One of the largest draw backs to driving your Mustang during the winter isn’t the fact that it’s a RWD sports coupe, but that the stickier summer/all season rubber quickly becomes compromised as the temperature cools.
Now you could opt for any old set of snows, that is, if you don’t mind your ‘Stang handling like a van. But if you’re looking to get the most out of winter while still enjoying your pride and joy, it’s time to investigate and invest in a set of performance winter tires. The handy search tool from 1010Tires can help you zero in on what’s most suitable for your specific setup. Not all tires will be available in all OEM sizes.
In the mean time these are our personal favorites:
Bridgestone Blizzak LM-32
The Blizzak family from Bridgestone are some of the most trusted tires for winter driving and the LM-32’s are no different. The LM-32’s are on the softer end of the scale which is complemented well by their aggressive tread pattern.
As a result of the softer compound and more aggressive tread the tires are noisier and do lack the lateral stiffness in the dry that some of the other options offer.
Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4
If you’re looking to maximize winter performance there are few tires better suited than the Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4s. Porsche loves to use them at their winter driving events; some owners even go so far to argue the PA4s offer similar performance levels as a dedicated summer tire.
They’re quiet in the dry, grippy in the snow and slop, and priced competitively.
Hankook iCept Evo2
The iCept Evo2 tires from Hankook actually feature extra silica in the rubber compound. Hankook did this to retain flexibility in the rubber even as the temperature plunges past freezing; the flexibility is also a boon to wet weather driving; while their wide shoulder blocks offer up tons of grip on dry and cold pavement.
However, the soft and flexible rubber is also the tires’ biggest drawback, the softer compound tends to wear faster.
Dunlop SP Winter Sport M3
A high-level performance winter tire, the Dunlops aren’t without their own drawbacks. The SPs are most comfortable in the cold and the dry, while not a bad tire for snow and slop they certainly loose out to others on the list.
These tires are most appropriate for those looking for cold weather performance exclusively.
Pirelli Sottozero Serie II
Another set of high performance winters that prefer the cold to the snow. The Sottozero Serie II are praised for not just their comfort and quietness, but their performance in both wet and dry conditions.
The Pirellis don’t like snow according to owners in the snowbelt, even a few inches will cause difficulty, especially after a season or two of driving has worn the treads down a little.
Continental ContiWinterContactTM TS850 P
A vast improvement over the old 830s. The TS850 offers up incredible control in snow but does suffer in slushy conditions. They’re quite comparable to the Michelin’s with slightly less wet performance and slightly more grip in the snow.
Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2
Nokians are probably the best winter tires money can buy, hands down. The Hakkas are the only tires here without a V speed rating, however, we mention them for the fact that they will trounce anything short of a fully studded tire on ice and snow.
If you deal with deep snow frequently these are your best bet, or go trade your Mustang in on an F-150.