Nokian SeasonProof vs Goodyear Vector 4Seasons

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Out of both of these versatile grand touring all-season tires, the Nokian SeasonProof provides exceptional winter performance and quieter ride, while the Goodyear Vector 4Seasons Gen 3 excels in dry and wet conditions with superior handling and durability. Ultimately, it all comes down to your specific needs.

Goodyear Vector 4Seasons
Goodyear Vector 4Seasons on Volvo V40.

Bottom Line

So overall, the SeasonProof excels in:

  • Superior traction and steering responsiveness in winter conditions
  • Shorter braking distance and quicker acceleration on snow and ice
  • Effective design features for dependable traction on icy and snowy surfaces
  • Quieter rides due to its slimmer, denser, and softer rubber composition

Detailed Discussion on Nokian’s tire:

Whereas the Vector 4Seasons takes the lead when it comes to:

  • Better overall grip and handling in dry conditions due to lighter build and strategic design
  • Enhanced mid-corner handling and quicker steering feedback
  • Superior resistance to hydroplaning and wet traction with advanced siping and groove design
  • Longer lifespan and slower wear rate attributed to lighter construction and even weight distribution.

Detailed Discussion on Goodyear’s tire:

Construction Features

The Goodyear Vector 4Seasons Gen 3 sports a directional pattern with sleek arrow-shaped lugs.

Goodyear Vector 4Seasons
Vector 4Seasons offers better inter-connectivity of its V-shaped grooves.

Kicking off with the shoulder blocks, this tire keeps it simple, especially when you stack it up against the others.

Minimal siping and the widest lateral spacing between blocks are what you’ll find here.

And as we go towards the middle, the lugs get more packed/crowded up.

Nonetheless, its tread is pretty voided up with countless longitudinal slits, on its swooping V shaped lugs.

These basically help with the hydroplaning, mainly those, which connect up the lateral voids, allowing for more water dispersion at a given time.

And yes, the straight middle most circumferential channel is also helping that.

Other than this the tire has a rounded contact patch, and internally it comes with 2 ply polyester, 2 steel belts, and a polyamide cap ply on the very top, right beneath the rubber.

Now, let’s take a closer look on SeasonProof.

Nokian SeasonProof tread pattern
Nokian SeasonProof showcasing powerful snow-vices.

This one’s tread design nods more to winter tires.

It’s got that directional tread pattern, like the Goodyear Vector, but turns up the aggression a notch.

The shoulder lugs?

They’re rocking a sharp, zigzag edge, or what the tire geeks like me, call snow-vices.

Plus, it’s got these chunky longitudinal slits and sharp, vertical notches, giving it a bit of an edge.

This tire doesn’t skimp on siping either, I mean see how there’s plenty across the tread, and they even interlock.

This is unlike the 4Seasons, which only offers very linear and laterally arranged siping slits.

All these features on Nokian basically allow it to nail when it comes to winter performance. In-fact, the tire ranks for it, on my list of top-notch grand touring all-season tires.

Though like any other all-season tire, this one’s also has its cons with pros. I mean it could do better on dry roads, and that makes sense given its comparatively greater void-to-rubber ratio.

This goes for its central most area, in particular. The lugs don’t interlock here, and are pretty spaced apart.

Sizes – What to Know?

The Goodyear Vector 4Seasons Gen 3 comes in 75 total sizes, in 14 to 20 inches, with following specs.

  • Speed ratings: H, V, W and Y.
  • Load ratings: SL and XL.
  • Weight range: 16 to 26 lbs.
  • Tread depth: 10/32″ on all.
  • UTQG: 500 A A.

Nokian SeasonProof comes in 63 total sizes in 14 to 19 inches rims, and they have the following specs.

  • Speed ratings: T, H, V, W and Y (with Y being the maximum, you can get, usually seen on high performance touring tires).
  • Load ratings: SL/XL, (though majority of sizes are XL).
  • Weight range: 19 to 32 lbs (relatively heavier compared to most of its grand touring competitors).
  • Tread depth: 10/32″ on most (some also have 9/32″).

Also both tires offer 3 peak mountain snowflake and M+S ratings on all sizes.

Snow/Ice Performance

When assessing winter tire performance, it’s crucial to consider factors such as the tire’s traction, steering responsiveness, and effectiveness under various wintry conditions like snow and ice.

In this context, the Nokian SeasonProof excels, surpassing Goodyear’s tire and emerging as a leader in winter performance.

I mean, my comprehensive testing and subjective evaluations place this Nokian tire at the top of grand touring tires for superior winter capabilities. See for yourself here:

Sure both tires here offer the 3-peak mountain snowflake ratings making them appreciable all-weather tires. However, the Nokian consistently outperforms with a 5-foot shorter braking distance on ice, a 0.5-second quicker acceleration in snow, and nearly 2 mph faster average speeds on tracks laden with slush, ice, and snow.

The secret to its success lies in its well-engineered design, which features an array of sipes, ribs equipped with snow vices, and a directional tread pattern, all contributing to dependable traction on icy and snowy surfaces.

These sipes and notches remain flexible even in sub-zero temperatures, thanks to their multi-angle orientation and the tread’s “temperature-activated functional polymers”, enhancing the tire’s grip.

In other words, its biters don’t freeze up as much as they do on Goodyear’s tire.

Moreover, the SeasonProof’s more voided up directional tread pattern effectively displaces greater amount of snow, enhancing forward momentum and snow acceleration.

And yes, its powerful snow vices help here too, primarily promoting snow-to-snow contact, trapping and retaining snow particles, which is significant as snow sticks better to itself than to rubber.

Dry Performance

To understand a tire’s effectiveness in dry conditions, I consider its overall grip, including directional and lateral, and how it takes corners. Let my share my findings with you.

Directional Grip

Now, several factors contribute to directional traction, including the rubber’s composition and contact surface area with the road, tire weight, and rolling resistance.

And considering them all, it makes sense why the Vector 4Seasons Gen 3 is a much better tire here, sowcasing 18 feet shorter braking distances, on average, on my stopping tests (from 60 mph).

Sure, both tires offer decent aerodynamic, directional patterns and soft rubber compounds for superior grip, yet Goodyear’s lighter structure prove to be more advantageous.

The tire’s reduced weight basically leads to diminished momentum, allowing for quicker, more effective braking.

Moreover, its design also includes a higher number of in-groove notches, further enhancing its traction.

On the other hand, the Nokian Seasonproof’s performance is hindered by its greater weight and a tread pattern primarily optimized for winter conditions, making it less effective on dry roads.

Overall Handling

The Seasonproof’s inadequate braking not only affects stopping distances but also compromises overall handling.

But why?

Well, this is because handling is a complex blend of the tire’s overall traction, encompassing both directional and lateral grip, combined with steering responsiveness.

Basically there are three phases of cornering, entry, exit, and mid-corner. And directional grip affects the first two.

I mean a tire has to slow down before entering a corner and accelerate post cornering, and here with superior directional grip, the Goodyear’s tire offers better performance in both, lowering its overall dry handling lap times (as seen on my tests).

Similarly, the tire also offers demonstrates enhanced mid-corner handling, attributable to its higher lateral grip (measured in lateral g-forces) and quicker steering feedback.

These advantages stem from its numerous effective biters and lighter weight, which means less force pushing down on the lugs, reducing their tendency to bend.

On the other side, the SeasonProof lacks with its softer build and heavier structure, which causes its lugs to get more easily deformed.

This distortion of the lugs effectively squanders time, as they must revert to their original shape. And this delay in the lugs’ recovery results in a lag between the steering input and the vehicle’s response.

Noise Comfort

Tire noise comprises multiple elements, including tread pattern resonance, cavity sounds, and the friction sound between rubber and road.

And in all of them, a key aspect involves the interaction of air with the tire’s tread walls. Let me explain.

Basically as the tire rolls, it starts pumping air in and out of the tread (mostly via shoulder voids). And that air hitting against the tread walls, generates primary source of noise (that then echos and creates cavity and in-groove resonance).

Now here, the SeasonProof still comes out quieter, even with its aggressive winter-tire like tread design.

This quietness stems from its slimmer, denser, and softer rubber composition, which minimizes noise by reducing air compression and release.

Additionally, the Nokian’s softer rubber is superior in absorbing noise compared to the harder rubber of the Vector Gen 3, (emitting about 1 to 2 dB lower reading on the decibel scale compared to Goodyear tire).

Wet Performance

Wet performance is basically two parts, the tire’s resistance to hydroplaning and wet traction.

Let’s take a look at both separately.

Wet Traction

Wet traction is essentially about removing water from under your tire’s tread.

And since water can’t be compressed, if it’s not moved out of the way, it will cause the tire to lose contact with the road, leading to a loss of control or hydroplaning.

Now, the main tool for water removal is the tire’s grooves, which channel most of the water away. However, they aren’t perfect and tend to leave some water/moisture behind, particularly beneath the lugs (tread blocks).

That’s where sipes, or small cuts in the tire, come in. They work like little vacuum cleaners, sucking up the water that the grooves missed and helping maintain contact with the road.

Understanding this, it makes sense why the Goodyear Vector 4Seasons takes the lead here. The tire not only offers greater number of sipes, but also a superior design. So you get quality with quantity, and with it superior traction.

On the other side, the Nokian SeasonProof lacks, where the main culprit is again is very lacking wet braking.

This is because its sipes are more “winter-performance-oriented”, and aren’t able to create as much suction for water, if that makes sense, leading to lacking overall wet traction.

Aquaplaning Resistance

Hydroplaning is a critical moment that occurs when a tire fails to displace water quickly enough. This inability causes the tire to essentially “float” on a layer of water instead of the road, akin to gliding or surfing.

That’s why hydroplaning is so dangerous, as this is where your tires lose all traction, placing you in a precarious situation.

Fortunately, neither of these tires typically struggle with this, thanks to their directional tread designs and efficient V-shaped channels that effectively expel water.

However, if we’re splitting hairs, the Goodyear Vector 4Seasons Gen 3 has a slight advantage.

Its design features interconnected, arrow-shaped grooves that not only push water out longitudinally but laterally as well, offering a more comprehensive defense against hydroplaning.

Wear Rate

The wear rate of a tire is determined by factors such as rubber composition, design, and weight. In this respect, the Goodyear Vector 4Seasons Gen 3 outshines with its enhanced durability.

This durability is primarily attributed to the tire’s lighter construction and a more thoughtfully engineered tread pattern.

This design ensures more even weight distribution across a broader rubber surface, reducing pressure on each tread lug during road contact. This feature significantly extends the tire’s lifespan.

Wrapping Up

So overall, both tires showcase their respective strengths across different conditions.

The SeasonProof distinguishes itself with superior traction, enhanced steering responsiveness, and effective design features, making it a leader in wintry conditions.

While the Goodyear’s tire provide the best handling in its grand touring category.

Though it also takes the lead in terms of fuel economy, tread longevity and overall winter performance too.

But yes, the Nokian tire does offer slightly better comfort performance, in terms of noise reduction.

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