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None of the tire places will have 'snow' tires listed for the 453; it's a staggered fitment and snow tires are sold in sets of Four (same size for all four).

That being said, take either the front tire (width) or the rear tire (width) and get Four snow tires.
All the tire places will sell you Four snow tires and will mount them for you if they match the front or rear tire size.

Unfortunately, there aren't good snow tires in the stock sizes, but there are good tires the same width.

For 15" Fronts, stock size is 165/65/R15 - a good set of Four snow tires would be 165/60/R15s

For 15" Rears, stock size is 185/60/R15 - a good set of Four snow tires would be 185/55/R15s

I have good contacts with independent tire shops so I actually bought Four of each and had them mount the 'staggered' SNOW setup on 8 rims.
If I was limited to buying Four of the same, I would get the narrower Front tire size and mount them on all four corners.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
None of the tire places will have 'snow' tires listed for the 453; it's a staggered fitment and snow tires are sold in sets of Four (same size for all four).

That being said, take either the front tire (width) or the rear tire (width) and get Four snow tires.
All the tire places will sell you Four snow tires and will mount them for you if they match the front or rear tire size.

Unfortunately, there aren't good snow tires in the stock sizes, but there are good tires the same width.

For 15" Fronts, stock size is 165/65/R15 - a good set of Four snow tires would be 165/60/R15s

For 15" Rears, stock size is 185/60/R15 - a good set of Four snow tires would be 185/55/R15s

I have good contacts with independent tire shops so I actually bought Four of each and had them mount the 'staggered' SNOW setup on 8 rims.
If I was limited to buying Four of the same, I would get the narrower Front tire size and mount them on all four corners.
thank you - this is the info I was looking for!! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
None of the tire places will have 'snow' tires listed for the 453; it's a staggered fitment and snow tires are sold in sets of Four (same size for all four).

That being said, take either the front tire (width) or the rear tire (width) and get Four snow tires.
All the tire places will sell you Four snow tires and will mount them for you if they match the front or rear tire size.

Unfortunately, there aren't good snow tires in the stock sizes, but there are good tires the same width.

For 15" Fronts, stock size is 165/65/R15 - a good set of Four snow tires would be 165/60/R15s

For 15" Rears, stock size is 185/60/R15 - a good set of Four snow tires would be 185/55/R15s

I have good contacts with independent tire shops so I actually bought Four of each and had them mount the 'staggered' SNOW setup on 8 rims.
If I was limited to buying Four of the same, I would get the narrower Front tire size and mount them on all four corners.
Would there be a huge difference if I were to get the 185/55 as opposed to the 185/60?

The 165’s are not on Tirerack and they seem to have the best prices.
 

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Err, I don't understand - did you mean getting the 4 snows in 185/55 instead of the 165/60s?

Both sizes (widths) will fit on all four stock rims if that is what you are asking.
The 185/55/R15 tire is 23" overall diameter and fits on 15x5 - 15x7" wide rims.
The 165/60/R15 tire is 22.8" in diameter and fits on 15x4 - 15x6" wide rims.

I like snow tires on the narrower end for 'light snow / slush' conditions to get down to the pavement or hard-pack snow / ice underneath.

You asked for the 'optimal snow tire setup for the 2016'; price should not be a factor, safety and getting to your destination is at the top of the list.

I've tested several brands of 3PMSF 'Severe Snow Service' rated tires and only the Nokians passed my test posted here: Tire choices
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
My question was if there was a huge difference between 185/55/15 and 185/60/15 as these two sizes are available on Blizzaks. I cannot find a 165/60/15 snow tire.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

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What is the optimal snow tire size setup for a 2016?
For winter tires on the 453, I would go with 175/65R15 front and 195/60R15 rear.

The reason for this choice, is that there aren't any good matched winter tire choices in the standard 165/65R15 front and 185/60R15 rear tire sizes.

By going for the similar 175/65R15 and 195/60R15 tire sizes you keep the standard safe and predictable handling. Also, going up one size in width only increases the outside diameter of the tires by about 2%.

Continental VikingContact 7 175/65R15 88T XL

Continental VikingContact 7 195/60R15 92T XL
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I guess when I asked is there a huge difference, I meant huge difference in performance in snow between the 185/60s, the 185/55s or the 165s?
I am waiting to hear your recommendations as you seem to know what you are talking about.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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The main problem with snow tires for the 453 is the factory diameter (around 23.2" overall) where there are plenty of choices in summer and 3 season tires, but none in winter tires.

Remember that most of the time in the winter your 'snow' tires are seeing pavement.
Also consider that rubber formulations and tread design for snow tires are for temperatures below freezing.

The 453 has traction control, ABS, cross-wind assist systems that are pretty sensitive, so you want to stay around factory tire sizes to avoid a dangerous situation - even on dry pavement below freezing.

The 453, 451, and the 450s all have built in understeer by having 20mm narrower front tires than the rear tires.
No tire place is going to have a 'recommended' snow tire for any of these cars because the sizes and widths do not exist.

The only snow tire that comes close is to having the right overall diameter And the 20mm staggered sizes is the Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3 in 165/60/R15 Front and 185/55/R15 Rear.

There are plenty of people that have mounted the same size tire on all four corners of a 451, but it has been proven dangerous on the ten year more modern systems of the 453.

'Difference in performance in snow' - is a very hard question to answer.
Most of the time in the winter there is not snow (ex. plowed, sanded roads) that dry in a few days.
If you have to drive your 453 in varying condition roads, I would lean to keeping the stock staggered sizes in place (20mm difference) even in a snow tire.

I apologize for the long winded reply but you hit a hot spot of mine with 4 smarts and at least 32 summer / winter wheels ready to go :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you so much for this reply. Would you also recommend doing staggered on my all seasons? I bought the car with new Vredstein 185/60/15 on all 4 corners. I just want the best handling out of this 453 possible. Also, my wife had to replace her rear tires as owner before had cargo tires on it and one got a flat so she went with Felken G5 pro touring 185/60/15 on rear and has continentals on front (165s). Her 453 now handles like crap. Around highway ramps, the antilock engages. She just bought 195/60/15 ru flats and they are going on Wednesday. I hope they handle good.
 

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... There are plenty of people that have mounted the same size tire on all four corners of a 451, but it has been proven dangerous on the ten year more modern systems of the 453.
This is very important. There are several threads and posts about this, including mine:


I hope my post here is not out of place (I haven't really followed this thread because, well... I don't see a lot of snow here in California :)), but I'd put some extra thought into altering the factory wheel circumferences between front and rear.

Just sayin'
Jim
 

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Thank you so much for this reply. Would you also recommend doing staggered on my all seasons? I bought the car with new Vredstein 185/60/15 on all 4 corners. I just want the best handling out of this 453 possible. Also, my wife had to replace her rear tires as owner before had cargo tires on it and one got a flat so she went with Felken G5 pro touring 185/60/15 on rear and has continentals on front (165s). Her 453 now handles like crap. Around highway ramps, the antilock engages. She just bought 195/60/15 ru flats and they are going on Wednesday. I hope they handle good.
First, start by getting the same tire (brand, tread, traction, hardness, model) on your wife's car :)
For your car, if you don't have any issues with TCS going hard around a curve, don't bother changing it but the rears can be 205/50/15s again of the same (brand, tread, traction, hardness, model).
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
First, start by getting the same tire (brand, tread, traction, hardness, model) on your wife's car :)
For your car, if you don't have any issues with TCS going hard around a curve, don't bother changing it but the rears can be 205/50/15s again of the same (brand, tread, traction, hardness, model).
Thank you for all of your information. Very helpful.
 

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Hi, I didn't understand what you meant by "I actually bought Four of each and had them mount the 'staggered' SNOW setup on 8 rims."

I thought you were advocating getting 4 tires in the same size as opposed to staggered approach (with different size front vs rear tires). But this sentence seems to suggest you didn't get 4 of the same winter tires? I am not clear, sorry.

I am looking for winter tires for my 2017 Smart Fortwo Electric Drive and can't find winter tires in factory sizes, which are 165/65/15 front and 185/60/15 rear. Not sure what to do... Is it less safe to have 4 winter tires of same size?
 
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