The number of SUVs appearing on city streets has been steadily increasing for several years. They used to be rather unpopular, but today they dominate the sales figures. Undoubtedly, this also affects the greater demand for 4x4 winter tyres, which are no longer associated only with off-roading, but also with urban driving. For all drivers facing the choice of a new set of tyres, we have prepared a handful of tips and five recommended models that will make driving large cars in winter conditions easier.

Tyres for large cars must ensure safe driving, especially in winter.Tyres for large cars must ensure safe driving, especially in winter.

What conditions must SUV winter tyres meet?

Four-wheel-drive SUVs are steadily growing in popularity. This is because of the opportunities they open up for drivers. One advantage of these cars is undoubtedly their versatility: they perform well both during daily driving in urban areas and in undemanding terrain. They are less prone to chassis damage or getting stuck in the sand due to their high suspension and two-axle drive.

However, these advantages come with certain requirements for tyres. They must be adapted to not only the greater weight of the vehicle but also combine features of both urban and off-road models. They should also handle a variety of weather conditions. Manufacturers of tyres for SUVs place great importance on their durability. Although most users of such cars travel primarily in the city, even occasional trips on forest paths carry an increased risk of tyre damage.

When it comes to choosing tyres for winter, the challenge seems even more daunting. Driving on hard-packed and loose snow, ice, slush and wet pavements can only be safe if your car is equipped with properly selected tyres. SUV winter tyres affect a number of driving characteristics, such as traction, braking distances and trajectory control, so they must be engineered down to the last detail.

How to choose 4x4 winter tyres?

Before buying new tyres, pay attention to their basic parameters, including size, load index and speed index. This will give you confidence that the model you buy will suit your needs. The brand is also very important. The best performance is achieved by models from premium brands such as Continental, Michelin, Goodyear, Dunlop, Yokohama, Bridgestone, Nokian Tyres, Pirelli and Vredestein. You are sure to find the most popular 215/65 R16 winter tyres for SUVs, as well as a number of other popular sizes in their assortment.

If you don’t know what tyres will fit your car, use the tyre configurator on our website. It is a very intuitive tool to help you choose the right model.

Then, gather as much information as possible about the models you are interested in. For example, the EU label will tell you more about the braking distance on wet roads, noise emission or rolling resistance. After you have this data, you can choose a product that suits your individual preferences. It is also an important step to confront the information you have gathered with the results of prestigious tests and the reviews of other drivers. This will allow you to learn about the strengths and weaknesses of each product in a certain size.

To make the decision easier for those wondering which SUV tyres to choose, we have prepared a practical ranking of 5 highest scoring models. The results are presented below.

Pirelli Scorpion Winter

Although many people associate Pirelli mainly with tyres for sports cars, it also offers models that are great for 4x4 cars. These include, for example, Scorpion Winter, designed to deliver high performance in demanding winter conditions. Certainly the assumptions are worthy of a premium brand!

The manufacturer made sure that when driving straight and cornering, the car follows the intended direction thanks to a distinctive notch system. The appearance of this model is slightly different from those previously presented, although it still has a directional shape, which is influenced mainly by wide peripheral channels. They were used to increase the efficiency of removing dirt, such as slush, snow and water, from under the tyre tread. As a result, braking and riding are more stable, and the driver has more control over the car. Pirelli Scorpion Winter also stands out for its cost-effectiveness. With low rolling resistance, the car consumes less fuel, which generates savings.

This is how our customer, Leszek S., reviewed this model: 

The tyre is very good for moderate driving, although it also performed well during dynamic driving. It stays on track, drains water very well, and does not cause the so-called hydroplaning effect when the car is above the ground. Traction is very good. The tyres performed well when starting uphill on slush, snow and in heavy rain. Tyre wear is also moderate, which helps you to save money before you buy another set of tyres. I recommend these tyres in good conscience for any enthusiast of driving on hard-paved roads and off-road.

Michelin Pilot Alpin 5 SUV

Michelin Pilot Alpin 5 SUV is also an interesting and worthy option. The designers of the tyre focused on achieving a high level of safety and great driving performance.

The model provides excellent driving precision on snowy surfaces. This is all thanks to the directional tread with a symmetrical pattern. It guarantees efficient drainage of slush, snow and water, which results in high resistance to aquaplaning. The groove in the centre of the tread improves control during braking. 

Thanks to a rubber compound with a new formula containing functional polymers, driving on wet or snowy surfaces will not be a problem. The car will maintain proper traction despite unfavourable conditions. It will significantly increase both safety and comfort of travel.

The designers also took into account the stresses that tyres on SUVs are subjected to. The shoulders of the Michelin Pilot Alpin 5 SUV tyre have been reinforced. The stronger carcass ensures longer service life.

Those who care about the visuals aspects, will also appreciate the product's appearance. The precision-finished sides look really good. This accentuates the elegant appearance of the entire car and will successfully work on premium cars.

Marcin expressed his satisfaction with the tyre in the review:

This is my third set of Michelin Alpin 5 tyres, on different cars. They always perform well; they have a very good grip when driving. I definitely recommend the tyres and; they send tyres from the same production period!

Hankook Winter i*cept evo3 X W330A 

Hankook Winter i*cept evo3 X W330A is a tyre in the medium segment, but due to its features, it can confidently compete with premium models. For this reason, it is eagerly chosen by drivers who appreciate high-quality going hand in hand with a good price. 

The tyres were created from a winter control compound with Aqua Pine technology. The resin content ensures more efficient braking. At the same time, the tyre does not lose its flexibility even at very low temperatures. Cold winters will, therefore, not affect driving performance.

The tread is also an important factor. Its directional pattern, combined with water sipes and widened shoulder grooves, guarantees fast water dispersion. The risk of aquaplaning and dangerous skidding is, therefore, significantly reduced.

Snow braking performance is enhanced by zigzag grooves located in the centre of the tread and winter 3D sipes. Meanwhile, its shoulder grooves shaped like the wings of a flying bird allow it to bite into snow on the road and maintain proper traction. 

Filip was satisfied with the purchase of this tyre:

The tyre performed well in the winter, in rain, snow as well as on dry roads. Even when driving fast on the highway, there was no audible increase in noise (comparison with Michelin summer tyres). Highly recommended!


Kleber Krisalp HP3 SUV

A mid-range tyre that stands out for its high performance in winter conditions. Thanks to its directional tread pattern and suitable materials, it performs well in cold temperatures and on snowy surfaces.

The tyre was manufactured using a high-quality rubber compound for grip and durability. It was developed on the basis of functional elastomers. The tyre improves safety on icy roads, and compared to its predecessor, Krisalp HP2, braking distances have been reduced by 8%. It also performs equally well on wet and dry roads.

The directional tread features a clever groove system. Not only does it disperse water and snow well, thereby reducing the risk of skidding, but also improves driving confidence in challenging conditions. Combined with sipes with a well-designed layout, this ensures proper traction on snowy roads.

Natalia is very satisfied with the Krisalp HP3 SUV model:

Great tyres, especially when it's wet or raining heavily; on the highway, at high speeds of 120-140 km/h, the car does not lose any handling characteristics; the fuel consumption is normal. I would buy them again!

Zeetex WH1000 SUV

The Zeetex WH1000 SUV tyre belongs to the economy class, so it will certainly be appreciated by those who opt for a combination of good quality and a very good price. It will perform well when driving in winter conditions on wet and snowy roads.

The designers decided to use an asymmetrical tread pattern. Combined with a special 3D sipe pattern, this allows adequate traction even on challenging surfaces. The product helps maintain control of the vehicle on wet or snowy roads to ensure the safety of the driver and passengers.

Wide grooves disperse snow, slush and water, and protect against dangerous skidding. The special zigzag groove also plays a significant role. Its task is to improve traction and, more importantly, reduce braking distances. This makes the tyre ideal for massive SUVs.

Sid praised Zeetex WH1000 SUV, giving them the following review: 

The biggest advantage of these tyres is their price. You get a quiet tyre that performs perfectly on dry roads and very well on wet surfaces. Snow was scarce this year; nevertheless, performance on fresh snow was very good (on slush and ice, any tyres without studs will probably fail). I never felt the tyre deform excessively when taking curves at high speeds. For the summer, I bought a set from the same company and am also satisfied. Next time my choice will also be Zeetex. 

Off-road SUV tyres for demanding drivers

For people who are more likely to drive on light terrain than in the city, or whose routes to their homes include roads with rough surfaces, the off-road versions of the tyres – AT – will be a good choice. They are designed to perform well in all conditions, both in summer and winter, so there is no need to replace them seasonally.

BFGoodrich All Terrain T/A KO2

Even at first glance, it's clear that this premium model will do well when driving in demanding terrain. Thanks to a 20% increase in the hardness of the tyre sidewall, it is much stronger and more resistant to mechanical damage.

The compound was developed with ingredients that provide adequate flexibility. As a result, it guarantees excellent grip on surfaces with varying characteristics. They will perform great in both high and very low temperatures, while maintaining their properties and allowing drivers to drive safely and comfortably. 

The tread features deep grooves that efficiently disperse water, slush and snow to prevent aquaplaning. With its symmetrical pattern, it performs equally well on wet and dry roads. Thanks to its solid blocks, the tyre bites firmly into the ground, so it can move quickly and maintain proper traction. 

Jimmy, pleased with his purchase, praised the model: 

They are suitable for both asphalt roads and light terrain. They don’t make much noise. They perform well in corners. They show no sign of wear and tear after a long mileage. Of less important things – they look cool (white inscription on the side of the tyre) ;)

Yokohama Geolandar A/T G015

The tyre from Yokohama is yet another product that should satisfy even demanding drivers. The manufacturer has incorporated features that make it easily withstand the stresses in powerful four-wheel-drive SUVs. It will be great for both winter and summer.

The manufacturer decided to use a reinforced structure, including two steel bands and nylon threads wrapping the reinforcement. As a result, the entire structure is distinguished by its high resistance to damage and by its durability.

Thanks to high-quality polymers, the compound performs well in summer and winter, providing adequate grip and maintaining its properties.

The Geolandar A/T G015 model was appreciated by Marcin-san: 

All-season tyres good in frozen snow as well as in slush, sand or grass. On asphalt roads, they are flawless; whether in the city or on the highway, the ride is safe, comfortable and quiet. I use the size 235/65 R17. Consumption is about 7% more than Pirelli Scorpion Verde SUV summer tyres in the same size, which are leading in terms of cost-effectiveness. So, only 7% more expensive to drive while offering several times higher car capabilities, and all year round :-) The car also has a more edgy appearance now: it looks much more sporty.