LAST UPDATED: October 28, 2019

Best Tires for SUVs (Review) in 2021

Best Choice Bridgestone Dueler HL Alenza All-Season Radial Tire Bridgestone Dueler HL Alenza All-Season Radial Tire
Best Value Goodyear Wrangler Radial All-Season Goodyear Wrangler Radial All-Season Tire
Premium Pick Michelin Defender LTX M/S All-Season Radial Tire Michelin Defender LTX M/S All-Season Radial Tire
One of the best things you can do for your SUV to improve its power and look is to upgrade its tires. Throw on a pair of all-season tires, and you can tackle slick and wet roads without a problem. Swapping out your tires may even allow you to take the SUV off-road to camp or hike. If you are looking for new SUV tires, check out our list of the best tires on the market in the buying guide below.

The Best Tires for SUVs

Bridgestone is one of the most well-known tire makers in the industry, and its Dueler HL Alenza series is tough to beat. It acts as both a crossover and SUV touring all-season tire built to combine elegance and aggressiveness. It functions great on dry, wet, and slick surfaces but lacks power in heavy snow. It provides improved traction control on slick streets and reduces stopping time to keep you safer.

The comfort and control that these tires offer is difficult to top as well. The technology holding these tires together features a dual-layer tread compound that resists normal tread rubber hardening. Its symmetric tread pattern design is smooth and features little to zero road noise. It also appears to feature a reduced tread life and may begin to show signs of wearing down around 40,000 miles or so.

Key Features
  • UTQG: 600 AA
  • 2,337 carrying capacity
  • For SUVs, trucks, and touring cars
Specification
  • Brand Bridgestone
  • Model Dueler HL Alenza
  • Weight 43 pounds
PROS

Little to zero road noise

Reduced stopping time

Aggressive and elegant design

CONS

Heavy and hefty

Don’t handle well in snow

Shorter tread life

Goodyear is another top choice for tires due to its name recognition and high-quality products. The Wrangler Radial All-Season Tire is lightweight and looks aggressive on any SUV. It features a unique tread pattern design that performs well on slick, wet, and dry surfaces, but suffers in heavy snow and ice. Its traction control is solid, and it includes a sturdy and strong grip on the road.

Don’t let the price tag fool you into thinking these are cheap or low-quality tires. They feature a combination of pleasant and comfortable driving, long tread wear, and all-season versatility that make them an excellent budget choice. If you want to take the tires off-road, you won’t be disappointed. They handle well on sand, rocks, and mud and can easily transfer back to the highway. However, they may not last as long as more expensive tires, and you may start to feel the ride change and become rougher as they wear down.

Key Features
  • Aggressive tread pattern
  • 2,028 load capacity
  • UTQG: 300 A B
Specification
  • Brand Goodyear
  • Model Wrangler Radial
  • Weight 29 pounds
PROS

Rugged-looking and durable

Thick tread pattern

Strong grip on wet surfaces

CONS

The ride may be rough

They may not last as long as other tires

Low UTQG for treadwear, traction, and temperature

Manufactured in 2016

The Michelin Defender LTX is our premium choice due to its rugged and sleek-looking design and road performance features. As a sport utility vehicle tire, it can also be used for light trucks, crossovers, vans, and heavy-duty trucks. This versatile tire is developed out of a long-lasting all-season tread pattern. Another crucial component is Michelin’s Evertread compound that enhances the symmetric tread design, giving the SUV a more stable ride while also reducing the vehicle’s stopping power.

One of the most beneficial designs of the Defender LTX is its smooth and quiet ride quality all year round. Whether you drive on dry concrete, slick streets, or in light wintry conditions, the tires are smooth and comfortable.  However, the rubber may heat up rather quickly, causing its design to weaken over time. They aren’t the best in deep heavy snow, and they tend to run on the stiffer side as well.

Key Features
  • On- and off-road driving
  • 2,525 load capacity
  • UTQG: 800 A A
Specification
  • Brand Michelin
  • Model Defender LTX
  • Weight 39 pounds
PROS

Excellent traction on snow and wet surfaces

Quick and short stopping distance

Long-lasting tread life

CONS

Do not handle well in heavy snow

They tend to feel stiff

Can heat up quickly

Pirelli doesn’t just make tires designed for sports or race cars; the company also makes tires for SUVs. As the only eco-friendly tires on our list, the Verde Season Plus Touring Radial Tire was developed to improve gas mileage and boost the overall performance of your SUV. But that performance may come at a cost to your ears as the Scorpion tires can make a bit of noise on highways.

One of the best features of the Verde is its asymmetrical tread life and reduced rolling resistance. While the tire rides comfortably, the tread life may not be that long-lasting as they could wear down around the 32,000-mile marker. However, combine its benefits with its year-round traction control in dry, wet, and wintry conditions, and you’ve got an excellent tire for your SUV. Plus, they are designed with lightweight rubber and components, making them easier to carry and install on your vehicle.

Key Features
  • UTQG: 740 A A
  • 2,403 carrying capacity
Specification
  • Brand Pirelli
  • Model Scorpion Verde
  • Weight 31 pounds
PROS

Eco-friendly

Lightweight design

Improve gas mileage

CONS

Can make a bit of road noise

Shorter tread life

Goodyear is on our list again with the Wrangler Duratrac, which has a wide and aggressive-looking tread pattern. Although they are mean-looking, you may end up getting a slight amount of road noise as they are a bit beefier than other tires. A plus is that they are designed for light trucks, SUVs, vans, and pickups. This tire is tough, durable, and provides a comfortable ride. It includes a dense and thick six-ply design for additional strength and reduced stopping time on the road. 

Its versatility allows it to function well both on and off the road, but it may be a pain when you accelerate quickly and can lock up and resist under tense acceleration. Their rugged tread compound helps to resist tread block chipping, chunking, and tearing under normal driving circumstances. But throw on a trailer and extra weight, and the tires really shine under pressure. They are also self-cleaning and fling away dirt and debris during the drive. Plus, they include a three-peak mountain snowflake symbol to let you know they work great in snow.

Key Features
  • 3,640 load capacity 
  • UTQG: 500 B B
  • Speed rating of Q
Specification
  • Brand Goodyear
  • Model Wrangler DuraTrac
  • Weight 56 pounds
PROS

High carrying capacity

Premium choice

Self-cleaning

High-angled and thick center tread

CONS

Heavy

May resist during acceleration

Small amount of road noise

Goodyear’s Assurance Fuel Max tires are great all-season SUV tires. One of the beneficial things about their design is that they are fuel-efficient (just look at the product’s name). The rubber is designed with a low rolling resistance to improve your overall fuel economy, so you can save cash at the pump.

Combine that with their dry tread zone technology, and you get tires that come with enhanced handling. The tread pattern design grips tightly and firmly on the surface to give you more power, while also reducing your stopping distance. This benefit lasts throughout the entire year and even works great in wet, slick, and wintry conditions. However, the tread may not last as long as other competing brands, and you should check their condition around 20,000 miles or so just to be safe. Also, while they may work well on rain-covered streets, their traction on snow or icy roads is lacking.

Key Features
  • Self-cleaning
  • UTQG: 580 A A
  • 1,764 carrying capacity
Specification
  • Brand Goodyear
  • Model Assurance Fuel Max
  • Weight 25 pounds
PROS

Low rolling resistance

Improved grip and handling

Enhanced fuel economy

CONS

Do not handle well on ice or snow

Shorter tread life

Low UTQG rating

Low carrying capacity

Firestone understands how to design a great tire, and you can’t go wrong with its All-Season Radial Tire for your SUV. It provides you with year-round driving capability with improved ride comfort and stability. The tread pattern is a stylish symmetric design that wears evenly and lasts a while. One negative is the ride quality. They may not provide the highest amount of road comfort.

They are designed with four circumferential grooves that help guide and push water away from the rubber. This allows them to perform well on slick and wet road surfaces without a problem. But on the highway, they aren’t the quietest, and you may get a bit of noise in the cab. Driving through snow is a different story. The tires handle well on the slick and packed surface, and their traction control is grippy and bites into the road.

Key Features
  • 1,609 – 1,875 carrying capacity
  • UTQG: 560 A B
Specification
  • Brand Firestone
  • Model All Season Radial
  • Weight 24 pounds
PROS

Year-round driving

Self-cleaning and repels away water

Performs well on slick and wet roads

CONS

Road noise

Low comfort and ride quality

Best SUV Tires Buying Guide & FAQ

There are plenty of tires to choose from when it comes to new tires for your SUV. Below we offer some guidelines for picking the best. We’ve got you covered, from why you might need to upgrade your tires to the many different types on the market.

Why Do You Need SUV Tires

A good SUV tire will provide you with much more than a way to get around town. If you haul trailers or a camper, then you need tires with a heavier load capacity. And if you travel long distances, you need tires that improve gas mileage and performance.

Benefits

  • New SUV tires can boost your vehicle’s performance and speed. While it won’t be by very much, you may be able to get a little more horsepower from your SUV.
  • If you need to go off-road for any reason, you can find a solid and sturdy set of tires built for mud and dirt. 
  • The best SUV tires can provide your vehicle with enhanced traction control, so your tires grip the surface more efficiently.
  • If you need to brake hard for any reason, a tough set of SUV tires can decrease your vehicle’s stopping time on wet or dry surfaces.

Types of SUV Tires

Tires allow your vehicle to travel over more than just paved roads. If you need a set to get you through snow, rain, and mud, you can certainly find one that works for your SUV.

All-Season Tires

All-season tires are developed to function expertly during all four seasons. They are one of the most common types of tires and provide you with a more comfortable ride. They grip wet streets well, and the tread tends to wear down evenly. You can also use them to get through snow or sleet, but deep and wet snow will be more difficult.

Mud Tires

Mud-terrain tires allow your SUV to cruise through mud, dirt, and water a lot easier than all-season or all-terrain tires. They are generally on the heavier and heftier side and feature wide tread patterns that sling away debris to prevent your vehicle from getting stuck.

Snow Tires

If you live in a snowy region, you should consider a set of winter tires. While they won’t guarantee you’ll get through every snowbank, they will allow you to maneuver the SUV more effectively in snowy conditions. Look for the Three-Peak Mountain SnowFlake symbol on the tires to ensure you get proper snow tires. Keep in mind that their performance suffers on dry roads, and you will need to remove them once the winter season has ended.

All-Terrain Tires

All-terrain tires offer you the best of all-season and mud tires. While they are not as dependable as mud-terrain tires, they will help your SUV get through muddy and slick grass with ease. Plus, you can use them on the highway and don’t have to switch them out if you take a short trip off-road.

What to Look for When Buying SUV Tires 

SUVs are versatile and can hold a lot of passengers and haul a heavy load with their hitches. So, if you have an SUV, you may want to tow a trailer, camper, or RV from time to time. A good set of strong and aggressive tires will allow you to carry more weight more effectively and increase the performance of your SUV in the process.

Tire Size

If you are just swapping out your old worn tires for new SUV tires, pay attention to the size of your OEM tires. They need to match the wheel or rim in order to fit properly. You can find the size of your tire stamped on the sidewall of the rubber. For instance, 245/65R17 means the width of the tires is 245, and their height is equal to 65 percent of their width. You can check with the vehicle’s manual to see what size(s) will fit your SUV.

Load Capacity

Perhaps one of the most important factors to consider when choosing new SUV tires is their load capacity. Every tire comes with a maximum amount of weight they can carry effectively. This will also be written on the sidewall of the tire and will be a single letter between A through F. 

Tread Pattern

There are three types of tread pattern designs on SUV tires: symmetrical, unidirectional, and asymmetrical. Symmetrical patterns are perhaps the best option because they have a longer-lasting lifespan and wear down more evenly over time. Unidirectional treads flow in a single direction and tend to wear down more quickly. Asymmetrical tread patterns are a blend of the previous two and include increased traction control.

Tips for Buying and Using SUV Tires 

You should consider a few things before purchasing new SUV tires to make sure you get the best set for your vehicle. Think about how often you drive the SUV, where you drive it, and if you haul trailers or campers. Knowing these tips will allow you to choose the best SUV tires for your ride.

Tips

  • Determine how much your SUV weighs before buying new tires to make sure they can carry the weight of the vehicle.
  • If you pull a trailer or RV, measure the combined weight of your SUV and your cargo to see if the tires can handle the weight capacity.
  • Keep in mind where you do most of your driving. If it’s off-road, then you may want to invest in all-terrain or mud tires.
  • All-season tires are best for everyday driving and provide your SUV with a much more comfortable and smooth ride.
  • Check the tire pressure of each tire during any major shift in temperature.

Best SUV Tires FAQ:

Q. How often should I rotate the tires on my SUV?

Rotate them once every few months or every 6,000 to 8,000 miles. However, if you do more strenuous activities such as off-road driving or if you pull trailers, you should rotate the tires more often.

Q. How can I tell if a tire is worn?

Examine the tire. If you see it is going flat or it’s overinflated, that’s a good sign you should check the tire. Also, bumps or bubbles in the sidewall are bad signs, and they may mean the tread or belt is damaged. You can also test to see if the tread is wearing down by placing a penny in between the patterns. If you can see President Lincoln’s head, it may be time to swap them out.

Q. What can I do to clean my SUV tires?

Use a hose and soap. After spraying them down you can wipe them down with a scrub brush and then dry them. Afterward, use a tire shine product to prevent and reduce the amount of debris that appears on the rubber.

Our Top Pick

For any SUV owner who is looking to get a great set of tires, you can’t go wrong with the Bridgestone Dueler HL Alenza All-Season Radial Tire. These tires offer a highly aggressive yet elegant design and are built to function all year round. From dry concrete to wet and slick streets, these tires power through and grip the surface tightly and securely. Plus, they offer little to zero road noise. Altogether, they’d make a great addition to any SUV.

Sources

  1. How to Change a Flat Tire
  2. How to Change a Tire