7 Best Snow Tires for Your Car
No matter what you drive, there's a snow tire for your vehicle. We've chosen seven top performers for you to consider. Better hurry — here comes the snow!
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Buying Snow Tires
It’s well known that in winter driving, snow tires give greater control and safety than all-season tires. Testing has shown that snow tires consistently perform better on snow- and ice-covered roads than all-season tires. The difference comes down to materials and small design details.
Snow tires are made of softer rubber that grips wet, cold surfaces better. Their tread design also allows snow to pass through more easily without getting packed in the tire’s surface. If you’re considering purchasing a set of snows, take a look at seven of the best snow tires around.
Replacing tires on your car requires the right tools and equipment, which can be expensive to purchase and requires training to use properly. Once removed, wheels need to be cleaned of any rust and corrosion before tires can be mounted. Tires have to be balanced properly before being mounted, which requires specialized machinery. Balancing tires helps ensure a safe, smooth ride and proper tread wear. While it is possible to do all of this yourself, you should definitely consider taking your vehicle to an installation pro to have tires replaced.
Note: Before buying snow tires, make sure they’re the right diameter and tread width for your vehicle.
Sumitomo Ice Edge Snow Radial Tire
These budget-friendly Ice Edge Snow Radial Tires from Sumitomo perform exceptionally well in ice- and snow-filled driving situations. Serrations in the treads help maximize bite. These tires are studdable, allowing for even more winter driving control for those who need it.
Bridgestone Blizzak Winter/Snow Passenger Tire
Although all certified snow tires are meant for use in sub-zero temperatures, some perform better when the thermometer really plummets. These Bridgestone BLIZZAK WS80 tires are among the best in this regard.
Made with specially formulated hydrophilic rubber, they stay softer and more pliable than other brands in extreme cold. That can mean the difference between staying on course or losing control of your vehicle in the winter.
Cooper Tire Evolution Winter Tire
The extra-aggressive tread pattern of this Tire Evolution Winter Tire from Cooper Tire makes it a must-have for the most serious of winter conditions, particularly in areas snow-covered for much of the year.
Reviewers, like this one on Amazon, appreciate the noticeable traction boost: “These are beefy, grippy, high traction snow tires! I typically drive on snow pack from November through May, as I live in a cold, snowy climate. I was about to give up and buy a new car with how much I was sliding, even with all wheel drive. These puppies have changed the game. I have not slid once since they were put on, and I can maintain control on glare ice with no problem.”
Nokian Nordman 7 Studded Winter Tire
These Nordman 7 Studded Winter Tires from Nokian are perfect for folks who do lots of winter driving and need the best possible grip on hard-packed snow and ice. The pre-installed metal studs increase tread aggression, making a loss of control much less likely, even when driving on the slickest of icy surfaces.
The set linked here is sized for smaller vehicles, but like most snow tires these come in various dimensions.
Cooper Discoverer M+S Winter Radial Tire
Another Cooper Tire product, these Discover M+S Winter Radial Tires are perfect for SUVs and light trucks that spend lots of time on snowy roads.
The thick, beefy treads and deeper-than-average zigzag ribbing are aggressive and wear-resistant, allowing larger passenger vehicles to get the best possible grip on cold, slick surfaces. The central sawtooth pattern helps stabilize each wheel and spread wear, giving improved driving control for as long as possible.
Michelin X-ICE Tire
With patented technology claiming to change the rubber’s consistency based on temperature, this Michelin X-ICE X13 Tire is designed to resist wear exceptionally well. The manufacturer claims these snow tires help stabilize the vehicle during travel.
Reviewers, like this one from Tire Rack, seem to agree that these tires wear noticeably slower than other models: “They handle just as well in dry conditions and much better in wet. Still have good amount of tread at nearly 75k miles driven, mostly highway, just passed inspection and I almost never check tire pressure, only rotated once at 50k miles.”
Pirelli Scorpion Winter Tire
Keeping your vehicle on the road with a light dusting of snow is one thing. Driving through a heavy dumping of the white stuff with ease is another. The latter is where these Pirelli Scorpion Winter Tires shine. They’re manufactured with higher silica rubber than other models to improve grip.
For best results, buy a set of four. With reviews like this one from Tire Rack, these tires are worth considering for serious winter drivers:
“These tires carried me through two of the worst So Cal mountain storms over the past holidays. Trying to get around closed roads I found myself on unplowed dirt roads with up to 12 to 15 inches of snow, slush and mud on them. The SQ5 kept moving when others were stalling out and getting stuck. At one point I had to back out a dirt road about a quarter mile when the Audi sedan in front of me got stuck, then drive up a steep muddy and snowy road I had come down in order to get out.”
Snow chains are another option for extremely snowy conditions.