Best Tires for SUV All Seasons: Experience Year-Round Driving Stability
Experience all-year handling, cornering stability, and all-weather traction with these top all-season SUV tires
The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.Read more.
PUBLISHED ON August 11, 2019
All-season tires are one of the most popular types of tires for SUVs. They improve the vehicle’s fuel economy, handling attributes, traction, and comfort in all weather conditions. Although you may be tempted to replace factory tires with the exact OE tires, you should look at the numerous benefits of switching to the best-rated, all-season SUV tires. Here’s a breakdown of our top three.
- Best OverallMichelin Defender LTXSummarySummaryA long tread life tire that offers all-year traction in dry, wet, and light snow conditions.ProsProsHighly functional tread pattern. Long tread wear. Great all-round performance. Numerous upgrades from the original model. One of the best year-round tires. High 10,000-pound load capacity.ConsConsPoor wintertime performance. Heats up really fast. Stiff construction.
- Best ValueFirestone DestinationSummarySummaryA strong, long-lasting, highway, all-season tire with respectable all-year performance.ProsProsAffordable. Good wet and light snow traction. Solid traction on hot highway pavements. Strong sidewall construction for enhanced handling and cornering performance. Also suitable for pickups, minivans, and crossovers.ConsConsNot designed for winter use. Short tread life. Noisy on the road.
- Honorable MentionGoodyear Assurance Tripletred All-SeasonSummarySummaryAn SUV touring all-season tire with directional treads that promote year-round drivability.ProsProsRobust and long-lasting tire construction. Offers enhanced ride comfort. Confident handling on dry pavements. Good in wintry conditions. Features a unique tread pattern for every season. High 6,000-pound load capacity.ConsConsRoad noise. Uneven wear. Develops hydroplaning issues over time.
Why Trust Us
All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, and practical experience with each product we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Why Buy All-Season SUV Tires?
- Long-lasting. All-season tires are designed with heavy-duty tread compounds intended to increase the tire’s resistance to wear all year round. The treads in most all-season tires can last for over 100,000 miles, which is much longer than other tire types. They are the perfect replacement tires for your factory tire set.
- Year-round convenience. All-season tires are a cheaper alternative to winter tires and performance tires. They offer respectable dry and wet traction, and some come with an “M+S” label showing that they are certified to hold up against mud and snow. You could use these tires all year round without a tire change as long as you don’t use them on roads that haven’t been plowed.
- Improved performance. All-season tires generally improve your vehicle's traction, handling, and braking capabilities in wet and dry weather conditions. They are also easy to control and have thick tread patterns that maintain a grip on the road even in emergencies.
- Tread-wear warranties. The manufacturers want you to feel confident in the tread life of their all-season tires, which are covered with warranties that stretch to over 90,000 miles. That’s enough to guarantee that the tires will provide you with long service life.
Goodyear has been in the automotive industry for more than 100 years and makes some of the best tires for bicycles, scooters, motorcycles, passenger cars, race cars, SUVs, RVs, trucks, and farm equipment. The company is headquartered in Akron, Ohio, and was the first tire company to build aircraft tires. Goodyear is also a top-rated tire supplier for Formula One Championships and is the parent company to some top rubber manufacturing brands such as Dunlop, Sava, Fulda, Debica, and Kelly Tires. Goodyear’s best all-season tires for SUVs is the Goodyear Assurance Tripletred All-Season.
Firestone has more than 100 years of experience in the tire manufacturing industry. It’s headquartered in Nashville, Tenn., and is an OE supplier of Ford Company. The company manufactures consumer, agricultural, commercial, and off-road tires, and other products. One of its best all-season tires for trucks and SUVs is the Firestone Destination.
Michelin was founded in 1889 by Edouard and Andre Michelin. The company is based in France and is fondly known for its cartoon-like logo, the “Tire Man” or “Michelin Man,” that resembles a pile of tires with human-like features. The company makes some of the best tires for vehicles, motorcycles, and bicycles featuring high-tech materials. One of Michelin’s best high-performance all-season tires is the Michelin Defender LTX.
Bridgestone is a Japanese multinational company that manufactures auto and truck parts. It’s recognized as the world’s largest tire manufacturing company and has had over 80 years of experience in the automotive industry. Bridgestone also manufactures diversified rubber products such as conveyor belts, hydraulic hose, and seat pads among other products. One of its top-rated all-season tires for SUVs is the Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza.
All-Season SUV Tires Pricing
- $150 or less: Most all-season tires are good on dry and wet pavements, but the cheaper versions exhibit poor traction in wintry conditions and have a shorter tread life. The best thing about all-season tires is that they are designed to improve your fuel economy and are backed with treadwear warranties regardless of their price.
- Over $150: You will find some of the best high-speed handling and high-performance all-season tires within this price range. The higher-priced versions have a higher load capacity and a longer tread life. The tires are typically more expensive due to the technology that goes into making the tires resistant to wear and enhancing their water evacuation abilities.
You can get information for the right tire size for your SUV’s year, make, and model from your owner’s manual or the sidewall markings on your current tire, which are given in the metric standard of measurement. For instance, a tire that’s marked with P215/60R15 means that the width is 215 millimeters (8.5 inches), and the height is equal to 60 percent of the tire's width.
The load capacity is the maximum weight that can be handled by all four of your tires without losing air pressure. It’s denoted on the sidewall by the first two digits after the size of the tire. A compact SUV has an average weight of 4,000 pounds, and you need tires with a slightly higher load capacity to handle both passengers and cargo. A tire with a maximum load capacity of about 6,000 pounds may work for you.
All-season tires have symmetrical, unidirectional, and asymmetrical tread patterns. Symmetrical treads are the best as they have a longer tread life and wear out evenly. Asymmetrical treads are a combination of different patterns and offer the best traction at high speeds. Unidirectional treads wear out faster than any other type since they only move in a single direction.
- Safety: The tire should have a Uniform Tire Quality Grade (UTQG) mark for safety. That shows that the tire meets the safety standards for traction, tread wear, and temperature resistance in all-weather conditions. It’s a testament to the tire’s overall quality.
- Fuel Economy: New tires should give you at least a 20 percent increase in your fuel economy. That comes by choosing the appropriate tires for your vehicle that have low rolling resistance and can handle the weight of your car. The tread design, tire size, and tread compound have a significant impact on the rolling resistance of the tires.
Best Tires For SUV All Seasons Reviews & Recommendations 2019
Best Overall: Michelin Defender LTX
This is a highway, all-season tire designed to offer a smooth and quiet ride in dry, wet, and light snow conditions. The tire has a highly functional tread pattern that’s wear-resistant and can provide excellent all-year-round traction. The tire is designed with the Michelin Evertread compound, which gives the tire a tough construction that can hold up to the demands of all-road conditions. Michelin’s MaxTouch Construction gives the tire a large footprint for maximum contact with the ground and even distribution of braking, cornering, and acceleration forces.
The defender LTX has a directional tread design, stable independent tread blocks, and high-density 3-D Active sipes that enhance traction on dry roads and stormy weather. For enhanced wet traction, the tire features open shoulder slots, four wide circumferential channels, and multiple lateral grooves that promote lateral water evacuation. This features also improve the vehicle’s braking and cornering capabilities on wet surfaces. The Michelin defender has a maximum load capacity of 10,000 pounds.
The main drawback of the product is that the tires heat up and cool down abnormally fast, which is bad for tire pressure. The sudden increase and decrease in tire pressure may lead to the weakening of the rubber. Moreover, the tires feel stiff and don’t offer a comfortable ride on potholes or rough roads. They also have moderate traction in winter conditions and exhibit poor performance in deep snow.
Best Value: Firestone Destination
The Firestone Destination is a great SUV tire for dry, wet, and light snow conditions. It has a symmetric tread design molded with a silica-enhanced compound that promotes commendable all-year traction and long treadwear. It also includes notched shoulder blocks with continuous rib work for enhanced dry road traction and handling. The tire offers a smooth, bump-free ride thanks to its shock-absorbing, polyester cord body.
Firestone’s footprint features circumferential and sweeping grooves that help with water evacuation to improve the vehicle’s stopping capabilities on wet surfaces. For light snow traction, the tire features cross grooves molded into shoulder rib notches and zigzag sipes that enhance grip in light snow and slush. Lastly, the internal wall is designed with twin steel belts backed with spirally wound nylon to promote tire strength and uniformity.
A downside to the tire is that it’s not designed for maneuvering through deep snow. You’d have to change to winter tires for better deep snow traction. The tires have a short tread life and may not get past 50,000 miles before the treads start to wear out. It’s also not quiet on the road, especially when driving on dry pavements.
Honorable Mention: Goodyear Assurance Tripletred All-Season
This Goodyear all-season tire provides confident, all-year maneuvering on clear, wet, and wintry pavements. It has a unique tread construction featuring Goodyear’s Evolving Traction Grooves, which start as small 0.1 inches wide sipes that enlarge the tire’s footprint for maximum contact with the ground when the tire is new. The sipes then broaden into larger lateral groves as the tire wears for prolonged traction. The grooves offer better all-season traction than conventional sipes.
The tire has a maximum load capacity of 6,000 pounds, and a symmetric tread pattern with three unique zones: dry, ice, and water. The dry zone has large shoulder blocks that help the tire to confidently maneuver through dry pavements. The ice zone has innovative tread compound polymers and a continuous center rib featuring multiple biting edges for enhancing traction on snow-packed roads and slush. Lastly, the water zone features Sculptured Aquachannel grooves that promote water evacuation for enhanced traction on wet roads.
The main drawback of the tires is that they are not quite on the road and may produce a constant hum, which can get annoying. Also, you may notice a reduction in the tire’s hydroplaning resistance after about 20,000 miles, and the tires may start to slide on wet surfaces. The three zones also wear out unevenly and make your rides uncomfortable over time.
- To prevent a blowout, do not drive your tires beyond their speed rating. The speed rating is the last letter on the sidewall of the tire marking that’s denoted by either S, T, H, or V. The speed rating only applies to a new tire that’s never been altered or had a puncture.
- Inspect your tires monthly for any cuts, tears, and punctures, and remove any debris stuck in the treads. You should perform the inspection before a long trip or more often if you regularly drive over potholes and rough roads.
- If you notice that your vehicle pulls to one side when driving at a steady speed your tires may be misaligned or one side may be underinflated. If you establish that neither is the cause of the problem, then you should have your brakes checked to correct the issue.
- An out-of-balance tire may cause unusual vibration or a thumping noise when you drive. There may be a flat spot on the treads. Other causes for the noise could be pebbles lodged into the tread or a destructured belt in the tire carcass. Clean out any debris in your treads or have a mechanic inspect the tires to determine the problem.
Q: Are all-season tires good for snow?
A: All-season tires are designed to increase maneuverability on wet roads, slippery trails, and dry roads. They may help you move through bits of slush and light snow, but they can’t move through deep snow. You need to prepare to change to winter tires when the temperatures drop below 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
Q: What’s the difference between touring tires and all-season tires?
A: Touring tires either come as grand touring or standard touring tires. The only difference they have from all-season tires is that they have a higher speed rating. They are designed to enhance traction, handling, and cornering capabilities on all pavements when driving at high speeds.
Q: What are the signs of a worn-out tire?
A: A simple visual inspection can help you detect problems like overinflation where there’s more wear on the mid-section than the rest of the tire. An underinflated tire shows signs of wear on the outer edges. Also, bumps or bubbles on the sidewall or the tread may be an indication that one of the belts in the internal structure has separated.
Q: How often should I rotate my tires?
A: It’s recommended that you rotate your tires every 5,000 miles. However, the tread pattern will determine the rotation direction. Symmetrical and asymmetrical tires can be rotated in any direction, but unidirectional treads can only be rotated in a single direction to preserve the tread life. Unidirectional tires also require more rotations than any other tread pattern.
Our top pick for the best all-weather tires is the Michelin Defender LTX. It’s built to withstand the trials of the road all year round and is perfect for SUVs and trucks.
If you are working on a budget, go for the Firestone Destination, which are the best all-season tires for the money.