We were fortunate enough to run our latest winter tire testing in February 2020 just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit North America, causing car makers and dealers to lock down their operations. We used two compact SUV models as test models, the Nissan Rogue and Honda CR-V, due to compact SUVs being the most popular vehicles on the market.
The event was held in the Laurentides region of Quebec, which experienced variable conditions of road and weather, including ice, deep snow and hard packed snow, as well as wet and dry pavement, with plenty of bumps and potholes along the way.
According to our criteria, grip, braking performance, ride quality and driving dynamics were the most important aspects. Each tire’s rating takes into account the testers’ individual appreciation of the tire.
Every year, the top tire models seem to remain the same; it seems as if the same tires keep appearing in the top ten. The tire industry is a slow one, as a result of which tires remain on the market for a long time.
The average time for these tires can range from four to twelve years. There are, however, some new additions for 2020-2021. These include the Bridgestone WS90, Continental Viking Contact 7, Goodyear Winter Command and Toyo Observe GSi-6 LS.
As for the brand new Michelin X-Ice Snow, we were not able to secure a set of wheels in time to conduct extensive testing.
Another tire that has been notably overlooked could be the Gislaved Nord*Frost 200, which was ranked fourth in our 2018 rankings.
Goodyear Winter Command
It’s hard not to be impressed with the affordability, the quality of the design, and the vast range of retail outlets available for the Goodyear model.
The bike has good handling on wet or dry pavement, and it also offers a comfortable ride. Moreover, the bike also provides good grip on slippery surfaces and it is also suitable for snowy conditions.
The Winter Command did a nice job in evacuating water from wet snow, which was a bit slower than that of the Ultra Grip Ice WRT, even though the braking distances on ice were longer.
Nordman 7 SUV
In most cases, there is an entry level brand, which is a product range of less expensive tires, which may use technology that is older than that of an entry-level brand.
Firestone is one of Bridgestone’s brands, while Michelin’s brands include BF Goodrich and Uniroyal. Nokian has a budget brand called Nordman, which is owned by Bridgestone.
This device is in fact the old Nokian Hakkapeliitta 7 which once dominated our rankings back in the day.
It is true that the Nordman 7 is not as good as the Hakkapeliitta 9 when it comes to performance when it comes to stopping and cornering on icy surfaces, but it still handles well under braking and cornering conditions. The tires also offer exceptional traction in both deep snow and hard-packed snow.
If there are studs in the road, the sound level increases to an even higher level than on paved or concrete highways. The Nordman 7 is a more affordable choice for customers looking for a Nokian tire than the Hakkapeliitta 9 and the R3 model.
Yokohama ice Guard GO75
The Yokohama iceGUARD G075 was introduced last year, and is designed for SUVs and pickup trucks, while the iceGUARD iG53 is designed for passenger cars and smaller SUVs.
When comparing the new iceGuard iG51v to its predecessor, the latter boasts tread blocks which are spaced closer together, as well as microgrooves which are arranged diagonally to increase traction on ice and control on wet and dry pavements. It is also more comfortable and quieter than before, due to the softer suspension.
In spite of the less aggressive tread design and the lack of aggressive tread designs, the combination of the tires’ durable rubber compound and the smooth tread design, will theoretically allow the tires to have a longer lifespan than the iG51v tire. Despite its modest price, the service offers a great deal of value.
Bridgestone Blizzak DM V-2
A Bridgestone DM-V2 finished second last year in our winter tire tests for full-size pickup trucks. As in previous years, the series has occasionally flirted with the top spot along with the Nokian models.
In spite of the fact that it is now ranked sixth in our rankings; this proven Blizzak still provides rock-solid handling on ice and snow, including short stopping distances and excellent handling on snow. On wet and dry pavement, the tires deliver a smooth, controlled ride that is as smooth as butter.
There is no reason for downgrading the model except that new tires, such as the Blizzak WS90, utilize modern technology.
If our recent tests had been conducted using larger SUVs or pickup trucks as opposed to lighter vehicles with lower payload capacities, it is likely that it would have landed among the top three.
Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3
The Winter Sottozero 3 from Pirelli puts a new approach to tyre compounds and a new sipe design in mind when it comes to high-end, premium vehicles.
Tires for luxury cars were developed in concert with a range of OEMs, including Bentley, Maserati, and Tesla. Available in 16 to 21-inch rim sizes, the tire is designed to suit an array of luxury automobiles.
The 3D sipes offer improved grip in dry conditions, and the overall density of the sipes makes it easier to control in the snow. Wet handling and brake performance are improved by the use of two longitudinal grooves.
The technology inside the tire allows you to drive without ever losing air pressure after a puncture, even after you’ve punctured the tire.
The technology covers 85% of the possible causes of a tire to go flat without losing air pressure. According to Torque News, Winter Sottozero 3’s are an excellent choice for you sports sedans as well.