Winter / Snow Tires for Your 2012 Ford Focus

Friday, October 7, 2011 by Cy Chowattukunnel
In launching the new Focus, Ford made huge improvements across the board and gave North American drivers the enjoyment Focus drivers have been enjoying in Europe. Despite many improvements, the Focus still isn't intrinsically good in the snow. The low curb weight that makes the Focus great at the fuel pump, hurts the vehicle's snow performance.

Overall vehicle weight is still critical, as less weight on your tires means less grip in snow and on ice. Getting a set of dedicated winter / snow tires for your Focus will eradicate any winter driving woes you may encounter. Given the weight issues, most moderate Focus drivers should consider a Studless Ice and Snow tire. And with the Focus' handling abilities, drivers in the milder winter climates may be happier with a Performance Winter/Snow tire.

Studless Ice and Snow Tire Sizes

For the harsher winter climates, 195/65-15 would be the optimum winter tire size in the Studless Ice and Snow category. 195/65-15 is narrow enough to cut through deep snow but wide enough to brake, turn and accelerate on hard-packed snow or ice. Do you often drive on roads that are frequently covered with hard-packed snow? Last winter we had a mix of deep snow, extremely cold weather and a lack of plowing on secondary roads. We often had roads that had been plowed once, but the thin layer of residual snow hardened into ice. The 195/65-15 tire is wide enough to handle these conditions. 

So what is one of the best Winter / Snow Tires & Wheel Package options with a Studless Ice and Snow tire? The 195/65-15 Michelin X-Ice Xi2 on 15x6 black painted steel wheels with wheels covers on closeout pricing for a total of $604** plus shipping would be a good choice.

Performance Winter/Snow Tire Sizes

If you're a faster driver that prefers Performance Winter/Snow tires, 215/55-16 accentuates dry weather grip. Although you'll lose some snow grip, 215/55-16 will still be adequate this winter in moderate and deep snow.

If you have made the decision to order a Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package with a Performance Winter/Snow tire, then consider the 215/55-16 Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D on 16x7.5 50mm offset Sport Edition F7 wheels at $952* plus shipping. Since the factory offset is 50mm, this wheel won't protrude out abnormally or be unusually recessed compared to the factory 6.5" wide wheel. It will essentially be in the same place relative to the brake rotor and body fender. Check out our tech article, "Offset" to gain a better understanding of how offset can affect your wheels (rims) and tires purchase.

Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D
Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D
Sport Edition F7
Sport Edition F7

Shop by vehicle to find the tires and wheels that will work best for your vehicle.

*Prices subject to change
**Excluding TPMS sensors

Comments on Winter / Snow Tires for Your 2012 Ford Focus

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 by Albert Woodward:
I have a 2012 Ford Focus SE Hatchback with 215-55-17 tires. What would you recommend for winter tires? Thank You
Tuesday, November 13, 2012 by Albert Woodward:
What would you recommend in winter tires for a 2011 Buick LaCrosse AWD?
Tuesday, November 13, 2012 by cy:
The Original Equipment 17" Focus is 215/50-17 (I'm sure that's what you meant). For emphasis on moderate & deep snow grip and ice grip for a moderate Northeastern Focus driver I'd recommend the 195/65-15 Michelin XICE Xi3 on basic steel wheels.
Tuesday, November 13, 2012 by cy:
Let's look at 2011 Buick Lacrosse 3.0 CXL AWD with 235/50-18's OE.

For moderate Northeasterners wanting to emphasize moderate&deep snow and ice grip I'd look at 225/55-17 Michelin XICE Xi3 on 17x7.5 MSW Type 22 Alloy Wheels. The narrower footprint will help in moderate&deep snow.

Cy
Sunday, November 25, 2012 by Jonathan:
Which size will accentuate grip on hard-pack, 195 or 215? Have you done an empirical testing on that question?
Thursday, November 29, 2012 by cy:
If we consider hard-pack snow alone 215 width is better then 195.

We have done any formal testing on this but this what I've personally experienced and matches the feedback we've gotten from other drivers.

Cy

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