An Explanation of Common Types of Tires on the Road Today


All-terrain. All-season. Ultra high performance. What does it all mean? You don’t have to be an automotive expert to know which tires are best suited for your car. Here are some of the most common tire types and a primer on how they operate.

1. Tires for Sedans

These days, most cars can operate and run solidly on all-season tires — and that seems to make overwhelming sense. Case in point: These types of radial tires are designed to handle a range of road and weather conditions. But while these tires can get the job done, they aren’t outfitted to outdo other standard tires in any one specific area.

For example, all-season tires can run smoothly on lightly snow-dusted roads, yet they aren’t designed for extreme weather, such as heavy snowfall or icy road conditions. During your search, you may come across the term “low-rolling resistant tires,” which are tires built with increased fuel economy in mind. Additionally, all-season tires are a typical choice for budget-conscious consumers, many of whom drive subcompact or compact cars that don’t require high-performance wheels.

Moreover, cars with a bit more horsepower and handling are well-suited for performance all-season tires. These types of tires have great braking and accelerating capabilities. However, with these increased capabilities, benefits like snow traction and tire life may be sacrificed.

Thus, for motorists who prefer minimal road noise and a smooth ride, touring all-season tires are their best choice. In fact, they’re a great option for those who have long commutes or take frequent and extended road trips. Brands like Firestone manufacture an array of all-season tires designed to suit any type of car.

2. Tires for Trucks

Trucks often require special tires. If your truck has off-road capabilities — but is also used for city driving — all-terrain tires are your best bet. These types of tires are designed to run efficiently on paved and unpaved roads. Ideally, all-terrain tires, which are designed to stand up to most weather conditions, are best suited for trucks, SUVs and four-wheel drive vehicles.

For truck owners who spend more time off-roading, off-road maximum traction tires with large tread blocks are ideal, as they can keep drivers from getting stuck and can climb obstacles effortlessly. But if you drive a truck and live in an area that regularly experiences severe weather conditions, performance winter tires are a solid choice and the way to go.

These types of tires offer features like enhanced traction, high-speed handling and improved grip in icy and snowy conditions. Drivers in cold climates can also benefit from winter tires, as the tread is specially-designed for winter weather conditions like snow and ice, and the rubber used to manufacture these tires can withstand freezing temperatures.

3. Tires for Sports Cars

Like trucks, sports cars often require tires designed with performance and use in mind. For example, maximum performance tires offer high-speed handling, while extreme performance tires are designed for competition-level performance. Both types of tires aren’t well-suited for everyday drivers, though. Instead, ultra-high performance or all-season tires offer the highest performance that any driver will ever need.

Whether you’re looking for a smooth ride or the ultimate performance, these different types of tires offer exactly what you’re searching for.

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