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John Mahler's top winter tires

Listed here in random order are John Mahler's best tire picks.

Listed here in random order are John Mahler’s best tire picks. With tires there is a correlation between cost and performance. Research costs, so if you want the latest and greatest tires, be prepared to pay more. Prices below are the full list price, based on a 16-inch wheel.

Bridgestone Blizzak WS-60

This is the ice tire that started it all, multicell compounded now fortified with embedded grit

Pro: Awesome grip

Con: Only the first 55 per cent of the tire is awesome, rest is average

List price: $263-$368

Yokohama Ice Guard IG20

Yokohama’s multicell compound also contains carbon flakes

Pro: Awesome ice traction, it works in the snow, too

Con: Softer ride than I like, no speed rated versions

List price: $222-$326

Michelin X-Ice Xi2

Michelin’s entry into getting water off the ice

Pro: Works great on ice but not as well as multicell

Con: Mushy ride and steering response

List price: $213-$251

Pirelli Sottozero

The big dog in high-performance winter tires

Pro: Sizes to fit all super cars, delivers traction under all conditions; on pavement acts like a sport tire

Con: Price, low speed noise

List price: $389-$445

Michelin Pilot Sport Alpin3

The latest winter sport tire: they got it right with this one

Pro: Traction in the worst of winter

Con: Limited sizing, floaty ride at highway speeds

List price: $305-$393


All-weather winter tire that stays on the car year round

Pro: No tire changeover, severe snow rated, can get through most winter conditions

Con: Noisy at city speeds, price

List price: $378-$536

Goodyear Eagle Ultra Grip GW3

Awesome winter sports tire, designed and made in Germany

Pro: All-around good grip, handles dry pavement well

Con: Design getting old, could be updated, turn-in slow

List price: $296-$359

BFGoodrich Winter Slalom

Michelin’s “mom and pop” tire, good quality at a good price

Pro: Excellent traction in deep snow

Con: Not the best on ice, noisy at highway speeds

List price: $152-$196

CTC Nordic Ice

Cheap and cheerful tire that works

Pro: Made by Goodyear, good on ice

Con: Design several years old, deep snow leaves it beached

List price: $111-$114

Continental WinterContact TS810

Snow design for powerful sedans

Pro: Gets through the deep stuff

Con: Not so hot on ice, price

List price: $210-$270

Gislaved NordFrost

Finland understands how to go in ice and snow

Pro: Great traction in any condition

Con: Limited sizing, mushy feel on pavement

List price: $160-$164

Nokian WR

All-weather tire, severe snow rated, stays on car all year

Pro: Goes, stops and turns under all but worst conditions, huge size and speed rating selection

Con: Big sizes wander at highway speeds, lots of tread depth so feels squirmy on highway

List price: $185-$267

Toyo Snowprox S952

Snow tire for bigger sedans with some power

Pro: Snow go is good

Con: Noisy at highway speed, snow go is only good

List price: $280-$318

Dunlop Winter Sport 3D

Latest technology in finding balance between all bad condition grip

Pro: Gets you through almost any weather

Con: Stiff ride, thumps over bumps

List price: $252-$361

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