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Sometimes winter comes unexpectedly for utility workers, but not for experienced drivers. After all, the first step in preparing a car for the difficult cold season is to buy and install winter tires in advance. To make it easier to choose the right model, we have collected the top 10 best winter tires of various classes, and we will tell you about the features of each of them.

Top 10 winter tires according to hotline.ua: season 2020-2021 #1 - photo in the blog (buyer's guide) hotline.ua

Sometimes winter comes unexpectedly for utility workers, but not for experienced drivers. After all, the first step in preparing a car for the difficult cold season is to buy and install winter tires in advance. To make it easier to choose the right model, we have collected the top 10 best winter tires of various classes, and we will tell you about the features of each of them.

STUDDED WINTER TIRES

Studded winter tires are usually used on very slippery surfaces: snow and ice. Such tires have an excellent level of grip thanks to numerous metal spikes that look like small pins.

Unfortunately, spikes create increased noise when driving on asphalt, the tire becomes heavier, unsprung masses increase — all this can indirectly affect the comfort and fuel consumption of the car.

Spikes often fall out when the asphalt is too active. Therefore, tire manufacturers resort to a trick: they put spikes with an intermediate layer of soft rubber in the base, they are additionally glued, they use different spike anchors, which affects the price.

Summary: studded winter tires are necessary for those motorists who often drive on dirt roads, on snow and ice more often than on asphalt. Nothing better than studded tires has been invented for slippery winter roads. But which tires to pay for?

Nokian Hakkapeliitta 9

Линийка Nokian Hakkapeliitta 9

Линийка Nokian Hakkapeliitta 9

Winter studded tires • purpose: passenger car • maximum speed: 190 km/h

Nokian Hakkapeliitta 9 studded winter tires confidently and consistently lead in many tests of professional AvtoZMI.

Testers praise them for their excellent behavior in snow and ice: high level of grip, good acceleration, short braking distance, excellent cornering. Among the minuses — braking on dry asphalt, but all «studs» do not behave very well under such conditions.

Nokian Hakkapeliitta 9 winter tires:

  • directed arrow-shaped tread pattern;
  • blocks with sharp notches;
  • winding slots-lamellas.

This contributes to good drainage of water and melted snow, better grip on the road covered with snow and ice.

They use spikes of different types for the central part and sides of the tread. Some of the spikes work in the longitudinal direction, which gives good acceleration and braking. Others are transverse, to improve stability when turning.

EcoStud pads are provided at the base of the cleat, and the cleat has a chamfered edge: to soften contact with the road, reduce noise and vibrations. As a result, Nokian once again created some of the best winter tires in the world. Yes, expensive, but these tires are worth it.


Pros: high level of grip in snow and ice, developed spike.


Cons: grip on dry asphalt, price.

Top 10 winter tires according to hotline.ua: season 2020-2021 #2 - photo in the blog (buyer's guide) hotline.ua

Nokian Hakkapeliitta 9 winter tires: good acceleration, quick and short braking, excellent cornering grip

Gislaved Nord Frost 200

Gislaved Nord Frost 200 line

Gislaved Nord Frost 200 line

Winter tires • purpose: passenger cars • maximum speed: 190 km/h

Gislaved Nord Frost 200 studded winter tires are not the «absolute» leader. But this is a solid middle class for reasonable money and one of the leaders in its group.

During comparative tests, AvtoZMI noted decent parameters of acceleration, braking, controllability on snow and ice, appropriate driving qualities on asphalt and a low noise level.

Of course, Gislaved Nord Frost 200 winter tires are inferior to the market leaders, but they also cost significantly less: a good balance of characteristics and cost.

У Gislaved Nord Frost 200:

  • asymmetric tread pattern, similar to Continental winter tires (the Gislaved company is part of the Continental group);
  • large checker blocks with sharp edges and winding lamellae for grip on snow and ice;
  • wide grooves that quickly remove water, melted snow and ice crumb.

Gislaved Nord Frost 200 winter tires have special multi-faceted spikes that improve grip on icy roads and snow. All in all, good tires for harsh winters.


Pros: high level of grip in snow and ice, reasonable price.


Cons: average indicators on asphalt.

Top 10 winter tires according to hotline.ua: season 2020-2021 #3 - photo in the blog (buyer's guide) hotline.ua

Gislaved Nord Frost 200 winter tires: decent acceleration and braking parameters, handling on snow and ice, good driving qualities on asphalt

«ARCTIC» WINTER TIRES

This type of tire is designed for similar operating conditions as studded: a lot of snow, severe frost, slippery icy roads.

But Arctic-type winter tires must do without spikes: all the work in terms of traction is done by the tread and the rubber compound.

Therefore, these tires are made very soft, the tread has a «fluffy» pattern — everything is literally cut with notched lamellae, many different blocks, teeth, grooves to increase the level of traction.

On dry and clean asphalt, such tires may seem too soft, but in any case they are better than «studs» — lower noise level, shorter braking distance on dry asphalt.

Arctic tires are optimal if the roads in your locality are not cleaned very well, but at the same time you often have to drive on cleaned tracks.


Continental VikingContact 7

Continental VikingContact 7 line

Continental VikingContact 7 line

Winter tires • purpose: passenger cars • maximum speed: 190 km/h

Continental Viking Contact 7 winter tires confidently occupy leading positions in their class today.

Pros of the tire: short braking distance on snow and ice, good controllability and smoothness, excellent traction and acceleration, quiet movement. Among the minuses are average indicators on dry asphalt and a high price. But these are justified expenses.

The Continental Viking Contact 7 winter tire has a directional V-shaped tread pattern with a checkerboard arrangement of large blocks. In this way, quick drainage of water and melted snow is achieved, as well as reliability of control.

These tires have two types of lamellae:

  • zigzag — for maximum improvement of grip with the road;
  • U-shaped — for traction with the road and, at the same time, self-engagement during sharp maneuvers.

The Continental Viking Contact 7 winter tire is better than its predecessor in almost everything:

  • 7% improved protection against aquaplaning;
  • 6% shorter braking distance on wet surfaces;
  • rolling resistance reduced by 3%.

That is why Continental Viking Contact 7 winter tires are deservedly considered one of the market leaders.


Pros: high level of grip in snow and ice, quiet and comfortable movement.


Cons: average indicators on asphalt, a rather high price.

Top 10 winter tires according to hotline.ua: season 2020-2021 #4 - photo in the blog (buyer's guide) hotline.ua

Continental Viking Contact 7 winter tires: short braking distance, good handling, excellent traction and acceleration, quiet movement


Goodyear UltraGrip Ice 2

Goodyear UltraGrip Ice 2 line

Goodyear UltraGrip Ice 2 line

Winter tires • purpose: passenger cars • maximum speed: 190 km/h

Goodyear UltraGrip Ice 2 winter tires in the course of comparative tests of various AvtoMMI showed a complete and balanced character.

They have good grip on snow and ice, short braking distance on various types of surfaces, reliable controllability in turns when driving on dry asphalt and low noise level.

Goodyear UltraGrip Ice 2 arctic winter tire:

  • directional pattern of the tread with wide blocks and a saw-shaped contour, it allows it to drain water and melted snow well;
  • ActiveGrip technology with zigzag lamellae and active notches on the blocks improves the tire’s grip on icy surfaces: shorter braking distance, better acceleration, more stable handling;
  • frost-resistant materials in the composition, thanks to which the elasticity of the tread is preserved at low temperatures, which is important in harsh winters and on unclean roads.


Pros: balanced character – for snow, ice, and asphalt.


Cons: quite a high price.

Top 10 winter tires according to hotline.ua: season 2020-2021 #5 - photo in the blog (buyer's guide) hotline.ua

Goodyear UltraGrip Ice 2 winter tires: maximum emphasis on snow and ice, directional tread pattern with wide blocks and a sawtooth contour


Hankook Winter i Cept iZ 2 W616

Hankook Winter I Cept iZ 2 W616 line

Hankook Winter I Cept iZ 2 W616 line

Winter tires • purpose: passenger cars • maximum speed: 190 km/h

Let’s add to the list not a leader, but a solid middle peasant — Hankook Winter i Cept iZ 2 W616. The model has an attractive price — about a third cheaper than the market leaders.

These winter tires demonstrate quite good traction properties in the longitudinal direction: acceleration and braking performance in snow and ice are among the best in the segment.

Plus, they behave well on asphalt: comfort, handling, braking. The only remark is handling on ice and snow: weak traction in the transverse direction.

The winter tire Hankook Winter i Cept iZ 2 W616 has a directional pattern of the «herringbone» type, which quickly drains water, ice crumb and melted snow from the contact point, and a multi-volume pattern of shoulder blocks.

The blocks seem to be like a saw, which makes it easier to cut through deep snow on an unpaved winter road. And the continuous central part of the tread improves controllability and stability of movement.

Also, the model has interesting developments hidden from view:

  • rubber compound with silicon content improves traction on difficult roads, reduces rolling resistance (fuel consumption);
  • the reinforced frame provides good rigidity of the sidewalls (on the pits of broken winter roads, the risk of tearing the tire is reduced) and durability.


Pros: good acceleration and braking on winter roads, behavior on asphalt, price.


Cons: not the best handling in snow and ice.

Top 10 winter tires according to hotline.ua: season 2020-2021 #6 - photo in the blog (buyer's guide) hotline.ua

Hankook Winter i Cept iZ 2 W616 winter tires have one of the best acceleration and braking performance in snow and ice in the segment

Nokian Nordman RS2

Nokian Nordman RS2 line

Nokian Nordman RS2 line

Winter tires • purpose: passenger cars • maximum speed: 170 km/h

What does the Nokian Nordman RS2 tire, which belongs to Nokian’s budget line and clearly copies the first Hakkapeliitta R from the past, do in this selection?

It’s simple: Nokian Nordman RS2 is a very solid middle-class car that has not lost its advantages and confidently pushes the class leaders, but at the same time it is sold at an attractive price.

Judging by the comparative tests of specialized AvtoZMI, the model has a fairly good balance of characteristics, without obvious failures in any critically important discipline.

Special praise from the testers for the behavior in snow and ice: good grip during acceleration and braking (short braking distance), stability and clear controllability in the turn.

On dry and wet asphalt, the rating does not rise above the average, but what did you want from arctic tires. But they differ in comfort and a good price: they are 30-50% cheaper than Nokian’s top models.

Important features of the Nokian Nordman RS2:

  • the directional pattern of the tread provides good drainage of water and melted snow;
  • a single central rib improves controllability and stability of movement;
  • many Z-shaped lamellas guarantee better grip on snow.

On the side blocks of the tread, there is a fine grid of slots to improve traction on any type of road. New components have been added to the rubber composition, thanks to which the tire does not tan during severe frosts and maintains its elasticity.


Pros: behaves well in snow and ice, comfort, price.


Cons: grades while driving on asphalt are not above average.

Top 10 winter tires according to hotline.ua: season 2020-2021 #7 - photo in the blog (buyer's guide) hotline.ua

Nokian Nordman RS2 winter tires have a good balance of characteristics, without obvious failures in any critical discipline

«EUROPEAN» WINTER TIRES

European winter tires are probably the most popular group. Such tires are designed for mild winters, light frosts and cleared roads.

Here, the emphasis is not so much on the level of grip on ice or snow, but on typical asphalt disciplines: comfort and economy, silence while driving, braking distance on dry and wet asphalt.

As a rule, European winter tires have a directional or asymmetric tread pattern, a small number of lamellae and slots, and the rubber compound uses the «silicone» component.


Continental Winter Contact TS 860

Continental WinterContact TS 860 line

Continental WinterContact TS 860 line

Winter tires • purpose: passenger cars

Judging by the tests of specialized AvtoZMI, Continental Winter Contact TS 860 winter tires behave perfectly on dry and wet asphalt of cleared roads: comfort, sharp braking, reliable handling.

As for «European-type» winter tires, the tires performed well even on snow. This model is an excellent option for buyers who operate the car in the city and on cleared roads in the winter.

Continental WinterContact TS 860 winter tires achieved good results in comparative tests thanks to the use of several proprietary developments of the company:

  • Cool Chili technology – a special rubber compound with the addition of elastic polymers provides excellent braking in any winter conditions;
  • Liquid Layer Drainage technology – a network of interconnected drainage grooves helps to quickly drain water and melted snow to reduce braking distance on winter roads;
  • the new system of three-dimensional grooves of winter tires WinterContact TS 860 strengthens the grip of the tire on the snowy road, especially when cornering. The snow is compressed not only in the main groove of the tread, but also in the grooves throughout the tire’s surface — which is more than 1000 points of the profile — which allows the tire to transmit large lateral forces, providing better grip during cornering.


Pros: balanced character, good performance on snow and ice.


Cons: quite a high price.

Top 10 winter tires according to hotline.ua: season 2020-2021 #8 - photo in the blog (buyer's guide) hotline.ua

The new three-dimensional groove system of the Continental Winter Contact TS 860 winter tires increases grip on snowy roads, especially when cornering


Goodyear UltraGrip 9

Goodyear UltraGrip 9 line

Goodyear UltraGrip 9 line

Winter tires • purpose: passenger cars

In the course of comparative tests by AvtoZMI, the Goodyear UltraGrip 9 winter tire performed well on dry and wet asphalt, providing reliable handling and a short braking distance, as well as low fuel consumption.

An additional pleasant bonus is behavior on a slippery winter road, as for «European» winter tires: good traction properties in the longitudinal (acceleration/braking) and transverse (maneuverability and stability in turns) directions. The result is a balanced tire with an emphasis on cleared roads and dry/wet asphalt.

Goodyear UltraGrip 9 winter tires have a universal character due to the design features:

  • arrow-shaped directional pattern of the tread quickly drains water and melted snow;
  • 3D BIS technology to shorten the braking distance and improve handling;
  • TOP Indicator wear indicator in the form of a «snowflake», which shows tire wear for safe winter driving (tread height of about 4 mm).


Pros: comfort and handling on asphalt, behavior on wet roads.


Cons: quite a high price.

Top 10 winter tires according to hotline.ua: season 2020-2021 #9 - photo in the blog (buyer's guide) hotline.ua

Goodyear UltraGrip 9 winter tires perform well on dry and wet asphalt, providing reliable handling, short braking distance and low fuel consumption


Michelin Alpin 6

The Michelin Alpin 6 line

The Michelin Alpin 6 line

Winter tires • purpose: passenger cars

Michelin Alpin 6 winter tires only recently went on sale and were tested by professional AvtoZMI, but they have already managed to distinguish themselves in the group of leaders.

Traditionally for «European» winter tires, the model showed good results on dry asphalt: adequate braking distance, easy handling. Plus, the tire guarantees comfort while driving and predictable behavior on snow.

The increased service life of tires deserves special attention. When comparing slightly worn tires, the Michelin Alpin 6 confidently emerged among the leaders thanks to the stability of braking and handling characteristics.

Michelin Alpin 6 winter tire:

  • directed V-shaped pattern of the tread, which well removes melted snow and water from the spot of contact of the rubber with the road;
  • a large number of saw-shaped lamellas that improve grip on the road covered with snow or ice;
  • original two-layer protector based on EverGrip technology: after a certain amount of wear, it slightly changes its pattern — new drainage grooves appear, and a new layer of rubber is also included in the work.

Thanks to these factors, Michelin Alpin 6 winter tires maintain good traction properties for almost the entire service life.


Pros: increased service life, behavior on snow and wet roads, comfort.


Cons: quite a high price.

Top 10 winter tires according to hotline.ua: season 2020-2021 #10 - photo in the blog (buyer's guide) hotline.ua

Michelin Alpin 6 winter tires: increased service life, excellent behavior on snow and wet roads


Dunlop Winter Sport 5

Dunlop SP Winter Sport 5 line

Dunlop SP Winter Sport 5 line

Professional AvtoZMI consider Dunlop Winter Sport 5 winter tires to be a solid middleman in their class, which confidently challenge the leaders of the segment.

The model showed itself perfectly on dry and wet asphalt: the car has clear controllability, short braking distance, excellent stability even in wet turns. Cons – behavior on snowy roads.

This is a typical Dunlop – emphasis on asphalt and sportiness in character. Such a tire is suitable for drivers with a dynamic driving style, who see snow for a maximum of 10 days during the whole winter, who want to get a well-known name and proven quality at a moderate price.

Features of the tire design:

  • V-shaped profile pattern with wide grooves for drainage of water and melted snow: the key to good behavior on a wet road;
  • the use of a rubber mixture with the addition of silica helps to improve the softness of the rubber even in frost and reduce fuel consumption;
  • sawtooth lamellas-slots improve grip to reduce braking distance.

Dunlop Winter Sport 5 tires are suitable for those who spend most of the winter in the city and/or on cleared roads, do not drive in deep snow or ice.


Pros: handling, braking, comfort on wet/dry asphalt, price.


Cons: behavior on snowy and icy roads.

Top 10 winter tires according to hotline.ua: season 2020-2021 #10 - photo in the blog (buyer's guide) hotline.ua

The Dunlop Winter Sport 5 winter tire has a V-shaped profile pattern with wide grooves to drain water and melted snow: the key to good behavior on wet roads

We hope that our material will help you choose winter tires, and we wish you successful purchases from Hotline!

Author: Roman Melnychenko

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