Automotive vehicles have gone a long way in increasing people’s efficiency and functionality. As economic and environmental concerns continue to increase, more is being asked of these machines. One area that has received motorists’ attention is the type of tire used on their cars. Having to purchase up to three sets of tires for snowy winters, rain-soaked summers and dry springs used to be a reality for most. Tightening budgets however, have seen numerous tire manufacturers coming up with various all-season tires. The obvious advantages of using a single set of tires, year round has made all-season tires quite popular. Despite this it can be a challenge to pick out the performers from the pretenders. A good way to assess the performance of an all-season tire is by looking at the categories they come in.

Best All-Season Tires

A number of reputable brands offer general purpose all – season tires. These bring together a mix of competencies, while delivering good performance in wet, snowy and dry conditions. They are mainly targeted at daily drivers, usually having a reasonable tread depth. Most rubber compounds used for these tires is structured to minimize tread wear. Some of the leaders in this category are as follows:

Goodyear Assurance ComfortTred Touring

Very few all-season tires measure up to the Goodyear Assurance ComfortTred Touring tires.

They are created with Dual Comfort Zones embedded in the sidewall and tread. This allows for a comfortable ride with minimal road noise.

The tire boasts a cushioning of up to 20% more than the average passenger tire, making it perfect for those long commutes in traffic. An asymmetric tread pattern ensures that handling and steering are heightened at any time of the year.

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Michelin Defender All-Season

2011 Toyota Corolla

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It comes as no surprise that Michelin makes this list. With a stellar reputation for quality tires, the Defender All-Season tires continue this legacy. These can easily be considered Michelin’s best base product for passenger cars. It is well reputed for above-average tread life. In both wet and dry driving conditions, the Defender perform well, with excellent traction for abrupt braking. The tire has a low rolling resistance that enhances fuel economy. Year-round grip is streamlined by use of biting edges that run the expanse of the tires.

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Kumho Solus KH16

Kumho has a patented technology concept in the Solus KH16 tire. The Solus has multiple sipes on its tread and optimal groove placement that allows for constant contact and traction with road surfaces, regardless of the weather. Designed with nimble city vehicles in mind, the tires have Cornering Lag Technology [LAG] which allows for precision in acute cornering and a heightened steering sensitivity. A blend of attractive looks, great affordability and a refined, quiet ride make the Kumho Solus KH16 an all-season winner for most city slickers.

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Hankook Optimo H727

The Hankook Optimo H727 tires have been engineered with a focus on giving unswerving traction on any kind of driving surface. A rigid mid-rib assures that that steering sensitivity and stability are optimal. The tire also has a quad-circumferential groove system that works to effectively evacuate water reducing instances of hydroplaning. To minimise road noise, interlocking notches are employed. These also have the effect of yielding a more comfortable ride. Technologies such as Carbon Compounding Technology [CCT] and Footprint Shape Optimization [FSO] help to give a balanced tire that delivers across the year.

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Continental PureContact

The Continental PureContact is purpose built for those who live in areas that experience all types of weather conditions. The tires are moulded from a silica-enhanced compound with EcoPlus Technology that puts together Tg-F Polymers and +Silane stabilizers. This translates into optimized tread life, fuel economy and grip on wet surfaces. A computer-generated tread pattern makes for much low levels of road noise and refined comfort. The tires have sipes that run the circumference of the tire, ensuring three dimensional grip in snow and icy driving conditions.

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Best Performance All-Season Tires

While some motorists are content to have a confident tire that will deliver, some will want a bit of exhilaration in addition. This is the territory of performance all-season tires. Drivers of sport coupes and performance sedans require tires that will match their vehicle capabilities. There are a few that have managed to deliver in this regard.

Nitto Neo Gen

Drivers of sport coupes will appreciate a tire that can be pushed to the limit and still be counted on when it comes to traction and braking. This is exactly the case with the Nitto Neo Gen tire. Specifically engineered for all-season driving on sporty coupes and sedans, the Neo Gens work best with lowered vehicles. Adorned with a single block shoulder framework, stability and road-holding are fully optimized. The specially-formulated compound allows for uniform tread degradation thanks to tread flexing. This is a great choice that fits on both modern and earlier model performance cars.

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Continental ExtremeContact DWS

As sport sedans have evolved in terms of power, more has become required of the tires they sit on. A specimen that stands tall in the face of this challenge is the Continental ExtremeContact DWS tire. This all-season performance tire is made to fit on numerous sport coupes and sedans. With outstanding water evacuation inspired by a gridlock of interlocking sipes  and grooves, wet handling is a breeze. An intricate, assymetrical tread design allows for enhanced traction whether in dry or wet driving environments. The tires boast have a marginal reduction in distortion thus yielding a low rolling resistance and streamlined energy delivery.

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Kumho Ecsta PA31

In instances where one has a sport coupe that also has four wheel drive, a performance balance that will compliment the speed and traction that the car offers is imperative. Such delivery can be found in the likes of the Kumho Ecsta PA31. With a comparatively high sipe density compounded by wide cross grooves, water evacuation is swift. This makes for unrivalled grip in icy and wet weather conditions. By making use of a directional tread pattern, the tire wears out uniformly, providing steering and handling that lasts the tire’s days. Kumho have incorporated ESCOT Technology to enhance steering feedback. One can be assured of a long-life, performance driving experience thanks to an optimized cord tension system, distributed within the sidewall structure.

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Toyo Proxes 4 Plus

The Toyo Proxes 4 Plus tires could easily be one of the finest ultra-high performance all-season tires one can come across. With a claimed ‘better snow braking’ and up to 47% better tread life than the competition, the Proxes 4 Plus tire definitely has a great value proposition. This tire is especially geared towards high powered vehicles and a load index rating of 103 will ensure that performance is not compromised, regardless of the nature of the freight. Tapered, 10 inch deep grooves make for excellent traction on wet and dry surfaces alike.

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Falken Visa Ultra High

Falken have taken a leading role in mating technology with sheer performance and nowhere is this more apparent than with the Falken Visa Ultra tires. They incorporate a contemporary wide steel belt frame that is more robust than the usual cord structure. The result is world-class performance that lasts for a lot longer than the average. The wide surface area of the tire has long lateral sipes that evacuate water efficiently and give good traction in wet driving conditions. A jointless nylon cap ply and layer enhance the stability and longevity of the tire when cruising in wet conditions.

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Best SUV / Light Truck All-Season Tires

Having an all-season tire can be particularly important to drivers of light vans and trucks. Most such individuals seek the versatility that comes with owning a vehicle that is equally comfortable on urban roads, the countryside paths as well as any other terrain they may fancy. This exposes tires to a wide and differing array of driving environments.  Fortunately some options, that can be counted on year-round, are available.

General Grabber AT2

Specifically for those who want to conquer pretty much any terrain, the General Grabber AT2 offers amazing traction. Styled with an dominant appearance and a self=cleaning tread design, chances of getting stuck in the mud are slim. An inventive 5-channel tread design offers exceptional contact with numerous gripping edges make for uncompromising traction. The AT2s have a well tuned acoustics for reduced road noise. When it comes to snow driving, these tires meet the rigorous snow service requirements of the RMA and RAC.

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Hankook Ventus ST RH06

These are high performance tires designed for SUVs and light trucks. They spot a V-shaped tread pattern for ultimate handling in both wet and dry road conditions. Technology played a part in coming with the tire compound and tread pattern, both of which are computer aided designs. Special attention has been given to ride quality and noise levels by use of a Dual Depth Pitch Theory [DDPT] concept. The tire also has a rim protector structure to prevent curb damage, scrapes and outer shocks.

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Mastercraft Courser AXT

Anyone who’s done some serious off-roading knows the letdown of not having a capable set of tires. One would be forgiven for thinking the Mastercraft Courser AXT tires were designed by someone who’d faced this challenge. Capable in all rugged terrain, the tires are equipped with an agile 5-rib tread pattern that will conquer any landscape. This design is augmented by intermediate tread elements that perform even in dense rock debris. A rigid, buttress shoulder design means the tire will maintain stability, even when being driven hard over uneven terrain.

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Goodyear Wrangler Silent Armor

Chevrolet Silverado LTZ

One of the key advantages of owning a truck is the ability to carry out heavier duty tasks than would be possible with a smaller car. In such instances, a capable tire such as the Goodyear Wrangler Silent Armor will make all the difference. This tire features the Silent Armor™ technology which ensures maximum traction even when carrying heavy loads. A long-life compound makes up the tire, allowing for all-season strength and toughness when towing through any terrain. The radial construction, fitted with tread wear indicators will always keep the driver in the loop as to when to rotate and / or change the tires.

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Firestone Destination M/T

Toyota FJ Cruiser 2007

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It comes as no surprise that Firestone makes this list as well. The manufactures’ ability to use technology and engineering to make great tires has built a good reputation for them. This is no different for the Destination M/T tires. A Computer Optimized Component System [CO-CS] ensures optimal performance by bringing in a mix of intelligent tread design, casing mould and materials. Their LL Carbon compound assists with tread wear while simultaneously guarding against sidewall cracking and tearing. Rim guards are built into the tire’s structure, minimizing the risk of curb damage by use of a raised rubber ridge. Though they are meant to be driven off-road, comfort is not compromised with the Firestone Destination M/T tires. O-bead enhancements mean a comfortable ride is ensured, through the utilization of a unbroken lead within the bead framework. The result is a mix of hardy off-road capability, mixed with refined ride feel.

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