The Michelin Latitude X-Ice Xi2 costs more than the top-rated winter tire for SUVs and light trucks, the Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1 (*Est. $135), but reviews say the Blizzak performs better.
The Michelin equals the Blizzak in one professional test, with outstanding scores for snow and ice traction. Owners say the Blizzak grips better on real-life treacherous winter roads, though.
Owners love it. Many consumer reviews echo the sentiments of a Colorado driver who has Michelin Latitude X-Ice Xi2s on his three cars. "With a combined 100,000 miles on the three sets -- we have NEVER had issues driving in snow -- never gotten stuck," he writes at TireRack.com.
Overall, though, owners give the rival Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1 substantially higher scores for ice and snow traction. Experts at Canada's Automobile Protection Association blame the Michelin's shallower tread: "It performs better on ice than in slush and deep snow."
The Michelin handles ice and snow excellently in one major test, but -- like all severe-winter tires -- it's only fair on wet and dry roads.
Unbeatable ride comfort, and it's quiet, too. The Michelin Latitude X-Ice Xi2 gets uniformly good reviews for its comfortable ride. Experts and owners alike rate it as one of the easiest-riding winter tires you can buy, on par with the top-rated Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1.
Owners find the Michelin extraordinarily quiet, too -- quieter than the Blizzak. A few say it's even more hushed than their summer tires. However, the Michelin rates just average for noise in one professional test. The Blizzak proves a little quieter there.
Super-durable snow tire. Owners say this tire is incredibly durable, and Michelin backs the Latitude X-Ice Xi2 with a 40,000-mile treadwear warranty. That's rare among snow tires, which usually carry no tread warranty at all.
However, the Automobile Protection Association warns that the "tricky mileage warranty requires the tires to be virtual banana peels before you can collect." Michelin will only pay if the tires wear down to 2/32 inches of tread within 40,000 miles of use. That's too bald to drive on, experts at TireRack.com say. They recommend removing winter tires when they have 5/32 inches of tread left.
Review Credibility: Excellent ConsumerReports.org tests 10 winter tires for light trucks and SUVs, including the Michelin Latitude X-Ice Xi2. Braking in different conditions, experts judge each tire's traction on snow, as well as handling, noise, hydroplaning, ride comfort and more.
Review: Michelin Latitude X-Ice Xi2, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not Dated
2. Tire Rack
Review Credibility: Good Experts at this retail website run excellent winter-tire comparison tests, but they haven't tested the Michelin Latitude X-Ice Xi2. This TireRack.com blogger still picks it as one of the best winter tires for SUVs and light trucks.
Review: Looking for the Best Winter/Snow Tires?, Steve Huffman, Sept. 10, 2012
3. Tire Rack
Review Credibility: Good About 50 owners have posted reviews for the Michelin Latitude X-Ice Xi2 at this retail website. It earns a rating of Excellent or Superior in all categories -- wet, dry, ice and snow grip, as well as noise, ride comfort and treadwear -- but it still ranks behind the Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1.
Review: Michelin Latitude X-Ice Xi2, Contributors to TireRack.com, As of November 2012
4. Automobile Protection Association
Review Credibility: Good The Michelin Latitude X-Ice Xi2 is a top pick on this Canadian nonprofit organization's list of the best winter tires. Experts here say it "performs better on ice than in slush and deep snow."
Review: Winter Tire Info: SUV Tires, Editors of Automobile Protection Association, Not Dated