Consumer Reports: Winter Tires 2019

Winter tires have a tread with more biting edges for better grip on snow and ice than all season tires, and many have a softer rubber compound that remains flexible in extremely cold temperatures.

Size tested: 215/60R16.

  1. Cooper Discoverer True North - Winner Recommended
    Verdict:

    This highly rated Cooper winter/snow car tire gets an Excellent rating for comfort, as well as for snow and ice performance.

    Ride Comfort   Snow Traction   Noise   Ice Braking   Dry Braking   Wet Braking  
    Test Score:
    70
    N/A 25
  2. Hankook Winter i*cept iZ 2 W616 Recommended
    Verdict:

    This is that rare winter/snow car tire that earns Excellent ratings for snow and ice handling and braking but also earns Excellent ratings for low rolling resistance, which can aid fuel economy. In addition, it’s also near the top of the index for ride comfort and is relatively quiet for a winter/snow tire.

    Snow Traction   Noise   Hydroplaning   Ice Braking   Rolling Resistance   Ride Comfort   Dry Braking   Wet Braking   Handling  
    Test Score:
    70
    N/A 23
  3. Continental WinterContact SI Recommended
    Verdict:

    High marks for braking on ice and snow traction, as well as Very Good ratings for ride comfort and low noise, combine to make this one of the top-rated tires in the winter segment. This Continental tire also rates Very Good for resisting hydroplaning, though both wet- and dry-braking scores are, as with most winter tires, underwhelming.

    Snow Traction   Noise   Hydroplaning   Ice Braking   Rolling Resistance   Ride Comfort   Dry Braking   Wet Braking  
    Test Score:
    69
    84 41
  4. Michelin X-Ice Xi3 Recommended
    Verdict:

    Strong winter performance, low rolling resistance, and a quiet ride are highlights of this tire. It gets a Very Good rating for resisting hydroplaning, and its Excellent rating for rolling resistance can help improve fuel economy.

    Rolling Resistance   Snow Traction   Noise   Ice Braking   Hydroplaning   Dry Braking   Wet Braking   Handling  
    Test Score:
    68
    81 44
  5. Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3 Recommended
    Verdict:

    This is one of the highest-rated winter/snow tires. It earns top marks for braking on ice and snow traction, and earns a better-than-average rolling resistance rating of Very Good. (Low rolling resistance can lead to improved fuel economy.) But note the merely Good ratings for noise and ride comfort—there are quieter, smoother-riding alternatives.

    Rolling Resistance   Snow Traction   Ice Braking   Hydroplaning   Dry Braking   Wet Braking   Handling  
    Test Score:
    68
    83 38
  6. General Altimax Arctic 12
    Verdict:

    The General Altimax Arctic 12 scores high among other winter/snow tire options in most of tests. Its Excellent ratings for snow and ice are on a par for the category, but it's quieter than most alternatives.

    Snow Traction   Noise   Ice Braking   Hydroplaning   Dry Braking   Wet Braking   Handling  
    Test Score:
    67
    79 28
  7. Bridgestone Blizzak WS80
    Verdict:

    Like most winter car tires, the Blizzak gets only middling to poor marks on tests of wet and dry braking, but it earns Excellent ratings for both snow and ice. It earns a Very Good rating for rolling resistance, a factor in fuel economy, and a Very Good rating for resisting hydroplaning.

    Rolling Resistance   Snow Traction   Ice Braking   Hydroplaning   Dry Braking   Wet Braking   Handling  
    Test Score:
    67
    81 48
  8. Nexen Winguard Ice Plus
    Verdict:

    Winter/snow tires in general have weaker handling and wet- and dry-braking performance but Excellent ratings for winter traction and braking. Still, this Nexen earns a Poor rating for handling, fairing worse than the segment as a whole, even while it earns Excellent ratings for ride comfort and low noise, as well as for snow/ice handling.

    Snow Traction   Noise   Ice Braking   Hydroplaning   Dry Braking   Wet Braking   Handling  
    Test Score:
    66
    N/A 29
  9. Falken Eurowinter HS449
    Verdict:

    The Falken is a good choice for climates where wet snow and wet roads are common, because it scores better than average in the winter tire category, with Good ratings for braking in both wet and dry conditions—where most winter tires lag. It also earns Good ratings for handling. If you’re looking for a quiet winter tire, however, there are less noisy options.

    Ride Comfort   Snow Traction   Ice Braking   Hydroplaning   Noise  
    Test Score:
    64
    77 20
  10. Dunlop Winter Maxx 2
    Verdict:

    Though it earns Excellent ratings on tests for braking on ice and handling on snow, and was deemed comfortable, this Dunlop sits at the bottom of the winter car tire pack for noise. It offers worse-than-average rolling resistance, which can degrade fuel economy.

    Ride Comfort   Ice Braking   Snow Traction   Hydroplaning   Dry Braking   Wet Braking   Noise   Handling  
    Test Score:
    63
    81 29
  11. Toyo Observe G3-Ice
    Verdict:

    Impressive snow traction and stopping grip on icy roads. Toyo winter/snow tire is quite loud, scoring near last in that category and earning a Poor rating. On a brighter note, an Excellent rating for rolling resistance means that this Toyo can help improve your car’s fuel economy.

    Ride Comfort   Rolling Resistance   Snow Traction   Ice Braking   Hydroplaning   Dry Braking   Wet Braking   Noise   Handling  
    Test Score:
    62
    N/A 24
  12. Uniroyal Tiger Paw Ice & Snow 3
    Verdict:

    This Uniroyal earns an Excellent rating for snow traction, but its Very Good rating in tests of ice braking slightly lags other brands—meaning there are stronger choices for winter performance. Also note its Fair rating for noise; there are quieter tires to consider.

    Snow Traction   Ride Comfort   Ice Braking   Hydroplaning   Dry Braking   Wet Braking   Noise   Handling  
    Test Score:
    61
    N/A 25
  13. BFGoodrich Winter T/A KSI
    Verdict:

    This BFGoodrich studless winter/snow car tire earns Excellent ratings for handling in snow and for stopping on ice in testing. However, it earns a Poor rating for stopping in the wet, and there are more comfortable winter tires on the market, as well as ones that offer better handling.

    Snow Traction   Ice Braking   Hydroplaning   Dry Braking   Wet Braking   Noise   Handling  
    Test Score:
    61
    N/A 23
  14. Yokohama iceGUARD iG52c
    Verdict:

    Excellent ratings for snow handling and braking on ice are offset by bottom-of-the-heap Poor ratings on tests of wet braking and handling. It's a loud tire, too.

    Snow Traction   Ice Braking   Hydroplaning   Dry Braking   Wet Braking   Noise   Handling  
    Test Score:
    60
    74 31
  15. Falken Espia EPZ II
    Verdict:

    The Falken Espia EPZ II suffers from Poor ratings on tests of wet braking and handling. It’s also a fairly loud tire. But it earns Excellent ratings for stopping on ice and cornering on snow.

    Ride Comfort   Snow Traction   Ice Braking   Hydroplaning   Dry Braking   Wet Braking   Noise   Handling  
    Test Score:
    60
    N/A 24
Year
2019
Tire Test Original Link
Visit Website
Max Score, points
100
Season
Winter
Auto Type
Passenger
List Type
Professional Tire Test
Region
Northern America
Date added
Sep 21, 2019
Date updated
Feb 27, 2020