The top 10 winter tyres for your car in 2022

The top 10 winter tyres for your car in 2022

WhatTyre’s comprehensive tyre market survey shows which top performing winter tyres you should consider fitting to your car

WhatTyre’s Winter Tyre of the Year shortlist gives you the top ten best options to get the optimum cold weather driving experience. The ten tyres selected represent the best the winter tyre market has to offer, according to our newest independent algorithm, Tyrescore 2.1 “Bentley”. The latest iteration of our dynamic tyre rating gives an indicative mark out of 10 to every tyre available in the UK market. Its special formula takes into account tyre labelling grades for safety, fuel economy and noise, and more than 7,000 independent tyre test results. The 2.0 version of the algorithm added credit for tyre models that are chosen by car manufacturers for factory fitment or approval. Version 2.1 also considered the provenance of the tyre, with additional credit available for tyre makers who could demonstrate their environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) responsibility via independent accreditation – an increasingly important consideration for consumers.

What are winter tyres?

Full winter tyres are products made to ensure your car will stay mobile in the harshest possible cold weather conditions. In a temperate climate like the UK’s these tyres are usually found in the very hilly or mountainous regions, or on vehicles that must guarantee the ability to get around even with a thick covering of snow and ice, like the ambulance service. Unlike the UK, many continental European countries have a seasonal market, due to legislation requiring tyres certified for winter use. This is indicated by the Three Peak Mountain Snowflake (3PMSF) symbol on the sidewall – found on any true winter tyre sold in the European market.

All this said, the most recent generation of all-season tyres is providing strong competition for full winter tyres. The best all-season tyres offer reasonable winter mobility in moderate cold weather conditions – signified by the 3PMSF on their sidewalls – and greater convenience since they do not require a biannual tyre change, plus storage when not in use. Even so, if you want the best possible safety performance on ice and snow, WhatTyre’s list of the best ten winter tyres to buy in 2022 guides you towards a selection of the top performers in this market segment.

Should I buy winter tyres?

There are great reasons to fit winter tyres between around October and March. In tests they clearly demonstrate significantly better performance than all-season tyres on snow and ice. Specialist winter tyres contain “sipes”, small slits in the tread blocks, which bite into snow and ice. They are also made with rubber compounds offering better performance under 7°C, the average temperature in commuting hours for up to half the year in the UK. Fitted and maintained in conjunction with quality summer tyres, drivers can expect the best possible performance and maximum longevity year-round.

How about if your car has 4-wheel drive? If the postcard-sized tyre contact patches cannot generate grip, four-wheel drive is not much more helpful than two. Braking distances are decreased greatly on the slipperiest winter surfaces with winter tyres. At only 30mph, a car on summer tyres will take around two more car lengths to come to a halt versus one on quality winter tyres.

Overall, if guaranteed mobility in harsh cold conditions is essential, winter tyres are the best possible option.

The Continental WinterContact TS 870 is the newest tyre on our 2022 list, receiving a Highly Recommended rating (Photo: Continental)

How we selected the best winter tyres

In the second edition of the WhatTyre Awards, we used our Tyrescore 2.1 “Bentley” algorithm to identify the top candidates from the huge number of tyres available. The custom metascore was developed to boil down our knowledge of the UK tyre market to a single headline mark out of ten for every tyre using the available data. It is therefore designed to promote the best products using tyre performance and provenance indicators. It is designed to emphasise the most important performance attributes of tyres for most UK motorists, including safety, performance, total cost of ownership, and sustainability. For more on the WhatTyre Tyrescore, visit

To shortlist tyres in this year’s winter tyre category, we looked at the winter tyres with the best Tyrescores in the two most popular tyres sizes: 205/55 R16 and 225/45 R17 (for more on what these numbers mean and how to find your car’s tyre size, go to

These sizes are the most commonly seen tyre dimensions on our roads, fitted to many of the UK’s bestselling cars over the last decade. The chances are good that the tyre size you fit to your car is not one of these sizes – there are thousands of different tyre sizes in the market. However, most major winter tyre models are available in at least one of these sizes. In addition to our recommendations here, we encourage you to try a search on WhatTyre using your specific tyre size.

For our second annual awards, we pushed the scope further than just the best performers in these sample sizes. After longlisting winter tyres that achieved 7.00 and above in at least one of these sizes, we cross-examined the score with the average Tyrescore across the whole of the available range. If a tyre was available in the UK in very few sizes, it was not put forward to the top 10 – this meant that some of the newest winter tyres will have to wait until 2023 to see if they make our list of commended tyres.

In addition to looking at the winter tyres with the best Tyrescores, we also used our database of more than 7,000 tyre tests to focus on products that have performed well in tests, especially those between the 2019/20 and 2021/22 winter seasons. While older tyres are also available, these latest tyres benefit from the most recent innovations in the segment. Tyres still available, but which owe their high Tyrescore to tests before this window were therefore also not considered for the top 10. Likewise, some winter tyres had not been independently tested before the judging period in quarter two of 2022 – they will have to wait until next year. We have noted some of these products after our list of commended products.

Winter tyres are a small part of the total UK tyre market, but there are still a great range of quality products to choose from. Every tyre that receives a WhatTyre commendation is worth considering, especially since prices can vary hugely even within this list of the best products. While we ranked tyres based on the tyres’ quality, we also looked at our pricing data to see if we could find particularly good value products within out list.

WhatTyre Winter Tyre of the Year 2022

For the second year in a row, the Bridgestone Blizzak LM-005 is WhatTyre Winter Tyre of the Year.

Launched in early-2019. the Blizzak LM-005 has a new tread pattern and Bridgestone’s new Nano Pro-tech compound, features that help it rank among the best available tyres in snow and ice braking and wet grip according to TÜV SÜD tests. This high silica compound increases winter traction by staying soft at very low temperatures – a result of the company’s compound mixing technology, which disperses silica more consistently. The tyre’s tread is designed to increase the amount of snow it can trap, increasing friction and grip in these conditions. It simultaneously removes water effectively, which leads to its excellent wet-weather performance. In certain sizes, the tyre also comes with DriveGuard, Bridgestone’s runflat technology for conventional tyres – this allows drivers to continue moving with a puncture for another 50 miles. The tyre has been recommended repeatedly by leading independent testers.

Against stiff competition, in particular from our Highly Recommended products, the LM-005’s tyre labelling results also help set it apart from the crowd, with A-grade wet grip a key indicator of its appeal. This is especially true in the UK; what our winters lack in sustained periods of snow, they most certainly make up for in wet weather. This combination of factors prompted Auto Express to say “the Blizzak is an ideal tyre for British winters” after its victory in the 2020 comparative test.

WhatTyre Winter Tyre of the Year 2022, the Bridgestone Blizzak LM005 (Photo: Bridgestone)

WhatTyre’s Highly Recommended winter tyres 2022

Also highly ranked for the second time in 2022, the Michelin Alpin 6 is a strong all-round winter tyre with plenty of podium finishes in independent tyre tests. Auto Express said the tyre is particularly “well suited to UK winters thanks to its good performance in the wet.” Other tests noted that the tyre possessed good wear properties; Michelin targets performance when worn in the development of its tyres. The winter tyre features Michelin’s Evergrip technology, which helps optimise control and safety on snow, even when the tyres have worn down considerably from new. Explaining its “exemplary” verdict in 2021, Auto Bild said the tyre offers balanced performance, good winter properties, convincing handling, and high mileage.

A new entry gets WhatTyre’s other Highly Recommended rating: the Continental WinterContact TS 870. The tyre confirmed Auto Express’s 2020 pre-launch opinion that it is “a pretty special tyre” based on a combination of “remarkable” snow performance, “pace-setting” wet grip and “excellent” fuel economy. In 2021 the tyre was declared the winner and “Eco master” of the Auto Bild test. The German magazine called the tyre “exemplary” with “convincing driving characteristics in every weather” and “very good mileage.” The tyre’s sustainable credentials come from the new “Cool Chili” polymer compound. It’s optimised crosslink density – the increases in links between the elements of the compound – help the tyre to be more flexible. This improves the quality of the contact between tyre and road, reduces abrasion, increases the tyre’s mileage, and reduces its rolling resistance, meaning a lower total cost of ownership across the life of the tyre.

Seven Commended products

After the top prizes, WhatTyre can commend a further seven winter tyres worth considering, all of which offer very high quality cold-weather specialist performance.

The Goodyear Ultragrip Performance+ took on the mantle from the test-conquering Gen-1 in 2019, offering improved wet, dry and winter performance and shorter braking distances on wet and dry roads. Its compound features a new traction resin, which improves the de- and reformation capabilities of the tyre. The tyre has several test wins under its belt too. Most recently, Auto Bild Sportscars praised the tyre for its “Sporty driving qualities” and “low rolling resistance”. The tyre has one of the widest size ranges in our 2022 recommendations, with larger dimensions suited to sportier cars particularly featured. As such, it is particularly commended for more powerful cars wanting winter performance from their tyres.

Goodyear UltraGrip Performance + tyre on snow

Goodyear UltraGrip Performance + (Photo: Goodyear)


The inventor of the winter tyre, Nokian’s WR Snowproof has notably good label scores, though some independent testers are a little lukewarm in their praise for the tyre. While ACE Lenkrad recommended the tyre, Auto Express wondered whether its “remarkable fuel economy” was top of the list for winter tyre buyers. Testers say the tyre’s wet performance does not match the best products, meaning it could not match the previous Nokian winter flagship WR D4, which continues to be available. This previous-generation product has not received an above-average test result since 2018. In addition to its low rolling resistance, the WR Snowproof was available much lower prices, also reducing its cost of ownership.

The BFGoodrich g-Force Winter 2 is another exceptional Groupe Michelin product. The tyre’s directional V-shaped tread increases grip, braking response, control in the snow, and road holding on ice. Its B-rated wet grip proves high safety levels on wet roads. The tyre even features comparatively low running costs in larger dimensions. The tyre has been recommended by various testers as a “winter king” with only a few minor negative remarks about its handling in the dry. Like the Nokian, the tyre also offers great bang for your buck; though a little more expensive it is still a step down in cost versus the better known premium brands on this list.

The Dunlop SP Winter Sport 5 was launched in 2015, a fifth-generation product built to continue the success of the line of previous Winter Sports. Based on quality independent test performances, the tyre continues to be an easy one to recommend, with extremely positive comments in tests as recent as 2020. Designed to help drivers navigate unforeseen winter roads and conditions, including black ice, slush, icy patches, melting snow and puddles, the tyre has an increased number of tyre blocks for enhanced snow performance and angled centre sipes, which provide more lateral grip on slippery surfaces.

The Vredestein Wintrac gets the commendation over its Wintrac Pro bigger brother, though the latter is available for much larger tyre sizes than the small-medium range of Wintracs. The historically Dutch brand, owned by Indian tyre manufacturer Apollo, makes some very well-regarded winter-oriented products that achieve excellent results on tyre tests. The new Wintrac is aimed at cars with smaller tyre dimensions, with a trio of very good 2021 test results proving the recently rebooted product line is a serious contender for other major European brands. In its highlight Auto Bild test, the tyre was praised for its all-round capabilities, including “dynamic driving characteristics in dry and wet conditions, precision, and low rolling resistance.” The only note of caution was its “moderate” mileage potential.

The Vredestein Wintrac is one of the most recently launched Commended winter tyres this year (Photo: Vredestein)


The Pirelli Cinturato Winter is also a winter tyre for smaller models and electric vehicles. Launched in 2016, the tyre is one of the older models to receive a commendation but makes it as a decent choice especially for dry winter conditions. A decent showing in the 2020 Auto Express test, combined with exceptionally low road noise, has helped the tyre to retain an above-average Tyrescore, though tests in 2021 suggest the tyre lags others in wet braking in particular. A successor is due to come into the market next year, with tests beginning to appear in the 2022 winter season – certainly one to watch in 2023.

Finally, there is room for one more second-line brand from Michelin, with the Kleber Krisalp HP3. Kleber is perhaps a surprising candidate, but a series of excellent test results and more than solid tyre label grades help the tyre to a commendation in 2022. The Krisalp HP3 has been particularly strong in dry conditions and on snow. Testers’ opinions on the tyre have softened a bit in more recent tests, especially about its performance on wet roads, though the tyre was still considered “exemplary” by Auto Bild in October 2021.

Winter tyres to watch in 2023

Tyre launches were slowed during the Covid pandemic, meaning we are now seeing a larger than usual number of products preparing to enter the tyre market, including some exciting winter tyres. Pirelli is due to bring in the Cinturato Winter 2, replacing one of the oldest tyres to warrant a commendation in 2022. WhatTyre expects the Italian brand to produce a high-quality follow-up to a tyre whose market longevity is proven. Hankook, which unusually did not make a commendation in the 2022 Winter Tyre category, has the Winter i*cept RS 3, with which it will look to improve its cold weather fortunes. Maxxis is the most emerging brand when it comes to tyre test performance, and its Premitra Snow WP6 may be worth a look, especially as a winter tyre likely to be punchy on price. Finally, Conti’s high-performance TS 870 P will look to replicate the TS 870’s success for larger rim sizes when it takes its bow on the testing circuit.

Hankook developed the Winter i*cept RS3 to improve its winter credentials – will it make the 2023 WhatTyre list? (Photo: Hankook)

WhatTyre’s top 10 winter tyres 2022


Highly Recommended



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