235/60R18

Tyre Reviews: In-Depth Analysis of 2023/24 Winter SUV Tires from Leading Brands

In the chilly embrace of winter, the choice of the right tire becomes paramount. Welcome to comprehensive 2023 analysis of SUV winter tires, brought to you by the tire enthusiasts at Tyre Reviews. If you've been wondering about the best tire brands and their performance under harsh conditions, this tire buying guide is precisely what you need.

Introduction

The 2023 SUV Winter Tire Test, second for the year, has put to the test nine top-performing winter tires in the widely sought-after 235/60 R18 size. Tyre Reviews methodology is thorough, examining the tires' performance in varying conditions—snow, wet, and dry terrains—while also assessing noise, comfort, and rolling resistance.

Snow Performance

On the lower end of the spectrum was the most affordable tire, offering subpar snow handling reminiscent of an ill-performing all-season tire, displaying disappointingly minimal grip. The Maxxis trailed by 8.4%, offering significantly better grip than the budget option, though still lacking when juxtaposed with the best tire brands in the lineup. Understeer and limited feedback were concerns, making it hard to gauge tire performance limits.

Car in Action: Snow Handling Test Snapshot
Car in Action: Snow Handling Test Snapshot © Tyre Reviews

Bridgestone showcased commendable traction, surpassing the Maxxis in performance but still exhibited a noticeable understeer.

Snow Braking

Hankook
15.92
Nokian
15.97
Michelin
16.06
Goodyear
16.13
Continental
16.21
Pirelli
16.23
Bridgestone
16.24
Maxxis
16.31
Leao
19.46

Info! Snow braking, m (40-5 km/h).

Snow Handling

Michelin
88.65
Continental
90.85
Goodyear
91.9
Pirelli
92.05
Hankook
92.35
Nokian
93.25
Leao
94.6
Bridgestone
94.9
Maxxis
96.3

Info! Snow handling, s (circuit).


Nokian, Hankook, and Pirelli followed closely, offering optimal tire performance with improved traction on turn-ins and an overall balanced drive. Among these, the Nokian stood out marginally in terms of tire durability and drive feel.

Goodyear and Continental raised the bar, providing slightly enhanced grip levels, with the Goodyear demonstrating a tad more understeer but compensating with substantial grip.

Snow Traction

Michelin
3.53
Pirelli
3.54
Bridgestone
3.56
Hankook
3.62
Goodyear
3.65
Nokian
3.67
Continental
3.68
Maxxis
3.76
Leao
4.51

Info! Snow traction, s (acceleration from 0-20 km/h).


The standout performer in snow handling was the Pilot Alpin 5 SUV, showcasing unrivaled tire performance. Its exceptional grip capabilities delivered a seamlessly balanced and enjoyable drive. The tire's prowess made it top the charts not just here, but also in Tyre Reviews car winter test.

As a side note

The Hankook Winter I*Cept Evo3 outperformed in snow braking, closely trailed by the Nokian. The Michelin Pilot Alpin 5 led in snow traction, with the new Pirelli Scorpion Winter 2 hot on its heels.

Wet Conditions

Navigating the slippery maze of wet conditions illuminated fascinating insights into the tire landscape. Overall, wet handling nuances among the contenders were razor-thin. While the Leao Winter Defender found itself a tad behind, trailing by 4% from the cream of the crop, its notable oversteer—bordering on capricious—became a talking point. This erratic behavior might offer some adrenaline-fueled moments for a tester on the tracks, but on regular roads, safety concerns loom large.

Captured in Action: Car Navigating the Wet Handling Test
Captured in Action: Car Navigating the Wet Handling Test © Tyre Reviews

Emerging as formidable titans in wet conditions were the likes of Maxxis, Nokian, Bridgestone, Hankook, Michelin, Continental, Goodyear, and Pirelli. Each showcased tire performance nuances so marginal that discerning them becomes an art. Their collective performance reflected impeccable tire safety features, durability, and a harmonious dance between grip and balance. For potential tire shoppers, these brands stood as exemplary beacons, especially in rain-laden scenarios.

Wet Braking

Michelin
32.86
Bridgestone
33.03
Continental
33.06
Hankook
33.32
Goodyear
33.64
Nokian
34.11
Pirelli
34.64
Leao
34.75
Maxxis
35.11

Info! Wet braking, m (80-5 km/h).

Wet Handling

Pirelli
73.11
Goodyear
73.33
Continental
73.45
Michelin
73.55
Bridgestone
73.85
Hankook
73.9
Nokian
74.13
Maxxis
74.56
Leao
76.14

Info! Wet handling, s.


When it came to the crucial aquaplaning tests—a true testament to tire safety and performance—the Nokian Snowproof 2 SUV emerged as the undisputed champion. Demonstrating stellar prowess in both straight and curved challenges, it carved a niche for itself. Not too far behind was the Bridgestone, grabbing a commendable second place, further solidifying its reputation among the best tire brands for wet conditions. For those delving deep into a tire buying guide, these two names undoubtedly hold a special significance.

Straight Aquaplaning

Nokian
90.7
Bridgestone
88.7
Maxxis
88.3
Hankook
86.6
Michelin
86.1
Pirelli
85.8
Goodyear
85.3
Leao
85.3
Continental
84.9

Info! Float speed, km/h.

Lateral Aquaplaning

Nokian
4.3
Bridgestone
4.08
Hankook
4.0
Continental
3.73
Leao
3.64
Michelin
3.63
Maxxis
3.6
Pirelli
3.42
Goodyear
3.4

Info! Lateral aquaplaning, m/sec2.


Dry Performance

Pirelli, Hankook, and Maxxis stood out prominently. These brands skillfully combine tire durability and performance, crafting tires that not only meet but surpass expectations on dry tracks. Their grip, responsiveness, and ability to maintain an impeccable balance even at high speeds are what make them stand out. For the avid track day enthusiast, these names evoke a sense of confidence and thrill, promising an exhilarating experience without compromising on tire safety features.

Snapshot: Car Demonstrating Dry Handling Skills
Snapshot: Car Demonstrating Dry Handling Skills © Tyre Reviews


Each tire brand displayed a commendable performance with unwavering stability, particularly during demanding lane transitions. This stability, crucial for ensuring safety during swift lane changes, is often a testament to the tire's construction quality, tread pattern, and the technology infused within. So, even if you aren't leaning towards a track day escapade, you can be assured of top-tier performance when cruising highways or city streets.

Dry Handling

Pirelli
66.11
Hankook
66.27
Continental
66.28
Maxxis
66.37
Michelin
66.61
Bridgestone
66.63
Nokian
66.88
Leao
67.11
Goodyear
67.36

Info! Dry handling, s.

Dry Braking

Leao
41.45
Pirelli
41.52
Michelin
42.15
Maxxis
42.63
Hankook
42.93
Continental
43.02
Bridgestone
43.46
Goodyear
43.75
Nokian
44.18

Info! Dry braking, m (100-5 km/h).


Comfort & Noise

Given the importance of comfort in SUVs, Tyre Reviews undertook a detailed noise and comfort assessment. The Michelin emerged as the top pick in subjective noise and comfort, with Bridgestone, Continental, Goodyear, Hankook, Nokian, and Pirelli closely following.

Subjective Comfort

Michelin
100 
Bridgestone
98
Nokian
98
Hankook
95
Continental
95
Goodyear
95
Pirelli
92
Leao
92
Maxxis
90

Info! Subjective comfort.

Noise

Michelin Pilot Alpin 5 SUV
68.9
Pirelli Scorpion Winter 2
70.0
Goodyear UltraGrip Performance Plus SUV
70.5
Bridgestone Blizzak LM005
70.8
Maxxis Premitra Snow WP6 SUV
70.9
Continental WinterContact TS 870 P
71.1
Leao Winter Defender UHP
72
Nokian Snowproof 2 SUV
72.2
Hankook Winter i cept evo 3 X
74.6

Info! Noise in dB, lower values are quieter.


Value & Efficiency

In an era where energy consumption is paramount, the Continental stole the show with its rolling resistance. Bridgestone and Hankook were not far behind.

Rolling Resistance

Continental
6.493
Bridgestone
7.248
Hankook
7.459
Leao
7.772
Michelin
8.186
Nokian
8.221
Pirelli
8.43
Maxxis
8.467
Goodyear
8.476

Info! Rolling resistance in kg/t, lower values indicate better efficiency.


Results

Result summary. Tyre Reviews Winter Tire Test— 235/60R18 Places 1–8. (click to enlarge)
Result summary. Tyre Reviews Winter Tire Test— 235/60R18 Places 1–8. (click to enlarge)

1. Continental / WinterContact TS 870 P: The Pinnacle of Efficiency and Grip

Quick Take
90 55

Continental WinterContact TS 870 P

Wet Performance Comfort Snow/Ice Performance Dry Performance Handling Treadwear
  • This tire replaced Continental / WinterContact TS 850 P
  • Available Sizes in Line: 183
  • Original Equipment (OE) tires for:
    • • Ford Explorer VI (U625) Facelift [2022 .. 2024]
    • • Ford Fiesta VII Facelift [2022 .. 2024]
    • • Ford Focus IV (C519) Facelift [2022 .. 2024]
    • • Ford Mustang VI (S550) Facelift [2018 .. 2024]
    • • Ford Puma II (J2K) [2019 .. 2024]
  • Recommended Tire by Tests
  • Year Released: 2021
  • Regions for sale: Europe, Russia+
Continental WinterContact TS 870 P

  • Strengths: Outstanding balance across all terrains, excelling particularly in wet conditions and snow. The crown jewel? Its unmatched rolling resistance—ensuring fuel economy.
  • Analysis: In the fierce competition of the best tire brands, Continental reigns supreme with this model. While it may have faced fierce competition from Michelin in terms of snow traction and dry braking, it consistently demonstrated superior tire performance in almost every category. If you're an electric vehicle owner or prioritize fuel efficiency, the Continental WinterContact TS 870 P should be your top pick. Hats off to Continental for this masterpiece!

2. Michelin / Pilot Alpin 5 SUV: A Harmonious Blend of Comfort and Performance

Quick Take
91 47
Price/Quality Snow/Ice Performance Wet Performance Handling Treadwear Dry Performance Comfort
  • This tire has run-flat model:
  • Available Sizes in Line: 100
  • Original Equipment (OE) tires for:
    • • Porsche Cayenne
    • • BMW X3
    • • Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class AMG
    • • Ford Kuga III (CX482) [2019 .. 2023]
    • • Ford Mustang Mach-E [2020 .. 2023]
    • • Ford Edge II [2015 .. 2018]
    • • Porsche Macan II [2024 .. 2025]
  • Recommended Tire by Tests
  • Year Released: 2018
  • Regions for sale: USA+, Canada, Europe, Russia+, East Asia
Michelin Pilot Alpin 5 SUV

  • Strengths: Dominates in dry conditions, boasts the best wet braking, unparalleled snow prowess, and offers a tranquil, comfortable ride.
  • Analysis: This Michelin variant showcases tire safety features par excellence. While its rolling resistance could have been better, its overall stellar performance across multiple terrains makes it a hot favorite. For those seeking a silent, cushioned drive without compromising on grip, Michelin has you covered.

3. Hankook / Winter i*cept evo3 X W330A X: Balanced Brilliance

Quick Take
84 32
Handling Treadwear Price/Quality Dry Performance Wet Performance Snow/Ice Performance Comfort
  • Year Released: 2020
  • Regions for sale: USA+, Canada, Europe, Russia+, South Korea
Hankook Winter i*cept evo3 X W330A

  • Strengths: Impressive dry performance, commendable wet grip complemented by aquaplaning resistance, and stellar snow braking.
  • Analysis: This Hankook model ticks most boxes, offering a delightful drive. Its only drawback? It might not be the quietest ride. Nevertheless, it remains a top contender and comes highly recommended.

3. Bridgestone / Blizzak LM005: Master of Wet Terrains

Quick Take
88 56

Bridgestone Blizzak LM005

Price/Quality Wet Performance Dry Performance Comfort Handling Snow/Ice Performance Treadwear
  • This tire has been replaced by Bridgestone / Blizzak 6
  • This tire replaced Bridgestone / Blizzak LM001 Evo
  • Available Sizes in Line: 224
  • Original Equipment (OE) tires for:
    • • Audi e-tron [2019 .. 2023]
    • • Volkswagen T-Cross I (C11) [2018 .. 2023]
    • • Audi A3 8Y [2020 .. 2023]
    • • Mercedes-Benz C-Class Br205 [2015 .. 2021]
    • • Volkswagen Caddy V [2020 .. 2023]
    • • Lamborghini Reventon [2007 .. 2009]
    • • Audi Q4 e-tron FZ [2022 .. 2024]
    • • BMW X7 G07 [2018 .. 2022]
    • • Lamborghini Revuelto [2023 .. 2024]
  • Recommended Tire by Tests
  • Year Released: 2019
  • Regions for sale: Canada, Europe, Russia+
Bridgestone Blizzak LM005

  • Strengths: Superior wet performance, excellent aquaplaning resistance, and impressive snow grip.
  • Analysis: Slightly trailing in dry and snow conditions compared to Hankook, the Bridgestone model compensates with enhanced comfort and a lower rolling resistance. An undeniable winter tire marvel.

5. Nokian / Snowproof 2 SUV: Snow and Slush Specialist

Quick Take
85 32
  • Available Sizes in Line: 52
  • Recommended Tire by Tests
  • Year Released: 2023
  • Regions for sale: Europe
Nokian Snowproof 2 SUV

  • Strengths: Admirable wet performance, unmatched aquaplaning resistance, and premium snow grip.
  • Analysis: While its dry performance leaves room for improvement, the Nokian model stands tall as a winter stalwart, especially for snowy terrains. A solid recommendation for those braving harsh winters.

6. Pirelli / Scorpion Winter 2: Dry Terrain Champion

Quick Take
87 45
Wet Performance Snow/Ice Performance Handling Comfort Dry Performance
  • This tire replaced Pirelli / Scorpion Winter
  • Available Sizes in Line: 55
  • Original Equipment (OE) tires for:
    • • Porsche Cayenne E3 (9Y) Facelift [2023 .. 2025]
  • Recommended Tire by Tests
  • Year Released: 2022
  • Regions for sale: Europe, Russia+, China
Pirelli Scorpion Winter 2

  • Strengths: Peerless in dry conditions, fastest wet handling, and a silent drive.
  • Analysis: Despite its average aquaplaning resistance, this Pirelli model stands out for its overall tire performance. A worthy addition to your SUV.

7. Goodyear / UltraGrip Performance+ SUV: Oldie but Goodie

Quick Take
85 42
  • Year Released: 2021
  • Regions for sale: Europe, Russia+, China
Goodyear UltraGrip Performance+ SUV

  • Strengths: Reliable wet and snow performance combined with comfort.
  • Analysis: While its dry performance and rolling resistance could be better, this Goodyear model remains a dependable choice, especially for wet terrains.

8. Maxxis / Premitra Snow WP6 SUV: Consistent Performer

Quick Take
N/A 27
  • Available Sizes in Line: 21
  • Year Released: 2022
  • Regions for sale: Canada, Europe, Russia+
Maxxis Premitra Snow WP6 SUV

  • Strengths: Dependable dry grip and handling.
  • Analysis: Limited grip in wet and snowy conditions coupled with a higher rolling resistance slightly mars its reputation. However, for those prioritizing dry performance, it's a suitable choice.

9. Leao Winter Defender UHP: A Mixed Bag

  • Strengths: Superior dry braking.
  • Analysis: Unfortunately, it lags in wet and snow grip, and could offer a more comfortable ride. Its redeeming quality? A commendable rolling resistance.