires, and in our experience thus far, it has no match in the industry.

The reason why Nokian is a winter-tire specialist is that it comes from Finland. The Scandinavian country is notorious for its bad winter weather with a lot of snow and ice. Thus, people there need absolutely the best winter tires to be safe.

Moreover, Nokian is the only company that produces extreme winter tires, which are at home in the most remote places on Earth, like in the Arctic. Yes, North-Pole expeditions use almost exclusively Nokian winter tires since no other product provides the same traction.

That said, Nokian also produces all-season and summer tires. In those categories, it competes in the premium category, although its products are slightly cheaper than the competition from Michelin, Bridgestone, Continental, and Pirelli.

So, how does Nokian compare to the best with its overall tire portfolio? Sure, its winter tires are top-notch, but what about other models? Well, you’ve come just to the right place to get answers to those questions. In this article, I’ll cover my five favorite Nokian tires but also give you an overview of the brand as a whole.

Where does Nokian Produce its Tires?

Nokian produces most of its products in Nokia, Finland, but it also has facilities in Russia. The company uses high-tech manufacturing plants, which are on par with the best tire brands out there.

Even more importantly, Nokian puts a lot of effort into R&D (research and development). The company is famous for testing its prototypes in the most extreme conditions in Finland, so it can bring the best possible tire to the market.

Just to clear things out, the difference between a premium and budget tire is precisely research, development, and testing. Companies that invest in those things create more expensive products, but also excellent products. Well, Nokian is one of those companies.

Tire Portfolio of 2022

Nokian focuses mostly on a passenger car, crossover, and SUV tires. It has a fully-featured portfolio with summer, all-season, and winter tread compounds on offer. Furthermore, you can find touring, grand-touring, high-performance tires, highway tires, all-terrain tires, and maximum traction off-road tires. In other words, if you own a vehicle, Nokian has something for you on offer. 

The Finnish tiremaker also offers a full range of commercial tires. The portfolio includes commercial van tires, coach intercity tires, city buses, long-distance transport tires, regional transport tires, light & medium transport tires, timber transport, on/off-road commercial tires.

Moreover, Nokian even has models for heavy-duty machinery, including agricultural and contracting, earthmoving and road maintenance, underground mining, ports and terminals, forestry, and all-terrain trucks and military vehicles. The company even provides retreading services, very important for the commercial industry.

Top 5 Best Nokian Tires of 2022

1. Nokian Hakkapeliitta 9 and Hakkapeliitta 9 SUV

Nokian Hakkapeliitta 9

The latest Hakkapeliitta is arguably the best winter tire on the market right now, especially for places with very harsh wintry conditions. Be it snow, ice, or slush; the Hakkapeliitta 9 has you covered. The tire is also studdable, meaning you can extract even more traction on snow and ice.

With a set of these tires, your passenger car or SUV will transform into real snow or ice carver. Traction is simply outstanding, the stopping distances are very short, and handling is excellent. You’ll feel like you’re in complete control.

Moreover, the Hakkapeliitta 9 handles wet roads with ease and drives safely on dry roads. That said, the overall handling on dry pavement is only average, and the tire can become noisy on the highway.

Still, those things are small pills to swallow considering the outstanding snow and ice traction the Hakkapeliitta 9 offers. Thus, if you live in areas with very harsh wintry conditions, it is probably the best tire on the market right now.

2. Nokian Entyre 2.0

Nokian Entyre 2.0

The Entyre 2.0 is Nokian’s all-season touring tire for passenger cars. Currently, it’s one of the most accomplished performers on the market, with excellent overall traction.

On the road, the Entyre 2.0 is responsive and grippy, providing the driver with a safe and reliable drive. It also performs well at higher speeds while also remaining silent and comfortable.

Furthermore, wet traction is admirable, with good cornering grip and braking in the rain. Like every other Nokian tire, snow traction is excellent for an all-season tire.

Ultimately, Nokian engineered a very durable tire – the Entyre 2.0 lasts for 5-6 seasons and comes with an outstanding 80,000-mile treadwear warranty.

3. Nokian Nordman 7 and Nordman 7 SUV

Nokian Nordman 7 / Nordman 7 Suv

Nokian is so focused on delivering the best possible winter traction that it has multiple winter tires in its portfolio. While the Hakkapeliitta family of tires is more focused on general winter driving, the Nordman family is for the harshest conditions out there. As a result, I reckon it is the best tire for Canada’s northernmost places.

The latest model, the Nordman 7, works so well on snow that it’s hard to get back to another tire after you try it. Traction is sublime – you won’t get stuck anywhere, not even in the deepest snow. The tire also sticks to ice very well, especially after you put those studs on.

Now, sure, the Nordman 7 won’t handle on dry and wet roads like other winter tires, but it’s still not bad. Besides, if you live in areas with harsh wintry weather, you probably encounter snow and ice more often than dry or wet roads.

4. Nokian WR G4 / WR G4 SUV

Nokian Wr G4 / Wr G4 Suv

All-weather tires are similar to all-season tires but designed more for wintry weather rather than summer conditions. Nokian was one of the first manufacturers to launch such tires, and its latest model is one of the best around.

Like you would expect from a Nokian product, it performs excellently in wintry conditions. Traction on snow is outstanding, and you can even control your car on ice, something that I can’t say about most of its competitors. The WR G4 also works in slush and very wet conditions, thanks to the outstanding hydroplaning resistance.

The tire is not as impressive on dry roads behind the wheel – responsiveness isn’t its forte. However, it still grips the road safely and provides short braking distances. It also comes with a 60,000-mile treadwear warranty, which is an excellent result for an all-weather touring tire.

5. Nokian Rotiiva AT

Nokian Rotiiva At

Nokian’s latest entry into the all-terrain category possesses a very balanced set of qualities. On the road, it provides good levels of grip and traction and very good high-speed stability. That said, I would like it to be a tad more responsive, but it’s still fine for an all-terrain tire.

It’s great for off-roading, though, especially on hardpacked surfaces, where traction is excellent. It works in mud as well, but not as successfully as other all-terrain tires.

On the contrary, the Rotiiva AT might be the best all-terrain tire for driving on snow, where it provides the driver with outstanding traction, very short stopping distances, and good cornering grip.

The only area where I’d like to see improvement is treadlife, which is slightly lower than the most durable all-terrain tires right now.

Nokian Tires Review: Buying Guide

1. Nokian Tires Positive Aspects

  • Simply outstanding winter traction

Nokian makes hands down the best tires for harsh wintry conditions in the world. Its models consistently beat the competition on snow, ice, and slush. Nokian’s tires are especially good for very extreme conditions, such as deep snow, packed snow, and clear ice. The difference isn’t that big on dry roads in the winter, but even then, the Finnish tiremaker competes with the best.

  • Excellent overall performance

Nokian’s aren’t only good in wintry conditions. If you bought an all-season tire from the brand, you could expect excellent traction in most conditions, including dry, wet, and snowy conditions. Moreover, the company’s summer tires compete with the best in terms of traction and grip.

  • Good treadlife

Tires from the Finnish company aren’t the longest-lasting on the market, but they are very close to the best-in-class products. You will still get 4-5 seasons of driving, which is close to the best premium tires.

2. Nokian Tires Negative Aspects

Might be expensive for some people. Nokian’s tires are durable and made of high-quality materials, but they might still be expensive for some people. That’s especially true for the winter tires, which are among the most expensive on the market.

Conclusion

Nokian produces excellent tires in all categories, but they are especially good at making winter tires. They might be expensive for some people, but there is no denying the fact that you’re getting what you’re paying for. I would definitely put the Finnish brand up there with the best tire manufacturers in the world.

8 thoughts on “Nokian Tires Review: Best Extreme Winter Tires in the World”

  1. You can’t beat a Nokian Tire for Wet and Winter Traction, It doesn’t matter was model Nokian tire you get, they’ll all great.

    Reply
  2. The tires we got are peeling. Pieces of rubber lifting off. Only 11000 km on. I am not impressed & feel this is a malfunction of the tires. I do not feel safe driving like this. We had a wheel alignment when these tires were put on & went back the other day & they said to have another alignment which we did. Only drive on pavement so what is the problem??? Faulty tires???

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  3. December 29, 2021, driving 1-94 through Minnesota on WR G4’s. Glare ice on road, car is squirreling all over the lane. Top speed 45 mph, while other cars, and even semi’s, are flying by. What’s wrong here?

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  4. I’m on my fifth winter with the Hakkapeliitta and will be changing them next year. I’ve been winter driving in eastern Canada for 55 years and bought the Nokians based on rave reviews. They are a huge disappointment. The tread design does not shed snow well, often resulting in no exposed tread and one ends up essentially running on bald tires. Stopping distance is increased under these circumstances, requiring constant attention. I’ll be buying something with a more aggressive tread design to mitigate the problem. I would not recommend these tires.

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  5. I’ve had so many Nokians on so many cars, from Zline and Zline SUV to R3 SUV, WRGs, Entyre 1.0 and 2.0….Nokian are my first choice. Never a problem. To be fair, I buy a lot of Firestones too. Here researching the Solstice.

    Reply
  6. I’ve spent years driving in winter conditions in moisture-rich Washington in conditions ranging from wet snow that can compress to ice under your tires and where slush-planing is a frequent cause of accidents, to glare ice and blizzard conditions on Mt. Rainier while working as a Park Ranger. I’ve also lived the northern Midwest where cold dry snow can be easier to drive on, but where ice storms can bring cities to a standstill. Up until 2007 my choice of winter tires was Bridgestone Blizzak which provided the best available non-studded traction on snow and ice, but which had miserable handling on wet and dry pavement and would quickly be ruined if not changed out for summer tires as soon as spring arrived.

    After driving on and comparing winter tires from Bridgestone, Goodyear, Firestone, Continental, Michelin and Yokohama, since 2008 my dedicated winter tire of choice has been the Nokian Hakkapeliita R series of studless tires which have equal or better grip than Blizzaks but with much better handling in all conditions. I have yet to encounter conditions where these tires have failed to provide grip. I would suspect that they would reach their limit only on a steep grade with glare ice where studded tires could provide an advantage. Our Volvo V-50 AWD, and 4wd Chev Suburban have never once had an issue with traction in the Cascade and Olympic mountains of Washington.

    In addition to dedicated winter tires, I’ve been running all-Weather WR series in the other seasons on the Volvo and Suburban. Our GMC Terrain has had all-weather WR-G3 and G4 series tires year-round, and living at the 1,200′ level of the mountains, it has never had a problem, even with a foot of snow.

    Nokian was the first to develop an “all weather” tire and no other manufacturer has come close to the handling and performance of these tires in this category. The WR series outperforms many brands of dedicated winter tires except for winter tires from other premium brands. The WR-G2, with a slightly softer rubber compound and lower tread life, performed more like a winter tire in moderate winter conditions, whereas the subsequent WR-G3 and WR-G4 tires have better handling, performance, and tread life in the other seasons, and yet still do very well in winter.

    A year and a half ago when it was time to replace WR-G3s on the Volvo, I made the mistake of buying into the hype regarding Michelin’s Cross-Climate tire – an attempted answer to Nokian WR tires. The Cross-climate performs well and handles slightly better than the Nokians in 3 seasons, but doesn’t come close to the snow and ice capability of the WR-G3 or -G4 and once snow arrived I had to put Hakkapeliitas back on to safely drive in our environment. With only 5000 miles on the Michelins, I’m getting rid of them and going to Nokian WR-G4s.

    I have no idea where some of the prior complaints are coming from. Even with studs, I wouldn’t consider driving over 45 mph on glare ice. “Other vehices flying by” sounds like idiot drivers (although Nokian tires do hold the world speed record on ice). Triple Treads don’t hold a candle to the Nokian WR series tires in winter weather – no contest. As I understand, the Nordman brand is the budget division Nokian and I have no experience with them. Perhaps they just don’t perform as well as the higher end tires. With regards to the comment of “aggressive tread” gripping better, a good winter tire sticks to snow and ice far better with thousands of tiny sipes in softer rubber, than aggressive open blocks of a harder tread compound that lacks sipes, but which othewise works well for all-terrain and mud tires. Snow sticks to snow better than rubber sticks to snow and a tire that is able to hold on to snow will grip better than one that doesn’t.

    The Finns know how to make tires for inclement weather, and for winter driving or all-weather performance, there is simply no better tire than Nokian.

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