Tire Selection: Get to Know the Different Types of Tires

Wilbert Tan

All tires are not created equal. If you find your current set lacking in your area of primary concern–whether fuel economy, durability, performance, etc.–you have more buying options than you realize. So which tire is right for your vehicle? CARMUDI provides you this list of different tire types so you can choose the one that best suits your vehicle as well as your particular driving needs.

For Sedans, Minivans, Compact Vehicles, and Crossovers

All-Season

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As the name suggests, this tire type is designed to deliver satisfactory traction whatever the season. Satisfying the needs of most road conditions, all-season tires are characterized by harder rubber for better durability against warm weather, and deep, symmetrical tread pattern and circumferential grooves for better traction on wet roads.

Touring

Also known as grand touring tires, touring tires are basically all-season tires with improved handling capabilities. An asymmetrical tread pattern allows this tire to achieve a higher speed rating than regular tires. If you value performance over comfort, then touring tires are a good option for you.

Performance

If you want higher speed ratings than touring tires, then performance tires are what you’re looking for. The enhanced speed rating comes from silica-enriched tire material, which allows for better grip regardless of the weather.

Summer

©bridgestonetire.com

This type of tire is optimized for warm weather. However, it can deliver consistent handling in both wet or dry conditions. While the material itself is resistant to expansion, solid contact patches and circumferential grooves allow for improved hydroplaning resistance, which means little to no slipping on wet roads.

Trucks and SUVs

Off-Road

©bridgestonetire.com

Ideal for drivers who primarily use their vehicles on rough terrain and do on-road driving sparingly. This type of tire is built with sidewalls that are stiffer than usual to provide better protection against puncture during off-road travels. The treads are spaced wider than what’s seen in regular tires so that dirt won’t stick and loosen up with use.

Trail

A little more rugged than highway tires, trail tires provide satisfactory performance on both on-road and off-road travel. If you’re on the highway as much as you’re on trails that comprise gravel, stone, soil, and sand, trail tires will help you strike the right balance in performance that you’re looking for.

Soft Terrain

Otherwise known as mud terrain tires, soft terrain tires are best for use on deep mud and sand, soft terrain tires typically feature an extremely aggressive tread pattern comprising larger tread blocks and more voids than off-road tires. These features extend to the sidewall to give the tire better traction in soft terrains while also imparting it with a more rugged appearance.

Highway

©bridgestonetire.com

Contrary to off-road tires, highway tires are designed primarily for enhanced on-road performance. Although these have all-season tread patterns, more durable compounds are used in the manufacturing process to help the tire resist wear and achieve long-lasting tread life.

Sport

Sport tires are for trucks as touring and performance tires are for sedans. These feature higher speed ratings than highway or off-road tires, which come courtesy of the asymmetrical tread pattern inherent in tires that prioritize speed and performance above other considerations.

Ribbed

For ultimate handling and long-lasting mileage in your truck, ribbed tires are your top option. These are characterized by a streamlined rib design for better stability, even when hauling heavy loads. The less aggressive tread also enhances wet weather traction and minimizes hydroplaning.

Be Sure about Your Need

It can help to talk to a courteous and knowledgeable salesperson when you’re choosing the right tires for your needs. Visit a trusted tire supplier so you’ll know exactly what you’re looking for.

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