Blizzak DM-V2

4WDrive - - Contents - Words and photos by Perry Mack

It was mid-Oc­to­ber when the fad­ing light of sum­mer gave way to the first re­ports of snow in the moun­tains. Winter was com­ing. Big sur­prise. The Jeep was shod with a set of 35” Mickey Thomp­son (MT) A/T’s wrapped around a set 22” Tuff wheels, which I had abused on the street and trail, and shown off at the Spe­cialty Equip­ment Mar­ket­ing As­so­ci­a­tion (SEMA) show in Las Ve­gas in Nov 2016.

Re­turn­ing home mid-Novem­ber from sunny, warm Ne­vada, I or­dered up a set of the new Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2 tires

in my Jeep’s fac­tory size of P255/70R18 to see how they per­formed com­pared to the stock Bridgestone Duel­ers and my beloved Mickey Thomp­son A/T’s.

The DM-V2 is a stud­less winter tire de­signed for SUV’s, CUV’s, and light trucks (it re­places the DM-V1), and as an au­then­tic winter tire, it car­ries the re­quired M+S rat­ing.

I truly am blessed. It seems that as soon as I ac­quire a set of tires to test, the weather goes from av­er­age to dan­ger­ous as they are be­ing mounted. Six cen­time­tres of fresh snow fell as I drove home, which

then thawed through the af­ter­noon and froze as tem­per­a­tures dropped that night and through the next day.

The Bl­iz­zaks cut through the fresh snow, toss­ing up chunks as the tires cleared them­selves ea­ger to bite into the next mix of snow and pave­ment. Corner­ing was re­fresh­ingly acute as the edges dug deep to pivot through any change of di­rec­tion. The last test is al­ways the most in­ter­est­ing – stop­ping trac­tion. How do you know if the tires are help­ing you stop? My test is to drive at 60 kph (laws per­mit­ting of course) and slam on

the brakes to see how the ABS kicks in. If there’s no trac­tion, you start slid­ing, lights start flash­ing on the dash and the ve­hi­cle vi­brates and shud­ders like a night in Las Ve­gas. If you have trac­tion, you miss the ex­cite­ment and stop.

The tires grip. Every Cana­dian has ex­pe­ri­enced that sick­en­ing feel­ing when you tromp on the brake pedal only to start slid­ing with no chance of steer­ing or stop­ping. You just wait for the im­pact. With the Bl­iz­zaks, I could still steer while ham­mer­ing on the brake on the freshly frozen road. Most im­por­tantly, I could stop faster than the ve­hi­cle in front of me.

The tire re­mained flex­i­ble as the tem­per­a­ture dropped down to -14 Cel­sius, which I re­al­ize is con­sid­ered balmy in parts of cen­tral Canada. On the op­po­site side of zero, wet trac­tion was good for a winter tire.

The per­for­mance on ice is at­trib­uted to their NanoPro Tech Mul­ti­cell com­pound. Ac­cord­ing to Bridgestone, the com­pound is por­ous at a mi­cro­scopic level, which draws the thin top layer of wa­ter into the tire im­prov­ing trac­tion. The tread de­sign has also changed in that the “com­pound is molded into a di­rec­tional tread de­sign fea­tur­ing 15% more block edges (than the Blizzak DMV1 it re­places) where cir­cum­fer­en­tial and lat­eral grooves help chan­nel wa­ter, slush and snow away from the con­tact area for added trac­tion while 3D zigzag sipes in­crease the num­ber of snow bit­ing edges.”

Although 4WD was nec­es­sary to pull off the start­ing line in greasy snow on the street, and in 20 cm of snow off-road, the Bridgestone DM-V2 is a solid winter per­former at the top of it’s cat­e­gory. Some testers re­ported that dura­bil­ity was an is­sue with this tire, and Bridgestone con­fesses that their Nanocell tech com­pound is only on the first 55% of the tread depth. If you leave your snow tires on in or­der to drive to the ski hill long af­ter the snow has left the ur­ban streets, ex­pect to re­place them more of­ten than other winter tires. But if trac­tion is more im­por­tant than longevity – buy them.

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