Best Car Tires for Any Season 2018 – An Easy Guide

Buying the right car tires for your vehicle can be stressful. There are so many different things to consider, and we know it can get really confusing, so FIXD has gone ahead and made a list of the best tires of 2018 to help you narrow down your search!

Whether your tires are constantly driving through snowstorms, or even just going on nice long trips down the highway, it is imperative that they hold up and keep your vehicle safely on the road.

All-Season Tire Recommendations

Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 Plus

UTQG: 500 AA A

Speed Rating: W- or Y-

Treadlife Warranty:  45,000 Miles

Uniformity Warranty: First 2/32” of wear

Price: Moderate

When looking for quality All-Season tires, you want to make sure you are getting something adaptable that holds up in a multitude of conditions. The Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 Plus consistently holds up well in all sorts of different weather conditions, including on rainy, dry, and even slightly snowy surfaces. It has one of the highest UTQG ratings a tire can boast, and that is because of its finely tuned asymmetric tread pattern and evenly spread pressure and temperature points. They have specially designed grooves that decrease your chance of dangerous hydroplaning, which is always a plus when you are trying to get from one place to another safely.

These tires are extremely durable, and have been proven to work well whether you are going for a long drive on the highway, or a short trip around the neighborhood. They are Ultra High Performance tires, which are as good for fast sports cars as they are for your everyday sedan.

Yokohama Avid Ascend

UTQG: 740 A A

Speed Rating: H- or V-

Treadlife Warranty: 75,000 Miles for H- and 65,000 for V-

Uniformity Warranty: First 2/32” of wear

Price: Low

If you want a long-lasting tire that gets you where you need to go while also being environmentally conscious, look no further than the Yokohama Avid Ascend tires. They come with all of the typical All-Season tire features, such as special circumferential grooves to prevent hydroplaning and adaptive sipes to increase winter time durability and traction, while also having a special feature that is eco-friendly.

The Avid Ascend tires use the oil extracted from orange peels to increase the bond between the synthetic and natural rubber of the tire, which means better fuel economy, traction, and a longer treadwear life. We know this sounds a little crazy, but it is TRUE! Yokohama is also known for providing quality tires for a relatively low cost, so these are perfect if you want to save a little money while also doing your part for the environment.

Goodyear Assurance TripleTred

UTQG: 740 A B

Speed Rating: H-, T-, V-

Treadlife Warranty: 80,000 Miles for H- and T-, 70,000 Miles for V-

Uniformity Warranty: First 2/32” of wear

Price: Moderate

While all of the tires FIXD recommends on this list are unique and reliable, the Goodyear Assurance TripleTred probably boasts one of the coolest features available for All-Season tires. The tires come equipped with 3 unique tread zones, all of which are meant to handle different surface conditions. There is a water zone, an ice zone, and a dry zone. The 3 tread zones allow the driver to maintain better control over the vehicle during varied weather conditions, although we do want to point out that these tires weren’t meant to be taken on any rough rides through the woods or rough terrain. The tires also offer a useful feature called “Evolving Traction Grooves”, which start out relatively narrow, and expand as the tire wears down, which increases the tire’s traction during rainy, icy or snowy conditions.

Michelin Defender

UTQG: 820 A B

Speed Rating: T-

Treadlife Warranty: 90,000 Miles

Uniformity Warranty: First 2/32” of wear

Price: Moderate

The Michelin Defender is a fantastic option for any vehicle. In fact, we would say that if you are looking for an everyday All-Season tire that has above average fuel economy and reliable traction in most weather conditions, this is the tire for you.

The Defender has an asymmetrical tread design that provides great traction no matter the temperature or terrain. It also has an increased wear rate combined with decreased rolling resistance, which is why the Michelin Defender can boast about having such great fuel economy. They have biting edges and an increased amount of sipes that allow drivers to maintain control over their vehicle in light snow or slush, which is always important for an All-Season tire.

Often compared to the Goodyear Assurance TripleTred, the Michelin Defender has come out on top in recent years, mostly due to its amazing UTQG rating and relatively low cost.

Winter Tire Recommendations

Bridgestone Blizzak WS80

UTQG: none

Speed Rating: H- and T-

Treadlife Warranty: none

Uniformity Warranty:  First 1/32” of wear

Price: Moderate

When you live in an area where icy winter conditions are the norm during large chunks of the year, it is important that the tires you put on your vehicle can stand up to them and keep you safe. The Blizzak WS80s do just that, and they have been for quite some time. The Blizzaks top most lists of best winter tires due to their unique features that enable drivers to feel more control over their vehicle while navigating dangerously icy or slushy roads.

These unique features include special 3-D Zig-Zag Sipes that help “bite” onto any slush or snow you may encounter on your drive, which greatly increases your ability to keep a handle on your vehicle. Another cool (and safety enhancing) feature of the Blizzak WS80s is their water-attracting coating with microscopic bite particles, which promote the wicking of water away from the vehicle while also preventing slipping and sliding on icy or snowy surfaces.

Bridgestone is a reliable and well-trusted brand, and with the Blizzak WS80s, they have created a safe and sturdy winter tire that gives you increased control over your vehicle, even when conditions might be difficult.

Michelin X-Ice Xi3

UTQG: none

Speed Rating: H- and T-

Treadlife Warranty:  40,000 Miles

Uniformity Warranty: First 2/32” of wear

Price: Moderate

In terms of tires, Michelin is one of the most consistently reliable brands out there, which is proven by the fact that they have multiple tire models that show up on our list. In this particular circumstance, we are recommending the Michelin X-Ice Xi3 winter tires. Like the Blizzaks, the Michelin X-Ices have been topping winter tire lists for years, and it doesn’t look like they will be going away any time soon. They have mastered all of the regular features that go along with winter tires. and even added some helpful little features that can greatly increase your user experience.

The X-Ice Xi3s have special Cross Z Sipes that increase durability on not only ice, but also on slush, which is an important feature since people are always super eager to get back on the roads the second the ice or snow begins to melt. The COOLEST and most user-friendly aspect of these tires is that they come with fancy Snow Platform Indicators that, upon visual inspection of your tire, will let you know when they have become too warn down to effectively drive on snow or ice. Knowing when to replace your tires just became EASIER!

Summer Tire Recommendations

Michelin Pilot Sport 4s

UTQG: 300 AA A

Speed Rating: Y-

Treadlife Warranty: 30,000 Miles

Uniformity Warranty: First 2/32” of wear

Price: High

I know we talk about Michelin a lot, but the truth is they just produce really good tires for all times of the year, including summer. These tires are Michelin’s Max Performance summer tires, and they are meant to provide a nice and smooth ride for high performance and sports cars!

The tires are designed to drive exceptionally well on dry surfaces, and provide increased handling and braking for drivers. They also have internal twin steel belts that are light weight and strong in order to increase durability and driver handling.

These tires were specially designed to be high performance. In fact, the creators were actually ordered by top manufacturers to make a tire that could exhibit the same qualities as technologies used in the 24 Hours of Le Mans (the oldest sports car race in the world), and what they came up with was the Pilot Sport 4s, so you know these are meant to perform amazingly well!

Continental ExtremeContact DWS

UTQG: 540 A A

Speed Rating: W-

Treadlife Warranty: 50,000 Miles

Uniformity Warranty: First 2/32” of wear

Price: Moderate

Now we know that these are technically classified as All-Season tires, but the Continental ExtremeContact show up on multiple best summer tire lists. This is because they provide all of the benefits of being a high performing tire for sports cars, while also proving that they can stand up to mildly icy and snowy conditions.

The “DWS” stands for Dry, Wet and Snow conditions. The tire actually comes with a pretty cool feature which involves having the three letters (“DWS”) marked at different points on the tire. When the wear has worn away a particular letter, it means that the tire can now only drive under the conditions that correspond with the remaining letters. This allows the driver to stay more informed about which conditions are safe to drive in over time.

What makes the Continental ExtremeContact so unique on summer tire lists is that it can perform well going at high speeds not only on dry surfaces, but also when it is wet. This means you have a lower chance of hydroplaning when you are going at high speeds in your fast sports car.

Helpful Tire Information

All-Season Tires

As the name would suggest, All-Season tires are meant to perform well no matter the season. They have moderate dread depths and are able to provide good traction and handling in both dry and wet conditions, while also promising reliable performance in mild winter conditions. They have a significantly higher tread life than summer tires, and they are the smart choice in terms of performance and cost for drivers who live in areas with moderate weather conditions.

Winter Tires

Winter tires are a great option if you live in an area that experiences HEAVY winter conditions. There are 2 types of winter tires; studded and non-studded. Studded tires are actually illegal in many states, so on this list FIXD is sticking to non-studded recommendations.

Winter tires have deep grooves and heavy siping. Sipes are the slits that cut across the tires in order to increase traction during more extreme weather conditions. They also come with deep circumferential grooves that help push snow and slush away from the tire’s contact patch.

While winter tires are great for driving on ice and snow, FIXD only recommends that you purchase them if your area experiences consistently heavy winter conditions. They are not meant to be driven during warmer seasons, which means you would have to purchase separate All-Season tires for Spring and Summer. For most drivers, a good set of All-Season tires should do the trick.

Summer Tires

Summer tires are perfect if you own a sports car and want to go FAST! They have fewer grooves than winter and all-season tires, and shallow tread depths in order to keep maximum contact with the road. Unfortunately, this means they also tend to have a shorter treadwear lifespan. They are great in wet conditions as well as dry, and their cornering and braking capabilities are definitely better than other types of tires. They also can stand up to much hotter conditions than all-season tires.

Similar to winter tires, FIXD only recommends buying summer tires if you really need them. If you own a high performance or sports car and like to go fast, then Summer Tires would be a good option.

UTQG RATING

The uniform tire quality grade (UTQG) was designed to help buyers make the most informed decision possible when purchasing tires. It is made up of 3 parts; treadwear grade, a traction grade, and a temperature grade. Most tires (with the exception of winter tires) have an assigned UTQG rating. Keep in mind that the manufacturer decides the UTQG rating for any given tire.

  • Treadwear Rating: tells you about the durability and life expectancy of your tire. The control tire has a 100 rating, so if your tire’s treadwear rating is 300, it means that it will take 3 times as long as the control tire to wear down.
  • Traction Rating: tells you how safe your tire is and how efficient it is at braking in wet conditions. The grading scale includes AA, A, B, C ratings, with AA being the best and C being the worst.
  • Temperature Rating: tells you how well your tire can hold up against high temperatures. It essentially tells you how fast your tires can go before they get too hot to function properly. This is important if you own a sports car that is often driven at high speeds. The grading scale includes A, B, and C ratings, with A being the highest and C being the lowest.

Speed Rating

The speed rating tells you the speed capability of your tire. Summer tires will typically have higher speed ratings than winter or all-season tires, as they are designed to go faster.

Warranty

We know that everybody wants a good warranty for pretty much anything they buy, but unfortunately, tire warranties can be a tricky subject.

Most tires come with some combination of a treadlife and uniformity warranty. The treadlife warranty is determined by how many miles your tire should reasonably be able to travel without giving out. This is normally between 30,000 and 90,000 miles depending on what type of tires you have. Summer tires will almost always have a lower mileage warranty since they wear out quicker. The uniformity warranty is for when your tire excessively vibrates or causes a noticeable disturbance with the smoothness of your ride. These normally must be reported before you wear out the first 2/32” of your tire tread.

While this might all sound nice and straight forward, we promise you it isn’t. When buying tires, it is always important to carefully read the fine print of the warranties, as it is very common for them to have time constraints. Many of the treadlife warranties are fractional, meaning that you only get credit for the difference between whatever mileage the tire got to and the assigned warranty mileage.

Tire Size

A question you may be having right now is “How do I even know what size tires my car needs?”. Well, there are a few different places where you can find the right tire size for you.

  1. The good old internet. If you have your vehicle’s Year, Make, and Model, you can pretty much just type them into Google and you will be able to find your correct tire size.
  2. You can look at the information about your vehicle labeled on the driver’s side door jam, your gas tank hatch, or inside your glove box door.
  3. You can also look at the size of the tires that were previously on your car. Confused about what all of those random numbers and letters on the side of your tires mean? Don’t worry! FIXD went ahead and made a video explaining everything you need to know about tire sizing!
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Comments 2

Mrs Theresa Stanton

November 19, 2018

Very helpful and informative guide. Thank you.

Gabriel W Cuomo

November 20, 2018

This was awesome, thanks so much for the info!