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?
Monday, October 26, 2015 by Bill Tucker

Hi, I'm lookinh for the best tire for my 2010 Cadillac SRX AWD. 235/65R18. The Mich latitudes are about done at 43K miles. I'm considering Con LX20 Cross Contact or maybe the General RT43 Altimax. I live in Tenessee where we do see some snow and I have a fairly steep driveway, otherwise it's mainly road driven. Thanks for any suggestions.
Monday, October 26, 2015 by Gary


I would lean towards the Conti Cross Contact LX20 for its snow capability given your steep driveway that may be snow covered at times.
Wednesday, November 4, 2015 by Bill

I drive a 2012 buick enclave with original equipped Michelin Latitude 255/60R19 tires. I live in NYC but also have a cabin in the mountains. The Michelin tires are ok for the city and highway driving but are totally lacking in snow performance especially in getting out of my fairly steep driveway in the mts. The buick has only FWD (bought the car before the cabin). Do you have any recommendations for an all season tire that has decent snow traction? Thanks.
Wednesday, November 4, 2015 by Gary


The best two choices in 255/60R19 for your vehicle for all season tires with emphasis on winter traction are the Continental Cross Contact LX20 and Pirelli Scorpion Verde All-Season Plus.
Monday, November 9, 2015 by James

Hey Gary - great post. I live in Minneapolis. Winter hasn't come yet so I still have some time to get new all seasons for my SUV. What recommendations do you have for a 2012 Kia Sorento LX? Cheers.
Monday, November 9, 2015 by Gary


For this application I would also recommend the Continental Cross Contact LX20 and Pirelli Scorpion Verde All-Season Plus.
Tuesday, April 5, 2016 by Rachel

Hi, I have a 2012 Honda CR-V-EX -- one tire place told me Pirelli Scorpion Verde AS Plus --- said I could buy "car tires" but he felt these were much better choice. Tire Rack has great ratings, but not sure if these are "too light truck" tires for me? Help --- I need tires badly!
Tuesday, April 5, 2016 by Rachel

Hi --- just sent question on my 2012 Honda CR-V - EX --- my tire size is 225/65R17 ---- sorry !
Thursday, April 7, 2016 by Tire Rack Team

Rachel, You can use the Verde (a very nice tire) or car tires, that is correct. If you prefer a less truck like tire, take a look at the Continental True Contact:
Thursday, April 7, 2016 by Haumana

265/60/R18. I'm looking for something quiet, good handling, but versatile for a 2003 4Runner v8 4x4. It mostly does city/highway driving and an occasional curb hopping, off road. What can you recommend. My local tire shop recommended Nexen, but I've never heard of that brand.
Sunday, April 24, 2016 by Michael

I drive a 2006 expedition limited, tire size 265/70R17. I drive on the highways, and neighborhood roads. I don't take it off road, just a dirt road every now and then. I was looking at the Bridgestone dueler H/L Alenza plus. But wanted further guidance on a tire that wouldn't lose tread as easily.
Thank you
Monday, April 25, 2016 by Tire Rack Team

Michael, For what you have described, you are headed in the right direction. There is really no reason to talk you out of the Bridgestone, You may also look at the Michelin Defender LTX MS:
Thursday, June 29, 2017 by Mike in South Florida

I live in South Florida so it does not snow here obviously...What I need all year long is a tire with excellent water handling, smooth quiet ride, long lasting highway tires, but I'm confused.. it seems like everyone wants to talk about tires and snow can you give advice to someone that lives where it does not snow but rains like crazy ? I have a 2014 Ford Explorer sport SUV. My family does a lot of trips from Miami up to Disney in Orlando which is three hours each way driving around 80 miles an hour each way and I use it to and from work
Friday, June 30, 2017 by Tire Rack Team


If you have the 255/50R20 on your Explorer Sport, I would look at the Michelin Premier LTX, best in class wet traction and ride comfort. They do happen to do well in snow as well for an all season tire, but there is not a better tire I could recommend for what you want:
Thursday, August 3, 2017 by mike

Hi, I am looking to replace tires on 13 Highlander, original tires 245x65x17 got me 41K
need good traction for wet and snow, mostly drive street and highway, pls advise.
Wednesday, August 9, 2017 by Tire Rack Team


The highest overall rated tire is the Michelin Defender LTX:

Or a more budget friendly option, but almost as good wet and snow traction is the General Grabber HTS60.
Wednesday, August 16, 2017 by John

I have a 2007 Lexus GX470 I would like an all season that has good performance in snow and ice but is also quite on our long road trips. Only City and Hwy driving 265 65 17
Friday, August 18, 2017 by Tire Rack Team


The Michelin Premier LTX is the highest rated all season tire for ride comfort and traction in winter:
Tuesday, September 12, 2017 by Mike

I am looking for new tires for my 2014 Chevy Traverse. OEM are still on it - Goodyear tires that have always made a lot of noise. Almost at 70k right now. All street & highway driving for this vehicle in Northwest Ohio, it sees snow, rain and sun. I have not seen any recommendation for Cooper Tires (headquartered in NW Ohio) - your thoughts on the CS5 Ultra Touring. They are bout $50 cheaper than Michelins per tire.
Monday, December 4, 2017 by Barb griffith

Looking for 55r20 on a 2008 Lincoln Navigator. Live in Iowa and see snow, ice, rain, sun. Mostly city and hiway driving. Want good traction and handling and quiet. Recommendations?
Wednesday, December 6, 2017 by Tire Rack Team

Barb: In 275/55R20 we would recommend the Michelin Premier LTX. It's the highest-rated tire for ride comfort and traction. Click here for current pricing:

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