Tires are essentially the shoes of your vehicle. Both of these items help to support weight, absorb shock, create traction, and prevent excessive wear.
Despite providing these essential benefits, tires are taken for granted more often than shoes. Chances are likely that you have several different types of footwear in your closet including work boots, athletic shoes, dress shoes, loafers, and sandals. But how many types of tires do you have? Furthermore, how much do you know about tire size, treadwear, speed ratings, and the other tire specs?
You probably know the most common tire retailers — Bridgestone Tires, Falken, Toyo, Cooper Tires, Dunlop, Continental, Michelin, Goodyear Tires, and others — but you probably only buy new tires from one of these companies every few years. Plus, you probably don’t consider which of these tire companies has the best set of tires for your car, whether that’s a light truck, a sedan, a wagon, or something else.
You probably know that it would be a terrible idea to wear loafers if you are going hiking. You need the right shoe for the event, right? Well, the same is true for your tires. Street tires are made for streets. If you’re taking your vehicle off-road, then you need a high-performance tire that can handle dirt roads, sandy trails, and lots of mud.
The type of tire that you need is only half of the equation. The brand of tires is also extremely important. Wearing a cheap shoe that falls apart in the rain is annoying, but installing a cheap tire that blows out can be dangerous. The quality and craftsmanship of your tires are just as important as the type.
There are plenty of different tire models out there, and knowing the right tires — and the right brand — for your car can increase your fuel economy, improve your car’s responsiveness, and even make you safer on the road.
These are the four best tire brands in 2022.
Michelin has been manufacturing ultra-high-performance tires for over 130 years and is one of the most recognizable tire brands in the world. The French-based brand rose to international prominence in the late 1940s when they created the first radial tires. These tires have been the top tire in the United States since the 1980s. In 2019, Michelin posted a revenue share of $25 billion and cemented its place as the world’s most profitable tire manufacturer.
The reason why Michelin tops this list is a combination of a few factors.
Michelin tires tend to wear evenly and very commonly last for their estimated mileage life. Some tire manufacturers run more aggressive alignment angles on their tires to fit particular vehicle specifications. Michelin’s goal is to create universal tires that can be used on a wide variety of vehicles instead.
Durability, grip, and noise control are three of the most important elements that go into tire manufacturing. The best tires are ones that take all of these factors into account and make sacrifices as needed. For example, the Michelin all-season tires offer a solid balance of grip and durability without sacrificing noise control. On the other hand, their winter tires are more focused on grip during cold weather and have a lower overall durability rating.
Radial force variation is a property of your tires that affects the overall steering control, traction, load support, and braking. Michelin places a higher emphasis on this property by paying special attention to the bead area of the tire (where the rubber meets the rim). As a result, Michelin tires will require much less weight to balance than other brands, last longer between rotations, and don’t wear out as quickly if the tire pressure is wrong.
German-based Continental recently celebrated its 150 year anniversary and is among the oldest and largest tire manufacturers in the world. In 1904, Continental became the first tire manufacturer to introduce tread patterns on tires. The manufactured grooves in their tires provided an astronomical boost to the overall grip and durability of a tire. In fact, the tread is so important to tires that it’s illegal to use tires that have treads smaller than 2/32 of an inch.
The overall quality of Continental tires is neck and neck with Michelin. The reason why they are second on this list is that they tend to be a little bit more expensive than other brands with similar attributes. However, these tires can sometimes be worth the extra money for the following reasons:
The warranties that come with Continental tires are unmatched. Most tires will come with various warranties based on defects, workmanship, or tread life, but Continental takes these warranties a few steps further. Purchasing new Continental tires and officially registering them can include Flat Tire Roadside Assistance, Road Hazard, and Customer Satisfaction coverage.
Continental manufactures tires for everything from bicycles and commercial trucks to dump trucks and jumbo jets. They have spent decades researching and developing every single aspect of tires including the materials, compound mixing, tire building, and curing. If you have very specific needs for your tires, chances are Continental is the best option.
Pirelli was founded in 1872 by its namesake Giovanni Battista Pirelli making it the oldest tire manufacturer in the world. The Italian-based company has brought an impeccable sense of style, class, and elegance to the world of tires. Pirelli has essentially done to tires what Armani, Versace, and Prada have done to fashion.
Pirelli tires are more than just highly fashionable. Anyone that follows motorsports is well versed in the performance of Pirelli tires as they’ve long been the official tire suppliers of Formula 1. Quite simply, these tires are pretty much unbeatable in terms of speed, comfort, handling, and reliability in ideal situations.
You can probably guess why these tires aren’t higher on this list. Just like the clothing made by the aforementioned fashion designers, Pirelli tires have a tendency to be a bit expensive. There are also a few tires that don’t come with mileage guarantees. Spending a little extra money on a set of beautifully crafted Pirelli tires is a little more justifiable when you know they’ll last. The last downside of Pirelli is that they aren’t known for their performance in snowy or wet conditions.
Pirelli tires are among the most beautiful and aesthetically pleasing tires manufactured. They are practically essential if you are driving an exotic sports car or want to make a statement to people passing by. If you are simply looking for tires that will get to work and the grocery store, you might want to consider the last option on this list instead. These aren’t all-terrain tires — but they’re certainly quality tires.
General Tire has the most interesting origin of any company on this list. Originally founded in 1915 by a former franchise owner of Firestone, General Tire was purchased by Continental in 1987. The brand operated for a decade in the United States as Continental North America. In 1997. General Tire returned to its original moniker and has stayed the same ever since.
The reason that General Tire makes this list is due to its affordability. Times are tough for many people right now. While there are a few brands that might offer a higher quality than General Tire, none of them can match the balance of durability, performance, and price.
You shouldn’t think of General Tire as simply the cheapest option. They may be less expensive than their competitors, but there is nothing “cheap” about General Tire. The minor dip in durability and performance ratings can be worth the major dip in price. Honestly, you probably won’t even notice much of a difference in durability or performance.
Keep in mind that General Tire is an offshoot of Continental Tire. The same quality standards that are applied to Continental tires are also upheld by General Tire. In fact, the 45-day road test period for General tires is 50% longer than a lot of competitors' 30-day standard. The expected life of a General tire is as high as 75,000 miles, which is on the higher end of an average range.
You should be treating the tires on your vehicle in the same way that you treat the shoes on your feet. You wouldn’t leave your house wearing low-quality, poor-fitting, and impractical shoes, would you?
Then stop doing it for your vehicle by buying the cheap generic brands of tires. You can level up your driving experience by picking high-quality tires that are ideal for the weather conditions where you live and the car that you drive.
Here at Rent A Wheel, you’ll have the option of choosing between 18 different tire manufacturing brands. All four of the brands listed above are available as well as BF Goodrich, Hankook, Kumho, and Yokohama. We’ve got everything from SUV tires and truck tires to snow tires and summer tires for specific driving conditions.
You’ll have the ability to search based on the year, make, and model of your vehicle, the size of the tires, or the brand. The flexible payment plan and free shipping can help make any brand of tire affordable.