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Nokian WR D3 tyre review

Top performer on snow and in dry conditions in the cold, but not the cheapest to run.

Top performer on snow and in dry conditions in the cold, but not the cheapest to run.

Nokian won our winter tyre test last year, but has to settle for the runner-up spot this time. The WR D3’s success is built on its performance in the snow, and the brand has the ideal place to hone that talent in the Ivalo proving ground on its home turf in Finland.

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The tyre took a clean sweep of all our snow tests. Strong front grip and excellent traction out of corners – even with lock applied – made it the quickest around the handling track’s climbs and dips and helped it inspire confidence.

The deeper water of the aquaplaning test suited the wide-grooved directional tread pattern, too, although it struggled in braking and the shallow water of the handling circuit. It turned in well, but lost grip quickly as more lock was applied, and trailed the winning Continental by around two seconds. It also took nearly three metres longer to stop in the wet.

On dry tarmac, the Nokian led the way – it felt sharp on the handling track with plenty of grip. And while it came seventh in the cabin noise assessment, what ultimately cost this tyre a second victory was its fuel economy – it was around three per cent shy of the Continental ContiWinterContact. So if you spend a lot of time driving on snow, this is the tyre to seek out as it provides the biggest safety margin, but you’ll certainly notice the difference at the pumps.

Price£100.99 
Snow braking100.00%1st
Snow traction100.00%1st
Snow circle100.00%=1st
Snow handling100.00%1st
Straight aqua100.00%1st
Curved aqua94%2nd
Wet braking92.50%7th
Wet handling97.00%7th
Dry braking100.00%1st
Dry handling100.00%1st
Cabin noise98.80%7th
Rolling resistance83.30%8th
Overall99.50%2nd
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