Best All Season tires for driving in snow - for 2009 Toyota Camry?

Any recommendations for best All Season tires with good traction in snow for 2009 Toyota Camry LE 4 Cylinder? Car will be driven in the Midwest so snow/ice is a regular occurrence typically. I looked on Tirerack but would appreciate advice.


All season tires are great for spring, summer and fall. If you want good traction in snow/ice get Michelin X ICE or Blizzacks pn all 4 wheels. Those tires are great in winter conditions. All seasons do perform well in snow and ice

You can get an all season tire that is decent in snow. Generally speaking, the deeper (and ) wider the tread, the better it is in snow. But two things are working against you if your goal is to save money.

First, the best all season in snow is still much worse then the lowest winter tire as it starts to wear and secondly, they tend to be noisier then regular all seasons, all all year long. You actually get more wear and it cost less over the life of the car, to specialize. Fwd cars are hard on the front tires and in no time at all, the uneven wear patterns will compromise any potential snow advantage. Then you have to buy new all seasons, sooner.

Snow tires have much deeper tread to begin which is specialized for wiinter. Your two specialized tires will each when rotated, will last much longer then continually buying all season tires to keep up with decent traction in the winter.

With all due respect, it’s a false choice question ! Lastly, All season tires will still , stink n ice and hard pack slippery conditions compared to decent winter tires…all the time. I drive in these conditions everyday in the winter. We buy the cheapest (Firestone and Altimax ) tires. They still run circles around the best all season tires in snow and ice. And we get an easy 80 k miles out of the original all seasons and the winters while enjoying max traction all season long. Swap overs are a no brainer. You just have to find cheap steel rims from on line.

So before you continue your quest for the one perfect tire, define " frequently" driving on snow, and " do you feel lucky ? " when it does ?

Dag lives in a very special in Maine where his road is near a mountain and is always covered with snow. But for the other 99% of us who live in Southern NH and MA…snow tires will only be truly helpful a handful of days a year. And good all-season tires (while not as good as snow tires)…will be just fine in anything but the very deep snow. And on those days 1-2 days…you just stay at home.

There really 2 debates on this.

#1 Are snow tires better - I think every agrees that they are.

#2 Are they needed if you live in an area where it snows. Here is where many disagree. I don’t think snow tires or awd/4wd vechicles are needed unless you live or travel to snowy mountain/hilly terrains frequently. Or you live in special snow places like Upstate NY or Upper Michigan where lake effect storms can just come along with no warning and dump up to 9" an hour of snow while you’re commuting home. The rest of the areas that get snow…just don’t either get enough snow or isn’t hilly enough to warrant getting snow tires or driving a awd/4wd vehicle. NH is one of the snowiest states in the country. Yet well over 95% of the time you are driving on dry roads during the winter. And that other 5% of the time the roads do have snow on them…but good all-season tires are usually more then adequate. And the days they aren’t adequate…stay home.

Consumer Reports shows the Michelin Defender and Continental ProContact EcoPlus as its two top rated all season tires, and they have ‘average’ or ‘better than average’ ratings for snow traction and ice traction. I’d go with the Defenders, I’ve had good luck with Michelin tires.

This assumes you’re not going to get a dedicated set of winter tires, of course.

1/2 worn blizzaks are worse than my new a/s tires. I have 2 sets of wheels. Got new a/s tires yr or so ago in nov. got snow within 1 week. My older set of 1/2 worn blizzaks were a drop in snow traction.

Hankook Optimo H727’s are also excellent all-season tires with better snow/ice traction than Michelin Defender (see tire rack survey results). I put the H727’s on my mother’s car and have been very impressed with them in winter conditions.

@MikeInNH Good point. We live in an area that gets snow 5 month a year, although not as much as the worst regions like the Upper Pininsula and parts of the Norht East. Late november we put the Michilin X-Ice winter tires on both cars and they will stay on till late April 2014.

Just had a blizzard and the cars just walked throught he snowdrifts.

Agree that in low snowfall areas with short winters, good all seasion tires are OK.

Agree that in low snowfall areas with short winters, good all seasion tires are OK.

Then it comes down to what is considered low snowfall areas. Boston gets about 30"/year…Here in Southern NH it’s about 60". Syracuse NY - 120"… Tughill Plateau in Upstate NY - 250".

Wife has been able to travel here in NH and Northern MA easily with fwd and all season tires. Going to the White Mountains that gets more then double the amount of snow…then good snow tires would be more appropriate.

Much of the debate is age and health related too. In good health and can put up with the inconvenience to save the money of extras tires ? Sure. Older and less capable and want the security of traveling for help when ever…then that’s a consideration too. I will say this, when I refereed for twenty five years and there was any threat of snow, the guy with the snow tires got the travel.

So, life is a choice and timing. And, Like I said in another thread, if you have two cars and can afford to, equip one with snows and one without. That’s what we do in the late fall when we have to frequently vist our kids in the NH, Mass area. We check the forecast and take the car with the appropriate tires. Most families have multiple cars. The shorter trip gets the one with all seasons when snow fall is predicted, the longer commute gets the snow tires. You can balance it out so on good days, the shorter commute gets the car with snow tires.

CR says it best. It’s about added security you may never really need. But when you need it, it’s worth it for some.
@MikeInNh knows where I live, I have no choice. I know where he lives and would never question anyone’s choices there as my kids live there and don’t use snow tires and are fine. So it’s all a personal choice.

In the Mass lower/mid NH area, you get snow and travel on maintained roads, it’s gone in no time. You live where I do in and in mountainous areas anywhere and the snow and ice stays till the next storm and just accumulates. So, it is indeed a balancing act and there are no rights and wrongs. Just be extra careful in winter regardless and don’t travel out of your comfort zone regardless of the tires you wear.

We have two vehicles…and obviously when we as a family take a trip the weather will determine if we take the Lexus or my 4wd 4runner. But…we’re not talking about trips here. Wife and I both work…and have decent long commutes to work. Wife with her Accords and Lexus have never had an issue driving in snow with fwd and all-season tires. That’s a total of about 600k miles of driving here in Southern NH with fwd and all-season tires. Plus she’s taken her car many times to upstate ny by herself during the winter…again no problems.

So the 2 car issue is moot if you both work and need them to travel to an from work. There have been many times over the 30+ years wife has driven to work or home or to school to pick the kids up or take them to some event…when it was snowing pretty hard.

Asside. At some point, someone will come up with either the perfect tire, the perfect, easy to use, temporary high speed cable chain or the perfect spray on or what ever, and all these debates will end !

In my area, I think the most snow we got in a single storm was 6~8 inches accumulated on the ground. Regularly, we’ll see 2~4 at the most and most of the roads are cleared within a reasonable timeframe.

If I bought winter tires and factory sized rims(19") I’d be looking at about $1500, and that’s going with the cheapest rims. Or, I could spend half that and get some really good rated all seasons and not have to worry about when I should change rims

You can’t go wrong with the General Altimax HP. I had them on a Taurus and they wore like iron and stuck like glue. I installed them on my company car also.
Yhey fit your car and are under $100 each.

I really like MineInNH’s two points:

#1 Are snow tires better - I think every agrees that they are.
#2 Are they needed if you live in an area where it snows.

As the discussion thus far conveys, #2 is really a personal decision.

I have a close friend who is a nurse who has to get to work at 5:30 AM - with no flexibility in her schedule. For her, it’s a no-brainer - she says getting through unplowed roads during a storm means having the best winter tires she can buy.

I’m in Minnesota and I always used Goodyear when I drove 3000 miles a month. My last set though are Generals and they seem to be just fine under normal winter conditions. Most of the time main highways are cleared in a day so the majority of winter driving is on hard pavement except for city streets. I also have Michelin and while I can’t complain, they really aren’t any better for their $300 cost.

Now if you want to go with four winter tires on wheels, that’s a different story and have never done that in 50 years, even in the old rear wheel drive days of old.

I just tried my Generals out on the ice and they seemed fine. I think the whole set was under $500.

Just a word about snow tires, which I agree, most really may not need, but;
I have the General Altimax on the 4Runner. Even with the studded version of the tires I was pleasantly surprised how quiet they were. They are good in snow and absolutely outstanding on glare ice. Our frozen dirt road was glare ice covered with no sand the other day in the early morrning after a freezing rain for the entire two miles in and it barely spun a tire on the steep single lane curves that take you half way up a mountain then half way down to the lake. When I bring friends here in these conditions who have never been here in the winter, they are absolutely white knuckle with eyes as big as saucers. I like to glance over and look at their expressions. The difference on ice on steep hills between studded snows and all seasons is so dramatic for people who don’t drive in these conditions, some actually think they are never getting out the first time they come in. ( Some have even said they will never come back in the winter and feared for their life when riding in ) For one thing, you can’t even walk or stand up on the roads in these conditions. And yet, today’s winter tires, take them in stride. They are amazing ! And, regardless of how well rated all seasons are in snow, they are compared to other all seasons. And, ice and hardpack is a whole other ball game that all season tires can’t compare to even an average winter tire. But, I very seldom if ever each winter, see these conditions on tarred town roads.

If VIP still sells Snow King or Power King tires, I had a good set of snow tires once.

@dagosa You make me dizzy just thinking about the road you take up to your house. I’m sure I’d be one of those who would want to just walk or wait for spring.

We don’t “just walk” either. We do walk daily, even in the winter to the end to get the paper. (they won’t deliver.) Wife wears ice grippers and I take a dedicated pair of hiking boots and screw in 3/8 " hex head sheet metal screws on the out edge. I use my method instead of ice grippers as one. over time they cost too much and secondly, you can work all day in them and walk over bare dry areas more comfortably.

In these conditions, all my neighbors are on friendly terms and there are no drug dealers on the corner…and you can leave the keys in your car and the door unlocked…Though we don’t do either.