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Top 10 winter tire choices meet varied needs

In no particular order, here are my Top 10 winter tire choices.
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In no particular order, here are my Top 10 winter tire choices.

These tires are tops in different categories, so they should not be compared with one another.

All function very well on snow and ice.

Prices vary depending on size; most are discounted.

Pirelli Sotto Zero

A high-speed rated tire that works in snow and ice and yet on pavement acts as if it were a summer performance tire. It allows sports cars to be driven year-round. List price: $461 to $1,208 (discounted 33 per cent).

BRIDGESTONE BLIZZAK WS-60

The Blizzak family of tires started in 1988, addressing a very real driver concern about ice. This is the latest evolution of the multi-cell concept the company pioneered.

List price for the model: $193 to $441 (discounted 30 per cent).

Canadian Tire Goodyear Nordic

The Nordic is a private brand that is available only at Canadian Tire. It was engineered for them by Goodyear. Thanks to this collaboration and the store’s pricing, you can get great traction at a budget price. Prices have not yet been announced. This tire is modestly priced but not cheap in performance.

NOKIAN WR

This is the first winter snowflake-rated tire that was designed to be left on the car year-round. No more changeovers: winter and summer traction all in one package. Bravo.

List price: $118 to $348 (without discount).

Toyo Observe G-02 Plus

Toyo went nuts for traction and added ground walnut shells to the tire to act as mini stud. It works.

List price: $126 to $550 (discounted 30 per cent).

Michelin X-Ice Xi2

A passenger-car tire that offers sipes and holes in the tread for ice, plus thousands of edges for snow, and yet is still stable on pavement.

List price: $137 to $421 (discounted 10 per cent).

HANKOOK OPTIMO 4S

This is a Canada-only tire for the moment. It’s severe winter-rated for year-round use. Kudos for a smaller company like Korea’s Hankook showing it understands our needs.

Prices not yet announced.

General Altimax Arctic

An inexpensive tire that works above its price category. Since Continental Tire took over General, quality is no longer a concern.

List price: $117 to $378 (discounted 30 per cent).

Yokohama IG-20 / IT GO72

The latest version of its multi-cell compound for ice, Yokohama has made the tire stiffer by encasing the air bubbles in a plastic shell. That gives better lateral grip and more stable braking.

List price: $125 to $578 (discounted 30 per cent).

Goodyear Fortera TripleTred

A big tire for big SUVs. I’ve long favoured Goodyear’s triple compounds of rubber in one tire as an innovative technology. Now it has come to the road brutes that need all the handling and stopping abilities they can get.

List price $276 to $603 (discounted 30 per cent).

You can judge a tire by its cover

Winter ‘knobbies’ history now

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