Best All-Season Tires: Our Top Picks for 2022

No matter the weather, your car’s only as good as its contact patches.

byMichael Febbo| UPDATED Nov 4, 2022 12:16 PM
Best All-Season Tires: Our Top Picks for 2022
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A thousand times, you’ve heard it. To be honest, I’m a bit tired of writing it. But, sing along because you know the words: Your car’s tires are its most important component. The boostiest of turbos, the anti-lockiest of brakes, and the hyperactivest of suspension are all irrelevant without grip. Some of you — and you know who you are — still don’t listen. You happily buy some cheap SkidMarxMaster-9000 that the guy at the tire shop gets a satin jacket for foisting a dozen sets on the uneducated public.

Lucky for you, we’re tire aficionados here at The Drive. I especially get a weird pleasure from writing about the best all-season tires, as I have for almost 20 years of writing tire buyer’s guides. Tires make or break your car’s performance, so take them seriously.

Best Overall

Continental ExtremeContact DWS06 Plus

Summary
An all-season tire that gives up very little dry road performance for grip in wet and snowy conditions. This will satisfy owners with good response, great ride quality, low noise, and even a long life.
Pros
  • Summer tire levels of grip on dry roads
  • Acceptable price with great wear
  • Feels like a great compromise without a noticeable sacrifice
Cons
  • Could use just a little more precision
  • Hard driving in summer months will hurt snow performance
Best Value

Sumitomo HTR A/S P03

Summary
There are less expensive tires out there, but not better values. Expect good warm performance with impressive winter grip. You get most of the top-level performance but sacrifice some wear and have to deal with more road noise.
Pros
  • Anywhere from 20 to 40 percent lower price than top names
  • Performs well above price in the snow
  • Good ride quality and enjoyable to drive
Cons
  • Road noise can be high on bad surfaces
  • Doesn’t offer high-end steering feel
Honorable Mention

Michelin Pilot Sport All Season 4

Summary
If your main concern is performance, this is your tire. It offers the most grip and precision of any all-season. You will give up some comfort and predictably for slightly more grip. The lower lap times will come at a higher purchase price.
Pros
  • More grip than some summer tires
  • High-performance cars won’t feel compromised
  • Widely available, so replacements will be easy to get
Cons
  • Ride harshness and noise might be too much for luxury car drivers
  • Great grip but not as communicative at the limit as others
Why Trust Us

Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

Learn more

A thousand times, you’ve heard it. To be honest, I’m a bit tired of writing it. But, sing along because you know the words: Your car’s tires are its most important component. The boostiest of turbos, the anti-lockiest of brakes, and the hyperactivest of suspension are all irrelevant without grip. Some of you — and you know who you are — still don’t listen. You happily buy some cheap SkidMarxMaster-9000 that the guy at the tire shop gets a satin jacket for foisting a dozen sets on the uneducated public.

Lucky for you, we’re tire aficionados here at The Drive. I especially get a weird pleasure from writing about the best all-season tires, as I have for almost 20 years of writing tire buyer’s guides. Tires make or break your car’s performance, so take them seriously.

Summary List 

Best Heavy Snow Use: Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4

Our Methodology

It's not easy selecting a “best” in any tire category. The category of all-season tires is probably the toughest group in which to narrow down top picks, as this is one of the broadest use-cases out there. I live in the desert; I rarely see rain and more rarely, snow. In summer, temperatures can surpass 115 degrees Fahrenheit, but in the winter, freezing temperatures mean I can’t run summer tires year-round. Some all-season tires are slanted towards winter performance; others, warm dry roads. Some emphasize grip over wear or noise. When selecting tires, I lean towards more grip in the greatest variety of conditions. Price is a factor, but value is more important to me.

I have been testing tires professionally for nearly 20 years. From trucks to passenger cars to supercars, I’ve driven all categories. I’ve visited research facilities and factories all over the world. Driven at secret proving grounds and more racetracks than I can count. I’ve piloted freakin’ blimps, man. I’ve seen stuff – lots of tire stuff. 

Besides my knowledge and experience, Tire Rack’s vast resources were consulted as well. It contains hours of reading for those of you interested in brushing up on your tire knowledge as well as testing data on a huge variety of different products.

Best All-Season Tires Reviews & Recommendations

Specs

  • UTQG: 560 AA A
  • Country Manufactured: Brazil, Czech Republic, Germany, Portugal, Romania, USA
  • Speed Rating: W, Y

Pros

  • Good grip in dry, wet, and snowy conditions
  • Excellent ride quality
  • Long-wearing tire
  • Molded in wear indicators for different conditions

Cons

  • Grip of a summer tire without precision
  • Loses usefulness in the snow without much wear

All tires are a compromise of wear, noise, ride quality, price, and grip. I’ve been testing tires professionally since the early 2000s. Continental’s ExtremeContact DWS06 Plus is the best all-around tire I have ever driven on. Twenty years ago, to get the wear, noise, and ride quality of the DWS06, you would have to buy a touring tire that offered very little grip. In dry and wet conditions, the DWS offers the performance of all but the best pure summer tires. It may not quite match the feel and precision of a modern summer performance tire, but you get impressive amounts of grip in snow and slush as a tradeoff. The “Plus” in the latest DWS06 name lets you know it’s the latest version, which performs better in braking than previous versions. The tire uses common dual-layer sidewall plies but has a stiffening insert to increase grip while still allowing flex for ride quality. The tread pattern uses large shoulder blocks for dry grip but employs X-siping to maximize edges for snow. The large circumferential grooves, along with high-angle diagonal grooves effectively fight hydroplaning. If you don’t believe me that this is a great tire, it is also the highest-rated all-season tire by consumers on the Tire Rack website.

Specs

  • UTQG: 540, 640 A A
  • Country Manufactured: Japan, Thailand
  • Speed Rating: H, V, W

Pros

  • Depending on size, 20 to 40 percent less expensive than top of class
  • Great light-snow performance
  • Provides good ride quality and decent subjective handling

Cons

  • Road noise may be excessive on anything but perfect surfaces
  • Could provide more steering feel

Tires aren’t always a product that you get what you pay for. But, there is definitely a low-end threshold for a true performance all-season tire. The Sumitomo HTR A/S P03 is going to be anywhere from 20 to 40 percent less expensive than top performers in the class, depending on size. This recently redesigned tire is a big step up from its predecessor. If, like me, you drove the P02 and weren’t impressed, the P03 offers a big improvement. A redesigned tread pattern channels water much more efficiently while siping innovation has increased traction in snow and ice. Sumitomo calls it Miura-Ori, which is a style of origami. It uses repeating mirrored parallelograms sharing one edge each so when folded, they match up. Using these shapes for the sipes in tread blocks allows them to interconnect when deforming under load. In low grip conditions, the sipes biting edges are exposed to cut into snow and ice, but as the tire is worked harder, the blocks interlock making them stiffer for better grip and response. No, interlocking blocks aren’t new, but they do work. While the Sumitomo is good in dry and wet conditions, I chose it for the best value because it outshines other value-based performance all-season tires in objective light snow testing. Braking, lateral grip, and response are nearly as good as the best in this category. It isn’t as rewarding subjectively as the best, but you’re saving money, you can’t have everything. You will also have to put up with more road noise than more expensive choices, and maybe just a slightly shorter lifespan. But, all things considered, for the average driver, this is more than enough tire to make you happy.

Specs

  • UTQG: 540 AA A
  • Country Manufactured: France, Hungary, Mexico, USA
  • Speed Rating: V, W, Y

Pros

  • More grip than some summer performance tires
  • One of the stiffest all-season tires makes it one of the most responsive
  • All-season tire aimed at aggressive drivers

Cons

  • Ride quality could be better
  • Road noise might be unacceptable in particularly quiet luxury cars

Michelin is the best tire company in the world. It produces the best performance tires, has been pushing the industry forward for years, and is the preferred tire of most of the world’s supercar builders — so why is the Pilot Sport All Season 4 a runner-up? It gives up too much in pursuit of a slight advantage in objective performance. A very skilled driver may turn the fastest lap on this tire, but who is racing on an all-season tire? What you sacrifice is more road noise, a harsher ride, less confidence, and price. Don’t get me wrong, this is still a fantastic tire. The entire Pilot Sport lineup is world class and the All Season 4 is no exception. It provides great grip, it will turn a lap time and return braking performance comparable to many summer tires. It has a nice precise feel, although it can be a little dead on center, and responds quickly and predictably to inputs. If you are driving this tire at limits, it doesn’t give as much warning as the Continental and isn’t as progressive in breakaway. In the snow, the Michelin Pilot Sport All Season 4 performs well. The tire uses a proprietary Extreme Silica compound as well as Helio Technology, which is marketing speak for an additive derived from sunflower oil, which according to Michelin, allows the tread to maintain its suppleness and grip in freezing temperatures. Michelin also uses a 360-degree siping pattern, which presumably keeps those sipes working at high slip angles — the most enjoyable part of snow driving.

Specs

  • UTQG: NA
  • Country Manufactured: France, Hungary
  • Speed Rating: V, W

Pros

  • Superpowers in snow that still delivers in the dry
  • Decent dry road ride quality
  • Real snow performance that still delivers V or W speed rating

Cons

  • Prolonged or aggressive use on dry roads will wear them out quickly
  • All those little sipes want to sing on pavement

This tire isn’t really an all-season but is considered all-weather. True all-season tires are meant for use in dry, wet, and light snow. But what if you require real snow performance with some occasional dry road ability? Maybe you live on a mountain that gets heavy snow, but your commute is down the mountain with miles of roads with no snow at all? The Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4 is the tire you’re looking for. Having driven the Alpin PA4 mounted on sports cars and sports sedans back to back with the same cars using all-season tires, the difference is incredible. I’m talking rear-wheel drive versus all-wheel drive differences in grip. Just looking at it, Michelin’s high-density Stabiligrip 3D Siping makes the Alpin look like a caricature of a snow tire with sharp cuts and slashes seemingly everywhere and in every direction. All those edges mean big grip in cornering, accelerating, and braking. It also means that every one of those little edges is going to produce its own little sound every time it hits and leaves the pavement. These aren’t quiet tires. But, even with remarkable snow performance, they also deliver good dynamics in dry and wet conditions, unlike most competitors. While snow tires usually rely on the compliance of the snow for ride quality, the Alpin provides a supple enough ride when it has to do the flexing. Michelin’s Helio Compound also stays flexible in extreme cold. Sunflower oil is blended in with the full silica-based tread compound which means besides being more stable in cold, it is also ever so slightly more environmentally friendly.
Best All Season Tires For SUV/CUV
Pirelli Scorpion Zero All Season Plus
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Specs

  • UTQG: 500 A A
  • Country Manufactured: Mexico
  • Speed Rating: Y

Pros

  • A true high-performance all-season tire specifically for SUVs
  • Surprisingly quiet even in massive sizes
  • Designed to make your SUV feel as much like a sports sedan as possible

Cons

  • High-performance comes with a high price
  • 20-inch are the small sizes

Sport utility and crossover vehicles have all but replaced the sports sedan, so it’s no wonder that one of the fastest growing segments in the performance tire market is designed specifically for them. Pirelli designed one of the first performance SUV tires for the now legendary Lamborghini LM002 back in 1986. The Scorpion Zero All-Season Plus is Pirelli’s answer for SUV drivers looking for a high-performance all-season tire made for the extra mass of their vehicles along with some light off-road abilities — read as parking at the farmer’s market. Pirelli relies on large circumferential grooves for water dispersion instead of chevron-shaped diagonal slashes across the tires like some competitors. Large shoulder blocks on the outside of the tread provide good grip and response for handling, while the inner shoulder and first line of circumferential blocks use what Pirelli calls “winter-focused zigzag sipes” for traction in snow — there’s got to be a sexier way to say that in Italian? The Scorpion Zero All-Season Plus provides a refined, but firmer ride. Pirelli utilizes pre-tensioning of the tires belt structure to control the amount, and shape of deflection under load. This allows the tire to flex more for road impacts, while it holds its shape more effectively in cornering. I have more laps on race tracks in fast SUVs than anyone should. I can tell you not only is it effective in delivering a responsive tire, but keeps tire wear even across the tread. This isn’t a value-focused tire, but if you’re looking for a new set of rubber for your $150,000 Porsche Cayenne, you probably can’t complain about the price of tires.

Our Verdict

My personal car is currently sitting on Continental ExtremeContact DWS06 Plus tires that I purchased for full price. As an automotive journalist with connections, that’s a big deal. The combination of grip that rivals several summer tires, having just about the best responsiveness and feedback of any all-season, along with nearly twice the lifespan of a summer tire made it an easy choice for me personally and for this guide.

If I would have been just a little more price sensitive when I made my purchase, or if I were recommending tires for a friend not as concerned with performance, the Sumitomo HTR A/S P03 is a great choice.  

Things to Consider Before Buying All-Season Tires

What You Need to Know About Your Car to Buy Tires

First, you should know the year, make, model, and trim level. Next, check your current tire size by looking at the sidewall of your tire. You will see a series of numbers like 225/40R18. The first number is the width, followed by the aspect ratio, then the wheel diameter. Also, check the speed and load rating, it will look like 95W. Don’t buy a tire with a load or speed rating lower than recommended by the manufacturer of your car. If you are unsure of what any of the above means, consult a professional when choosing tires.

Deciphering UTQG Standards

UTQG refers to Uniform Tire Quality Grade standards. The first number is treadwear, which is how long the tire is expected to last compared to an industry standard. A 500 treadwear tire is expected to last five times longer, a 600 is expected to last six times longer, and so on. The first letter is traction and is based on the coefficient of friction of the tire locked on a wet surface, the highest Grade is AA, then A, then B, with C being the lowest. The last letter is temperature. The tire is tested on a machine to measure at what speed the tire hits a specified temperature. The highest grade is A, then B, etc.

All-Season vs. All-Weather vs. Winter Tires

An all-season tire is sometimes referred to as a three-season tire. These tires work well on dry roads, wet roads, and even light snow. An all-weather tire has a 3PMSF rating for use in medium levels of packed snow, but can be used in all conditions. Winter tires, as the name suggests, are for severe snow duty and while they provide excellent traction on snow and ice, aren’t recommended for use on dry roads or in hot weather.

Determining the Best Type of Tire for Your Car

There is no perfect tire for all situations. In areas that get a few small snow storms per year, an all-season tire might be ideal. If you live in an area where traveling in moderate snow is a necessity, then an all-weather tire is going to be the better choice. If you get up in the morning and contemplate commuting on your snowmobile instead of your car, you probably want dedicated winter or snow tires that you use only a few months a year and use all-seasons for the rest of the year.

All-Season Tires Key Features

Size

Tire size is always written at least once on the tire sidewall. If you’ve bought a used car and aren’t sure if the tires it came with are the correct size, you can check the owner’s manual or an online tire size tool. 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. 

Tread Pattern 

All-season tires can come with three types of tread: symmetrical, unidirectional, and asymmetrical. The symmetrical tread will be longer-lasting as they can be rotated front to back and side to side without dismounting from the wheel. 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 as they use varying tread blocks for different purposes.

Load Index

The tire load index measures how many pounds it can carry efficiently. This is a rating determined by the tire manufacturer for each make, model, and size of tire. Your vehicle’s manufacturer will specify what Load Index is appropriate for your car. Never purchase tires with a lower load index than what the manufacturer recommends.

Shock Absorption

Riding around on tires with little to no compliance not only ruins your ride quality, but accelerates your need for alignments. Tires that are able to absorb some of the ground’s harshest bumps will last longer and will be a better option for any condition other than racing.

Warranty

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. 

Durability

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. 

Sound

Tires make noise, always. It’s physics — accept it. That noise comes from the rubber interacting with the road surface and from air being pushed through the tread. Some manufacturers spend more time minimizing noise than others. A few manufacturers have even started using sound insulation inside the tire to absorb noise. You can read reviews, but ultimately, what is excessive to one person might be completely acceptable to another.

Safety

Buying cheap tires or driving on worn out tires is the easiest way to ruin the performance and safety of your car. Shorter stopping distances, better handling response, and quicker acceleration are all benefits of high-quality, properly maintained tires.

All-Season Tire Pricing 

Asking “how much is a set of all-season tires” is like asking “how long is a piece of string?” The only answer is “it depends.” Our top choice, the DWS06 Plus, starts at right around $130. But, that’s for a 195/50-16, which is a pretty uncommon size. At the other end of the scale, you have a 295/25-22 which will set you back almost $400. Our value pick, the Sumitomo HTR A/S P03 starts under $100 and tops out around $250. Several websites will not only help you find your car’s tire size if you don’t know but will also allow you to compare different tires in the size you need, side-by-side. 

FAQs 

You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers!

Q: Can all-season tires be used year-round?

A: It depends on how much snow you’re going to encounter. All-season tires are meant for light snow. Heavy snow requires a winter or snow tire.

Q: What does M&S or M/S mean on the side of an all-season tire?

A: The letters M and S on a tire sidewall mean the tire has been rated for use in mud and snow based on a calculation of tread geometry. However, no actual testing has been done to verify the effectiveness of the tires.

Q: How do I buy tires online and get them installed?

A: Several online tire retailers work with shops in your area for installation. You can have the tires shipped directly to the shop after purchasing them online. In other situations, most tire shops will install new tires you’ve bought online, but the cost will be higher.

Q: What is silica and why do all tire companies talk about it?

A: Silica is a material added to rubber compounds that affects energy absorption. Grip and rolling resistance are both dependent on the tire’s energy absorption, also called hysteresis, and silica has allowed compound formulations to be low hysteresis during normal rolling for less rolling resistance, but also to have high hysteresis during higher grip demand for more grip. 

Q: What’s the correct air pressure for my car’s tires?

A: Look for a sticker in your car’s door jamb, glove box, or under the hood. If you can’t find a sticker, check your car’s owner’s manual.

Q: What does the 3PMSF snowflake on a sidewall mean?

A: Tires with a snowflake on a mountain symbol are all-weather tires and have been tested to meet or exceed an ASTM established standard for grip on medium-packed snow.