There’s a lot to think about when planning a road trip and preparing your car for one. How long is the drive? How often will you stop? And how much driving music do you have ready to go? But one aspect that’s commonly overlooked is what rubber you should ride on. That all depends on the kind of experience you want to have while in the car. These are the best tires for your long distance road trip.
The best tires for comfort: Bridgestone Turanza Serenity Plus
Harsh rides make pulling over for stops more frequent and often lead to sore backs and bones. While your car’s suspension plays a part in how comfortable the ride is, it’s not to say you can’t get tires that’ll keep the ride smooth. And the top pick is the Turanza Serenity Plus line of Bridgestone tires.
These are the second iteration of the Turanza Serenity tires, and improve comfort and ride quality while offering a longer tread life. If you don’t know how to read a tire, the speed ratings are represented by letters and can affect how long it will last. H-rated tires are capable of 130 miles per hour, far more speed than the average commuter would need. And because they aren’t built go as fast, they last longer. Because of this, the H-rater Turanza Serenity Plus tires have an 80,000-mile tread life warranty.
One extra bonus that the Turanza Serenity Plus tires have is reduced road noise. It’s no mystery that rubber hitting the road at 70 or 80 mph can create a lot of sound in the cabin. And the longer the distance, the longer you might suffer for it. By reducing that noise, you improve the quality of life inside the cabin. However, all that luxury comes at a cost, ranging from $100 to $300 a tire (depending on where you purchase them from).
The best tires for fuel efficiency: Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 Plus
I can personally attest to the effectiveness of these Ecopia EP422 Plus tires, as they’re the ones fitted to my Acura TSX Wagon. Not only are they a budget option (ranging from $80 to $130 per tire, as I am a penny pincher), but they’re incredibly effective on long drives. And while my car and its 18.5-gallon fuel tank were built to tackle long trips, the Ecopia EP422 Plus tires also improve the gas mileage. My car is rated for 23 city/30 highway, and on long trips, I end up averaging closer to 32 mpg. In other words, if you’re looking for cheap tires that’ll help lower fuel costs, look no further.
There are, however, some significant drawbacks. For starters, the ride is stiff. Part of that has to do with my “sport-tuned” suspension, but the Ecopias likely aren’t helping. And they also struggle with road noise. Above 70 mph, it gets pretty loud pretty fast. Granted, it’s not like sitting in a convertible with the top down, and I find it easy enough to turn on the radio and drown out the noise, but it’s something to consider for long distance trips.
The longest-lasting tires: Goodyear Assurance MaxLife
If you go on road trips often, you’ll want a tire that can handle the long distance. The warranty on these Goodyear Assurance MaxLife tires is 85,000 miles, 5,000 more miles than the Turanza Serenity Plus tires. But unlike the Bridgestones, these won’t break the bank. They range anywhere from $100 to $150 per tire, depending on tire size.
But perhaps the coolest feature of these long-lasting tires is the Goodyear Wear Gague. Trimmed into the rubber, the numbers allow drivers to accurately check the tread depth. It’ll help keep tabs on how far they’ve been driven, and how much more life it has left.
While these three are certainly strong picks, it’s important you do your own research. Figure out what kind of road trip experience you’re looking for, whether you want to make it as comfortable as possible, as cheap as possible, or somewhere in between. But whatever you do, make sure your rubber is primed and ready with the best road trip tires for your journey.
RELATED: Can Your Car Handle a Road Trip?