Tuesday, January 31, 2023
News Michelin X-ICE Snow Winter Tire Review: Winter Proof

Michelin X-ICE Snow Winter Tire Review: Winter Proof

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


  • The X-ICE winter tire is as good as expected.

  • They’ve so far effortlessly tackled this winter’s ever-changing conditions


Disturbingly, winter finally reared its white face in the Greater Montreal area nearly a week after New Year’s Day. While most of North America was frozen over or digging itself out from under multiple feet of snow, Montreal had to deal with mild temperatures and rain. But when winter showed up, we got freezing rain, followed by snow, and loads of ice. I wasn’t worried as my Golf was shod with new Michelin X-ICE snow winter tires.

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

Confidence is a good feeling. With the blessed combination of the Michelin X-ICE’s abilities and the Golf’s better-than-adequate 4MOTION AWD system, getting into a non-intentional slideways situation or being stuck is essentially the direct result of the driver pushing his or her luck. Now, while the AWD will help with forward momentum, it’s entirely up to the tires to reel in speeds and keeping the nose pointed in the desired direction.

The Michelin X-ICE snow tire always comes up as one of the top choices in North America when selecting a good tire for the cold season. This has been the case for many years, but this latest X-ICE generation is the most complete ever.

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

I will be entirely honest: I’ve not driven my Golf with the Michelin X-ICE tires in truly snowy conditions*. The most snowfall we’d received at the time of writing this story was only about 15 cm in a 24-hour period. But let’s be frank, there is no doubt that the deep 3D interlocking sipes will effortlessly grab the snow-covered surface and allow forward progress. I have however come tire-to-road on ice, slush, wet, and dry surfaces.

Now more than ever, and possibly more in the future, winter tires will need to handle utterly extreme and rapidly-changing driving conditions. In my case, I went from a +8-degree Celsius rainy afternoon to a -5-degree overnight freeze with resulting treacherous morning driving conditions. With the proper amount of on-road driver wherewithal and some Michelin X-ICE snow tires, there’s never any reason to worry.

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

Under reasonable throttle input, the same 3D interlocking sipes and the cool next-generation V-shaped tread design work together to keep the rubber in contact with the surface. And thanks to the FLEX-ICE 2.0 tread compound, the tire’s contact patch remains flexible enough to latch on the icy road as best as possible.

It’s the tire’s ability to function as desired in all these conditions that make the Michelin X-ICE winter tire so desirable. Its unique and proprietary rubber mix is designed to perform in all conditions including driving over ice-cold and dry surfaces. Here, the tires perform admirably well showing a strong propensity for stability, and responsiveness, all the while generating barely audible road noise.

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

Despite being well into January at this point, cold and dry have been the prevailing driving conditions. Even so, on countless occasions and in the blink of an eye, a rapid thaw would cover roads with water which would, inevitably, freeze mere hours later. Here again, the tire’s sipes and “V” pattern would seamlessly go from evacuating water, helping avoid aquaplaning, to gripping onto the freshly formed ice.

As is, the latest-generation Michelin X-ICE snow tire is designed to handle our increasingly mixed winter driving conditions. Basically, they are gifted with the right types of abilities and technologies to handle increasingly extreme driving conditions.

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

Finally, and although I will not be able to evaluate Michelin’s EverGrip technologies that promise sustained all-condition performance for seasons to come, I’ve no reason to doubt its worth.

*Only days before publishing, Mother Nature finally dumped 20cm on us in a few hours and, as predicted, the X-ICE tires scoffed at the fluffy white stuff’s attempts to impede forward mobility.

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

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

Michelin X-ICE Snow | 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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