Top Winter Tires

Gain Traction With Amazing Tires

Top Snow TiresA new set of snow tires can make the difference of your vehicle being in a ditch or staying on the road. We may try to squeeze every bit of use from our tires, but during winter with snow and ice on the roads, safety should be our number one concern. The price you spend on quality winter tires can save your vehicle from wreckage or even save your life. If you don’t purchase dedicated snow tires for winter make sure you have top notch all-season tires on your vehicles.

Below is a top 9 winter tires chart for quick reference before you dig in for a more complete review of each tire’s pros and cons.

Top Snow Tires

Tire NameSpeed RatingsAvailable Tire SizeApproximate Retail Price
9. >Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D
H, and V195/65R15 to 275/35R21$94.74 - $383.14 each
8. >Bridgestone Blizzak WS70
Bridgestone Blizzak WS70
T185/60R15 to 245/45R17$83.41 - $187.44 each
7. >General Altimax Arctic
Q175/70R13 to 235/45R17$54.00 - $196.71 each
6. Goodyear Ultra Grip Ice WRT
Goodyear Eagle Ultra Grip Ice WRT
S225/70R16 to 265/70R17$89.59 - $199.80 each
5. >Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4
Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4
V235/45R17 to 245/35R20$240 each
4. >Nokian WRG3
Nokian WRG3
T to V175/65R14 to 245/45R18$245 each
3. >Continental ExtremeContact DWS
Continental ExtremeContact
Y195/50R16 to 315/35R20$107.00 - $291.99 each
2. Michelin X-Ice Xi3
Michelin X-Ice Xi3
H175/65R15 to 235/55R17$107.10 - $228.64 each
1. Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2
Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2
R155/65R14 to 255/35R20$250 each
Included in the matrix are 4 columns:
•Tire name and picture - (click to view more details or to purchase)
•Speed Ratings - This letter denotes the maximum sustainable speed and is found directly after the load index. For S-speed-rated tires, it's 112 mph; for T, 118 mph. Speed ratings for other tires include Q, 99 mph; H, 130 mph; V, 149 mph; and Z, 150 mph plus.
•Available Tire Size - The different sizes the tire is manufactured in.
•Approximate Retail Price - This is just the estimated price for the tires. It doesn't include sales or discounts available at retail stores. Tire size will also change the price.

 

Winter Tires Reviews

We selected 4 snow tires for further in-depth comparison. They represent all levels of performance and quality of tires from the chart above. With seasonal tires you can usually expect most to outperform in snow and ice, but a few can handle the dry payment as well. Kicking of the reviews with the top 2 winter tires, are the Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2 and the Michelin X-Ice Xi3.

Michelin X-Ice Xi3

Best Snow Tire

Pros
  • Superior grip on ice and snow
  • Quiet, comfortable ride
  • Strong durability history for this tire line
Cons
  • Poor performance on wet, dry pavement
  • Treadwear warranty is very strict

 Overall

The new Michelin X-Ice Xi3 is a outstanding studless winter tire. Its design excels grip on snow and ice even the toughest Scandinavian and North American winters. But this tire is for seasonal use only.

Performance

Handles Terrific for severe ice and snow. The Michelin X-Ice Xi3 out performs all rivals on winter roads according to professional tests. With outstanding grip on ice and snow, the opposite is true on clear dry and wet pavement. Expect long braking distances, a common trait for severe-winter snow tires.

  • If you usually drive on cleared roads, consider a milder winter tire for performance such as: the Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D.

Comfort

Smooth and quiet. The reviews reveal a very quit snow tire even when stacked up against all-weather ones. Most snow tires, tend to make handling feel sluggish and are noisier than all-weather tires, but the Michelin X-Ice Xi3 surprises all. Owners to pros agree saying the tires are very quiet.

Durability

A 40,000 mile treadwear warranty. Michelin backs the Xi3 (like the Xi2) with a 40,000-mile treadwear warranty — a rarity among snow tires, which usually carry no tread warranty at all. However, you can’t collect until you’ve worn the tire nearly bald (2/32 inches).

  • TireRack.com recommends removing winter tires when they have 5/32 inches of tread left for safety reasons.

 

Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2

Best Winter Tire

Pros
  • Cuts through even deep snow with ease.
  • Handling is extraordinary for a snow tire.
  • Excellent ice and snow grip.
  • Fun to drive.
Cons
  • Lateral grip limits and progressive grip are unknowns.

 

Overall

A tire you want. The winter qualities of the Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2 are improved by the new cryogenic silane compound technology embedding crystalline grit into the tire tread. The angled siping patterns and the claw edges inside the grooves further excels the performance of the snow tire. Handles excellent not only on snow, ice, but on dry pavement as well.

Performance

Outstanding on snow and off. On hardpack snow these tires drive like on pavement. There is almost no wheel spin, and steering response is both strong and sharp. Braking is forceful and quick on both ice and snow. What stands this tire apart from countless others is the high performance on dry pavement.

Comfort

Precise and quiet. The R2’s were smooth and precise, with a springy handling and great steering feedback. They were also remarkably quiet for winter tires, generating only a medium bell tone that I had to open the window to hear at all.

Durability

No treadwear warranty. Like most snow tires, the Hakkapeliitta R2 carries no treadwear warranty.

 

Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4

Winter performance tire

Pros
  • Excellent performance on cold, bare pavement
  • Extraordinarily comfortable ride
  • Long-wearing
Cons
  • Not for severe-weather regions

 

Overall

A performance tire made for sports cars. It keeps the car planted in snow and ice. Experts and owners agree that the Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4 is the best tire for the job.

Performance

A sports tire for severe-winter. Experts recommend the Pilot Alpin PA4 for drivers of sports cars and performance sedans who travel on cold, clear roads. It handles decently in snow and ice making curves better then all-weather counterparts and it rarely hydroplanes. “Sports-car responsiveness on dry roads in winter,” Car and Driver concludes after testing the Pilot Alpin PA3.

That said, reviewers caution that this is not an appropriate tire for regions that    experience severe winter weather. Still, it beats other performance winter tires in one harsh-winter test. It plows through snow with ease and brakes very quickly on ice. Michelin claims Helio (a new silica-based rubber compound) gives greater low-temperature flexibility, leading to a 5% shorter stopping distance.

Comfort

Quiet and extremely comfortable. The Michelin Pilot Alpin PA3 is extremely comfortable to ride and quieter than any other winter tire being comparable to all-weather ones.

Durability

Long-wearing, with a 30,000 tread wear warranty. TireRack.com has reviews stating customers experiencing longevity with wear for the Michelin Pilot Alpin PA3. One statement was, “I just removed these tires after their third winter, thinking I would be    replacing them,” writes one Massachusetts owner after 33,000 miles. “They still looked so good I measured the tread depth and found they still averaged over 7/32 [of an inch] so I will be getting a fourth winter out of    them.”

  • Experts at TireRack.com say. They recommend removing winter tires when they have 5/32 inches of tread left.

 

Bridgestone Blizzak WS70

Good Winter tire

Pros
  • Excellent snow performance.
  • Extraordinary grip on glare ice.
  • Good wet road handling.
Cons
  • Very loose dry-road performance.
  • ‘Squishy’ handling.
  • High treadwear.

Overall

A good snow and ice tire at a good price. Dry road handling is tolerable at best. Best use of the Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 is on snow and ice covered roads; you won’t be disappointing.

Performance

Handling on snow and ice is superb. There isn’t much to complain about when used on ice and snow. The grip and handling is top notch in the right conditions. However, in dry pavement the story changes. Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 tires seem to have both wear and handling issues on dry roads; by giving a very loose and “squishy” feel on pavement with high tread wear.

Comfort

 Noise and ride are well. Reviews rate these tires as relatively low noise levels with a comfort ride. Users state a low whining noise with acceleration.

Durability

No treadwear warranty. Like most winter tires, the Bridgestone Blizzak Ws70 carries no treadwear warranty. These tires lifespan is maybe 2 winters.

 

 

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