Top Winter/Snow Tires For 2012-13 Season

It seems as though every year, the weather is more unpredictable and extreme than the last. Snow, ice, and everything in between may not only make your daily driving more difficult and time consuming, but more dangerous as well. Tires have a huge impact on your vehicle’s stability on the road, and this couldn’t be truer for winter conditions. Anyone who’s been stuck in a blizzard with bad tires can surely relate; and if you haven’t been there before, now is not the time to start! The list below highlights some of the top winter/snow tires and all-season tires for ice and snow traction. (All these winter tires come with the industry’s severe snow service rating.)

The right set of tires for you will vary based on your local climate, but most people will be well suited with one of two categories – all-season tires or winter tires (also referred to as snow tires). If you are unsure of which category you fall into, try this: Winter Tires – Do They Make Sense For Me?


Michelin X-Ice Xi3 – Michelin’s FleX-Ice ® is regarded as one of the best snow tires on the market today. It is a studless, directional tire that offers excellent snow traction and ice braking. It provides firmness at higher temperatures for wet and dry road stability, while remaining flexible at lower temperatures to enhance winter performance on packed snow and ice. The tire’s Cross Z-sipes throughout its independent shoulder and intermediate tread blocks deliver exceptional handling. The sipes also help improve tread and shoulder block stability to provide longitudinal stiffness for precision on wet and dry roads. These models are also known for best-in-class low rolling resistance and tread wear.


Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 – Bridgestone’s improved version of last year’s WS60 is sure to keep you safe, with excellent snow traction and ice braking capabilities. A studless, directions tire, it sports 3-D sipes and independent tread blocks for improved stability in bad weather. It is also constructed with Multicell ® technology, which removes a thin layer of surface water by using millions of microscopic pores in the compound. Many enthusiasts rate this Bridgestone as one of the top winter tires.


Nokian Hakkapeliitta R – This is a new studless, directional winter tire made by Nokian (a Finnish company). It is designed to maintain grip throughout fluctuating winter temperatures and conditions. Built with 900 Pump Sipes which have small water pockets, it is excellent at moisture removal while in contact with the road. It also has break boosters at the back of the tread blocks to shorten breaking distance, an even center rib to maintain stability, and great lateral grip through the shoulder blocks. This tire is also known for even tread wear and extremely low rolling resistance.

Top winter/snow tires

General Altimax Arctic – This tire offers a directional tread design and a center stability rib for excellent water evacuation and straight-line control. It also has 270-degrees of high density siping, enhancing snow traction and ice breaking capabilities. Also, this tire is studdable, meaning it offers the option of adding alternating rows of metal studs in the shoulder and intermediate tread blocks. This increases traction on hard, packed snow and icy roads. However, driving on studded tires is only allowed during certain months and in certain parts of the country (and may even be illegal in your area.) Please consult your local Department of Motor Vehicles before adding studs to your tires!

Top Winter/Snow Tires – ALL-SEASON TIRES For Winter Driving


Continetal ProContact w/EcoPlus – This tire’s all-season tread compound offers improved tread wear, fuel efficiency and traction on slippery roads. The tire offers a symmetric design that provides continuous tread contact with the road to enhance steering response and handling while its wide circumferential grooves promote hydroplaning resistance and wet traction. Continental’s PROactive Edge Technology ® brings more active edges into the contact patch to promote foul-weather traction. This tire is expected to offer “good” ice braking capability and “very good” snow traction.

Hankook Optimo H727

Hankook Optimo H727 – This tire features a symmetric tread design with hundreds of tapered lateral slots and a continuous center rib. The high-density sipes enhances traction in winter conditions while four circumferential grooves help evacuate water from under the footprint to resist hydroplaning on wet roads. This tire is expected to offer “very good” snow traction and ice braking and is also rated highly by consumer reports. The Hankook is considered one of the best tires for winter driving in the all season tire category.


Cooper CS4 Touring – This tire offers strong wet and dry performance for drivers who want optimum ride comfort, responsive handling, and all-season traction. It is a good choice for consumers interested in a competitively priced entry-level luxury, touring tire. Cooper CS4 Touring is expected to offer “very good” snow traction with “average” ice braking performance.


Michelin Defender – This is the newest tire offered by Michelin, and incorporates a quiet ride, ultra low rolling resistance, and exceptional tread life. IntelliSipe ® technology provides maximum grip in wet weather for shortened braking distance. It also has MaxTouch Construction ®, which optimizes the contact patch with the road during braking, accelerating, and cornering. It rates “good” for both snow and ice performance.

Regardless of whether you need a set of winter tires or all-season tires to make it through some nasty weather, AutoSquad has you covered! With the largest selection of tires in the Washington DC and Philadelphia metro areas, we can surely accommodate whatever tire fits your needs and budget best. We are more than happy to provide with you unbiased, expert opinions on what tire suits your life, your preferences, and your wallet.

Contact AutoSquad at 877-847-3826, or visit to see our tire selection and make an appointment online. Please note that AutoSquad’s service area is currently available only in the Washington, DC & Philadelphia metro areas.

One thought on “Top Winter/Snow Tires For 2012-13 Season

  1. Mai J. Burt

    Winter tires have studs and have to be removed when the ice and snow are gone from the road. All season tires are just that…good in rain, slush and snow but won’t give you the traction on ice and snow.


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