For 2019, Toyota shakes up the Prius line with the addition of all-wheel drive. Called AWD-e, it will be available on two of the four trims (LE and XLE) and Toyota plans to build a lot of them for dealer stock. In fact, Toyota plans to sell 20% of Prius cars with AWD going forward in the North American Market. With the new Prius AWD-e about to arrive next month, we did some digging to see which winter tires might best accompany the new all-wheel drive Prius.
First up, is a top seller, the Bridgestone Blizzak. One of the first brands to offer modern winter tires with their entirely different design compared to old snow tires, the Blizzak earns the important three-peak mountain snowflake (3PMSF) symbol. The Blizzak features an “adaptive NanoPro-Tech Multicell compound along with bite particles. Together these produce outstanding performance in below-freezing dry conditions, packed snow and ice, and glare ice. Remember, the AWD of your Prius will get you moving, but it won’t help you turn or stop.
The Blizzak earns 4.5 stars out of a possible five at Tire Rack based on 390 reviews. One AWD Subaru WRX owner reported that the Blizzaks were “By far one of the best winter tires I've ever had on one of our vehicles. The Subie being all-wheel-drive and handling the snow well anyway, by adding the WS80 to the equation just made the car insanely fun in the snow.”
Another highly-rated winter tire for the Prius is the Michelin X-Ice X13. This tire also earns 4.5 stars with over 500 owner reviews. Michelin's silica-rich compound and Cross Z Sips combine to offer good performance in a wide range of winter temperatures and conditions. One Audi sedan owner with Quattro AWD reported in a review, “The tires provided excellent winter traction in light and deep snow, slushy roads, wet roads, dry roads and in varies temperatures ranging from 5 - 50 degrees F. I live in the Greater Cleveland Ohio area which experience all types of weather during our winter season. I was pleased with the winter traction and pleasantly surprised with the low noise levels for these winter tires.”
If you are the current owner of a Prius and have winter tires, please let us know in the comments below what brand and model you have and how they have performed for you in winter.