#1) Bridgestone Blizzak LM-25 215/45/17 on stock wheels - Winter tires - price paid ... well, I got the buddy deal. $580 out the door with mounting, balancing, and road hazard protection.
34,900 miles at time of mounting.
41,800 miles when swapped out for summer tires (RE050A PP in 225/45/17 - see post #87 3/31/07)
53,200 miles when mounted on Rota Tarmac I rims for winter
#2) Minneapolis, MN
#3) Standard city driving, Commuting, Some aggressive leisure driving.
#4) Probably 50/50 highway/city driving
#5) Formerly running stock RE92s (and updated after running RE050A PP for a summer)
#6) This is an early review as I just got these 2 days ago and put about 100 miles on them. The weather has been in the 40's and 50's so the tires aren't in their element yet. The RE92s were getting really loud at 35,000 miles, so the improvement in road noise was immediately welcome. As for handling - braking, cornering, ride comfort, etc ... The biggest thing I notice is the softer sidewall than the RE92. Under harder cornering, the car seems to wobble a little bit with more understeer upon initiating a turn and a slight tendency toward oversteer when easing out of the turn. Braking seems to be similar to the worn RE92's. Maybe a little less grip, but hard to judge and it's still a close call. I'm looking forward to trying these tires in colder weather and wetter conditions where they should begin to shine. I'll update this review as those opportunities come.
Ok, I'm up to 1,200 miles on these shoes and my opinions have changed a bit. These tires are awesome so far. They're better than the RE92s for sure, and the issues I was running into at first with what I felt was a softer sidewall I think turned out to be more from the unusually warm (50's) weather I was experiencing. In cooler conditions (20's, 30's and 40's) these tires don't seem so mushy. Also, turn in seems to be just fine ... it took a couple days is all to made adjustments from the old rubber. If anything, turn in has been improved and it takes less input from the wheel to point the car where I want it. Funny how we adapt and don't realize just how much we change our driving style over time to accomodate for things like that.
Currently, my only complaint is that while the tires are very competent, they don't give much in the way of feedback, so while they seem to hold very well in the wet, they don't necessarily inspire confidence. On the other hand, it could be that I haven't pushed them yet, but I'll worry about that later.
Update: now at about 2500 miles. Drove in light snow yesterday and tried to get a feel for the limits of the tires in light snow yesterday. In the open parking lot ... I couldn't shake the car loose. I'm looking at about a half inch of wet snow and I just couldn't get them to break away. Plenty more miles in the dry too and they stick very well. Cornering is solid and I still haven't pushed them to the limit at all, but regardless, the limit is a bit higher than I'm comfortable finding. Very good in the rain. While cornering seems solid, I still have some small questions on braking performance. I made a "panick" stop the other day, and they didn't seem to bite that well, but it's only one example so far and can't say the tires have performed poorly in any other instance. It could have just as easily been that the ABS didn't react as well to that situation.
6,000 mile Update: Still love the Blizzak. My new complaint on these tires is that they stick so well on wet, snow, slush, etc. that when I actually encounter real Ice, it freaks me out that they aren't sticking anymore. These tires have been awesome through the winter and the couple real snows we received in Minneapolis. Tires are plenty quiet, ride nicely, handle very well (still don't feel comfortable finding their limit. It has eluded me for the last 5 months. I'm starting to think that with the warmer temperatures lately, it's time to start looking into my summer rubber. I still think I'm going to go with the RE050A PP (in 225/45/17 guise). Just need to figure out where I'm going to store the winter rubber. I hope dad is feeling generous with garage space.
7,000 mile update: Just installed these on 11/9/07 again for a new winter, now from a cold Minnesota winter to a new Colorado winter where these will see plenty of duty driving up to the mountains for skiing on the weekends. They sure do feel mushy compared to the RE050A PP's, but ride is compliant, noise is minimal, and handling is adequate for dry. I need to take them back to be rebalanced, but otherwise, I'm looking forward to a new season.