Tires look simple and can easily be taken for granted, but their design can be quite sophisticated. Differences among tires can have an impact on braking, handling, ride, noise, and even fuel economy. Given how complicated tires are, choosing the right replacements can be challenging, especially if you depend on word of mouth or in-store marketing messages. That’s where Consumer Reports can help.
Our experts have crunched the data from our extensive tire test program to select the best car tires in several key categories, including all-season, performance all-season, ultra-high performance all-season, ultra-high performance summer, winter/snow, and performance winter/snow.
Top 10 Crossover Tires
- THE ULTIMATE CROSSOVER BABY STROLLER: The Evenflo Folio3 Stroll & Jog Travel System is an exceptional...
- CROSSOVER VERSATILITY: This baby stroller has been fully equipped for everyday walking around the...
- Covered finger spots and partition promote correct usage
- Large, comfortable grip for fitting any child's hand
- Daniel B Harris
- Kindle Edition
- All Surface Cover and Deep Channel Construction improves grip
- Premium Carcass Construction for excellent rebound and durability
- Respecting the Environment - Manufacturing Process uses only low aromatic, purified oils in this All-Purpose...
- A whole new class of tire for Nokian designed for power and comfort, especially for heavy SUV 4WD vehicles and...
- PHILLIPS POWER PACKAGE IS A TRADE-MARKED EXCLUSIVE OFFER BY PHILLIPS HEALTH CARE ONLY, BEWARE OF OTHER SELLERS...
- Top Speed: 15.00 Mph
- [Heavy Duty And Durable] Aluminum alloy construction with 165 lbs capacity. The wear-resistant PVC wheels...
- [Portable with 6 Wheels]: Foldable hand truck with 6 wheels graduated design with 6 wheels, folding and store...
- Shopping bag size: 14"x16"-11"
- advantage:Manual sewing, one-piece back, high-quality fabric, large space
- Sean Connell
- Acabus Verlag
- Looking for the perfect long sleeve shirt to celebrate any occasion? Look no further! This cool Ice Cream...
- The design is printed on a soft, comfortable, 100% cotton jersey unisex long sleeve toddler shirt. This...
How we chose the best tires
For this review, we relied heavily on research from Consumer Reports. The non-profit organization puts each tire it evaluates through a rigorous series of tests: 16,000 miles of non-stop driving on rough West Texas roads, hydroplaning control on a racetrack, and even braking distances on an ice rink. We feel confident that any tire that they recommend is a quality product, so we started our search by homing in on the 169 models that have up-to-date ratings from Consumer Reports.
We required all of our top picks to be available to order on Amazon, TireRack.com, or Tirebuyer.com — the three highest-rated online retailers in customer satisfaction according to a study by Consumer Reports. It might seem odd to order tires online, but it’s a great route if you want to pick a specific model.
As Adam Behret, a lead reliability engineer at the consulting firm Apex Ridge, put it, “The only benefit to just walking into a shop and having tires done that day is that they can do it immediately if what you need is in stock. I always buy online.” All of our picks let you order your tires directly to a shop in your area for installation. If your preferred tire shop isn’t available, you can also order them to your home and drive them to the shop directly.
A quick note on sizes: All of our links take you to an Amazon page with all available sizes for each tire. You can use our “How to choose the right tire” guide at the bottom of this page to determine which tire size your vehicle needs.
Traction is the single most important quality when it comes to evaluating tires. The better traction a tire has, the less distance it needs to come to a stop when braking. To gauge each tire’s traction, we first looked at the U.S. Government’s Uniform Tire Quality Grading Standards (UTQGS) scores, which grades every tire on its “ability to stop on wet pavement.” We cut out any tires with a B rating or lower — about 8% of all tires. From there, we used Consumer Reports’ testing grades on dry, wet, and ice breaking, and the ability to accelerate in moderately packed snow.
Finally, we considered how long each tire is likely to last. Of course, things like regular maintenance and driving habits will affect this, too — more on that below — but some tires will generally keep their tread twice as long as others. First, we looked at UTQGS’s scores on treadwear. All of our top picks have a score of 300 or higher, meaning they have a longer lifespan than 40% of tires on the market. We also used Consumer Reports’ tread-life tests, in which they drive every tire for 16,000 miles to project how many miles they’ll last.
Guide to Buying New Tires
How to know when you need new tires
Check your tires’ tread depth
How do you know when you need new tires? It all comes down to tread depth. Most states require at least 2/32 inch of tread to be considered legal — new all-season tires usually start with around 10/32 inch of tread — but you should ideally replace them well before that. Alarmingly, one study from AAA found that at highway speeds tires with 4/32 inch of tread depth need an additional 87 feet to come to a stop in wet conditions compared to brand new tires.
Check the manufacturing date (especially if you don’t drive a lot)
Even if your tires’ tread depth passes the quarter test, they still might need to be replaced if they’re over a certain age. “Tires get what is called dry rot. You can visibly see it as small cracks. It’s the rubber just naturally breaking down,” Bahret said. Most manufacturers recommend replacing around six years with an absolute maximum of ten, regardless of how many miles you’ve driven.