Best Tire Brand for 2022

Tires. They’re not the most exciting thing you can buy for your car, but they’re essential for keeping you safe. Those boring pieces of rubber are what provide the traction you need to stay in control when you’re driving. Lose that traction and you lose control, so you need to pick the right tires for your car and for the conditions in which you drive.

Despite how big a tire looks, it’s only a small part of your tire touching the road at any one time. Take an 8.5-by-11-inch piece of paper and fold it in half once and then in half again. That’s about the size of the contact patch, which is the area of a tire that touches the road. Yeah, it’s small, so it’s important that you do everything you can to help that contact patch do its job.

There’s a lot to figure out when you’re buying tires, so I did the hard work and picked the best tire brands for a variety of needs. Whether you’re on a budget or ready to splurge, there’s a tire brand for you. There are also tire manufacturer recommendations for those who like to off-road and those focused on performance. And, since it’s unavoidable if you live where there’s winter weather, I picked the best brand of tires for dealing with cold and snowy conditions.

Buying a reputable brand does make a difference. “Owners of Michelin brand tires benefit from over 100 years of tire research and innovation and a focus on understanding what consumers want in tires and vehicles. These technologies allow Michelin to break traditional compromises in performance between wear, wet traction and winter traction,” said Russell Shepherd, technical communications director at Michelin. It’s the experience, technical know-how and constant innovation of well-known brands that makes their tires reliable.

I considered a variety of factors in deciding which brands to recommend. I looked at overall tire performance, consumer ratings and professional ratings from professionals including the folks at Tire Rack to come up with this list. Here are the best tire brands to consider the next time you need to pick out a new replacement tire set.

Michelin Tires

Our pick for best tire brand overall is Michelin. As one of the world’s top tire manufacturers, Michelin tire continues to innovate with high quality tires that earn excellent consumer ratings. Its tires cover a wide range of applications with an especially strong selection of performance options as a part of its Pilot Sport lineup. Those looking for winter weather or all-season tires will find great choices in its CrossClimate offerings. Many of its new tires include a six-year warranty against manufacturer’s defects, which helps make their higher cost easier to budget.


Goodyear is the runner-up for best tire brand overall with a long history of manufacturing quality tires. Every Goodyear tire goes through extensive in-house testing before it reaches the market to ensure it meets stringent standards for braking, acceleration and handling. There’s a tire for pretty much every use case from the Goodyear tire company with its line of Eagle tires especially well-suited to performance driving. It also offers all-season and summer tires as a part of the Eagle lineup and an impressive range of off-road tires in its Wrangler range. Although pricier than some other brands, some Goodyear tires feature a six-year warranty so you won’t be replacing them as frequently as less expensive discount tire options.

Michelin Tires

If money is no object, then take a look at what Michelin has to offer. Although it has plenty of affordable tires in its lineup if you’re on a budget, it also offers several premium options for those with deeper pockets. It has an exceptional selection of high-end performance tires as a part of its Pilot Sport series which offers superior quality, durability and handling for driving enthusiasts. Warranties of up to six years for manufacturer’s defects on select tires helps offset the higher cost of its premium tire model products.

Continental Tire

Continental Tire has a great reputation with an especially strong focus on all-season tires through its ProContact and CrossContact lineups. There are also options for winter and off-road tires for both cars and SUVs. The tire manufacturer puts an emphasis on safe, eco-friendly tires that are easier on the environment, which is an added bonus. While not the cheapest tires you can buy, Continental is generally more affordable than popular tire brands like Michelin or Goodyear, which makes them a good midrange option.

Cooper Tires

If you’re on a budget, but still want to get a quality set of tires, then consider going with the Cooper Tire and Rubber Company. It doesn’t have the extensive range of the larger, pricier tire brands, but it does offer something to suit a wide range of driving scenarios. This includes everything from performance tires to winter tires for cars to all-season and off-road options for SUVs and trucks as a part of its Discoverer range. Some of its tires even feature an 80,000-mile tread life warranty, so you’re getting a great value when you go with Cooper. 

BFGoodrich Tires

Our top tire brand pick for SUVs is BFGoodrich. Since SUVs carry a heavier load, they need tires that can do that job. While some compact SUVs use the tires found on passenger cars, that’s not the case with larger vehicles that need a SUV tire. The options from BFGoodrich are both affordable and durable and cover a wide range of driving conditions. There’s the Advantage T/A Sport LT for all-season driving, which covers what most drivers need, but there are more rugged offerings. Those who off-road will appreciate the Mud-Terrain T/A and All-Terrain T/A tires which let you have some fun in the dirt while still delivering good on-road manners.

Bridgestone Tire

Bridgestone is the top tire brand for run-flat tires. While standard tires lose air when they’re punctured and require pulling over to avoid damaging your vehicle, run-flat tires do exactly what their name suggests and can still be driven for a short time when punctured. They generally offer about 100 miles of range, so you have time to find a repair shop. Bridgestone offers a wide range of run-flats in every category from its Potenza performance tires to its Turanza all-season and summer tires. If you need run-flats for your truck or SUV, then check out its Dueler lineup.

Pirelli Tire

Performance enthusiasts will want to consider putting a set of Pirelli tires on their vehicle. The patented tread pattern on Pirelli’s performance tires is specially designed to provide good grip on wet and dry surfaces. That same tread also helps improve handling in high-speed driving. Its P Zero lineup includes a range of performance tires for cars and even features options for street legal track and competition tires. Those who drive SUVs and trucks have the Scorpion range from Pirelli tire for all-season and winter driving.

BFGoodrich Tires

BFGoodrich produces a range of off-road tires known for durability. It’s All-Terrain T/A tires provide superior control off-road while still offering smooth handling during on-road driving. It has great durability and is good for use all year long, even in the snow. There’s also the Mud-Terrain T/A tire for those who plan to tackle even more aggressive off-road terrain including rock climbing and deep mud. These tires have the flexibility to handle off-road obstacles while still providing a well-mannered on-road drive.

Comparison of the best tire brand for 2022

Tire brand Notable tire model lines
Best tire brand overall Michelin CrossClimate, Defender, Pilot Sport, Primacy, X-Ice
Best tire brand overall runner-up Goodyear Assurance, Eagle, Eagle F1, Ultra Grip, Wrangler,
Best tire brand if money is no object Michelin CrossClimate, Defender, Pilot Sport, Primacy, X-Ice
Best midrange tire brand Continental ContiProContact, ContiSportContact, CrossContact, ExtremeContact, PremiumContact, TrueContact
Best affordable tire brand Cooper Cobra, CS5, Discoverer, Endeavor, Evolution, Zeon
Best tire brand for SUVs BFGoodrich Advantage, All-Terrain, Krawler, Mud-Terrain, Trail-Terrain
Best tire brand for trucks Continental 4×4 Contact, ContiTrac, ContiSportContact, CrossContact, TerrainContact,
Best tire brand for minivans Cooper CS5, Endeavor, Evolution
Best tire brand for run-flat tires Bridgestone Alenza, Blizzak, Dueler, Ecopia, Potenza, Turanza,
Best tire brand for high-performance driving Pirelli P Zero, Cinturato P7, Scorpion, Winter Sottozero
Best tire brand for off-roading BFGoodrich Advantage, All-Terrain, Krawler, Mud-Terrain, Trail-Terrain
Best tire brand for winter weather Bridgestone Blizzak, Dueler

Tire Rack

Anatomy of a tire

They may look like nothing more than big circles of black rubber, but your tires are actually carefully engineered components of your car. From the size to the tread pattern to the compounds that make up the rubber, tires are designed to maintain traction, so you maintain control.

The sidewall is the part of the tire that you see from the side. It doesn’t roll along the road and is often smooth since it’s not designed for traction. It’s also where you’ll see all the information about what kind of tire is on your vehicle, which I’ll get to in a minute.

While most tires have a smooth sidewall, that’s not the case for every tire. Tires designed to venture off into the wilderness often have a tread that extends up onto the sidewall. This helps protect it from damage caused by wayward rocks and branches and provides additional traction for rock crawling.

The part of the tire that touches the road always has a tread, but how that tread looks varies greatly. Performance tires tend to be smoother and have a shorter tread life. They’re designed to stick to pavement and keep you from sliding during high-speed cornering, but they’re not designed for poor weather or off-roading.

Winter and off-road tires go in the other direction with more aggressive treads that generally last longer. All those grooves and notches are designed to wick water away, so the rubber maintains contact with the pavement. Winter tires may even have treads that hold the snow. This seems counterintuitive but think about how you build a snowman. Snow sticks to snow as you roll that snowman body. Holding a bit of the snow in the tread helps your tires maintain traction by sticking to the snow on a covered road surface.

Craig Cole/CNET

Basic types of tires

There are a few basic types of tires, and each is suited to a specific situation.

  • All-Season: These tires perform well in all conditions from warm to cold, wet to dry. While they do well in a wide range of conditions, they don’t perform well in extremes when temperatures plummet and the snow is deep or where summers are blistering hot.
  • Summer: A summer tire does best in hot, dry climates. The tread pattern and compounds are designed to provide peak traction in these conditions.
  • Winter: Anyplace with temps that frequently fall below 40 degrees is ideal for winter tires. Even if there’s not snow, the cold calls for the more flexible rubber compound of a winter tire.
  • Performance: High-speed driving is best with a performance tire. These are designed to provide optimum control during more aggressive maneuvering.
  • Off-Road: Those who love to head out into the wild will do well with an off-road tire. These tires have more rugged treads and sidewalls designed to provide traction and resist punctures from sticks and rocks.

BFGoodrich Tires

How to read a tire sidewall

In addition to the tire brand and the tire name, the sidewall provides specific information about tire size. There’s a method to the madness so once you know the formula, you can read the sidewall on any tire and know exactly what kind of tire is on your vehicle. Let’s break down the basics.

Example: P 225/50 R17 98 H

  • Tire Class: P stands for a P-metric or passenger tire. Light truck tires have an LT.
  • Width: This number (225) is the width of the tread in millimeters from side to side.
  • Aspect ratio: This number indicates the height of the sidewall as a percentage of the width, which is 50% in this example.
  • Construction type: The R stands for radial, which is pretty much all you’ll see these days.
  • Rim diameter: This is the diameter of the wheel that this tire will fit. This example tire fits a 17-inch wheel.
  • Load index: Covering a rating range from 70 to 126, this number lets you know how much weight a tire can safely manage and is generally only a concern for trucks that carry cargo.
  • Speed rating: Depending on the letter, your tires may be rated anywhere from 75 mph to 186 mph. An H tire falls in the middle with a rating of 130 mph. Regardless of your tire speed rating, always obey posted speed limits.

Emme Hall/CNET

Proper tire care

Maintaining proper inflation is one of the most important things you can do to maintain your tires. “Inflation changes over time. It drops about 1 pound per square inch per month and changes 1 psi for every 10 degrees the temperature changes,” said TJ Campbell, tire information and testing manager at Tire Rack. “If six months pass and the weather gets cold, then your tires are going to be underinflated.” An improperly inflated tire will wear unevenly and prematurely. Not only will that have you shelling out money for a replacement sooner, but it will also increase the chances of tire failure.

Rotating tires is another key part of tire care. “Rotate early. Rotate often,” said Campbell. “Tires are most susceptible to wear when they’re new, so being even slightly out of spec has a big effect on new tires.” Front tires bear the weight of your engine, so they tend to wear more quickly. Russell Shepherd, Technical Communications Director at Michelin echoed those sentiments. “The top two things you can do to maintain your tires are ensure proper inflation and rotate and inspect them every 6,000 to 8,000 miles or at the first sign of uneven or irregular wear,” he said.

Rotating your tires helps ensure all your tires wear evenly. The exact rotation pattern varies depending on your vehicle and your tires. Some are front to back, others are side to side, and sometimes there’s a combination of the two. Check your owner’s manual to see what the manufacturer recommends and follow those guidelines.

You should also periodically check your alignment. Even if your tires look fine, bumps in the road, potholes and off-road driving can knock them out of whack. You may even feel this as a wobble or pulsation in the steering wheel. Having your tire alignment checked ,and corrected if necessary, helps prevent premature tire wear.

Jon Wong/CNET

When should you replace a tire?

Every tire manufacturer has a recommended number of miles for which one of its tires is rated. Once you pass that mileage limitation, you should be looking for a new set of tires. That doesn’t mean you have to wait that long. In fact, there are lots of reasons why you may need to replace your tire sooner.

The most obvious is tire damage that can’t be safely repaired. “Damage, bulges, bald spots and severe cracking are all immediate cause to take a tire out of service,” said Campbell. While a puncture from an object such as a nail may be patched at your local tire shop, there is damage you can’t repair. This is especially true of sidewall damage. A puncture or tear on the sidewall may require tire replacement rather than repair.

“Tires should be regularly checked for inflation pressure at least monthly and examined frequently for foreign objects and other signs of tire damage. If any of these conditions are found, the tire should be inspected by a tire professional who can determine if the tire can be repaired or should be replaced,” said Shepherd.

A worn tread is also reason to replace a tire regardless of its mileage. There are wear bars that will be visible in the tread pattern when it’s too low, but the penny test is still the tried-and-true method for checking your tread depth. Take a penny and insert it between the treads with Lincoln’s head facing down into the tread. If you can see the top of his head above the tread, then the tread is below the recommended 2/32 of an inch deep and should be replaced.

Emme Hall/CNET

“If your state conducts inspections, this is when your tires will fail, so people call it the legal limit, but that’s really a misnomer,” said Campbell. “A tread depth of 2/32 is not adequate for all driving conditions. It may be okay in dry weather, but if there’s wet or standing water, then it’s not adequate.”

If you’re driving in wet conditions, then Campbell recommends a depth of 4/32. You can measure this by using a quarter instead of a penny to check that you can’t see the top of Washington’s head. If you drive in snow, then you need closer to 6/32 of tread depth.

Uneven tread wear, which is often a result of an improperly inflated tire, also means it’s time to replace your tires. This is a good reason to do the penny test in several spots on every tire to make sure the tread is good all the way around. You may even be able to feel uneven wear with the palm of your hand. If you run your hand along your tire and the tread feels smooth in some spots but rough in others, then the wear is uneven and the tire should be replaced.

Lastly, even a tire with low mileage needs to be replaced if it’s old. Rubber degrades over time, making any tire unsafe. “Even if everything looks good, we recommend replacing tires after six years of service, or 10 years from the date of manufacture,” said Campbell. Cracks, bulges and constant tire pressure issues are a sign that your tires are getting old and need to be replaced.

Tire Rack

What to look for in a new tire

Tires perform the essential task of maintaining traction, so it’s important to buy the right tires for your car and how you drive. “Our philosophy is finding the right tire for how, where and what you drive,” said Campbell. Can you go with cheap, no-name tires from some guy named Bob who got you a good deal and threw in a case of avocados for good measure? Technically, yes, but going with a discount tire is not recommended. “Major manufacturers are more tech-focused,” said Campbell. “They have the ability, know-how and skill to make tires that perform at a high level across the board.”

A known and established tire brand ensures you’re getting a quality product. This includes a tire that’s correctly labeled and thoroughly tested to do what it’s supposed to do, whether that’s hitting high speeds on a track or climbing over rocks and through mud off-road. It also ensures the rubber itself is designed correctly. Summer tires and winter tires have specific formulations designed for seasonal temperatures, so be sure to get the tire that suits your environment.

While you will pay more for brand name tire manufacturers, that doesn’t mean you need to buy that brand’s most expensive tire. Highly specialized variants cost more but aren’t necessary unless you plan to do extreme off-roading or track events. Where cost does make a difference is in tread life and warranty coverage. The longer the life and better the warranty, the more you’ll pay. Judge the tradeoff depending on your needs and your budget.

Start by looking at tires that are designed to fit your wheels (that’s the rim diameter I mentioned earlier) and then narrow it down to those that fit how you drive. “Most consumers appreciate a tire with a good balance of traction, wear life and comfort that matches their vehicle and their driving styles,” said Shepherd. A performance tire works brilliantly for high-speed driving but is challenging to take off-road. Likewise, an off-road tire will help get your SUV up the side of a rocky hill but isn’t ideal if you’re planning on driving at high speeds.

Continental Tire

Do you need to replace all your tires at once?

Unfortunately for your budget, it’s not usually advised to replace only one tire at a time. This is because the tread of a tire wears down the more you drive. If your tires are old and you replace just one, then the thicker tread on the new tire can cause issues with overall handling. If your other tires aren’t very old, you may be OK, but it’s a tough call and one you should ask a tire expert to assess.

The best bet is to replace all four, but if you’re on a tight budget, then replace either the two front or two rear tires at a minimum since they’ll have the same amount of wear. Try to find the exact same tires or as close as possible to what was originally on your vehicle so all four tires end up evenly matched.

Note that on many all-wheel drive vehicles, the owner’s manual stipulates replacing all four tires at the same time. While this is an expensive proposition, you should always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations when it comes to tire replacement.

Written by Nicole Wakelin for CNET

More tire recommendations

Tire brand FAQs

Which tire brand is best?

There’s no one quality tire brand that’s the absolute best. Instead, there are several key players in the tire space that produce quality tires known for durability and reliability. Those brands include Michelin, Goodyear, BFGoodrich and Continental, which all appear on CNET’s list. Do research on the brand you’re considering and the exact tire, so you know you’re getting what you want and that it will perform as expected.

Which brand of tires should I not buy?

Pick a reputable tire company brand and focus on the kind of tires offered by that brand. Whether it’s a performance tire or one for off-roading, make sure it fits your vehicle and your driving style when you shop tires. It’s also a good idea to do some research to see what kinds of experiences other people have had with the tire you’re considering for your vehicle.

Which brand of tires lasts the longest?

Any well-known tire company brand has long-lasting tires, but not all of them are rated for the same number of miles. Once you find a tire that fits your car and the type of driving you do, check the mileage limits so you know how far you can drive before new tires are recommended. You’ll pay more for tires with higher mileage limits, so consider the budget impact of going with these tires.

When should you replace your tires?

Any damaged tire that can’t be safely repaired should be replaced. Never drive with a damaged tire as a sudden failure could cause an accident. You should also replace your tires when they reach their mileage limitations or if they’re over 6 years old, since the rubber degrades over time. Even if you’re within those limits, a worn tread or an uneven wear pattern on your tire is also cause for replacement.

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