Best Tires for SUVs
Even though tires are often overlooked, they are still one of the most essential components of any vehicle. Tires are the ones making the connection with the ground and they are a key “ingredient” to unlocking your SUV’s true power.
You shouldn’t go for the cheap option when looking for tires because your SUV’s performances will be subpar. A big engine doesn’t do anything in bad weather conditions if the tires can’t get a good grip. This is why tires are so important.
Tires are versatile and there are many models that you can pick from. While this might not be a problem for the average mechanic or racer, regular drivers never know which set of tires is the best for their SUV.
Here is where we come in. We have prepared a list of the top five best tires for SUVs available in 2020 and you can check it out below.
Best Tires for SUVs in 2020
1. Michelin Defender LTX
If you love testing your SUV’s power on all types of terrain, including off-road, then the Defender LTX series from Michelin is just what you are looking for. Michelin is the world’s most renowned tire maker and you can expect nothing but premium performances from the Defender LTX.
This high-quality tire is versatile and it does a great job of running at high speeds on the highway while also helping the SUV run on mountain roads. You will never have to worry about bad weather conditions after equipping your SUV with a set of tires from Michelin.
Since this is a premium product that we are talking about, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the manufacturer is offering a 70,000 miles warranty. The warranty is showing us just how confident Michelin is in the performances that the Defender LTX offers.
We also want to highlight that the tire has received the best UTQG ratings and that it works great with big SUVs because of its load capacity that measures in at over five tons.
What many drivers don’t realize is that by equipping their SUVs with premium tires, they will not only increase the vehicle’s grip on the road and avoid slipping. Premium tires will also increase the vehicle’s traction and fuel economy.
Additionally, the manufacturers are offering a free bottle of rubber bright touch-up cleaner to keep the white lettering looking great at all times.
- Renowned manufacturer
- 70,000 miles warranty
- Great traction and fuel economy improvement
- The price is high
2. Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac
Just like the aforementioned Michelin, Goodyear is another reputable manufacturer that has made its name in the industry by producing some of the best tires available on the market. Goodyear’s products are famed for their durability and the Wrangler DuraTrac is the perfect example of that.
What makes this tire stand out is the fact that it ships with a wide tread pattern that has been specially designed to handle all types of scenarios. After equipping your SUV with Goodyear’s Wrangler DuraTrac, you will instantly feel the boost in traction.
Thanks to its versatility, the Wrangler DuraTrac tires from Goodyear can also run smoothly on city roads and highways. On the downside of things, the wide tread pattern is going to make road noise. However, this is the price that you will need to pay for using versatile tires.
The manufacturer has equipped the tire with TractiveGroove technology that improves grip, even on muddy roads. If this wasn’t impressive enough, the tire sports a special design that protects the rims from accidental curb damage.
If you enjoy driving your SUV on dirty roads, then you know just how annoying it is to remove the dirt that gets stuck inside the tire’s tread pattern. Fortunately, you will not have to deal with this problem after purchasing a set of Wrangler DuraTrac tires because they are self-cleaning.
All the debris that gets stored inside the tread pattern will be thrown away as soon as you step your foot on the gas pedal.
- TractiveGroove technology
- Self-cleaning tires
- Highly versatile
- The noise is high
3. Pirelli Scorpion Zero
Pirelli is a famed manufacturer that is known for creating race car tires. Pirelli has created some of the best rubber compounds in the world and luckily, it doesn’t only create race car tires. The manufacturer also produces tires for SUVs. The Scorpion Zero is an all-season tire and it is one of the bestselling products that Pirelli has ever released.
This is because the Scorpion Zero offers high-performance capability in bad weather conditions such as snow and dirt.
As previously noted, Pirelli has access to premium rubber compounds and the one used by the Scorpion Zero has been molded into an asymmetric design.
To make things even better, the asymmetric design is paired with a high-silica content matrix and special polymer blends that improve the handling of any SUV model, even those that weigh in at over five tons.
One lesson that most drivers have to learn the hard way is that braking power is influenced by the quality of the tire. After equipping your SUV with a set of Pirelli’s Scorpion Zero tires, the braking performance of the vehicle will see a significant improvement, especially in wet terrain.
The feature that makes Pirelli’s tire stand out the most is the fact that its internal structure is comprised of two wide steel belts that are paired with a spiral wound and nylon reinforcement. These materials are enhancing the durability of the tire so that it doesn’t wear out after a couple of months.
The Scorpion Zero is built to last and the handling of your SUV will never feel better.
- All-season tire
- Significant handling improvement
- Durable build
- Performances in rain are not extraordinary
4. Continental Extreme Contact All-Season
The most difficult choice that you will have to make when purchasing a new set of tires is what season to use them in. There are SUV tires that have been specially manufactured for summer and others for winter. If you don’t want to purchase tires for every different season, then you are in luck.
The folks at Continental know that the best kind of tires is those that can run fast on dirt while also offering traction and grip control on snow. Therefore, Continental has created the Extreme Contact tires that are all-season.
The Extreme Contact tires will perform extraordinarily in all types of terrains, but this is not necessarily what makes them stand out. The most impressive thing about these tires is that they use an all-season tread compound that is paired with Continental’s patented Tg-F Polymers and Silane additives.
The additives will take the fuel efficiency and tread wear of your SUV to the next level.
While driving on snow can be difficult at times, the biggest challenge that a heavy SUV can face is water. The heavy SUV will slide everywhere when you step your foot on the gas pedal and fortunately, the tread pattern of the Extreme Contact tires will help you with that. The tread pattern features notched outboard shoulders that enhance traction control when the terrain is wet.
Additionally, the outboard shoulders make it easier to drive on the slippery snow.
- All-season tire
- Tg-F Polymers and Silane additives
- High-efficiency on slippery terrain
- The noise level is high
5. Firestone Destination LE2
We want to end our list with a product that fits in the budget-oriented category. Despite being an affordable tire when compared to the previous products featured on our list, you shouldn’t be fooled by the price and think that the Firestone Destination LE2 is not of premium quality.
This manufacturer does an amazing job of combining premium materials with cheap prices and the Firestone Destination LE2 is one of its bestselling products yet. This is an all-season tire for SUVs that works great in any condition.
The tread pattern is what matters the most when it comes to all-season tires, and the Firestone Destination LE2 doesn’t disappoint. The tire features asymmetric tread pattern design that will last for a long time.
Not just that, but the tread pattern will wear out evenly so that one tire doesn’t have more grip than the others. Safety is the biggest priority when driving and Firestone knows that too well.
The amazing thing about the Firestone Destination LE2 is that its tread pattern design offers four circumferential grooves that will guide the water away from the rubber. Therefore, SUVs that are equipped with a set of Firestone Destination LE2 tires will perform extraordinary well on wet surfaces.
On the downside of things, the Firestone Destination LE2 is not silent. You might need to raise the music volume when driving at high speeds on the smooth road because the tire is noisy.
- All-season tire
- Affordable price tag
- Symmetric tread pattern design
- The noise level is high
Best Tires for SUVs Buying Guide
Tire manufacturers are improving their technology every year and while this might be a good thing, it does make it more challenging for buyers to determine which tire is the best for their vehicle. You can’t just walk into the store and pick out the first set of tires that you see because they might not be compatible with your vehicle or their off-road performances might be subpar. If you are still struggling to find the best tires for your SUV, then you should check out the guide below and learn what to look for in tires.
- Finding the Right Type
The first thing that you need to do is to determine what type of tires your SUV needs. There are multiple types of tires and they all excel at driving on different terrains. The list below will show you all types of tires and what makes them great so that you can determine which type suits your needs the best.
- All-season tires
The most popular types of tires are all-season. The reason behind this is that all-season tires are highly versatile and they can run in all types of terrains. More importantly, you will not be required to change your SUV’s tires every summer and winter.
- Snow tires
If it snows heavily in the place where you live, then you need to consider getting special winter tires. These tires are equipped with tread patterns that excel at gripping on the road and at plowing through the snow.
- Mud tires
Do you love off-road adventures? If that is the case, then you need to have a spare set of mud tires in your trunk. The tread pattern of mud tires is not as deep as the one on snow tires, but it is wide enough to make sure that your SUV is not going to slide everywhere after it rains.
- The Tire Size
Another determining factor that you need to consider when buying a new set of tires for your SUV is the size of the tire. You need to make sure that the new tires are the same size as the ones offered by your OEM. The new tires need to be the same size as the rim. If you are having trouble finding the size of your rim, then you should know that the size is stamped on the sidewall of the rubber.
- Fuel Economy
As previously mentioned in the product review above, one of the biggest benefits of using premium tires is that your SUV’s fuel economy will be greatly improved. Spending money on expensive tires will save you a lot in the long run. This is why we are advising everyone to buy premium tires for their SUVs.
- Load Capacity
The last determining factor that we want to present is the load capacity. SUVs are heavy with the standard model weighing in at around 4,000 lbs. Regular car tires will wear out quickly under this amount of pressure and therefore, you need to make sure your new tires can handle more than your SUV’s total weight.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are crossover tires?
Crossover tires are the most popular models available for SUVs. They use tread patterns that have been specially designed to enhance the vehicle’s traction and braking power in both dry and wet conditions. This increases the handling of the vehicle.
Another important feature that crossover tires offer is that they are silent and comfortable. You will not be required to turn the music volume to the max to drown out the noise.
How often should I rotate the tires on my SUV?
The best way to make increase the durability of your tires is to rotate them. If your SUV doesn’t have four-wheel drive, you can also switch the front tires with the rear ones every couple of months to make sure that they don’t wear out quickly.
On the other hand, industry professionals are advising SUV owners to visit a mechanic’s shop and rotate their tires every 6,000 to 8,000 miles. Although, you can rotate them sooner if you are taking your SUV on off-road adventures every couple of weeks.
How can I clean my SUV tires?
Off-road tires are equipped with wide and deep design patterns so that they can grip on all types of surfaces. While this might be a great feature, it doesn’t come with a big problem. The design pattern will sometimes get filled with dirt, mud or other debris. This will make the tires look dirty and fortunately, most premium tires are self-cleansing.
If that is not the case for your SUV’s tires, then you should be pleased to know that you can clean them by simply using a hose and soap. After washing down the tires, use a scrub brush to take out all the unwanted debris.
Are Walmart tires any good?
Walmart’s tires are renowned for their amazing value. They are considerably cheaper in comparison with SUV tires from Michelin or Goodyear, but are they any good? We checked out the reviews for the SUV tires sold by Walmart and we found out that there are two big problems.
First off, installing the tires takes up lots of time. Some customers are saying that it took them up to three hours to get the tires installed on their SUVs. The second problem is that Walmart’s warranty is not great. The company runs on a tight profit margin and it’s not willing to give a full refund too easily.
How can I tell if a tire is worn?
The best way to find out if a tire is worn is to ask a mechanic for advice. However, this advice is never going to be cheap. We know that not everyone has the time or money to visit the mechanic’s shop every month and this is why we are going to present two ways to determine if your tire is worn out.
Bulging often occurs after a substantial impact such as accidentally hitting a curb or an obstacle. If your tire has bulges, then your next priority should be to change the tire as quickly as possible. The reason behind this is that bulges can impact the handling of the SUV.
- Tread depth
The fastest way to determine if your tire is worn is out is to measure the tread depth. This might sound like a complicated process, but it’s not. All you need is a penny. Place the penny in the tread at various locations to see how deep it goes. This will help you tell if the tire is worn out.