Once the cold weather starts creeping in, you may think your all-season tires and your SUV’s all-wheel drive (AWD) or four-wheel drive (4WD) are enough to handle the snow and ice we’re about to encounter on the roadways. However, Canada’s wild winter weather comes with massive snowfalls and lots of icy conditions, and that all-season tire will quickly become overwhelmed by it, potentially creating hazardous driving conditions. This is where a high-quality snow tire will transform your SUV into a figurative tank in the snow and ice.
But what are the best winter tires for SUVs specifically? We created a list of the top 11 to help you decide.
When winter tires come to min, Bridgestone’s Blizzaks are likely some of the first tires you think of. The Bridgestone Blizzak WS90 is a studless ice and snow tire that delivers confident control in various winter weather conditions.
Blizzak WS90 features a directional pattern with increased block stiffness for enhanced steering response and treadwear. Its EdgePerformance Technology Package features interlocking sipes — tiny slices across the tire tread — running the full depth of the tread for consistent performance throughout the tire's life.
The tread pattern also includes enhanced block edges for a boost in ice traction and reduced braking distances in slippery conditions.
Finally, the Bridgestone Blizzak WS90 comprises a next-generation multi-cell compound with bite particles that help remove the thin layer of water between the tread and icy surfaces. This helps the tire grip the ice better while the rubber compound’s enhanced silica improves grip in snow and ice.
Here comes the Blizzak again. This time it’s the Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2, which is optimized for slush, snow, and ice. That said, its primary focus is ice driving and stopping thanks to its microscopic bite particles and 15% more aggressive block edges that enhance its grip in icy conditions. Its array of small sipes open and close as the tie rolls, providing additional snow and ice grip.
The Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2 is also a wet-condition specialist, thanks to its water-loving hydrophilic coating and adaptive NanoPro Tech Multicell compound. On top of this, it also has wide tread grooves that channel snow and water away from the tread.
The tire’s Multicell compound also remains flexible in freezing conditions, ensuring optimal handling on dry roads and a smooth ride, even in sub-freezing temperatures. This Multicell compound makes up 50% of the tire’s tread, giving it a long life.
Can you think of a better way to conquer frigid temperatures than with a Viking helping you? Well, a Continental Viking, that is...
The VikingContact 7’s Nordic compound uses canola oil for enhanced flexibility to adapt to snowy or icy conditions while active grip silica improves its wet performance and braking. Continental molded the compound into a tread pattern with grooves that create a direct path to guide water and slush from the contact patch, ensuring the tire is contacting asphalt and not snow or slush.
This SUV tire’s optimized void ratio keeps the maximum amount of rubber in contact with the road, delivering confident tracking and control at high speeds and while cornering. Stabilizing the tread pattern are solid linkages and special interlocked block bridges that also hold the grooves open so water and slush can drain as needed.
The 3D sipes feature varying thicknesses that create biting edges for enhanced traction in slippery conditions. The wider sipes create snow pockets to collect and hold snow in the pattern, which creates snow-to-snow traction. On the outside of the tread blocks are Continental Grip Edges that grab snow and increase the tire’s contact area, which enhances traction in snowy and icy conditions.
This non-studded tire from Michelin is perfect for the extra weight of light trucks and larger SUVs.
The Michelin X-Ice Snow SUV features the FleX-Ice™ 2.0 compound with micro-roughness on the tread surface, which enhances snow and ice grip. This proprietary rubber compound features high silica levels so the tire maintains flexibility, even in severe Canadian winter conditions.
Michelin molds this snow tire into a continuous V-shape, giving it a directional tread pattern with broad groove widths. This pattern helps decrease hydroplaning risk and enhance slush performance while increasing snow-to-snow traction in Canada’s deep snow.
The X-Ice Snow SUV's tread features two types of full-depth sipes with complementary traction effects. The notched sipes give this tire biting edges to enhance traction in poor road conditions while the variable-thickness sipes further aid traction and support the tread elements to maintain efficient contact on packed snow and clear roads.
Do you deal with really bad conditions and need severe weather tires to handle it? The Cooper Evolution Winter is a studdable tire designed to handle just that.
The Evolution Winter’s rubber compound is formed into a directional pattern to aid with acceleration and braking in snowy or icy winter conditions. The centre rib features wide, rigid tread blocks that enhance stability on a dry road and improve steering response, and firm shoulders aid with lateral grip.
The Cooper Evolution Winter’s deep initial tread depths, wide circumferential grooves, and open shoulder notches flush out standing water and slush. Plus, its high-density, multi-angle siping creates biting edges that provide ample traction in wet, snowy, and icy conditions.
The Evolution Winter’s internal construction features a one-ply polyester casing with a high-ply turn-up that creates a two-ply sidewall that’s more durable and impact-resistant.
Do you have a performance crossover and need winter tires that can handle the snow and ice and more aggressive driving? The Pirelli Scorpion Winter is the tire for you. The Scorpion Winter delivers predictable low-temperature driving performance on dry and wet roads plus great traction in snow and ice.
The Scorpion Winter’s rubber compound features a new polymer blend and a higher silica content to enhance grip and handling in winter driving conditions.
The directional tread compound has rounded tread profile, modular centre block geometry, and stable shoulders that allow it to deliver superior dry-road handling while circumferential grooves help maintain good traction on wet and slush-covered roads. Snow-biting ridges and multi-directional sipes chime in to grip hard into snow and on ice for enhanced control.
The Goodyear Ultra Grip Winter is a studdable winter and snow tire with a smooth ride and superior traction all vehicles, including coupes, sedans, minivans, crossovers, SUVs, and even some light-duty pickup trucks.
Ultra Grip Winter radials’ winter rubber compound is molded into a directional tread design with superior cold-weather flexibility and efficient water and slush evacuation. Its strong shoulder blocks enhance stability and promote even treadwear on dry roads to help these tires last more than just a few winters.
When conditions deteriorate, the Ultra Grip Winter’s wide tread grooves usher loose snow and slush away from the tread for enhanced traction. Multiple sipes chip in, giving it numerous biting edges that enhance grip on ice and snow.
When severe road conditions hit, you can add alternating rows of metal studs in the shoulder and intermediate tread blocks. These studs will help increase traction on hard-packed snow and icy roads.
The Yokohama iceGuard IG51V is a studless winter tire designed for cold, wet, slushy, snowy, and icy conditions without adding aggressive studs. Central Zigzag Circumferential Grooves with 3D-shaped walls pack and expel snow, while lateral slush grooves guide water, slush, and snow away from the tread. Small, horizontal sipes enhance this tire’s bite in the snow and ice.
With its directional tread design and variable-angle centre rib this tire handles dry conditions like a pro too.
The Toyo Observe GSi-6 is a studless performance winter tire designed for all types of vehicles, including CUVs and SUVs, and offers superior traction, cornering, and braking performance in winter conditions and dry conditions alike. It features a silica compound and aggressive tread design with advanced sipe technology that allow this tire to deliver confident handling in snowy, icy, wet, and dry conditions.
The tread compound has an absorbent carbonic powder, which offers better contact and increased grip on icy roads. This carbonic powder, which is derived from bamboo, absorbs the thin moisture film on winter roads to help enhance traction. Its MicroBit technology, which is made from ground walnut shells, further enhances grip and helps bite into packed snow and ice.
Firestone’s studdable snow tire, the Winterforce 2 UV, helps crossovers, minivans, light trucks, and SUVs tackle dry, wet, and snow-covered roads in the wintertime.
Firestone Winterforce 2 UV snow tires feature a cold-weather compound in a directional tread pattern that allows for a smooth ride in even the coldest conditions. Its deep circumferential grooves, wide notches, and open shoulder slots expel slush and standing water from the tread to help minimize the risk of hydroplaning while their high sipe density gives these tires thousands of biting edges for optimal snow and ice grip.
Nokian may not be a household name in winter tires, but they are a rising brand with three SUV variations for wintertime driving. Nokian has a wide range of great winter tires, but the Hakkapeliitta 9 SUV gets consistently high marks as one of the best snow tires on the market.
The Nokian Hakkapeliitta 9 SUV features double-stud technology for optimized grip and aramid-fibre-reinforced sidewalls for added durability. Those are the same fibres found in bullet-proof vests.
The double-stud technology is what really sets these tires apart, though. This setup puts a different type of stud on the shoulders to maximize the longitudinal grip and natural braking and acceleration feel on icy surfaces. These tires also feature cuts on both sides of the centre portion of the tread to enhance its grip in deep snow.
And don’t just take our word for it, as 95% of reviewers of the Nokian Hakkapeliitta 9 SUV recommend it.
Now that you know the best winter tires for SUVs, why not look into a quality used SUV that is up to handling Canada’s winter? At Clutch, we have a huge selection of quality used SUVs ready for you. Head to Clutch’s 100% online showroom and find the perfect used SUV without having to set foot in a dealership.
Are you worried about buying an SUV 100% online? You can put your mind at ease knowing that every Clutch SUV has passed a 210-point inspection performed by trained Clutch professionals, ensuring they’re ready for winter. We also add a 90-Day Protection Plan and nationwide roadside assistance for additional peace of mind.
Want even more protection? You can opt for a nationwide Extended Warranty and enjoy even more coverage.
Plus, Clutch’s 10-Day Money-Back Guarantee has you covered. If you don’t love your used SUV, you can exchange it for a new one or return it for a no-questions-asked refund.
Check out our inventory of quality used SUVs today and choose a model that suits you this winter—then get it delivered to your door. You can even set up financing and get your trade-in vehicle appraised entirely online.