The Best Winter Tires for Your Car (Or Sports Car)

  • The Vredestein Wintrac Pro is the best winter tire for sports cars
  • Michelin’s XIce performed incredibly well in our testing
  • Consumer Reports reccomends the Bridgestone Blizzak for winter driving

In case you haven’t heard, there’s something of a tire shortage right now. We’re sick of it too, especially in the dead of winter. But, I found myself in need of some snow tires and set out to do some research. We combed through Consumer Reports’ list of the best winter tires, then slapped some on an E46 BMW M3 to see what was what.

The tracks left by a car tire in the snow
Winter tires provide much-needed grip in the snow | Patrick Pleul via Getty Images

Winter tires like the Michelin X Ice make a difference

Bridgestone Blizzak winter tires fitted to an E46 BMW M3
We slapped some Michelin X Ice tires on an E46 BMW M3 | Chase Bierenkoven, MotorBiscuit

Given that I drive a RWD sports car every day, I knew I needed snow tires for Colorado’s winter. So when snow hit Colorado’s high country last month, I ventured out to test my Michelin X Ice tires. In short, the Michelin X Ice is a great snow tire, but not a cheap snow tire. It’s a shade more pricey than Bridgestone’s Blizzak, at $131 to $177, but the brand has both rated equally in terms of snow and ice traction. And traction I had. 333 hp is nothing to scoff at in the snow, and my M3 managed several inches of snow beautifully.

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Is the Bridgestone Blizzak the best winter tire?

A car drives on ice with Bridgestone Blizzak tires
The Bridgestone Blizzak might be the best snow tire out there | Bridgestone

As grateful as I am for Michelin’s tires keeping the dents out of my E46 BMW M3, Consumer Reports says the Blizzak is just better. After all, I was going to buy those above the Michelins. That said, the Blizzak offers better dry braking and hydroplaning protection than the X Ice. Plus, it’s cheaper. You can’t argue with that.

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The Continental Viking Contact is too expensive

A car equipped with winter tires drifts on a frozen lake bed
Continental’s VikingContact 7 is just too pricey | Continental

Unfortunately, the Continental VikingContact 7 is both worse and more expensive than the above snow tires. Though not by much. Consumer Reports found the Conti’s biggest weakness to be price, at $139 a tire. Not as much as the Michelin tire, but still a lot. It also performed worse than the Blizzak in wet conditions.

Vredestein’s Wintrac Pro is built for winter

A Vredestein Wintrac Pro tire shot from the front 3/4
You’ve probably never heard of Vredestein or their tires | Vredestein

Speaking of price, the Vredestein Wintrac Pro is $198 a tire. But, if you daily drive a sports car as I do, Consumer Reports says the Wintrac Pro is the best snow tire out there. They gave it an overall score of 78/100, better than any tire we named so far.

Should you use all-season tires in winter?

Michelin CrossClimate all-season tires on a rainy day
Michelin says the CrossClimate is supposed to work in any weather | Michelin

Frankly, I’m in a fortunate position to be able to afford both winter and summer tires. If you can’t that’s ok, because the Michelin CrossClimate is truly an all-season tire. It doesn’t have the snow traction of bona fide winters, but it’ll get you to work on most cold mornings without issue. That said, you’re best off with either the Vredestein Wintrac Pro, Michelin XIce, or Bridgestone Blizzak winter tires.

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