Best Winter Tires for SUVs: Stay In Control on Icy Roads

Get the best winter tires for SUVs and stay safe on the road during snowy conditions

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Driving on icy terrain is one of the hardest tasks, even for seasoned drivers. When winter comes, roads can get very slippery, and your chances of having an accident increase. Poor visibility, slippery roads, and bad tires are a bad combination. This buying guide includes the best winter tires for SUVs to help you make an informed purchasing decision.

  • Best Overall
    TreadWright CLAW M/T Tire
    Summary
    Summary

    This tire is designed for snow conditions and has a rugged tread pattern that helps increase grip. Its most unique quality is the remolded and reinforced sidewalls that make it extra strong and resistant to punctures.

    Pros
    Pros

    The tire offers up to 25 percent more tread life than conventional tires. The manufacturer uses an eco-friendly manufacturing process and less harmful materials to create a tire that performs extremely well in snow. The tire is backed by a two-year workmanship warranty.

    Cons
    Cons

    The tire has a tendency to produce an irritating noise on normal roads. The company has an unclear warranty policy, so you may have difficulty returning unwanted tires.

  • Best Value
     Firestone Winterforce 2 UV Winter Radial Winter Tire
    Summary
    Summary

    If you want a tire that’s specifically made for winter and SUVs, it’s the Firestone Winterforce 2 UV tire. It delivers great performance on icy roads and has a computer-modeled tread pattern that provides superior traction.

    Pros
    Pros

    The tire features deep grooves, directional notches, and open shoulder slots—which are all effective against hydroplaning. It is modeled to accept optional metallic winter studs for added traction. Its inner steel belts have a polyester casing for enhanced durability.

    Cons
    Cons

    It is a poor performer in warm weather and on dry roads as it tends to experience quicker wear. Its sidewalls are not very durable and can’t withstand long-term use. 

  • Honorable Mention
    Bridgestone Blizzak LT Studless-Winter Radial Tire
    Summary
    Summary

    The studless build of this tire makes it a great choice for SUVs as it is highly flexible and offers great performance during seasonal transitions. It adheres to the industry's severe snow service requirements and excellently tackles the elements.

    Pros
    Pros

    Instead of studs, it features a company-specific multicell compound that uses small pores to deliver a powerful grip on the road. The high sipe density provides great traction in wet conditions. Tie bars in the outboard shoulders help prevent irregular wear.

    Cons
    Cons

    It may be out of reach for some people because of its prohibitive price. The company also has an unclear warranty policy, and returning faulty tires may be difficult.

Tips

  • Many winter tires for SUVs have metal studs; however, not all states allow metal studs on tires. Before getting winter tires, check whether they are allowed in your state. 
  • To save money, get studless all-season tires for use during all months of the year. As winter approaches, you can install studs for extra traction on wet and icy roads. 
  • If you can't afford to get winter tires for your SUV, use off-road tires, as they have deep tread blocks. However, off-road tires don’t offer the same grip or flexibility. 

FAQs

Q: What is the difference between studded and studless tires?

A: Studs improve the traction and handling of a car during the winter. However, some new-generation winter tires feature studless technology and can be used in normal driving conditions as well.

Q: When do I install winter tires on my SUV?

A: Temperatures below 45 degrees Fahrenheit tend to affect the performance of all-season tires. The right time to switch to winter tires is when temperatures start to dip below 45 degrees. 

Q: How often should I check my winter tires?

A: It’s best to inflate, align, and rotate your tires every six months (or every 6,000-8,000 miles) to minimize the chance of an accident. During winter, check your tires every month. 

Final Thoughts

For its innovative design and high functionality, we recommend the TreadWright CLAW M/T Tire

The Firestone Winterforce 2 UV Winter Radial Winter Tire performs well too if you’re looking for a budget-friendly alternative.