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Winter arrived with a vengeance in December, but our JX35 still had a busy month of travel, with trips to Wisconsin and to Grand Marais in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

The Bridgestone Blizzaks that we put on last month got a workout, and they received good reviews. Here's executive editor Todd Lassa: "On my return from Wisconsin on the day after Christmas, I hit a snowstorm on I-94 all the way across Michigan, and the combination of Blizzaks and fairly decent steering feedback kept me moving along at a moderate rate. I felt confident passing 18-wheelers and drivers who were just being overly cautious." Deputy editor Joe DeMatio took the JX to a state park while in Grand Marais, Michigan, to go hiking on the snow-covered sand dunes. "The approach road to the parking lot at the trailhead was accessible only with 4WD," he reports, "and the JX35 and its Blizzaks performed admirably."

DeMatio's trip to the sand dunes was part of an end-of-the-year excursion to northern Michigan and the shores of Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula. He had a total of four adults on board. "Front-seat comfort was excellent," he said. "Second-row seating offers lots of legroom, but the seats are a little low, which raises your thighs off the seat and prevents the seats from being truly comfortable." One other rear-seat misfire: there is no middle section that can be folded independently of the outboard seatbacks, so the group had to leave their cross-country skis at home. Rear-seat heaters, though, were much appreciated, as was the panoramic roof.
 

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Nice report! How did the AWD feel when it kicked in,or did you even notice? Also, if you had your choice, would you have preferred to been able to lock the AWD like the Pathfinder?
 

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Here is a picture of our Pathfinder's tracks through the snow a couple of days ago. This is a parking lot cut-through. The picture doesn't do the depth justice, it was deep enough that only a few had driven through it, we made first tracks on the far left, the other non-conformists are on the right. It was deep enough that the PF was plowing about 5" deep dragging the bottom. In fact, the PF was getting "freshies" (skiers know what I am talking about) and the lower front grill got packed up.

This is with Blizzack DM-V1 tires. To answer BobOB's questions, this was in AWD (not PF 4WD). With the level terrain like this, I couldn't feel the rear end kick in, it's pretty subtle. I wasn't looking at my power distribution meter, but based on what I have seen, it was probably 60 front, 40 rear through here. The car had ABSOLUTELY no problems with this. I put it in 4WD going the other way, and didn't notice any difference. As I've said, I am the .00001% of buyers who would get the PF over the JX for the 4WD function and new generation transmission, just for the case where these conditions were tilted up to a 10%+ grade. I've tried it on hills, and yeah, there's a noteable difference between AWD and 4WD, mainly on getting moving from a stand still. 99.9999% of people would never need it. However, I watched my wife pull out the garage the other day, and she stopped to look down to lock 4WD in. It made me smile.

Blizzak WS70's are lighter duty tires, they don't make a size for the JX/PF. I have a set on our 2009 Outback, the are real go getters on the snow, and quiet and smooth on dry. The 18" size that fits JX's and PF's are Blizzak DM-V1 (like I noted we have). I've had lots of snow capable cars with real snow tires, including our 4x4 truck with Nokian Hakka's, but I must say, the PF with the DM-V1's is about the best snow car I've driven, even in "just" AWD. Good stuff!

IMAG0630.jpg
 

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I purchased the Mich xice 2. Great tires. They Look awesome on the car. Even though we haven't had much snow in NY, NJ yet. The one sprinkle that we did have made me appreciate the power of dedicated Snow tires. Everyone was sliding around. Me...nothing. Just for the heck of it i was trying to make her slide and nothing. Coming to a dead stop didn't even engage the abs. Best purchase ever.
 

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I've had blizzak DMV-1's on my JX for two months now. They perform very well on icy roads and in snow. Performance on clean highways us also good. We head up to the mountains every weekend for skiing, so we need a tire that will get us there and back safely. Highly recommended!
 

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Hey MacPhee, did you notice that the 235/65-18's are shorter than the summer tires? Mine puts my speedo off 2mph at 60mph. I did a roll out to confirm they're smaller. I noticed this when I put Blizzaks on my Outback. The summer tires were 17", I put Blizzaks on som 16" wheels I had. There wasn't a close diameter in 16", theoretically either a bit bigger, or a bit smaller. I bought the "bigger" ones (on paper), and they were the perfect size. So, both my Blizzaks were smaller diameter than the specifications calculate out to. So, if you get some, be ready for speedo error.

These cars have a GPS, I wish they would self calibrate the speedometer for minor differences in tire swaps, and even as the tire changes diameter as it wears. Heck, the Garmin computer on my bike self calibrates the the sensor that reads a magnet on the wheel to GPS readings. You would think they could do that with a car. I guess they are getting better, at least the PF self sync'ed with the new sensors.
 

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Hi Gibbons - both my summer tires (factory rims) and winter tires (after market rims) are on 18" rims - to date I haven't noticed anything off about the spedometer.
 
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