Firestone Winterforce 2 vs UV

Firestone Winterforce 2 and its UV variant, both are considered champions in the winter tire scene, in my books, each with distinct fortes in handling, durability, and comfort. But the question is, which one is a better pick for your needs. Let’s find out!


Ice Performance

On the icy terrain, the Firestone Winterforce 2 (review), exhibits a confident performance that sets it apart, which is seen by its impressive ability to stop in a significantly shorter distance, around 10 feet less, compared to its counterpart.

The tire basically offers more biters, in the form of slanted incisions in various sizes. And these combined with its more aggressive siping, you get a pretty commendable ice performance.

Though, when it comes to handling, where the tire’s shoulder lugs play a vital role, the difference is marginal.

This is because the tire does not offer as many biting edges there, as it offers in the middle. But as it still offers a more aggressive siping pattern, its overall handling is better (measured with lateral g forces).

Verdict: Firestone Winterforce 2 offers better handling and directional grip.

Snow Performance

In the realm of snowy conditions, both tires leave a lasting impression, showcasing their prowess with exceptional performances. However, the Winterforce 2 UV still exhibits a certain flair, particularly when navigating through fluffy snow terrains, and it owes its superior traction to its unique tread design.

This tire boasts a tread pattern with lugs that spread open like welcoming arms, establishing intimate contact with the snowy surface. These lugs efficiently scoop up and retain the fluffy snow particles within their interlocking grooves, forming a layer of captured snow. This snow layer acts as a buffer, allowing the tread to maintain contact with the ground, and as snow adheres better to its kindred flakes than to rubber, resulting in enhanced traction.

In contrast, the Firestone Winterforce 2 adopts a more closed tread design with a continuous running rib at the center, lacking the interlocking groove structure.

As a result, its tread is less effective at collecting and retaining snow, giving its competitor the upper hand in snowy conditions.

Dry Traction

Dry traction relies on two crucial components: directional grip and lateral traction.

Directional grip is primarily influenced by the central area of the tread, where its seen, how much rubber to road contact is made.

In this regard, the Firestone Winterforce 2 excels with its more compacted up running central rib, takes the lead.

Handling, on the other hand, depends on the shoulders of the tire and its overall weight.

This is because, when the tire corners, its weight shifts towards the edges of the tread, known as the shoulders, and the quality of contact between the shoulders and the ground becomes crucial.

The Winterforce 2 UV falls short in this aspect due to its wider grooves, which compromise its handling performance.

Moreover, its greater weight also impacts its handling, leading to increased lug movement during cornering, weakening steering feedback.

Verdict: Firestone Winterforce 2 has the upper hand in overall dry traction.

Wet Traction

Wet traction is primarily influenced by the tread design and rubber compound of the tire. And both the Firestone Winterforce 2 and the Winterforce 2 UV do great here, as they come equipped with abundant siping and thermally adaptive, soft rubber compounds.

Their mixture of rectilinear and interlocking sipes allows it to soak up water particles encountered on wet surfaces very effectively. Moreover, their multiple angles present in the sipes enhance the tire’s grip during cornering.

Water is absorbed into the slits, and the sipes oriented parallel to the tire’s motion ensure the necessary grip.

Though still the Winterforce 2 UV exhibits commendable hydroplaning resistance, as demonstrated in aquaplaning tests where it achieves slightly superior “float speeds” on both curved and straight surfaces.

So you can say, this tire still has a slight edge over its counterpart.

Verdict: Winterforce 2 UV edges out (is better), just a little bit here.

Fuel Economy

The adhesion of the tire to the road surface and its structural weight significantly impact fuel consumption. In this aspect, the Winterforce 2 UV takes a back seat due to its considerable weight, which increases rolling resistance.

The tire’s wider tread voids basically puts more pressure on the lugs, and its greater weight isn’t helping. So you end up with more fuel usage.

However, it is worth noting that the Winterforce 2 UV’s performance improves significantly in extreme winter temperatures.

On the other hand, the Firestone Winterforce 2, with its lighter weight and longitudinally aligned ribs, promotes smoother straight-line travel, resulting in more efficient fuel consumption and reduced energy wastage, especially on highways.

Verdict: The Winterforce 2 shows better MPG.

Comfort Levels

Tire comfort is influenced by various factors, including road noise, vibration absorption, tire construction, material composition, and the tread pattern. When considering all these factors, a mixed comparison emerges between the two tires.

In terms of noise generation, which occurs when air particles collide with the tread walls, the Firestone Winterforce 2 slightly outperforms its competitor. Its less voided structure provides less space for air to reverberate compared to the Winterforce 2 UV.

However, the Winterforce 2 UV exhibits superior vibration absorption, offering slightly better cushioning when encountering bumps on the road.

Verdict: The UV variant is quieter out of both tires.

Tread Life

Tread durability is significantly influenced by rolling resistance, and the overall tread structure.

And looking at both it can be seen why the UV variant is lacking here, with heavier weight, and a relatively softer compound.

The weight translates into a greater force exerted by the tread blocks on the road surface, and this leads to a relatively excessive lug bending.

This lug bending then leads to heat, and that wears down the tread faster, as heat is the worst enemy of winter tires.

Summing Up

Ultimately, the comparison between the two tires yields the following.

When maneuvering on fluffy snow, the Winterforce 2 UV holds an edge. However, when it comes to packed snow and ice, the Firestone Winterforce 2 reigns supreme, showcasing superior braking distances and handling times.

On tarmac, the Winterforce 2 excels in both wet and dry conditions. However, the UV variant outshines its counterpart in terms of hydroplaning resistance.

Both tires deliver commendable ride comfort, with the Firestone 2 providing a quieter journey and the UV offering better bump absorption.

In terms of tread life, the Winterforce 2 proves to be more durable due to its lighter weight and reduced friction.