- Packed and unpacked snow performance is excellent
- Traction and grip in wet conditions are superb
- Average ice performance
- Noise levels are a bit higher
Every car owner knows that several aspects are crucial to safely driving one. There are many mechanical parts that we need to maintain regularly so that the car can function properly. With that said, there is an aspect that I believe is among the more important ones.
Tires act as the conduit between the engine’s power output and your will to take the car wherever you need to. Accelerating, braking, and steering are the 3 key elements that make a car behave in the way you want it to.
Choosing the right set of tires is crucial to getting the most out of the car and doing that safely. To choose the right set of tires, you’d need to look at the conditions you plan to drive your car on. For example, if you live in an area with harsh winters, you’d need to get a tire designed for that situation.
The primary goal of winter tires is to make them drivable in low temperatures, snow, and ice. One of those options comes from the Japanese tire manufacturer Sumitomo. For today’s review, the tire I’ve chosen is the Ice Edge – a studdable winter tire designed to take on the harshest winter conditions.
What are the features of the Sumitomo Ice Edge?
A crucial area for any winter tire is the ability to remain pliable in freezing temperatures. To adhere to that, Sumitomo utilized a rubber compound rich with silica to ensure that the Ice Edge could deliver on the promised performance.
To ensure grip and traction in wet conditions, the Ice Edge features a special tread design made to have a bigger contact patch. In addition to that, the tire features 3D sipes, which are made to increase grip in those conditions.
The tread design of the Ice Edge should also offer another advantage in the wet. Hydroplaning resistance is crucial to how stable a tire is in wet patches, and thanks to the design, this one should offer excellent performance in that area,
Winter tires are generally better performers in icy conditions when compared with all-season or all-weather tires. With that said, there are cases where winter tires cannot deliver that much performance, which is why studs come into play. The Ice Edge is a studdable tire, meaning that if you find yourself in a situation with not enough traction, a set of studs will give you a great advantage.
How does it behave on dry tarmac?
The Ice Edge is a tire that won’t win any trophies in terms of dry performance, which isn’t surprising, considering it’s a winter tire.
One area that the Ice Edge delivers a decent amount of performance is traction. Acceleration won’t be a problem in general, but deceleration is not industry-leading. The braking distances are safe but not as short as some competitors in this class. Grip levels are acceptable but far from what I’d consider excellent.
Handling is something that isn’t the tire’s best side, which can be attributed to its type. Winter tires aren’t the most dynamic ones, while studdable ones perform even worse. The responsiveness of the Ice Edge is relatively poor, and due to the softer compound, you can expect a lot of flex in the sidewall.
How does it behave over wet and slippery roads?
On wet roads, the Ice Edge proves to be a better performer, surpassing my expectations.
Grip and traction are both excellent, making the tire very good in rainy conditions. Thanks to the superb traction, you can be sure that the tire won’t slip too much, even in slightly more aggressive situations. You can also rely on the amount of grip the Ice Edge can deliver in the corners. The braking distances are also very short, considering that it’s a tire that’s not in the premium segment.
Part of the wet performance is the tire’s ability to remain stable when driving in water patches. The Ice Edge’s tread design enables it to evacuate water from beneath the tire with excellent efficiency. As a result, the tire will remain stable and straight in most scenarios.
How is it over snow?
The Ice Edge is a winter tire, so snow performance should be the star of the show. In this regard, the tire is excellent, considering that it’s not a premium tire.
Performance in packed and unpacked snow is very good, and even though it’s not as good as the premium options, there isn’t a huge difference. The Ice Edge is excellent in snow conditions for a tire in the mid-range segment despite the noticeable difference.
You can rely on the grip and traction, which, combined with the handling characteristics, make the Ice Edge a very confident-inspiring tire. This also means that the braking distances will be acceptably short for a non-premium option.
The biggest flaw the Ice Edge has is the ice performance. Even though it’s not the worst, other mid-range options will perform better.
Is it comfortable and refined?
In terms of refinement, the Ice Edge’s performance in this regard is quite similar to most winter tires in this category.
The Ice Edge delivers very good comfort levels, which isn’t surprising. Thanks to the softer compound, the tire can provide a generally soft riding experience, like most of its competitors. It can smooth out most road imperfections, except for larger potholes. You will notice them, along with slight vibration, but nothing too terrible.
Noise levels are not something that the Ice Edge can brag with. Like most winter tires, the noise levels aren’t particularly low, which most winter tires suffer from. With that said, this tire is a bit on the noisy side, which is the biggest drawback in terms of refinement.
Is it good for off-roading?
Occasionally, I say that some tires can be driven off-road in some light conditions, but in the case of the Ice Edge, I’ll have to advise you against it.
At first glance, the tire may seem like it would be a decent contender on gravel or mud. Technically that may be true, but the problem is the rubber compound.
Since it’s a winter tire, the Ice Edge features a soft rubber compound that can be damaged very easily on non-paved surfaces. Sharper rocks can lead to a puncture, or stones can get stuck in the tread, leading to uneven wear.
Is the Sumitomo Ice Edge ideal for sporty driving?
A handful of tires can deliver a sporty driving experience, but the Ice Edge isn’t one of them.
The tire may be fine for normal driving, but you will notice the lack of certain characteristics as soon as you start to push it.
On the grip and traction side of things, the Ice Edge isn’t made to be pushed aggressively. As for handling, the responsiveness and soft sidewall mean that the tire won’t deliver
Sumitomo Ice Edge Warranty
Warranty is something that studdable winter tires lack, and the same goes for the Ice Edge. Keep in mind that this is something that even premium tires like the Goodyear WinterCommand lack as well.
Sumitomo Ice Edge Pricing: Is it worth the money?
Looking at the price, the Ice Edge falls in the affordable section like some of its rivals. Sumitomo offers the tire with a starting price of $80, which is roughly the same price as the Firestone Winterforce 2. This makes the tire more affordable than the General Altimax Arctic 12 and the Cooper Evolution Winter.
Should I buy the Sumitomo Ice Edge?
As a winter tire, the Ice Edge delivers on the performance and is a tire that won’t disappoint too much.
The Ice Edge’s weakest performance is on dry roads, where even though it delivers enough performance for daily driving, its competitors offer more. On the other hand, wet performance is excellent, and the tire is well above average in the mid-range class. In snowy conditions, the tire will have more than enough performance except on ice, where it’s average.
Like most winter tires, handling isn’t the tire’s strongest side, and it’s an aspect that most winter tires suffer from. With that said, the Ice Edge is only average in this regard.
When we look at the refinement, we see the performance of a standard winter tire. The Ice Edge offers pretty high levels of comfort, but the noise levels are on the higher side due to the tread design.
In the warranty department, the Ice Edge is no different than its competitors. Even though the Ice Edge has no treadwear warranty, it has a bit of an advantage over some of the other tires in this class due to the price.
If you’re looking for a tire that can deliver excellent snow and wet performance combined with average dry performance and handling, the Ice Edge is an excellent choice.
What Vehicles Will the Sumitomo Ice Edge Fit?
Here’s a sample list of cars that the Sumitomo Ice Edge will fit:
- Audi A3, A4, Q3, Q5
- BMW 3, 5 Series, X5
- Ford Fiesta, Focus, Taurus, Mondeo
- Kia Ceed
- Lexus IS, ES
- Mazda 3, 6
- Mitsubishi Lancer
- Nissan Micra, Juke
- Toyota Corolla, CH-R, Camry
- Volkswagen Passat, Golf
Tire Sizes for Sumitomo Ice Edge
List of Sumitomo Tire Reviews