Bridgestone Blizzak WS80 vs. Michelin X Ice XI3

Bridgestone Blizzak WS80 and Michelin X Ice XI3 are both winter tires that have specialized tread composition to stay functional in cold weather and provide optimum traction on both ice and snow. WS80 shows a wonderful grip on dry roads and performs outclass on snow-covered paths.

On the other hand, Michelin XI3 gives a fully commanded steer response on wet surfaces and good ice traction. Which of these uses more fuel? Find out the answer below in the article;

Comparing WS80 with Michelin X Ice XI3

Bridgestone Blizzak WS80


Michelin X Ice XI3

WS80 characterizes a denser tread pattern with an adjacent placement of triangular blocks to form the central rib having two main grooves along its side, zigzag multidirectional sipes, and a disjointed groove over shoulders on each side formed by notches. Fewer grooves and denser arrangement of lugs make its contact patch higher and result in supreme grip on paved surface. Zigzag sipes and grooves provide hydroplaning resistance as water can squirm out through these spaces easily, however, the competitor has the lead in this respect. Although it has narrow grooves yet the depth of its voids is greater than the competitor, resulting in enhanced biting ability over soft snow as deep channels are capable to evacuate snow backward from the tread and offer superior snow traction in comparison.

XI3 has a symmetrical tread design with five grooves of different widths and widely spaced blocks, tiny dimples, and full depth, cross Z sipes. The high void ratio makes the contact patch comparatively lower, leading to the reduced grip on the road. Increased number of channels and full depth, cross Z sipes, and small dimples over the lugs account for efficient aquaplaning resistivity as these spaces wipe water from the wet track. More channels have a good biting ability on a soft snowy surface and offer optimum evacuation, however, the lack of bite particles in tread rubber decreases its efficiency in snow-packed areas.

Road Grip Comparison

While rolling over the dry road, WS80 shows better grip and covers less braking distance as its contact patch is relatively higher due to narrow grooves. It stops after 31.4 meters when brakes are applied at the speed of 80km/h. Conversely, a comparatively low void ratio makes it stand below in competition in terms of grip on a wet and icy road, however, its voids and sipes are capable to wipe water and offer dependable traction on a wet and icy surface. Its braking distance over the wet road is 39.1 meters when stopping from 80km/h. On the ice, it covers 53.5 meters when stopping from 50km/h. On the other side, increased depth of grooves in comparison favors it over the snow-covered road as snow is effectively evacuated from its deep channels, moreover, bite particles in tread rubber offer superior biting ability on snow. While coming to rest from 80km/h it covers 51.6 meters on snow.

Ice XI3 has wider grooves, therefore, the surface area of its tread in direct contact with the road is relatively minimized, leading to reduced grip on a dry road. It covers a dry braking distance of 32.5 meters when it stops from 80km/h. It shows superior grip on wet and icy track owing to its high resistivity against hydroplaning due to more grooves and wide, cross Z sipes. Upon applying brakes at 80km/h it comes to rest after covering only 37.6 meters on a wet road while on ice its braking distance is 52.7 meters when stopping from 50km/h. However, it loses the competition on snow-packed areas as its shallower grooves have a lesser capacity to evacuate snow in a backward direction and it also lacks bite particles to enhance snow traction. It covers a relatively longer braking distance in snow and comes from 80km/h to rest after covering 52.9 meters.

Handling Comparison

Both tires have longitudinal grooves passing along their shoulder lugs, however, these notched grooves are comparatively wider in WS80 which causes a reduction in contact patch of shoulders, resulting in less firm steer handling over tricky turns on road. On a wet road, its competitor takes the lead in terms of steer management as it shows a relatively longer laps time of 42.1 seconds on a wet path. On the other side, its ice and snow traction is favored by the NanoPro Multicell compound of tread which contains hydrophilic bite particles for enhanced snow traction. Its lapse time over ice is 71.7 sec while that on the snow-packed surface is 52.1 seconds. Comparatively, narrow but deeper grooves further stabilize its steer handling in snowy areas.

Michelin XI3 has comparatively large shoulder lugs and provides superior steering control when the vehicle turns along the corner on a dry road. On a wet surface, numerous lateral grooves along with small dimples and wide cross Z sipes marked over shoulder lugs effectively remove water from the surface and account for its superior handling ability overturns. Its lap time on a wet road is 40.9 seconds. Water wiping ability and biting capacity of its grooves offer good steer management on ice and snow, however, lack of hydrophilic characters and microscopic bite particles makes handling over snow and ice less firm than its competitor. Its lapse time on icy roads is 74.8 sec and that on snow is 52.8 seconds.

Comparison of Hydroplaning Resistance 

Although multidirectional, zigzag sipes, and deep channels of WS80 provide vacuum for the removal of water and account for satisfactory hydroplaning resistivity yet relatively narrow grooves make its hydroplaning resistance less efficient than its competitor.

Ice XI3 has a superior ability to resist hydroplaning due to its high void ratio as well as numerous cross Z sipes and little dimples over blocks. These elements wipe the water away from the tread and account for optimum hydroplaning resistivity.

Comparison of Rolling Resistance

Due to the low void ratio in WS80, more surface area of tread is in direct contact with the road and more energy is lost while rolling over, leading to a high value of rolling resistance. Fuel consumption is comparatively higher as more fuel is required to overcome hysteresis (energy loss).
A high void ratio in XI3 reduces the contact patch of tread, as a result, less resistance is produced when it rolls over the road. It is more fuel-efficient in comparison as less energy is required to compensate for hysteresis.

Comfort and Noise Comparison

Like most winter tires, both of these produce much noise, however, WS80 is less noisy in comparison as fewer voids and high contact patch minimize space availability for reflection and resonation of noisy air particles, resulting in a quieter ride.

Michelin Xi3 is a comparatively louder tire due to its high void ratio. An increased number of open channels offer a wide area for reflection and resonation of sound waves, resulting in comparatively louder sounds.

Durability and treadwear

WS80 is comparatively less durable than its competitor as it faces more rolling resistance due to higher contact patch, moreover, its tread wears quickly after consumption of the upper layer. Its tread employs a dual compound structure in which the first 55% is NanoPro tech multicell compound containing microscopic bite particles, silica enhancements, and hydrophilic coating for enhanced traction on ice and snow while the remaining 45% is Bridgestone’s winter tire compound which a relatively softer rubber.

Ice XI3 standouts in terms of durability among winter tires as not only does it encounter less resistance while rolling but also has a comparatively strengthened tread built. Its composition employs Michelin MaxTouch Construction which produces sturdy winter tire rubber using FleX-Ice, a silica-based compound. Unlike most winter tires, it is backed by a treadwear warranty up to 60,000 kilometers from its manufacturer.


X Ice Xi3 is priced higher than its competitor, however, it gives financial benefits of better fuel efficiency and longer, warranted tread life.
On the other side, Blizzak charges less for providing superb traction on snowy tracks.  

Quick Summary

  • Bridgestone Blizzak WS80 and Michelin X Ice XI3 are both winter tires.
  • WS80 provides a stronger grip on the dry road, whereas, wet traction of Ice XI3.
  • Ice XI3 offers superior steer handling both on wet and dry pathways.
  • The snow traction of Blizzak is superior to its competitor.
  • On an icy surface, Michelin shows better grip, whereas, WS80 provides better steer handling.
  • Ice XI3 takes the lead in terms of fuel efficiency as well as durability.
  • WS80 produces more noise comparatively.
  • Michelin XI3 is priced higher than its competitor.