If you live in areas that experience prolonged periods of snow, a set of winter tires is so important!
They ensure you remain safe and assured on the road while providing smooth handling and great braking distances.
So, how does the Michelin x Ice Xi3 fair as a winter tire? It’s made by a reputable brand, so is bound to be an excellent product, right?
This Michelin X Ice Xi3 review will uncover exactly this, but here are a few pointers to whet your tire appetite:
- Good fuel efficiency.
- Sturdy on snow and ice.
- 40,000 miles treadwear warranty.
What to Look for in Winter Tires
Winter tires offer more grip than all-season tires, but this usually comes with lots of noise and reduced speed performance.
But, certain tires can give sturdy handling on ice while not compromising on the other performance aspects.
With this in mind, we need to focus on the below features to see if the X-Ice Xi3 holds up.
Tire Size and Rating
It’s easy to assume that you need different-sized winter tires to three-season tires because of how thicker the tread is.
But this isn’t the case.
Winter tires use standard sizing that you can interpret from the sidewall code.
Here’s an example of a sidewall code of 220/65 R16 88 H:
- 220: This is the tire’s width measured in millimeters. The higher it is, the wider the tire section.
- 65: Ratio as a percentage of the sidewall height (top of the tire) and the section width (tire tread’s width). For example, the sidewall’s height equals 65% of the section width. The lower this value, the lower the tire’s profile.
- R: Indicates the construction type of the tire. Construction type R means a radial construction.
- 16: Tire’s diameter, measured in inches.
- 88: Indicates the maximum load index. 88 corresponds to a maximum load rating of 560 kilograms. On the rating chart, the higher the load index, the higher the maximum load.
- H: Shows what speed the tire is best suited for. From a chart of values, H corresponds to a maximum speed of 210 km/h. Speed symbols go from A1, the lowest speed, to Y, the highest.
This information is important in ensuring you get the best performance from your tire.
You want to get tires that are nearly the same size as those you use during the other seasons.
In addition, low-profile tires give your car more stability, high speeds and maximum load rating to ensure you remain safe on the road.
Fuel Economy and Low Rolling Resistance
Low rolling resistance directly corresponds to better fuel economy. This is particularly important in winter tires as most tire manufacturers prioritize grip to ensure safe handling in the snow. But, this means the tires have lots of friction with the ground, creating a high rolling resistance.
The less friction the tires have with the ground, the easier your car will move forward. If there’s a lot of resistance, your engine will need to provide your wheels with more energy to overcome this friction and move forward, resulting in greater fuel consumption.
So, try and go for tires with low rolling resistance. Manufacturers usually state if their tires come with rolling resistance.
Winter tires are usually noisier than all the other types of tires. That’s because there’s more rubber in contact with the ground, producing more friction and, consequently, more sound.
For snow tires to produce relatively low noise, the rubber used should provide low rolling resistance. This design is usually present in more premium tires as expensive tires have more investment than budget and regular tires.
Look for tires with rubber compounds, like bio-based rubbers, which promote low rolling-resistance. Manufacturers usually state explicitly that their tires offer low noise levels, like how Michellin does with the X-Ice Xi3.
Snow or Ice
There are three types of winter tires:
- Suitable for both snow and ice.
Snow tires are great for smooth handling on surfaces that experience tremendous snowfall. They offer especially good traction at low speeds, and many consider them superior to ice tires.
Ice tires are great for highway driving and perform well at high speeds.
If you have to pick one type, snow tires are best. They offer most of the capabilities that ice tires do, which isn’t always the case vice versa because ice tires have too many incisions to make them ideal for snow.
Technological advancements in material science have allowed manufacturers to produce snow tires that offer decent ice performance. Look out for microscopic studs and an advanced multicellular compound with nanotechnology.
Braking and Handling
Most modern tires have good braking distance, but a decrease in temperatures affects this performance. Michelin claims that 44 degrees Fahrenheit (7 degrees Celsius) is the temperature that most all-season tires begin to have much lower performance in braking and handling than winter tires.
This is why you should get a tire that performs very well at low temperatures. Many places that experience snow commonly have day temperatures well below this threshold during winter.
So, check the performance conditions that the manufacturer has tested the tire in.
Also ensure the manufacturer states which temperatures the tires are best in. If the range falls outside of your area’s normal temperatures, then the tire isn’t a good choice for you.
Price and Warranty
Many expect premium tires to provide better performance value and last longer than affordable tires. To confirm this, look at the features of similarly priced tires. Just because a brand has a big market presence, such as the likes of Michelin and Pirelli, you might just be paying for their name.
In addition, check which warranty comes with your purchase. These are either tread and defect protection warranty, but the most reliable companies on the market will offer both. These warranties indicate how confident the manufacturer is in their product.
Manufacturer and After-Sales Services
Yes, brand names do matter in the tire business.
Despite likely charging you more, bigger brands have more capital for research and development, allowing them to produce better products.
In addition, they have more service centers globally and are more capable of providing high-quality customer service. The manufacturing location is also important because it indicates the production investment.
Tires from European or US-based factories are best because you can also ensure that everything involved in the production processes is ethically responsible. Manufacturing is environmentally sustainable, and workers get paid higher wages than elsewhere, creating more of an incentive to ensure the final product is high quality.
Review of the Michelin X-Ice Xi3
Using the criteria above, we can now extensively review the Michelin x Ice Xi3 and check whether it’s worth its popularity.
Tire Size and Rating of the Michelin X Ice Xi3
The Michelin X Ice Xi3 comes in seven different sizes, ensuring all passenger vehicles are covered. But the size in this one is 195/60R15/XL 92H. This translates to the following:
Tire Width: 195 millimeters
The tire widths in the Ice Xi3 range from 175 to 245 millimeters. This range is quite high, which is good for winter tires, as wider tires offer better handling on corners because of the wide tread faces and tense sidewalls.
For our reviewed product at 195 millimeters, the tire is wide enough for impeccable handling in the snow.
The sidewall height to section width ratio in the Ice Xi3 ranges from 65 down to an impressive 45 percent. This means that the tire provides a very low profile and great traction for large cars.
60% is a good ratio for mid-sized passenger vehicles. Owners of larger vehicles would need lower ratios.
The tire has a radial construction. This type of construction uses steel cords so that treads are at right angles to each other. This translates to a more flexible tire than the standard.
Tire Diameter: 15 inches
A 15-inch tire diameter is suitable for mid-sized vehicles.
Maximum Load Capacity: 1356 pounds
Maximum loads in the X-Ice Xi3 models range from 1168 to 1874 pounds. These impressive load capacities allow the tires to provide a sturdy base for the car.
The “XL” in our focus tire’s code translates to a maximum load capacity of 1356 lbs, which is sufficient for most passenger vehicles.
Maximum Speed: H (210 km/h)
H corresponds to a maximum speed of 210 km/h (130m/h), leaving ample room to drive safely at high speed without breaking the law.
Michelin X Ice Xi3’s Fuel Economy
The tire has great fuel economy for winter tires. This is because of the radial construction providing low rolling resistance, translating into impressive fuel economy.
How Loud is the Michelin X-Ice Xi3?
Customers have mixed reviews on these snow tires. The tires are by no means the quietest on the market. But, for winter tires, these tires are quite silent.
The material used has low rolling resistance, preventing the friction between the tire and the ground preventing lots of noise.
Customers report how the tires are particularly silent on icy highways. This feature is one of the reasons this tire is so popular. Many people find the Michelin X-Ice Xi3 a perfect combination of good traction and low noise levels.
Snow or Ice? What type is the Michelin X-Ice Xi3?
Fortunately, this tire is well-engineered enough to provide top performance on both snow and ice.
That’s because the treads are evenly spaced and have a mid-range number of incisions (instead of having too many or too few).
How Does The Xi3 Brake And Handle?
The tire has short braking distances. Customers report responsive braking even on icy surfaces. This feature ensures you remain safe on the road and maintain sturdy control of your vehicle.
Handling is also great, especially on tight corners. That’s because the tire is wide and has a low profile to get better traction on the ground.
Michelin Ice-X Xi3 Price and Warranty
As expected, for a premium-priced tire, you get both defect protection and treadwear warranty. The treadwear warranty covers nearly 40,000 miles, which is a lot for tires used a few months of the year.
You also get a six-year warranty where the company will replace your tire in the case of irreparable deformation.
Earlier in our Michelin X Ice Xi3 review, we mentioned the radial construction the tire has. This is a very expensive construction method and contributes significantly to the tire’s price.
You’ll usually find this tire costs more than $130, so around $650 for an entire set, including the spare. This easily falls out of most people’s range, making it more of a premium tire.
Where Is The Michelin X-Ice Xi3 Made?
The widely popular Michelin makes the Xi3 in Pictou, Nova Scotia, which is one of the company’s worldwide factory locations.
The company is headquartered in Clermont-Ferrand, France but has many production facilities in the US. These include Greenville, South Carolina, and Dothan, Alabama.
Michelin offers great customer support with their various points of sale. If you have any problem with your tires, you’re sure to find a helpful employee to help out.
Alternatives To The X-Ice Xi3
The Bridgestone Blizzak WS80 is a cheaper alternative to the Michelin Xi3. It offers most of the Michelin’s performance, and you can save nearly $20 per tire.
Can I Drive Michelin X Ice In Summer?
You can drive the Michelin X Ice in the summer, but winter tires aren’t meant for the summer. The tread will get softer in warm temperatures and wear much faster than it would in winter. Ultimately, you’ll need to replace it sooner, incurring you more costs.
What Is The Difference Between The Xi3 And The Xi2?
The major difference between the Xi3 and the Xi2 is that the Xi3 is better suited to both snow and ice conditions with the even spacing of treads. The Xi2 is the predecessor of the Xi3. The former was very successful, and many customers believed the company had no reason to update it.
Our Michelin x Ice Xi3 review shows that the tire has most of the features people look for in a winter tire. It offers great handling on both ice and snow while allowing efficient fuel economy.
It’s no surprise the tire is popular. With Michelin’s impeccable customer service and the reassuring warranty the company offers, there’s little to regret with a purchase like this. Just expect to pay more of a premium for the privilege.