Monday, June 17, 2024

Best snow tires for winter 2022 and 2023

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In most countries winter tires are a must – changing them on and off is a seasonal ritual. But they are a confusing topic and are offered in many variations. We turned to Tire Rack to help make sense of it. Tire Rack’s rankings are based on user reviews, and it also does its own tire testing – in this case, even using an ice rink.

In budgeting for this purchase, keep in mind that it’s highly recommended for you to run a full set of four matched snow tires. The old days when your grandpa would put on just two are long gone!

Bridgestone Blizzak WS90 (from $101.99 in sizes down to 14″)

Blizzack has become practically synonymous with tires for snow and ice. The WS90 works for passenger cars, minivans, crossovers. Tire Rack likes its braking performance on wintry surfaces and its steering feel. In traction and handling tests, it ranks a very close second to the next tire on our list. But nothing beats it for stopping distance on both wet and dry surfaces.

Michelin X-Ice Snow (from $111.99 in sizes down to 14″)

It beat even the Blizzak in snow traction and handling. Tire Rack’s testers comment it like that: “Excellent road manners combined with balanced traction for all road conditions.”

Continental VikingContact 7 (from $92.78)

This tire is described as “competitive” with the others and earns praise for low highway tread noise, though it can be noisy on rough surfaces. It also gets dinged slightly for steering feel.

Goodyear WinterCommand Ultra (from $129.73)

This Goodyear is lauded for its traction on both snow and ice. “Traction in line with the best with a distinct connection to the road.”

Yokohama IceGuard IG52C (from $90.37)

Good ice and snow traction. Not the best of this bunch, but it’s the best price here and may be good enough for your needs. Tire Rack’s verdict: “A good value that performs well on ice and in the snow.”

Studdable

Cooper Evolution Winter (from 107.99)

If you believe in studs, this tire gets a 100% rating from Tire Rack customers. Tire Rack has not done testing on this class of tire.

General Altimax Arctic 12 (from $119.99, in sizes down to 14″)

No. 2 on Tire Rack customers’ list of studded favorites.

Firestone Winterforce 2 (from $88.99 in sizes down to 14″)

If you don’t want to spend much on tires you run just a few months a year, but you want studs, this might be the bargain buy.

Winter performance

Michelin Pilot Alpin PA/4 (from $234.80)

Good handling and great traction in all conditions. (It’s derived from the Pilot Alpin PA/4 N-Spec, which was the highest-ranked tire in this category, though the N-Spec was developed specifically for Porsches, is extremely expensive, and is available only in 19″ and 20″.)

Vredstein Wintertrac Pro (from $161.80, starting at 17″)

This one was tested against two Michelins and was competitive for wet and dry traction, and tops in ride quality. Tire Rack testers deemed it a bit noisy but call it a “strong contender” in this category.

Bridgestone Blizzak LM-32 (from $165.99)

Not tested. But it’s a Blizzak and well-liked by customers

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