Thu. May 19th, 2022
Best Tire Brand for 2022

Tires. They’re not the most exciting thing you can buy for your car, but they’re essential for keeping you safe. Those boring pieces of rubber are what provide the traction you need to stay in control when you’re driving. Lose that traction and you lose control, so you need to pick the right tires for your car and for the conditions in which you drive.

Despite how big a tire looks, it’s only a small part of your tire touching the road at any one time. Take an 8.5-by-11-inch piece of paper and fold it in half once and then in half again. That’s about the size of the contact patch, which is the area of a tire that touches the road. Yeah, it’s small, so it’s important that you do everything you can to help that contact patch do its job.

There’s a lot to figure out when you’re buying tires, so I did the hard work and picked the best tire brands for a variety of needs. Whether you’re on a budget or ready to splurge, there’s a tire brand for you. There are also tire manufacturer recommendations for those who like to off-road and those focused on performance. And, since it’s unavoidable if you live where there’s winter weather, I picked the best brand of tires for dealing with cold and snowy conditions.

Buying a reputable brand does make a difference. “Owners of Michelin brand tires benefit from over 100 years of tire research and innovation and a focus on understanding what consumers want in tires and vehicles. These technologies allow Michelin to break traditional compromises in performance between wear, wet traction and winter traction,” said Russell Shepherd, technical communications director at Michelin. It’s the experience, technical know-how and constant innovation of well-known brands that makes their tires reliable.

I considered a variety of factors in deciding which brands to recommend. I looked at overall tire performance, consumer ratings and professional ratings from professionals including the folks at Tire Rack to come up with this list. Here are the best tire brands to consider the next time you need to pick out a new replacement tire set.

Michelin Tires

Our pick for best tire brand overall is Michelin. As one of the world’s top tire manufacturers, Michelin tire continues to innovate with high quality tires that earn excellent consumer ratings. Its tires cover a wide range of applications with an especially strong selection of performance options as a part of its Pilot Sport lineup. Those looking for winter weather or all-season tires will find great choices in its CrossClimate offerings. Many of its new tires include a six-year warranty against manufacturer’s defects, which helps make their higher cost easier to budget.

Goodyear

Goodyear is the runner-up for best tire brand overall with a long history of manufacturing quality tires. Every Goodyear tire goes through extensive in-house testing before it reaches the market to ensure it meets stringent standards for braking, acceleration and handling. There’s a tire for pretty much every use case from the Goodyear tire company with its line of Eagle tires especially well-suited to performance driving. It also offers all-season and summer tires as a part of the Eagle lineup and an impressive range of off-road tires in its Wrangler range. Although pricier than some other brands, some Goodyear tires feature a six-year warranty so you won’t be replacing them as frequently as less expensive discount tire options.

Michelin Tires

If money is no object, then take a look at what Michelin has to offer. Although it has plenty of affordable tires in its lineup if you’re on a budget, it also offers several premium options for those with deeper pockets. It has an exceptional selection of high-end performance tires as a part of its Pilot Sport series which offers superior quality, durability and handling for driving enthusiasts. Warranties of up to six years for manufacturer’s defects on select tires helps offset the higher cost of its premium tire model products.

Continental Tire

Continental Tire has a great reputation with an especially strong focus on all-season tires through its ProContact and CrossContact lineups. There are also options for winter and off-road tires for both cars and SUVs. The tire manufacturer puts an emphasis on safe, eco-friendly tires that are easier on the environment, which is an added bonus. While not the cheapest tires you can buy, Continental is generally more affordable than popular tire brands like Michelin or Goodyear, which makes them a good midrange option.

Cooper Tires

If you’re on a budget, but still want to get a quality set of tires, then consider going with the Cooper Tire and Rubber Company. It doesn’t have the extensive range of the larger, pricier tire brands, but it does offer something to suit a wide range of driving scenarios. This includes everything from performance tires to winter tires for cars to all-season and off-road options for SUVs and trucks as a part of its Discoverer range. Some of its tires even feature an 80,000-mile tread life warranty, so you’re getting a great value when you go with Cooper. 

BFGoodrich Tires

Our top tire brand pick for SUVs is BFGoodrich. Since SUVs carry a heavier load, they need tires that can do that job. While some compact SUVs use the tires found on passenger cars, that’s not the case with larger vehicles that need a SUV tire. The options from BFGoodrich are both affordable and durable and cover a wide range of driving conditions. There’s the Advantage T/A Sport LT for all-season driving, which covers what most drivers need, but there are more rugged offerings. Those who off-road will appreciate the Mud-Terrain T/A and All-Terrain T/A tires which let you have some fun in the dirt while still delivering good on-road manners.

Bridgestone Tire

Bridgestone is the top tire brand for run-flat tires. While standard tires lose air when they’re punctured and require pulling over to avoid damaging your vehicle, run-flat tires do exactly what their name suggests and can still be driven for a short time when punctured. They generally offer about 100 miles of range, so you have time to find a repair shop. Bridgestone offers a wide range of run-flats in every category from its Potenza performance tires to its Turanza all-season and summer tires. If you need run-flats for your truck or SUV, then check out its Dueler lineup.

Pirelli Tire

Performance enthusiasts will want to consider putting a set of Pirelli tires on their vehicle. The patented tread pattern on Pirelli’s performance tires is specially designed to provide good grip on wet and dry surfaces. That same tread also helps improve handling in high-speed driving. Its P Zero lineup includes a range of performance tires for cars and even features options for street legal track and competition tires. Those who drive SUVs and trucks have the Scorpion range from Pirelli tire for all-season and winter driving.

BFGoodrich Tires

BFGoodrich produces a range of off-road tires known for durability. It’s All-Terrain T/A tires provide superior control off-road while still offering smooth handling during on-road driving. It has great durability and is good for use all year long, even in the snow. There’s also the Mud-Terrain T/A tire for those who plan to tackle even more aggressive off-road terrain including rock climbing and deep mud. These tires have the flexibility to handle off-road obstacles while still providing a well-mannered on-road drive.

Comparison of the best tire brand for 2022

Tire brand Notable tire model lines
Best tire brand overall Michelin CrossClimate, Defender, Pilot Sport, Primacy, X-Ice
Best tire brand overall runner-up Goodyear Assurance, Eagle, Eagle F1, Ultra Grip, Wrangler,
Best tire brand if money is no object Michelin CrossClimate, Defender, Pilot Sport, Primacy, X-Ice
Best midrange tire brand Continental ContiProContact, ContiSportContact, CrossContact, ExtremeContact, PremiumContact, TrueContact
Best affordable tire brand Cooper Cobra, CS5, Discoverer, Endeavor, Evolution, Zeon
Best tire brand for SUVs BFGoodrich Advantage, All-Terrain, Krawler, Mud-Terrain, Trail-Terrain
Best tire brand for trucks Continental 4×4 Contact, ContiTrac, ContiSportContact, CrossContact, TerrainContact,
Best tire brand for minivans Cooper CS5, Endeavor, Evolution
Best tire brand for run-flat tires Bridgestone Alenza, Blizzak, Dueler, Ecopia, Potenza, Turanza,
Best tire brand for high-performance driving Pirelli P Zero, Cinturato P7, Scorpion, Winter Sottozero
Best tire brand for off-roading BFGoodrich Advantage, All-Terrain, Krawler, Mud-Terrain, Trail-Terrain
Best tire brand for winter weather Bridgestone Blizzak, Dueler

Tire Rack

Anatomy of a tire

They may look like nothing more than big circles of black rubber, but your tires are actually carefully engineered components of your car. From the size to the tread pattern to the compounds that make up the rubber, tires are designed to maintain traction, so you maintain control.

The sidewall is the part of the tire that you see from the side. It doesn’t roll along the road and is often smooth since it’s not designed for traction. It’s also where you’ll see all the information about what kind of tire is on your vehicle, which I’ll get to in a minute.

While most tires have a smooth sidewall, that’s not the case for every tire. Tires designed to venture off into the wilderness often have a tread that extends up onto the sidewall. This helps protect it from damage caused by wayward rocks and branches and provides additional traction for rock crawling.

The part of the tire that touches the road always has a tread, but how that tread looks varies greatly. Performance tires tend to be smoother and have a shorter tread life. They’re designed to stick to pavement and keep you from sliding during high-speed cornering, but they’re not designed for poor weather or off-roading.

Winter and off-road tires go in the other direction with more aggressive treads that generally last longer. All those grooves and notches are designed to wick water away, so the rubber maintains contact with the pavement. Winter tires may even have treads that hold the snow. This seems counterintuitive but think about how you build a snowman. Snow sticks to snow as you roll that snowman body. Holding a bit of the snow in the tread helps your tires maintain traction by sticking to the snow on a covered road surface.


Craig Cole/CNET

Basic types of tires

There are a few basic types of tires, and each is suited to a specific situation.

  • All-Season: These tires perform well in all conditions from warm to cold, wet to dry. While they do well in a wide range of conditions, they don’t perform well in extremes when temperatures plummet and the snow is deep or where summers are blistering hot.
  • Summer: A summer tire does best in hot, dry climates. The tread pattern and compounds are designed to provide peak traction in these conditions.
  • Winter: Anyplace with temps that frequently fall below 40 degrees is ideal for winter tires. Even if there’s not snow, the cold calls for the more flexible rubber compound of a winter tire.
  • Performance: High-speed driving is best with a performance tire. These are designed to provide optimum control during more aggressive maneuvering.
  • Off-Road: Those who love to head out into the wild will do well with an off-road tire. These tires have more rugged treads and sidewalls designed to provide traction and resist punctures from sticks and rocks.

BFGoodrich Tires

How to read a tire sidewall

In addition to the tire brand and the tire

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