Most and Least Satisfying Brands for Winter/Snow Tires

CR's exclusive survey rates 28 brands

winter car tire snow driving Photo: Istock

Drivers in the snow belt know that dedicated winter/snow tires can provide superior grip over regular all-season tires. Winter/snow tires can make the difference between getting to work safely or staying home. Drivers are aided by their blocky tread patterns and rubber compound that remain pliable in below-freezing temperatures. But how do you know which winter/snow tire is better than another? The answer is simple: Combine Consumer Reports’ extensive test results with satisfaction insights from our members.

Consumer Reports conducts extensive winter/snow tire testing at our Auto Test Center and regional ski mountains, and even does brake testing on the controlled surface of a local ice skating rink. 

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To supplement our instrumented test results, Consumer Reports surveyed members who bought tires in the preceding 12 months and asked them about their overall satisfaction with them and with tire retail chains. Over 15,000 members responded to the survey conducted in the fall of 2020.

More than two-thirds (68 percent) of members purchased new tires due to the normal wear of their old ones. The next most common reason to buy new tires was a desire for better winter grip.

The survey collected winter/snow tire satisfaction ratings on 28 brands, and it seems that most shoppers got what they wanted. As you can see in the chart below, satisfaction was at least above average for all but one brand, but it still received an average rating.

Winter Tires

Brand Owner Satisfaction
BFGoodrich 5
Bridgestone 5
Centennial 5
Continental 5
Cooper 5
Falken 5
Firestone 5
General 5
Kumho 5
Mastercraft 5
Michelin 4
Nitto 4
Nokian 4
Nordman 4
Pirelli 4
Starfire 4
Sumitomo 4
Toyo 4
Viking 4
Vredestein 4
Yokohama 4
Dunlop 4
Goodyear 4
Hankook 4
Kelly 4
Laufenn 4
Nexen 4
Uniroyal 3

Jeff S. Bartlett

A New England native, I have piloted a wide variety of vehicles, from a Segway to an aircraft carrier. All told, I have driven thousands of vehicles—many on race tracks across the globe. Today, that experience and passion are harnessed at the CR Auto Test Center to empower consumers. And if some tires must be sacrificed in the pursuit of truth, so be it. Follow me on Twitter (@JeffSBartlett).