Different Types Of All-Season Tires


All-season tires are a go-to choice for a lot of drivers, thanks to their flexibility and solid performance in various conditions. They’re the most versatile in the tire world, offering a wide range of road handling, durability, and safety, so it also makes sense why these tires have a lot of sub-categories.

Different Types Of All-Season Tires
Crossovers are the most common vehicle type, among all these 5 different all-season categories.

So, all-season tires can be broadly classified into five categories:

  • Standard Touring.
  • Grand Touring.
  • Ultra-High Performance.
  • SUV Touring.
  • And Highway All-Season category.

Now, a little side note here:

I’m going to throw in my top pick for each category.

And keep in mind, although these tires are my personal favorites, they are still based on my multiple tests and evaluations.

I’ve also added their review links, and you can compare these tires in greater details by going to the main all-season page.

So, let’s dive into each category and see what makes them stand out.

Often considered the “jack of all trades” in the tire world, standard touring all-season tires are designed to perform reasonably well in almost every condition, making them a go-to choice for the average driver.

They typically feature a symmetrical tread pattern and provide adequate wet and snow traction.

Though their most impressive aspect is their dry traction, tread life and fuel economy. And since they also come with a relatively lower price tag (on average), they provide most cost-effective option among others.

That’s why these tires usually offer above 70k miles tread wear warranty, and come with lightest weighing structures.

Moreover, most of these tires come with speed ratings up to H and are constructed with a single ply of polyester, reinforced with twin steel belts and a single nylon cap ply for added stability.

See my list of top standard touring tires: https://tiredriver.com/best-standard-touring-all-season-tires/

Continental TrueContact Tour – Best Standard Touring Tire

The TrueContact Tour is a really great tire for its category.

What sets it apart? Its standout feature is its wet traction capability, often a challenging area for standard touring tires.

While it may trail slightly behind the Michelin Defender 2 (review) in dry conditions, it more than makes up for it with its superior performance in wet braking, outperforming by a significant 25 feet.

The TrueContact Tour also offers an impressive tread life, aligning with its up to 80,000 miles treadwear warranty. This longevity is partly due to its lighter construction, which, while possibly limiting durability to some extent, contributes significantly to both tread wear performance and fuel efficiency.

In summary, the Continental’s tire here, ticks all the boxes for a standard touring all-season tire, offering a balanced blend of performance, durability, and economy.

Review this tire in detail: https://tiredriver.com/continental-truecontact-tour-review/

These tires are incredibly popular, offering a step up from standard touring tires, particularly in terms of performance and handling. They excel in wet conditions, thanks to their advanced siping and groove structures, which also contribute to impressive winter performance.

And so it’s no surprise that many of them come with the 3 Peak Mountain Snowflake (3PMSF) rating and the M+S (Mud and Snow) designation.

Why? Well because these tires share several features with winter tires, such as a directional tread design and a pliable rubber composition, which enhance their grip and handling in colder conditions.

The increased siping helps in snowy environments, although this sometimes means a slight trade-off in stability on dry roads compared to standard touring tires.

Another area where Grand Touring tires shine is comfort. They often feature softer rubber compositions and advanced technologies.

For instance, tires like the PureContact LS (review) include a comfort layer in their internal construction specifically designed to absorb road bumps.

Other than that, these tires also employ pitch sequencing, which involves varying tread patterns to create different tones that effectively cancel each other out, reducing road noise.

Typically, these tires come with warranties covering over 60,000 miles and are most commonly found with H and V speed ratings.

See my list of top grand touring tires: https://tiredriver.com/best-grand-touring-all-season-tires/

Goodyear Vector 4Seasons – Top Grand Touring Pick

In this category, my top pick is the Goodyear Vector, as this tire stands out not just for its performance in all, wet, dry, and snowy conditions, but it does so in a budget.

I mean other tires that come close to its performance are really expensive. The best example I could think of here, is the Michelin CrossClimate 2 (review).

Now sure, the tire lacks a little bit in terms of dry and wet braking compared to this tire, it excels in overall wet and dry handling.

And its snow traction is also superb, and of course you also get 3PMSF rating on this tire, assuring dependable performance in winter.

Other than that, although it might not excel in fuel economy and tread life as much as some competitors, its lower price point still makes it a top contender for one of the best value tires in the Grand Touring All-Season category.

Review this tire in detail: https://tiredriver.com/goodyear-vector-4seasons-gen-3-review/

These tires are the go-to for those who drive sports cars, performance sedans, and sporty coupes, and they’re all about top-notch dry and wet performance.

As expected, these tires often come with the highest speed ratings, going up to Y, which is the max.

But, there’s a trade-off: they tend to have higher rolling resistance. This means they’re not the most fuel-efficient and tend to wear down quicker than others, usually offering treadwear warranties below 60,000 miles.

Moreover, these tires typically feature asymmetric tread patterns and advanced rubber compounds, more akin to summer tires than winter ones.

This design enhances cornering and braking capabilities. However, this focus on performance means they lack carrying the 3 Peak Mountain Snowflake (3PMSF) rating and offer less winter traction compared to grand touring all-season tires.

Moreover, they are also noisier, and their firmer rubber although provides stability, they lack in providing adequate impact comfort performance.

See the best UHP AS tires here: https://tiredriver.com/best-ultra-high-performance-all-season-tires/

Continental ExtremeContact DWS 06 Plus – Best UHPAS Option

So what makes this tire great? Well this guy pretty much hits the mark in every aspect. It offers excellent steering responsiveness, arguably the best wet handling in its class, and it’s one of the lightest, meaning you get all this performance without a hefty fuel economy penalty.

It even manages a 50,000-mile treadwear warranty, which is impressive for UHP tires.

But what’s really remarkable about the DWS 06 Plus is how it balances these high-performance traits with a reasonable level of ride comfort and noise control.

Sure, it might not have the 3PMSF rating, which is common in this category, but it still performs decently in winter conditions.

This is thanks to its thermally adaptive rubber and various in-groove notches combined with dedicated snow vices.

So, all in all, it’s a solid all-rounder in the UHP arena.

Review this tire in detail: https://tiredriver.com/continental-extremecontact-dws-06-plus-review/

These tires are especially designed for light trucks, crossovers and SUVs, striking just the right balance between comfort and performance for these heavier vehicles.

They’re built to be more durable than standard and grand touring tires, thanks to their robust internal construction which typically includes a 2-ply polyester casing, twin steel belts, and two ply nylon cap plies.

However, this sturdy build means they are generally heavier, which can impact fuel economy and tread life compared to other touring tires.

In terms of treadwear warranties, these tires usually offer coverage between 50,000 to 70,000 miles. Their speed ratings often align with those of grand touring tires, typically seen in H or V categories.

Load ratings for SUV touring tires usually fall into the XL (Extra Load) range.

They generally don’t come in LT (Light Truck) sizes, indicating that they’re not primarily intended for heavy loading or towing, that’s more the domain of highway all-season tires.

Pirelli AS Plus 3 – Best SUV AS Tire

Now, the Scorpion AS Plus 3 stands out here, due to its comprehensive performance across various conditions, offering superior directional grip and cornering stability.

This is largely thanks to its streamlined central lugs and a broad shoulder area, which contribute to responsive steering and balanced handling dynamics.

Its fuel efficiency is also a plus, benefiting from a lighter structure that reduces rolling resistance.

Additionally, the tire holds its own in winter conditions as well, providing decent traction and stability, although it might have some limitations on ice.

Durability is another strong point for the Pirelli Plus 3, where it comes with tough internal structure that includes dual-layer polyester casing and multiple nylon cap plies.

This rugged build, combined with its impressive tread life, comfortable ride quality, and effective noise reduction, cements its status as a top choice for SUVs in its category.

Review this tire in detail: https://tiredriver.com/pirelli-scorpion-as-plus-3-review/

Highway All-Season tires are perfect for drivers of light trucks, vans, and SUVs who need a tire that can handle a bit of everything: year-round traction, durability, and the ability to carry heavier loads.

These tires are the tough guys of the all-season world. They often come in LT (Light Truck) sizes, which means they’re built with stiffer sidewalls. This design helps them support extra weight and provides stability, especially useful for towing or hauling heavy loads. Despite their rugged build, they’re designed to deliver a comfortable ride, solid tread life, and dependable all-season traction, even in light snow.

In terms of treadwear warranties, they’re on par with SUV touring tires, usually offering 50 to 70,000 miles of coverage. However, they typically have lower speed ratings, often falling between T and H.

Michelin Defender LTX MS – Best Highway AS Option

The Michelin Defender LTX M/S stands out here with its balanced performance, where it offers decent dry and wet traction, thanks to its silica rich tread compound and a lot of sipes, grooves, and biters.

The tire also excels in ride comfort, absorbing road vibrations effectively, and its advanced tread design minimizes noise.

And yes, it also offers exceptional tread life thanks to its innovative technologies like Max Touch and EverTread compound, complemented by a substantial mileage warranty (which is 70k for P-metric, and 50k for LT sizes).

And although its not a dedicated off-road tire, it still handles light muddy and rocky terrains well.

Though the tire could use some winter performance, and so it makes sense why its not branded with 3pmsf rating.

Review Michelin’s tire in greater details: https://tiredriver.com/michelin-defender-ltx-ms-review/

Choosing the Right All-Season Tires

So which category is for you? Well, it all comes down to following factors.

  • Vehicle Type and Manufacturer Recommendations: Check your vehicle’s manual for tire specifications recommended by the manufacturer. This ensures compatibility and optimal performance.
  • Driving Conditions and Climate: Consider the typical driving conditions and climate in your area. If you live in an area with severe winters, you might need tires with better snow traction.
  • Driving Habits: Reflect on your driving style. If you prefer a quiet, comfortable ride, touring all-season tires might be the best fit. For a more spirited driving experience, consider performance-oriented tires.
  • Budget and Longevity: Evaluate your budget and the expected tread life of the tires. Longer-lasting tires might be more expensive initially but can be more cost-effective in the long run.
  • Read Reviews and Ratings: You can find almost all reviews on my site. And you can reach out to me if you have any questions.

These points will definitely help a lot in choosing the right tire from all these categories. If you still are confused about them, you can reach out to me directly, just send your queries over through contact page, or just comment below.

2 thoughts on “Different Types Of All-Season Tires”

  1. Hey, I have a 2019 Honda CR-V EX with 235 60R18 tires that need to be replaced. I live in Northern VA and it has only snowed a few times for the past few winters, and will be below freezing for a 3-4 months out of the year. I want something that performs well dry, but also has good wet braking/hydroplaning because I feel like it rains decently often around here. mainly I was looking at the Michelin Defender 2, but then I saw the Primacy Tour A/S and the Latitude Tour HP, and even the Cross Climate 2 and I’m really not sure what I should get. I would want to get them from Costco but the only brands they have are Michelin and Bridgestone, so if there is another tire that is much better than anything they would have, I could go elsewhere. I would appreciate any guidance you have! thank you.

    • You need a grand touring all season tire I guess and although its a huge list I’ve already summed up the best ones. Just search “Best Grand Touring Tires” and check out my comprehensive list.


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