Nokian Hakkapeliitta R5 vs R3

Both the Nokian Hakkapeliitta R5 and the Hakkapeliitta R3 are the knights of the frosty realm, each equipped with its own arsenal of features to battle the icy roads. Let’s see which knight takes the throne!

Fresh new Nokian Hakkapeliitta R5 installed on Audi.

Key Takeaway

  • The R3 excels in hydroplaning resistance due to its wider grooves, enabling efficient water dispersion.
  • The R5 excels in ice performance because of its aggressive siping and superior ice-biting/gripping capabilities.
  • The R3 excels in fuel economy because of its increased weight and broader tread design, which leads to higher energy consumption.
  • The R5 excels in wet traction due to its dual siping design, providing grip from multiple angles.
  • The R3 excels in fluffy snow performance due to its aggressive tread pattern and ability to establish snow-to-snow contact.
  • The R5 excels in dry traction because of its superior lug-to-road connectivity and longitudinal rib design.

Ice Performance

In icy conditions, the Nokian Hakkapeliitta R5 confidently demonstrates its superiority, allowing for an average braking distance that is 6 feet shorter compared to its counterpart.

Similarly, the tire also exhibits slightly faster acceleration in tests.

So why is the older version lacking here? Well, because of the limited biting ability of the tire.

In contrast, the Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3 falls short in ice performance due to its larger tread voids, fewer notches, and wider lateral tread voids in the central tread area. And these characteristics hinder this tire’s ability to grip packed ice with as much efficacy, as its bigger brother, affecting braking performance.

Moreover, the tire’s siping also don’t have as much flexibility, resulting in slower handling times.

Whereas the R5 features more aggressive siping, which bite in to the icy ground with much more power.

Its angled detailed biters (spread throughout the tread), combined with dual siping (both rectilinear and lateral), all contribute to overall superior ice-biting/gripping experience.

Fuel Economy

The fuel efficiency of a tire is closely tied to its traction and weight characteristics, areas in which the Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3 could benefit from some improvement.

This tire’s increased weight and broader tread voids result in more flexing of the lugs during cornering, braking, and acceleration.

With greater weight distributed over a smaller surface area, each lug experiences higher pressure, leading to increased energy consumption. The flexing of the lugs, or their bending, contributes to this additional energy expenditure.

On the other hand, the Nokian Hakkapeliitta R5, with its longitudinally aligned ribs and streamlined design, exhibits lower rolling resistance values.

This means that its lugs do not need to exert as much force against the road, allowing the tire’s compact tread structure to focus energy on propelling the entire tire forward rather than bending individual blocks.

As a result, the Nokian Hakkapeliitta R5 offers improved energy efficiency, which also translates into better tread life.

Wet Traction

Wet traction is primarily influenced by two factors: the tread design and the rubber compound used in the tire. These components dictate the tire’s grip on wet surfaces and its resistance to hydroplaning. Let’s examine each aspect in detail.

In terms of wet grip, both tires feature ample siping and flexible tread rubber. However, the Nokian Hakkapeliitta R5 holds an advantage in grip, exhibiting less overall slippage on corners.

This tire employs a dual siping design, consisting of a dense network of rectilinear and interlocking slits, which are also angled.

This design provides grip from multiple angles.

On the other hand, the Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3, equipped with laterally oriented sipes only, falls slightly short in delivering comprehensive traction. And of course, it leads to extended wet braking distances and handling times.

Therefore, the Nokian Hakkapeliitta R5 offers superior wet grip.

Hydroplaning occurs when water prevents the tire’s tread from maintaining proper contact with the road, resulting in the loss of traction. In this aspect, the Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3 excels with its wider grooves.

These grooves, combined with swooping arms, swiftly disperse water from the tread, enabling higher average speeds without hydroplaning in both straight and curved aquaplaning tests.

In contrast, the Nokian Hakkapeliitta R5 falls behind due to its longitudinal rib design, which restricts efficient sideways water displacement compared to its competitor.

Therefore, the Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3 takes the lead in terms of hydroplaning resistance.

Fluffy Snow Performance

In snowy conditions, both tires demonstrate commendable performance. However, when it comes to fluffier snow terrains, the Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3 stands out as the preferred choice.

This tire’s superior traction is primarily attributed to its tread design.

The Nokian R3 features a slightly more aggressive tread pattern with spaced-apart lugs that reach out to the snowy surface.

These tread blocks establish snow-to-snow contact, effectively capturing and retaining fluffy snow particles within their interlocking grooves and snow-vices.

This process creates a layer of ensnared snow, enabling the tread to maintain ground contact through this snow filled rubber. And its significant, as snow bonds better with itself than with rubber, generating enhanced friction.

And in this contrast, the Hakkapeliitta R5 takes a more minimalist approach, featuring a relatively closed-up design with a continuous running rib at the center and lacking an interlocking groove structure.

So yes, after overall testing, we can say that R3 is better on (fluffy) snow terrains.

Dry Traction

Dry grip is determined by the degree of rubber contact with the road, with directional grip and lateral traction playing crucial roles. Let’s explore these aspects individually.

The effectiveness of directional grip depends largely on the central area of the tire’s tread.

When the tire rolls straight, such as on highways, the central section bears the majority of the weight, leading to concentrated weight distribution.

The Nokian Hakkapeliitta R5, with its longitudinal rib design, offers superior lug-to-road connectivity, resulting in shorter braking distances compared to its counterpart.

Conversely, the Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3, with wider lateral tread voids in its directional pattern, experiences hindered longitudinal movement of the tread blocks, leading to slower braking times.

Handling, on the other hand, is influenced by the tire’s shoulder areas and overall weight. As the tire corners, its weight shifts towards the edges of the tread, making the quality of contact between the shoulders and the road critical.

And in this regard, the Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3, with its wider grooves and added weight, fails to match the performance seen in its counterpart.

And yes, the additional weight on this boy, also contributes to increased lug movement during cornering, resulting in weaker steering feedback.

So yes overall, the Nokian Hakkapeliitta R5 outperforms its little brother, in terms of dry traction.

Summing Up

To summarize, the Hakkapeliitta R3 shines in snowy conditions due to its unique tread design and larger number of tread voids, providing impressive snow grip and clearance capabilities.

On the other hand, the Nokian R5 takes the lead in icy terrains, thanks to its array of intricate biting edges, slanted incisions, and multi-angled sipes that enhance overall traction and handling.

Furthermore, the Hakkapeliitta R5 also excels in wet traction, while both tires perform well in terms of dry traction, fuel economy, and tread life.