New to Snow Tires



We are considering a move from Ohio to New Hampshire. While we occasionally get flurries here in OH, it’s a different story altogether in NH. Do people usually by snow or studded tires for winter and keep summer tires as well, switching seasonally? I drive a 2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid 4wd, and I would like the best options here. I think I am going to need new tires soon (basic all-seasons) and am wondering what I should be purchasing next.


Guess what? They plow the roads in New Hampshire! A 4WD vehicle will do FINE with a set of “aggressive” All-Season tires. Unless you are going to live/work at a ski area or something like that…


I have a separate set of wheels with winter tires mounted on them, and I install them on my AWD Subaru when winter arrives.

I’ve driven the Subaru in snow with the “all season” tires and with the winter tires. In my opinion there is a significant difference. I can drive through snow with the AS tires, but the car still slips and slides a bit, especially when braking.

With the winter tires on the car, however, I have yet to spin a wheel under acceleration or lose traction going downhill or when braking. I’m sold on winter tires, and I believe they are worth the money.


I live in the NH(seacoast) and winter tires are not a requirement in my locale. However dependent on what area you live in, driveway situation and plowing order in town they may be necessary.

Certain all-seasons should work fine for you however research the choices( and Highlander forums) and find out what works well in the winter muck.

The very best all-season tire(can be used year round) biased for winter weather is the Nokian WR. This is the only all-season tire(50k tire) that is also rated as a winter tire.

Welcome to NH.


I agree with mcparadise. Although I live in NJ, which gets considerably less snow than NH, and which is also uses snow plows on the road, I use Michelin X-Ice tires on dedicated rims on my Subaru.

Even with AWD, traction control, automatic stability control and ABS, I can report that the winter tires give an incredible extra safety advantage–especially when braking and cornering.

Can you “get by” with just all season tires? Yes, you can. However, this is the difference between having “adequate” traction in many conditions and having exceptional traction under all conditions.


Unless you’re moving to the mountains snow tires are NOT needed. The 4wd highlander will EASILY handle any snow NH gets with the OEM tires that came with it. Southern NH only gets about 40"/year. I have had no problems getting around with Cooper Discover HT’s.


I live in eastern Ontario, and have never put snow tires on any of my vehicles - all seasons seem to work fine. Obviously, what’s more important is the the tires be in good condition, and that you drive safely according to the weather conditions. Right now, I use Motomaster tires on a 2002 Accent, and Goodyears on a 97 Crown Vic and 99 Sonata. They all seem to have sufficient traction in the winter months.


I suggest using what you have for now. If you find that there is a problem after you get there (they do have plows there) then consider getting a set of four real winter/snow tyres, not all season tyres.


I am moving to the mountains…near Peterborough.


In the mountains near Peterborough you’ll get some really nasty road conditions. Rt. 101 through the Monadnocks gets really bad at times.

In any other part of NH I’d suggest that any good all season raidials would work fine, but in that one area I’d want Blizzaks.

Trust me on this one. I’ve been driving in NH for 40 years.


In the mountains near Peterborough you’ll get some really nasty road conditions. Rt. 101 through the Monadnocks gets really bad at times.

Yup…I concur 100%. I’ve traveled that area lot during the winter and it’s NOT nice. Windy hilly roads that get some good snow storms. I traveled up the hill through town during a very good snow storm once. I suggest you get snows or good AT rated tires. The Michelin XLT’s or the Cooper AT’s or ATR’s are EXCELLENT tires.


The Michelin X-Ice is superior in traction to the Bridgestone Blizzaks and it also has tread life that is superior to virtually every winter tire on the market. (Blizzaks are noted for having pretty poor tread wear characteristics.)

Also, the ride comfort is very good, as is typical with Michelin tires. Even the noise level is better than with most winter tires.


If you have a place to store another set of wheels and tires it costs very little to have a set of dedicated winter shoes. Calculate the cost over 4 or 5 years. Of course, this assumes you don’t change cars that often. Winter tires make a huge difference in how a vehicle behaves in snow.