The Toyo Observe G-02 Plus is one of the top-rated studless winter tires on ice and snow, reviewers say. It also offers low rolling resistance (for better gas mileage) and a deep, durable tread. Unfortunately, like many other winter tires, testers say the Toyo Observe G-02 Plus doesn't grip well on wet or dry roads, and it's noisy. Critics prefer the Michelin X-Ice Xi2 (*Est. $100), which delivers the best snow and ice traction along with low rolling resistance and a quiet, comfortable ride.
ConsumerReports.org subjects the Toyo Observe G-02 Plus to its usual rigorous comparison testing. Canada's Automobile Protection Association (APA) also tests many winter tires and awards them overall star ratings, but it doesn't give detailed test results. Wheels.ca lists the best winter tires according to reviewer John Mahler but doesn't rank the picks in order. The Toyo Observe G-02 Plus gets plenty of owner feedback at 1010Tires.com.
ConsumerReports.org tests dozens of winter tires, including the Toyo Observe G-02 Plus, on every winter road surface -- snowy, icy, dry and wet. Experts also rate each tire's comfort, noise and rolling resistance, ranking the tires from best to worst.
Review: Winter Tires, Editors of ConsumerReports.org
2. Automobile Protection Association
Even though it's noisy and "not the best performer on cleared or wet roads," the Toyo Observe G-02 Plus is "optimized for deep snow and ice" and is one of this Canadian nonprofit group's top recommended winter tires. The review praises the tire's durability and calls it a good choice for heavy vehicles.
Review: Winter Tire Info: Passenger Car Tires, Editors of Automobile Protection Association
The Toyo Observe G-02 Plus earns a spot on this list by John Mahler, the Toronto Star's tire expert. Ground walnut shells embedded in the rubber give the Toyo extra traction, he says.
Review: Top 10 Winter Tire Choices Meet Varied Needs, John Mahler, Oct. 3, 2009
The Toyo Observe G-02 Plus earns a middling rating of 3.9 stars (out of 5) from more than 50 customers at this retail site. Owners give it high marks for snow performance, but lower scores on wet and dry roads.
Review: Toyo Observe G-02, Contributors to 1010Tires.com