Before you decide which tires are best for your Sports Utility Vehicle or SUV, it is important to consider what you need from a tire.
Safety is of paramount importance and because SUVs generally carry more weight and travel in worse weather and road conditions, good tires are essential. It is also worth noting that SUVs are designed to use certain tire sizes and altering these will have an adverse effect on the vehicle’s performance.
Sometimes people decide to go up a size on diameter and width but this isn’t a wise idea. While it may make the car look sportier, it won’t make it any safer and in most cases it will actually make your vehicle perform to a lower standard. So stick to the sizes that the SUV came equipped with and you will be better off.
The Michelin L T X ms2 tire is widely reported as being the best all-season tire that money can buy for SUVs. These tires are not cheap, but owners and reviewers alike agree that these tires will last well and give a comfortable and quiet ride. If money isn’t an issue, then these tires are an obvious choice.
If you are looking to buy a good budget tire, perhaps the Continental Cross Contact L X 20 Eco Plus tires are the ones for you. Again these are an all-season tire that will perform almost as well as the Michelins, at a fraction of the cost, in snow and wet weather. Of course, they will also perform perfectly well in dry conditions but tests show that they may not have the lifespan of the Michelins, and are therefore not such a good investment.
For those that use their SUV to go off road as well as on, perhaps the Cooper Discoverer AT 3 would be ideal. Better than most of the other all-terrain tires when on the road, this tire copes with all but the most extreme off-road conditions. If off-road simply isn’t your thing, then these tires aren’t for you. Perhaps you would be better off sticking to one of the above options.
Another decent choice for off-road is the Kumho S A T Road Venture K L 61 which is a good budget tire that works well on and off the road. These tires still won’t cope with extreme road conditions but are perfectly good for mud and sand. Owners applaud these tires for their long lifespan and durability, although tests have shown them not to perform as well as the Coopers.
If you are going for extreme off-road conditions, you might want to consider the Goodyear Wrangler M T R. These tires have big chunky treads that will deal with almost all conditions. Kevlar is incorporated into the tire to handle all but the sharpest of rocks, and the treads tend to stay mud free to give good traction. These tires will perform on all surfaces but are at their best when used in extreme off-road conditions.
James brown is currently working in a team developing innovative treads for car tires, www.michelin.no.