Five questions to ask yourself when choosing the right summer or four-season tires
When it comes to choosing tires, there are many factors to consider to select the right ones for you. Here are the 5 questions to ask yourself.
How to choose the right tires?
The type of vehicle you drive determines the tires you need, as there are two main categories of tires: passenger and commercial.
Passenger Vehicle Tires
Passenger vehicle tires are designed for "passenger" or "touring" vehicles, i.e. cars, small SUVs (Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3, Toyota RAV4, etc.), SUVs (Mazda CX-5, Honda CR-V, Ford Edge, Kia Soul, etc.) and minivans (Kia Sedona, Toyota Sienna, Dodge Grand Caravan, etc.).
Tires for commercial vehicles
Tires designed to meet the needs of drivers of trucks, vans, pickups and SUVs generally have higher load ratings and reinforced sidewalls. This feature is required to allow utility vehicles with a higher center of gravity to better handle cornering.
Some utility vehicle tires, built for heavy-duty trucks, are marked LT on their sidewall and in our filters.
Do you drive a lot?
This question implies your annual mileage and how many years you want to keep your new tires. The total mileage you plan to put on your tires should be considered. The more mileage you plan to get out of your tires, the more benefits you will see from choosing premium tires. Within each category, there are tire ranges. Our ratings, and often prices, help you know this hierarchy.
Entry-level tires for those who don't drive much
Lower-end tires generally offer less durability. If you don't use your vehicle much or are thinking of getting rid of your tires at the end of the season, they may well suit your needs (and save you money!).
If you don't use your vehicle very much and winter tires are required by law or weather, then All-Weather tires may be a good choice for you. Check out our blog post on this topic for more information.
Premium Tires for Those Who Drive a Lot
If you spend a lot of time behind the wheel or if you plan to keep your vehicle for several years, higher-end tires (i.e., those at the top of our rating grids) are a good investment both for your daily comfort and for their longevity, which will allow you to change them less quickly.
What is your driving style?
Your driving style directly influences the type of tires you will enjoy most. It's essential to find the tires to give you the right balance between comfort level and handling. So, are you one of those people who ride with your left arm on the window sill and cruise control on, or are you one of those people who keeps your right hand on the shifter and downshifts in corners?
For a more comfortable ride, choose touring tires
If your priority is to drive smoothly, you should know that, in similar ranges, touring tires are generally more comfortable and quiet than performance tires.
The speed rating of touring tires is usually S, T or H, ratings that allow them to reach top speeds of 180 to 210 km/h.
For sportier driving, choose performance tires
Performance tires have a stiffer structure than touring tires to provide greater steering precision and better handling, especially when cornering.
The speed ratings for performance tires are V, W, or Y. Tires with a W and Y rating are easily identifiable because the usual R (in the middle of the size) is replaced by ZR (e.g. 225/45/R17 vs. 225/45/ZR17). These speed ratings indicate that the maximum speed they can handle is 240, 270 and 300 km/h, respectively.
The grip is, in most cases, directly related to how quickly the tires wear. Softer compounds offer better grip but deteriorate more quickly. You'll need to determine the level of grip you're comfortable with, making sure you don't sacrifice too much of its life to satisfy you overall. The UTQG (Universal Tire Quality Guide) rating is used to evaluate the durability of a tire. Performance tires generally have a rating of less than 300 (this information is at the very bottom of the Additional Information tab of each tire and is written on the sidewall of the tire).
Note that there are grades of performance tires for cars. On our website, you will mainly find Performance and Extreme Performance. These designations allow us to distinguish between tires made for everyday sporty driving and those made for fun on the track but can be used without deterioration and with a minimum of comfort on the road.
Do you have a specific use for these tires?
Several other specific uses cannot be ignored when selecting tires, including racing, commercial use, and off-road driving.
In addition to the performance tires mentioned above, some tires designed for closed-course racing are available on our sites, such as the Nitto NT01, Pirelli Trofeo Race, Michelin Sport Cup 2, Advan Neova AD08R and Proxes R888R.
The rubber of these tires is exceptionally soft, making it grippy but crumbly, and their tread pattern is designed for traction and not to prevent hydroplaning, for example. These tires are not at all suitable for driving on roads. Their "UTQG" stands for "Uniform Tire Quality Grading" and is usually less than 200.
The most important feature to consider when it comes to commercial tires is durability, which will allow you to drive thousands of miles without excessive wear.
You can see the list of tires we recommend for this type of use in our Reviews.
Tires designed for off-road use are divided into two categories, those that allow for both on-road and off-road use (also called all-terrain) and those typically designed for off-road use (also called mud).
It should be noted that the more the tires are adapted to off-roading (therefore, the more massive and spaced out their tread blocks are), the more they are energy-consuming and noisy, and the less traction they offer on paved roads. So it would be best if you found the right balance to best suit your needs.
What's your budget?
We put it last, but of necessity, this criterion often takes precedence over the others... Fortunately, thanks to our excellent buying power, we can offer you better quality tires at a lower price! What's more, we pre-select the products we offer to satisfy you. So even the cheapest products on our site are not the lowest quality products available on the market. And we exclude lemons, those with a bad reputation and those that fail tests. So you can store among all the products offered with confidence.
You are still hesitating and would like to take advantage of an expert's advice? Contact our specialists, who will be happy to guide you in your selection!