Wide swaths of the motoring public tend to dislike spending money on new tires, thinking them little more than rubber circles which are all the same. As gearheads, we know the difference of course, and often dive into the purchase with zealous amounts of comparison and opinion. If only we could transfer this enthusiasm to everyone.
Until now, the specter of all-weather tires has been somewhat nebulous. Purported to be a bridge between all-seasons and winters, they used to be derided by some as ‘good at everything but great at nothing.’ But tire tech has come a great distance in a short amount of time, particularly from brands like Nokian which plow cubic acres of dollars into their R&D departments.
Case in point: that company of Finnish origin but with a plant stateside, has decided to launch a new tire entertainingly called the Remedy. With a name like that, you know what the marketing is going to entail, right? Take four and call me in the morning. Dad jokes aside, Nokian feels this all-season tire will be the, ahem, remedy for drivers in areas which see infrequent-but-not-impossible winter conditions and desire to retain a modicum of control when temps drop. Whether that foul weather is local or the result of heading to Vail for a weekend’s skiing doesn’t matter; the point remains that extra grip in cold conditions is required.
Indeed, spox from Nokian told us their target markets for the Remedy WRG5 are areas where winter weather visits, or where drivers visit wintry areas.
“That includes areas like Toronto or Vancouver,” explained Wes Boling, senior comms manager at Nokian. “Places where drivers want that extra bit of security that if occasional winter weather hits, they’re ready.” Boling also gave his own personal example of winter trekking from Nashville to Ottawa to visit family.
All-weather tires have historically been casually side-eyed by many drivers, since all-seasons were traditionally the bridge between summer and winter rubber. The key with a proper all-weather tire – as our own Chris Tonn rightly pointed out in our Slack channel – is an appearance of that three-peak mountain snowflake symbol, signifying the tire passes muster in terms of grip and other industry measures in such conditions.
It’ll have not escaped anyone’s notice the asymmetrical nature of these Nokian Remedy tires, with an inside area featuring snow claw blocks to grab the white stuff, complete with support ribs between the blocks to help with cornering and siping in a tight zig zag pattern. That’s the type of tech which keeps winter-focused tread from exhibiting too much ‘squishy’ feeling so associated with this type of rubber. The outside half of the tread uses an off-center handling band and wide shoulder blocks. It’s a unique appearance and one whose handling and noise properties we hope to compare with traditional tires.
Nokian isn’t the only brand to be diving into this segment in 2024. The crew at Nitto are in the throes of rearranging their Motivo line of rubber to include an all-weather variant, suggesting to anyone who’s familiar with the brand that this could be a tire with tremendous dry grip when winter control isn’t necessary. With the three-peak symbol appearing types of tires beyond traditional winters, some try to make the case clearing that bar is too easy and the industry is giving out the designation like water.
I disagree; after all, the threshold for performance hasn’t changed. Tech just now exists to meet the standard on more tires, suggesting today’s all-weathers are just as good or better than dedicated winters a few short years ago. Your author once put to a tire manufacturer the question of if, with so many 3PMS options on the market, will there be a higher threshold at some point – a four-peak mountain snowflake rating, if you will. The question was met with furrowed brows and knowing smiles, suggesting tire companies are thinking precisely the same thing.
Why do I care if other people are paying attention to proper tire selection? Because I am obligated to share roads with them, that’s why. If clueless morons like Jason the Garbage Man care to run around on what amounts to baloney skins in the dead of winter, everyone around his rusty Hyundai is at risk of him sliding through a stop sign, broadsiding their car and creating needless paperwork. That’s why I refuse to use the word ‘accident’ in situations such as those, since it was an entirely preventable screw-up.
This writer thinks all-weather tires will help immensely. Now, if only we can get other drivers to pay attention.
Become a TTAC insider. Get the latest news, features, TTAC takes, and everything else that gets to the truth about cars first by subscribing to our newsletter.