As Canadians, we understand the necessity of winter tires in our climate. Your safety on the road is not only dependent on your driving abilities, but the tires on your car. In a harsh winter weather climate, you want to have the best winter tires to keep you safe. There are many factors to consider when buying snow tires: traction, tread, durability, price, and more. The unpredictable snow storms, black ice and slippery roads can make your daily commute tricky, and sometimes downright treacherous – but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Wondering which are the best winter tires for 2023? We’ve compiled a list of some of this season’s best options for your vehicle, by type.
Shopping for the best winter tires
If you’re considering buying winter tires, this is one of those purchases where quality really counts. It is important to purchase high-quality types, taking into consideration price, the tire’s rating and performance to ensure you get the traction you need for the driving you do:
- Install all four tires: Be sure to purchase four tires and make sure they are the same make and model.
- Size matters: Ensure the tires are the correct size – tire size is embossed on the tire’s side.
- Price tag: The cost varies, but on average, they range from $120-$200 per tire, based on the size and make.
- Consider your wheels: Consider purchasing separate rims for your tires. This makes the transition easier and prolongs their life.
- Trust the pros: Have them installed by a professional, especially if your vehicle has ABS brakes, all-wheel drive and tire pressure sensors.
Top rated winter tires
Michelin X-Ice Snow
The latest generation Michelin X-Ice Snow tire is designed to fit a variety of vehicle types: SUVs, crossovers, premium/performance cars, passenger cars and minivans. It’s V-shaped tread pattern offers maximum grip power, whether driving on wet, snowy or icy roads. It also carries a 60,000 kilometre Treadwear Limited Warranty. An exceptional lifespan, these tires offer up to one extra season of wear ahead of its main competitors.
Bridgestone Blizzak WS90
Designed for cars and minivans, these tires feature cutting-edge innovations. The exclusive Multicell compound technology contains biting particles to improve surface grip in order to prevent skidding in freezing rain. This improves acceleration and stopping distance on ice by removing water between the ice and the tire tread. On dry days, it offers more control on the roads than other winter tires on the market.
Pirelli Winter Ice Zero FR
These tires have been specially developed for the extreme winter conditions of Canada and the Nordic countries. It is perfect for driving with complete safety in deep snow. Pirellis feature Run Flat technology, which allows you to get to a safe place to replace your flat tire. Whether you drive a compact or mid-size sedan, a premium sedan, trucks or an SUV, you’ll love this tire!
Winter tires are created with a special rubber compound that stays flexible, even in harsh winter conditions.
Continental Viking Contact 7
For owners of compact utility vehicles, cars and minivans, the design of these tires is meant to perform in Scandinavian and Canadian winters. The tread grooves allow snow to get into the tracks. This creates snow-on-snow traction that keeps you from sliding on the road. In addition, they provide very high aquaplaning resistance and have great performance on slush. The Viking also performs very well on noise tests, making it one of the quietest tires on the market.
Toyo Observe GSi6
These tires will allow you to drive in the worst winter conditions thanks to the Microbit studless technology. This high-performance tire can be used on passenger cars, sports cars as well as certain models of trucks and utility vehicles. They’ll provide you with exceptional handling performance in snow and ice, as well as on cold and wet roads.
BFGoodrich Winter T/A KSI
These tires are specially made to ensure not only totally safe acceleration and braking, but these tires also provide optimal grip on snow and ice. The locking 3D active sipe technology within this BFGoodrich tire is suitable for all types of vehicles. They are known to increase stability for unspoiled handling.
Winter tires grip to snow, slush and ice because their design with deeper grooves and edges optimize traction. Their treads should stay flexible below -45 degrees Celsius.
Yokohama iceGUARD IG53
One of Canada’s top-performing tires for extreme winter conditions, the Yokohama ice GUARD IG53 offers maximum performance in snow to keep the car steady all the way down the road. Made for passenger cars and minivans.
Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3 R5 & 10
Nokian is one of the best winter tire manufacturers in the world, partly because of its northern location. The company is based in Finland and is the only tire manufacturer in the world with its own winter tire testing facility. As EV and hybrid cars become more popular across the country, Nokian has risen to the challenge by creating winter tire models explicitly with EVs in mind. The unique tread design is also smaller, meaning significantly less noise in the vehicle and a more comfortable ride. Arctic Grip Crystals embedded into the tire also start to emerge as the tire is worn down, giving extra grip and control well into the tire’s life.
Goodyear WinterCommand Ultra
Goodyear sought to improve upon the Bridgestone Blizzak winter tire design and included new technology in the tire compounds and tread patterns. These tires utilize a Cryo-Adaptive compound that ensures an extra flexible tire that doesn’t harden in cold, wet conditions. Goodyear also employed Block Cuts and Adaptive SlipGrip technology in the tread. This brings traction on slushy roads to a new level. This winter tire was made for drivers of sedans, minivans, crossovers and SUVs looking for winter traction in snow and ice, combined with wet and clear road traction in colder temperatures.
Budget-friendly winter tires
Uniroyal Tiger Paw Ice & Snow 3
Incredible value for money, these tires can maintain excellent grip, even when driving over snow and ice. These tires are suitable for passenger vehicles. Tiger Paw Ice & Snow 3 boasts excellent grip in extremely cold temperatures, great traction while driving in deep snow, and carry a very low risk of hydroplaning.
General Tire’s Altimax Arctic 12
Made with the latest General Tire technologies, these tires offer exceptional handling and steering response. This includes an interlocking center rib combined with straight sipes. With sizes ranging from 14 to 19 inches, they are suitable for passenger vehicles. Featuring an exceptional response to dry driving and handling with wet traction performance and resistance to hydroplaning. These tires offer excellent traction and braking capability, all with an extended tread life.
Firestone Winterforce 2
Designed for your sedan, coupe, family car or minivan, you’ll be covered for maneuvering through with heavy snow, slush, ice or water. Offering exceptional traction, even on ice, these long-lasting performance tires will give you protection, winter after winter. An outstanding value for low cost!
A study performed by TRACANADA found that 79% of winter tire owners believe driving a vehicle with winter tires has saved them from being involved in a potentially hazardous driving situation.
Winter tire durability
All tires will eventually wear out with use, but the life of your tire will vary depending on how much you drive, the road conditions in your area, and how you care for your tires. Generally speaking, you should be able to get four or five seasons out of your winter tires if they are changed and stored each year correctly. Driving with winter tires all year drastically shortens the life of your tires because the rubber is not meant to perform well in temperatures above seven degrees.
Best winter tires: Are they worth it?
Demand for tires is particularly strong this year, as many motorists have had to hold onto their vehicles for longer periods of time due to the lack of inventory at dealerships. Many of us will have to upgrade to new winter tires. Add to this increased consumer awareness regarding tire quality and specifications; you should think about buying new tires sooner rather than later. Good quality tires that are reasonably priced are of course the first to sell out. So, if you are mindful of what you are spending these days, be sure to consult our list of the best winter tires and reach out to one of our isure representatives to learn more about the discount offered for owning them.