Car Buyer Labs

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The Top 5 Tire Brands for your Ride

When scoping out tires for sale in Albany, NY, you might have noticed there are many different types and brands of tires. Unfortunately, it’s impossible for you to know which brands are good without doing a little research. Therefore, I’ve decided to conveniently pile the top five tire brands in one post. Since I don’t have the time, money, or patience to test hundreds of tires, we can both thank Consumer Reports for testing out the multitude of brands, and letting us know which brand makes the best car tire.

You’ll be happy to know that some of the brands are easily recognizable, which means you might already have a set on your car. So sit back, relax, and take a look through the top five tire brands to buy for your vehicle. I’ll also go over a type of tire from each brand, that way you have a more specific place to start looking when it comes time to buy.

1. Michelin

Looks like the big puffy Michelin Man isn’t lying when he pops on TV and talks about how good his tires are, because according to Consumer Reports tire testing, Michelin scored the highest. Makes sense, considering that the brand is class-leading when it comes to tread wear, and offers long-lasting tread wear warranties on all winter and summer tires. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case with most other tire brands. Along with their class-leading tread wear, Michelin tires are also known to offer a nearly perfect blend of grip, low rolling resistance for good fuel economy, and handling.

The Michelin Defender tire is a particular tire to pay attention to. It’s one of the more common all-season tires, and is priced at $120.00 retail. It’s suitable for a plethora of family cars, small SUVs, and light-duty trucks, and has one of the impressive warranties I mentioned earlier. This particular warranty covers 90,000 miles, which actually falls in-line with the wear potential determined by Consumer Reports test results. What does that mean, exactly? It means that this tire is the real deal, and that impressive amount of mileage on the warranty is no joke. 90,000 miles of driving is possible with these tires.

But, Michelin tires tend to be a little pricier. Therefore, a lot of consumers might overlook them. Buying yourself a brand new set would cost $480.00. Then again, this is one of those situations where you get what you pay for, and the class-leading tread wear might be worth it.

2. Continental


The Continental tire brand came in at a close second, and this company consistently offers high-scoring tires that are known for their amazing grip on dry and wet roads. Even though they are typically priced lower, they didn’t quite beat Michelin entirely. Why? Because, they simply can’t last as long.

Take their performance all-season tire, for example, which is the PureContact tire. This tire was top rated in part because of it’s exceptional seasonal driving performance and comfort (just like Michelin) but failed to adhere to the 70,000 mile warranty. During the Consumer Reports test, it wore out at 55,000 miles of use. Not only does that not line up with the warranty, but it almost didn’t even last half as long as the Michelin Defender all-season tire, which did line up with its 90,00 mile wear-out warranty.

The only saving grace is that they are cheaper (some types significantly cheaper) than Michelin tires. If you are looking to save money here and now while still getting decent enough quality, grab a set of Continental tires.

3. Goodyear


Coming in at third on the list is Goodyear, which is almost just as well known as Michelin. Overall, their tires are only known for being average in terms of performance and protection. Recently though, they have started providing some strong contenders for trucks and ultra-high performance tires. Not to mention, the Goodyear Assurance TripleTread All-Season tire is rather impressive as well. But for snowy climates, Consumer Reports still recommends the Goodyear Assurance ComfortTred Touring tire — which is their actual snow tire.

For the sake of consistency, let’s take a look at their TripleTread All-Season tire. This tire costs about the same as the Michelin Defender, and is also good for family cars, small SUVs, and light-duty trucks. The tread wear warranty is listed at 80,000 miles, and the test results were comparable. So why then, is it rated lower than Continental? Simple – because it didn’t perform as well through all the seasons like the all-season tire from Continental. Like I said before: for optimal winter performance, the ComfortTred Touring tire is needed.

Also, this all-season costs a little more on average than the Michelin tire, which means you are paying more for less.

4. Pirelli


Pirelli might not be that well-known to you because they are primarily known for their ultra-high performance tires. While these might do great on the track when equipped to high-end sports cars, what matters for the average consumer the most is the more common tire type like all-season. The options for the “lesser” vehicles are solid, but nothing like Michelin or Continental.

For this brand, a more common tire that might be found on your average car is the P Zero Nero All Season tire, designed to equip sedans and coupes. It has decent enough stopping power, but the low tread wear warranty of 45,000 is all too common on Pirelli tires, which means it can’t perform nearly as well or last as long as the number one and two spots on this list.

The low tread wear warranty (and life), along with their overall mediocre performance is what dropped Pirelli to fourth place. But, if you are looking for a good racing tire for your sports car, there is no better brand.

5. A Four-Way Tie

For Consumer Reports, the number five spot came down to a four-way tie between the Hankook, Cooper, Nokian, and Yokohama brands. Hankook has the top-rated Dynapro AT-M in the all-terrain category, whereas Cooper provides strong truck tires for work and winter weather. Nokian also specializes in producing great winter tires, and Yokohama’s all-season tires impressed Consumer Reports with their sporty flair. So while it might be a four-way tie for these brands, they still each have their own specialization. So, if you want a cheaper tire geared towards a more specific type of scenario, you’ll need to choose accordingly.

In an unexpected twist from Consumer Reports, the fifth spot ended in a four-way tie. Therefore, there are actually eight tire brands total on this list you can choose from. But, the last four that reside in the number five spot still come nowhere near close to the quality and performance of Michelin or Continental tires. So unless you are looking for a good sports car tire, or a particular type that one of the brands in the number five spot excels in, grab one from the top three on this list for a good blend of performance and price.