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The importance of using quality tires cannot be understated. After all, the contact patch is the only physical connection between a car and the road. As such, tires play a critical role in the performance, handling, braking and traction for all cars, trucks and SUVs. There’s also tread life, comfort, noise and overall grip to consider. But for those shopping for new tires, which brand is best?

Consumer Reports recently released its findings after testing 130 tire models across 28 brands. Criteria includes braking, comfort, handling, hydroplaning, noise, snow traction, and other factors. Rolling resistance, which influences fuel economy, and tread life were also tested.

Tire model types tested include all-season, SUV all-season, truck all-terrain, standard and performance winter/snow, ultra-high-performance summer and ultra-high-performance all-season tires. Consumer Reports then used test results to give each tire manufacturer an overall score.

The top-scoring brand among the 17 manufacturers is Michelin. CR noted the recommended tire brand is “at or near the top of most tire categories” tested. Michelin tires are pricier than other brands, CR states, but they “tend to be a good value” when considering their performance and tread life. Mose models offer a “good mix” of grip, handling and tread life.

All seven Michelin models tested earn are recommended by the publication. Michelin’s CrossClimate2 is a “standout model” for providing winter traction without needing to be removed in warmer months. Though it applies to the all-season SUV tire category, it can be used on other cars. The Defender T+H all-season tire and Pilot Sport 4S earned top marks in the all-season and ultra-high-performance summer categories, respectively.

The rim and tire on a dirty white Tesla, parked on a dirt road.
Tesla | Anatoli Nicolae via Unsplash

Continental placed second behind Michelin on the overall scorecard. Continental scores particular well in truck tires. The TerrainContact H/T and TerrainContact A/T earned a recommendation from CR.

Third on the overall list is Vredestein. CR tested six models from the European brand and all earned a “recommended” designation. The brands Wintrac Pro model is the among the top-rated performance winter/snow tires.

Eight other tire brands earned “excellent” overall scores. Some notable brands include General, Bridgestone, Goodyear, Yokohama and Hankook.

Pirelli, Falken, Firestone and others earned a middling overall score. Certain models were still standouts among these brands, however. The Firestone Destination LE3 is rated above all tires in the all-season truck category.

Some notable brands, like BFGoodrich, were not included in the overall rankings based on how many tires CR tested. BFGoodrich’s G-force Comp-2 A/S plus tires were rated among the best ultra-high-performance all-season tires.  

Source: [Consumer Reports]