The winter season is here and with it comes all the snow, slush, ice and muck that makes driving during this time such a headache.
However you can cut through all that mess if your car is equipped with winter tires. You may be wondering what winter tires to get, and we’ve got some handy information from the folks at TireRack.com to help point you in the right direction.
Customers at TireRack.com have reported back to the online retailer via surveys, explaining their likes and dislikes on the winter tires they purchased, and there’s a staggering 130,915 surveys offering info. Things from the amount of miles logged on a set of tires, to the way they feel in the wet and dry are all ranked and it allows us to get a good understanding of what the best tires you can get are. These surveys have been going on since 1997, and encompass 459 different tire models.
Here are the best winter tires they are in each respective category for both cars and SUVs.
Studless Ice & Snow:
These are your typical winter tires. Without the use of studs, these tires are designed to provide traction in ice and snow. They may not be best winter tires for dry and wet weather, but they’ll provide the best confidence in white stuff.
The Bridgestones Blizzak WS80 were the top rated tire according to TireRack customers, netting over 1.3 million miles of reported reviews. These tires topped all others offered at the online retailer earning top marks in snow and ice performance while also impressing owners with their performance in the wet as well. Owners all seem to agree that they’d recommend these tires to someone else.
Studdable Winter / Snow
Drivers who live in areas that see a lot of ice may want to get these kinds of tires, which can be equipped with studs to enhance grip in slippery situations. On the other hand, they don’t need studs to be effective winter tires either.
The General Altimax Arctic has over 11 million miles on the road according to its reviewers, and are regarded as the best tires in this category by the online retailer. It earned top marks in the snow and ice performance, in addition to dry road performance, where studded tires can be a pain. Finally, the tires also received the best rating in the class for comfort.
Performance Winter / Snow
These tires are designed to have some basic capabilities in the snow and ice, but are designed to excel at cold, dry weather driving.
With 63,000 miles logged, these Pirelli Winter Snowcontrol Serie 3 tires are the top rated items offered at TireRack, thanks to high marks in comfort and dry weather handling. The tires also scored quite highly with customers in the Wet and Snow categories as well.
Light Truck/SUV Studless Ice & Snow
SUVs and Crossovers need winter tires too, even if they have fancy all-wheel drive systems. The tires are the essential part of the vehicle that gives it traction, and if the rubber has no grip then nothing will change that. Like the car categories, these Studless Ice and Snow tires are the tires designed to excel in snow and ice, while being adequate at dry and wet handling.
Bridgestone delivers another solid offering for winter tires, this time with the SUV focused Blizzak DM-V2. These tires delivered the best ratings for everything except treadwear, so if you’re looking for the most capable tire for your truck then these are them.
Light Truck/SUV Studdable Winter / Snow
If you’re worried about driving your truck on ice, then you need to consider getting studdable winter tires. While able to provide good traction in the snow thanks to good winter tire compound, these tires have the optional benefit of being able to have studs which will improve traction on icey surfaces.
The Firestone Winterforce LT was the top product offered here, with reviewers racking up 828,000 miles and reporting excellent performance in the dry in addition to the already good handling in the snow and ice.
Light Truck/SUV Performance Winter / Snow
It’s a niche, but they’re winter tires nonetheless. These tires are designed to provide excellent dry and wet road handling performance in cold weather, and will trade off snow and ice handling in order to get that.
They’re one of two items offered at TireRack, so it’s obvious one of these Pirelli Scorpion Winter tires models will take the crown as best rated. While these are considered the best in the segment for being generally better than their ice and snow counterparts.