How to choose tires for SUVs: From size to type

How to choose tires for SUVs: From size to type

Choosing tyres for SUV

Selecting the best tires for SUVs is a crucial decision that can impact your vehicle’s performance, safety, and comfort. 

With a wide range of options available, comprehending the factors that matter the most can make the process smoother. Keep scrolling and explore all the considerations to choose the perfect set of tires for your SUV.

Tips on how to choose tires for your SUV

Choosing the right tires for your SUV involves carefully evaluating various factors. Here are some key aspects to guide your decision:

Construction & material

The construction type and materials used significantly determine the tire’s performance, durability, and suitability for different driving conditions.

Radial tires: Radial tires are constructed with layers of fabric cords and steel belts, offering a comfortable ride due to their flexible sidewalls.

Bias tires: Bias-ply tires have crisscrossed fabric cords layers, making them durable and suitable for heavy loads. 

Bias-belted tires: These tires combine features of both radial and bias tires, offering a balance of durability and ride comfort. They have diagonal bias plies along with steel belts for improved performance.

Additionally, tire manufacturers employ a range of materials to craft tires that excel in specific aspects. They use rubber compounds for the tread, sidewalls, and inner layers to enhance grip, longevity, and flexibility.

On the other hand, nylon cords are utilized to reinforce strength and improve load-carrying capacity.

Longevity – treadwear grades

Treadwear grades are standardized indicators that help consumers understand the expected lifespan of a tire’s tread.

The treadwear grade is a three-digit number; a higher number means a longer tread life. For example, a tire with a treadwear grade of 500 is expected to last longer than 300. 

Therefore, it is advisable to consider these grades as a general guideline rather than an absolute prediction of a tire’s lifespan.

Right tires for SUVs

Tread depth

Tread depth directly affects a tire’s ability to grip the road surface, particularly in wet or snowy conditions. 

Tires are legally considered bald when their tread depth reaches around 2/32 of an inch, which is the minimum requirement in many regions for safe driving.

“Drivers frequently encountering wet or snowy roads should prioritize tires with good tread depth to ensure perfect traction since it will assist you in improving water dispersion and decreasing hydroplaning risk,” comments Robert Herrera, a tire expert at COR Wheels.

Weather features

Weather features in tires refer to the design and technology that are optimized for specific weather conditions.

All-season tires: These are designed to perform adequately in various conditions, including dry, wet, and light snowy conditions

Summer tires: Summer tires are optimized for warm weather. They assist in better grip on dry roads and deliver precise handling.

Winter tires: With specialized rubber compounds and tread patterns, the best snow tire for SUVs will offer better braking and cornering ability on slippery surfaces.

Traction grade rating

The traction grade rating shows a tire’s wet road grip. It’s rated from highest to lowest as: AA, A, B, and C. 

AA-rated tires offer the best-wet traction and shortest stopping distances, while C-rated tires provide the lowest level of traction.

Choose a rating based on your region’s weather and driving needs for safer and more confident driving on wet roads.

Temperature grade rating

Temperature grade rating measures a tire’s resistance to heat buildup under certain conditions, and reflects a tire’s ability to dissipate heat and maintain structural integrity, significantly preventing tire blowouts due to excessive heat.

This rating is marked as A, B, or C, with A being the highest with better heat resistance.

Load range and carrying capacity

Load range shows how a tire can handle the weight, with each field corresponding to a specific maximum load capacity. 

The carrying power of tires is directly linked to load range and signifies the maximum weight a tire can support at a particular pressure of air.

Hence, selecting tires with a load range that matches or exceeds your vehicle’s weight requirements is crucial.

Speed rating

Speed ratings are usually represented by letters – each symbolizing a specific speed range. For instance, an ‘S’ rating is a maximum speed of 112mph, while a ‘Y’ allows for runs up to 186mph.

Therefore, consider picking tires with a speed rating that matches your driving habits as it directly affects your vehicle’s handling and safety, especially during high-speed driving.

Fuel efficiency

Tires can influence your vehicle’s fuel consumption due to their rolling resistance, which impacts how easily the tires move across the road. 

Low-rolling resistance tires are designed to minimize energy loss and improve fuel efficiency. 

Moreover, factors such as tire weight, tread design, and inflation pressure can also affect MPG. 

Each aspect ensures a comfortable and safe ride, from tire types and sizes to tread patterns.

By assessing your driving habits and considering factors like weather conditions and road surfaces, you can make an informed decision that enhances your SUV’s performance while providing a smooth and reliable driving experience.