Best Tires for a Street-Driven SUV

Do you have an SUV that is used mostly for street driving? Does most of your hauling involve groceries and the occasional trip to a home improvement store? Does going off-road in your vehicle mean traveling down a dirt road? Join the club! The vast majority of SUVs never see serious off-road conditions such as loose rocks, steep elevations and deep mud. 
The hardcore off-road crowd may scoff at the soft-roader SUVs like my MAZDA CX-7. While their lifted Jeeps with oversized mud tires have a distinct advantage in specialized terrain, I would argue that my CX7 and other street-driven SUVs with proper tires will handle 99% of the conditions that most of us encounter with confidence. 

If you're like me and most other SUV and CUV drivers in that the most off-road use your vehicle will see is a dirt road, then you're looking for street tires. The alternatives to the street tires are tires found in the On-/Off-Road All-Terrain and Off-Road Maximum Traction (commonly called "mud-terrain" tires) performance categories. 

Most SUV all-season street tires fall into two categories: Highway All-Season and Crossover/SUV Touring All-Season. The following are my two top recommendations within their dedicated performance category:

Interested in how my recommendations compared to what some of our customers had to say about these tires? Then take a look at our Tire Survey Results.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013 by Pamela Bruno

I'm looking for a tire that's quiet, will give me good traction on snow & ice, & wet roads, yet somehow not hurt my gas mileage. I have an XC90, tire size 235/60R/18
Wednesday, December 18, 2013 by Gary


My current top picks for your situation would include the Continental Cross Contact LX20 with Eco Plus and the Pirelli Scorpion Verde A/S.
Tuesday, July 8, 2014 by paulette

I am looking for a tire that's quiet and gives a smooth ride and has good traction on snow and ice and wet roads and is good on gas milage and able to carry heavy loads. I have a kia sorento tire size 235/65r/17. What is the best tire for this situation?
Tuesday, July 8, 2014 by Gary


Check out any of the tires in the blog above, as well as the Continental Cross Contact LX20 .
Wednesday, March 25, 2015 by Nancy

I need 4 new tires for my Audi Q5 2.0 Turbo. Almost all street and highway driving, snow and ice and wet roads. I'd like them to be quiet and provide a smooth ride. Am I asking too much out of tires? What do you recommend
Thursday, March 26, 2015 by Gary


I can check on this for you. What size tire do you have on your Q5?

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