The Best Tires for Your Honda Civic, No Matter the Occasion

For all the places your Honda might travel, from Walmart to Willow Springs.

byJeric Jaleco| UPDATED Aug 7, 2020 3:16 PM
The Best Tires for Your Honda Civic, No Matter the Occasion
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Honda Civics are a great choice for drivers who want to save gas and travel. They are a compact car with several body styles and types. No matter if you have a two-door coupe, four-door model, or three-door hatchback Civic, they all need the best tires to get around. Whether you’re looking to swap out your stock tires for new ones or upgrade to performance tires, we’ve got a list of some of the best to choose from.

Best Overall

Vredestein HiTrac All Season

Summary
Vredestein’s HiTrac All Season delivers year-round usability and everyday comfort in a premium, high-quality package that eclipses rivals.
Pros
  • Excellent all-around performance and comfort
  • Some usable snow traction
  • Best-in-class wet traction
  • Crisp, athletic steering
Cons
  • Overall winter performance is middling
  • Tread life is not a standout for a touring tire
Best Value

Sumitomo HTR A/S P03

Summary
The HTR A/S P03 delivers commendable dynamics and versatility at a price that’s very tempting.
Pros
  • Incredible bang-for-your-buck
  • Stellar wet traction
  • Best-in-class snow and ice traction
Cons
  • Some road noise
  • Vague steering feel
Honorable Mention

Michelin Pilot Sport All Season 4

Summary
A premium choice for discerning buyers, Michelin’s Pilot Sport All Season 4 rewards spending that extra coin with athletic responses and surprisingly stout year-round traction.
Pros
  • Nearly unmatched all-around traction
  • Surprising winter traction
  • Athletic handling and responses
Cons
  • Higher price point than other all-seasons
  • Somewhat firm ride
  • Mild road noise

There has been a Honda Civic for every driver, and so it’s a law of nature that there exists a tire for every Honda Civic. From a university kid’s urban assault pod to an aspiring racer’s time attack weapon, the venerable Civic has been a universal car that anyone could own, and the market is overflowing with rubber for owners looking to treat their little Japanese econoboxes. But how do you know which tire is the right move?

Enter The Drive’s buyers guide on the best tires you can get for one of the best cars in the world. From high mileage to high performance, we’ve got a niche for you. We’ve combined our real-world experiences with expert and owner opinions to curate this guide, so have a look.

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.

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Our Methodology

It’s always in our best interest as journalists and fellow enthusiasts to deliver the most informative yet honest reviews on every guide. And while it’s not always feasible to gather dozens of tires for a slew of tests, we still aim to combine our real-world experiences with expert input and consumer feedback to formulate our concise takes. Tire retailers such as Tire Rack and Firestone have been proven to be invaluable resources of real-world ownership stories and instrumented test data. Tires with little or no feedback and data were largely ignored in favor of products with a trusted backing. For more information on how we generally curate our buyers guides, check out this link.

Best Honda Civic Tire Reviews & Recommendations

Continuing Vredestein’s march towards supremacy in the U.S. market, the HiTrac All Season is a superb all-around choice for most Civic buyers. The tire is lauded by Tire Rack staff and consumers alike for combining its excellent versatility with performance and feel that actually encourages driving rather than make it some bland chore. Steering is quite crisp and sharp for its class, and there is even a commendable level of light snow traction. Low road noise and a supple ride are frequent remarks from drivers who’ve experienced this Dutch delight. No tire is perfect, however, and while the Vredestein has usable grip in that scary white stuff, its objective measurements are middling with some rivals fairing better on both snow and ice. Drivers experiencing anything beyond light snow may be better served by Vredestein’s Wintrac Pro or Quatrac Pro.
If you’re the buyer who scoffs at name-brand elitists in favor of hunting for that deal of a lifetime, Sumitomo’s HTR A/S P03 may be the tire for you. It slots in at an undeniably appealing price far below most of the other options on this list while still delivering respectable quality, performance, and usability. Wet traction is admirable for the price, and snow and ice traction are surprisingly strong with best-in-class test results. Dry traction was similarly stout with objective figures in braking and cornering grip nearly matching tires from more reputable brands. There is some road noise which some may find intrusive, especially on rough roads. Steering feel is reportedly awkward and vague for something that identifies as a performance all-season with testers noting that it doesn’t quite respond well to being pushed despite good objective numbers.
Car enthusiasts can’t help but love Michelins, and so should you. Poised as an ultra high-performance all-season, this is the bad weather tire of choice for performance vehicles and is universally praised for its excellent traction in most conditions. Dry and wet grip matches if not exceeds close rivals while also delivering great light snow performance. Those 360-degree variable sipes and “extreme silica” compounds must be to thank. Some consumers even insist upon using them as winter tires in light snow. Responses are also as rapid as one would expect from the Pilot Sport lineup. There is some mild road noise and a slightly firm ride, which is reportedly noticeable but not that intrusive. It won’t be the most comfortable all-season out there, but know it will fall short of a true summer tire in performance and a dedicated winter tire in heavy snow.
For the road trippers and penny pinchers hunting for a tire that can go the extra mile, the Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 Plus hits the mark. It performs exactly as advertised: to deliver stellar tread life and fuel mileage for sensible commuters. Consumers appreciate the gains in economy over less-focused tires with some reporting as high as a five mile-per-gallon difference (this will vary greatly between different tires). While tread life was varying with people reporting great disparities across a variety of cars, some users have reported them being capable of stretching anywhere between 65,000 and 90,000 miles. A 70,000-mile warranty is included for safekeeping. Ride quality is reportedly supple, and the big kicker here is that sizing is plentiful for 15-inch wheels on those Civic hybrids. The economy-minded rubber compound doesn’t quite lend itself to inclimate weather. Wet traction is reportedly just OK, and winter driving is a hard nope. Overall traction limits are quite low with little enthusiasm for an Si owner who may be feeling frisky one day.
The Vredestein Wintrac Pro cements itself as a viable, overachieving option that stands its ground firmly against other premium winter tires from names such as Bridgestone and Michelin. This choice will reward the snow-laden Civic driver with sharp handling and adequate steering feel, typically uncharacteristic of most winter tires. Snow traction is among the best of its kind, and wet traction is superior to most of them. Ice traction is reportedly middle of its pack, but that mixes it with other top-tier and acclaimed contenders. Most drivers will be more than satisfied during even the harshest winter months. Ride quality is also supple according to a plethora of consumers and fellow auto journalists eager to give them a shot. The same winter tire caveats still apply. Keep a second set of rubber in store for the winter months as the soft, resin and silica-enhanced compound may deliver sluggish, dull handling and accelerated tire wear in warmer seasons. The Wintrac Pro has been noted to produce a noticeably louder road noise than its peers.
Best High-Performance Summer Tire
Michelin Pilot Sport 4S
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The gold standard in summer tires is here to elevate your Civic to G-forces unknown between the months of March and November depending on location. The Michelin Pilot Sport 4S is a proven tire from hot-hatch racers to track rats and their supercars. During spirited back-road cruises to at-the-limit handling on road courses, this tire rewards drivers with steering befitting of sports cars and traction to instill confidence in the freshest of novices. Think of this as a three-season tire and not an all-season. Being so focused on performance means its compound is the most susceptible to hardening and cracking at icy temperatures. And don’t forget that Michelin price tag.
The Yokohama Advan A052 is classified as a summer performance tire, but Yokohama prefers to look at it as the choice for those who whip their street-driven cars around autocross courses and circuits. Professional testers from Tire Rack and other outlets comment on the compliant ride quality. Interestingly enough, its softness has resulted in a friendly, confidence-inspiring demeanor with predictable breakaway yet with no less tread life than any of its peers. This is a track tire you can genuinely take to the grocery store and back. It’s still a 200-treadwear track tire meaning that wet traction still pales in comparison to even a regular summer tire. Steering feel is reportedly a touch vague for its class, and tread life is about as poor as you’d expect from the rest of its kind.
Hoosier’s D.O.T. Drag Radial 2 is a stellar choice for those straight-line Civic owners who craft their custom Hondas to set records a quarter-mile at a time. Designed to meet NHRA standards for classes requiring D.O.T.-approved rubber, it barely fits the bill as street legal while being more honed than rival tires and previous Hoosiers. A broader footprint, softer compound, and lighter weight define this option. A neat party trick is that it’s capable of launches without the need for a burnout to warm up. Yes, this is street legal. No, it is not recommended for street use. Those tiny excuses for tread will not save you at the sight of a single snowflake or drop of water. Buyers are also warned to refrain from highway use to avoid extreme wear and damage to such a soft tire with an already-miniscule lifespan.

Our Verdict on Tires for Honda Civic

Vredestein HiTrac All Season wins at being a multitalented hero that’s sure to impress any driver. And Sumitomo HTR A/S P03 does a pretty darn good impression with surprising winter capability for an unbeatable value. 

What to Consider When Buying Tires for Your Honda Civic

When hunting for the right tires, consider the intent of your vehicle. Is your Civic a lower-trim car you intend to leave stock for the daily commute? Or is it a fire-breathing project car in need of some performance rubber to tame it? Perhaps you’re a snowbelt citizen in need of some winter tires. There are plenty of different Civics in need of different tires, so here are just a few guidelines.

Types of Tires

All-Season/Touring

These will be your comfortable, do-it-all choice with year-round usability with some options having enhanced traction in winter weather. They may be basic, inexpensive economy tires or sharper, more performance-oriented all-seasons for improving the versatility of performance cars. This breed is often defined by complex tread patterns with plenty of siping for flushing out moisture as well as high-silica rubber compounds for improved comfort and pliability at various temperatures.

Some all-seasons may don a three-peak mountain snowflake (3PMSF) logo to denote improved winter traction. These will have improved traction on snow and ice as well better resistance to hardening in extreme cold. These are marketed as alternatives for those who traverse light snow and are not intended to fully replace actual winter tires.

Winter

If 3PMSF tires are for year-round use in light snow, these are your purpose-built choices for excursions in freezing blizzards. These will often integrate even more siping into their extra-complicated tread patterns to not only evacuate moisture but also provide a biting edge to grab at snow and ice.

These tires are not recommended for use in warmer seasons due to their extremely soft rubber compounds. The softness it uses to its advantage in the cold may result in undesirable driving characteristics in any other season. Expect sluggish steering responses, heightened road noise, and rapid tire wear from the frictional drag that they will generate. 

High Performance

This is the stuff enthusiasts wish Santa will deliver them each year. Performance tires are defined by their ability to singlehandedly elevate the performance of any car they’re mounted to. Most modern examples may feature hybrid tread compounds with a center block tuned for comfort and wet traction while the shoulder provides maximum grip as a car leans over in corners. What they lack in siping and a labyrinthian of tread is made up for with highly advanced rubber compounds and an ingenious use of what little tread they may have.

Those niche, ultra-focused track-day tires may suffer from noticeable road noise and significantly worse wet traction in their pursuit of maximum grip on the road course. Additionally, nearly all high-performance rubber is a no-go in the snow as they’re most susceptible to hardening and least capable of gaining traction.

Tire Key Features

Tread Pattern

This is the complicated mishmash of cuts, grooves, and channels on the surface that makes contact with the road. It’s a crucial factor in your tire’s overall performance in various kinds of weather and even has an effect on perceived road noise. All-seasons may sport an abundance of these patterns in addition to plenty of siping to evacuate moisture from under the tires and resist hydroplaning. Winter tires may use highly aggressive variants of these patterns to better grab at snow in extreme winter conditions.

Conversely, high-performance tires will often use as minimal tread as possible to maximize contact patch for better grip. Street-oriented summer rubber may use unique rubber compounds and ingenious tread designs in order to not sacrifice so much in the wet. More focused track-day tires may hardly feature any tread at all and are strictly for dry weather use.

Sidewall

Here’s a neat tire component that seems simple in its design but is arguably the most crucial element in the way a tire feels. They can be soft or firm leading to a ride that’s cozy or harsh. Most economy and touring all-seasons may utilize softer sidewalls to greatly enhance ride quality, but that will often come at the expense of sluggish responses and numb steering.

Performance all-seasons or summer rubber may utilize firmer — and sometimes thinner — sidewalls to sharpen handling and responsiveness and better transmit feedback through the steering. This is due to how firmer sidewalls better resist deflection when the tire is under load and dampen less vibrations when traveling over bumps.

Rubber Compound

The stiffness of a rubber compound also contributes to ride quality in a similar manner to sidewall construction and has a profound effect on overall traction. Firmer rubber compounds like in economy-minded tires may produce less frictional drag for greater fuel economy and tread life, but this will come at the expense of lower grip levels. Softer compounds may provide enhanced traction for performance driving, especially on track tires, but may experience much shorter tread life and more noticeable road noise.

The secret ingredient in most modern compounds is silica, an additive which helps create the ideal level of softness for most tires, particularly on touring all-season and winter tires. High-silica compounds will soften up tires to not only provide a cushier ride but to also resist freezing in extreme winter conditions. 

Pricing 

Most touring all-seasons ring in between $600 and $800 for a set of four. Premium options such as the Pilot Sport All Season 4 may charge more than $800 for a set in 235/40/R-18 to fit a current Civic Sport or Si. Specialized performance tires will see sharp increases. The Pilot Sport 4S for OEM Type R wheels is more than $1,300 with Advan A052s for most Civics hovering between $1,100 and $1,200. The HTR A/S P03, our Best Value pick, runs for more than $500 for today’s base Civics or $400 if you’re snagging a set for a Civic Hybrid.

FAQs 

You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.

Can I use all-seasons in the snow?

The answer is a hard maybe. Some all-seasons perform better than others, so look for the overachievers, particularly those with the 3PMSF rating. These tires, while far more capable at lower temps and in light snow, are still no replacement for actual snow tires during more brutal winters.

Can I regularly drive on high-performance tires?

Yes, you can, especially if they’re summer high-performance tires designed for spirited street use. Most 200-treadwear track tires can be driven on public roads but at the expense of rapid tread wear, more intrusive noise, and significantly hampered wet traction.

Is it OK to run non-OEM wheel sizes on my Honda Civic?

Absolutely. Take a peek at every car meet since the dawn of time. Be cautious not to go too big in width or diameter, or you’ll run the risk of rubbing your fenders. Tire Rack has this fun visualizer with sizing information to help find the right wheel-and-tire combo.