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Best Snow Tires for Toyota 4Runner

Dedicated winter tires can add another dimension of performance to your already pretty capable Toyota 4Runner. They have been designed to clear as much debris and snow from the tread as possible thus maximizing traction.

Performance aside, safety is the number one reason people invest in dedicated winter tires. Even the slightest amounts of frozen dew is sufficient enough to significantly hamper braking performance of your all-terrain or even all-season tires.

Thus, it is highly recommended to spend a few extra bucks to get quality winter tires to ensure your and your loved ones safety.

The Top 5 Best Snow Tires for 4runner

We have carefully shortlisted five such amazing winter tires for you. The first three are for the stock sized 17 inch wheels you get on most models while the next ones are for those who have or intend to change their wheels to a different diameter. Here’s an overview:

Best snow tires for stock sized 4Runner wheels:

  1. Michelin X-Ice Snow SUV 265/65-17 112T (Editor’s choice)
  2. Firestone Winterforce 2 UV 255/65-17 110S
  3. Bridgestone Blizzak WS90 235/60R17 99H

Best snow tires for after-market 4Runner wheels:

  1. Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2 265/60-18 110R
  2. Cooper Discoverer True North 265/50-20 107T

1. Michelin X-Ice Snow SUV 265/65-17 112T (Editor’s choice)

Confident and superb winter driving with unparalleled safety…

Pros:

  • Superb control on snow
  • Michelin Flex-Ice 2.0
  • M+S rated
  • 40,000 miles warranty

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Slightly noisy

This 17 inch wheel by Michelin ticks all the required boxes for a good winter tire for it to top our list of recommendations. Designed especially for SUVs, the X-Ice Snow is jam packed with all the latest tire technologies which allow it to exceed the Rubber Manufacturer Association’s requirements and thus earns a 3-Peak Mountain Snowflake Rating.

It is also rated M+S, which means it will not leave you stranded in slippery conditions like mud or slush. The tread design is v-shaped which has been time-tested to effectively remove the stuck debris and snow.

This tire also features the Michelin’s Flex-Ice 2.0 technology which allow it to retain as much compliance as possible in freezing temperatures. To further enhance its grip, two types of full-depth interlocking sipes immensely increase the contact patch’s area to help you claw through tricky situations.

Regarding safety, Michelin places special emphasis on safety and reliability, both of which are something you want a dedicated snow tire to excel in.

On top of the fact that Michelin tires are quite durable and regularly surpass the claimed tread life, this tire comes with a 40,000 miles warranty from the manufacturer to give you just that little extra peace of mind.

One major drawback of going with this tire is its ability to slim your wallet. The lowest price I was able to find was on Tire Rack at $260. You can get a decent tire of this size in the $200-225 range but it will not share the reputation of Michelin.

If this one does not match your budget, scroll down for more budget-friendly options.

2. Firestone Winterforce 2 UV 255/65-17 110S

Everything you could ask for in a a winter tire…

Pros:

  • Performs well on ice and in moderate snow
  • OE tire for many vehicles
  • Sipes provide strong grip
  • Quiet and comfortable
  • Studdable
  • Inexpensive

Cons:

  • Not suitable for deep snow

This 17-inch tire by Firestone is superior to other tires in terms of its materials and the ridiculously low price of $160. If you prefer an OEM recommended tire for your 4runner, this is the one for you.

This is a dedicated winter tire which is built in correspondence to the requirements of driving in snow. The tread compound is specialized for adequate performance in snow, without compromising safety. Its tread pattern is symmetrical, which allows it to evacuate water and slush so that they do not hinder the ride.

The pattern is further aided by the open shoulders, which are a preferable feature for a winter tire. Like other good winter tires, this tire also has sipes in its tread, which provide a steady grip in snow. However, it is to be kept in mind that this tire is only suitable for light to medium snow, and should be avoided in very deep snow.

The tread life of this tire is considerably long, thanks to its innovative design and premium construction materials. This means that it can last for long periods of time without any noticeable change in appearance or the quality of ride.

The ride is smooth and comfortable, and the noise produced during driving is minimal. The deep features are also helpful in case of hard ice or slush, and work by removing them from the tread.

This tire does everything perfectly and more but it is simply not capable enough of handling heavy snow. If you are looking for a winter tire for mild to moderate snow, look no further because this is one of the best and most affordable options out there.

3. Bridgestone Blizzak WS90 235/60R17 99H

The best budget buy possible

Pros:

  • Amazing snow traction
  • Safe to use in heavy snow
  • Low road noise levels

Cons:

  • A bit bumpy
  • Not much feedback

Bridgestone have always made exceptional winter tires and this one is no exception. According to my experience the WS90 has one of the best winter braking performance in class and this further adds to Bridgestone’s claims that it was a leader in snow braking during their in-house testing. Top qualities, if you are looking for a good winter tire!

Grip over dry surfaces is also something to be conscious of when buying a winter tire because not everyone has to always drive up a hill of snow to get to the nearest grocery store. The WS90 is on par with its competitors in this regard but there is not anything exceptional here to talk about either. The tire does not provide a lot of feedback and does not absorb bumps as good as one would expect.

As mentioned previously, the ride is a bit bumpy so comfort suffers as well. It does partly make up for it by doubling down on the noise control. Overall, I was pretty impressed with the overall ride experience.

Another pleasant surprise is the price on this thing: at 155$ a pop, as of date, it gives a run for its money to both Michelin X-ice Xi3 and Continental VikingContact 7 in terms of value. If you are willing to give a bit on comfort for the sake of safety, this could be your best option to choose.

4. Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2 265/60-18 110R

Great ride, handling and durability…

Pros:

  • Performs well on heavy snow
  • Very strong grip
  • Easy handling
  • Excellent traction

Cons:

  • Not the highest durability

This elegant 18-inch tire by Bridgestone is another great option for your 4runner. It has an aesthetically pleasant tread design that is unique in terms of both appearance and performance. The tread allows for a firm grip on snow, which is further enhanced by the small ‘studs’ that are present on it.

These claw into the surface underneath, and together with the sipes, they hold onto the ground firmly no matter how deep the snow is. The compound is also soft and adheres to the snow. This results in an unparalleled snow traction, thus making this tire a very safe option.

Furthermore, the tread compound is innovatively designed, and its advanced construction makes it capable of clearing off excess water. Needless to say, this tire is one of the few aggressive winter tires that performs equally well on wet surfaces.

The comfort and quality of ride offered by this tire is also exceptionally good. It is easy to handle and turns around corners without any difficulty, and without even the slightest compromise on grip. In addition, the ride is also quiet. You simply can not expect that much grip from a winter tire.

However, the soft tread compound of this tire can be challenging to deal with on hard ice and pavements. Also a softer tire tends to deteriorate more over time. This was not much of an issue during our testing but it could be for a lot of people looking to squeeze every last possible mile out of their tires.

5. Cooper Discoverer True North 265/50-20 107T

Best for slushy roads…

Pros:

  • Sever snow service rated
  • High load capacity
  • Reputable brand

Cons:

  • Floaty on dry roads

Cooper has managed to produce a tire that can easily increase the confidence of nay driver in winters. This is owing to the magnificent grip that is provides over ice or slush.

The Tre Norths are geared towards rougher conditions and may not provide you with the best handling experience. That being said, they do provide acceptable grip during acceleration, braking and cornering.

The wet handling is also very good but they feel a bit floaty on dry pavement. As such, these tires are only recommended to be used in winters, with all-season tires for the other three seasons.

The tread wear on these is also pretty good, especially for a dedicated winter tire. Even after 30,000 miles on these winter tires, 13/32nds were remaining.

How to buy the best winter tires for your 4Runner?

If you are looking to get the best winter tires for a Toyota 4Runner, or for that matter, any other vehicle, keep these few things in mind:

1. Choose tires with sipes

Sipes are small slits arranged circumferentially. They serve different purposes in different types of tires but in the case of winter tires, they dramatically increase traction on snow, especially off the line. They are able to do so by packing in small amounts of snow and clawing their way out of loose snow. Over hard ice, however, these are of little benefit.

2. Choose tires with good wet traction

Tires that have been evolved to suit snowy conditions better often perform poorly in snow. Since it is practically impossible to switch to a set of all-season tires every time it rains during winters, choose tires that have adequate wet traction. Doing so can prove to be a life-saver since winter tires consistently perform poorly on wet braking tests.

You might also find a great option inside this article of ours that lists the best tire options for both snow and rain.

3. Choose softer tires

Softer compounds have proven to perform significantly better than their harder compounds over snow. The reason behind it is probably a greater ability to conform the shape of the tread and the voids to better grip the loose packets of superficial snow.

The rubber compound and the manufacturing process of the better snow tires is also slightly different to retain as much compliance as possible, thus minimizing loss of traction in freezing temperatures.

Alternatively if you’re looking for the best all-terrain tires for your 4Runner, you can find them here: Best All Terrain Tires for 4Runner

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