I finally got around to getting a set of Michelin X-Ice XI2's from Tirerack for the winter. They were rated at the top of Consumer Reports Winter tire ratings and are rated 'very good' for rolling resistance. I figure I would give them a shot this year.
I needed a set of wheels to have them mounted on, months ago when I found out the tire was a 205/55-16 I thought 'Hey, that's the same size that my old S14 ('96 Nissan 240SX) had on it's stockers.'. So I compared the dimensions of the wheels and sure enough they were exactly alike; 16"x6.5" wheel, 5x114.3 bolt pattern, +40mm offset, 66.5mm hub. A decent set of S14 wheels is easy to come by, locally I can always find a set, oddly enough this was the 3rd set of those wheels that I've purchased. I found a set that had been used as drift spares. They were clean, straight, held air, in good condition, no repairs or paint and were relatively free of blemishes and curbing. I've never paid more than $100 for a set of S14 stockers, I got these for $80 but the tires were essentially useless. It's surprising how these 2 wheels are separated by over 15 years yet Nissan uses the same exact dimensions today.
I was surprised that the Leaf's OEM wheels are made by Enkei. They have their fair share of crap-tastic bling wheels, but from their motorsports selection, I've owned and used for several sets for racing and as far as a wheel that is both light and strong, they are well worth the price.
For giggles and to test the fitment of the S14 wheels as well as to see if they were an issues w/ them I tossed them on the car w/ the old ratty spent tires still on them and drove around. The ground was a little wet and the tires essentially had no tread left but as long as I avoided any standing water I knew that I would be alright.
Strictly on a performance level; the Bridgestone Ecopia absolutely blow. To call them crap would be insulting crap everywhere. Here was a set of tires that were beaten to death, cord showing, unevenly worn, left outside for what looked like months, were heat cycled to the point of where they were as hard as plastic and they still gripped better than the Ecopias.... on wet roads. I thought, "Well, maybe the Ecopia's strength is in it's low rolling resistance and the range benefit.".... more on that later. I got the tires mounted and put the Leaf's OEM wheels away. Weight-wise there seems to be about 5 lbs of difference (by estimation form picking each wheel up and judging them) between the S14 OEM wheel + the X-Ice vs the Leaf's OEM wheel + the Ecopia, where the winter tire package is lighter.
Today I did a 54 mile round trip in the early afternoon which I repeated the same exact route driving in nearly the same exact conditions this evening. For the afternoon trip which I did w/ the OEM equipment, I ended up w/ 17 miles on the Guess-O-Meter. In the evening after the same trip on the X-Ice's I came back w/ 19 miles. So much for the Ecopias being hugely fuel efficient. The main difference is that in the evening it was colder (32 degs according to the outside temp on the car vs low 40's in the afternoon) and it was at night so I was running my headlights in addition to using more heat.
The X-Ices are a little louder than the Ecopias, when you accelerate and/or brake hard they have a strange raspy sound that sounds almost like sand running down a slide, possibly from the siping for winter tires. They of course grip better than the OEMs in the cold and dry which is expected since at 32 degs I wouldn't expect any all season tire to be as good. So now there is the issue of the warning lights coming on indicating that I have low tire pressure. Since I did not use TPS's in the winter setup, I'll just live w/ it. I've done so on other cars so its no inconvenience for me once my mind maps to it. The Leaf is a 3200lbs car, the S14 is 2900lbs. My experience w/ Nissan wheels is that they are severely overly built for the car they are used on. I'm not concerned about the weight difference.