Snow Tires: Ratings of Sources
Total of 17 Sources
For an explanation of how we rank reviews, see our ratings criteria page.
by Editors of ConsumerReports.org
Our AssessmentAs part of its coverage of tires, ConsumerReports.org rates more than 30 non-studded winter tires, including regular winter tires, performance winter tires and those for light trucks (pickups and SUVs). Each tire is rated for snow traction; braking on icy, dry and wet roads; handling; hydroplaning; ride comfort; noise and rolling resistance, culminating in an overall score. Editors rank the tires from best to worst and recommend their top picks.
A Winter Tire You Can Use All Year Long
by Gene Petersen
Our AssessmentIn this article, ConsumerReports.org reviews a special year-round tire, the Nokian WR G3; unlike most of this site's articles, this one is free to nonsubscribers. Unlike ordinary "all-season" tires, the Nokian is up to a severe-winter challenge. "This tire shined in our tests," Petersen says, handling icy, snowy, dry and wet roads with ease (regular snow tires usually struggle on bare pavement).
Putting Studded, Studless Winter Tires to the Test
by Gene Petersen
Our AssessmentIn another free article, ConsumerReports.org reviews five studded winter tires. The studded Nokian Hakkapeliitta 7 outclasses all winter tires on snow and ice -- including the top studless tire, the Michelin X-Ice Xi3. However, editors don't test the studded tires' dry braking and handling.
Testing Studless Ice & Snow Tires: Winter Season Specialists
by Editors of TireRack.com
Our AssessmentWhile TireRack.com is a retail site, its staff conducts balanced, testing-based reviews of tires, including this comparative test of four studless ice and snow tires. Testing is detailed, and the methodology is thoroughly explained. Driving performance is examined both on a test track and on public roads, and when driving on ice and snow. All four tires have strengths and weaknesses, but the Continental ExtremeWinterContact and Michelin X-Ice Xi3 provide balanced performance with only limited trade-offs.
Testing Performance Winter / Snow Tires: Which Have the Right Balance of Performance?
by Editors of TireRack.com
Our AssessmentThis review is similar to the one above, only this time performance winter/snow tires are the focus of attention. Editors find that while performance winter tires deliver better handling on clear roads, traction is lower than with studless ice and snow tires. Regardless, however, they are a clearly better choice than best all-season tires in winter weather. While a couple of the other tires tested come close, the Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4 comes out on top.
Best Snow Tires for Light Passenger Vehicles
by Marshall Wisler
Our AssessmentIn this blog post, TireRack.com's Marshall Whistler says that smaller cars, such as lightweight coupes and sedans, struggle the most with traction on the snow. Despite their not handling as well on dry pavement, he recommends studless snow tires, and names two options that have done well in the site's testing.
Tire Survey Results -- Winter/Snow
by Contributors to TireRack.com
Our AssessmentThousands of consumers contribute to these ratings at TireRack.com, which ranks 17 passenger car winter tires. Each tire is scored in 12 categories (ice traction, deep snow traction, etc.), and the results are presented in easy-to-read charts. Owners report how many miles they've driven each tire and on what type of car. Links lead to written owner reviews for each tire, several of them quite thorough and thoughtful. A separate chart provides the same data and feedback for light-truck and SUV tires.
by Editors of Autos.ca
Our AssessmentThis Canadian online auto magazine (formerly CanadianDriver.com) doesn't rank the winter tires it tests, but one writer here does specifically name the Michelin X-ICE Xi3 as the winter tire he would put on his personal car. Other reviews here provide a wealth of information to help readers pick the best winter tire for specific driving needs. Testers relate their experiences driving some of the tires on their personal vehicles during Canadian winters.
2013-14 Passenger Vehicle Winter Tire Reviews
by Editors of the Automobile Protection Association
Our AssessmentThis Canadian nonprofit association is funded by membership fees, with no subsidies from the automobile, oil or insurance industries. The APA picks the top winter tires, based on both its own tests and ratings from tire experts and retailers. It has ratings for more than 20 winter tires for passenger cars and for SUVs. Ratings range from "top rated" to "below average." Though these recommendations are for the 2013-2014 winter season, all but one of the top rated models are current at the time of this update.
by Editors of AutoGuide.com
Our AssessmentAutoGuide.com does not rate or rank snow tires, but does have a handful of stand-alone reviews based on tests on closed tracks as well as out in the real world. Some reports are based on a season's worth of driving, such as a long-term test of the Michelin X-Ice Xi3.
by Contributors to TiresTest.com
Our AssessmentTiresTest.com is a user-review site that collects feedback from car enthusiasts from around the world. Some tires here get only a handful of reviews, others hundreds. Users rate their tires on a number of key factors, including traction and breaking in wet and dry conditions, traction in snow, ride comfort, noise level and more, along with the number of miles that they have driven on those tires.
by Sean Phillips
Our AssessmentSean Phillips, About.com's tires and wheels expert and the operations manager of a New England wheel and tire repair shop offers his take on popular tires, including snow tires. Coverage includes an in-depth write up of the Bridgestone Blizzak WS80, which has replaced the popular and well-rated Bridgestone Blizzak WS70. Elsewhere on the site there's a listing of the 10 best dedicated snow tires for 2013. Most of the recommendations in that list, including the top ones, remain current, but not all get a full review.
Winter tires 2013: our choices
by Jean-François Guay
Our AssessmentQuebec's French-language La Presse names top tires for dealing with the snowy winters that are common in that province. Jean-François Guay, tests, evaluates and ranks top tires and names the Nokian Hakkapeliitta 7 the top choice. It's an excellent performer on both snow and ice. Cost is a downside, as is road noise -- no surprise for a studded tire. The Michelin X-Ice Xi3 finishes second. Good traction is a virtue, but so is its quiet nature in highway driving.
Winter tire myths busted with a Focus ST on track
by Jack Baruth
Our AssessmentPerformance car owners will find this article that compares the handling of a performance car -- a Ford Focus ST -- with stock tires and with a set of winter tires of interest. The attention here is on handling on dry roads. Jack Baruth says that while the performance is certainly better with the stock tires, the Dunlop Winter Sports tires used in the comparison acquitted themselves well.
Are all-weather tires a good compromise?
by Dan Proudfoot
Our AssessmentThis article looks at the performance of the Nokian WRG3 all-weather tires driving through a variety of different conditions, including snow, slush and ice. Based on his experiences, Dan Proudfoot says that these tires are good alternatives for those that don't want a set of dedicated snow tires in milder climates, such as Southern Ontario, but not for those in climates where deep snow is likely.
Our Cars: 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI – A Tale of Two Toyo Tires
by Benson Kong
Our AssessmentMotor Trend doesn't do an especially good job of reviewing winter tires, but an occasional gem can surface if you search the site. An example is this report that comments on the performance of a set of Toyo Observe GSi5 winter tires and a set of Proxes 4 Plus all-season tires on the same Volkswagen Jetta vehicle.
by Contributors to TireBuyer.com
Our AssessmentTireBuyer.com is an online tire retailer that lets users post reviews of tires that they own. Some tires get only a handful of reviews, others get hundreds. Users can post their location, the types of roads they drive over, the typical conditions they face and whether or not they would buy these tires again, though not all provide those bits of information.