Best All-Season Tires for Winter Driving

CR shows you how to choose the best tires for your seasonal needs, with specific recommendations

Best All-Season Tires for Winter Driving - Genesis G70

Cooling autumn temperatures are a clear signal that it is time to inspect your tires and make sure you’re ready for winter weather.

Tread depth is a key factor in how well tires can resist hydroplaning and sliding in snow. Tires are considered worn out when the tread is down to 2⁄32-inch depth. But for winter, it's wise to start shopping at a 4⁄32-inch depth.

Fall is the best time to buy, when tire retailers tend to have the most inventory and money-saving deals.

How to measure tread depth: Place a quarter head-down in a tread groove. If the top of George Washington’s head is just visible, the tread has about a 4⁄32-inch depth. That’s enough to offer some all-weather grip, but it’s time to start thinking about replacement. 

More on Tires

Consumer Reports tests more than 50 tire models every year for cars, SUVs, and trucks. A dozen or more tests are conducted by an expert team, mostly at our 327-acre Auto Test Center in Connecticut. We test braking on ice at a local skating rink, and an outside lab assesses tire rolling resistance, which affects a vehicle’s fuel economy.

Click on the link below and become a CR member to see our list of best all-season tires for winter driving. With your membership, you also get ratings on all the products we test and rate.

Choosing Tire Type

Changing your all-season tires for winter/snow tires would provide the optimum grip in foul winter weather and at sub-freezing temperatures. These special tires provide optimum grip to stop, go, and take sharp turns on snow or on icy roads. However, this strategy brings expense and inconvenience: Changing tires every winter means buying a set of tires, and likely wheels. Further, winter/snow tires do not last as long as all seasons, and they typically compromise grip on dry and wet roads.

To be clear: If you live in the snow belt and must face harsh winter driving conditions, winter/snow tires are your best bet. But if you have the ability to wait until roads are cleared before traveling, there are some great choices in each all-season tire category for winter grip.

You could replace the current tires with the same make and model. However, we found in our most recent survey of CR members who bought tires in the past year that most changed make and model. By choosing a different tire model, you can select a tire that excels in the factors that matter most to you, using the CR tire ratings as a guide. Among the members who reported on 36,098 tire purchase and/or installation experiences, all-weather grip was cited by 50 percent of the respondents as the top feature they were looking for when shopping.

For the curated list below, we cast the spotlight on tires that excel for snow traction and ice braking in five categories: all-season, performance all-season, ultra-high-performance all-season, SUV all-season, and truck all-season. (If winter/snow tires seem right for you, see our picks for the best winter/snow tires.)

With each category, we feature the standout model with ratings and some good alternatives, then list a poor choice in the category for winter traction.  

To find the best tires in each category that fit your car, use our tire selector, which you'll find at the top of our tire ratings.

Testing all-season tires in the snow on a Toyota Camry.

Best All-Season Tires for Winter Driving

All-Access and Digital members can see the curated lists below and see the latest, complete ratings on tires.

 

All-Season Tires

All-season tires are the most common type. They’re used on cars, minivans, SUVs, and trucks. They’re designed to handle most conditions, including dry and wet pavement and light to moderate snow. 

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