Before we get into what makes the Bridgestone Blizzak WS80 the best all-around winter tire for coupes, sedans, hatchbacks, minivans and crossovers, let us make it clear that Bridgestone’s snow happy tire isn’t the only competent winter tire out there. The Michelin X-Ice X13 and the Goodyear Ultra Grip tires are also of high quality, to name just a couple alternatives. Still, if you want a winter tire that’s considered to be the best by a wide variety of winter tire buyers and experts, go with the Bridgestone Blizzak WS80. We’re sure you won’t regret it.
While you can no doubt find a tire that is more capable than the Blizzak, doing it at the same price is tough. Also, a more aggressive winter tire might not be as available on as many vehicles. The Bridgestone tire can be purchased for a wide variety of vehicles and tire sizes making it a good buy for just about any vehicle. Still, some trucks and SUVs may have to move to a different Bridgestone or a different brand such as Michelin or Goodyear.
What Makes the Bridgestone Blizzak WS80 Special?
First and foremost, the WS80 is shaped to have a tire footprint that gives it the best traction in winter weather environments. That means weight is evenly distributed so the tread can do its thing in ice, slush or snow. Additionally, there’s the zig-zagging tread pattern and angled tread blocks that work to really dig into the road surface to allow the tires to grip so the driver can maneuver the car. The tread is complete with sipes, which are smaller zig-zagging cuts in the tire, as well as bite particles, which are essentially small rubber tire studs embedded into the tire compound.
While the tread layout and tire shape and footprint are extremely important, there’s plenty of other winter tires that do this as well. What helps to set the Bridgestone Blizzak WS80 tires apart from the competition is the actual material that the tire is built of. The Multicell compound is specifically designed to function well in low traction winter environments.
When a car passes over a winter road, the friction and pressure of the vehicle on the icy or snowy road surface creates a thin layer of water even in temperatures below freezing. This super thin layer of water acts as a lubricant which can spell disaster for motorists. Bridgestone Blizzak WS80 tires Multicell compound is essentially full of microscopic hydrophilic holes that will fill with the thin layer of water and allow the tread to better reach the road surface below. Hydrophilic is simply a way of saying the compound attracts water. So, the porous tires soak up a tiny bit of water to get the tread in contact with what matters. As the tire spins, centrifugal force pulls the water out of the holes, meaning the next time they come into contact with the road surface/water they’ll be ready to do their thing again.
Dry Road Performance is Important, too
Winter tires aren’t just for snow and ice. Even if you live in an area of the country that doesn’t get much winter precipitation, you may still want to consider winter tires for your car. If the temperature drops, purchasing some winter tires is a smart move even if there’s no snow or ice on the road.
When all-terrain tires get cold, they harden. While that might not seem like such a big deal, it can be if your tires are too hard to grip the road the way they’re supposed to. All winter tires, like the Blizzak, are made of a compound that won’t get quite as hard as summer or all-terrain tires will. This means they’ll be more flexible and can grip the road surface better and keep your car on its intended path.
The Bridgestone Blizzak WS80 tires feature a pliable compound. This makes them good for winter dry road conditions as well as snowy and icy conditions. While the tread pattern is primarily designed to handle ice and snow, the engineers and designers didn’t forget about dry conditions either. The tread will work great on a cold dry road, too.