Does the Jeep Wrangler need winter tires? That might depend on who you ask, but as far as we’re concerned the answer is at least: maybe. And it’s probably: yes.
We should probably explain.
The Wrangler is one of the most capable vehicles not just on sale today, but ever made. It’s grip is outstanding and there’s a reason the Jeep brand is synonymous with off-roading. But all the differential lockers in the world won’t do you much good if you don’t have any traction where it matters.
So chances are, if you live somewhere where you get snow, you’ll want some real winter grip. And even if you barely get snow, but the temperature drops into the 40s over the winter months, the grip a winter tire compound will provide you with could make all the difference in the world.
And remember, four wheel drive doesn’t help at all when you’re braking, so do yourself a favor, get some quality winter tires to give your Wrangler all the grip it deserves.
Below we’ve compiled a list of some of the very best winter tires for the Jeep Wrangler. In particular we’ve focused on the JL model and either the 245/75/17 or 255/75/17 sizes, however, almost all of these tires can be had in numerous other sizes for many different generations of Wrangler.
Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2
One of the very best winter tires you can buy, where the Bridgestone Blizzaks stand out is really in the snow. That may sound a bit obvious, but it’s not. Many winter tires are actually made for the purpose of performing on cold roads that are either cleared or icy. The Blizzak’s perform excellently in these conditions too, but they have an edge on the competition when driving on snow covered roads.
This second-generation of the tire makes use of a 15 percent increase in tread block edges to add even more grip while a new rubber compound further improves the tire’s ability to brake on icy surfaces.
Of note, Bridgestone also offers the Blizzak LT which is available in sized for the Jeep Wrangler. This is ideal for Jeeps carrying heavy loads or towing trailers.
Michelin X-Ice Snow SUV
Making use of Michelin’s Evergrip technology, the Michelin X-Ice, as the name might suggests, is really the champion when it comes to on-ice performance. Compared to rivals, Michelin claims the tire stops 8.85 feet shorter on ice.
Not many of us are driving on iced-over lakes so you might think this doesn’t matter. But where it does is when there’s a think layer of ice on a road that otherwise looks clear. It’s in these low-temperature situations with clear roads where the X-Ice really shines and gives you braking power when you need it (and expert it) most.
What we also love about this tire is how durable it is. Michelin has engineered the tire with a polymer-based rubber compound thats designed to last, with full-depth sipes that don’t wear off after 10,000 miles and leave you with a set of four hockey pucks.
Hankook i Pike RW11 Studdable
A true bargain compared to other tires on this list, the Hankook I Pike RW11 is features a heavy amount of siping as well as unique stepped tread blocks which combine to grip the snow. Meanwhile the zig-zag center rib works to deliver a more stable highway ride on icy cold roads. Studded for those who demand even more traction, there’s even some all-terrain capability built in thanks to stone ejectors built into the tread base.
Overall, we’re impressed with this tire’s grip and you just can’t beat the price.
Cooper Discoverer Snow Claw Studdable
Cooper makes an impressive selection of winter tires for different purposes and the Discoverer Snow Claw Studdable is built for truck and SUV drivers. Combining a tread compound and plentiful siping, it digs into the snow with ease. Plus, the center rib, larger shoulder blocks and connecter center blocks make it handle well on clear roads too. And of course, it’s studdable for even more grip.
We also recommend you check out the Discoverer AT3 4S. This is an all-terrain tire but meets the standards required to wear the three-peak mountain snowflake logo. It’ll give you solid winter grip, off-road capability and civility on-road as well.
General Grabber Arctic LT Studdable
A solid value option, the General Grabber Arctic LT is a decent alternative to the Michelin X-Ice. Siping isn’t as prevalent on this tire and it doesn’t grip the snow to the same extend at tires like the Blizzaks. However, it’s tread compound is designed for excellent grip on clear and/or icy roads. It’s design is also built for on-road traction with a large dual rib design in the middle helping to give better on-road feel and stopping power on icy roads. With some mild all-terrain capability it’s a true LT tire so it will withstand towing or hauling and is extremely durable.
Cooper Discoverer AT3 4S
As an alternative to these tires there’s always the option to go with an all-terrain tire with winter capability. These might not offer quite the same level of cold-weather or snow grip that a true winter tire does, but with the three peak mountain snowflake logo they are certified for extreme winter use.
Among tires like these, there are several options, including the BFGoodrich All Terrain T/A KO2s and the Toyo Open Country AT IIIs. We recommend the Coopers as they really do deliver an excellent amount of snow and ice grip, with a durable compound, strong warranty, fantastic off-road performance and all at a very reasonable price point.
There are several different versions of the WinterCommand tire and depending on the Wrangler you’ve got, the version of the tire will change. Generally, however, the WinterCommand SUV is the best option.
This tire performs impressively well in all winter scenarios, from driving on snow covered roads, to slush, to just maintaining grip on cold, clear roads. The center tread section makes it stable on the highway and helps in dry weather braking performance. Deep grooves and a directional tread pattern work to evacuate slush.
There’s heavy siping overall, running laterally on the center tread section to help in acceleration and braking, while sipes run more vertically on the side tread blocks to help in cornering capability on snow-covered roads.
Overall, one of the best new winter tires available.