Tires can make or break your car’s performance — hence the trite expression “where the rubber meets the road.” If you’re in a track car, you’re looking at Michelin Pilot Sports, Pirelli P Zeros, or Bridgestone Potenzas; if you have a purpose-built off-roader, you’re probably looking for the best all-terrain tires you can buy. But most car owners will just be looking for a solid, durable, functional year-round set of all-season tires.
That's where Nokian Tyres steps in with their new One all-season tires. The Finnish company is known for their winter treads, such as the excellent (if hard to spell) Hakkapeliittas, which turned my front-wheel-drive VW into my family’s preferred snow car. The One is their foray to claim more market share in less-frozen climates. Nokian designed the tires to be the one set of tires you need — outside of northern lands with extreme winters, at least. And they may be the one tire you need for the life of your car ownership; after all, they come with an 80,000-mile tread warranty.
I’ve been testing the tires for about six months on my Golf Sportwagen. Now, I’ve come nowhere near pushing the tread warranty, and I haven't yet encountered snow in them. But I have obtained some solid insight.
A key advantage to the One tires is, they bring the company's Aramid technology — which protects the tread against punctures — to the sidewalls of all-season tires for regular cars. Michigan is renowned for having some of the nation’s most brutal and pockmarked roads; nearly everyone I know has blown a tire at some point in the past few years. Thus far, though, the One tires have worked without issue. And if there ever is an issue, the tires come with a pothole protection warranty against irreparable damage.
The One tires have also delivered unflappable grip so far. We’ve had a lot of wet, stormy weather in Michigan this year — I’ve lost trees, had rapid flooding cause a sewer backup, and went through an entire summer without watering my lawn once — and Nokian’s tires never once lost their footing. In dry conditions, they’ve been a not-particularly-noisy revelation compared to my previous tires that were from a name I’ve never heard of — they were on the car when I bought it used — and were starting to squeal if I gave even a modicum of gas from a dead stop.
I’m keen to see how the One tires perform in winter conditions — for science, of course. But that said..throwing the Hakkapeliittas back on after the first snowstorm will be mighty tempting.