What every best Snow Tires has:
- Strong grip on snow and ice.
- A comfortable ride.
Nokian might not be a household name -- yet -- but experts largely say that the Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2 is simply the best winter tire you can buy. It performs superbly on snow and ice, bettering all tires in competitive tests, though some do come close. It's surprisingly well-behaved on dry pavement as well. U.S. availability for this Finnish-made tire is improving, but cost is a concern. See our full review »
In comparative tests, the Michelin X-Ice Xi3 typically finishes tied with the Nokian Hakkapelitta R2, or finishes just a whisker behind it. Value, however, is a major plus as this tire can be substantially cheaper in most sizes. Handling is a little sloppier than with the R2, experts say, but braking on snow and ice is every bit as good.
If you live where roads are often ice covered, studded snow tires can make sense. For maximum ice grip, the Nokian Hakkapeliitta 8 is the reigning champion. Its metal teeth literally bite into ice, reviewers say, and the tires do a terrific job on snow as well. Nokian's are available in a variety of sizes and for a wide range of vehicles. See our full review »Buy for $126.48
The studdable General Altimax Arctic is a solid runner-up winter tire in reviews. As a studded tire, it doesn't grip quite as well on ice as the top-rated Nokian Hakkapeliitta 8 and, as a studless tire, its ice grip trails the best studless snow tire, the Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2. However, experts still recommend it as a good, inexpensive snow tire, and owners love its performance and value.
If you drive a sports car, your summer tires will be useless in freezing temperatures -- that's where the Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4 shines. It lets you plow confidently through moderate snow and ice, without sacrificing performance on cold, bare pavement. It rides quietly and comfortably, with great tread life, though it won't provide as much grip as some non-performance tires when the going gets really tough. See our full review »
Experts agree that most so-called "all-season" tires are a bad choice for handling tough winter weather. However the Nokian WR G3 is something quite different -- an "all-weather" tire that's good enough on snow and ice to earn a snowflake symbol for its sidewall, indicative of a true winter tire. It's also a respectable performer for spring, summer and fall use.Buy for $101.78
Expert and owner reviewers give kudos to the Michelin Latitude X-Ice Xi2. Once one of the best passenger car winter tires, it's now been re-targeted exclusively for light trucks and SUVs and continues to excel in that role. Though feedback about performance in deep snow is mixed, there's no difference in opinion on how the tire handles other surfaces -- including ice -- and all say it's terrific. See our full review »