- Superb snow performance
- With the studs on, the tire is excellent on ice
- Predictable at the limit
- Aquaplaning resistance is excellent
- Comfort and noise levels are not the best
- Premium tires may offer a bit better performance
In most cases, car owners settle for a set of all-season tires and are covered for the entire year. There are plenty of areas where the winters are mild, or there are no winters at all, so the need for something more extreme isn’t necessary. What about those that live in areas with harsh winters? Well, they get winter tires, of course.
The main difference between an all-season and winter tire is how they behave in the winter. All-season tires are usable in lighter winter conditions but struggle in harsher ones. On the other hand, winter tires are designed with those harsher conditions in mind. That is why people that live in areas with harsher winters go for these kinds of tires.
In today’s tire market, almost all manufacturers have at least one winter model, even mid-range ones like Firestone. Like most of the rivals in this class, this company is known for making pretty good tires at a more affordable price when compared with the premium ones.
Take Winterforce 2, for example. Firestone claims this is an option for people looking for the performance in the harshest winter conditions without paying a premium price. There are plenty of claims about this tire, but before I decide if any of them stick, let’s take a look at the features.
What's In This Guide?
- What are the features of the Firestone Winterforce 2?
- How does it behave on dry tarmac?
- How does it behave over wet and slippery roads?
- How is it over snow?
- Is it comfortable and refined?
- Is it good for off-roading?
- Is the Firestone Winterforce 2 ideal for sporty driving?
- Firestone Winterforce 2 Warranty
- Firestone Winterforce 2 Pricing: Is it worth the money?
- Should I buy the Firestone Winterforce 2?
- What Vehicles Will the Firestone Winterforce 2 Fit?
- Tire Sizes for Firestone Winterforce 2
What are the features of the Firestone Winterforce 2?
Studdable winter tires aren’t something new, and the Winterforce 2 seems to be a competitive model, on paper at least.
The compound used in making the Winterforce 2 is a special one, designed to remain pliable even in the coldest temperatures. With this, you should get a tire that can deliver traction in situations where others may struggle.
Firestone went with a directional pattern with full-depth grooves, a crucial feature for any winter tire. Having deeper grooves means that the Winterforce 2 can bite into the snow and work with the sipes to keep the tire rolling and provide a safe driving experience.
Speaking of sipes, while they should be good for situations like packed snow or ice, they are also responsible for traction on wet roads. Thanks to the high-density sipes, Firestone claims that the Winterforce 2 should be excellent on damp surfaces.
I mentioned that the sipes help on ice, but there are cases where you’ll need more help, which is where the studs come into play. Since the Winterforce 2 is a studdable tire, it should be capable of delivering superior performance on ice when compared to traditional winter tires.
How does it behave on dry tarmac?
Winter tires aren’t always driven on snow or ice, so dry performance is crucial. While the Winterforce 2 may not be the best dry performer on the market, it’s a pretty good one.
The traction levels are pretty good for a mid-range studdable tire, as it can minimize slip on cold roads. Naturally, its premium competitors are slightly better, but in the mid-range category, the Winterforce 2 is among the better options. Cornering is also pretty good, with a good amount of grip to give you a planted feel so you can go around a corner without worrying about being too fast. On the highway, the tire continues to offer everything that most people would need from a tire from this category.
As good as the tire may be for normal driving, getting too aggressive isn’t something you should do. It’s not a performance winter tire, so the grip and traction levels are limited, and you will notice that the Winterforce 2 will struggle.
Dry Rating: 4/5
How does it behave over wet and slippery roads?
To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect, so I was surprised with the wet performance the Winterforce 2 delivered.
The sipes are doing an excellent job at enabling the Winterforce 2 to grip the road and give a very planted feeling in the corners. Even when you accelerate, the slip will be minimal unless you decide to light up the wheels, so don’t expect wonders. In reality, even the premium tires won’t be immune to this kind of driving.
Even though the limit of the Winterforce 2 isn’t as high as some of its winter rivals, when you start to approach it, you’ll notice that it’s a very predictable tire. These kinds of tires are considered safe, as they won’t catch you by surprise doing something you don’t want to.
Speaking of safety, the aquaplaning resistance is excellent, which is what most winter tires can offer. The deep grooves of the Winterforce 2 are excellent at channeling water, keeping the tire stable at higher speeds. The braking distances, however, aren’t the shortest in this class but are still well within the safe zone.
Wet Rating: 4/5
How is it over snow?
As a mid-range tire, I was surprised by how well the Winterforce 2 performed in snowy conditions. Yes, something like the X-Ice Xi3 is a bit better for snow, but the Firestone model didn’t disappoint as an overall package.
Starting off with the lighter stuff, the Winterforce 2 has no problem putting the power down, regardless if it’s packed or unpacked snow. The tire continues to impress with the performance in deeper snow or slush, which can be tricky. It remains controllable and doesn’t slide around every time you give the car some gas or hit the brakes. The stopping distances are good, but not the shortest I’ve seen from this kind of tire.
Going for the harshest conditions like ice and the Winterforce 2 will begin to struggle a bit. While the sipes are decent at providing traction, you’ll need to think about fitting the studs for these situations. Once you do, the tire transforms and gives superior performance. At times you may even forget that you’re driving on ice.
Wet Rating: 4.5/5
Is it comfortable and refined?
As good as the Winterforce 2 may be in performing on the road, refinement is an area where the tire suffers.
Winter tires are known for being noisy, and the Winterforce 2 is no exception. At slower speeds, things aren’t too terrible, and while the tire produces some noise, it’s not overly intrusive. Things take a turn for the worse on the highway, where the tire can be a bit on the noisy side.
Comfort is another area where the Winterforce 2 isn’t too impressive. The ride quality isn’t overly harsh, but the tire struggles to absorb bumps. It’s especially noticeable with larger holes as you will notice a jolt and feel vibrations into the cabin.
Comfort Rating: 3/5
Is it good for off-roading?
One aspect of a good off-road tire is the tread pattern, which helps with traction in mud. While the Winterforce 2 seems like it would do well, I wouldn’t recommend using it in these conditions.
Winter tires are made with softer compounds, meaning it doesn’t take much to damage them. With this in mind, I wouldn’t drive the Winterforce 2 in off-roading scenarios.
Is the Firestone Winterforce 2 ideal for sporty driving?
A sporty tire needs two things – performance and handling, and the Winterforce 2 lacks in both.
The grip and traction levels may be acceptable for daily driving or maybe pushing it a bit, but for more aggressive scenarios, the Winterforce 2 will struggle.
On the handling side of things, the Winterforce 2 isn’t exceptionally responsive. It’s a similar story with most tires from this category, so it’s not like this one is particularly poor in this regard.
Noise Rating: 3/5
Firestone Winterforce 2 Warranty
In the world of studdable tires, the treadwear warranty is something you won’t be getting. The Winterforce 2, like its rivals from the mid and premium range, has only uniformity, workmanship, and material warranties.
Firestone Winterforce 2 Pricing: Is it worth the money?
As a mid-range option, the Winterforce 2 is a tire that balances price and performance, and it does that pretty well. A 15-inch model costs roughly $20 less than the Cooper Evolution Winter. With that said, the price is similar to the Goodyear WinterCommand.
Value Rating: 3.5/5
Should I buy the Firestone Winterforce 2?
The Winterforce 2 isn’t the best studdable winter tire on the market, but it does make for a decent choice. When it comes to performance, the tire can deliver it consistently in all conditions. It may not be the best choice for driving on the limit, but it will be more than enough for most drivers.
All of this performance comes in a package that won’t cost you as much as the premium, which is what makes it even more attractive. With that said, comfort and noise levels aren’t overly impressive and are something that you’ll have to live with if you go for the Winterforce 2.
Overall, apart from the refinement, the Winterforce 2 is an excellent band for the buck studdable winter tire.
Value Rating: 3.5/5
What Vehicles Will the Firestone Winterforce 2 Fit?
Here’s a sample list of cars that the Firestone Winterforce 2 will fit:
- Alfa Romeo Mito, 147, 157
- Audi A2, A3, A4
- BMW 1, 2, 3 Series
- Chevrolet Bolt, Malibu, Spark
- Fiat 500, Fiat Punto
- Ford Fiesta, Focus, Ka
- Honda Civic, Accord
- Lexus IS, CT, ES
- Hyundai Accent, i30, i20
- Nissan Micra, Maxima
- Toyota Yaris, Corolla, Camry
- Volkswagen Golf, Passat, EOS
Tire Sizes for Firestone Winterforce 2
- 185/60R14 82S
- 185/65R14 86S
- 175/65R15 84S
- 185/60R15 84S
- 185/65R15 88S
- 195/60R15 88S
- 195/65R15 91S
- 205/65R15 94S
- 205/70R15 96S
- P 205/75R15 97S
- 215/70R15 98S
- 195/50R16 84S
- 205/50R16 87S
- 205/55R16 91S
- 205/60R16 92S
- 205/65R16 95S
- 215/55R16 93S
- 215/60R16 95S
- 225/60R16 98S
- 225/65R16 100S
- 235/60R16 100S
- 205/50R17 93S
- 215/45R17 91S
- 215/50R17 95S
- 215/55R17 94S
- 215/65R17 99S
- 225/45R17 91S
- 225/50R17 94S
- 225/55R17 97S
- 235/55R17 99S
- 225/40R18 92S
- 225/45R18 95S
- 225/50R18 95S
- 225/55R18 98S
- 225/60R18 100S
- 235/45R18 94S
- 235/50R18 101S
List of Firestone Reviews