This post may include affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we'll receive a commission at no extra cost to you. This support helps us maintain and grow our site. Thank you for your support!

The Mazda 3 is a midsize sedan with some performance features. Finding the best tires for a Mazda 3 involves finding tires with good grip and tight cornering.

Drivers of the Mazda 3 know it for its relatively small size, turning abilities, and comfortable cruising speed. They'll also likely want a tire capable of handling many different weather conditions.

The best Mazda 3 tires include the:

  • Michelin CrossClimate 2 for excellent overall performance
  • Goodyear Assurance ComfortDrive for simple comfort
  • Vredestein HiTrac for overall performance
  • Continental PureContact LS for a fun driving experience
  • General AltiMax a good balance of performance and price
  • Michelin X Ice/Snow for great winter performance
  • Ryker provides a great tire for cheap, if you live in a warm climate

We review tires based on a combination of user performance reviews, real life tests, and factors like their noted tread life and warranty. These combine to show us the best overall value for a tire for the Mazda 3.

We have purchased tires in the past more times than we care to count! We also know the Mazda line up and its needs quite well. We'll provide the right, reliable info to make a good decision about what tires to get.

Table of Contents

What kind of tires does the Mazda 3 need?

The writer of this article actually owns a Mazda 3! The answer to what kind of tires the Mazda 3 needs can vary considerably. Depending on your year of the “3”, it can feature either a 2.0L or 2.5L turbocharged engine – though the vehicle is designed more for low end torque, highway comfort, and overall gas mileage. You probably won't see a Mazda 3 engage in a street race or on the drag strip – they aren't designed for that. Practical tires with a bit more grip will help get the most out of the sport tuned suspension.

Most owners of a Mazda 3 will use it as a daily driver – with some also owning a truck for hauling stuff or taking on really tough winter – that is certainly the case for this Midwestern writer who would take the Mazda 3 out in the snow, but prefers a large SUV for the purpose.

That said, grand touring or touring tires are likely king for most Mazda 3 owners, as they offer the comfort needed to get the most out of the vehicle while being ready to handle most any weather.

How do we test which Mazda 3 tires are best?

We mostly use TireRack data. They provide excellent tests and ratings by which to compare how well the tire drives on dry pavement, overall comfort, and other factors that drivers might consider important. They also perform actual road tests that go beyond the feelings of regular drivers and attempt to actually make the tire stop in different conditions.

Best Tires for the Mazda 3

Michelin CrossClimate 2


The Michelin CrossClimate is a very popular tire that fits all sort of vehicles including midsize sedans like the Mazda3. In the words of TireRack's actual reviews, the best part of the Michelin CrossClimate is that it doesn't compromise on much of anything. A Mazda 3 driver might be looking for superb highway performance or quiet. They say it also offers precise steering – which is especially great news for the Mazda because that is one of the most prominent features – the ability to take a tight corner with a nice, predictable, and path that the driver can feel.

For numbers, the Michelin CrossClimate 2 provides great overall performance. This tire leads the Grand Touring class with a 9.4 wet and 9.4 dry rating – which is about as well balanced as you can get without dedicating the tire to one purpose or the other. Comfort is also very nice at 9.0. Users consider the treadwear excellent at 9.2

In a side by side real world test, the CrossClimate took on a Bridgestone and Continental Tire. The CrossClimate provides just a touch slower (by .2 seconds) on the slalom but a little better on a wet slalom. Michelin did better on a rather important test in stopping distance: It stopped at the same distance as a Continental with about 89 feet, but stopped better than the Bridgestone on wet. The Continental just slightly outperformed on a wet stop though all three impressed.

How is this done? CrossClimate 2 has v-shaped treads in a unique tread pattern that capably channels water and snow out with 3D SipeLock technology. The tread compound includes Michelin's Thermal Adaptive rubbers – which are excellent at adapting the tread and rubber stiffness for cold weather or hot. This is likely truly necessary for a Mazda 3 which might be driven in pretty big temperature swings.

Michelin's warranty is good, though not great at 6 years or 60,000 miles.

You can grab your set of Michelin CrossClimate2's at TireRack starting at $147.99 .

Goodyear Assurance ComfortDrive


The extremely well known Goodyear brand also brings a Grand Touring tire that is very similar to the Michelin CrossClimate2, with a few differences. While the Assurance ComfortDrive provides a 9 in the subjective wet test and 9.2 in dry – that's still pretty good! Comfort is also just slightly lower than CrossClimate2 at 8.9. When tested against other tires like Bridgestone and Pirelli, this led the group in wet traction, which can be important for your Mazda 3. Goodyear did great in stoppping distance in dry, then beat Bridgestone and Pirelli by several feet on a wet stopping distance test, which is a big deal. These results are also reflected in the Assurance handling a wet and dry slalom well while Pirelli strugged.

The one knock TireRack offered for the Assurance is that the steering isn't all that natural, which isn't great for taking really precise turns in your Mazda. We can also forgive this because the tire is really quiet.

In the case of the Assurance ComfortDrive, the name is taken seriously with a tread pattern optimized to keep the tire quieter than the CrossClimate2. This tire is great for people with a long commute who would rather hear the radio or conversions without having to yell – or where the pavement is just a bit loud.

The tread isn't quite as aggressive looking as the CrossClimate2, which is part of what leads to slightly lesser performance in wet conditions and snow.

You'll get the same warranty out of Goodyear with 6 years or 60,000 miles. When not on sale, they are priced very similar to the CrossClimate2 at $149 per tire at TireRack.

Vredestein HiTrac All Season


Vredestein provides a potential alternative to Goodyear and Michelin with their all season tire for the Mazda 3. The HiTrac scores high on wet and dry traction, with a very respectable 9 and 9.2 respectively. It's also quite comfortable, beating out the Michelin on the subjective comfort rating with a very nice 9.1.

Vredestein does this with a unique tread block contour and pattern that controls noise well while also providing a good steering response. This tire is admittedly designed more for rain than snow, as the Vredestein doesn't perform as well in the fluffy stuff as it does in typical rain – though it's not bad at either with shoulders that help water flow out and improve traction.

The rain design is very evident with the Vredestein in real tests against a BFGoodrich and Yokohama. The HiTrac did very well on dry and wet stopping distance, stopping several feet earlier on wet at 106 feet. Part of the rason why the HiTrac is on our list is because it did better than others In every category except ride quality and noise – by which it lost by very little.

You'll get a bit of a different – and in some ways better warranty with the HiTrac. Vredestein offers a warranty that goes 8 years from the date of production, or up to 70,000 miles.

Vredestein is one of the more cost effective grand touring all season tires, coming in about $20 lower per tire than its competitors so far. Scoop them up at TireTrack for about $122 per tire.

The HiTrac is a great overall selection for a budget driver who still wants quiet, serene performance. If you live in a more dry climate in the south or southwest, this is ideal because you are otherwise likely paying for cold and wet traction that you might not need.

Continental PureContact LS


One good way to describe the P ureContact LS is athletic. These are in some ways perfect for a more spirited Mazda 3 driver, as TireRack says they offer great turning and traction. This shows up in subjective tests with a great 9.3 dry rating and a bit of an unbalanced 9 wet rating. The difference? Well, the PureContact gives up some ground in snow ratins at 8.6 – which is s till acceptable, and isn't quite as comfortable as other tires though 8.8 is still pleasant.

You'll get turning and lane changing performance from an asymmetric tread pattern that promotes lateral movement and extra grip while taking highway turns and hairpins. Head to head, you'll find that the CrossClimate's provide better traction in wet conditions, but if it so happens you don't get especially frequent rain – or that wet grip doesn't concern you too much, consider PureContact for sure.

Put head to head in a real test with tires, including our intial listing of the Michelin CrossClimate 2, the PureContact does well. The athletic layout helps it do just a bit better than CrossClimate on slalom in both wet and dry. The two are also near equal on stopping distance in wet and dry. Drivers reported, as their ratings said, that they liked the PureContact best for overall handling.

At $139.99 on TireRack, these are a good value for drivers who like to get the most out of their Mazda 3's highway speed and turning abilities

Their warranty is suffice too – a little stronger than others with 6 years or 70,000 miles – in part because they expect you to use this a lot on the highway.

General AltiMax 365 AW

General AltiMax came with this writer's vehicle, so we can combine some personal experience and TireRack. The ratings for General AltiMax are good, with wet at 9.1 and dry at 9.0, this is a winter friendly all season tire. The downside here is that they aren't exceptionally balanced as their comfort and treadwear is above 8.5, but not the best.

For $135 per tire at TireRack, these certainly aren't bad. They are a good tire to buy if live in a very blended climate that experiences cold, snow, and rain. Rain performance is good in part because of the funny sounding sinusoidal siping system which readily removes water from your treads to help avoid hydroplaning and deliver consistent wet traction.

In tests against a few other tires, including a Firestone Weathergrip and Vredestein Quatrac (not the same tire we mentioned earlier) the General AltiMax certainly held its own under cornering and steering characteristics. Ride quality and noise as previously noted weren't the best. Stopping distance was in the middle of a very competitive dry pack separated by a whole ten feet, and wet stopping was a bit high though still good when competing against higher priced tired.

Overall, these are well balanced for all weather and compete with the CrossClimate2 and others in everything but comfort.

Riken Raptor HR


On a budget? This is a value tire. The Riken Raptor does good on dry pavement with a solid 9, then falls to an 8.3 on wet. It's also not great in winter conditions, not quite reaching a 7. The Riken is, however, fairly comfortable and gets good tread life. You might want to note that all the positive reviews recognize that this is a fairly cheap tire. Other reviewers also said the tire can have a hard time avoiding hydroplaning, so dry climates are the key here.

At only $96 per tire on TireRack, these are a bargain. Note that these are better off in the south or west coast where snow is unlikely. They aren't unsafe on light snow, but if you experience snow frequently consider investing in a tire that handles that better.

In a real head to head test, drivers noted the same thing: they handle and feel sporty on a dry track. Lay off the hard acceleration or braking in wet or snow.

Again, the best aspect of these tires is the price. If you are a snowbird who lives in the south, leave these on your Mazda and you probably won't ever notice your drive through Arizona or Texas as anything out of the ordinary. These are also great for college students who are in nice weather, as they are fairly cheap and will last through four years of school.

Firestone Firehawk AS


We are taking a bit of a turn here, literally, into high performance all-season tires. These tires don't hold back. They are designed to get the most out of the Mazda 3's nimble handling, and to get great traction even when you try to put that torque Skyactiv engine to full effect. Mazda drivers who like to really push their vehicles might want to consider the Firestone Firehawk AS. The Firehawk will help keep the Mazda nice and sticky on a track – or when on hot streets while going fast.

It's also worth noting that there are a limited number of tires of high performance tires on TireRack that fit the Mazda 3.

At $124 per tire on TireRack, these are a good deal. Keeping in mind while looking at the price that these tires aren't all-season unless you live somewhere with infrequent rain and almost no snow. Otherwise, you'll probably want a second set of all-seasons ready to go as well.

Continental TrueContact Tour


Topping out our selection for Standard Touring tires is the Continental TrueContact Tour. The slight difference between Grand Touring and Standard Touring tires is a stronger focus on longer term tread life and less of a focus on overall performance. The highest rating in the category within the most important segment of dry traction is 9.2, which doesn't belong to this tire, though the TrueContact is very close at 9.1 What sets the TrueContact Tour tire apart is both price and balance. Other tires in the same category get lesser traction in inclement conditions while TrueContact achieves a well balance 8.9 in wet conditions and 8 in snow.

Comfort and treadwear are also great at 8.9 and 8.8 respectively. The warranty also shines through for a Standard Touring tire at 6 years or 80,000 miles. Again, Continential expects their Standard Touring tires to see lots of miles. This tire just seems to handle more aggressive drivers a bit better than others.

TrueContact is also priced well for the purpose at $138 as available through TireRack. This includes free shipping – which is quite nice considering the weight and size of tires.

Michelin X Ice-Snow


You can probably gather from the name that this is a snow tire. A snow tire is a pretty effective way of making your Mazda 3 into a vehicle that can handle the winter. Also consider that a 4 wheel drive Jeep is basically useless in the snow without good tires.

Michelin X Ice-Snow works well, but you'll have to realize that with snow tires, the primary purpose is to be able to speed up and slow down better. With that siad, Michelin's FleX-Ice 2.0 compound makes for the kind of tread that is rough enough to dig into snow and pack it in just a bit – which is a good thing. The microtreads within FleX-Ice allow ice and water to run off while good grip is maintained on the exposed pavement. Deep notched sipes provide channels for snow as well.

Per TireRack's ratings, these are good on snow at 9.1. They aren't especially well equipped for a comfortable ride on dry or rainy weather, but we would only recommend driving on these in the winter anyway.

Buy these from TireRack for about $150 per tire.

Does the Mazda 3 need special tires?

Not exactly. The Mazda 3 can take high performance tires, some of which we reviewed, but that is a particular kind of tire that some drivers will want. Otherwise, the Mazda 3 has standard sizing and standard needs.

What tires does the Mazda 3 come with?

A preowned Mazda 3 will likely come with tires that the dealership selected, which is often a lower price point. A new Mazda 3 might be armed with Bridgestone's Ecopia EP422, which, if we are being honest, you can do better than. Some Mazda's might also come with Yokohama Avids, which offer nice performance.

Can I put bigger tires on a Mazda 3?

Of note, the standard size we use for a Mazda 3 when considering the price range (the lowest) is a 16” standard tire. Drivers can get 20” tires in some high performance brands and anything from a 17” to 19” in other types. The tire height can offer additional traction, though it might also use more gas. Most people who purchase larger tires do so mostly for the appearance and slightly higher ride.

Can I put different size tires on front and back?

This idea is more common on rear wheel drive sports cars. The reasoning behind multiple sizes is generally related to appearance over practicality, as having two different sizes might cost you gas mileage. Having larger tires on either end shouldn't dramatically affect how the vehicle turns.

We do have to warn you: Check the tire's warranty before doing this. In some cases, the warranty is shorter on tires that are mismatched on the other axle – usually by 10,000 miles and potentially a year. How do tire manufacturers know? Honestly, that's a good question.

Why do you use TireRack?

TireRack has a wealth of information from people who have an opinion about tires. Their data is invaluable for deciding which tires are the best for a particular vehicle and driver. They also offer free shipping on tires and get them to you – or the tire shop you are having them installed at, quickly.

Where else can you buy tires for a Mazda 3?

TireRack certainly isn't alone in the tire marketplace. You've also got DiscountTire,, and SimpleTire. They all give solid recommendations and deals on tires. Honestly, we would go with whoever has a better price when you are in need of the tire set. All these sites will walk you through getting the correct size tire for your Mazda 3 as well, which is as simple as selecting the right make, model, and with some variables, trim.

How can I get the most out of my treadlife?

Treadlife is an important enough rating within tires that TireRack offers a rating solely for that purpose. There are a couple of fairly easy actions to take to maximize your tread life:

Take it easy

Driving aggressively will wear your treads down quickly. Stopping quickly and frequently does even more to wear down your tires. Another benefit of “taking it easy” is that you'll save on fuel mileage in your Mazda 3 – it is capable of 41 MPG in some years – make the most of it!

Rotate your tires

A 2 wheel drive, front wheel drive vehicle like the Mazda 3 might experience uneven wear between the front and rear tires because the fronts are the powered drive wheels. Have a technician (or yourself) rotate your tires every other oil change to get the most life out of your tires. Rotating actually can make a difference in ride quality without buying new tires, too.

One major advantage to tire rotation is even treadwear. Unfortunately, when one tire is more worn than others, you might be tempted to buy a whole new set – as buying one or two tires at a time often makes things worse. Save yourself some money long term and get those tires rotated for a little money each time instead of paying several hundred for four more.

How do you get tires installed with TireRack?

As you know, TireRack is an online vendor with some big physical locations that are warehouses. TireRack has partnered up with 9,000 + installers that can receive our tires and install them for you. While it is possible to receive your tires at your home address, most customers will prefer not to because tires aren't exactly small – though you'll be able to put them right into the garage. It's still easier to have a courier drop them off directly at a shop.

One advantage to having an installer do it is having the vehicle inspected and doing a potential alignment adjustment before installing tires.

If you are doing it yourself, we certainly encourage you to receive them at home. You'll save a few dollars on installation.

You can save even more money if you happen to have a vehicle big enough (besides your Mazda 3) to fit all four tires in – you can even pickup at a TireRack location if there is one near you.

Does a Mazda 3 need snow tires?

If you live in a wintery climate and tend to need to drive during heavy snow, you would be lowering your risk of an accident with some well treaded snow tires. This is especially true if you moved to a colder climate with your Mazda 3. Rather than replacing your entire vehicle with a 4WD model, keep in mind that snow tires can help you maintain the control you want for much less.

With that said, the Mazda 3 doesn't come with all wheel drive so we would take it easy anyway. We also suggest you bring an emergency pack with you for winter driving, though to be fair, we are fully prepared to say that about every vehicle on the road.

How do tire warranties work?

We referenced tire warranties many times. Tire warranties are offered by the manufacturer with any work or replacement done to the tire done through a shop. Note that there are limitations to a treadlife or tire warranty, including signs of obvious abuse or poor installation. A tire that is falling apart or has an unusual flaw could get warranty coverage from normal use. Tire manufacturers do know when you have been doing burnouts on your tires though, as the tread tends to be work off rather early, and the treads and sidewalls damaged.

Some tire shops also offer their own warranty regarding damage from hardware like nails. While we can't say we've purchased one of these, it might be worth your while if you find yourself driving through construction zones on the regular.

Best Tires For Mazda 3

About The Author

Charles Redding

Charles Redding

I've spent many years selling cars, working with auto detailers, mechanics, dealership service teams, quoting and researching car insurance, modding my own cars, and much more.

Read More About Charles Redding