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Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2 Review

By: Carl Laron on October 09, 2017

Bottom Line

Experts and users say that the Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2 is the best all-around winter tire. It gets strong feedback for performance under most types of winter driving condition. Its traction on ice and snow is especially superb.


  • Superior grip on ice and snow
  • Good dry road traction and handling
  • Comfortable ride


  • Cost
  • Performance on wet surfaces
Our Analysis

Breaking it down


Terrific for severe ice and snow. The Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2 outclasses all rivals on winter roads in professional tests, equaling or bettering other well-regarded tires in testing by the most reliable reviewers. It's also well-behaved on pavement for the most part (dry braking distances are criticized a little in one review), so much so that some experts deem it to be a reasonable choice as a tire for a performance car, at least a performance car that's regularly driven in climates where snow and ice are a serious and regular concern. If there's a hole in the Hakkapeliitta's game it's in its performance on wet roads. It gets dinged a bit for its resistance to hydroplaning, and a bit more for relatively long wet braking distances, and that's reflected in testing by the Norwegian Automobile Federation, though that group still rates it as the fourth best studless winter tire you can buy, and the best of the tires its tested that's available for sale in the U.S.


Easy-riding. Ride comfort is a strong point with the Hakkapeliitta R2, and ConsumerReports.org gives the tire its highest score on that parameter. Freedom from noise is another plus. "The R2's were smooth and precise," says ThoughtCo.com's Sean Phillips. "They were also remarkably quiet for winter tires, generating only a medium bell tone that I had to open the window to hear at all."


Limited warranty. The Nokian R2's warranty is typical for snow tires -- in other words, it's not very comprehensive. The tire is covered for defects in workmanship or materials for five years from purchase, or six years from manufacturing, but that's prorated, and there's no free replacement period. There's also no warranty for treadwear at all, but that's typical of most snow tires, aside from those offered by Michelin. User feedback, at least that from U.S. drivers is limited, but we don't see an excessive pattern of complaints on that score.

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