Nokian WR A3

The Nokian WR A3 is a Winter Ultra High Performance tyre designed to be fitted to a Passenger Car.

Nokian WR A3
74%[average]
Dry Grip
92%
Wet Grip
87%
Road Feedback
88%
Progressiveness
82%
Wear
90%
Comfort
91%
Buy Again
85%

Nokian WR A3 Reviews (4)

100%
Breakdown Score
  • Dry Grip 10
  • Wet Grip 10
  • Road Feedback 10
  • Handling 10
  • Wear 10
  • Comfort 10
  • Buy again 10

Tyre reviewed on

A Combination of Roads for 3,000 Spirited miles

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII 5SPD

Absolutely amazing grip. Put these on for our road trip across Europe and not once did they let us down. Excellent in snow and wet conditions and surprisingly brilliant in the dry.

Hands down, better than other winter tyres i've experienced.

Tyre size reviewed: 245-40-18-
97%
Breakdown Score
  • Dry Grip 10
  • Wet Grip 10
  • Road Feedback 10
  • Handling 10
  • Wear 8
  • Comfort 10
  • Buy again 10

Tyre reviewed on

Mostly Town for 1,200 Spirited miles

Honda Civic 1.8 VTEC Sport

When I ordered new 16" alloy's for winter for my Civic, I chose Nokian WR A3 tyres to go on them. My broter in law is driving his Nokians for the third winter now and has always been content.
I specifically chose the A3 (assymetric) over the cheaper D3 (symetric) cause I prefer assymetric tyres so I can rotate to each corner. The reviews on this site helped a little, but since there were only 34 reviews not so much.

On my other car I've got the much more expensive, and simply fantastic, Michelin A4 winter tyres. But to be honest, untill now the Nokians simply keep up for far less money. Grip is excellent in every condition, steering became much smoother compared to the 225/40 18 Goodyear F1 Assymetric 2 summer tyres and these Nokian WR A3 are extremely quit.

I can't comment on wear because they've only been driven 2000 km until now, but I think for most people wear isn't the main concern when buying winter tyres. I will write a new review after coming winter and when they've had some snow, but I thought it would be a good idea to write one now because these tyres don't have many reviews untill now.

I will buy these again.

Tyre size reviewed: 205-55-16-H
91%
Breakdown Score
  • Dry Grip 9
  • Wet Grip 10
  • Road Feedback 9
  • Handling 9
  • Wear 9
  • Comfort 9
  • Buy again 9

Tyre reviewed on

Mostly Town for 120 Spirited miles

Skoda Octavia

Very Usefull

Tyre size reviewed: 225-45-17-H
100%
Breakdown Score
  • Dry Grip 10
  • Wet Grip 10
  • Road Feedback 10
  • Handling 10
  • Wear 10
  • Comfort 10
  • Buy again 10

Tyre reviewed on

Mostly Country Roads for 6,000 Average miles

Toyota Avensis

Having read a lot of good reports about Nokian winter tyres, knowing their market position as world leader in winter tyre technology and the fact they’re designed and made in Finland, I thought they’d be more than good enough for me in Lancashire, UK.

I bought 4 x 215/50/17 WR A3’s (£400) from mytyres and fitted them to my car in October 2012. My aim was not only to use them throughout winter but to leave them on all year and see if I notice any peculiarities with them in hotter weather.

You always read scare stories on the internet about “don’t use winter tyres in summer” . . . “they’ll melt or explode” . . . “they’re rubbish above 11 deg C” and so on.

However, Michelin, Goodyear and Continental have all stated that “if you want to remain mobile all year round, using winter tyres in the summer is far less of a compromise than using summer tyres in the winter. Faced with choosing a tyre to travel on all year round we’d choose winter tyres.”

My findings . . .

Winter time

I live in the hills with only one cobbled road that accesses our village. This road is also unadopted by the council which means no gritters come up here to plough or spread grit for us – basically, we have well over a mile of road which is untreated, twisty and steep before we connect with the main road.

So far as I’m concerned we had a very good winter over 2012 / 2013 (plenty of below-zero days and lots of deep snow) and I have to say the stories you read about how good Nokian winter tyres are true: huge amounts of tractive force can be generated on either loose or well-compacted snow. Great directional grip on those surfaces is confidence-inspiring and its ability to deal with conditions that constantly swap such as tarmac-slush-tarmac-slush at 50-60mph without the car being dragged offline is staggering. These tyres enable you to leave most other cars, including Audi Quattros, behind in such conditions (probably because they’re using summer tyres).

At the end of January 2013 we had 10-inches of snow fall overnight. My wife, son and I had to get to Haydock (60 mile round trip) in the morning, however, when we saw the car buried to just above the door sills we thought this might prove too deep. Anyway, we all got ready at 7am but we accepted that we might not be going anywhere – nobody else from our village, including Toyota RAV4 and Suzuki Grand Vitara owners, had attempted to leave.

Undeterred, I removed the snow off the car leaving it surrounded by about 14-16 inches of snow. I got in the car, reversed it a couple of feet, disabled the traction control and put the auto-transmission in ‘snow’ mode and set off reasonably quickly to break through the number-plate deep snow in front of the car. I managed to get half the car out of its parking space and it ground to a halt, beached on the snow. I hit reverse and the car, luckily, went back into its parking space. I tried again but with more aggression . . . . and blasted straight out!

Feeling super-proud of the Nokian’s I set off out of the village on my own to see if it was possible to get to the main road (it’s all moderate inclines on the way out of the neighbourhood then you head all the way down the twistyhill to the main road). As I drove passed all the neighbours’ homes I got a real sense of satisfaction as my front-wheel-drive car trudged through snow. The snow was constantly scraping the underside of my car, however, I was confident we weren’t going to be imprisoned in our home by the weather. Then I got stuck exiting a 90-degree turn on the narrow village road because I lost all my momentum. It took about 5 attempts reversing and going forwards to get me along a 50ft mild incline. I put this down to the car’s underside dragging (beaching) on the snow preventing the tyres from biting effectively.

I managed to get to the main road and return home to pick up the family. We headed out to Haydock and tackled difficult conditions all the way there. For example, while everyone was avoiding the outside lane on the East Lancs dual carriageway due to snow / slush I made a path for myself overtaking (not dangerously) all the slow-moving vehicles on the inside lane. The look of disbelief on every 4x4 owner I passed on that road was priceless. Nobody had the confidence to swap lanes and follow me.

Of note – I witnessed the two neighbours (RAV4 and Vitara) who both got stuck exiting the village. The Vitara had to do a lot of shuffling back and forth to get out of its parking space behind where I was parked spinning all four wheels. The RAV4 slithered to a stop, with all 4 wheels spinning, on an incline up the road from my house and was rescued by 4 or 5 people with shovels. Both owners use summer tyres but thought 4wd would overcome this.

Summer time

I have to say that these tyres felt very much at home throughout summer. For readers outside the UK, this year’s summer was, for once, brilliant: long spells of hot weather and plenty of blue-sky days. Temperatures of28 deg C proved no issue at all for the WR A3’s; they gave superb levels of grip on roundabouts, twisty roads and responded well to sudden changes in direction as well as hard braking.

No matter the conditions, the WR A3’s are very quiet (massively more so that the constantly-droaning Nexen n3000 tyres the car came with). I would say they’re probably the quietist tyre I’ve had on any car I’ve owned. Directional stability on the motorway is excellent as is steering accuracy and the tyres’ ability to track a particular line on the road or through a corner is as good as any summer tyre I’ve ridden on.

It’s true to say that this is the 1st time I have used winter tyres all year round and I have not noticed any loss of performance, drop in fuel economy or outright grip levels when driving hard.

Wear

In the 6,000 miles I covered in 12 months the front tyres have only lost 1mm of tread and they have not been rotated with the rears. The rear tyres still have the 8mm tread depth indictor number still stamped into the treadblock – a superb feature of Nokian tyres; all you need do is read the built-in (8mm, 6mm, 4mm, *[snowflake symbol]) tread depth number stamped in the central band of the tyre and it tells you how much tread you have left before the tyre needs replacing.

Verdict

I used to cover 50,000 miles per year for 15 years in expensive company cars and have used every make of premium summer tyre (Continental / Bridgestone / Pirelli / Michelin / Goodyear etc) at a cost of £500 per pair on quite a few cars. Most only lasted 10k miles before needing replacing. So I know what the best summer tyres perform like in all conditions. I’m well aware of how long ultra-low-profile sticky tyres don’t last, how expensive they are and how frighteningly unpredictable wide tyres can be a low speeds driving on just a dusting of snow.

Believe me, even though Nokian are not priced like the premium brands (and are listed as ‘mid-range’ by TyreReviews), I can assure you that their WR A3 winter tyres are every bit as good in summer and comprehensively outclass them come winter time. This is a tyre you can be totally confident of using every day of the year.

General observations

1) One of the great things about having winter tyres is that all roads (short cuts, housing estates, A or B roads, country lanes etc.) are still viable options for you to use in the snow to avoid queuing and getting stuck with every other person on the road.

2) Using summer tyres in testing winter conditions forces you to travel on the gritted main roads or stick on the motorway gridlocked with everyone else.

3) When the snow is coming down hard, most people in the UK are afraid to travel anywhere in their summer tyre equipped cars (as they will likely get stuck, not get to their destination or back home, or risk an expensive accident) but with winter tyres you can head out with the knowledge that you can go places and return home.

4) They work all year round as I have just proved. My findings back-up the statements from Michelin, Continental and Goodyear.

5) No need to buy a 4x4 and suffer the running costs of it all the time when there is no snow on the ground (To get you through the winter months - that’s why you bought it, right? Shame 95% of 4x4 / soft-roaders come fitted with summer tyres, thus, leaving you no better off than most other folks come the frost, snow and ice. In fact, you’re probably worse off as you have a much heavier vehicle to stop or get round corners . . . )

6) I don’t have to worry when I’m out and about as I know my tyres will handle any conditions thrown at them. Also, I can get my family, including my toddler son, back to our front door in some extremely tough conditions.

7) If you hate driving on snow it’s probably because you’ve had a lot of scary moments sliding about uncontrollably or you have been stuck a lot. My advice to you is to buy some winter tyres, run them until they wear out and you will become confident once again in snowy conditions.

Nokian have a tag line: “Forget the Forecasts” – my experience with Nokian WR A3 wholeheartedly underlines this.

In Finland, a place renowned for severe winters ever winter, they have a saying the British would do well to listen to: “Winter tyres first. 4x4 second.” I couldn’t agree more.

Mike

Tyre size reviewed: 215-50-17-
100%
Breakdown Score
  • Dry Grip 10
  • Wet Grip 10
  • Road Feedback 10
  • Handling 10
  • Wear 10
  • Comfort 10
  • Buy again 10

Tyre reviewed on

Mostly Town for 3,800 Spirited miles

Opel Vectra C 3.2 GTS

Excellent - switched from UG7 and this is way better!

Tyre size reviewed: 225-45-17-H
100%
Breakdown Score
  • Dry Grip 10
  • Wet Grip 10
  • Road Feedback 10
  • Handling 10
  • Wear 10
  • Comfort 10
  • Buy again 10

Tyre reviewed on

Mostly Country Roads for 2,000 Average miles

Alfa Romeo Giuiletta

fantasctic, buy with confidence! I work for nokia lol so they made me say this crap:)) now for real, great all around, just can't comment on the wear since only half a winter.

Tyre size reviewed: 205-55-16-H
93%
Breakdown Score
  • Dry Grip 8
  • Wet Grip 9
  • Road Feedback 10
  • Handling 9
  • Wear 10
  • Comfort 10
  • Buy again 9

Tyre reviewed on

A Combination of Roads for 500 Spirited miles

Nissan 350z

A heavy 3.5l V6 with rear wheel drive is always a little bit scary to drive in the winter but these tyres are superb and great value.

Fantastic grip and good in the dry as well as wet

Can't comment on wear as I only had them on for about 500 miles before switching over to my summer tyres

Tyre size reviewed: 245-45-18-
90%
Breakdown Score
  • Dry Grip 10
  • Wet Grip 9
  • Road Feedback 10
  • Handling 8
  • Wear 9
  • Comfort 8
  • Buy again 9

Tyre reviewed on

A Combination of Roads for 5,000 Average miles

BMW 520d Tourer

These tyres I have are run flats - for my 5 series E61. They were great. Last year I had bought my father in law the same tyres for his tiguan in a non-runflat variety. He hadn't got much snow-use out of them as we had a mild winter that year. However, this winter we've both used the tyres and I have to say I'm very impressed with the wr a3 runflats. I was half expecting them to struggle in the snow and ice, but they were pretty sure footed. I have to say my awd audi with vredestein (non runflat) were more surefooted, but that's neither here nor there. The 5 series allowed us to be mobile even as a family and go about our daily business with little impact. I even took it on some off-beat roads to test the tyres and they never once let us down.

The tyres do lose traction now and again on very thick icy slushy roads, but find purchase again quickly enough with the traction control helping. As examples on our street (with a very small incline) an audi a5, bmw 3 series and mini all with summers struggled and even gave up during the icy/snowy conditions. Our 5 series with the nokians had no issues at all.

I was also impressed with the comfort levels - as far as I can tell they're on a par with my summer runflats - if anything a little quieter and softer. Fuel economy seems a little lower - but that could just be winter conditions...

Love the tyres - I have them mounted on a spare set of alloys I found cheapy off ebay. All in all a very happy bunny and not much looking forward to taking them off for summer. I know some poeple run these tyres year round as they're seen as a bit of an all-season in some countries... Perfect for the UK I think.

Tyre size reviewed: 225-50-17-V
83%
Breakdown Score
  • Dry Grip 8
  • Wet Grip 8
  • Road Feedback 8
  • Handling 8
  • Wear 9
  • Comfort 8
  • Buy again 9

Tyre reviewed on

Mostly Country Roads for 2,500 Average miles

Ford Focus mk2

No comments left

Tyre size reviewed: 205-55-16-H
73%
Breakdown Score
  • Dry Grip 6
  • Wet Grip 6
  • Road Feedback 8
  • Handling 6
  • Comfort 8
  • Buy again 10

Tyre reviewed on

A Combination of Roads for 2,000 Average miles

BMW E61 252d M Sport

Sceptical how much of an improvement Winter tyres, in general, would be over general use summers. Plumped for Nokian on the basis that the Finns must know about cold weather tyres. Conclusion is that they are a revelation. I drove the family to the French alps and hit bad weather on the climb up to the resort. Local Police were turning around all but those who had winter tyres and the car just gripped and drove off, not even a hit of traction loss even on snow covered climb. Tyres provide good feedback, reassurance (especially with two infants in the back)and road noise although above normal summer tyre levels is not intrusive. Absolutley buy again and recommend to anyone. Top product.

Tyre size reviewed: 245-40-18-W

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