Consider the cost of maintenance and repairs -- and their frequency -- when deciding which car to buy.
Winter Tire Reviews
Snow-Tire Performance Reviews
Winter Weather Traction.Based on the winter tire reviews we analyzed, the Michelin X-Ice Xi2 tire is the top pick.
The General Altimax Arctic also receives praise for its performance on snow and ice from experts and users at Tire Rack, where a Honda Accord driver reports being happy with how this tire behaves on icy, wet roads. It emerged as the best snow tires in a Tire Rack test of studdable winter tires. Testers warn that using studs sacrifices a little braking traction in dry and wet conditions for better traction on ice. Users at 1010tires.com are also impressed with the tire's traction on snow and ice. A Ford Mustang driver credits the General Altimax Arctic for getting the car through a snowdrift without getting stuck.
Users at Epinions praise the performance of the Dunlop Graspic DS-3 in the snow. One user is especially impressed with the tire's strong grip. The Hankook Icebear W300, however, seems dangerous to some users at 1010tires.com. One reports a rollover after the car hit a patch of ice.
Noise and Comfort.The best snow tires on our list, the Michelin X-Ice Xi2 tires, win praise from a driver at Epinions for their quiet ride. The General Altimax Arctic, also among the best snow tires we found, is the quietest winter tire one driver has ever owned, according to a review at Tire Rack. However, a few other drivers warn in reviews at Tire Rack that these winter tires are noisier than the original tires that came with their cars, especially with studs in them.
Comfort and noise level are bright spots in otherwise negative reviews of the Hankook Icebear W300 at 1010tires.com. One user who praises the tire for its smooth, quiet ride on dry pavement has wound up stranded in deep, wet snow, where previous winter tires had no trouble.
Studded Snow Tires.Some winter tires offer the option of using metal studs to provide a better grip on ice and snow. Traditionally, studded snow tires have been considered the surest way to get good traction on ice and snow. However, some experts now think the improved design of studless tires allows them to effectively compete with studded snow tires. The downside of studs is they can fall out of the tire and they tend to tear up roads. As a result, many states regulate their use. Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, for example, place stringent restrictions on studded snow tires; Illinois has outlawed studs completely. Check the regulations in your state before investing in studded snow tires.
The Michelin X-Ice Xi2 is a studless tire, while the General Altimax Arctic tire is "studdable," meaning you can use it with or without studs. The Hankook Icebear W300 and the Dunlop Graspic DS-3 (starting at $59) are also studless.
Here are eight ideas for inexpensive and out-of-the-ordinary winter dates.
February is an excellent month to take advantage of sales on electronics, home theaters, romantic gifts and more.