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Snow tire sizes + questions

5464 Views 17 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  TripleE
Hello All;

I'm new to this forum and have a quick question about snow tires.
I own a 2006 RRS HSE and after a recent snow trip decided to get a set of dedicated snow tires.
After much research I've settled for Nokians, specifically the Hakkapeliitta R SUV.

Unfortunately they only come on 255/55/19 size. the stock size in my RRS is 255/50/19.

It seems like a small enough difference and the tire guy tells me that he usually installs 255/55/19
on RRS as that's what a local, well respected, LR shop instructs him to do in their cars for snow applications.

Other than the minimal speedo variance, is there anything either cosmetic or mechanical that I should be concerned with?

My other option is to go with Nokian WRG2 SUV in the stock size 255/50/19, this of course is more of a M+S all year tire according to the tire dude who insists that i get the Hakkapeliitta, so much so he's giving me a pretty good price on them $345 ea. installed, balanced and so forth.

After having gone to the mountain on a ski vacation I realized that while the mechanics and electronics of the RRS kept me
on the road safely , my summer TOYOs are pretty much worthless in any king of subzero application. I had to end up putting chains and removing them again what seemed like every 20 miles.

BTW once i chained up the call of the wild came thundering so I couldn't resist driving off road up all kind of ungroomed terrain and logging roads..
WOW it was epic, the RRS was a champ, all those electro/mechanics went to work and for the first time I felt like owning this truck was worth all the gremlins and nuances and, well, you all know.

Needless to say i'm addicted wanna hit those snow trails again but don't want the chain hassles unless it's imperative.

Advice, thoughts and recommendations are welcome.

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G'Day Rafa.

Welcome to this forum and hello to all the snow bunnies in Portland, Oregon as my fellow engineers come from your State dude.

Most of respondents have realised with the significant snow drifts this winter in the Northern Hemisphere that a dedicated set of Ice&Snow tyres are required on another set of rims and swapping over to summer tyres in spring is the correct setup matey !

Can use source a set of 18" RRS rims from British Atlantic ? These are available overseas & allows for greater choice in tyres.


'88 Highline
Perth, W.A.
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The 255/55/19 will be just fine (it's a ~30" overall diameter compared to a ~29" stock) Cosmetically, there will be a little taller sidewall though it's going to be fairly minimal to the eye. The only other thing besides the small speedo difference you would have to worry about is if you ever wanted to use chains with them, I'm not sure of the clearance.
I have the Hakkapeliitta 5 studded's on the stock 19's and they're unbelievable in the snow and ice. I run the stock 20's in the summer (got off of ebay for a grand with tires brand new) so having dedicated snows on the 19's was a no brainer. You won't notice any difference from the marginal size difference.
Thanks to all for for the help. After weighing all options i think i'm going to go with the WR2G the more research I did on the Hakkapeliitta Rs i realized that they're really more for those who pretty much commute/live in inclement and icy weather, which is not my case at all i'll probably drive those conditions twice a year and by choice when going on my family vacations or we get the occasional snow day or two in PDX . Their performance in heavy rain, which is what most of my winter driving entails, seems to be average according to some recent reviews.
I think i was so disappointed with the TOYO Proxes S/T II in the snow/ice that it caused me to to go a little to hard to the other extreme. Thank God for the wife, a.k.a. the voice of reason, who piped in this morning as she had one eye squinting while applying mascara and said, "there you go again..........overkill.......not a snowmobile....we don't live in Finland...."
I'll do a review on the WR2Gs after a few thousand miles for the forum to read.

Thanks again
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I've posted a number of times with my being super happy with the Nokian WR G2 that I've got on my Cayenne. I fully intend to mount up a set for the new RR, too.

I believe (but don't have any evidence beyond experience) that these stack up to any dedicated studless snow & ice and only think they are rated as all season because they come from Nokian (Finland). I drive in the bay area all week in warm weather & dry roads and then head up to Tahoe on the weekends. I am blown away at the grip on plowed roads, unplowed and even ice sections. Great grip.

Some have posted here that they are quite happy running them all year 'round - I love them and am very impressed with the sidewall stiffness, but do enjoy putting the summer tires back on at the end of the year and will continue to do so with the Cayenne as well as for the RR.
Thanks Seano;

Funny thing is that it was your previous postings on the matter that prompted me to research the WRG2s further, so many thanks for that.
Just got them on and my first impression is how much smother the ride feels, I've always felt that with the Proxes the ride was a little stiff for city driving
Thanks again for the advice.
i have a set of the all season nokian's and love em. the car handles snow/slush/whatever really well
Seano said:
... but do enjoy putting the summer tires back on at the end of the year and will continue to do so with the Cayenne as well as for the RR.
Seano, do you keep your Nokians on their own separate set of rims then just swap out the wheels or do you swap only the tyres... oops, tires. I live in SoCal and am thinking of doing similar to what you do for my trips to Big Bear / Mammoth during the winter months but am debating whether to give the Nokians their own rims for the winter.
I bought an extra set of wheel for my winter tyres off ebay.
They were cheap, but then no one wants 16" rims on a P38. :dance:
rafa: no sweat. I seem to have focused on tires on a lot of my cars over the years - very little else in the form of upgrades. I've found that I typically run the tires exactly at vehicle specified pressures and they seem to ride quite well.

tbone89: Seperate rims & tires - I do the swap in my garage approx. every 6 months ... if you wait & watch - many people with these vehicles get upgrade fever and will often sell a spare set of wheels. I personally like factory wheels, but if I can't find a good set at a good price, I've put aftermarkets on for the winter wheels.
Rafa: thanks for bringing this specific question up (Hakka R SUV vs WRG2). Same was going through my mind. Was about to generate a new post when I saw yours. I, too, will go with the WRG2's.

Seano: thanks for the answer on 2nd set of wheels. That pretty much settled it for me and your below quote summed up my "winter driving" scenario exactly.

I drive in the bay area all week in warm weather & dry roads and then head up to Tahoe on the weekends. I am blown away at the grip on plowed roads, unplowed and even ice sections. Great grip.

Just changes tires on my wife's '09 RRS. Continental Cross Contacts were horrible in snow (great for all other conditions). Changed to Vredestein Wintrac 4 Xtreme. Advertised as winter tire on Vredestein web site. Talked to Vredestein representative who said although they are excellent in snow and are presented as a winter tire, they are their all season tire for the RRS. So far so good - handling in snow "dramtatically improved". Very favorable reviews online from others who have switched to Vredestein tires. Hard to get (cound not find at any discount tire shop). Good news is that dealer did recommend and carry them and price was very reasonable - $1,100 installed for four.

Just thought I'd share my experience.

Ok, so it's been about 1.2k miles on the WR2G they're definitely softer tires (wall stiffness) they feel nice for city driving, very S class and 7 series, but for performance I'm seriously unimpressed. I'm just keeping them for winter use et al. I'll go back to my TOYO proxes II for the rest of the year.
Oh, they're awesome in the snow, good bye chains when going skiing and so forth, definetely better than the proxes on heavy rain ( hydro planing is almost non existent) but above 70mph on a windy road it got pretty hairy. They do hold, but ****, the body roll is so not a part of our rides, I felt it was important to post my impressions.

Rafa out!
rafa said:
I had to end up putting chains and removing them again what seemed like every 20 miles.
Rafa, for the chains you used the first time, what was the size of the tire (255/50/19 ?)and what chains? I want to upsize my snows to 255/55/19 and use chains too, but don't know of the clearance.
Hi TripleE
Yes my snow set up is 255/50/19 and the chains I bought at Les Schwab, I think there's a Les Schwab in Boise according to their website. The chains were the "Quickfit diamond tire chains" and they worked great and weren't too expensive, $100 I believe.
As far as clearance, the tires(55/55/19) alone will bring you up to 30" in diameter and I would account another 1.5" for the chains, that puts you .5" below the "safe" 32 limit of our rigs.
Hope that helps.

Interesting...looks like it's going to be close. I was probably going to get the chains from Les Schwab too :thumb: Thanks for the clarification.
I talked to a guy at Les Schwab for a bit and he confirmed that the 3.8mm sized (I'm assuming that's the width of the metal on a link of chain) will fit with a 255/55/19. Once my old 255/50 snows wear out, I'll be trying this. Too bad the chains don't fit both 255/50 and 255/55, there are 2 different sets for them. :(
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