Winter Tire Ratings and Reviews for 2011 – 2012

26 Nov

Last year around this time I did a lot of research on winter tires for my two vehicles and shared my research and my decisions in the following articles: Purchase Decision – Winter Tires – Part 1 and Purchase Decision – Winter Tires – Part 2. Based on the number of page views and comments I have received on each, it seems that research has been useful to others.

Although I won’t be in the market for winter tires again for a few years, I thought it might be helpful to give an update on winter tire choices for the winter of 2011 – 2012. I won’t be calling around looking for options this year so I thought instead I would piggyback on work that others have done and consolidate that information here for you. Below I will show you Winter Tire ratings from a few different websites which along with my articles from last year should help you in your decision making.

APA Winter Tire Ratings 2011 – 2012

You may remember last year I mentioned videos from the Automobile Protection Association which seems to be an automotive consumer protection group. APA has produced winter tire review lists for the past several years. Their rating methodology for this year is described as follows:

This year’s APA winter tire reviews are the most usable and comprehensive available in Canada. We surveyed tire experts and tire dealers for their ratings of winter tires. We then cross-checked the results against APA’s test results archive from previous winters for tires that have not changed. This hybrid system offered several benefits, including the opportunity to rate over 50 tires — a much larger selection that we could normally evaluate in a conventional tire test. The APA places a higher  priority on  performance on uncleared roads over handling on dry payment, which accounts for differences between the APA’s recommendations and published reports from some other sources. The tires listed here include most of the highly rated models on the market.

I am not sure I am loving the methodology they used this year but I still think it is worthwhile to include their rankings here. APA ranks winter tires in tiers rather than sequentially. I will show their top two tiers in each category. For a complete list, go to the APA website.

Passenger Car Winter Tires

Top Rated

  • Bridgestone Blizzak WS-70
  • Michelin X-Ice Xi2
  • Toyo OBSERVE G-02 plus

Very Good

  • BF Goodrich Winter Slalom KSI,
  • Continental ExtremeWinterContact
  • Continental ContiIceContact
  • Dunlop Graspic DS-3
  • General Altimax Arctic
  • Gislaved Nord*Frost 5
  • Yokohama Ice Guard IG20

SUV Winter Tires

Top Rated

  • Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1
  • Dunlop Grandtrek SJ6
  • Michelin X-Ice Xi2
  • Toyo OPEN COUNTRY G-02 plus
  • Yokohama Geolander I/T G072

Very Good

  • BF Goodrich Winter Slalom KSI
  • Continental Extreme Winter Contact
  • Dunlop Grandtrek SJ4 and SJ5
  • General Altimax Arctic

Performance Winter Tires

Top Rated

  • Bridgestone Blizzak LM-60
  • Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D
  • Pirelli Winter Sottozero Series II

Very Good

  • Goodyear Ultra Grip GW3
  • Michelin Pilot Alpin PA3
  • Michelin Primacy Alpin and Winter Tire Ratings 2011 – 2012 is a website based out of Quebec that offers automotive information and reviews. Working in conjunction with PMC Tire, a tire and wheel dealer also based in Quebec, to rate 129 different winter tire models. It is significant that two Quebec-based organizations got together to produce this list since it was only a few years ago that Quebec passed a law requiring winter tires on vehicles from December 15th until March 15th – they know winter tires in La Belle Province.

Auto123 / PMC rates the tires on their extensive list based on…

several information sources, including personal and professional road tests, feedback from customers, articles by renowned auto journalists, and a number of consumer reviews from various North American websites and message boards.

The tire rankings are categorized into the four categories listed below. I will include the top 10 tires in each category in the lists below. For more details and complete lists go to the 2011 Winter Tire Review article at

Winter Tires for Cars

  1. Nokian Hakkapeliitta 7 Studded
  2. Nokian Hakkapeliitta 5 Studded
  3. Nokian Hakkapeliitta 7
  4. Nokian Hakkapeliitta 5
  5. Nokian Hakkapeliitta R
  6. Michelin X-Ice Xi2
  7. Vredestein Snowtrac3
  8. Vredestein Arctrac
  9. Bridgestone Blizzak WS-70
  10. Continental ExtremeWinterContact

Winter Performance Tires for Cars

  1. Vredestein Wintrac Xtreme
  2. Michelin Pilot Alpin PA3
  3. Bridgestone Blizzak LM-60
  4. Michelin Primacy Alpin PA3
  5. Michelin Pilot Alpin PA2 RunFlat
  6. Toyo SNOWPROX 952
  7. Dunlop SP Winter Sport M3
  8. Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D
  9. Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D ROF
  10. Dunlop SP Winter Sport M3 DSST

Winter Tires for Light-Duty Trucks / SUV’s

  1. Nokian Hakkapeliitta 7 SUV Studded
  2. Nokian Hakkapeliitta 5 SUV Studded
  3. Nokian Hakkapeliitta 7 SUV
  4. Nokian Hakkapeliitta R
  5. Nokian Hakkapeliitta 5 SUV
  6. Vredestein Arctrac
  7. Michelin Latitude X-Ice Xi2
  8. Yokohama Geolander I/T G072
  9. Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1
  10. Goodyear Ultra Grip Ice WRT

Winter Performance Tires for Light-Duty Trucks / SUV’s

  1. Vredestein Wintrac 4 Xtreme
  2. Bridgestone Blizzak LM-60
  3. Michelin Latitude Alpin HP
  4. Michelin Latitude Alpin
  5. Goodyear Ultra Grip SUV
  6. Continental ContiCrossContact Winter
  7. Dunlop Grandtrek WT M2
  8. Dunlop SP Winter Sport
  9. Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D
  10. Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D ROF

Winter Tire Reviews at (as of November, 2011)

You may remember that the winter tire articles I published in the fall of 2010 provided links to consumer reviews posted at 1010Tires is probably the largest Canadian online tire retailer if you exclude Canadian Tire and Costco (I am not sure if those two should be really be considered online retailers anyway). In my opinion is the Canadian equivalent of in the US.

One of the things I like most about the is the fact that they provide a place for consumers to review the tires they have used based on a number of criteria. That feature is used frequently enough by 1010Tires customers and others to make the reviews useful in decision making. Although consumer rankings and reviews can be easily faked by someone who wants to waste their time, I thought it would still be worthwhile to include the top reviewed winter tires from in this article.

I will list the top 10 tires in each category as they were in November, 2011. For the most up to date list, go to the Tire Reviews section at

Light Trucks and SUV’s – Winter

  1. Toyo OBSERVE GSi-5
  2. Goodyear Ultra Grip Ice WRT
  3. Yokohama Geolander I/T G072
  4. Hankook RW-11 i-Pike
  5. Bridgestone Blizzak DM-Z3
  6. Bridgestone Blizzak W965
  7. Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1
  8. Toyo OPEN COUNTRY G-02 plus
  9. Michelin Latitude Alpin
  10. Goodyear Ultra Grip SUV

Passenger Cars – Winter

  1. Nokian Hakkapeliitta R
  2. Toyo SNOWPROX 952
  3. Nokian Hakkapeliitta 5
  4. Hankook W409 Winter i-Pike
  5. Pirelli Winter 210 Sottozero
  6. Pirelli Winter Carving
  7. General Altimax Arctic
  8. Pirelli Winter Carving Edge
  9. Continental ExtremeWinterContact
  10. Pirelli Winter 210 Snowsport

Posted by on November 26, 2011 in Automotive


Tags: , ,

8 responses to “Winter Tire Ratings and Reviews for 2011 – 2012

  1. Kim

    January 27, 2012 at 1:51 PM

    Can anyone comment on the safety of the Wanli winter challenger for southern ontario winter (slush, wet)…they came with the Mazda 3 I just bought privately. I’m used to using only allseason Micheline hydro edge. Thanks

  2. Lee

    February 26, 2012 at 9:10 PM

    Any winter tires over all seasons is a win situation. And your getting extra lifetime for you “summer” tires. Wanli are chinese made (ie cheap) tires knockoff of the very good General altimax. Same thread pattern but stiffer compound (bad when cold kicks in) They will give you more than a all season tire, as slush and wet snow clearance, but not much. But as stated: Better than all seasons! 🙂

  3. Patrick

    September 15, 2012 at 3:40 PM

    Can anyone comment on Federal (Himalaya) WS2 winter tires ? Been searching for reviews and comments on this brand which my Hyundai dealer sells for my 2008 Tuscon and not seen very much feedback.

    • Paul

      October 21, 2012 at 3:08 PM

      I learned about winter tire the hard way and now I only use top of the line Winter tire, they cost more but you save…

    • Terry

      September 16, 2013 at 6:40 PM

      I got WS2’s fitted in 2008 on a ’97 Cavalier. Never had any problems with them (I usually spend Christmas near Whistler, BC) and even though I’ve since traded in that car, they still work just fine on my ’05 Grand Am and I wouldn’t have any concerns with buying them again. Admittedly, my vehicles have both been FWD sedans so I can’t really comment on how they would go on an AWD SUV.

  4. Al

    October 28, 2014 at 11:19 AM

    I certainly support the highest rating under: Light Trucks and SUV’s – Winter for the Toyo Observe GSi-5 winter tires. These were on for a second full winter last year and will be re-mounted for another winter coming up. GREAT traction in snow and on ice here in Eastern Ontario. Fairly quiet and they run well on dry/wet bare pavement as well. Bit worse on gas than summers; but, that is to be expected. Previously used Toyo Observe GO-2 Plus on my old Montana van and found the GSi-5’s even better on my new Santa Fe. Now looking to replace OEM Bridgestone Duellers with Conti TrueContact’s next spring for the summertime.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: