Nokian is best known for its winter tyres, so it was a surprise to see it come last in the snow tests. The margin was small, but we’d expected the WR D3 to do much better on a surface where the manufacturer has so much experience.
It was last in our traction and braking tests, and could only manage sixth in the slalom. Another lowly seventh place in the handling test rounded out an off-the-pace performance on the white stuff. On the sweeping bends of the Skanska track, it didn’t feel that bad, but there was a general lack of grip – although breakaway was progressive and controllable.
It proved much more consistent on wet roads, finishing behind the leading Continental and Goodyear. Key to success here were the aquaplaning results, where rivals struggled. These allowed the Nokian to get back into contention overall, with performances close to the best – if behind a few competitors in our braking and handling tests.
In the dry, the WR D3 was close to the best again, with a second place in braking. And that wet track prowess doesn’t come at the expense of fuel economy, as the tyre was third for rolling resistance, just behind overall champ Continental.
Cabin noise is a concern, although keen pricing makes the Nokian a good alternative to the premium brands.