Friday, December 9, 2022
News Michelin X-ICE Snow Winter Tire Review: Vulcanized in Canada for Canadians

Michelin X-ICE Snow Winter Tire Review: Vulcanized in Canada for Canadians

You would never attempt a marathon without training properly. Winter is a marathon and the Michelin X-Ice Snow tire is years of training


  • The X-ICE winter tire is a premium top-tier winter tire.

  • Michelin launched the latest X-ICE tire generation in the fall of 2020.

  • The key to the new X-Ice is long-term performance.


Here’s a bit of trivia: Michelin was founded in 1889. By size, the French company is the second-largest tire manufacturer in the world. And so, when combining both facts, it’s easy to understand why they are regarded as the makers of some of the best-performing tires in the world.

Michelin X-ICE Snow tires | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

Depending on where you live and your interest in tires, you’ll no doubt know that when an automaker wants to get the most performance out of a given sports car, they slap Pilot Sport tires on it. Cases in point: The new FL5 Honda Civic Type R and the sublime Cadillac CT5 V Blackwing both roll on Pilot Sport tires. If automakers were forced to deliver their performance vehicles with winter tires, it’s a safe bet that the best of the best would be shod with X-ICE Snow rubber.

Like with the Pilot Sport tires, performance for the new X-ICE Snow is not a one-dimensional affair. Performance, top performance, is the result of the best ice traction, grip in snow, longevity, efficiency, and, in this case, over a long period of time and distance.

Michelin X-ICE Snow tires | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

Michelin’s Evergrip Technology is one reason why the X-ICE Snow delivers a long wear life. Let’s address the fact that it is true that these winter tires are not inexpensive. But what if they lasted twice as long, or more than a tire barely half its price? The argument it that simple. Furthermore, it’s highly plausible that the X-ICE seriously outperforms the “cheaper” tire.

Part of what makes the Michelin X-ICE Snow so durable is tread block rigidity which optimizes the tires’ contact with the road surface. The tread design features two types of full-depth, and this is key, 3D sipes for a sustained clawing effect on snow and ice. In other words, even as the tires wear down, their ability to grip wintery surfaces is unchanged.

Michelin X-ICE Snow tires | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

This same tread also enables the tires to better resist aquaplaning. Our winters are turning into a swirling mix of big freezes, massive snowfalls, and shocking thaws. The new winter tire, which looks great, shows an increased void ratio and an obvious V-shaped tread pattern which are designed to better evacuate snow, slush, and water from the contact patches.

On the subject of contact, today’s winter tires have little to do with those that were sold only a decade ago. The same Evergrip Technology which delivers longevity also dramatically helps to keep the tread blocks firmly in touch with the road’s surface. This vastly improves acceleration, steering response, and braking performance.

Michelin X-ICE Snow tires | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

On that final point, Michelin has found that vehicles equipped with the new X-ICE Snow tires can stop nearly 3 meters (10 feet), or more than half an average car’s length, shorter on ice than a leading competitor. I’m looking forward to being impressed by this aspect.

Now, like you, I’m not quite ready to accept that winter is just around the corner, again. Even so, I’ve had a new set of P205/50R17 Michelin X-ICE Snow tires mounted on the stock 17-inch wheels that we delivered on my 2018 Volkswagen Sportwagen 4MOTION. The next step is to bolt them up to the car, zip up my winter coat, and face winter head-on.

The final piece of trivia: Did you know the new X-ICE Snow is produced in Nova Scotia, Canada?

I will publish an update later this winter about my experience with the tires.

Michelin X-ICE Snow tires | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

Michelin X-ICE Snow tires | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

Michelin X-ICE Snow tires | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

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Matt St-Pierre
Trained as an Automotive Technician, Matt has two decades of automotive journalism under his belt. He’s done TV, radio, print and this thing called the internet. He’s an avid collector of many 4-wheeled things, all of them under 1,500 kg, holds a recently expired racing license and is a father of two. Life is beautiful. Send Matt an emai

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