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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone,

With my GT's first winter coming up I've started looking at winter tires. After a bit of reading it seems like the kind of tire you need largely depends on where you live (how bad your winters are), how you drive and how much you want to spend.

Most of my winter driving here in Ottawa, Canada is done on dry ploughed roads (though there's usually layers of ice/hard snow on top), but we can get quite a bit of snow if it's a bad winter, and things can get very wet/slushy if the temperature rises too much.


I have a couple questions for everyone and after that I've posted all the resources and sites I've found so far:

1) What kind of winter tires do you use on your GT and how did you find driving last winter?

2) Did you undersize your winter tires or leave them stock? I'm considering 195/65R15 as opposed to 205/55R16 or 215/45R17.

3) Did you buy your tires online or through a retail store like Costco/Kaltire/Discount Tire/Canadian Tire?

4) On the subject of Costco, I've been told that they will not install any non-OEM sized tires such as 195/65R15. True/False?

I've also been told by a local tire place that Costco gets end-of-the-line cheaper quality versions of brand name tires (Blizzak, X-Ice, etc). I assume this to be false but figured I'd ask here as well.


RESOURCES

Here are the online retailers I've checked out so far (USA/Canada):

http://www.tirerack.com
1010TIRES.COM® — Tires and Wheels Absolute Authority.
Home - Discount Tire Direct
Cheap Tires Online, Discount Prices from tires-easy.com
TireTrends™ : Save on tires and wheels!
Winter Tires and Wheels at Discount for sale Online - Tires - PMC Tire - Canada
https://www.tiredirect.ca
Vente de pneus hiver et pneus été en ligne à bas prix - Pneus à rabais

Top winter tire survey results (click the specific tire for more reviews):

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/surveyresults/surveydisplay.jsp?type=W&VT=C
Passenger Cars, Winter Tire Reviews

Some general winter tire reading and reviews:

Best Studless Snow Tire Reviews
http://www.auto123.com/en/auto-parts/top-5-winter-tires-for-cars-in-2012?artid=149072
Automobile Protection Association | Winter Tire Reviews 2011: Passenger Cars
The Top 5 Studless Snow Tires
Getting the Right Tire - Cars.com

Should you undersize your tires?

Why You Should Downsize Your Winter Wheels
Kaltire - Minus Sizing
http://www.tirerack.com/winter/tech/techpage.jsp?techid=126

OEM/Hubcentric vs Universal wheel rims:

Hub-Centric vs. Lug-Centric Wheels
Autos.ca Forum: Universal Fit Steel Wheels -- Good or Bad?
Universal vs OEM steelies? What's the difference [Archive] - TorontoMazda3

Some previous forum threads:

http://www.hyundai-forums.com/269-g...ter-tires-installed-thread-lets-see-them.html
http://www.hyundai-forums.com/269-gd-2013-elantra-gt/149250-time-gt-winter-tire-thread.html
http://www.hyundai-forums.com/269-gd-2013-elantra-gt/161022-how-does-gt-handle-snow-ice.html
http://www.hyundai-forums.com/269-gd-2013-elantra-gt/153289-winter-driving.html
http://www.hyundai-forums.com/269-gd-2013-elantra-gt/151034-185-60-15-winter-tire.html
http://www.hyundai-forums.com/269-gd-2013-elantra-gt/150916-tpms-sensors.html

I haven't mentioned TPMS because the Canadian GT does not have them. I believe the US version might though?

Please feel free to contribute anything else!
 

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I have directional snows by a company called Sailun. I was skeptical because they're a Chinese tire and they were cheap ($700 on rims installed by a local tire shop) but they proved last winter to be way better than the non directional Goodyears I had on my Malibu. Oh and I stuck with factory size. Makes no sense to downsize in my opinion, you just screw up your odometer.
 

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My trim GT came with 17in tires, but I went down to the next lower trim tire size (16in). If you stay at one of the sizes offered by Hyundai for the 2013 GT then your odo will be fine.

I have the Michelin Xi3 for my GT. I had the original X-Ice for my Saturn, and had the Xi2 for my Touring, and so I stuck with the Michelins for the GT.

I do tend to rely on Tire Rack reviews a lot when researching tires (even though the Coopers I have on the GT for 3 seasons are not found on there). I would take a look at the various ratings and get something that suits you.

Here are the survey ratings for the various winter tires:
http://www.tirerack.com/tires/surveyresults/surveydisplay.jsp?type=W&VT=C

I liked the noise and traction numbers for the Xi3s, but really I think any of the upper rated winters in the studless section will be good for Ottawa.
 

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Gislaved Nordfrost 5. Amazing on my wife's 2012 Mazda 5 last winter. Spent 6 weeks in Ottawa from early December to the end of January. With the traction and stability control on, I simply couldn't get the van to slide on the Gislaveds. Just incredible.

When I wear out the Blizzaks (which are garbage IMO) that are going onto my GT (transplants from my Saturn Astra), I'm getting a set of the Gislaveds.

AND - they are not that expensive either!
 

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Don't remember off the top of my head what snow tires I run, but they came with the car on a separate set of steel rims when I bought it last December.

Just a couple tips:

-Go with a more narrow tread and taller sidewall on a smaller rim. (If you have 16 or 17" summer rims, go with 15" steelies for winter)
-Make sure the overall tire diameter is the same or as close to oem spec. as possible (this is to ensure proper speedometer and odometer readings).
-Don't go with a particular brand just because of the name. Look at the tires them selves. Some of the much cheaper brands actually make very good performing winter tires that are every bit as good as or better than the more expensive brands.
-Look for soft tread compound, tread blocks with large gaps and lots of sipes (tiny jagged cuts) in the tread blocks.
-The more knobby (bigger blocks and gaps) and less sipes the better they will be in snow and not so good on ice.
-The less knobby but more sipes (more tiny cuts), the better they will be on ice and not so good in snow.
-Try to find a tire that has a tread pattern with a good balance of those two key features.
 

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I would also add here...
- performance tires are for highway usage with least amount of snow (those are mainly to provide grip in cold weather)
- if you experience heavy snow go with regular snow tires (stud/studless)
- do not worry about studdable tires - you can still use them without studs
- as MEC-777 said - do not fall on brand. Sometimes it is better to go with cheaper one if performance is similar. They will not last long. Hence, it is easier to spend 80/tire again in 3 years as opposed to keep deeply worn 120/tire
- I second the thought of smaller tire/wheel. You get more grip as the tire is not so hard in contact with surface due to taller sidewall.


I personally use General Altimax. Some review say they are the best, some say Michelin X-ice (Xi2 or Xi3) is much better. But what brought me was the overall price/performance ratio.

Look on tirerack's tests. I prefer the spider charts. When hoover on the tire of interest you will see shadowed area on the chart showing you how it performs comparing to others.

Take into account all options - noise on highway, steering response, deep snow/ice grip, wet/dry conditions and so on. You know your winter and your driving style.
With all those, and price of course, go with this what seems to be good.
Also, pay attention to miles driven on this particular tire to make sure the reviews are legit.


And I think the worst winter tire will outperform the best all season...
 

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-Make sure the overall tire diameter is the same or as close to oem spec. as possible (this is to ensure proper speedometer and odometer readings).
I tackle this issue by buying an oem size tire from a lower trim (ie I have the GT tech package that has 17in wheels, but I bought winter tires that were same size as oem GT GLS trim level...smaller tire, but keeps the odo correct without much thinking on my part, which is always a good thing ;p)

Also, the General Altimax PLP mentioned is a solid tire. I have never used them, but those I know who have (just east of Toronto) love them. If I did not have some weird favoritism for the X-Ice tires, I would have went for those.
 

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Great to see another Ottawa driver posting.. we need more identified! Anyways..

I'll be going with a 195/65r15 this winter..for cost, and width reasons. Not sure about the brand yet, but it'll be something mid-range.

Actually these Coopers look really good to me...lots of sipes, and big blocky builds for those 6"+ dumps we get mid-winter. I got my track tires from DTD, and they're great guys to work with. See the attachment...$280 shipped to Ogdensburg. $20 for the trip down + taxes at the border and you're golden.

For mounting/balancing, go speak to Ralf at Canadian Tire on Carling - he does a lot of the track guys' stuff, on their racecars, and they did a great job on my tires when I went there. Took a little time, but that's a whole other story..try and drop a 2nd set of wheels off if you can :p
 

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wait maybe a little...

Discount Tire has promotion going on (from time to time) when they offer 100 OFF on set of 4 tires...
 

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Didn't think 15s would fit our cars. Thought 16s were the smallest for them?
 

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15's definitely fit.

I picked up a set of 15" steel rims from Costco and had the new 195/65R15 Canadian Tire Motomasters installed.

Car's driven every day in and around Ottawa. City streets, Queensway, and many times a week up into the Gatineaus early mornings and late nights on snowy/slushy/slippery conditions. Worked well and very inexpensive. The only thing I'd do differently is have them installed somewhere other than Canadian Tire.
 

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I have a set of Nokian Hakkapeliitta on the stock alloy rims. First season using these but I'm pretty confident they will be a good tire. I've used Hankook w409iPike tires on my previous two cars, with great success.
 
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Anyone know off hand if I can use 215/70 16's on the Gt for winter's? They're off my prior veh and still have lots of life in them. Thx!

Bt
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for the advice everyone! Just in case anyone is wondering, I did confirm with Costco they'll install any size that's safe/allowed on a vehicle. So for ours, they'll do 15" (195/65R15).

Michelin X-Ice Xi3 tires are on sale right now there but as many people have said it's not always best to rely on brand. Still haven't decided which tires I'm going to get but we'll see!
 

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15's definitely fit.

I picked up a set of 15" steel rims from Costco and had the new 195/65R15 Canadian Tire Motomasters installed.

Car's driven every day in and around Ottawa. City streets, Queensway, and many times a week up into the Gatineaus early mornings and late nights on snowy/slushy/slippery conditions. Worked well and very inexpensive. The only thing I'd do differently is have them installed somewhere other than Canadian Tire.
I'm another one from Ottawa. I have an Elantra GT and I'm also down sizing from 215/55R16 to 195/65R15. As long as the diameters are maintained, it will not affect the odo. My reason for downsizing is that you get better grip in winter on a narrower surface area on covered surfaces such as snow slush etc. The car is light so I want the most traction possible.

I'm ordering my tires from tirerack.com and driving into Ogdensburg to have them installed. I'm equipping the Elantra and the Santa Fe with Bridestone Blizzaks, aluminum rims for the Santa Fe and steel wheels with covers for the Elantra for around 1450 US.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
I'm trying to find 15" hubcentric steel wheels for our car.

For those of you who bought/own 195/65R15 tires and steel wheels, could you tell me what wheels you have and whether they're hubcentric or not?

Both 1010tires and Canadian Tire list part# X45475 as a 15" hubcentric wheel that will fit our car. Tirerack shows a wheel that will work but won't give me the wheel name.

Costco, unfortunately, doesn't list any 15" wheels for our car in their steel wheel guide. The manager I spoke to yesterday guessed the hubcentrics for the Elantra Touring might fit (X45114 or X40881) but since no 15" wheels are listed in their guide he recommended I talk to my dealer before buying.

The dealer, of course, told me Costco is the devil and to never go back there. They also wouldn't tell me what wheel part# is the 15" hubcentric, and just kept trying to "get me in to talk". Riiiight...

Any help would be appreciated!

Edit: to add to the confusion, the Kia Forte (same body as our car?) lists a 15" tire and says the X45114 will fit. But it says the X45475 is only a universal fit (which I don't want).


 

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Tirerack recommends the 195/65 15s for the elantra GT. I have a set of 195/60 15s from my old car on steel rims. Only used for one season. Would these fit and be safe to use on the elantra??
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Tirerack recommends the 195/65 15s for the elantra GT. I have a set of 195/60 15s from my old car on steel rims. Only used for one season. Would these fit and be safe to use on the elantra??
Check out these tire calculators:

Tire size calculator
Tire Size Calculator - Tire & Wheel Plus Sizing
Tire Size Calculator

Compared to 205/55r16, 195/65r15 has a diameter variance of 0.41%, whereas 195/60/r15 is 2.67%.

I've read that the largest variance you want is 3%, so you could be okay, but I'm afraid I don't know enough about the consequences. Check out the other hyundai forums winter tire posts in my original post, or do search the maximum difference that's safe and you can probably read about the pros/cons there.
 
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