2016 Top 5 Winter Tires Oct 14, 2016 by Cedric (Driver Weekly)
With colder weather approaching, it is time to make sure that your car is ready to handle everything that winter throws its way. One of the most important steps is swapping out your all-season tires for winter tires designed to handle the extreme cold without losing their flexibility or traction. If you aren’t sure which tires to buy, you can always ask your service center. Another option is to choose one of these top five winter tires, which are all recommended by experts.
Bridgestone Blizzak WS 80
Bridgestone’s Blizzak line was introduced during the 1990s and was the first to include a rubber compound that improves performance on ice. These tires continue to lead the pack with tread that is less aggressive and shallower to help them handle snow and ice. They brake better on ice than other models and perform well on dry roads as well. As a bonus, they are known for providing a pleasantly soft ride.
Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2
These are ice tires that consistently win brake tests across Europe. They are expensive and more popular in Europe than the United States but are worth it if you live in a region with heavy snow and ice. If you have a rear-wheel drive vehicle with a sporty performance, then these winter tires will let you handle pavement or severe weather without sacrificing as much as the competition.
Continental WinterContact SI
These tires have a truly superior grip when it comes to braking and cornering, and they are very easy to find. Best of all, they are available in 33 different tire sizes so you should be able to buy a size that fits your SUV or car. Just keep in mind that their tread depth is only 10/32” so you shouldn’t necessarily expect them to last as long as some of the other options, but while they do they will provide a safer and more comfortable drive.
Michelin X-Ice Xi3
Michelin is well-known for creating high-quality tires, meaning it is no surprise that they have some of the top winter tires. These tires offer a superior performance whether the road is wet or dry. They also provide excellent ride comfort. Of course, as winter tires, they have been optimized to work with snow and ice. As a bonus, they take a long time to wear down and are quieter than our other alternatives.
Toyo Observe G Si5
These Toyo tires are optimized to handle ice as well as deep snow. Their only downside is that they aren’t a top performer if the road is wet or cleared off. If, however, you are dealing with snow or ice in the country or an area with rough and uncleared roads, they are a must have. They are also occasionally louder than typical winter tires. You should consider these if you have a heavier vehicle since they are incredibly durable. This is due to their combination of a long-wearing rubber compound and a deep tread.