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Top 10 Winter Tires 2017-2018 (plus Two)

November 15, 2017

Top 10 Winter TiresWinter driving can be tricky and often lists of winter driving safety tips include recommending that you install winter tires. It’s a safety recommendation that appears to be gaining traction with motorists. According to the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada, in 1998, just 35 per cent of Canadian drivers used winter tires, whereas today, 66 per cent do.

The reason winter tires are increasingly popular is likely pretty straightforward: winter driving in Canada can be challenging and winter tires can help you meet the challenge. They offer up to 50 per cent more traction than all-seasons, helping to keep you safely on the road during the cold, snowy months. However, choosing the right winter tires for your car can be confusing, but this list—adapted from the Automobile Protection Association (APA)—of some of the best winter tires on the market can help you narrow down your choices.

Did you know? Many car insurance companies offer an auto insurance discount for using winter tires. The winter tire discount will usually save you about 5 per cent. Compare quotes today to see how much you could save on your premiums with a winter tire discount.

Best winter tires 2017

Winter tire symbolWhen buying winter tires, make sure the tires you choose have the three-peak mountain snowflake symbol. Only these tires meet the industry’s snow traction performance requirements.

Top rated winter tires

  • Bridgestone Blizzak WS 80
    The Blizzak line, introduced back in the ‘90s, was the first tire to feature a special rubber compound that dramatically improved performance on ice. Optimized for snow and ice, the overall performance and predictability of these tires is considered very good making them a good choice for severe weather conditions.
  • Nokian Hakkapelitta R2
    These tires are the ice braking champion in European tire tests. Although expensive, these tires are a good alternative for drivers of rear-wheel-drive sporty vehicles who are looking for a balance between severe weather performance and decent pavement handling.

Very good winter tires

  • Continental WinterContact SI
    With superior grip in cornering and braking, these tires are widely available and are offered in 44 tire sizes ensuring that most passenger cars and SUVs can be fitted with them. With a tread depth of 10/32” the life of the tire may be not as long. Additionally, given the design (the treads are directional), if the tires wear unevenly the options for rotating them may be limited.
  • Gislaved Nord*Frost 200
    With a generous 12/32″ tread depth when new, the Gislaved Nord*Frost 200 are a good choice for buyers looking for a tire with European-style diamond-shaped factory studs.
  • Michelin X-Ice Xi3
    Listed as one of Consumer Reports’ preferred tires in testing because of their superior performance on wet and dry roads, and for ride comfort, these tires are optimized for ice and snow. Considered to have best-in-class performance on pavement, these tires are quiet and long wearing.
  • Pirelli Ice Zero FR
    Offering superior snow traction and good steering control, these tires are widely available and well-priced.
  • Toyo Observe GSi5
    These tires are optimized for deep snow and ice, and are considered one of the better choices despite the fact that they are not the best performer on cleared or wet roads. These tires, in some instances, can also be noisier than the average winter tire. Well suited for heavier vehicles, these winter tires offer superior durability as a result of their deep tread and long-wearing rubber compound.

Good snow tires

  • Dunlop Winter Maxx 2
    Overall this tire has a good traction performance on snow and ice, and are long wearing. As for pricing, these tires are competitively priced and are offered in a large range of sizes.
  • Goodyear Ultra Grip Ice WRT
    The tires handle a wide variety of winter road surfaces competently with good snow and ice traction.
  • Hercules Avalanche RG-2
    The RG-2 offers good snow traction and decent ice traction. The tires feature predictable handling on cleared roads, and given that it is a budget tire, offers better durability than most at the price point. Good value at the low selling price.
  • Vredestein SnowTrac 5
    These tires have a limited distribution, so may be hard to come by. The tires are optimized for fast driving on cleared roads, with good ice braking and cornering. The tires are marketed to owners of prestigious European autos.
  • Yokohama Ice Guard IG52C
    This winter tire offers superior traction on ice and in slush. These tires offer a quiet, smooth ride, and it’s predicted they’ll have an average tread life.

Winter tire round-up

So there you have it. The best winter tires as selected and reviewed by the APA for the 2017-2018 winter season. Be sure to do a new car insurance quote and check the ‘winter tires’ option for the best insurance discounts. Safe travels.

Updated annually with the APA’s latest winter tire picks

  • http://www.insurancehotline.com/ InsuranceHotline.com

    Thanks for the post.

  • Tony

    My insurance company JEVCO will not give me the 5%

  • Pat

    Can anyone recommend the best winter tires for a BMW x3?

  • Earlsy

    Yup, nothing wrong with the Nordics, and as you say, good prices on a set of 4.
    I’m into year 6 with ours.

  • Preston

    Blah,blah, blah. Who needs winter tires? What did you do before they were invented? I have driven since 1967 and never needed them until today. Drive sensibly, carefully and stop speeding up behind vehicles or obstructions ahead of you, and you will be fine. Amazing how many motorists rush like hell even though they see an obstruction ahead and KNOW they will be called upon to stop, then jam on their brakes! They will definitely need these tires, more often brake replacements, and spend more on gas . Not me. Not ever!

  • Common Sense

    Winter tires provide better traction for cornering, starting and stopping. Do you wear winter boots or smooth soled dress shoes in the snow?

  • Bob Joe

    I wish there was proof like a video or something showing how good these tires really are. Not just a website with its opinion.

  • brantford1

    I used to think 4 winter tires were just a bunch of hooey!
    Until I tried them…what a difference..

  • MP

    Obviously you have never driven the 401 in Toronto where every time you leave a safe braking distance, l some idiot jumps in front of you cutting your baking distance to close to nothing.

  • marpin

    more sticking it to the consumer by the government. Why should those who purchased snow tires before 2016 not get a discount????? Makes no sense!!

  • Andrew

    If you are in Ontario, drive safe! Our first snow may be a doozy – dec 28.

  • JC113

    I put 4 Cooper Discoverer A/Tw “All Weather” tires on my truck…called my insurance agent about the discount and apparently these tires don’t qualify as the insurance company stipulates that the tires must be installed in the fall/early winter AND REMOVED in the spring…even though these Coopers carry the mountain/snowflake logo…and get very good reviews….I know I’m impressed with them…

  • Mike Rivera

    I also have Michelin

  • jimmy peter

    If you need a new set of winter tires go to rnrwheels dot com. Their highly knowledgeable staff will set you up with a set of tires that will weather any storm! They offer personalized payment plans, with as little as $20 down, no credit cards necessary.

  • Ron Grant

    Gislaved Nordfrost are no longer the 100 series..they are old tires if you’re buying them now. They were replaced by the Nordfrost 200 series snow tires.

  • Ron Grant

    Sort of points of one of the problems on the road..some people always know better than the proven science. I suppose it comes down to whether ‘alright’ is good enough for you, or you want the best available. There is a difference with good snow tires.

  • RuckusAmsel

    I don’t get it: why does the wording change from “Winter Tires,” to, “Snow Tires” ?
    Is there a clear difference?

  • Craig Belanger

    Wow, that’s a whole lot of stupid in one sentence. Before they were invented???

  • marpy

    What he is really saying is that you can not idiot proof an idiot!;-) A good responsible driver with all season radials is going to be better on the road than an idiot with the absolute best snow tires. It also depends on where you have to drive, when you have to drive and how much you have to drive. If you are retired and stay home during bad weather, then you will most likely be just fine without them. Also type of vehicle makes a difference – I drive an all wheel drive and have been behind rear wheel drives and front wheel drives with snows and while they had difficulty, i had no problem. Are snows overall better? Yes absolutely!! Does every driver need them? No!! You have to look at your situation.