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It seems so simple: You want a set of all-season tires. How do you choose a set when tire manufacturers make wildly different claims? Some all-season tires claim to have extra traction on wet roads, and others claim to have a superior grip on snowy roads. The truth is, all-season tires are the jack of all trades. They aren’t especially superior at anything but perform decently in every season. And they’re a great option for someone who wants an affordable set of tires that can perform throughout the year in mild climates.
Our guide will help you find the perfect set of all-season tires for your car, truck, or SUV. We’ll help you understand what those fancy feature names mean and how to know which set will perform to your needs.
Michelin Defender LTX All-Season Tire
- Stops quickly on wet surfaces
- MaxTouch design to up fuel efficiency
- Includes specialized tread structure complete with dense build to enhance performance
- Somewhat rigid
- Lack forgiveness when you hit a pothole or a bump in the road
- Vulnerable to extreme heat and cold
- Not sufficient for winter driving
Yokohama Avid Touring S All-Season Tire
- Incorporate Tri-Plex tread treatment that prevents puncture risks
- Able to travel long distances without showing much wear
- Works even if there is snow on the ground
- Relatively heavy and can impact fuel mileage
- Air pressure alters quickly if exposed to drastic temperatures
- Tire density and toughness varies based on heat
Pirelli P4 Four-Season Radial Tire
- Have a T speed rating and can safely travel on all types of roads
- Size: 205/55R16 is fairly common
- Deep treads won’t wear down prematurely
- Can puncture when continually exposed to gravel roads
- Deep treads can trap matter from road and compromise tires
- Balance changes quickly if not rotated regularly
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Best All-Season Tires Reviews & Recommendations
Michelin makes some of the best tires around and these Defender LTX All-Seasons are designed to hold traction with the ground, regardless of whether it's wet or dry. Made primarily for SUVs and light trucks, they have a solid load capacity and their Evertread compound (a patented formula by Michelin) can increase their lifespan by 10 percent in extreme weather conditions. Among the top advantages of the Defender tire line is the ability to grip firmly and evenly. As a result, they are capable of bringing you to a halt more quickly on wet ground and their well-balanced structure clings steadily to the road surface.
Keep in mind that these tires can be quite rigid. Intense rides can make these tires heat up prematurely, which can wear down the rubber itself and, in extreme cases, this can lead to a blowout. However, when properly cared for and used in the correct seasons, they make a fantastic addition to your ride.
- Brand: Michelin
- Vehicle Type: Light Truck
- Speed Rating: T
- Evertread compound
- Excellent wet and snow traction
- Shorter wet stopping distances
- MaxTouch construction
- Feel rigid
- Premature heating
When you’re looking for a tire that will give you better command over your vehicle, turn to the Yokohama Avid Touring S All-Season Tire. Not only do these tires come at a reasonable price point, but they are also able to take you to high speeds while retaining stability. As an OEM replacement for a wide range of vans and sedans, these popular tires offer quality performance that matches the vehicle’s handling. By featuring Tri-Plex technology on the tread exterior, you don’t have to worry a lot about punctures.
And their design helps your fuel mileage, which makes these tires a terrific value. However, the rubber material in the tire makes the air pressure sensitive to heat and cold. This can impact the tires’ performance, which can see you filling them up more often than others.
- Brand: Yokohama
- Vehicle Type: Sedans, coupes, and family vans
- Speed Rating: S or T
- Tri-Plex tread compound
- Symmetric tread design
- Silent Shoulder variable tread block sizes
- Twin Rail Stability Rib
- Sensitive to heat and cold
- Can easily crack
Featuring radial layering of the rubber, the Pirelli P4 Four Season Radial Tires have a sturdy build that can get you through almost any weather and road conditions. They are made out of tough rubber, meant to resist abrasion at the base without compromising your traction. These tires are secure to use in wet spring conditions, during the summer, and fall when traveling on potentially wet, leaf-strewn roads.
According to Pirelli, they won’t wear down prematurely, so long as you rotate them at the proper times. Keep in mind that the deep treads can trap particulates, so check on them occasionally to prevent rocks and debris from wearing them down during travel.
- Brand: Pirelli
- Vehicle Type: Passenger car touring
- Speed Rating: T
- Variable angle grooves
- Reinforced shoulders
- Enhance grip and steering response
- Long tread life
- Deep treads can trap particulates
- Loses traction on wet or snowy roads
Upgrade the look and ride of your vehicle with this high-end all-season tire that has Michelin’s Full Ring Velour Premium Touch sidewall treatment that improves the tire’s side profile. The rubber compound has an Extreme Silica Compound with Helio+ Technology that uses sustainable sunflower oil, which improves road grip while helping to keep rubber pliable in cold temperatures. The Dynamic Response Technology actively distributes the force on the tire to ensure even contact with the road. In addition, full-depth grooves and 360-degree variable sipes help channel water away from the tire to prevent hydroplaning.
The drawback of this tire is that the tread wears quickly, but this is because people with sporty vehicles or those with more powerful engines tend to be heavier on the gas and brake pedals. There’s also a lot more road noise with these tires because the tread pattern has an aggressive tread block and groove pattern.
- Brand: Michelin
- Vehicle Type: Supercar
- Speed Rating: Y
- Full Ring Velour Premium Touch sidewall treatment
- Asymmetric tread pattern
- Extreme Silica+ tread compound
- Helio+ technology
- Tread wears quickly
- Lots of road noise
- Can blow out along the inner wall
While an all-season tire can’t give you the same level of performance as a true supercar performance tire, this Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric All-Season does its best. The asymmetric tread pattern mimics the race-inspired handling of true performance tires on both wet and dry roads with more rubber contact with the road. The dual-zone tread design sheds water and slush for better traction, and the Tredlock Technology has microgrooves for more biting edges. Another standout quality of this tire is its high-speed rating, making it safer than others on this list to drive at faster speeds.
Unfortunately, this tire is noisy and gives your car a harsh ride. This can make the ride less enjoyable and the edges also wear out faster than other all-season tires.
- Brand: Goodyear
- Vehicle Type:
- Speed Rating: W
- Dry handling zone
- Asymmetric tread pattern
- Microgroove biting edges
- Cornering stability
- Edges wear out fast
- Harsh ride
If you have a crossover or SUV, then these ecologically friendly tires will help you achieve better fuel economy. The rubber compound in these Continental CrossContacts has Tg-F Polymers and +Silane additives that help the tire grip the road while also not reducing your fuel economy. When the tires are new, you’ll enjoy a quiet ride thanks to the angled design of the tread grooves, and the symmetrical design and wrap-around tread blocks help give you responsive handling. A nice feature is the four wide circumferential grooves that improve traction on wet roads.
The biggest problem with these tires is that the tread chips away. You may see the tread blocks cracking and tearing away from the tire. This leaves chunks missing, which leads to more vibration and noise while driving.
- Brand: Continental
- Vehicle Type: SUV and truck
- Speed Rating: H
- Responsive steering
- Quiet ride
- Symmetrical tread design
- Four circumferential grooves
- Tread chips away
- Creates vibration
When you have a larger and heavier vehicle, you need a tire that’s capable of supporting that extra weight and demand. These SUV and truck all-season tires use Adaptive-Traction Technology with a five-rib all-terrain pattern for improved traction. The Micro-Gauge Zigzag Sipes, Aqua Vac Channels, and Patented Snow-Groove Technology all create a tread pattern that is supposed to give you better traction on wet and lightly snowy roads. The many angles of the zigzag patterns give you excellent handling and responsiveness.
The biggest drawback of this tire is that it becomes stiff in freezing temperatures, which reduces traction and handling and makes the tire unsafe. These tires perform best in milder climates. The tread is also not durable to gravel and rough driving surfaces. You may experience the tread block chipping off.
- Brand: Cooper
- Vehicle Type: Truck or SUV
- Speed Rating: S
- Aqua Vac channels
- Five-rib all-terrain pattern
- Micro-gauge zigzag sipes
- Adaptive-traction technology
- Unsafe in freezing temperatures
- Tread not durable on gravel
Best for Cold WeatherGoodyear Assurance WeatherReady All-Season Radial TireCheck Latest Price
Goodyear wants you to be ready for any type of weather with these durable all-season tires. The rubber compound uses soybean oil, which helps the tire to stay pliable when the temperatures drop and this unique rubber compound helps the tire earn Severe Snow Certification. However, this doesn't mean the tire will perform as well as winter or snow tires. The tire also has an asymmetrical tread pattern with Weather Reaction Technology and Evolving Traction Grooves with Tredlock. The deep and flared wide grooves lock together when cornering to give you more biting edges and better traction on wet roads.
Unfortunately, these tires create a lot of road noise. This is partially due to the tread pattern with the large blocks and groove design. You compromise a quiet ride to have the increased traction ability. You may also see that the tread wears away faster than other all-season tires.
- Brand: Goodyear
- Vehicle Type:
- Speed Rating: H
- Asymmetric tread pattern
- Evolving Traction Grooves
- Soybean oil in the rubber compound
- Weather Reactive Technology
- Loud road noise
- Fast treadwear
Our Verdict on All-Season Tires
Our top pick for the best all-season tire is the Michelin Defender LTX All-Season Tire because it is durable, helps with fuel efficiency, and has a specialized tread for enhanced performance. For a more affordable option, the Yokohama Avid Touring S All-Season Tire has slow treadwear and a Tri-Plex tread treatment to prevent punctures.
What to Consider When Buying All-Season Tires
All-season tires are ideal for mild climates that don't experience steady freezing temperatures and snow. While you sacrifice peak performance at the more extreme weather conditions, you can look for an all-season tire that suits your other needs. Perhaps you are looking for increased comfort, or maybe you need a set of tires that can stand up to your heavy-duty driving. Buying a sub-type of all-season tire can help them last longer and better performance.
Types of All-Season Tires
A touring tire is one that’s focused on ride quality and comfort. They have more flex and larger sidewalls to give more cushion, which smooths out the ride by helping to minimize bumps and jarring. They also have a tread pattern that’s designed to reduce road noise. A touring all-season tire is considered a step up from the basic all-season tires, which means they are also more expensive. You’ll find that many new cars, trucks, and SUVs come with touring all-season tires as stock equipment as manufacturers use them to give their vehicles the best ride possible while also having a good general use tire that reliably performs in various driving conditions.
Sport coupes and sedans can benefit from having a set of performance all-season tires. These are tires designed to give you a better grip during acceleration and braking, along with more responsive handling. However, you won’t have the same level of grip and handling that you would from pure performance tires. Tires that are designed to have more performance qualities typically use a softer rubber compound and won’t last as long as other tire types. The softer rubber grips the pavement better but also isn’t as durable. This is usually made worse by more aggressive driving that happens when people own sportier cars.
Heavy-duty all-season tires are made to withstand more weight and rougher terrain than the standard all-season tire. They won’t be as strong or as durable as all-terrain, off-roading, or true heavy-duty tires. However, they will give you an extra boost in durability. These tires typically have thicker sidewalls and more aggressive tread. The heftier construction makes the tires stronger and capable of supporting more weight. The thicker and more aggressive tread helps you have better traction on gravel, dirt, and sand while also preventing punctures.
All-Season Tires Key Features
There are tires manufactured for every vehicle size (and there are usually a few options). To find the proper size, check your owner's manual or consult an online size checker where you can search a database. You can also take a look at the sidewall on your car’s tire.
Read the markings as follows: First is a letter representing the type of car (P for passenger, etc.). Next is the width in millimeters. Behind the forward slash is the height, calculated as a percent of the width, followed by a letter noting the construction (R for radial layer lines, etc.). The final number is the wheel's diameter in inches: a sample tire marking is P215/60R15.
All-season tires can come with three types of tread: symmetrical, unidirectional, and asymmetrical. The symmetrical tread will be longer-lasting due to its groove patterns as 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 on sports cars or muscle cars because this gives them more 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 can read it in terms of pressure, where a C-rated tire lies at 50 pounds per square inch and an F-rated tire rings in at 95. The load capacity of the tires must always be higher than what your car weighs. You have to account for the contents of the vehicle in addition to the diminished fuel efficiency resulting from overweighting your tires.
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 that are 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.
A lot of tire manufacturers offer warranties against defects and issues with tread. Some even guarantee the tires’ durability based on mileage. Though it won’t stop your tire from wearing down, it can buffer the cost of getting new tires. Be sure to keep records of your maintenance to get the value of the agreement.
One good way to think about durability is to consult the warranty and see the maintenance demands. All tires need to be rotated, but if the tread is even and the rubber itself is of a high enough quality, you will get the tire for much longer.
Although your tires should absorb shock and buffer the bumps against your car, it isn’t the same as quieter ones. If the air gap in the tread is too substantial, you can end up hearing a pesky wind noise when you drive. Generally, this diminishes over time, but it can be unpleasant.
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 treadwear, traction, and resistance to temperatures, to determine the safety of your tires.
All-Season Tire Brands
A huge name in the tire industry, Michelin has its roots in France. Dedicated to crafting high-quality tires for all types of vehicles, it remains one of the leading purveyors of top-grade tires. Meant to improve overall safety and fuel efficiency, its tires are a staple worldwide.
Originating in Ohio, this American brand is known for its automotive supplies (and its iconic Goodyear Blimp). Dating back to the late 19th century, this brand evolved into one of the top suppliers of tires on the international market.
Based in Tennessee, this company came to be at the turn of the 20th century. Initially a manufacturer of industrial tires and supplies, it continued to produce quality products. This led the brand to be chosen as the go-to factory for Ford Motors. The root of its namesake lies in its crafting side-wire tires for firetrucks as one of its original products.
Opening its doors in 1941 in South Korea, this tire designer focuses on variety. It manufactures supplies for all types of vehicles, ranging from compact cars to long-haul trucks. Among its other supplies are automotive parts such as brake pads and wheel parts.
Founded in Hanover, Germany, Continental is known as a high-end tire company that is one of the world leaders in producing performance-oriented tires. With a track record of more than 150 years of innovation and development, car enthusiasts trust its tires.
Founded in Italy in 1872, Pirelli is one of the most well-known names in tires. The company made a name for itself on the track by producing high-performance racing tires. Its tires use highly specialized rubber compounds to improve the performance of your vehicle.
Founded in Japan in 1917, the Yokohama Rubber Company produces high-quality rubber products for distribution throughout the world and use in a wide variety of industries. The company’s philosophy stresses a passionate and energetic pursuit of quality.
Founded in 1914, Cooper tires is the fifth-largest American tire manufacturer. Its tires are distributed to 15 countries. Today, the company is owned by Goodyear. Car owners depend on Cooper for reliable and durable tires that can consistently deliver.
All-Season Tires Pricing
While you can find budget tires for less than $100, they tend not to last or perform well. As a result, you’ll need to replace them sooner, which ends up costing you more in the long run. Quality tires typically cost between $100 and $200. They will reliably perform and last you a decent amount of miles. They have durable rubber compounds and tread patterns that perform well in a variety of road conditions. High-end tires are typically over $200 and use special rubber compounds, and have specific driving conditions or habits in mind. Vehicles with unique wheel sizes, such as sportscars, also require more expensive tires.
Tips and Tricks
As with something you do for decades upon decades, you pick up a few tips and tricks along the way in terms of selecting the right product, and/or using it. That’s the case with us and all-season tires. To help you bridge the information gap, here’s a selection of what we’ve learned along the way.
- Know the optimal pressure of your tires and check it regularly. Each time you leave for a lengthy ride, check the pressure on each tire. Sometimes the kick-check trick works, but you can always opt for a tire pressure gauge and get an exact metric. It’s especially important when the weather (or season) changes.
- Be sure to rotate your tires regularly to avoid issues with the tread wearing down unevenly. Yes, it will wear down eventually, but it doesn’t have to be too soon. To stay on the cautious end, rotate every 6,000 miles, though you can get away with every 8,000 miles, but not much more.
- Make sure you check tire tread as you go to keep an eye on tire quality. There are tread depth gauges on the market, or you can assess tread wear with household items like a quarter.
- Stick to the speed rating since tires are built to travel at specific speeds. Look at the sidewall of the vehicle and look at the last letter. You can get a lot of info from these markings if you know how to read tire sizes.
- Watch out for load capacity: avoid blowouts by factoring in the weight of the vehicle and its contents.
You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers!
Q: Can you use all-season tires in the winter?
A: Whether or not you can use all-season tires in winter will depend on the winter conditions. All-season tires cannot perform as well as winter tires in ice, snow, or heavy rain. The rubber stiffens and can cause a loss of traction, as the tread on all-season tires isn’t as aggressive as winter tires.
Q: What is the difference between all-weather and all-season tires?
A: All-season tires provide your vehicle with traction on roads for most of the year. 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 long do all-season tires last?
A: All-season tires stand out in terms of tread durability—most will last up to 70,000 miles with proper rotation and maintenance, while lower-quality models will work for around 50,000 miles. These distances assume that you’re driving reasonably and taking care of the tires themselves. Most warranties assume that you drive 12,000 miles a year. If three-quarters of that are on all-season tires, you should get about six years out of the tires.
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.
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