The Blizzak WS90 from Bridgestone is an upgrade over it’s predecessor the WS80 specifically with snow traction and ice grip from our multi-environment road analysis.
With an increase in block stiffness, the tread of the Bridgestone Blizzak WS90 improves tread coverage is an upgrade on slippery surfaces.
This winter studless tire features deep tread depths for traction in both slush and heavy compact snow.
Since this is a dedicated tire designed for snow conditions, it isn’t recommended to drive this tire on dry pavement for any extended distance.
How Does the Blizzak WS90 Perform?
Dry Roads And Highway Performance
The multi-cell compound provides excellent flexibility, as control and steering response go hand in hand on almost any winter surface. This is important for any driver that doesn’t simply plan on driving in snow at every moment all winter.
During cold months when snow is not falling, this tire does a great job at showing off it’s balance even on dry roads. Fuel mileage doesn’t seem to be noticeable even though this tire has a lot of sharp patterns and zig-zag tread for gripping snow.
Overall, this tire makes an excellent choice for any commuter who is still looking for the handling of a winter tire but wants similar performance before and after the snow’s presence on the ground.
Rain And Slush Performance
On wet roads the result was similar, with excellent traction and hydroplaning resistance, managing slush and rain water feels too easy.
Even with deep grooves and heavy sipes, this tire hugs to the road well in the rain.
Handling feels very similar to dry roads when driving in the rain, and steering response seems slightly better than in snow.
Winter Snow And Ice Performance
This tire does an exceptional job at gripping on icy roads, and that is where it excels over other tires in it’s category.
Deceleration and braking on snow is also excellent, maintaining strong traction for safe stopping with very little to no sliding depending on speed.
Steering in snow is slightly delayed, however overall response does feel good and helps with any mistake of overreacting to a situation that might otherwise cause additional trouble.
As more mileage is put on these tires, some consumers report a little sound and feeling of vibration when not driving on snow covered streets and surfaces. These sounds are typically heard at higher speeds on the highway, which we have found to be common with almost every snow tire. Typically this happens after the first or second year of wear on the tire where some uneven tread is no longer making 100% contact with the road.
Let’s break down what we like and don’t like about the Blizzak WS90 just to be clear.
What We Like
- This tire performs very well in all mild and heavy snow.
- The traction on ice gives stability you wish other tires offered.
- The price is good for what you get.
What Needs Improvement
- This tire does tend to wear a little faster than others, and while that can be expected with most winter tires, treadlife is not the best.
Most Popular Vehicles Using This Tire
- Acura MDX
- Audi A6
- Honda Accord
- Subaru Forester
- Toyota Camry
- Volkswagen Passat
Tread Depth: 11/32″
Max Load Range: 1,047 – 1,984 pounds
Uniform Tire Quality Grade: As a winter tire with biting edges this does not come with a grade.
Manufacturing Location: Japan
Warranty And Rebates
This tire does not come with a traditional warranty for treadlife, as it is specifically dedicated for winter weather and not distance driving on dry roads.
It does however come with a workmanship and materials warranty, which is good for 5 years. It also comes with a uniformity warranty up to the first 2/32″ of tread wear.
With the Bridgestone Blizzak WS90 competence in both light as well as heavy snow and ice , we believe this is an excellent tire for anyone looking to traverse winter weather with confidence. The center ribbon zig-zag design, and mid-center bite grooves create an excellent balance for driving on dry roads in preparation for big snow days and light icy driving conditions.
This improved model from Blizzak comes in as one of the best contenders for the year as a studless winter tire.