Choosing good tires is critical -- they can bring out the best in a car's braking and handling capabilities and keep occupants safe in an emergency situation.
In its latest tests of more than 150 tires, Consumer Reports identified a selection of good choices in nine categories. Models from Bridgestone, Continental, Cooper, Dunlop, General, Goodyear, Hankook, Kumho, Michelin, Nokian, Pirelli and Sumitomo were among the high-scoring tires across the categories.
CR tested each tire for the following: wet, dry and ice braking, handling, hydroplaning, snow traction, ride comfort, noise, rolling resistance and tread life to determine an overall score. It recently highlighted top-performers in the followingcategories: all-season tires for cars and SUVs/trucks; all-terrain tires for SUVs/trucks; H- and V-rated performance all-season tires; ultra-high-performance (UHP) all-season tires; UHP summer tires; winter tires for cars and SUVs/trucks; and performance winter tires for cars.
CR's highly-rated all-season tires for cars include the Continental ProContact EcoPlus, Michelin Energy Saver A/S and Hankook Optimo H727; for SUVs and trucks, the Michelin LTX M/S2 and Michelin X Radial LT2. All-terrain SUVs and truck tires include the Cooper Discoverer A/T3 and the Michelin LTX A/T2.
For performance and ultra-high performance (UHP) tires, CR's highly-rated H and V performance all-season tires include the Michelin Primacy MXV4(H) and the Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S(V); UHP all-season tires include the Pirelli P Zero Nero All Season, Cooper Zeon RS3-A and Sumitomo HTR A/S PO1.
BEWARE OF NEW TRENDS
CR cautions car buyers that they may have to research new vehicle models carefully. Some new cars no longer come with a spare tire or jack. For example, the Hyundai Accent is only equipped with a small air compressor and sealant kit to reinflate a flat tire.
CR also advises consumers to be mindful of the type of tire that comes on a new vehicle as even some mainstream cars, including the Mazda3, Subaru Impreza and Toyota Camry, feature performance tires, either standard or optional.