Posted on October 14, 2018
Best Winter Tires to Buy in 2018-2019
Growing up in one of the many snow belt regions of Ontario, it never occurred to me that people would drive in winter without snow tires. I got my license in a blizzard and on my first solo drive, hit a massive ice patch near my best friend’s house. Aside from hearing my Scottish driving instructor’s admonishment “Feather the breeeeks, feather the breeeeks!” in my ears, I was glad my mother had snow tires on her vehicle. If you’ve decided to make the switch from all-season tires to legit snow tires this year in Mississauga, Brampton, Oakville or Toronto, we can’t blame you. Have you seen that Farmers’ Almanac prediction about the coming winter? Because we love you and your passengers here at Ontario Chrysler, we’ve prepared this handy guide to choose your new snow tires.
As with cars, so with tires when it comes to varieties of quality and performance. This list of top 5 snow tire options for Canadian winter driving represents quality tires rated for safety and performance in the ice and snow you know and love.
Michelin X-Ice Xi3
Traction, durability and the Michelin Promise Plan make this a contender for the number one spot on our list of top five snow tires. With a tread life double that of competitors, you can look forward to not having to replace these after one intense winter season. Best of all, Xi3 XIce Michelin tires come with a limited 60 000 km warranty against tread wear, plus the normal warranty on labor and raw materials. Hate the thought of changing a tire yourself? Michelin offers 3-Year flat tire changing assistance. MaxTouch Construction technology provides the X-IceXi3 with a confident footprint that evenly distributes the forces of acceleration, braking and cornering. Optimized tread blocks increase rigidity, stability, and traction on ice and snow. Want to lessen the chances of hydroplaning on those rainy GTA expressways? This tire features micropumps that absorb water from the surface, forcing it out via centrifugal force to improve the contact of the tread with the road. Ideal for highway and urban driving.
Bridgestone Blizzak WS-80
For those of you engaging in highway and rural drives more often, take a good long look at the Blizzak WS-80 from Bridgestone. Customer feedback (always the truest test) on these tires is amazing. Developed for drivers of coupes, sedans and crossovers looking for premium control and confidence in harsh winter driving conditions, the Blizzak WS80 has a new multi-hydrophilic coating compound which pumps water away from the contact patch. This is awesome because the top layer of ice that causes the most slipping is liquid. Reduce your chances of hydroplaning with these tires. Excellent stopping power on ice, and stable on curves, this tire has microscopic spikes. The Bridgestone Blizzak WS-80 outshines its closest competitor on stopping distances by 13% shorter. Low noise is another bonus for this tire.
Hercules Avalanche RG-2
The Hercules Avalanche R-G2 is a non-studdable winter tire for passenger cars, trucks, and SUVs. It covers highway, urban and rural driving equally, making it a popular choice for drivers with more versatile needs. Hockey tournaments out of town, anyone? Sold with a Road Hazard Protection Program, these tires offer great value. The Hercules Avalanche RG2 is a premium tire, manufactured in Russia and designed for harsh winters. Comfort, quiet and notable traction all rolled into one. The Hercules Avalanche R-G2 tire is covered by a limited mileage warranty protection against road hazards and a test drive "Trust Our Ride" of 30 days. Exceptional performance in aquaplaning scenarios and big traction on all types of road: dry, wet, icy and snowy. If you need a versatile, high-quality tire, this one might be the best choice for you.
Dunlop Winter Maxx 2
Ok, urbanites, this one is for you. If you seldom venture outside your urban commute in winter, the Dunlop Winter Maxx 2 can take care of your needs. Quiet tires help to make the end of day commute a little less noisy. Designed for sedans, coupes and crossovers, the Dunlop Winter Maxx 2 offers you top-notch traction in snow, as well as enhanced grip on ice and in slush. If you seek a safe, durable tire for city conditions, opt for this one. Known for stability on curves, the Winter Maxx 2 would be a great tire on some of those more wicked 400 series highway merge ramps.
Continental Winter Contact Si
Another option for mostly-urban drivers, this tire is covered by Continental's Total Confidence Plan. Designed for coupes, sedans, crossovers and SUVs, the Continental Winter Contact Si has been developed to surpass (and replace) the Extreme WinterContact. Great stopping power on ice, rolling resistance, and fuel economy all come into play with this winter tire suited to city driving. Equipped with traction grooves, and a Polar technology Plus + silica compound that remains flexible in cold weather, the ContiWinterContact SI tire grabs traction on snow and slippery roads. Reduce braking distance with confidence for reliable and safe driving. The Continental WinterContact SI also provides drivers with an alignment verification system that allows visual detection of parallelism of the vehicle wheels as well as a correction to the need for increased service for the life of the tire.
Where can I talk to someone about snow tires?
When is the best time to buy snow tires?
The very best time to get your snow tires is when you purchase your vehicle. Dealers can offer extremely competitive pricing, and some may even include a set of mounted units with rims as an incentive. Make sure these “bonus” tires are well-rated, though. You can always ask to upgrade to a better-known brand and pay the difference. Or, do your price shopping in September or early October, then ask your retailer to hold your purchase until later in the fall. Whatever you do, don’t wait till the first panicked snowfall to arrange for installation. Inasmuch as we can ever predict the first snowfall, of course.
Will installing winter tires get me an auto insurance discount?
Yes, provided you meet the requirements. Based on the provision put forth by the Ontario government, you cannot be denied the mandatory winter tire discount if: The winter tires are actually installed on your vehicle (not just sitting in your garage or storage unit); all 4 tires must be winter tires; all-seasons do not count as winter tires; must be certified as winter tires (snowflake or mountain peak logo). Some auto insurance providers may have additional guidelines separate from the ones listed above.
Where is Ontario Chrysler located?