For those in northern North America, winter can be a grueling time especially if you have any distance (long or short) to cover in a car that’s not equipped with the proper winter management tools. The most necessary tool of course is a good brake system, which depends on tires made to handle the snow. Proper winter tires make a great holiday gift because tires are not cheap, but they are necessary. If you give the gift of tires, you’ll be the bearer of a valuable present that will never be tossed to the corner after one day of use. Here are our recommendations for great winter tires for a passenger car.
Horrible Weather Winter Tire
Named after the ski-racing style, slalom, where the course is narrow and skiers must maneuver around flags set at incremental distances down the slippery, snowy mountain, BF Goodrich Winter Slalom KSI snow tires are reminiscent of the scene found atop the mountain on a competition day. These tires are designed with biting edges to increase traction on wet and slippery surfaces. They have performed well on ice and snow and gotten great reviews for a decent price.
From a Long Line of Winter Tires
Bridgestone makes a line of snow tires called Blizzak. These tires were first released in 1988 in Japan and continue to dominate the snow tire market there because of excellent traction on ice and snow. The Bridgestone Blizzak Winter/Snow tires are made with a dual tread compound which resembles swiss cheese when looked at through a microscope. These microscopic pores are what allow miniature biting edges to grip the road surface and also to wick away water on the surface of the snow or ice.
Europe Puts its Best Tire Forward
Probably the best tires on the market are the Finnish-built Nokian Hakkapeliitta R snow tires. The Fins have been improving on their design to bring a successor to their line of snow tires. These tires are excellent for driving on dry, snowy or even black-ice-covered roads in climates of varying conditions. They are also developed with their own “pump side” technology that wipes away the layer of moisture on top of wet ice to establish great contact with the road. These tires’ traction really is superb, just be careful to make sure that these tires fit your budget.