Sport utility and crossover vehicles are a very popular segment of the automotive market, often sought after for their ability to safely transport people and their gear in comfort. Many of them feature all-wheel drive for easier driving in inclement weather conditions. However, even sophisticated traction control and all-wheel drive systems cannot create traction. Instead they must rely on the grip of the four tires that the vehicle rides on.
With this in mind, we took three top Crossover/SUV Touring All-Season tires to northern Sweden to find out how they compared at a world-class winter test facility.
As you can see from the test video, all three tires performed pretty well for all-season tires, with the Hankook Dynapro HP2 having a slight advantage in snow cornering and ice traction over the other two tires in the test. All tires need three things in order to provide effective winter traction. If any of these areas are lacking, your tires will not be very good in the snow.
- Tread depth: Industry experts and even some governmental agencies recommend a minimum of 6/32nds of an inch of tread depth for driving in the snow. Tires with low tread depth are reduced to nibbling at the snow for traction rather than biting into it.
- Tread pattern: Tires that are optimized for snow and ice traction have multiple biting edges with many independent tread blocks and lots of sipes.
- Tread compound: Unlike summer performance tires, tires that work well in winter are designed to remain pliable to provide grip in freezing temperatures.
Don't forget that the best tires for winter driving are, of course, dedicated winter tires. A set of four dedicated winter / snow tires provide optimal traction when winter weather is at its worst. Check out how much difference snow tires make versus all-season tires on four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive vehicles by reading, "Do I Really Need Winter / Snow Tires on a Four-Wheel Drive Vehicle?"