Consumer Reports: Winter Tires 2020

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. Bridgestone Blizzak WS90 - Winner Recommended
    Bridgestone Blizzak WS90
    84 43
    Passenger · Winter · 2019 · Passenger - Studless Ice & Snow
    Verdict:

    Execllent snow traction and braking on ice. Fair handling, but typical of many winter / snow tires.

    Ice Braking   Snow Traction   Hydroplaning   Wet Braking   Handling  
    Northern America Northern America
    Test Score:
    71
  2. Cooper Discoverer True North Recommended
    Cooper Discoverer True North
    88 26
    Passenger · Winter · 2017 · Passenger - Studless Ice & Snow
    Verdict:

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

    Ice Braking   Snow Traction   Ride Comfort   Noise   Dry Braking   Wet Braking  
    Northern America Northern America
    Test Score:
    70
  3. Hankook Winter i*cept iZ 2 W616 Recommended
    Hankook Winter i*cept iZ 2 W616
    81 25
    Passenger · Winter · 2015 · Passenger - Studless Ice & Snow · For Nordic Winter x
    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.

    Noise   Snow Traction   Hydroplaning   Rolling Resistance   Ride Comfort   Ice Braking   Dry Braking   Wet Braking   Handling  
    Northern America Northern America · Europe Europe · Eastern Europe & Central Asia Eastern Europe & Central Asia
    Test Score:
    70
  4. Continental WinterContact SI Recommended
    Continental WinterContact SI
    83 41
    Passenger · Winter · 2014 · Passenger - Studless Ice & Snow · For Nordic Winter x
    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.

    Noise   Snow Traction   Hydroplaning   Rolling Resistance   Ride Comfort   Ice Braking   Dry Braking   Wet Braking  
    Northern America Northern America
    Test Score:
    69
  5. Michelin X-Ice Xi3 Recommended
    Michelin X-Ice Xi3
    81 50
    Passenger · Winter · 2012 · Passenger - Studless Ice & Snow · For Nordic Winter x
    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.

    Noise   Snow Traction   Hydroplaning   Rolling Resistance   Ice Braking   Dry Braking   Wet Braking   Handling  
    Asia Asia · Northern America Northern America · Europe Europe · Eastern Europe & Central Asia Eastern Europe & Central Asia
    Test Score:
    68
  6. Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3 Recommended
    Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3
    85 48
    Passenger · Winter · 2018 · Passenger - Studless Ice & Snow · For Nordic Winter x
    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   Hydroplaning   Ice Braking   Dry Braking   Wet Braking   Handling  
    Northern America Northern America · Europe Europe · Eastern Europe & Central Asia Eastern Europe & Central Asia
    Test Score:
    68
  7. General Altimax Arctic 12
    General Altimax Arctic 12
    82 28
    Passenger · Winter · 2016 · Passenger - Studdable Winter / Snow · Studded
    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.

    Ice Braking   Snow Traction   Hydroplaning   Noise   Dry Braking   Wet Braking   Handling  
    Eastern Asia Eastern Asia · Northern America Northern America · Europe Europe · Eastern Europe & Central Asia Eastern Europe & Central Asia
    Test Score:
    67
  8. Nexen Winguard Ice Plus
    Nexen Winguard Ice Plus
    69 34
    Passenger · Winter · 2018 · Passenger - Studless Ice & Snow · For Nordic Winter x
    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.

    Noise   Snow Traction   Hydroplaning   Ice Braking   Dry Braking   Wet Braking   Handling  
    Northern America Northern America · Eastern Europe & Central Asia Eastern Europe & Central Asia
    Test Score:
    66
  9. Falken Eurowinter HS449
    Falken Eurowinter HS449
    77 19
    Passenger · Winter · 2012 · Passenger - Studless Ice & Snow
    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.

    Ice Braking   Snow Traction   Ride Comfort   Hydroplaning   Noise  
    Eastern Asia Eastern Asia · Northern America Northern America · Europe Europe · Eastern Europe & Central Asia Eastern Europe & Central Asia
    Test Score:
    64
  10. Dunlop Winter Maxx 2
    Dunlop Winter Maxx 2
    81 33
    Passenger · Winter · 2016 · Passenger - Studless Ice & Snow · For Nordic Winter x
    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.

    Ice Braking   Snow Traction   Ride Comfort   Hydroplaning   Dry Braking   Wet Braking   Noise   Handling  
    Eastern Asia Eastern Asia · Northern America Northern America · Eastern Europe & Central Asia Eastern Europe & Central Asia
    Test Score:
    63
  11. Toyo Observe G3-Ice
    Toyo Observe G3-Ice
    N/A 22
    Light Truck / SUV · Winter · 2013 · Light Truck / SUV - Light Truck/SUV Studdable Winter / Snow · Studded
    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.

    Snow Traction   Ice Braking   Rolling Resistance   Ride Comfort   Hydroplaning   Dry Braking   Wet Braking   Noise   Handling  
    Northern America Northern America · Europe Europe · Eastern Europe & Central Asia Eastern Europe & Central Asia
    Test Score:
    62
  12. Uniroyal Tiger Paw Ice & Snow 3
    Uniroyal Tiger Paw Ice & Snow 3
    N/A 23
    Passenger · Winter · 2016 · Passenger - Studdable Winter / Snow · Studded
    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.

    Ice Braking   Snow Traction   Ride Comfort   Hydroplaning   Dry Braking   Wet Braking   Noise   Handling  
    Northern America Northern America
    Test Score:
    61
  13. BFGoodrich Winter T/A KSI
    BFGoodrich Winter T/A KSI
    N/A 23
    Passenger · Winter · 2017 · Passenger - Studless Ice & Snow
    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.

    Ice Braking   Snow Traction   Hydroplaning   Dry Braking   Wet Braking   Noise   Handling  
    Northern America Northern America · Eastern Europe & Central Asia Eastern Europe & Central Asia
    Test Score:
    61
  14. Yokohama iceGUARD iG52c
    Yokohama iceGUARD iG52c
    74 31
    Passenger · Winter · 2014 · Passenger - Studless Ice & Snow
    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.

    Ice Braking   Snow Traction   Hydroplaning   Dry Braking   Wet Braking   Noise   Handling  
    Eastern Asia Eastern Asia · Northern America Northern America
    Test Score:
    60
  15. Falken Espia EPZ II
    Falken Espia EPZ II
    N/A 22
    Passenger · Winter · 2015 · Passenger - Performance Winter / Snow
    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.

    Ice Braking   Snow Traction   Ride Comfort   Hydroplaning   Dry Braking   Wet Braking   Noise   Handling  
    Northern America Northern America · Eastern Europe & Central Asia Eastern Europe & Central Asia
    Test Score:
    60
  16. Laufenn I Fit Ice
    Laufenn I Fit Ice
    N/A 23
    Passenger · Winter · 2014 · Passenger - Studdable Winter / Snow · Studded
    Verdict:

    Impressive snow traction and stopping grip on icy roads. Fairly noisy, fair rolling resistance, and long wet stops.

    Snow Traction   Ride Comfort   Hydroplaning   Ice Braking   Handling   Wet Braking   Dry Braking   Rolling Resistance   Noise  
    Northern America Northern America · Eastern Europe & Central Asia Eastern Europe & Central Asia
    Test Score:
    60
  17. Firestone Winterforce 2
    Firestone Winterforce 2
    74 30
    Passenger · Winter · 2016 · Passenger - Studdable Winter / Snow · Studded
    Verdict:

    Impressive snow traction and a hydroplaning resistance champ. Relatively long wet stops and low wet cornering grip in our handling test.

    Rolling Resistance   Snow Traction   Hydroplaning   Ice Braking   Dry Braking   Wet Braking   Noise   Handling  
    Northern America Northern America
    Test Score:
    59
Year
2020
Tire Test Original Link
Visit Website
Max Score, points
100
Tire Size
215/60R16
Season
Winter
Auto Type
Passenger
List Type
Professional Tire Test
Region
Northern America
Date added
Sep 21, 2019
Date updated
Oct 25, 2020