Best Winter / Snow Tires for 2013

Tuesday, November 26, 2013 by Gary Stanley

Which are the best winter / snow tires for 2013? The answer depends on your driving style, vehicle and the winter conditions you experience.

Studless Ice & Snow

Studless Ice & Snow tires deliver maximum snow and ice traction when conditions are the most severe. These tires will give up some dry grip and steering response compared to higher performance winter tires. Their rubber compounds have technology that keeps them soft and pliable even in subfreezing temperatures in order to give you great traction in snow and on ice. Studless snow tires have more aggressive tread patterns and often more tread depth to help them bite through the snow. 

They're available for nearly all types of vehicles, from small cars like the Smart ForTwo, all the way up to SUVs such as the Ford Expedition. Drivers who purchase these tires are typically driving in the central or northern regions of the snowbelt or higher altitudes. Studless Ice & Snow tires are also an excellent choice for new drivers and those that need extra confidence when driving in wintry conditions. Top tires in this category for 2013 include the Michelin X-Ice Xi3, Bridgestone Blizzak WS70 and Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1

 Bridgestone Blizzak WS70
Bridgestone Blizzak WS70
 Michelin X-Ice Xi3
Michelin X-Ice Xi3
 Bridgestone Blizzak DMV-1
Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1


Performance Winter / Snow

Performance Winter / Snow tires give up some ultimate snow and ice traction for better dry grip and faster steering response. The tread patterns on these tires aren't quite as aggressive as Studless Ice & Snow tires, and often have shallower tread depths which leads to more responsive handling. 

Tires in this category are also made for a wide variety of vehicles, from performance sedans such as the BMW 3 Series, as well as larger performance oriented crossover vehicles like the Porsche Cayenne. Drivers who purchase Performance Winter / Snow tires often drive higher performance vehicles and many drive in areas where snow is less frequent or where snow removal is very good. Despite their bias towards more performance, they still have much better snow and ice traction than a typical all-season tire. Top tires in this category include the Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4, Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D and Bridgestone Blizzak LM-32.    

 Bridgestone Blizzak LM-32
Bridgestone Blizzak LM-32
 Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4
Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4
 Dunlop Winter Sport 4D
Dunlop SP Winter Sport 4D


For more help on selecting a winter tire from the proper performance category, take a look at "Should I Buy Performance Winter / Snow Tires or Studless Ice & Snow Tires?"

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