It seems that everything is ranked these days. Televisions, cars, backpacks, bug repellants, cell phones, mattresses, air fryers… even hospitals and schools. So you would expect it to be easy to find the best tires of 2021 or the best tires in the world, right? Wrong!
Finding the best tires of 2021 is quite a complicated endeavor.
First, more than 2.5 billion tires are produced each year. This includes heavy and light passenger vehicles, as well as other tire-related purposes but nonetheless… who has time, ability or resources to test all the tires and adequately compare them to one another?
Second, vehicle tires alone come in a variety of different sizes, price points, and functions, with some prioritizing one side of the tire triforce while others specialize for a particular season or type of driving.
Tires also aren’t like many of the other ranked products that you can try out for a few days and feel like you have an understanding of their advantages and disadvantages compared to other similar products. In fact, most consumers rarely pay attention to anything more than the price of their tires.
All of these factors (along with a ton more that we won’t bore you with) make determining the best tire of 2021 (or any year for that matter) difficult.
As readers of our site know, we have no allegiance to any particular site or products. Instead, we aggregate reliable and trustworthy information from across the internet and talk to real life tire experts so that you don’t have to do all this work when you have a tire-related question.
When it came time to compile a list of the best tires of 2021, this approach helped iron out some of the difficulties mentioned above.
Common Attributes of Top Performers
A few key points stuck out as we compiled information across sources.
First, every tire that ranked near the top of every list cost more than $100 a piece, with the average tire costing roughly $150. This is important: yes, you can find many tires below this price point, but if you want a strong combination of reliability, handling, performance and longevity, spending a bit more likely saves you in the long run (in fact, check out this comparison pricing we recently did).
Second, most top performers came from top name brands. There were a few interlopers that might not be immediate household names, but the majority were from the big brands that dominate the U.S. tire market.
Third, many top brands had different tires that sat atop different rankings, all in the All Season category. This complicated our ability to compile the best tires of 2021 but means consumers have ample top tires to choose from, a bonus when shopping around for the best deal in a possible global rubber shortage.
The Best Tires of 2021
Without further ado, here are TireTrend.com’s list of the best tires of 2021. To see our process for how we assembled this list, please read on for our full methodology.
|#1 – Michelin CrossClimate2 ||#2 – Continental PureContact||#3 – Bridgestone Turanza QuietTrack||#4 – General Altimax RT43||#5 – Michelin Pilot Sport All Season|
Our Process for Finding the Best Tires of 2021
When we set out to rank the best tires of 2021, we didn’t quite know how difficult that would be. Rankings by their nature are inherently flawed. Some rankings put far too much emphasis on a single attribute, while others try to combine 20 or so different metrics into a single score, creating a recipe that simply turns into mush. Still other rankings simply don’t know what they’re talking about and ask the wrong questions or evaluate the wrong characteristics of a product.
As we looked and asked around, we learned that many of these flaws were present in other tire rankings.
For example, some rankings used a host of different metrics, while others relied on a single survey. Some combined original surveys with other available information, such as government statistics, consumer satisfaction surveys, and rankings of tire brands as opposed to actual tires. Some listed their broad categories of metrics but did not indicate how much weight each category was given, leading the average consumer to try to guess what this ranking prioritized.
Consumer Reports has one of the most comprehensive evaluation, testing tires across nine different dimensions:
|Dry braking||Handling||Ride comfort|
|Ice breaking||Snow traction||Rolling resistance|
As we have noted previously, we’re big fans of Consumer Reports. As an independent agency that buys all of their own products – and thus are not beholden to any corporate largess or influence – their ratings have long been and remain among the most credible in the business. And you won’t see any affiliate ads or marketing on their webpages, as you do with nearly every other review site on the internet (even we succumbed one time when we reviewed the best tire pressure gauges on the market).
The full scope of their review and ranking are behind their paywall, so it would be disingenuous for us to reveal their findings here. But we did incorporate their findings into our aggregated rankings.
And this is where we believe our approach is among the strongest rankings in the business: by aggregating information from many different rankings, we believe that our approach smooths out the flaws inherent in all of the other rankings.
We also intentionally chose to focus our best tires of 2021 list on All Season tires. There was purpose behind this: the majority of cars sold today come with All Season tires, which means there’s a good chance you’re driving with them on your vehicle right now. This also means that you’re more than likely to replace your current All Season tires with new ones when it comes time to do so, whether you need to replace one, two or more at the same time (check out our article on whether all four of your tires have to match). So we believe that ranking the best all season tires of 2021 will be most valuable to most of our readers.
We compiled information from a variety of online sources and aggregated their feedback into our comprehensive list. Sources included Consumer Reports, Car and Driver, MotorTrend, Tire Rack, Car Talk and Popular Mechanics (perhaps a bit of an odd inclusion but we found their overall approach to tire reviews sound and so included their findings in our analysis).