Best all-season tires

How to choose a good year-round tire

Published: March 06, 2015 02:00 PM

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At a glance, tires all look about the same, but as our tests show, they can vary widely in performance and longevity. So how do you know what's the best tire to buy?

The answer depends on a number of factors, including noise, handling, all-weather grip, tread wear, and price. Many consumers want it all in one tire, and that’s essentially what all-season tires promise. It is no wonder that in the replacement-tire market, all-season tire sales overshadow those of summer, winter, and off-road models.

When judging all-season tires, Consumer Reports looks at several key performance factors, placing more emphasis on safety-related aspects, including braking, hydroplaning resistance, and handling. Value factors such as rolling resistance (a factor in fuel economy) and tread life are emphasized less, and we don’t factor in the price of the tire into our overall score. The best tire should do everything well, but as our testing illustrates, most bring compromises. We feel the better models deliver a good balance of all-weather grip, handling, long tread life, and a quiet, comfortable ride. But each consumer may have their own set of priorities.

Below are our picks for best overall all-season tires. Click on the model names below to learn more about how they performed. Plus, you can sort through our extensive test data to find models that have the balance of performance you need.

Gene Petersen

All-season tires

Michelin Defender

All-season tires emphasize year-round grip, long tread life, and a smooth ride.

Pirelli P4 Four Seasons Plus is in our current test program and promises better tread wear than the P4 Four Seasons. Also, the Continental TrueContact is in test now, and replaces the impressive Continental ProContact EcoPlus, which has been discontinued.

Performance all-season (H and V speed rated)

Michelin Primacy MXV4

These tires provide improved handling and grip over regular all-season tires on dry and wet roads, but shorter tread wear is expected for many models.

Both are impressive for their all-weather grip and tread life. The Michelin Primacy MXV4 is still available in limited sizes. The Michelin Premier A/S is the replacement model, and in our preliminary evaluation, it is worth consideration.

Ultra-high performance (UHP) all-season tires

Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric All Season

Found on sporty cars, UHP all-season tires emphasize responsive handling and tenacious dry and wet grip, at the expense of modest winter traction—far more practical than UHP summer tires that lose grip in cold weather.

All-season truck tires

Pirelli Scorpion Verde All Season Plus

These tires come in sizes to cover a wide swath of pickups and SUVs. Like car all-season tires, these offer good all-weather grip, long tread life, and a comfortable ride.

Bottom line: There are a many good choices in these categories and your needs may vary from our recommendations. You can check-out our complete tire Ratings for more information.

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