For the ZDX we needed a 19-inch tire in a 255/50 size. This limited our choice to the LM-60 as Bridgestone’s popular Blizzak WS70 and WS60 are intended for vehicles with smaller tire and wheel sizes. Price of the LM-60 ranges from $245 in a 245/40R17 size to $445.00 for a huge 255/35R20 size.

Product Review: Bridgestone Blizzak LM 60 winter tire winter tires winter driving insights advice
Bridgestone Blizzak LM-60. Click image to enlarge

As well the WS70 and WS60 are speed rated for a maximum speed of 190 and 170 km/h respectively, lower than the LM-60 with its “H” speed rating of 210 km/h. The two tires use different tread compounds – the WS70 using Bridgestone’s newer Multicell tread compound, the LM-60 using a high silica content tread to blend high-speed durability and dry-road/cold weather handling with snow traction.

Bridgestone’s own rating of the two tires highlights the difference between the two. The WS70 is rated a “10” for winter, snow and ice performance, but a “4” for dry performance. The LM-60 receives an “8” for winter, “9” for snow and “7” for ice, but a “6” for dry performance.

The LM-60 is intended for performance oriented drivers who want to maximize dry road handling but still have better snow and ice performance than an all-season tire would offer, while the WS70 would appeal to drivers who want the best severe weather traction they can get and are willing to give up some dry road handling performance to get it.

Tirerack.com has an excellent video demonstrating the difference between the LM-60 and the WS60.

Product Review: Bridgestone Blizzak LM 60 winter tire winter tires winter driving insights advice
Bridgestone Blizzak LM-60. Click image to enlarge

Last year I drove an Acura ZDX through the winter on Michelin all-season tires and the experience was still recent enough to recall and make direct comparisons to the Blizzak LM-60s that were mounted on my family’s ZDX this winter.

All of the car’s drivers agreed that the Blizzak LM-60 tires provided better traction when accelerating on ice and snow as well as more confident stopping in the same conditions. Lateral grip was excellent, taming any tendency to understeer when roads were slippery and limiting the intervention of the vehicle’s traction control, stability control and ABS brake systems.

If there was a difference in the dry/cold road handling capability of the LM-60 compared to the OEM all-season tires, we didn’t really notice. The Bridgestones provided the same grip on tight freeway on ramps that we had come to expect from the Michelins.

The LM-60 felt heavier on the vehicle – although the weight of the winter and all-season tires is comparable – which may be an odd observation. Noticeable at first, the feeling of wearing galoshes soon disappeared. Similarly, the LM-60s are a bit noisier than the Michelin all-season tire, but not intrusive.

Choosing a winter tire is a matter of deciding what is most important to you – to maximize traction in severe weather or to balance dry/cold weather handling with improved, if not stellar, severe weather capability. The choice is not just personal preference; the tire should be appropriate for the typical weather conditions experienced in your region.

If slogging through heavy snow on back country roads is more typical than the slush bombs experienced most often in a southern Canada city, then you should maximize severe weather capability – and ease back on the accelerator. Choose a tire that maximizes snow traction.

But if you live in an urban area where a snowmageddon is an infrequent experience, then a performance winter tire like the Bridgestone Blizzak LM-60 can give you the cold weather traction to enjoy your performance vehicle when the roads are dry and enough snow and ice traction to venture out with confidence.