During the 2011 Michigan State Police Tire Tests, the Nokian WR G2 “All-Weather +” tire performed as well as the best All-Season police tires from Goodyear and Firestone. Nokian is well known by fleet managers in the northern states and Canada for their Hakkapeliitta winter (snow) tires. The best kept secret about Nokian is they also make All-Season tires.
The WR G2 fits both tire categories, summer and winter, so Nokian calls it an All-Weather + tire. In fact, it is a summer (All-Season) tire that also has the Snowflake-on-Mountain (Severe Service) snow rating. The WR G2 can be run all year around – summer and winter – in snowy regions, unlike the OE All-Season police tires. The initials WR G2 means Winter Radial Gen 2.
Heads-up All-Season Comparison
It may come as a surprise even to the fleet managers familiar with Nokian winter tires how competitive these Nokian summer-winter tires were during the MSP’s All-Season tests against the best police tires made.
The averages from the Ford CVPI, Chevy Impala and Chevy Caprice results show the Nokian WR G2 out-performed the Goodyear Eagle RS-A in four out of six categories: wet braking, wet brake-and-turn, steady-state cornering, and road course lap times. In two categories, the Goodyear bettered the Nokian: tire wear and dry braking.
On the Ford CVPI, the Nokian split the results with the Goodyear and the Firestone. The Nokian turned in the best wet braking; the Goodyear did the best in tire wear and lap times; the Firestone took the dry braking, wet brake-and-turn, and steady state cornering stages. Put another way, the Nokian was first or second in five out of six test stages on the Ford CVPI.
Running nose-to-nose with the best two All-Season police tires – in a classic All-Season (dry and wet) tire test – is a major accomplishment for Nokian. The punch line: The Nokian WR G2 is also Severe Snow-rated, while the Goodyear and Firestone tires are not. The Snowflake on Mountain embossment on this Nokian tire is proof of that.
We conducted a long-term driving evaluation on a set of Nokian WR G2 tires. They hit the pavement the beginning of January, right in time for the first heavy snow of the season. The evaluation continued through the downpours of a Midwestern spring, and the first heat of summer – a real “all-weather” road test.
The wet traction was outstanding, clearly superior to the All-Season police tires. Nothing moves water out of the way better than a snow tire designed to move slush out of the way. If your current police tire is slippery when wet, the WR G2 is the answer.
In the warmer spring and summer, the WR G2 had the same dry traction as the OE All-Season police tires. We could not tell any difference. In temperatures below 32 deg F, however, the Nokian had better dry traction than the All-Season tires.
The light and deep snow traction was outstanding, of course. With the Severe Service snow rating, the WR G2 clearly separated itself from any All-Season tire. From light snow, to snow that was deep enough to scrape the radiator air dam, the WR G2 acted like a true “snow” tire.
We recorded tread wear knowing the only way to properly judge tread life is to try a set on a couple of your patrol vehicles. During the six-month evaluation period, we put 7,000 miles on the tires. Being very familiar with both the Eagle RS-A and the Firehawk GT Pursuit, the Nokian WR G2 seemed to have about the same tread wear.
Our subjective driving impressions agree with the objective MSP tire tests. The Nokian WR G2 is worth a look for fleet managers in all the Midwestern and northern states.