Skip to main content

Whether you drive a new or used SUV, in order to get the most out of your vehicle, you need the proper tires. And for those who live in regions with serious winter weather, that means getting dedicated winter tires. But, which winter tires are best for your SUV?

What are winter tires?

Winter tires, also known as snow tires, are tires specifically designed to handle snow and ice. The rubber is also optimized to function well in freezing weather, allowing you to drive with more confidence. In some cases, winter tires will have studs to help navigate snowy conditions, but that is not always true. 

2023 Subaru Crosstrek in the snow
2023 Subaru Crosstrek | Subaru

Another thing that makes these tires unique is the addition of sipes. Sipes are thin slits in the rubber which means the tire can maintain traction better. Winter tires are ideal if you live in a place that has legitimate winters. 

Is it worth getting winter tires?

Depending on where you live, getting winter tires can certainly be worth it. According to Kelley Blue Book, a set of this rubber can help keep you safe when the temperature drops and conditions get rough. Of course, things like all-season tires have come a long way. But, they still can’t really compete with a dedicated set of winter shoes. 

The tread of a winter tire on a car has been clogged by snow on the road.
The tread of a winter tire on a car has been clogged by snow on the road. | Photo: Patrick Pleul/dpa-Zentralbild/ZB

Even if your SUV has four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, winter tires can be a great addition. 4WD does not mean four-wheel stop, so you’ll want to make sure you have the proper equipment for the current conditions. 

Which SUV snow tires are best?

A range of manufacturers design and make snow tires. And in most cases, which is right for you does come down to personal preference. Some folks are loyal to brands like Michelin, while others prefer Goodyear. If you can avoid it, cheaping out on tires is not a good idea. 

In terms of tires, you really do get what you pay for. Some good SUV tires to consider include:

  • Bridgestone Blizzak WS90
  • Michelin X-Ice Snow
  • Continental VikingContact 7

These tires might not be the cheapest on the market, but keep in mind that tire companies usually offer things like rebates and discounts. That can help you save some money if you are looking to get tires for your SUV. 

Do you need the same tires on all four wheels?

Some may say that you don’t really need four winter tires, but most manufacturers will recommend having the same tire on all four wheels. Doing so can help ensure that the tires are wearing as they should, that way, you get the expected lifespan out of them. 

A close-up of a winter tire in snow
A close-up of a winter tire in snow | Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

If you don’t live in a place that gets snow regularly during winter, you can likely get by with a set of all-season tires. And if you don’t really have winter at all, you might be able to drive on summer tires. Ultimately, which tires you need depends on where you live. But tire technology has come quite a long way, so there are no shortage of options out there for your SUV.


Can You Put Winter Tires on Sports Cars?