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Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3Reviews

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  • 15 reviews

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    Review breakdown

    • 6 out of 100
    • 9 out of 100
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    Nokian is based in Finland, and Finland sees a lot of snow. Snow is kind of a way of life in Finland, really. Not surprisingly, Nokian’s strong suit is winter tires.

    The Hakkapeliitta R3 (“Hakkapeliitta” is derived from the term for Finnish cavalry soldiers from the 17th century) from Nokian is one of their best offerings in winter tires. The Hakkapeliitta R3 is a studless winter tire that’s designed for a perfect balance of relentless winter traction with premium touring-tire comfort and handling. The result is a tire that delivers low rolling resistance for improved fuel economy, low noise, a comfortable, forgiving ride, and responsive handling – along with top-notch braking and performance in snow, slush, freezing rain and ice.

    So does this tire from Nokian really live up to the hype? Let’s take a closer look with this Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3 review.

    Features and Benefits

    Nokian has a reputation for real innovation in winter tires; here’s some of the features and advantages you can expect to find with the Hakkapeliitta R3:

    • Multifaceted Snow Claws embedded in the tread blocks and shoulders for extra grip in slush or loose snow
    • Specialized rubber formulation stays pliable at subfreezing temperatures, yet reduces friction for low rolling resistance and improved fuel economy
    • Tread is designed so that packed snow in tread grooves actually enhances traction
    • Tread pitch is computer tuned to cancel road noise frequencies and deliver a quiet ride
    • Rubber compound is infused with environmentally-friendly Crio Crystal 3 for improved grip on icy surfaces
    • Three Peak Mountain Snowflake certified for severe winter service
    • Aramid fiber-reinforced sidewall for durability and resistance to damage from potholes, curb scuffs
    • Directional tread pattern with angled grooves diverts water and slush away from the tire’s footprint to resist hydroplaning
    • Contact patch is optimized to put more rubber in contact with the road

    Pros and Cons

    So, is this the right tire for your budget and ride? Before you decide, let’s take a look at the Hakkapeliitta R3’s strengths:


    • Unbeatable traction in the roughest conditions
    • Quiet and comfortable
    • Handling is precise and responsive
    • Excellent braking performance
    • Three Peak Mountain Snowflake certified

    Unfortunately, no tire is perfect and that’s true for this Nokian tire too:


    • Cannot be used when temperatures are consistently above 45 degrees Fahrenheit
    • Not pre-drilled for installation of studs
    • Not backed by a limited manufacturer tread life warranty
    • Not great on dry pavement

    SimpleTire’s view on Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3 tires

    There are a lot of design considerations to be taken into account when it comes to winter tires. First and foremost, they need to offer traction and braking performance that outclasses all-season tires, but they also need to be civilized in terms of noise levels, ride quality, and handling. They also need to be durable enough to withstand rough roads or the occasional hit from a pothole without the tire failing.

    Nokian has managed to hit all those performance targets with the Hakkapeliitta R3. Winter traction is second to none, even in deep snow and un-plowed or poorly-plowed roads, and it’ll get you to the top of a summit for a snowboarding excursion when other winter tires just can’t get the job done. Ride quality and noise levels are great, and the Aramid-reinforced casing is tougher than a lot of light truck tires. The Hakkapeliitta R3’s low rolling resistance makes it a good candidate for EV’s, and you have the peace of mind of knowing that the Hakkapeliitta R3 (like all Nokian tires) is made using sustainable, green materials for a lower carbon footprint.

    As for the cons…no, it’s not pre-drilled for installation of studs, but honestly you don’t really need studs with this tire. A word about studs: studded tires are really hard on pavement surfaces, and aren’t legal in many states. The states where studded tires are legal usually restrict the months of the year when they can be used, so check local and state laws. No, it doesn’t come with treadwear warranty (most winter tires don’t), and no, the Hakkapeliitta R3 isn’t great on dry pavement or in warmer weather. Tire manufacturers advise against using winter tires if temperatures are above 45 degrees Fahrenheit, since the pliable, flexible rubber formulation will wear quickly in warmer weather.

    The Hakkapeliitta R3 isn’t an inexpensive tire, but it’s really worth it if you need a 3PMS-rated winter tire that can get through deep snow or slush safely. It’s that good.

    Vehicles the Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3 is a good replacement tire for

    The Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3 is a good fit for coupes, sedans, CUVs, and minivans such as the:














    15 SimpleTire reviews

    Hyundai Elantra 2022 Limited
    Verified Customer
    Feb 21, 2022

    Great winter tires. Driving in mid-Michigan, between two small cities with semi-rural country in the middle. City streets are usually plowed and salted, but the county road in between sometimes has hard-packed snow. Weather is usually between 0 and 20F, but occasionally in the 30-40F range, just long enough to create water puddles. These tires have performed well in all those conditions: dry (bare, salted pavement), hard-packed snow, and wet. Acceleration, turning, and braking all feel crisp and confident in all conditions. Have not yet driven at highway speeds. My top speed has been 55 mph on county roads. Have only owned for 2 months, so cannot comment on treadwear.

    Nissan Altima 2012 S Coupe (CVT)
    Verified Customer
    Feb 8, 2022

    Tires arrived 4 years old, would like to see them newer if possible. Maybe this is an old model.

    Volkswagen Golf SportWagen 2019 S 4Motion
    Verified Customer
    Feb 5, 2022

    I am writing this review after driving in some hardpack snow and slush after our recent storm in the northeast. The best way to describe these tires in bad winter weather conditions is like a high-performance summer tire in the rain. I can break them loose, but only for a moment, and I have to try. I've driven on older WinterForce 2's, and those were great. However, these Nokians are an entirely different league. Suppose you want a comfortable, predictable, confidence-inspiring tire to get you through winter weather and even cold, dry roads. Look no further. Acceleration, cornering, and braking are all phenomenal in harmful conditions. Minimal noise for a snow tire, and they ride better than my dealer installed Ironmans. 5/5 would buy again and recommend everyone else too as well

    Volkswagen Golf R 2015 Base
    Verified Customer
    Jan 22, 2022

    I've always been a fan of having a dedicated set of winters and the last time I researched the various options the Nokian Hakka R2s were the best on the market. This season, due to wear and tear, I had to replace my previous set of R2s with the newer R3s. SimpleTire had these in stock when I couldn't find them anywhere locally due to supply chain issues, and as a bonus they were slightly cheaper. They shipped quickly and arrived one day after their estimated arrival (can't complain about that at all).

    Cadillac CTS 2013 V Wagon Rear
    Verified Customer
    Feb 1, 2021

    fantastic winter tires, and surprisingly good in dry weather. i use these on a cadillac cts-v and they do well on the dry days, fantastic in the snow

    Verified Customer
    Jan 9, 2021

    Awesome in cold, wet conditions - improved our stopping ability dramatically.

    Verified Customer
    Jan 9, 2021

    Great winter tires! I bought these tires for my 2019 FIAT 124 Spider and if there was ever a performance - type winter tire, these would be it! I was so surprised at the immense grip these tires provide, especially in wet conditions during spirited driving. As all winter tires go, these are a bit loud and "spongy" in warmer temperatures, but even if you do not get any snow, you will benefit from the performance of the winter tire rubber compounds, especially when its below freezing outside.

    Verified Customer
    Dec 17, 2020

    Just had 1 foot of snow in Pittsburgh PA with hills everywhere. Went through everything like a tank. Great tires

    Verified Customer
    Dec 6, 2020

    Awesome tires. Probably have guaranteed no snow for Chicago area since I bought these this year, but they have been great. Waiting for snow to really test them out. The buying and installation process worked flawlessly; don't let online keep you from ordering. Dozens of more choices than Discount Tire.

    Verified Customer
    Mar 30, 2020

    I had Blizzaks 3 years ago and I feel safer with these. Snow and especially ice handling are definitely superior. Wet is also better. Only negative on my Audi A7 is how it tracks at 75 to 85. I ski and drive Utah, Idaho, Wyoming and Colorado where those speeds are common and I find if I hold the wheel dead straight it will wander one lane. But, the wet ice and snow is so superior I happily put up with the wandering. I had a professional snow/ice driving instructor drive my car on snow and ice and he said he has not had better grip with any other tire and he has driven on all the other top brands. Love the R3s!!! Ken

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