Dry Conditions – 80%
Wet Conditions – 90%
Snow – 95%
Comfort – 80%
Noise Reduction – 80%
Durability – 80%
The Nokian Hakkapeliitta R5 isn’t your average winter tire. Your regular winter tire doesn’t hug the road as aggressively or as expansively as this model. Neither do most snow tires that hit the market before the Hakkapeliitta R5 can stop as quickly on slippery roads.
Nor are they as fuel-efficient. If Nokian is to be believed, the Hakkapeliitta R5 has 15.5% lower rolling resistance than its premium competitors. This decrease amounts to significant fuel savings, helping offset at least some of this tire’s astronomical asking price.
Another difference between the Hakkapeliitta R5 and standard snow tires is that this model comes in as many as 160 different sizes. Covering wheels from 14 to 22 inches, the R5 caters to gas cars, SUVs, and light trucks. Electric vehicles can also take advantage.
But can this studless winter tire meet your requirements? That is precisely what our detailed review aims to find out. But we won’t stop at that. Besides highlighting its stability on snow and ice, we’ll also explain how good (or otherwise) this tire is for daily driving.
- Carries the Three Peak Mountain Snowflake symbol
- Delivers superb fuel economy for a dedicated snow tire
- Offers superb, long-lasting ice and snow grip
- Doesn’t come with a treadwear warranty
What Are the Features of the Nokian Hakkapeliitta R5?
Several features make the Hakkapeliitta R5 one of the market’s best winter tires.
The first of which is the Double Block Grip design that can be seen on the tire’s shoulder areas. This stiff row of tread blocks isn’t just there to make this tire look aggressive. Per Nokian, it also increases the contact area by 4%, ensuring better grip on slippery surfaces.
Next come the unique Arctic Grip Crystals. While you cannot see them – these microscopic crystals form the mixture that makes this model’s tread compound, their work is visible for all to see. These crystals create the sharp edges responsible for this tire’s superb grip.
Then, there is the tread compound. Referred to as Green Trace compound, it has slashed the R5’s rolling resistance by up to 4.4% compared to its predecessor. On paper, this decrease may not amount to much. On the road, though, it will ensure significant fuel savings.
Lastly, in any other tire, an increase in tread blocks like the one the R5 has experienced would have increased road noise by quite a few decibels. Fortunately, that’s not the case with this tire, thanks to the new tread distribution that helps cancel out road noise.
How Does It Behave on Dry Roads?
Given that it’s designed for slippery surfaces, I wasn’t expecting much from this tire on dry roads.
Yet the way it performed under the sun surprised me (in a good way). One of the best things I could say after driving the R5 on dry roads is that it didn’t feel like there was a winter tire underneath my Rivian R1T. The ride felt normal to quite a large degree.
Now, that is not to say that this model can stand up to all-season tires.
Premium touring tires will have an edge over it on almost every count, including road manners, riding comfort, fuel economy, and handling characteristics. Also, if you use the Hakkapeliitta R5 for a long time on dry roads, its soft tread may experience irreparable damage.
But the mere fact that I feel obliged to make the above comparison should tell you how satisfied I am with this model’s dry performance. After all, most winter tires become useless the moment snow vanishes from the road, let alone eliciting comparisons with all-season tires.
Nokian Hakkapeliitta R5 on Wet or Slippery Roads
Multiple design elements help the Hakkapeliitta R5 offer excellent grip on slippery surfaces, including:
- Double Block Grip Design – Notice the row of tread blocks that starts from the center before splitting into two as it moves toward the shoulder area? It helps the R5 better grip slippery surfaces by increasing the contact area with the road.
- Arctic Grip Crystals – Forming the mixture that makes this model’s tread compound, this micro-crystals help enhance the tire’s traction on wet surfaces. The result? Short braking distances on roads where other tires struggle the most.
- More siping than the R3 – Per Nokian, this tire comes with 10% increased siping than its predecessor. As someone who has driven both tires, this claim seems to be true, since the Hakkapeliitta R5 offers much higher stability on wet surfaces.
Nokian Hakkapeliitta R5 in Snow
The Hakkapeliitta R5 SUV has everything that distinguishes the best snow tires from the also-rans.
Take, for instance, its unique tread compound. One which stays pliable even when the temperatures drop several degree Celsius below zero. In doing so, it enables the rubber to provide adequate traction no matter how harsh the weather conditions become.
I have already noted that this model features 10% more biting edges than the one it replaced. This means that it has a greater number of contact points with the road surface. That, in turn, allows the tire to grip the road more effectively, giving its snow traction a boost.
Similar good things can be said about its ice performance.
The R5 comes with computer-optimized sipes that work like built-in studs. However, they are different from the ones you see on studded tires. While the latter’s studs remain visible all the time, those on the R5 only emerge as the tire wears down.
The result? A much-needed grip reserve as the tread wears down. So you can expect it to reliably navigate ice throughout its road life.
Nokian Hakkapeliitta R5 for Off-Roading
As you may have guessed by now, the Hakkapeliitta R5 isn’t designed for off-roading.
Its soft sidewall lacks the sturdiness needed to handle the debris common on off-road. Also, while its tread blocks and sipes are excellent at evacuating water and slush, they are powerless against stuck rocks, minerals, and other sharp objects.
As a result, only a few miles of off-roading might be enough to damage the sidewall beyond repair, leaving you with no choice but to replace it. It is thus suggested that you only use this model on paved roads.
Nokian Hakkapeliitta R5 for Sporty Driving
Nothing about the Hakkapeliitta R5 inspires confidence about its ability to handle high-speed driving.
Unlike dedicated performance tires, which have a shallow tread pattern designed to minimize rolling resistance and maximize acceleration. This winter tire has a deep tread pattern with almost innumerable sipes. As such, it is one of the slowest to go from 0 to 100 mph.
Does the Nokian Hakkapeliitta R5 Ride Comfortably?
The Hakkapeliitta R5 rides very comfortably for a winter tire.
That is especially the case if you drive an EV. That is because the R5 EV comes with Silent Drive Technology (not included in other versions of this tire) which pushes already low noise levels even down by adding a layer of foam to the tire’s inner lining.
Besides dissipating road noise, the foam absorbs vibrations before they could enter the cabin and hurt ride quality. This, in turn, would result in a whisper-quite ride on your electric vehicle, in which tires are the major (if not only) source of road noise.
Nokian Hakkapeliitta R5 Warranty
The Hakkapeliitta R5 SUV doesn’t come with a treadwear warranty.
While that is also true for most winter tires, some snow tires do come with one. Take, for instance, Michelin X-Ice Snow SUV, which is backed with a 40,000-mile treadwear warranty. This indicates that Michelin expects its tire to last up to three winters.
However, this tire is covered under Nokian’s Pothole Protection Warranty.
Under the terms of this warranty, Nokian will replace the R5 if it deems that the tire has become unserviceable due to roadside hazard. This warranty only applies if:
- The original reusable and remaining tread is more than 60%
- Less than 12 months have passed from the date of purchase
Nokian Hakkapeliitta R5 Pricing: Is It Worth the Price?
At the time of writing, this model’s asking price begins from $134.02.
How does that compare with its rivals? Most of them cost almost the same.
For example, while the Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2’s asking price begins from $142, Michelin’s X-Ice Snow SUV can be bought for as low as $133.99. However, unlike the other two, the X-Ice Snow SUV comes with a treadwear warranty, giving it a significant edge.
Should I Buy the Nokian Hakkapeliitta R5?
With all things considered, the Hakkapeliitta R5 is definitely worth a buy.
While it isn’t backed with a treadwear warranty, that is something you can say about nine out of ten winter tires. What its competition cannot offer, though, is an assurance that their manufacturer would replace them if they become unserviceable due to a road hazard.
On top of that, this model boasts class-leading braking distances on wet, snowy, and ice-laden surfaces. That too while remaining useful when the roads are dry and the sun is out. As such, if you’re in the market for a reliable winter tire, the Hakkapeliitta R5 should be on your shortlist.
What Vehicles Will the Nokian Hakkapeliitta R5 Fit?
Here’s a sample list of the vehicles that the Nokian Hakkapeliitta R5 fits:
- Audi A4, Q5
- BMW X3, 3 Series
- Mercedes-Benz C Class, GLC-Class
- Chevrolet Silverado
- Ford F-150
- Toyota Tacoma
- Rivian R1T
Tire Sizes of the Nokian Hakkapeliitta R5