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Kal’s Choice for the Best Winter Tires for 2020

Kal’s choice for best winter tires

How will your tires brake at that intersection by the school that’s always so slick? How will you handle those tight corners on the way up to the ski hill? When you’re looking for new winter tires, you need to know how they’ll handle in the everyday conditions you face.

That’s why we independently test more than 500 tires not on a test track, but in real-life Canadian winter driving situations so you know just how they’ll perform for you on the road.

To help you find the best winter tires for the conditions you face, we’ve put together a list of our top-rated winter rated for 2020.


Best Winter Tire Performance on Ice and Snow: Hakkapeliitta R3 | Hakkapeliitta R3 SUV

Hailing from Nokian, the company that invented winter tires, the Hakkapeliitta has always been one of our strongest performers on Canadian winter roads, so it’s no surprise that the Hakkapeliitta R3 and the Hakkapeliitta R3 SUV is our top performer on ice and snow.

Hakkapeliitta R3 Kal’s Tire Testing results:

  • Top marks in braking on ice and snow
  • Top marks in cornering on ice and snow
  • Excellent rating for road noise

The Hakka R3 (as we say around here) is Nokian’s non-studded winter tire, designed to deliver the best in safety and ride comfort. Some of the Hakka R3 features that gave it exceptional grip include:

  • Cryo Crystal particles, the grippy, crystal-like silica added to the rubber compound to grab snow and ice.
  • Snow Claws around tire shoulders and between tread blocks help maintain road contact for improved traction during braking and acceleration. The Hakkapeliitta R3 is an ideal choice if you value precise driving and also optimum driving comfort on all winter road surfaces.


Best Studded Tire on Ice and Snow: Hakkapeliitta 9 | Hakkapeliitta 9 SUV Studded

It’s tough as can be on even the worst ice, and yet it’s also one of the most gentle studded winter tires. The Hakkapeliitta 9 studded and Hakkapeliitta 9 SUV studded received top ratings across all winter driving conditions through our independent testing program.

  • Top marks in braking on ice and snow
  • Top marks in cornering on ice and snow
  • Solid reviews for dry and wet handling

To ensure you’re always in control and yet minimize road impact, the Hakkapeliitta 9 employs Nokian’s:

  • Functional Stud Concept, a patented design with two types of studs. The shoulder studs provide best-in-class side-to-side grip for handling icy corners. The studs in the centre give you the best in up-and-down grip when you’re braking and accelerating.
  • Eco Stud Concept uses a pocket of air in the lower range to act as a cushion and reduce stud impact.

The Hakkapeliitta 9 is a great choice for drivers who face black ice and heavy, hard-packed snow.


Best Winter Tire for Quiet Road Noise: Hakkapeliitta R3 | Hakkapeliitta R3 SUV

Our tire testers gave it top marks for its ice and snow handling, and it also earned an excellent rating for delivering a quiet ride.


Best Studded Winter Tire that Delivers a Quiet Ride: Sumitomo Ice Edge

If you’re searching for the best studded winter tires that excel in braking and cornering, yet barely make a peep, the Sumitomo Ice Edge is for you.

These passenger tires received our tire testers’ top rating for snow and ice, and quiet driving.

Here are some of the features that help the Ice Edge stand out:

  • ‘Cutting Edge’ 3D sipe technology, which absorb and dispel snow and slush to help maintain road contact.
  • Superior cold weather tread compound that stays soft for reliable grip in extremes as well as wet surfaces across all driving needs (braking, cornering and hydroplaning).
  • Quiet ride tread pattern minimizes vibrations and road noise to enhance your driving experience.

The Sumitomo Ice Edge is studdable, but it’s a top performer as it is. This tire could be the edge you need to battle the toughest winter conditions!


Best All-Weather Tire for Wet Winter Conditions: Nokian WRG4 | WRG4 SUV

Precise handling through all four seasons. Durability. And tread life. The WRG4 is Nokian’s fourth-generation all-weather tire. Unlike 3-season (all-season) tires that are only suited to the warmer months, the Nokian WRG4 and WRG4 SUV is an excellent winter tire that doubles as a summer tire so you have year-round peace of mind.

The WRG4 scored ‘very good’ to ‘excellent’ across all winter categories, including:

  • Snow braking and cornering
  • Ice braking and cornering

Whatever conditions you face—thick snow and slush or wet and dry highways—the WRG4 does the job!

Some of the stand-out WRG4 features include:

  • Snow and slush channels that route and dispel rain, snow and slush away from the tread blocks thanks to fan-like inner shoulder rib pattern, functional tread blocks and blade grooves
  • Dual-performance rubber compound delivers grip in all temperatures, and is designed for wear resistance, fuel savings and quiet ride

The WRG4 is a good choice for drivers who don’t want the hassle or expense of a second set of tires, and mostly face mild, urban conditions but want a winter designated tire that can perform safely on highways and mountain passes for winter travel.


Best Truck All-Terrain Tire for All Weather Conditions: Sumitomo Encounter AT

If your tires have a to-do list that includes towing materials to the job site or venturing off-road just about anywhere, even in winter, we have the all-terrain winter tire for you: Sumitomo’s Encounter AT.

In our tire tests, the Encounter AT received these marks:

  • Very good for snow performance
  • Excellent in winter hydroplane resistance

The Encounter AT is known as go-anywhere, do-anything light truck all-terrain tire that also bears the designated winter tire symbol as an all-weather tire with strong snow traction performance.

Sumitomo special performance features include:

  •  Non-directional, five-rib tread design, and rigid, rugged tread blocks, that promote stability across surfaces
  • 3D siping technology suctions and pushes away water and slush

Now you can venture off-road with confidence and enjoy excellent ride comfort on the streets—whatever the weather.

Shop now to find the right tires for you and your vehicle.


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