Some drivers have already experienced winter conditions this year, while for others, winter is quickly approaching. In fact, we've already had snow here in Indiana and more is on the way this weekend. The all-season tires you've been nursing along aren't going to cut it once the roads are covered with snow and ice. While nothing beats driving in the snow on a set of dedicated winter / snow tires, if you are only going to get new all-seasons or live in an area that has a mild winter, take a look at the following options.
Continental PureContact with EcoPlus
We took some all-season tires to Sweden to see how they would handle roads covered in ice and snow. The Continental PureContact with EcoPlus Technology and Michelin Primacy MXV4 proved to not only be formidable competitors in the wet, dry and road manners testing, they exhibited good snow and ice traction. While tire designs can involve a lot of give and take, these two seemed to stand out.
PureContact with EcoPlus Technology's tread pattern features Tuned Performance Indicators - visible letters molded into the outboard shoulder to alert drivers of the tire's potential performance in different weather conditions. A visible "DWS" lets drivers know the tire has sufficient tread depth for dry conditions, as well as wet roads and light snow. After the "S" has worn away, the remaining "DW" indicates the tire only has sufficient tread depth for dry and most wet road conditions. And after the "W" and "S" have worn away, the remaining "D" indicates the tire is appropriate for dry conditions only.
The Primacy MXV4 features an all-season tread compound molded into a symmetric design that combines notched shoulders, independent intermediate tread blocks and continuous center ribs. Its Active Sipes alternately lock together and open as needed to provide increased biting edges that grip the road to provide all-season handling, especially in rain and snow.
For a complete recap of our test, check out "Testing Grand Touring All-Season Tires."