Best All-Season Tires: Add More Traction and Grip on Your Drive
Gain better control and traction with these high-quality, all-season tires
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PUBLISHED ON September 18, 2019
The best set all-season tires will help you handle any slick surface. They better equip your car to take on heavy downpours, puddles, or a thin sheet of snow or ice. Without them, your vehicle may end up hydroplaning into a wall, ditch, or another car much more easily. If you live somewhere particularly rainy or overcast, they will improve your ride and be much more comfortable. Here are the top-rated, all-season tires you should consider for your vehicle.
- Best OverallMichelin Defender LTX All-Season TireSummarySummaryThis is a durable all-season tire light for trucks, SUVs, and crossovers. They are designed with Michelin’s Evertread compound, enabling them to last up to 10 percent longer and are M/S rated for mud and snow.ProsProsThe tires offer shorter wet stopping distances, plus their MaxTouch construction improves fuel efficiency. They also come equipped with a directional tread design, independent treat blocks, and high-density sipes to enhance their traction.ConsConsThey are stiff and can make for an uncomfortable ride over holes and bumpy roads. They can also heat up and cool down quickly on the drive. They do not work as deep snow tires.
- Best ValueGoodyear Assurance Fuel Max All-Season Radial TireSummarySummaryThese car, coupe, van, and crossover tires come with a low rolling resistance tread design that reduces energy loss. They also include two steel belts and a polyester casing that enhance their durability, stability and ride quality.ProsProsThe all-season compound material features unique inboard and outboard tread zones for a tougher design and comes with shoulder blocks to enhance their handling in dry conditions. Plus, the wet tread zone feature and dual Aquachannel grooves make the rubber more water-resistant.ConsConsThe durability of the sidewall tread may not be as strong as the main tread. Also, if you are planning on driving in any type of snow, you won’t have much luck.
- Honorable MentionFirestone All-Season Radial TireSummarySummaryThese tires come with a hard and durable tread rubber that is molded into a pattern focused on grip and traction control. This makes them capable of being driven on icy and snow-covered roads on coupes, sedans, and sub-compact economy cars.ProsProsThey are developed with an extra layer of rubber under the tread to absorb irregularities like bumps, divots, and potholes. They are also designed with circumferential grooves and cuts to evacuate water quickly.ConsConsThey have a short treadwear life and only last a maximum of 50,000 miles before the rubber treads begin to wear down. They can also be on the loud side when it comes to driving on the highway and in dry conditions.
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Benefits of All-Season Tires
- Improved performance. All-season tires are designed to make your journey through rain, water, or slick streets much smoother. Their tread is designed to last longer as well, meaning you will get more miles out of them and better grip and function. This will also improve your fuel economy and braking ability.
- Safety. High-quality, all-season tires are equipped to handle puddles and slick surfaces more efficiently while lowering the chance of hydroplaning. However, keep in mind there are some currents you should not drive through, and you should always use extreme caution when driving in the rain or on wet roads.
- Traction. While standard tires with thinner tread and traction control can get bogged down and spin on wet streets, the best set of tires are designed with a powerful grip. This keeps the vehicle firmly grounded to the road, giving you better control and improved braking.
- Year-round functionality. The best all-weather tires add convenience to any journey. They give you the ability to drive on almost any terrain without having to swap them out for winter or summer tires. Their grip works great in both wet and dry seasons, and many can even be used on mud and light snow. They can be used all year long on roads that have been plowed and treated.
As one of the most popular brand names of tires in the world, Michelin is headquartered in Clermont-Ferrand, France. Its brand of tire is designed to improve road safety and last longer with an improved tire tread and functionality. An all-season tire Michelin is known for is the Michelin Defender LTX All-Season Tire.
Based out of Akron, Ohio, Goodyear is a household name. As one of the leading tire manufacturing companies of all time, Goodyear began in 1898 and was founded by Frank Seiberling. It makes a wide variety of tires fit for any season or occasion, including the Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max All-Season Radial Tire.
Firestone is headquartered in Nashville, Tenn., and was founded by Harvey S. Firestone. However, it originally started in Akron, Ohio in 1900. It began making rubber side-wire tires for fire trucks then moved on to pneumatic tires for wagons and buggies. It also was the original equipment supplier of Ford Motor Company. One of its best all-season tires is the Firestone All-Season Radial Tire.
This South Korean rubber manufacturer was founded in 1941 by Cho Hong Jai. Hankook designs tires for a selection of vehicles, including cars, SUVs, trucks, vans, buses, and trailers. A few other of its other products are batteries, brake pads, and wheels. One of Hankook’s all-season tires is the Hankook Kinergy GT All- Season Radial Tire.
All-Season Tires Pricing
- $50 to $100: Here, you will find all-season tires that work well on both dry and wet surfaces. However, they won’t have as much traction on snow or extreme winter conditions. They will still improve your fuel economy and traction control.
- Over $100: This price range will contain more products from name-brand manufacturers. They will also come with an improved tread that enhances the grip, traction, and durability of your ride. They might also be a little more quiet on the road, and their tread life will be more long-lasting.
Tire size is perhaps one of the most important things to keep in mind when buying new all-season tires. You can find the correct size from your vehicle’s owner's manual or from the sidewall markings on the OEM tires. For example, a tire marked with P215/60R15 means it has a width of 215 millimeters (8.5 inches) and a height equal to 60 percent of the tire's width.
There are three types of tread that all-season tires can come with: symmetrical, unidirectional, and asymmetrical. Symmetrical tread will be longer-lasting due to its groove patterns. These tires will wear down evenly to ensure you don’t burn through them quickly. Unidirectional tread all-season tires are designed to move in a single direction and are standard on most vehicles. They will need to be rotated more frequently to avoid being worn down more quickly. Asymmetrical patterns are more common in sports cars or muscle cars. That is because they are equipped with a much more durable grip at higher speeds.
The tire load range or capacity measures how many pounds it can carry efficiently. These are represented by letters on the sidewall that range from A through F. You should compare the average weight of your vehicle with the tires you are purchasing to ensure you get a pair of all-season tires that can hold the weight. Consider getting tires with a load capacity that is slightly higher than the weight of your vehicle to compensate for passengers and equipment.
- Shock Absorption.Riding around on tires that don’t provide you with a large amount of shock absorption is a great way to damage your vehicle. Tires able to absorb some of the ground’s harshest bumps will last longer and prevent you from being jostled, plus they give you a much smoother ride. The tires will soften each impact if designed correctly, even on a bumpy road.
- Safety. For those unaware, there is a code all tires must follow called the Uniform Tire Quality Grade (UTQG). It measures the various elements making up the tire, such as treatwear, traction, and resistance to temperatures, to determine the safety of your tires.
Best All-Season Tires Reviews & Recommendations 2019
Best Overall: Michelin Defender LTX All-Season Tire
This is a durable, all-season tire designed with improved performance and traction for light trucks, SUVs, and crossovers. With Michelin’s patented Evertread compound, the tires are able to last up to 10 percent longer in severe weather conditions. They are also M/S rated, making them capable of handling both muddy terrain and snowy conditions.
One of the biggest benefits of the Defender brand of all-season tires is the grip. The tires offer shorter wet stopping distances in case of emergencies. Plus, with their MaxTouch construction, the tires help conserve the vehicle’s fuel economy, saving you money at the pump. They also come equipped with a directional tread design, independent treat blocks, and high-density sipes to enhance traction on wet and dry roads.
You may find a few noteworthy dislikes with these tires, however. They are stiff and can make for an uncomfortable ride over holes and bumpy roads. Another downside is the tires can heat up and cool down rather quickly on the drive. This pressure can make the rubber less dense and therefore weaker, which may lead to a flat or blowout. You also won’t get much traction in deep snow, making them poor winter tires.
Goodyear’s Assurance Fuel Max tires provide a comfortable and sturdy grip on wet surfaces all year round. As an added benefit, all the tires come with a low rolling resistance tread design that reduces energy loss in the tire as it travels. This helps to improve the vehicle’s fuel economy, whether it’s a car, coupe, van, or crossover. Internally, the tire's structure includes two steel belts and a polyester casing that enhances their durability, stability, and ride quality.
The all-season tread compound material features unique inboard and outboard tread zones for a tougher design. The all-season tires also include strong shoulder blocks that enhance their handling in dry conditions. That paired with a wet tread zone feature and dual Aquachannel grooves make the rubber more water-resistant in rainy weather. The tread also comes with a notched center rib and circumferential shoulder grooves to improve the performance of the tires in the snow.
One drawback of these tires is the durability of the sidewall tread may not be as strong as the main tread. You need to be careful not to rub or scuff them against a curb to avoid any scrapes or bruises. Also, if you are planning on driving in any type of snow, you won’t have much luck. They may work great in the rain or muddy surfaces, but their traction is poor in snowy conditions.
Honorable Mention: Firestone All-Season Radial Tire
If you are looking for a high-quality and long-lasting set of performance tires for your coupe, sedan, or sub-compact economy car, Firestone has you covered. These come with a hard and durable tread rubber that is molded into a pattern focused on grip and traction control. This makes them capable of being driven on icy and snow-covered roads with an excellent grip on wet surfaces. They are also designed with circumferential grooves and cuts to evacuate water quickly.
It’s that design that makes them especially good at expelling water at higher rates of speed. The tires are developed with an extra layer of rubber under the tread to absorb irregularities, like bumps, divots, and potholes in the road. All of these enhanced features combined means they can lower your fuel economy, save money, and provide you with a more comfortable ride.
A major downside to these tires is their short tread life. While they are a radial tire and therefore are more durable, they are only rated to last up to a maximum of 50,000 miles before the rubber treads begin to wear down. They can also be on the loud side when it comes to driving on the highway and in dry conditions.
- Rotate your tires every 6,000 to 8,000 miles. Routine maintenance will ensure the tread is even and the tires remain in good shape.
- Make sure to check the amount of tire pressure in each tire before setting off on a trip. This is especially true when there is a swift shift in temperatures. Check the manufacturer's guidelines to see their proper levels.
- If you are worried your tread may be deteriorating, you can check the level by using the penny test. Insert a penny into the tire’s tread groove with President Lincoln’s head upside down. If you can see all of his head, the tread depth is too low and needs to be replaced.
- To prevent a possible blowout, you should never drive the tires beyond their speed rating. You can find this by reading the last letter on the sidewall of the tire, which can be either an S, T, H, or V. This only applies to a new tire that has not been damaged by a puncture or tear.
Q: What is the difference between all-season and all-terrain tires?
A: All-season tires provide your vehicle with traction on roads all year round. They perform the best on smooth, normal road surfaces, especially in the rain, and are more fuel-efficient. All-terrain tires are best off road and are made up of thicker treads and more robust materials to handle nearly any terrain.
Q: How often should I check the tire pressure?
A: Consider checking the tire pressure of each all-season tire once a month or before any major journey. Another time to check them is with any major shift in temperature. A sudden change from intense heat to extreme cold may decrease the maximum pressure in the tires.
Q: How do I check for signs of damage?
A: Look over your tires, and you should be able to spot any signs of wear and tear. Tires that are underinflated will show signs on the outer edges. You may also notice bumps or bubbles on the sidewall, indicating one of the belts may be separated.
For a great long-lasting, all-season tire with excellent control on wet surfaces, consider the Michelin Defender LTX All-Season Tire.
Save a bit of cash and still get one of the best all-season tires with the Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max All-Season Radial Tire