Consumer Reports Recommends 12 All-Season Tires

Bob Ulrich
Posted on October 23, 2018

"What makes a tire tops?" That is the question Consumer Reports asked its readers in the November issue. But what it's really asking is, "What makes an all-season tire tops?"

In its annual tire testing issue, CR ranks every type of all-season tire you can imagine, including performance all-season, ultra-high performance all-season and SUV all-season. Tire Program Manager Gene Petersen and the gang have been busy! For good measure -- evidently there were still a few hours of daylight at the CR Auto Test Center -- they tested winter tires.

No single tire company dominated the rankings, although Michelin North America Inc. placed two tires first. When you take all CR's recommended tires into consideration, 10 companies -- 17 tire lines in all, including five winter tires -- earned high marks from the magazine.

Dozens of tires were tested objectively for dry braking, wet braking, snow traction, ice braking, handling and tread life. Even ride and noise comfort were tested, although subjectively. The cost CR paid for each tire -- purchased at retail -- was not a factor in the final rankings, but was listed, which lets the reader decide value for themselves.

And the winners, with the top two point totals in each category recommended by the magazine, are:

All-Season tires

No. 1: General Altimax RT43, 70 points ($87). The tire didn't receive top scores in any testing category based on CR's 5-grade scale, but was second-best in seven of nine of them, and average in the other two. The Michelin Defender T+H was three points back in second place ($115).

Performance All-Season tires

No. 1: Michelin CrossClimate +, 75 points ($171). The all-weather tire scored second-highest marks in all nine categories. The Continental PureContact LS was next with 71 points ($128).

UHP All-Season tires

No. 1: Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+, 78 points ($152). Despite only average marks in three categories and a fair in one (not surprisingly rolling resistance, which is hard to balance with strong UHP tire performance), the tire ranked first based on exceptional marks for dry braking and overall handling, and good marks for wet braking and hydroplaning resistance. The Pirelli P Zero All-Season Plus ($126) and Continental ExtremeContact DWS06 ($141) were tied for second with 76 points each. Although the BFGoodrich g-Force Comp-2 A/S was ranked fourth highest with 74 points, it was still recommended by CR.

SUV All-Season tires

No. 1: Goodyear Assurance CS Fuel Max, 70 points ($133). The tire received outstanding grades for hydroplaning resistance and rolling resistance and five good grades. There were three tires tied with 68 points: the Kumho Crugen Premium ($101), Bridgestone Dueler H/L 422 Ecopia ($139) and Sumitomo HTR Enhance C/X ($89).

Winter/Snow tires

No. 1: Cooper Discoverer True North, 70 points ($92). Although the Hankook Winter I*cept iZ2 also received 70 points ($101), CR ranked the Cooper tire first. Both tires had outstanding marks in snow traction, ice braking and ride comfort. Also recommended by the magazine were the Continental WinterContact SI ($121), Michelin X-Ice XI3 ($98) and Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3 ($147).

Consumer Reports also evaluated five tires marketed as all-weather tires for the first time. The Michelin CrossClimate+, which was No. 1 in the Performance All-Season category, topped the list. The other all-weather competitors, in no particular order, were the Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady, Nokian WRG4, Toyo Celsius and Vredestein Quatrac 5.

"The best all-weather tires have proved to provide year-round traction that truly combines all-season and winter/snow performance," said Petersen in the accompanying article.

Related Topics: all-season tires, Consumer Reports, Cooper Discoverer True North, Gene Petersen, General Altimax RT43, Goodyear Assurance CS Fuel Max, Michelin CrossClimate +, Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+, passenger tires, winter tires

Bob Ulrich Editor
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