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Best Car Tires of 2022 Update from Consumer Reports

Here’s the latest update from Consumer Reports on what they found from extensive testing the best performance tires you can buy in 2022 to match your car’s needs for all seasons.

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Matching Your Tire Driving Needs

Matching your driving needs with the correct tire can be difficult when shopping around and trying to decide which tire type you really need and how much it is going to cost you.

According to Consumer Reports automotive analysts, “…(tire) design can be quite sophisticated, from the rubber compound chemistry to the tread design. Differences among tires can have an impact on braking, handling, ride, noise, and even fuel economy. Given how complicated tires are, choosing the right replacements can be challenging.”

And this is not something to take lightly. Tires can make a huge difference in your driving and riding experience and safety. While looking for tires, don’t fall for advertisement gimmicks and tire models a tire center may be pushing because of poor sellers that they need to unload. Instead, be sure that you base your buying decision less on the price, and more about what impact the tire choices have toward braking, handling, ride, noise, and fuel economy.

Fortunately, the good folks at CR did your homework for you through extensive testing of many brands of tires that were rated according to how well they performed under multiple conditions such as wet and dry braking and handling, ride comfort and quietness, resistance to hydroplaning, ride comfort, noise, steering feel, and even snow covered and icy road conditions.

Tire Classifications

As such, automotive analysts from Consumer Reports recently released their findings on performance tires designed for cars under the categories of:

• All-season and performance all-season
• Ultra-high-performance all-season
• Ultra-high-performance all-season summer, winter/snow
• Performance winter/snow

Just to be clear, the distinction between a performance tire and a standard tire is that performance tires are “grip tuned” for enthusiastic driving and are typically a higher speed rating than standard tires, while providing better handling and braking capabilities.

In addition to the classification naming, you will also find single (and sometimes double) letter designations that indicate the maximum speed ratings of the tire. These designations include:

• “S”---up to 112 mph
• “T”---up to 118 mph
• “H”---up 130 mph
• “V”---up to 149 mph
• “W”---up to 168 mph
• “Y”---up to 186 mph
• “ZR”---up to 149+ mph

CR analysts recommend that you “Use a tire with the speed rating recommended in your vehicle owner’s manual or as listed on the tire information placard found on the driver’s doorjamb.”

That said, here is a summary of CR’s recommended best car tires by category:


All-Season Tires

Michelin Defender T+H ($178.99): According to CR analysts the Michelin Defender T+H “…delivers good dry braking and handling performance, resistance to hydroplaning, and snow traction. Plus, its projected tread life is an impressive 85,000 miles. It has average or greater performance in every test we conduct.”

Less Expensive alternative tire recommended: General Altimax RT43

Performance All-Season Tires

Michelin CrossClimate2 ($199.99): Described as a new breed of all-weather tires, its unique tread design and enhanced rubber compounds increases traction across a broad temperature range and “…doesn’t need to be swapped for winter/snow tires when seasons change unless you live in an extremely snowy area.”

Less Expensive alternative tire recommended: Continental PureContact LS.

Ultra-High-Performance All-Season Tires

Michelin Pilot Sport All Season 4 ($189): This is a “…step up from performance all-season tires and are designed to provide better handling and more responsive steering in wet and dry conditions” however, it does not handle equally well when it comes to treadwear and ride comfort.

Less Expensive alternative tire recommended: BFGoodrich G-force Comp-2 A/S plus

Ultra-High-Performance Summer Tires

Michelin Pilot Sport 4s ($236.99): Not intended for cold weather use, this tire is designed more for warm weather (both wet and dry) with improved gripping power for sports cars and sports sedans.

Less Expensive alternative tire recommended: General G-Max RS

Winter/Snow Tires

Bridgestone Blizzak WS90 ($131): The rubber is formulated to ensure that it stays pliable and thereby offers the best gripping power for snowy and icy conditions. Tread life is low as expected for winter/snow tires, which should be switched to all-season tires when temperatures start to warm.

Less Expensive alternative tire recommended: Michelin X-Ice Snow

Performance Winter/Snow Tires

Vredestein Wintrac Pro ($198.92): This is the best pick for the most challenging winter driving conditions.

Less Expensive alternative tire recommended: Hankook Winter I*cept Evo 3

And finally…

For additional articles related to tires, here are a few for your consideration:

Consumer Reports Treadwear Testing Reveals How Long Some Tire Types Really Do Last

Consumer Reports Analysts Recommend Against Buying These Tires

What You Need to Know About Mixing Car Tires

COMING UP NEXT: New Hybrids to Love, to Ignore, and to Avoid Advises Consumer Reports

Timothy Boyer is a Torque News automotive reporter based in Cincinnati. Experienced with early car restorations, he regularly restores older vehicles with engine modifications for improved performance. Follow Tim on Twitter at @TimBoyerWrites for daily new and used vehicle news.

Image Source: Pixabay

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Jesse (not verified)    October 5, 2022 - 10:45AM

Just bought a set of Michelin Defender LTX 18" tires for my Silverado. They replaced the set of Michelin Defender LTX that were on the truck. Michelins ride so smoothly and quietly on my truck, so I didn't consider anything else. A very satisfied customer. Pricey? Yes. I keep a check on air pressure, wear patterns, and rotation plus conservative driving habits equals long tread wear.