It would be great if there was one winter tire out there that’s perfect for everyone regardless of what they drive. That is unfortunately not the case, though. Someone who dailies their Corvette year-round is going to want something different than someone who regularly drives their Ram 1500 up to the mountain house. Plus, not everyone wants to swap tires twice a year, and plenty would be perfectly happy with a winter-ready all-season tire.
With so many choices and different options, our friends at Consumer Reports recently published a list of the winter tires that performed the best in its testing across several categories. Sometimes there was a clear winner, and other times, a couple of tires did well enough to be mentioned, but this should be a helpful guide if you’re in the market for a winter tire.
Both the Michelin X-Ice Snow and Continental VikingContact 7 performed well in Consumer Reports’ testing, but the Bridgestone Blizzak WS90 narrowly beat out the Michelin. It’s not the quietest, nor does it have the best rolling resistance, but its consistently high performance in all categories gave it the overall win.
Best Performance Winter Tire
If you plan to do a little spirited driving this winter, Consumer Reports recommends the Bridgestone Blizzak LM005 due to its hydroplaning resistance, snow traction, and ice braking. LM005s aren’t cheap, though, so if you’re on a budget, consider the less-expensive Hankook Winter I*cept Evo 3. Alternatively, both the Vredestein Wintrac Pro and Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4 also performed admirably in testing.
Best Winter Truck Tire
According to Consumer Reports, if you have a truck, you’ll want to look at the Nokian Hakkapeliitta R5 SUV. Not only does it provide great snow traction and ice braking, but it also does so without sacrificing rolling resistance, which helps fuel economy. Alternatively, the GT Radial IcePro SUV 3 also scored highly while not being nearly as expensive as the Nokians.
Best All-Season Tire
If you just want a good all-around tire that you don’t have to change when temperatures drop, consider the General Altimax RT43. It performed well in wintery conditions and also has a projected tread life of 70,000 miles while being surprisingly affordable. Technically, the Michelin T+H performed slightly better, but it’s a more expensive tire that Consumer Reports didn’t think was worth the extra money.
Best Performance All-Season/All-Weather Tire
With superior handling and braking over a standard all-season tire, a performance-focused tire makes sense for anyone who still wants to have a little fun even when it’s cold out. And the best one Consumer Reports tested was unquestionably the Michelin CrossClimate2. Like most Michelins, they’re pricey, but treadwear testing suggests they’ll likely last 85,000 miles.
Best All-Season SUV Tire
Ideally, you wouldn’t put a sedan tire on your crossover since they tend to be heavier and handle differently. And when it comes to all-seasons, the Michelin CrossClimate SUV came out on top. If you’re not happy about its projected 40,000-mile tread life, though, consider the Vredestein HiTrac, which should last an extra 15,000 miles before it needs to be replaced.
Best All-Season Truck Tire
For truck owners, Consumer Reports found the Continental TerrainContact H/T offers an excellent combination of grip and longevity, likely lasting 70,000 miles. It’s also quiet and performed impressively in the snow even though it’s an all-season tire.
Best All-Terrain Truck Tire
If you do much off-roading in your truck, you’ll probably want an all-terrain tire. In that case, it’s hard to beat the Continental TerrainContact A/T’s excellent cold-weather performance, quiet ride and predicted 65,000-mile longevity. Still, the Michelin LTX A/T 2 isn’t far behind. It’s a little pricier, but if you don’t mind it being slightly louder, it should last longer than the Continental.
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