Most All-Weather Tires Provide an Edge in the Snow
But CR's tests expose significant differences among these tires
All-weather tires—a variation of all-season tires designed to excel in tough winter conditions—can be a convenient option if you want to avoid switching to winter/snow tires in the fall and replacing them in the spring.
Consumer Reports’ snow-traction testing of 64 car tire models this year found that the best all-weather tires rival traditional all-season tires in mild weather and can provide traction in severe snow and ice during the winter. Based on our extensive, real-world tread-life tests that measure wear over 16,000 miles, they are expected to last 50,000 miles or more. This is far longer than what you'd get with winter/snow tires, which don't carry tread warranties. Some also compare favorably with regular all-season tires.
Snow Traction Performance
Our tests reveal that there is a significant difference in snow traction among tire types. This can be seen in how easily a vehicle can accelerate in foul weather. Dedicated winter/snow tires set the standard for grip on snow and ice, but all-weather tires have a significant advantage over the other types of tires. These are the average distances that it took for a car to reach 20 mph in moderately packed snow.
Winter/snow: 58 feet
All-weather: 64 feet
All-season: 76 feet
Performance all-season: 90 feet
All-weather tires don’t quite match winter/snow tires for maximum snow traction and ice braking, but they do have an advantage in dry braking, wet braking, handling, and tread life. They can be a year-round convenience and ultimately reduce operating costs, making them an appealing choice for drivers who face winter weather but don't need to tackle the most severe conditions.
Below are highlights on the five all-weather tires from our myriad tests.
Click through the model name to see the detailed ratings and to compare tires.
Tire Testing on Ice
Tires play a big role in how your car performs in winter weather. On the "Consumer 101" TV show, Consumer Reports’ experts demonstrate to host Jack Rico how CR tests tires for icy conditions.