Michelin X-Ice Xi3 vs Bridgestone Blizzak Ws80

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Shopping around for winter tires can be tricky because the majority of the top products on the market are very similar. It’s hard to determine which tires are best for your vehicle without diving into some time-consuming research.

I mean, whose got time for that? It’s not like we’re in a lockdown and have all this extra free time to do tire research.

Jokes aside, if you don’t know what you’re looking for it can be tough to start researching. Different customer reviews, tire ratings and performance metrics are scattered across multiple websites which can be tedious to click through (especially if you have slow internet).

In this article, we compare two of the most popular winter tires on the market, the Bridgestone Blizzak WS80 and the Michelin X-Ice Xi3. Buying tires isn’t a small purchase, so we want to make sure your armed and ready with the information necessary before you decide on a tire model.

bridgestone blizzak ws80

Bridgestone Blizzak WS80

Dry Performance
0%
Wet Performance
0%
Winter/ Snow Performance
0%
Comfort
0%
Treadwear
0%

Ice Braking Distance (50km/hr)

53.5 meters

Snow Braking Distance (80km/hr)

51.6 meters

Price Range

$186 – $245

michelin x ice xi3

Michelin X-Ice Xi3

Dry Performance
0%
Wet Performance
0%
Winter/ Snow Performance
0%
Comfort
0%
Treadwear
0%

Ice Braking Distance (50km/hr)

52.7 meters

Snow Braking Distance (80km/hr)

52.9 meters

Price Range

$107 – $352

Bridgestone Blizzak WS80

For the past 20 years, Bridgestone has manufactured some of the best winter tires you can purchase on the market. The Bridgestone Blizzak WS80 is no different, these winter tires are designed to provide great performance in the most extreme winter conditions. They are built for all types of sedans, coupes, minivans and SUVs.

NanoPro-Tech Multicell Technology

nanopro tech multi cell

Using their latest NanoPro-Tech Multicell tread compound, Bridgestone has created a snow tire with technology that greatly improves slush, ice and snow traction. The Blizzak WS80’s directional tread pattern utilizes a high number of tread blocks that provide sure-footed gripping power. On top of that, the 3D zig-zag sipes and tread bite particles act like studs which provides some of the best traction you’ll find on a studless winter tire. The optimized tread pattern and circumferential grooves provide excellent wet traction, and response and stability on cold, dry pavement.

One thing you’ll notice is the overall ride comfort of these tires. They provide some of the most comfortable tires on the market and they are relatively quiet – which is great for road trips.

Tire Sizes & Warranties

The Blizzak WS80 currently comes in sizes ranging from 15-18″, and speed ratings of T and H. According to customer reviews, tread life is pretty decent. Here are the warranties available for this tire:

Treadlife Warranty: None 

Uniformity Warranty: First 2/32″ of wear

Workmanship & Materials Warranty: 5 Years / Prorated until 2/32″ remaining depth.

Manufacturer’s Road Hazard Warranty: None

Michelin X-Ice Xi3

A direct competitor the Blizzak WS80, the X-Ice Xi3 is the third iteration in the X-Ice series lineup and performs very well in extreme winter conditions. Compared to the previous model (Xi2) the Xi3 includes a variety of new technologies including a self-locking siping pattern, a caterpillar drive feature, and more tread blocks at different angles.

More tread blocks = More grooves & channels = Better snow & water evacuation.

Cross Z Sipes

The Michelin X Ice Xi3 has independent shoulder blocks and intermediate tread blocks that feature multiple micro-pumps and variable angle Cross Z Sipes that deliver outstanding snow and ice traction. On top of that, the Cross Z Sipes increase tread and shoulder block stability to provide extra stiffness that enhances durability and performance on dry and wet roads.

Caterpillar Drive

Michelin has built in small raised blocks in the central channel of the Ice Xi3 that provide better grip when driving in deep snow.

Tire Sizes & Warranties

The Michelin X Ice Xi3 currently comes in sizes ranging from 14″ to 19″, and feature a speed rating of T and H. One of the perks of Michelin is their great warranties:

Treadlife Warranty: 6 Years / 40,000 Miles (when worn to 2/32″ depth) Half mileage for rear if different size than front Must be used during winter months only 9/1 to 4/30

Uniformity Warranty: 1 Year / first 2/32″ of wear

Workmanship & Materials Warranty: 6 Years / Free replacement first year, 2/32″ or 25% of wear, then prorated until 2/32″ remaining depth

Manufacturer’s Road Hazard Warranty: None

Manufacturer Special Warranty: 60-day satisfaction (1), 3-yr flat changing

X Ice Xi3 vs. Blizzak WS80: Snow Performance

bridgestone blizzak ws80

Bridgestone Blizzak WS80

Winter/ Snow Performance
0%
Light Snow Performance
0%
Deep Snow Performance
0%

Snow Braking Distance (80km/hr)

51.6 meters

Snow Traction (Acceleration up to 35km/hr)

5.9 seconds

michelin x ice xi3

Michelin X-Ice Xi3

Winter/ Snow Performance
0%
Light Snow Performance
0%
Deep Snow Performance
0%

Snow Braking Distance (80km/hr)

52.9 meters

Snow Traction (Acceleration up to 35km/hr)

6 seconds

In the independent tests done by All Tyre Tests the Bridgestone Blizzak WS80 just barely beats the Michelin X-Ice Xi3.

Starting with the snow braking distance, the Blizzak WS80 placed in 3rd overall (out of 10) with a braking distance of 51.6 meters. The Michelin X-Ice Xi3 finished in 8th place with a braking distance of 52.9 meters. Both of these tires performed fairly well in this test being within just 2 meters of the leader – Hankook Winter i*cept iZ2 at 50.9 meters. With a difference of only 1.3 meters between the two models, it’s tough to make a final decision based off this metric.

Let’s move onto the snow traction performance.

In the same test done by All Tyre Tests, the Michelin X-Ice Xi3 placed in last place with an overall acceleration time of 6 seconds. While the Bridgestone Blizzak WS80 had an overall acceleration time of 5.9 seconds. It’s worth noting the leader, Continental VikingContact 7, had an acceleration time of 5.7 seconds, only 0.3 seconds faster than the X-Ice Xi3.

Our Pick: Bridgestone Blizzak WS80

Snow performance between this two tires is pretty close, but the Blizzak WS80 takes the win because of the snow braking score. Snow braking is extremely important when deciding on a set of winter tires because you never know when you’ll have to slam the brakes in an emergency.

X Ice Xi3 vs. Blizzak WS80: Ice Performance

bridgestone blizzak ws80

Bridgestone Blizzak WS80

Winter/ Snow Performance
0%
Ice Traction
0%

Ice Braking Distance (50km/hr)

53.5 meters

Ice Traction (Acceleration up to 20km/hr)

5.5 seconds

michelin x ice xi3

Michelin X-Ice Xi3

Winter/ Snow Performance
0%
Ice Traction
0%

Ice Braking Distance (50km/hr)

52.7 meters

Ice Traction (Acceleration up to 35km/hr)

5.6 seconds

In the independent tests done by All Tyre Tests the Bridgestone Blizzak WS80 and Michelin X-Ice Xi3 have pretty similar results.

Starting with the ice braking distance, the Blizzak WS80 placed in 7th overall (out of 10) with a braking distance of 53.5 meters. The Michelin X-Ice Xi3 finished in 4th place with a braking distance of 52.7 meters. Both of these tires performed fairly well in this test being within just 2 meters of the leader – Continental VikingContact 7 at 51.9 meters. With a difference of only 0.8 meters between the two models, it’s tough to make a final decision based off this metric.

Let’s move onto the ice traction performance.

In the same test done by All Tyre Tests, the Michelin X-Ice Xi3 placed in last place with an overall acceleration time of 5.6 seconds. While the Bridgestone Blizzak WS80 had an overall acceleration time of 5.5 seconds. It’s worth noting the leader, Continental VikingContact 7, had an acceleration time of 5.1 seconds, only 0.5 seconds faster than the X-Ice Xi3, and there is only a 0.1 second difference between the two models.

Our Pick: Tie

Ice performance between this two tires is again pretty close, so we decided to give these tires a tie for this category. Although customer reviews indicate they like the ice performance of the WS80 better, the difference is so small it comes down to personal preference.  

Bridgestone Blizzak vs Michelin X-Ice: Pros & Cons

Michelin X-Ice Xi3

Bridgestone Blizzak WS80

So, which one is the better tire?

With snow and ice performance tests being relatively close, it all comes down to what you need for your vehicle and lifestyle. If you live in the country and will need to drive on unplowed roads, the Blizzak WS80 is the right pick due to their unmatched deep snow traction. If you live in the city, the X-Ice Xi3 is the way to go as they have better handling and performance on dry roads.

Both tire brands are world class, so it’s all a matter of personal preference with these two winter tires. We hope you enjoyed our comparison, please feel free to leave any comments about your experiences with these tires.

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