Best Low Profile Tires: Best Picks for High Performance
Upgrade the look and handling of your car with these top low-profile tires
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PUBLISHED ON October 8, 2019
Many sports cars feature low-profile tires, which improve handling and performance. These tires give you more grip on paved roads and, combined with large rims and brakes, they also help you stop faster. Low-profile tires are also really sleek looking. If you're a fan of big rims with less rubber, check out the top low-profile tires on the market.
- Best OverallContinental Extreme Contact All-Season Radial TireSummarySummaryThis ultra-high performance, all-season tires feature X-Sipe technology to improve braking, cornering, and acceleration in the rain, snow, and ice. The tires come with a 50,000-mile limited mileage warranty.ProsProsThe SportPlus Technology provides precise handling and security on wet, slippery roads. They have a good tread life and are less noisy than some of their competitors.ConsConsThey can wear out quickly if they are under or overinflated. They also don't perform particularly well in snowy conditions.
- Best ValueHankook Ventus S1 Noble2 Performance Radial TireSummarySummaryThese all-season tires are designed to handle well in both dry, wet, and light snow conditions. The sidewalls feature high-hardness bead fillers and casing plies that foster improved handling and steering response.ProsProsThe Hankook tires are well made, have a good tread pattern, and are grippy. They are also moderately quiet, sharper, and more responsive than some competing brands.ConsConsThe biggest problem with these tires is the tread wears down quickly. Also, they don't perform very well in the snow.
- Honorable MentionMichelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+ All Season Performance Radial TireSummarySummaryThese tires feature an Extreme Silica+ compound that helps the tires stay grippy when wet, and large rain grooves and 3-D sipes help prevent hydroplaning.ProsProsThese tires stick to the road, even in the cold weather, and they are terrific in the rain. Overall ride quality and handling is excellent, and they go over bumps nicely.ConsConsOne of the biggest complaints about these tires is that they tend to be very noisy. They also may wear down rather quickly, which is common with many low-profile brands.
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- While low-profile tires provide better grip, they also wear out faster than other types of tires. Their soft compounds improve traction, but the rubber doesn't last as long, so you may need to replace them more often.
- Low-profile tires are typically louder than other tires because they have a wider contact patch area. The wider areas have more grooves, which foster more airflow, making them noisier. They also include extra reinforcements, which makes them louder.
- Low-profile tires should not be used for off-roading. They have a stiff tread, so they don't handle well on uneven surfaces. The sidewalls are also less flexible, which isn't good on bumpy roads.
Q: Are low-profile tires less comfortable than regular tires?
A: Low-profile tires tend to have less cushioning than standard tires due to the extra height in the larger sidewalls. You are more likely to feel the bumps on the road than you are with regular tires.
Q: Can low-profile tires be used on any type of car?
A: Low-profile tires can be used on a variety of cars, including models by VW, Honda, Audi, and Lexus as well as luxury brands. But unless your car comes with low-profile tires from the factory, you may need to upgrade other parts of your vehicle to accommodate them. This includes the suspension, rims, and brakes.
Q: Do low-profile tires have run-flat technology?
A: Some brands offer this technology. When you get a flat tire, run-flat technology allows you to drive as far as 50 miles even if the tire completely deflates. Since low-profiles have less air than other types of tires, it's easy to incorporate this type of technology into them.
Our pick for the best low-profile tires is the Continental Extreme Contact All-Season Radial Tire. They perform well in a variety of conditions, aren't as loud as some competing brands, and come with a 50,000-mile warranty.
For a more budget-friendly option, consider the Hankook Ventus S1 Noble2 Performance Radial Tire.