In general, owners are more enthusiastic about the Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 than professional reviewers. On snow and ice, the Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 nearly matches the top-rated Michelin X-Ice Xi3 (Est. $105) -- but once roads are cleared, the Blizzak slips and slides in professional tests. Plenty of drivers have sworn by Blizzaks for years, but expert testers in North America and Scandinavia almost always prefer the Michelins.
Snow-and-ice specialists, but squirmy on bare roads. Blizzards are what the Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 does best, reviews say. "They practically turn the car into a tractor in snow and ice!" writes one owner, who commutes over a mountainous dirt road in a Honda Accord. "The best winter tire I've used in over 40 years of driving."
Picky Scandinavian and North American testing authorities usually judge the Blizzak WS70 about on par with the Michelin Xi3 on snow and ice. Unfortunately, both tires flounder like a fish out of water on bare roads, and the Blizzak fares even worse than the Michelin.
Easy-riding tire. The Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 beats every other snow tire for ride comfort in two tests, one conducted by a leading consumer publication and the other by TireRack.com. Noise is about average for a studless winter tire, four top testers agree. Owners don't complain about noise -- in fact, they rate the Blizzak WS70 highly at TireRack.com -- but the Michelin Xi3 is a little quieter, according to reviews.
Durable in real-life use -- but no treadwear warranty. Unlike the Michelin X-Ice Xi3 -- which carries a 40,000-mile treadwear warranty, rare for a snow tire -- the Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 has no tread warranty at all. Owners rate the Blizzak WS70 highly for durability. Several owners say you can expect one set to last three winters.
Testers here rank the Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 alongside 15 other studless winter tires for passenger cars. They test each tire's snow traction; braking on icy, dry and wet roads; handling; hydroplaning; ride comfort; noise and more before recommending best buys.
Review: Bridgestone Blizzak WS70, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not Dated
Mediocre bare-pavement handling relegates the Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 to third place among eight studless severe-winter tires at this Swedish publication. The tire handles well on ice and snow, but experts say there are better choices.
Review: 20 Winter Tires -- From Dangerously Horrible to Ridiculously Good, Robert Collin, Autumn 2013
3. Teknikens Varld
The Blizzak WS70 lands near the bottom of this painstaking test of 15 studless tires. Like most severe-winter tires, its tread is so soft that handling on wet roads is "really bad," testers say.
Review: Winter Tire Test 2013, Linus Pröjtz, Oct. 10, 2013
4. Tire Rack
In this four-tire test, the Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 brakes a tiny bit faster and corners slightly better on an ice rink than the Michelin X-Ice Xi3. The Blizzak rides a little more comfortably, too. But testers prefer the Michelin's handling, which feels more "like an all-season tire."
Review: Testing the Newest Studless Ice & Snow Winter Tires, Editors of TireRack.com, Sept. 28, 2012
5. Tire Rack
With nearly 500 owner reviews posted, the Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 ranks behind the Michelin X-Ice Xi3 in the studless passenger-tire category. Owners rate the Blizzak equally high on ice and snow, but the Michelin grips better on cleared roads, with a quieter, more comfortable ride.
Review: Bridgestone Blizzak WS70, Contributors to TireRack.com, As of November 2013
6. Automobile Protection Association
Canada's Automobile Protection Association gives more weight to snow-and-ice grip than other sources. Here, the Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 is the No. 1 pick among snow tires for passenger cars. Editors say it has deeper tread than the Michelin X-Ice Xi2 -- but they haven't updated their picks for this year, so they don't cover the newer Michelin X-Ice Xi3.
Review: Passenger Car Tires, Editors of the Automobile Protection Association, Not Dated