A major tire retailer did a comparison in 2009 between the General Altimax Arctic, Firestone Winterforce and Pirelli Winter Carving Edge. The General's were tested with and without studs.
The General Altimax Arctic studded and studless were both the tops in the test results again the the other 2 brands according to Tirerack. What they liked best about the Generals was their excellent traction in snow and ice.
What they thought needed improvement was dry braking traction. It's interesting reading the test results, they try to make each tire sound as good as possible, after all, they are in the tire sales business but it was obvious the Altimax Arctic was the best tire of the bunch based on test results.
Are the General's the best tire in this comparison? According to the actual reviews at a couple major online tire retailers and other places I've read, I'd have to agree. I've read nothing but praise from actual owners of this tire.
Based on 761 surveys the unstudded General's ranked 9.2 out of possible 10 score. People overwhelmingly said they'd buy them again.
Here's what one guy said about them:
I have driven cars with Michelin Alpins, Blizzaks, Goodyear ultra grips, etc. While all of these tires are great at what they are designed to do, you cannot beat the value of this tire. I dare say it is every bit as good the other tires I have listed.
I looked hard for any negatives about this tire but couldn't find any other then TR saying they thought the braking on dry surfaces could be a tad bit better.
One person with a Prius likes them so well he's leaving them on year round. I wouldn't, but to each his own I guess.
Buy or Don't Buy?
Yes, I'd buy the General Altimax Arctic Tire they're an excellent winter tire.