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Top 10 Dedicated Snow Tires for 2020

Have you ever heard about glass transition temperature? It is a term used in the automotive world, even though it doesn’t sound like that. This term is used to describe the temperature at which tires become too brittle to provide any traction. Naturally, this happens when the weather is very cold with summer tires, and even with all-season tires. Suffice to say, when the weather is very cold or freezing, your summer or all-season tires aren’t exactly safe to drive. Oh, and things are even worse when snow falls – these tires aren’t useful at all. To properly combat freezingly cold climates, snow, and ice, you’ll need a set of dedicated snow tires.

But, is there a difference between winter tires and snow tires? Today, they are exactly the same. When you buy winter tires, you also buy dedicated snow tires. Previously, some manufacturers offered studdable tires that were great for driving on snow, but terrible for driving on dry or wet surfaces. Modern winter tires work excellently on dry and wet pavement in cold weather, and they also provide outstanding performance on snow and ice. That’s why some people refer to them as snow tires.

The best winter tires in 2020 should provide the driver with ample traction, grip, and braking in all winter conditions. Here’s our choice of the Top 10 dedicated snow tires for 2020.

 




1.    Best dedicated snow tire for passenger cars: Bridgestone Blizzak WS90

Bridgestone Blizzak WS90 Tire

Bridgestone Blizzak WS90 Tire

Fresh for 2019, the Blizzak WS90 is an heir to the hugely popular WS80. The predecessor was already the best winter tire in its category, and the new model increases the advantage. This is mainly due to the EdgePerformance Technology Package and the Multicell Compound with bite particles. Both technologies work together to improve traction and grip on dry and wet surfaces, as well as traction and braking in snow. The increased block stiffness additionally gives the Blizzak WS90 better on-road feel and longer treadlife.

Last update on 2020-01-24 at 03:17 PST - Details


The result of the improvements is the best snow tire in almost every category for 2020. The Blizzak WS90 consistently beats its peers when it comes to cornering, acceleration, and braking on wet and dry surfaces. Also, thanks to the directional symmetric pattern, Bridgestone’s dedicated snow tire beats its competitors when it comes to snow traction and braking.

The only real disadvantages of the WS90 are the higher price and the fact that Bridgestone doesn’t offer any warranty.

 


2.    Best durable snow tire: Michelin X-Ice Xi3

Michelin X-Ice Xi3

Michelin X-Ice Xi3

The Michelin X-Ice Xi3 is the closest competitor to the Blizzak WS90. Both tires are very close when it comes to performance and signify how fierce is the battle between the French and Japanese brands to obtain world domination. Thanks to the FleX-Ice silica-based compound, the X-Ice Xi3 is firm at higher winter temperatures (around 32 °F), yet it’s still flexible for excellent performance at very low temperatures (closer to -20 °F).

Sale
Michelin X-Ice Xi3 Winter Radial Tire - 205/55R16/XL 94H
  • This 3rd generation X-Ice winter tire provides the necessary traction to safely overcome extreme winter conditions featuring Cross Z Sipes , Micro-Pumps, and FleX-Ice compound.
  • The MICHELIN X-Ice Xi3 tire provides winter performance with MICHELIN MaxTouch Construction which features a unique contact patch shape - maximizing even and longer tread life.
  • The MICHELIN X-Ice Xi3 is also designed to be environmentally friendly to help reduce fuel consumption in addition to having excellent winter grip and long lasting tread life.

Last update on 2020-01-24 at 02:06 PST - Details


In the real world, the Michelin trails the Blizzak WS90 only in few tests, mainly when it comes to acceleration and cornering. Traction and braking in the snow are excellent though, on par with the Bridgestone. And unlike the Bridgestone, the X-Ice Xi3 comes with a 40,000-mile treadwear warranty, one of the best of any winter tire on the market. That said, the French snow tire is costlier than the already expensive Blizzak WS90.

 


3.    Best premium snow tire: Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3

Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3

Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3

If you want absolutely the best winter performance, then you need a set of Nokian tires. The Finnish manufacturer specializes in producing winter tires, and it shows here. The Hakkapeliitta R3 is overall the best snow tire on the market right now, better even than the Blizzak WS90 and X-Ice Xi3. That said, the price of the Nokian even higher than the Michelin and Bridgestone, and it’s not as widely available. Thus the “premium” moniker.

Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3 Snow Winter Tire - 155/70R19 88Q
  • The new Nordic non-studded Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3 winter tire has the perfect balance of safety and comfort. It adapts to all weather variations offering relentless grip and making driving...
  • Maximum Winter Driving Comfort in any condition
  • Excellent Grip And Controlled Handling On Ice And Snow

Last update on 2020-01-24 at 00:46 PST - Details


If you do find a set of these tires, be prepared for a shock. The Hakkapeliitta R3 is designed to drive through snowstorms, at temperatures as low as you can find on places where roads exist. The traction and braking these tires provide on snow and ice are otherworldly, to put it simply. Unlike most snow tires, the Hakkapeliitta R3 is also very quiet and comfortable for a dedicated snow tire.


 

4.    Best SUV and truck snow tire: Michelin Latitude X-Ice Xi2

Michelin Latitude X-Ice Xi2

Michelin Latitude X-Ice Xi2

In Michelin’s lineup, the X-Ice Xi3 is geared more towards sedans, coupes, minivans, and lighter crossovers. If you own a larger three-row crossover, an SUV, or a truck, then you’ll need the Latitude X-Ice Xi2. This tire comes with the same 40,000-mile treadwear warranty as its lighter-duty brother, which is unbeatable by any other competitor.

Sale
Michelin Latitude X-Ice XI2 Winter Radial Tire - 235/65R17/XL...
  • The special FleX-Ice compound is formulated to maintain its flexibility under the most extreme cold-weather conditions while Micro-Pumps and Cross Z Sipe technology provide improved stability in all...
  • The wide tread contact patch generates acceleration and braking power, as well as cornering traction for outstanding maneuvering on snow and icy roads.
  • This tire provides long lasting winter performance with sipes and Micro-Pumps that are maintained season after season and MICHELIN Max Touch Construction which features a unique contact patch shape -...

Last update on 2020-01-24 at 01:17 PST - Details


Winter performance is stellar. The Latitude X-ice Xi2 also comes with the FleX-Ice compound that improves on-road responsiveness and stability, while keeping snow and ice traction intact. Out on the road, the Michelin has the shortest braking distances and fastest acceleration of any other winter SUV and truck tire, especially in snowy conditions. It is also very comfortable and quiet for a dedicated snow tire, which is another big plus. However, it is also pretty expensive, but that’s expected from a Michelin.

 


5.    Best snow tire for great handling: Pirelli Scorpion Winter

Pirelli Scorpion Winter

Pirelli Scorpion Winter

Pirelli tires are always synonymous with great handling and excellent responsiveness. Naturally, this also translates into their winter lineup. The Pirelli Scorpion Winter is a dedicated snow tire that will also put a smile on your face if that’s your forte.

Pirelli Scorpion Performance-Winter Radial Tire-275/45R20XL 110V
  • Four wide grooves to provide excellent traction under all conditions
  • Steel-belted construction for durability and performance
  • Five-rib design for responsive steering, extra traction and resistance to irregular wear

Last update on 2020-01-24 at 01:17 PST - Details


Thanks to the new polymer blend Pirelli uses in the Scorpion Winter; this generation is better for snow driving than ever. Acceleration is brisk on packed or unpacked snow, and braking distances are very short. The Pirelli is also very good on dry and wet pavement in all categories. Pirelli also promises energy efficiency, something that we can’t confirm, but we can confirm that it’s very quiet and comfortable.

 


6.    Best dedicated snow tire at a discount: Bridgestone Blizzak WS80

Bridgestone Blizzak WS80

Bridgestone Blizzak WS80

Even though it is discontinued, the Blizzak WS80 is still one of the best snow tires on the market right now. Thanks to the advanced NanoPro-Tech Multicell compound, the WS80 provides the driver with outstanding traction and braking in very cold weather, both on dry and wet pavement. Snow traction and braking are also on par with the best winter tires on the market right now, including the Blizzak WS90. Right now, the Blizzak WS80 is offered at a big discount on almost every online store, so be sure to buy a set before they are not available anymore.

Sale
Bridgestone Blizzak WS80 Winter Radial Tire - 215/55R17 94H
  • Long wear tread patterns
  • Excellent traction even in ice or snow
  • Anti-hydroplane safety technology

Last update on 2020-01-24 at 01:17 PST - Details

 


7.    Best premium snow tire on a budget: Yokohama iceGUARD iG52c

Yokohama iceGUARD iG52c

Yokohama iceGUARD iG52c

Yokohama is a Japanese manufacturer known for producing tires that often beat competitors from Bridgestone, Michelin, and Pirelli, but at a lower price point. The iceGUARD iG52c is their winter tire designed for owners of compact cars, sedans, minivans, and smaller SUVs. It offers excellent performance across the board, but at more than 15% discount when compared to other premium tires.

Last update on 2020-01-24 at 01:17 PST - Details


The triple-action and high-density tread compound clearly help the Yokohama achieve excellent driving dynamics on dry and wet roads. The Circumferential Power Grooves and lateral Slush Grooves, on the other hand, give it excellent snow and ice performance, both when accelerating and braking. On top of that, the iceGUARD iG52c has the BluEarth branding for low-rolling resistance, which is a nice thing to have in dedicated snow tires.

 


8.    Best high-performance dedicated snow tire: Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4

Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4

Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4

If you own a sporty sedan or coupe and you don’t want to lose the overall handling responsiveness, then the Pilot Alpin PA4 is the best choice out there. This tire will give you all the benefits of your high-performance summer tires but in much colder conditions. Handling is simply outstanding on dry and wet pavement in the winter, and the tire feels as responsive in the corners as the best summer tires out there. The Pilot Alpin PA4 is outstanding in snow, packed or unpacked, and it even comes with a 30,000-mile treadwear warranty. That said, the price of this Michelin is very, very high.

MICHELIN Pilot Alpin PA4 All- Season Radial Tire-245/40R18/XL 97V
  • Equipped with an exclusive tread design and Stabiligrip, a 3D sipe technology, this tire delivers improvement in snow acceleration and enhancement in handling on snow covered and icy roads.
  • The new formula of full silica-based rubber compound, Helio Compound, allows this tire to remain flexible in low temperatures for better winter performance.
  • Approved by the high standards of Porsche SE and is currently being tested by many other high-performance vehicle manufacturers.

Last update on 2020-01-24 at 01:26 PST - Details

 


9.    Best studdable dedicated snow tire: Nokian Hakkapeliitta 9

Nokian Hakkapeliitta 9

Nokian Hakkapeliitta 9

The snow-special Hakkapeliitta 9 is the best choice for people that live in areas with constant snow on the roads. Thanks to the studdable tread compound, this Nokian masterpiece can drive through any snow or ice you throw at it. Deep snow, packed or unpacked, is nothing the Hakkapeliitta 9 is ashamed of! Nokian even installed two types of studs in this tire for optimal traction and braking on every slippery surface you can imagine. And sure, the price is a bit higher than some other studdable tires on the market, but none can compare to the Nokian.

Nokian Hakkapeliitta 9 Studded Winter Tire - 195/65R15 95T
  • Different stud types optimize maximum grip under extreme conditions
  • First class stable and sturdy handling on ice and snow
  • Uniquely durable and extra strong sidewalls resist impacts and cuts

Last update on 2020-01-24 at 01:26 PST - Details

 


10. Best SUV and truck tire on a budget: Firestone Winterforce 2 UV

Firestone Winterforce 2 UV

Firestone Winterforce 2 UV

If you drive a full-size truck or SUV and don’t want to spend a fortune on dedicated snow tires, then the Firestone Winterforce 2 UV is an excellent choice. Made from a special cold-weather compound, this tire will give you confident traction, grip, and braking performances on dry and wet surfaces in the winter. Also, thanks to the deep circumferential grooves, wide lateral notches, and open shoulder slots, this tire can accelerate and brake in the snow like the best premium tires out there.

Firestone Winterforce 2 UV Studable-Winter Radial Tire -...
  • Special cold weather compound, open shoulder slots, and tread design provide grip in wintry conditions
  • Full depth tread features provide long-lasting performance winter after winter
  • Great winter performance certified with the 3-Peak Mountain Snowflake designation and pinned for studs

Last update on 2020-01-24 at 01:26 PST - Details


YouTube Video | How to mount a tire by hand


YouTube Video | How to Change a Car Tire | Change a flat car tire step by step

 

Conclusion

For most places on our planet, dedicated snow tires aren’t a luxury – they are a necessity. With a set of these tires, your car will behave much safer in the winter, especially when the snow starts to fall. Choose a set of tires from the list above, and we’re sure that you’ll get the safe driving experience you deserve!





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