Reviews

Best Touring Tires: Cruise in Comfort

A set of touring tires will give you improved handling in all seasons

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BY Andra DelMonico / LAST UPDATED ON December 23, 2019

Having the right tires on your car can completely change the car’s performance. Quality tires can improve your gas mileage, ride, braking, and handling. Buying higher-quality tires also means you have to replace them less often. If this isn’t enough, you also need to think about the climate where you drive. Touring tires are designed to provide quality performance throughout the different seasons. We recommend you replace your tires with one of the touring tires in our guide below.

Best Overall
Cooper CS5 Grand Touring Radial Tire
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Summary
Summary

This tire uses a new technology of silica compounds. There are 3D micro-gauged grooves to channel water away. The tread has an asymmetrical pattern. 

Pros
Pros
  • Unique tread pattern
  • Asymmetrical tread design prevents uneven tread wear
Cons
Cons
  • Some tires experience tread separation
  • Limited vehicle compatibility
Best Overall
Cooper CS5 Grand Touring Radial Tire
Best Value
GT Radial Champiro Radial Tire
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Summary
Summary

This tire will help your new car or crossover perform to its full ability. The tread pattern features broad circumferential grooves with plenty of sipes for grippy edges.

Pros
Pros
  • Rim protector 
  • Low noise tread design
Cons
Cons
  • Reduction in fuel economy
  • Shorter tread lif
Best Value
GT Radial Champiro Radial Tire
Honorable Mention
Firestone All-Season Touring Tire
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Summary
Summary

This all-season touring tire delivers a pleasing blend of comfort and performance. It has four wide circumferential grooves and deep sipes for channeling water.

Pros
Pros
  • Tread block wrap around shoulder 
  • Performance rubber compound
Cons
Cons
  • Doesn’t perform well in winter 
  • Doesn’t channel heavy rains well
Honorable Mention
Firestone All-Season Touring Tire

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Benefits of Touring Tires

  • Ride comfort. You’ll notice an increase in ride comfort, as touring tires tend to have larger aspect ratios. This means that there is a larger sidewall, which creates more air cushioning to absorb bumps in the road. 
  • Responsive handling. Touring tires tend to handle better because they have large aspect ratios and more aggressive tread. You’ll find that they grip the road when driving in inclement weather conditions. They also perform well when driving at high speeds. 
  • Versatility. Touring tires are designed to work in a wide variety of driving conditions. This means the rubber is built to last, and you’re able to drive from one season to the next without having to change out your tires.  

Types of Touring Tires

Grand Touring Tires

These tires will give you decent traction year-round, including in light snow. The tires are a pleasant mix of appealing looks and a smooth, quiet ride. These are typical of what vehicle manufacturers use as OEM equipment. The performance emphasis is on handling to create safe driving conditions at high speeds. 

Grand Touring Summer Tires

These are warm-weather tires that work best in dry or wet conditions. Do not use these tires to drive in light snow or ice. These tires are used as OEM equipment when manufacturers know the vehicles are going to warmer climate markets. The tires blend appealing looks with a comfortable ride and smooth handling. 

Standard Touring All-Season Tires

These are all-season general use tires that provide decent traction and performance in a wide variety of driving conditions. They’ll give you a smooth ride and decent handling. You’ll find that they have lower speed ratings and larger aspect ratios. This places an emphasis on ride comfort. 

Crossover and SUV Touring All-Season Tires

These touring tires are specifically meant for use on SUVs and trucks. The tires have a sportier look to them while also providing the same smoother ride that you expect from OEM tires. 

They have all-season functionality and can provide decent traction in light snow. Just be careful with the tread width, as the wider tread can limit the tires’ traction ability in snowy conditions. 

Top Brands

Michelin

The Michelin headquarters are located in Greenville, South Carolina. Michelin has become one of the top tire manufacturers in the industry since its founding in 1891. The company has prided itself on continual innovation and development and is credited with introducing the first radial tire to the market. Try the Michelin Primacy Touring Radial Tire on your vehicle today. 

Continental

Continental has developed its reputation as producing some of the highest quality tires on the market. Its headquarters are located in Germany, but the tires are sold worldwide. In addition to tires, the company also produces braking systems and other vehicle components. The Continental ProContact All-Season Radial Tire is a worthwhile investment for your vehicle. 

Bridgestone

Bridgestone is one of the largest tire manufacturers in the world, with international headquarters located in Tokyo, Japan, and Nashville, Tennessee. The company has become well-known due to its commitment to producing quality tires with dependable performance. The Bridgestone Turanza EL440 Touring Radial Tire are high-quality tires that will perform above your expectations. 

Goodyear

Based out of Akron, Ohio, and founded in 1898, Goodyear is one of the most well-known tire manufacturers in the world. The Goodyear brand also produces Dunlop and Kelly tires. The Goodyear Assurance Comfortred All-Season Radial is sure to give you a smooth ride and reliable performance. 

Pirelli

With more than 40 years of experience, Pirelli prides itself on innovation and technological advancement. The success of this strategy can be seen in the company’s dominance of racing tire production. The Pirelli Scorpion Verde Season Plus Touring Radial Tire will impress with both innovation and performance. 

Cooper

Founded in the early 20th century, Cooper tires has become a notable smaller tire manufacturer in America. Its headquarters are located in Findlay, Ohio. The family of tire brands includes Cooper, Starfire, Mastercraft, and Avon. The Cooper CS5 Ultra Touring All-Season Tire is a top-of-the-line tire made of high-quality materials. 

Touring Tires Pricing

  • Under $100: Tires under $100 tend to use cheaper materials and less advanced tread patterns. You’ll find that their useful life isn’t as long as higher quality tires. 
  • $100 to $200: Most car owners buy tires in this price range. You’ll find long-lasting, high-quality tires that use decent materials and innovative tread patterns.
  • Over $200: These are high-end tires that use the latest innovations in materials and tread design. They also tend to have some special purpose. 

Key Features

Size

Look at the tire size code that’s stamped on the side of your current tires. You need to match this size with your new set of tires. This will ensure that you buy the right-sized tires for your wheels and vehicle. Varying too far off will reduce fuel economy and increase the risk of your tire slipping off of your rim. 

Material

Not all tires use the same materials and rubber compounds. More advanced tires will use compounds with silica or other materials to give the tire durability and strength. Consider the materials your tires are made out of to increase handling, road grip, and longevity. Tire manufacturers will tell you the materials used to help you determine the best tire for your intended use. 

Tread Pattern

The tread pattern you choose can affect your traction and fuel efficiency. The more tire that touches the road, the more grip there is. This can give you more traction but also reduce your fuel economy. You’ll also see symmetrical and asymmetrical tread patterns that each have their benefits and drawbacks. An asymmetrical tread gives you better traction but limited rotation abilities. Symmetrical tread allows you to fully rotate your tires, but won’t give you as much traction. 

Other Considerations

  • Compound. Look for tires that use a rubber tread compound that’s meant for your climate’s driving conditions. If you live in a warm climate, then summer touring tires may be a smarter choice. If it snows where you drive, then buying tires with a compound meant for this will help your tires last longer. 
  • Speed Rating. This is a rating that the tire manufacturer gives the tire to tell you how fast it can safely perform. This doesn’t mean you should drive that fast. Look at the speed rating and consider the top speeds you drive while on the highway when buying your tires.  
  • Circumferential Grooves and Siping. Think about the inclement weather you normally drive-in. Do you need tires for rainy weather? Maybe snowy weather? Circumferential grooves in the tread will give you better-wet traction. Sipes will give you better snow traction. You can even look for a tire that uses a combination of both. 

Best Touring Tires Reviews & Recommendations 2021

Best Overall
Cooper CS5 Grand Touring Radial Tire

These Cooper tires use an innovative compound technology of silica. Then there is the tread pattern that features 3D micro-gauged grooves. This will channel water away from the tire. The tread has an asymmetrical design to the pattern. 


The unique unbalanced tread design will give you increased traction on wet roads. It also prevents uneven tread wear as you drive on your tires. 


These tires come in just one specific size — 235/65R18 — so you’ll need to make sure they’ll fit your car. There are also some defective tires where the tread separates from the body of the tire. This will require you to replace the tire before the typical useful life cycle.

Best Value
GT Radial Champiro Radial Tire

This reliable all-season touring tire is perfect for new cars and crossover vehicles. It delivers precise handling with a smooth and quiet ride. The tread pattern on this tire features large circumferential grooves for improved traction on wet roads. The sipes are a full depth to give you plenty of edges to grip the road with. The shoulders have large tread blocks to make the tire stiffer for improved handling through the corners. The noise produced by the tire was considered when creating the tread pattern to eliminate excess noise in the cabin. A standout feature is the rim protector to help prevent rim damage. 


Unfortunately, you may notice a reduction in fuel economy when you have the tire filled to the maximum air pressure. The tread life gets noticeably shorter when you drive more aggressively.

Most Versatile
Firestone All-Season Touring Tire

Enjoy a smooth ride throughout the year with this reliable tire. It can grip the road on dry, wet, and light winter conditions. The tire’s rubber compound and tread pattern are designed to give you a blend of comfort and performance. There are four wide and deep circumferential grooves for driving on wet roads. Deep sipes also help channel water and light snow away from the tire. The tread blocks wrap around the shoulder to the sidewall for greater stability and traction. 


One issue with this tire is that it doesn’t perform up to expectations in winter weather. When the manufacturer says, “light winter,” it means mild winter conditions. They also shouldn’t be driven in heavy rains, as the grooves only handle so much road water.

Quietest Ride
Goodyear Eagle Touring All-Season Radial Tire

Enjoy confident handling and a smooth, quiet ride with this tire. It delivers a desirable combination of luxury and performance. You’ll appreciate the responsiveness of the steering, thanks to the optimized contact area. The carefully crafted rubber compound helps this tire to achieve reliable all-season performance. The biting edges of the tread blocks help grab onto the road in all kinds of driving conditions. This lets you safely navigate the streets when they are dry, wet, and snowy. The tread pattern has four large circumferential grooves for water evacuation and multi-directional grooves and sipes.


A potential drawback of this tire is that the tread doesn’t last. This results in a shorter useful life than other touring tires. The shorter sidewall of this touring tire does result in a less smooth ride. 

Honorable Mention
Yokohama Avid Touring All-Season Tire

Drive with confidence year-round, thanks to the competitive wet traction of the symmetrical tread design. There are multiple grooves and sipes to channel summer rains and light winter snow away. You’ll appreciate the carefully crafted Tri-Plex rubber tread compound that delivers a quieter ride and longer tread life. Other nice features built into the tire are the silent shoulder blocks, twin rail stability rib through the center, and a luxury sidewall construction. There’s a tapered hard rubber insert lining the sidewall for sound and bump absorption. The circumferential center lines of tread blocks are stiffer for greater confidence while cornering. 


Unfortunately, these tires are not reliable in snowy weather. You may notice a loss of traction when the snow gets too heavy. They can also lose traction when accelerating too hard from a stop.

Tips

  • Look at your current tires to find the correct size. Then start your tire search by narrowing down your options to the ones that fit your wheels and vehicle. You should see a number that looks similar to this: P225/45R17 91V.
  • If you’re looking for a reliable tire you can use year-round, touring tires are a smart choice. They won’t perform as well as summer tires in heavy rain or winter tires in the snow. These tires are more specialized for touring and are a better jack-of-all-trades type of tire. 
  • Look at the tread pattern on the tires. You want to see grooves that will direct water and snow away from your vehicle. This will increase tire contact with the road and improve your handling and traction in inclement weather. 

FAQs

Q: When should I replace my tires?

A: Tires come with a generalized guideline for how many miles you can expect to get out of your new tires. This is an estimate since everyone drives differently and in different conditions. Pay attention to the treadwear grade on your tires to see when your tires have worn down too much and the tread has lost its depth. 

Q: Does tire inflation matter?

A: Yes, it matters! Improperly inflated tires will shorten their useful life. Overinflated tires will wear in the middle quicker. Underinflated tires will wear on the outside edges faster. Misaligned tires will wear more on one side. A properly inflated tire will wear evenly across the width of the tire. 

Q: Can tires get too old? 

A: Tires should be carefully inspected if they are more than five years old. For most people, this isn’t an issue as they’ve worn out long before this. However, if you don’t use your car often, then you do have a risk of aging out your tires. If you continue to drive on your tires after the five-year mark, you should definitely change them at the 10-year mark. At this point, the compounds in the tire have changed and the tire is unsafe. 

Final Thoughts

A set of the Cooper CS5 Grand Touring Radial Tires will give you a high-quality tire that will provide you with traction year-round. 

For a more affordable option, the GT Radial Champiro Radial Tire is a reliable tire that will give you a quiet ride and plenty of stability and traction.