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Hey guys so I have a 2014 Mazda 3 with the stock wheels still on. I live in Canada where the winters get really bad so I wanted to prepare and have a pair of winter tires ready for when it gets bad. I currently have 16" rims but would it be better if I go for something bigger like 18"? Originally I was going to get the Continental ExtremeContact DWS tires but I think a dedicated set of winter tires will be a lot better. I'm also planning on keeping my stock rims for the winter tires and finding an all season set for the summer if that changes anything. So what do you think the best winter tire/size would be for a Canadian winter? Thanks!
 

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For dealing with real winters and significant snow, you generally want to go with narrower tires on smaller wheels. The former gives you better traction and the latter gives you better protection against wheel damage due to bad winter roads as well as the savings since 16" winter tires are much cheaper than 18" winters of the same brand.

X-ice and Blizzaks are good winters. For a budget winter, general arctic altimax are excellent and are studdable as well if you are really needing it.
 

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For dealing with real winters and significant snow, you generally want to go with narrower tires on smaller wheels. The former gives you better traction and the latter gives you better protection against wheel damage due to bad winter roads as well as the savings since 16" winter tires are much cheaper than 18" winters of the same brand.

X-ice and Blizzaks are good winters. For a budget winter, general arctic altimax are excellent and are studdable as well if you are really needing it.
Sweet. I didn't want to have to switch to bigger wheels so knowing that I can stick with my 16"s is perfect. So as long as I stay with the same size wheel as I have on right now which is 205/60R16 I wont have any issues with speedometer or anything right? Also Where would I find these tires? I can only find the x-ice on tirerack.
 

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Sweet. I didn't want to have to switch to bigger wheels so knowing that I can stick with my 16"s is perfect. So as long as I stay with the same size wheel as I have on right now which is 205/60R16 I wont have any issues with speedometer or anything right? Also Where would I find these tires? I can only find the x-ice on tirerack.
Yes, your speedo will be the same since you are using the same tire specs.

It is the off season so all the winter stock is last years leftovers. The shops are unlikely to stock up on the new lots until nearer to the end of summer. I usually try tirerack, discounttiredirect and craigslist if searching online. Inventory is likely pretty sparse right now.
 

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I've always had great expieriences with nokian hakapellita (spelling?)

For a winter tire that will see snow a narrower tire will be better.
 

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Yes, your speedo will be the same since you are using the same tire specs.

It is the off season so all the winter stock is last years leftovers. The shops are unlikely to stock up on the new lots until nearer to the end of summer. I usually try tirerack, discounttiredirect and craigslist if searching online. Inventory is likely pretty sparse right now.
Ah okay. What would you recommend for a good all season tire for the summer time? Being in Canada I don't think summer tires would really work since the weather is so messed up all the time. I was thinking of the continental procontact with ecoplus. Any other options that you would recommend?
 

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Ah okay. What would you recommend for a good all season tire for the summer time? Being in Canada I don't think summer tires would really work since the weather is so messed up all the time. I was thinking of the continental procontact with ecoplus. Any other options that you would recommend?
The three high performance all season tires I'd recommend basis experience and research are the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3, the Continental DWS, or the Hankook Ventus S1 noble 2. The Michelin is slightly better in handling, the Continental in ice and snow, and the Hankook is the quietest tire that is still very good in ice and snow. The Michelin is slightly noisier but probably the best on dry pavement. It depends on your priorities. I chose the Hankook's because the Mazda tends to be noisy and I wanted a bit more quiet. However, they are all great tires and I don't think you can make a mistake. From a pure ratings perspective, the Pirelli Cinturanato 7's rate high, but my experience with Pirelli's in the past has not been good.

As a side note, these specific Hankook's don't come in a 215/45/18 so I purchased the 225/45/18's. I'd say they are about 30% quieter than the stock Dunlop's and have much better traction.

All of this said, very few people, including me, have experience with all of the current models of tires so you are taking a risk no matter what you purchase. Most people will recommend what they ended up purchasing whether it is the best or not. I've had Michelin Pilot Sport and Continental DWS tires before on other cars and they are very good.
 
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The three high performance all season tires I'd recommend basis experience and research are the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3, the Continental DWS, or the Hankook Ventus S1 noble 2. The Michelin is slightly better in handling, the Continental in ice and snow, and the Hankook is the quietest tire that is still very good in ice and snow. The Michelin is slightly noisier but probably the best on dry pavement. It depends on your priorities. I chose the Hankook's because the Mazda tends to be noisy and I wanted a bit more quiet. However, they are all great tires and I don't think you can make a mistake. From a pure ratings perspective, the Pirelli Cinturanato 7's rate high, but my experience with Pirelli's in the past has not been good.

As a side note, these specific Hankook's don't come in a 215/45/18 so I purchased the 225/45/18's. I'd say they are about 30% quieter than the stock Dunlop's and have much better traction.

All of this said, very few people, including me, have experience with all of the current models of tires so you are taking a risk no matter what you purchase. Most people will recommend what they ended up purchasing whether it is the best or not. I've had Michelin Pilot Sport and Continental DWS tires before on other cars and they are very good.
I have 16" rims and was originally going to get the Continental DWS since everything was recommending them but I don't think they come in 205/60R16. Which is why I was going to go with the eco version. I am mainly looking for something better than the stock yokos which is probably anything. I mainly want something a lot quieter with good handling and good in the rain. During summer where I am it's either nice and hot or raining. Don't need to worry about snow too much since I'm going to have a dedicated set of snow tires. Would the Continental DWS in 205/55ZR16 be okay to fit my 16" rims without having any problems with the spedometer or anything like that?
 

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Don't know much about all-seasons, but I've been using General Altimax Arctic for winter tires on my previous 2 cars and they did good. That's what I'm planning to get for this car as well. Some of the sizes are on sale right now at Canadian Tire, but not 205/60R16 yet. I've talked with parts guy there, and he said that size should also go on sale in the next month or so.
 

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I am going to buy ContiWinterContact™ TS 830 P (205/60 R 16) for upcoming winter. I am still waiting for my M3 so I can´t tell you my experience. The price here in Slovakia is 125 USD for piece. The new model TS 850 P is currently not available for that tire size, probably next winter.
 

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Don't know much about all-seasons, but I've been using General Altimax Arctic for winter tires on my previous 2 cars and they did good. That's what I'm planning to get for this car as well. Some of the sizes are on sale right now at Canadian Tire, but not 205/60R16 yet. I've talked with parts guy there, and he said that size should also go on sale in the next month or so.
Despite being a budget winter tire, I would definitely recommend Gen Alt Arctics. For those that will encounter deeper snow, they are studdable as well. A solid winter tire for an excellent price.
 

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I have 16" rims and was originally going to get the Continental DWS since everything was recommending them but I don't think they come in 205/60R16. Which is why I was going to go with the eco version. I am mainly looking for something better than the stock yokos which is probably anything. I mainly want something a lot quieter with good handling and good in the rain. During summer where I am it's either nice and hot or raining. Don't need to worry about snow too much since I'm going to have a dedicated set of snow tires. Would the Continental DWS in 205/55ZR16 be okay to fit my 16" rims without having any problems with the spedometer or anything like that?
ECO versions generally don't do as well in wet/snow conditions because they use a harder compound. Use a tire calculator to determine circumference and you'll see how far your speedometer will be off.

Tire Diameter And Circumference Calculator
 
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