So what’s the best winter tire for SUVs? Well, it depends.
It depends on the type of winter you get. It depends on the type of driver you are. And it depends on where you live.
So lets dive in and lay out the best winter tires for each no matter who you are, what you drive or where you’re located.
Best Winter Tire for SUV
Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2
The Blizzak is often touted as one of the very best winter tires you can buy and we’d argue it is the very best, especially in the latest DM-V2 version made specifically for trucks and SUVs.
The tread pattern makes use of an ultra wide center section of triangles with sipes running in every direction. This gives the tire amazing stability on snow-packed roads, but also grip in every direction – not just acceleration and braking, but cornering too. As a result, confidence with this tire is fantastic.
(For those who don’t know, winter tires provide grip on snow by making sure the snow sticks to the tire. It then uses that snow as a friction point against the snow on the ground, to deliver maximum traction.)
In total, this tire offers 15 percent more biting edges than the tire it replaces, the DM-V1.
The tread compound itself is made of a new NonPro Tech Multicell compound that features microscopic indents in the tread surface. So while the sipes offer grip you can see, the Multicell compound offers grip you can’t. But it does work, and works amazingly well, delivering grip on snow, but also helping this tire offer impressive traction on ice or clear/cold roads.
If there’s any area this tire could perform higher in, it’s slush. However, as most SUVs put enough weigh on the road to make slush a non-issue, we recommend this tire for anyone who drives on snow or who is looking to maximize their grip when the snow does fall.
Best Winter Tire for SUV (Runner Up)
Michelin X-Ice Snow SUV
Michelin’s X-Ice sub-brand of tires have long been another top pick for winter. With superior performance on ice and cold roads, they didn’t quite have the on-snow grip of the Blizzaks. As a result, they never ranked quite as highly for us.
However, if you live somewhere that gets colder temperatures but very little snow, then we’d say these are the better pick.
Plus, the latest version of the X-Ice, this Snow SUV version, includes a modified tread design and improved siping and to further close the gap the the Blizzaks when it comes to on-snow grip.
Notched sipes on the exterior tread blocks make for less flex in the overall tread, meaning this tire has heightened driving dynamics over most others.
Best Studded Winter Tire for SUV
Nokian Hakkapeliitta SUV 8
Nokian is not a household name, but ask any die-hard auto enthusiast in the North East (or Canada) and they’ll tell you these are outrageously good. And while they offer the ability for studs, you really don’t need to, unless you’re planning to drive across a lot of frozen lakes.
The unique design gives excellent stability on snow-packed roads, while also offering high levels of slush-evacuation.
While all of the tires on this list are rated for severe winter driving with the three-peak mountain snowflake logo, they aren’t all equal in certain areas. One specific category where this tire excels is in the deep cold. Using a unique combination of natural rubber, silica and rapeseed oil these tires tend to withstand the deep cold better than most.
If there’s anything wrong with this tire it’s that they aren’t readily available and can be harder to find. However, Nokian has made a big push into the US lately and so they are starting to become a more common option – and we’re not surprised.
Best Budget Winter Tire for SUV
General Grabber Arctic
When it comes to winter tires our number one rule is: get some.
While we can talk your ear off about which specific type is better, the end result is, any winter tires will provide massive improvements in grip and, therefore, safety. And what’s more important than that?
So, the General Grabber Arctic is by no means a discount tire. For those who don’t know, General is the more affordable division of Continental.
As a result, General’s tires tend to use slightly older technology, while saving you a significant amount of money.
The Grabber Arctic offers plentiful siping wide a wide contact patch for snow grip, and siping that runs in multiple directions too, offering stability and handling. It’s slush evacuation is excellent, while it’s grip on ice or cold roads is also impressive thanks to a center rib section that offers heightened grip under acceleration and braking.
All this, and it’s fitted to accept studs as well.
Best All-Terrain Winter Tire for SUVs
Cooper Discoverer AT3 4S
Suitable for both SUVs and trucks, the Cooper Discoverer AT3 4S is a proper all-terrain tire that delivers true traction in all four seasons.
It’s not as aggressive as some all-terrain tires, but as a result it’s more civilized on-road. It’s quiet and comfortable with driving dynamics that are quite close to an all-season. At the same time, off-road grip is hardly lacking. Plus, it’s designed with a tread compound that is built to last up to 65,000 miles – the highest milage guarantee you can get on an all-terrain tires.
On top of all this, the plentiful siping lets it trap snow against the tread and use it as a friction point against the snow on the ground. And the tread doesn’t freeze up in cold temps either, so you’ll maintain traction all year round. It’s not as capable as a dedicated winter tire, but with so many other advantages for truck or SUV buyers, it’s a convincing purchase.
Even the pricing is reasonable.