Article provided by PMCtire.com
A lot of people assume that their choice of winter tires should be based on their vehicle model. However, except for the dimensions, this belief is false. When shopping for winter tires, the first thing you should consider is your commuting habits and your driving style.
Here are a few questions you can answer in order to find the best winter tires for your needs:
- - Do you drive mostly in the city, in rural areas or on the highway?
- - Do you spend a lot of time on the road during winter?
- - How many years are you going to drive this vehicle?
Go for snow tires if...
You don't spend a lot of time on the road and mainly drive in urban areas and occasionally on secondary roads? If you live in an urban area that gets a significant amount of snow, snow tires will prove more adapted than ice tires. The tread on snow tires is flanked with large blocks and deep grooves that provide better traction in snow and good slush evacuation. And if you want to get out of the city for a trip to the mountain, you'll be better served with snow tires. If you identify with this description, the Toyo Observe GSi5 and the Goodyear Ultra Grip Winter are both great choices.
Select ice tires if...
You're always behind the wheel and mostly use the highway? You'll be better off with ice tires, because their tread is specifically built to quickly channel the thin layer of water that covers icy roads. Here are a few models that should meet your needs if you fit this profile: the Michelin X-Ice Xi3, the Bridgestone Blizzak WS-80 and the Continental WinterContact SI.
Choose studded tires if...
You drive on secondary roads on a regular basis? You should probably consider studded tires. Roads in rural areas are seldom ploughed and thus can be very dangerous. Furthermore, with studded tires you get all the biting power you need on ice and in snow. However, if you are looking to enjoy a quiet ride, you should know that studded tires are not as silent as regular winter tires. If you decide to go for studded tires, some great buys include the General Tire Altimax Artic, the Firestone Winterforce 2 and the Pirelli Winter Carving Edge.
Are expensive tires worth it?
If you know for a fact that you are going to keep your car for a few years, then we strongly advise that you invest in high-end winter tires as they are substantially more durable. However, if you plan on changing vehicles in a few months or over the next year, don’t splurge on a new set of winter tires; they probably won't fit your next ride! If you want to shop from the widest variety of tires on the market, visit PMCtire.com!