Shopping for tires is no easy task. With dozens of manufacturers and types of tires available in today’s market, narrowing down your choices can be difficult. Are you shopping for an all-season tire? A performance tire? Or perhaps you need something to deal with all the rain and snow. No matter what your driving conditions are, we’ve got you taken care of. For 2019, our experts have taken a look at some of the best performing tires available, choosing an Editor’s Pick for each category.
So if you’re shopping for replacement tires and don’t have hours or even days to spend on research, this article takes care of all the work for you. Below are our Editor’s Picks of 2019 for the best tires for each segment.
Table of contents
- Editor's Pick for Best Winter Tire: Bridgestone Blizzak WS80
- Editor's Pick for Best SUV Tire: Cooper Starfire
- Editor's Pick for Best Fuel-Efficient and Low Rolling Resistance Tire: Pirelli Scorpion Verde
- Editor's Pick for Best Minivan Tire: Michelin Primacy MXV4
- Editor's Pick for Best Wet Weather Tire: Vredestein Quatrac 5 (All Season)
- Editor's Pick for Best All-Season Tire: Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+
- Editor's Pick for Best High-Performance Winter Tire: Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4
- Editor's Pick for Best Ultra High-Performance Tire: Michelin Pilot Super Sport
- Editor's Pick for Best Performance Tire: Michelin Pilot Sport 4S
Editor's Pick for Best Winter Tire: Bridgestone Blizzak WS80
The Blizzak WS80 is one of the most popular and effective snow tires on the market. The brand expects them to be used on compact cars, coupes, sedans, and minivans, but other models of the Blizzak are available for different vehicles like SUVs.
What makes the Blizzak so good is the combination of its circumferential and lateral grooves, which are designed to direct water, slush, and snow away from the contact area. There are also the 3D Zig Zag sipes, which give the tire extra biting edges. Additionally, the tire uses a next-generation compound that features a water-loving hydrophilic coating and microscopic bite particles. These are some of the best winter tires you can get, but they come at a pretty significant price. For starters, they’re more expensive than most other winter tires, and they don’t feature any unique warranty coverage. I have purchased these tires in the past and highly recommend them to my friends and family.
Editor's Pick for Best SUV Tire: Cooper Starfire
From Cooper tires comes the Cooper Starfire line of SUV tires. Backed by Cooper’s reputation for high-performance and affordable pricing, these highly accessible tires are popular and fully featured — not to mention built for a comfortable highway ride in modern SUVs, light trucks and crossovers, while providing solid all-surface traction.
A specially designed center-rib enhances ride smoothness and overall comfort, while circumferential grooves effectively evacuate water, mud and slush from the treads for all-condition confidence. With value pricing and premium performance, many shoppers choose the Cooper Starfire line of tires to experience solid all-around performance that won’t break the bank. A wide range of sizes are available and focus on today’s most popular vehicles. Though pricing is compelling, some owners wish for better wet-surface traction and report higher-than-expected road noise levels.
Editor's Pick for Best Fuel-Efficient and Low Rolling Resistance Tire: Pirelli Scorpion Verde
From one of the best-known names in tires comes the Scorpion Verde line, designed to help drivers reduce their vehicle’s impact on the environment with no hit to performance or functionality. Using Pirelli’s Green Performance practices, this line of tires brings numerous fuel-saving and life-extending benefits to shoppers with design, engineering and technology deployed to help reduce fuel use and support a longer tire life. Scorpion Verde tires are manufactured using best practices for reduced environmental impact and a high degree of recyclability.
Key in the fuel-saving performance of these tires is a silica-enhanced rubber compound that enables the use of a low-resistance tread without sacrificing traction. The tread design promotes even wear and long life, while quickly evacuating water for consistent performance in most driving conditions. Sizes are available to cover a wide range of makes, models and applications, and owner reviews are typically positive.
Editor's Pick for Best Minivan Tire: Michelin Primacy MXV4
The Michelin Primacy MXV4 is our pick for the best minivan tire. It’s a grand touring all-season tire that has been developed for coupes, sedans, family minivans, and crossovers. The Primacy MXV4 offers a quiet and comfortable ride, long tread life, responsive handling, and all-season traction, including in light snow. These tires feature an all-season tread compound that has been molded into a symmetric design, combining notched shoulders, independent intermediate tread blocks, and continuous center ribs.
The company has also outfitted it with its Active Sipes, which alternately lock together and open as needed, providing increased biting edges that grip the road for all-season handling, especially in rain and snow.
Helping ensure this tire has a tuned footprint shape and long-lasting, even treadwear is Michelin’s Advanced MaxTouch Construction. To reduce vibrations and road noise caused by the tire, Michelin uses its Comfort Control Technology, a computer-optimized design and precision manufacturing process. Internally, this tire features twin steel belts that have been reinforced with Michelin’s Banded At Zero (BAZ) Technology, which is spirally wrapped polyamide. This provides high-speed durability and enhanced ride comfort.
Editor's Pick for Best Wet Weather Tire: Vredestein Quatrac 5 (All Season)
The Vredestein Quatrac 5 is a standard all-season tire that’s suitable for use on mass-market cars and crossovers.
This tire provides a soft, comfortable ride and doesn’t sacrifice wet weather handling or grip to do so. These tires provide plenty of grip in the wet and dry and are suitable for use in light snow as well. Due to their ability to soften up your car’s ride, these tires are also good if the roads are rough where you live.
TireRack also gives these tires the best-possible rating of ‘Excellent’ across the board – including in wet and dry grip, winter/snow performance and comfort performance.
With a very attractive price tag, good durability, comfortable ride, great grip in the wet and even strong performance in light snow, the Vredestein Quatrac 5 is a very good all season tire that we’d recommend to any car or crossover owner.
Editor's Pick for Best All-Season Tire: Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+
The Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+ is one of the most popular and highest-rated all-season tires for passenger cars. This tire also offers a W- and Y-speed rated Ultra High Performance All-Season variant, ideal for high-end sports cars, as well as sporty coupes and sedans looking for maximum performance. Expect to get Michelin’s highest level of ultra-high all-season performance with the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+, with an emphasis on dry road handling and wet road grip with balanced all-season traction for occasional light snow.
This tire replaces the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3, sharing the same performance-oriented tread pattern while featuring a new and advanced Helio+ tread compound for increased light-snow traction. According to Michelin, the Helio+ Technology utilizes sunflower oil and Extreme Silica Technology in the tread compound to increase traction at low temperatures and on wet roads. This tire is designed to provide high levels of lateral grip and as much dry cornering capability as some competitors’ summer performance tires. In addition, wide circumferential grooves help resist hydroplaning, increasing wet traction and grip in standing water.
Editor's Pick for Best High-Performance Winter Tire: Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4
Michelin is a well-trusted brand when it comes to performance tires, so it’s little surprise the company offers a performance winter/snow tire that has been developed to meet the needs of enthusiasts who may encounter snow on their drive. The Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4 is designed for ultra high performance sports cars, sedans, or coupes and offers performance in freezing temperatures, snow, and ice.
These tires offer low rolling resistance to enhance fuel economy and are manufactured using eco-focused methods, wearing Michelin’s Green X branding. They are designed to deliver secure driving year after year in wintry conditions.
Helping the tire remain more flexible in low temperatures is a full silica-based, sunflower oil-enriched Helio Compound+ tread rubber. Enhancing acceleration, braking, and handling is Michelin’s high-density Stabiligrip 3D sipe technology.
Internally, this tire’s structure includes twin steel belts that have been reinforced by the company’s FAZ technology, which places spirally wound filaments of polyester cord under the tread to combine stable feel, confident handling, and high-speed capability with ride comfort.
These radials meet the industry’s severe snow service requirements and are branded with the three-peak mountain snowflake (3PMSF) symbol.
Editor's Pick for Best Ultra High-Performance Tire: Michelin Pilot Super Sport
If you’re looking for a high-performance tire and don’t mind dropping a bit of cash, you don’t have to look any further than the Michelin Pilot Super Sport.
This has long been the segment leader among ultra high performance tires. Not only does the Michelin Pilot Super Sport provide some of the highest levels of grip among all ultra high performance tires, they are well balanced. They perform well both in the dry and the wet, offer good road noise and comfort and are very durable.
If you’re still not convinced of the Michelin Pilot Super Sports’ superiority, they are the factory tire on a myriad of performance cars, such as the BMW M3. So not only do enthusiasts trust the Michelin PSS, manufacturers do too.
Editor's Pick for Best Performance Tire: Michelin Pilot Sport 4S
The Michelin Pilot Sport 4S is a relatively new set of Max Performance Summer Tires that have been specially designed with a focus on cars from automakers like BMW, Mercedes, Audi, and Porsche, using technology developed throughout those automakers’ motorsports programs. These tires are designed for top performance in dry conditions and warm, wet roads too.
It uses an asymmetric tread pattern and a compound derived from Le Mans. The outer shoulder features a dry-focused tread that improves handling and braking, while the center ribs and inbound shoulder are designed for improved wet braking performance. There are even a few exterior callouts, like a checkered sidewall for select sizes. There are many sizes of Pilot Sport 4S tires and they’re great fits for a wide variety of cars including luxury sedans, sports cars, and sports sedans. Critics say that these tires are loud, expensive and don’t feature any rim protection.
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