Falken ZIEX ZE-512
I've had these on the Golf for a little while and am quite impressed with them. I haven't had them long enough to see any snow, but they have scored well in tests which included snow performance.
The other tires I'd take a look at are the Dunlop SP Sport 5000 and the Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S. These three have rated well for use in all weather conditions.
The Yokohama Avid has actually had a poor showing in snow tests.
195/65-15 is kind of small, 205/60-15 is the natural and common upgrade.
Eagle GT would be my choice at $64
TRZ at $70
The Potenza RE 960 is actually less expensive than 195s at $66!
Eagle GT again at $67
Eagle Response at $81
Kumho KH16 at $56
TRZ is less at $66
I don't feel like getting into a big debate like happens sometimes, just put one of each size next to another and report which you want on your car.
Bigger tire carries the load better, has more grip and will last longer as well as handle and ride better.
btw- falken 512 is garbage, ever see 2 bubbles on the same tire? 912 is not as bad.
To me, even the 65 profile looks kind of wide for good Snow traction, I'm not sure I'd want to go wider. Dry performance (other than tread wear) is not really an issue the way this car is used. Not sure I'd want to spend much more than $75 per tire, if I have to.
Eagle GT is more high performance, TRZ is more Touring, with higher wear. If price is an issue, look at the Generals or even the Kumhos...but the two I mentioned are well worth the extra money. fwiw, the TRZ is rated well in snow. We used them on our CRV and they were ok.
Funny you should ask. The tire I replaced the Avid's with were the Gen HP's. They were running a $50 Visa card promotion last summer, so they were a good deal.
They currently have over 20k on them and the last time I saw them, they seemed to be wearing well. I'll know more this weekend when I get to see them again on daughter's car. I do know they have good hydroplaning resistance as I drove them in a heavy rain storm.
That said, some say they are not good in snow and ice, not a consideration in my area. Also, some question the treadwear, something I haven't noticed yet.
If snow traction is the most paramount aspect of the tire you're looking for, the Pirrelli P4 4 Seasons and the Goodyear Triple Tread are top rated for snow performance for all season tires.
I know BillInUtah has both on different vehicles and indicates both are quite good in snow, especially the Triple Treads.