It is always hard to find the best tire among the diversity of brands and models available on the market today. Even tires from mid range category can have some strong points, while branded tires are usually versatile and have balanced characteristics. To ease your choice we present winter snow & ice tire ratings that are structured according to the main performance parameters on:
- wet surface
- dry surface
The following criteria were taken into consideration:
- traction on different surfaces
- hydroplaning resistance
- cornering stability
- driving comfort and noise level
The ratings were formed by pmctire.com who took into consideration reviews of various car magazines, expert tests and customers’ reviews.
As a result o the tests and reviews, here are total winter snow & ice tire ratings with marks for each tire (according to 1-10 scale):
- Nokian Hakkapeliitta 7, R, S – 9.2
- Michelin X-Ice – 9.0
- Vredestein Snowtrac, Atrac 3 – 9.0
- Bridgestone WS-70 – 9.0
- Continental ExtremeWinterContact – 8.9
- Yokohama Iceguard IG 20 – 8.9
- Toyo Observe GSi 5 – 8.9
- Goodyear UltraGrip Ice WRT – 8.8
- Dunlop Graspic DS3 – 8.8
- Pirelli Winter Ice Control – 8.8
As you can see, there is no big gap in the results. If one tire lacks points in one category, it gains in another. It happens because each manufacturer has its own R&D that results in many innovative technologies. Nokian has more patents for winter tires than any other brand so it wins in our winter tire ratings. There was no doubt about the first place, but the results in the middle of the table are quite surprising. Japanese tire manufacturers made good products that compete with industry leaders Goodyear, Dunlop and Pirelli.
Nokian, Toyo, Yokohama and Pirelli were the best on snow. Michelin and Goodyear have lower grip on that surface.
Except Nokian (9.4), all tires showed similar abilities on ice (9.0), with just Pirelli slightly lagging behind.
Wet surface performance
Michelin and Vredestein have the most appropriate tread design for wet surface, so they win here. Pirelli and studded Nokian share the last place.
Dry surface performance
Vredestein and Nokian are the leaders (9.1) while Dunlop has the lowest mark – 8.
We can see two groups here: Nokian, Vredestein and Michelin – the leading one with 9.2-9.0, the rest with 8.6-8.8.
Here we have interesting results. The best performing tires were the noisiest with one exception – Michelin X-Ice. Driving comfort, however, is respective to the tire’s place in the table.
Cornering stability & Handling
The last criteria in our ratings. Nokian wins the nomination while Michelin shows relatively low performance – the sacrifice for better comfort. We have to say that in terms of handling snow tires are traditionally worse than summer tires as they are made of softer compound.