Nokian Hakkapeliitta 10 tires on a passenger car driving away on a snowy day.

Tire Buying Guide

New winter tires you need to know

Winter is right around the corner, and that means lower temperatures, ice, slush, and snow aren’t far behind. While most drivers use all-season tires due to their ability to perform in dry, wet, and light winter weather conditions, some choose dedicated winter tires to help them get through tougher ice, slush, and snow. Winter tires have come a long way since their mud gripper days, and this progress has resulted in plenty of great options for buyers at many different price points. New doesn’t always mean best, but we here at SimpleTire think these 4 new winter tires are worth knowing because they’re some of the best tires on the market right now.

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Nokian Hakkapeliitta 10

Based in Finland, Nokian is the world’s northernmost tire manufacturer, so they know a thing or two about dealing with a ton of ice, slush, and snow. That knowledge, coupled with a knack for using cutting-edge and eco-friendly technology, has led to the Hakkapeliitta line consistently being one of the best winter tires on the market and the newest entry, the Hakkapeliitta 10, takes things a step further by being available in passenger, SUV, and electric vehicles (specific models).

What’s cool about it?

The Hakkapeliitta 10 utilizes Nokian’s Double Stud Technology and Eco Stud 10 concept for some of the best traction, grip, acceleration, and braking performance on icy, slushy, and snowy roads in the winter tire segment. A low rolling resistance design improves fuel efficiency and reduces CO2 emissions to protect the environment, and Aramid Sidewall technology within the Hakkapeliitta 10 protects the tire from damage against cuts, chips, impacts, and even potholes. In addition to it’s high-end performance, the Hakkapeliitta 10 EV is one of the first electric vehicle-specific winter tires on the market, and is specially built to handle the higher torque and higher weight of electric cars such as the Tesla Model 3.

Who is it for?

Drivers of passenger cars such as the Honda Accord, CUVs and SUVs like the Toyota RAV4, and electric cars like the Tesla Model 3.

Other considerations?

The Hakkapeliitta 10 is a great tire for drivers who want excellent traction in the worst winter weather conditions, but it is a studded tire which means that it might not be approved for use in certain States. Studs can chew up roads and some States ban their use entirely, so be sure to consult local laws before purchasing or using the Hakkapeliitta 10.

A4 with HS01 on snow

Falken Eurowinter HS01

A member of Sumitomo Rubber North America, Falken is one of the world’s leading tire manufacturers and has consistently produced great winter tires such as the Espia EPZ II and Winterpeak F-Ice 1. The Eurowinter HS449 was one of Falken’s top winter tires for a long time, and the brand new Eurowinter HS01 built on that excellent performance to give drivers of coupes, sedans, CUVs, and SUVs even better traction in tough ice, slush, and snow.

What’s cool about it?

The Eurowinter HS01 and HS01 SUV were built to conquer the most difficult European winters. To do this, Falken utilized their 4D Nano Design technology within the rubber compound to keep the tire flexible in the coldest winter temperatures for a strong grip on dry, icy, and frozen roads. 3D Canyon Sipes create more biting edges to further enhance traction, handling, and stability, even as the tire wears down over time, and the angled grooves within the Eurowinter HS01 quickly drain water from the tire to reduce the risk of hydroplaning on wet and slippery roads. The Eurowinter HS01 is also backed by Falken’s Road Hazard Protection, which includes a Material and Workmanship warranty so that drivers receive extra protection in their purchase.

Who is it for?

Drivers of vehicles such as the Audi A4, BMW X5, Lexus IS, Mercedes-Benz GLE, Porsche Cayenne, and Tesla Model S.

Other considerations?

The Eurowinter HS01 offers drivers excellent traction and performance in the toughest winter weather conditions, but the tire cannot be pinned with studs for extra traction. Falken seemingly solved this with their 3D Canyon Sipes and 4D Nano Design technology, but some drivers might feel a bit more comfortable using studs (where permitted). Additionally, the Eurowinter HS01 and HS01 SUV are primarily built for use on European and sporty cars and SUVs, and the tire is currently not offered in any light truck specific sizes.

Hankook Winter i*cept evo3 (W330)

Hankook Winter i*cept evo3 (W330)

Based in Seoul, South Korea, Hankook has a long history of building excellent tires for every application, and their winter tires are regarded as some of the best in the industry. New this year is the Winter i* cept evo3 (W330), which replaced and improved upon the ever-popular Winter i* cept evo2 (W320). Like the Winter i* cept evo2 (W320), the Winter i* cept evo3 (W330) is available in coupes, sedan, and minivan-specific models in addition to a CUV and SUV specific model called the Winter i* cept evo3 X (W330A).

What’s cool about it?

A studless winter tire, the Winter i* cept evo3 (W330) utilizes a unidirectional tread pattern to increase traction and performance on winter roads. Snow pick traction grooves that look like gull wings in the shoulder and zigzag lateral grooves in the center tread boost steering control, handling performance, traction, and braking capabilities, while a silica based rubber compound keeps the Winter i* cept evo3 (W330) flexible for use in frigid temperatures. The Winter i* cept evo3 (W330) isn’t just good for icy, slushy, and snowy weather; V-shaped grooves in the center of the tread work with water pipe kerfs on the inside shoulder block to reduce the risk of hydroplaning on wet roads, and wide outer shoulder blocks put more rubber on the road to enhance handling and stability on dry roads. All of these great innovations have lead to an excellent winter tire, and the Winter i* cept evo3 (W330) backs up that claim by winning an Exemplary award from Auto Bild magazine and a Red-Dot design award.

Who is it for?

Drivers of coupes, sedans, CUVs, SUVs, minivans, and some light trucks.

Other considerations?

Similar to the Eurowinter HS01, the Winter i* cept evo3 (W330) is a studless tire so drivers are not able to pin their tires with studs (where permitted) for a little extra traction in severe conditions. Fortunately, the Winter i* cept evo3 (W330) is packed with technology so that shouldn’t be much of an issue. And like the Eurowinter HS01, the Winter i* cept evo3 (W330) is primarily designed for use on coupes, sedans, minivans, CUVs, and SUVs, so sizes for light trucks are limited.

GT Radial IcePro 3

GT Radial has spent the past 20 years making great tires for drivers in North America, and their tires continue to improve with each release. New for 2021 is the IcePro 3, which is available in studdable, studded, SUV, and SUV studded versions to cover multiple fitments.

What’s cool about it?

The IcePro 3 from GT Radial is available in a lot of different options and fitments to meet multiple driving needs, which gives drivers plenty of options. Technology wise, the IcePro 3 utilizes a silica-based rubber compound that keeps the tire flexible for consistent traction and grip on icy, slushy, snowy, and frozen roads, while also promoting a long tread life. Able to be pinned with up to 140 studs, the IcePro 3’s directional tread pattern and wide grooves force water, slush, and icy from the tire to reduce the risk of hydroplaning in wet roads, and an optimized design reduces road noises to create a quiet, comfortable ride for drivers and passengers.

Who is it for?

Drivers of coupes, sedans, minivans, CUVs, SUVs, and light trucks depending on the model.

Other considerations?

Studs are not allowed to be used in every State, so there may be some restrictions when using the IcePro 3 just like the Hakkapeliitta 10. Outside of that, the IcePro 3 is slightly between the Hakkapeliitta 10, Eurowinter HS01, and Winter i* cept evo3 (W330) when it comes to dry traction.

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Driving in winter weather can be difficult, but it really doesn’t need to be if you have a great set of winter tires that are built to perform in lower temperatures, ice, slush, and snow. Even if you don’t need a set of dedicated winter tires due to the light winter weather conditions that you face each year, SimpleTire has plenty of all-season and all-weather tires that can help you get through light to moderate snow and frozen roads.

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