The Volkswagen Golf is an innovative compact hatchback that emphasizes versatility. With such a wide range of offerings, finding the best tire is important.

The top brands to consider when looking for a new VW Golf tire are Michelin, Pirelli, and Nitto. Each brand makes the best tires for this vehicle. Our three favorite tires for the VW Golf are the Michelin Defender T+H, Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus, and Nitto Motivo.

The VW Golf comes with the Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 Plus as a factory tire. This is a grand touring all season tire with key features that appeal to sedan drivers. In this guide, we will analyze this factory tire and provide alternatives as upgrade options. If you are unsure whether this tire is right for you, we will help.

Our team of experts has built a four step test to ensure the accuracy of these tire recommendations. The four tests include a wet road track, dry road track, braking test, and a real road test. At each step, tires are tested and graded based on their performance. Our experts are able to use the data from these tests to provide the most accurate tire recommendations possible.  

Michelin Defender T + HMichelin Defender T + HMichelin Defender T + HMichelin Defender T + H

Michelin Defender T + H

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This tire is available at these retailers:

Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season PlusPirelli Cinturato P7 All Season PlusPirelli Cinturato P7 All Season PlusPirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus

Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus

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This tire is available at these retailers:

tire-review-star

Rated 4.6/5

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Bridgestone Blizzak LM-60 RFTBridgestone Blizzak LM-60 RFTBridgestone Blizzak LM-60 RFTBridgestone Blizzak LM-60 RFT

Bridgestone Blizzak LM-60 RFT

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This tire is available at these retailers:

Toyo Proxes RRToyo Proxes RRToyo Proxes RRToyo Proxes RR

Toyo Proxes RR

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This tire is available at these retailers:

Nexen Classe Premiere CP662Nexen Classe Premiere CP662Nexen Classe Premiere CP662Nexen Classe Premiere CP662

Nexen Classe Premiere CP662

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This tire is available at these retailers:

Nitto MotivoNitto MotivoNitto MotivoNitto Motivo

Nitto Motivo

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This tire is available at these retailers:

Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 PlusBridgestone Ecopia EP422 PlusBridgestone Ecopia EP422 PlusBridgestone Ecopia EP422 Plus

Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 Plus

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This tire is available at these retailers:

TABLE OF CONTENTS

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9 Best Tires For VW Golf

The VW Golf is a compact family vehicle with a hatchback body. It has been in production since 1974 with no pauses in production. Over the years, there have been many new model releases and changes. There are endless VW Golf options to choose from.

This guide is a complete tire breakdown of all the available options for VW Golf vehicle models. We have the 9 best tires with in-depth analysis on each tire. Each tire is graded based on test results, data, performance, durability, warranty, etc. We have also included an analysis on the VW Golf factory tire to help you determine whether you need to upgrade.

Every tire on this list has been grouped into a specific category. For example, the best winter tire would be a more appealing option for a driver residing in a colder climate. The best summer tire options would be more appealing to a driver that lives in a warmer region with longer summers. We hope to provide the perfect tire option for all types of VW Golf drivers.

This is the complete list of the 9 best tires for the VW Golf:  

Tire Type Tire
All Season Michelin Defender T+H
Touring Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus
Summer General Altimax One S
Winter Bridgestone Blizzak LM-60 RFT
Performance Street Pirelli Cinturato P1 Verde
Performance Track Toyo Proxes RR
Highway Nexen Classe Premiere CP662
All-Purpose Nitto Motivo
Temporary Spare Maxxis Spare Tire
Factory Tire Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 Plus

Michelin Defender T+H - Best All Season

All season tires are reliable options with longer lasting treads and four season driving performance. The best all season tire for the VW Golf is the Michelin Defender T+H.

The Defender T+H is made with an all season compound into an asymmetrical tread pattern for better road grip and durability. Michelin used the IntelliSipe Technology in this tire to add in a layer of zigzag sipes to provide an interlocking feature. Interlocking creates tread block rigidity for better tire stability and tire to road contact.

The high silica tread adds more wet surface traction and into the tread are circumferential and later grooves. These grooves push water away from the contact area on the tread blocks to help with creating a more accurate contact patch.

The independent tread blocks and zigzag sipes are a special feature by Michelin. They both release biting edges in wintry conditions to add extra layers of traction while helping to increase the longevity of the tire treads.

Specifications

Some specifications may vary based on the exact tire size selected.

  • Warranty: 80,000 miles
  • Max Load Capacity: 1,356 lbs
  • Max Inflation Pressure: 44 PSI
  • Tread Depth: 10/32’’
  • Tire Weight: 18 lbs
  • UTQG Treadwear: 820
  • UTQG Traction: A
  • UTQG Temperature: B

FAQ

What sizes does this tire come in?

This is a popular tire by Michelin and a favorite for all season drivers. It can be bought in sizes ranging between 14” and 18” in rim diameter.

What is the warranty on this tire?

Michelin is notorious for offering great warranties on their tires. This tire has a 6 year / 80,000 mile warranty. There is also a 60 day satisfaction guarantee and a 3 year flat tire changing policy.

Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus - Best Touring

When searching for a touring tire, remember to look for durability and comfort. The best touring tires are typically an all season tire with more focus on creating a comfortable driving experience. Our top pick for best touring tires is the Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus.

Pirelli made this tire with a special compound that mixes low levels of oil and high levels of silica. It’s a special compound that helps with short distance braking and rolling resistance. By improving these features, drivers get a longer lasting tread too. Overall, the tread is perfectly designed for better traction too.

It can handle wintry conditions thanks to four circumferential grooves, later sipes, and longitudinal sipes. All three features work within the tread design to cut through water, snow, slush, and ice with ease for smoother driving and better road grip.

All of these features also provide hydroplaning resistance. The outboard shoulder is an added layer of handling support on longer drives and with cornering.  

Specifications

Some specifications may vary based on the exact tire size selected.

  • Warranty: 70,000 miles
  • Max Load Capacity: 1,521 lbs
  • Max Inflation Pressure: 44 PSI
  • Tread Depth: 10/32’’
  • Tire Weight: 23 lbs
  • UTQG Treadwear: 700
  • UTQG Traction: A
  • UTQG Temperature: A

FAQ

What sizes does this tire come in?

This is a widely available tire created by Pirelli. It can be found in sizes between 16” and 20” rim diameter.

What is the warranty on this tire?

The warranty on this tire is an unlimited time / 70,000 mile warranty. Pirelli also offers a special warranty providing a 30 day free trial. If you don’t love the tire, you can return it for a full refund.

General Altimax One S - Best Summer

The General Altimax One S is our top pick as a summer tire for the VW Golf. It's a reliable tire with excellent dry surface handling and short distance braking capabilities.

The design includes optimized siping technology with many biting edges to expel water from the tire surface for dry contact with roads. This creates more responsive handling and better overall road control.

The dry performance of the tire works well because of interlocked shoulder blocks that add another layer of stiffness to the tire. This stiffness creates more precise steering, stronger road grip, and safer braking.

The silica tread allows for the tire to drive longer. It is a more advanced compound that can last longer for multiple summer seasons. Another cool feature from General is the Visual Alignment Indicator on the tire that will visually show the driver that the tire is worn out. If the tire is starting to wear unevenly, it will show.

This is a summer tire and not intended to drive in the winter weather.  

Specifications

Some specifications may vary based on the exact tire size selected.

  • Warranty: None
  • Max Load Capacity: 1,521 lbs
  • Max Inflation Pressure: 44 PSI
  • Tread Depth: 10/32’’
  • Tire Weight: 23 lbs
  • UTQG Treadwear: 220
  • UTQG Traction: AA
  • UTQG Temperature: A

FAQ

What sizes does this tire come in?

This tire has a more limited release. It is available in sizes between 15” and 16” in rim diameter.

What is the warranty on this tire?

There is no warranty available on this summer tire. We grade it as one of the most durable summer options and drivers can expect to get multiple summer seasons in usage.

Bridgestone Blizzak LM-60 RFT - Best Winter

Winter tires are meant to handle difficult conditions with ease. They are made with a soft rubber to handle cold temperatures and remain flexible. They also have deeper tread depths because of the colder temperature. Our top VW Golf winter tire pick is the Bridgestone Blizzak LM-60 RFT. RFT means this is a run flat tire.

Run flat tires can drive for up to 50 miles on temporary mobility. They act as a replacement to a temporary spare. If your tire has been punctured, it should last 50 miles before you absolutely must change it.

The Blizzak LM-60 is made from the Multicell tread compound but this does not include run flat tires. This run flat model is made from a more durable high silica tread with a directional pattern design. This optimized pattern adds more long lasting features and better traction performance.

Bridgestone also uses the UNI-T Technology in this tire for a more reinforced internal construction. This creates better high-speed tire durability and handling. All of these features combined to create a high performing winter tire.

Specifications

Some specifications may vary based on the exact tire size selected.

  • Warranty: None
  • Max Load Capacity: 1,235 lbs
  • Max Inflation Pressure: 44 PSI
  • Tread Depth: 11/32’’
  • Tire Weight: 27 lbs
  • UTQG Treadwear: N/A
  • UTQG Traction: N/A
  • UTQG Temperature: N/A
  • Winter tires are not UTQG Rated

FAQ

What sizes does this tire come in?

This run flat model is a more limited release. We like the traditional model as a winter tire too. It can be found in sizes between 16” and 20” in rim diameter.

What is the warranty on this tire?

There is no warranty on this winter tire. Bridgestone does provide coverage with a uniformity warranty for the first 2/32” of wear.

What happens to this tire in the summer?

This tire should not be driven in the summer. The softer rubber will wear quickly in the heat and traction features will not work as well.

Pirelli Cinturato P1 Verde - Best Performance Street

Performance tires are premium tire options made for more prediction driving, better road traction, surface grip, and all around more accurate handling. Performance street tires work best on the road with additional performance enhancements for cornering and short distance braking. Our favorite performance street tire for the VW Golf is the Pirelli Cinturato P1 Verde.

The tread is made from hybrid materials that create a more innovative design. It provides better safety features on the tire along with more accurate handling on dry and wet roads. The tread design uses a more varied pitch sequence to eliminate road vibrations and tire noise for more quiet riding.

Pirelli uses tension control and a new mould profile in tire creation to provide more comfort on the road. This also helps when cornering and the tire grips the road better.

Pirelli also designs this tire with the environment in mind. They use newer materials that lessen the tire way, lower overall fuel consumption, and reduce CO2 emissions.  

Specifications

Some specifications may vary based on the exact tire size selected.

  • Warranty: None
  • Max Load Capacity: 1,202 lbs
  • Max Inflation Pressure: 51 PSI
  • Tread Depth: 10/32’’
  • Tire Weight: 21 lbs
  • UTQG Treadwear: 420
  • UTQG Traction: A
  • UTQG Temperature: A

FAQ

What sizes does this tire come in?

This tire is widely available for many different model vehicles. It can be used in sizes between 13” and 119” in rim diameter.

What is the warranty on this tire?

There is no warranty on this summer tire. Pirelli creates durable tires that last multiple summer seasons.

Toyo Proxes RR - Best Performance Track

Performance track tires provide many of the same features as a performance street tire. However, they are intended as a racing style tire. Traditionally, a performance track tire will be a dry tire only that can provide the ultimate levels of handling and performance on a dry track. Our best performance track tire for the VW Golf is the Toyo Proxes RR.

The Proxes RR meets all necessary highway requirements but our professionals do not recommend driving them excessively on the highway. They are strictly intended for track usage. They also should not be driven in freezing temperatures. Avoid rainy and wet surfaces with standing water too.

This tire is not made with the same style treads as other traditional tires and standing water causes problems because of the tread style. The semi-slick tread design and shallow tread is meant for track racing and fast driving.

The tread grooves are much deeper and there is no need for tire shaving with this model.

Specifications

Some specifications may vary based on the exact tire size selected.

  • Warranty: None
  • Max Load Capacity: 1,356 lbs
  • Max Inflation Pressure: 51 PSI
  • Tread Depth: 3.7/32’’
  • Tire Weight: 22 lbs
  • UTQG Treadwear: 40
  • UTQG Traction: C
  • UTQG Temperature: A

FAQ

What sizes does this tire come in?

This performance track tire can be found in sizes between 13” and 19” in rim diameter.

What is the warranty on this tire?

There is no warranty on this tire. It is a unique racing tire but it still comes with a uniformity warranty. The coverage is for the first 1/32” of tire wear.

Nexen Classe Premiere CP662 - Best Highway

Highway tires are best for drivers looking to add durability and comfort to their vehicle. An upgrade to a highway tire is necessary if you are consistently driving long distances or carrying larger loads in your vehicle. The best highway tire for the VW Golf is the Nexen Classe Premiere CP672 tire.

This tire can provide some of the best durability you can find in a grand touring all season tire. The special tread design is exactly what you need in a highway tire. The center rib creates a more secure block with outboard shoulders to enhance cornering and road stability.

The tread is an asymmetric pattern for added longevity. For wet performance, there is a set of circumferential grooves and lateral grooves that help expel water from the tire. This adds hydroplaning resistance.

The internal tire structure relies on a pair of twin steel belts for high speed, highway stability.  

Specifications

Some specifications may vary based on the exact tire size selected.

  • Warranty: None
  • Max Load Capacity: 1,279 lbs
  • Max Inflation Pressure: 44 PSI
  • Tread Depth: 10/32’’
  • Tire Weight: 19 lbs
  • UTQG Treadwear: 440
  • UTQG Traction: A
  • UTQG Temperature: A

FAQ

What sizes does this tire come in?

This tire is available in sizes between 15” and 18” in rim diameter for interested drivers.

What is the warranty on this tire?

There is no warranty available on this tire. This is a downside for an all season tire but there is a uniformity warranty. The coverage is for one year or the first 2/32” of tire wear.

Nitto Motivo - Best All-Purpose

The Nitto Motivo is an ultra high performance all season tire that provides the best all-purpose capability for the VW Golf. We look for durability, four seasons performance, optimal handling, and longevity in our all purpose tires.

The silica enhanced tread is based on Nitto’s advanced tire technology. It helps to increase the lifespan of the tire and provides another layer to the tire’s durability.

This tire handles extremely well too. The outer tread blocks are larger than usual and they interlock with a continuous center rib to create straight line stability.

In more difficult conditions, this tire shows why it is such a valuable product. The Motivo has angled tread blocks to gain better traction. There are also circumferential grooves, lateral grooves, and 3D sipes. These features help add more grip to the tire too. It can handle rain, snow, and ice with ease.

Specifications

Some specifications may vary based on the exact tire size selected.

  • Warranty: 60,000 miles
  • Max Load Capacity: 1,477 lbs
  • Max Inflation Pressure: 50 PSI
  • Tread Depth: 10/32’’
  • Tire Weight: 24 lbs
  • UTQG Treadwear: 560
  • UTQG Traction: A
  • UTQG Temperature: A

FAQ

What sizes does this tire come in?

This tire can be found in sizes between 17” and 20” in rim diameter. There are plenty of sizing choices to fit your VW Golf model.

What is the warranty on this tire?

The warranty on this tire is a 5 year / 60,000 mile warranty on tread life. There is also a uniformity warranty that covers one year or the first 2/32” in wear.

Maxxis Spare Tire - Best Temporary Spare

A temporary spare is also referred to as a “donut”. They come in handy in the event of an emergency when you experience a flat tire. It is the best option to regain temporary road mobility.

The Maxxis Spare Tire is our top pick as a temporary spare option for your VW Golf. It provides a compact look and lightweight construction to fit well into your vehicle’s trunk space without adding much extra weight.

Temporary spares are meant to only be used temporarily. If they are overused, it can cause damage to your vehicle and put you at risk for internal vehicle problems.  

Specifications

Some specifications may vary based on the exact tire size selected.

  • Warranty: None
  • Max Load Capacity: 2,469 lbs
  • Max Inflation Pressure: 60 PSI
  • Tread Depth: 5/32’’
  • Tire Weight: 16 lbs
  • UTQG Treadwear: N/A
  • UTQG Traction: N/A
  • UTQG Temperature: N/A

FAQ

How many miles can this last?

This temporary spare can last up to 70 miles. Driving it past 70 miles puts you at risk for a tire blow out.

What is the top speed I can drive?

The top speed to drive this temporary spare is 50 MPH. Avoid highways if possible and keep it under 50 MPH to guarantee safety while driving.

Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 Plus - Factory Tire

Any new VW Golf driver can expect to see the Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 Plus tire on their vehicle. This is a grand touring all season tire with some positive features to offer. Bridgestone makes reliable tires and secured a deal with Volkswagen to provide factory tires on some VW Golf models.

This tire is made with an all season asymmetric tread compound for better traction and durability. Bridgestone used NanoPro-Tech to improve tire performance on both dry and wet surfaces.

While we do not rank this at the top of our all season tire list, we do respect the notched shoulders and Fuel Saver compound. It makes this as one of the better cornering all season tires and with optimal fuel efficiency.  

Specifications

Some specifications may vary based on the exact tire size selected.

  • Warranty: 70,000 miles
  • Max Load Capacity: 1,356 lbs
  • Max Inflation Pressure: 51 PSI
  • Tread Depth: 11/32’’
  • Tire Weight: 18 lbs
  • UTQG Treadwear: 540
  • UTQG Traction: A
  • UTQG Temperature: A

FAQ

What sizes does this tire come in?

This tire is available in sizes between 15” and 18” in rim diameter.

What is the warranty on this tire?

The warranty on this tire is for 5 years / 70,000 miles.

More to Know About the VW Golf

The VW Golf is a compact hatchback available as a front-engine, front-wheel drive, 5-passenger, 4-door hatchback vehicle. It comes built with a turbocharged inline-four engine with refined acceleration and handling. This is a vehicle built for reliability, comfort, and affordability.

The 174-hp turbocharged four-cylinder engine is an intercooled DOHC 16-valve piece of equipment. It also comes with an aluminum block and head and direct fuel injection. It is one of the most fuel efficiency Volkswagen vehicles.

In fact, the Golf gets 29 MPG in city driving and 39 MPH in highway driving for a standard manual transmission. The efficiency drops a bit for the optional automatic model. It gets 29 MPH in city driving and 33 MPG in highway driving.

The Golf interior has been referred to as plain but it is extremely comfortable and made for functionality and space. The rear seating is very spacious with firm seating and higher seat cushions. The leather seating is a nice touch too. For a compact vehicle, five passengers are seated comfortably.

The 2021 Golf received a five star rating for safety features from the NHTSA. Volkswagen creates safe vehicles and the Golf has plenty of upgraded safety features. They have no adaptive cruise control but there are plenty of other driver assistance add-ons like blind spot monitoring and forward-collision warnings.

Other interior features include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and standard touchscreen. These interior features are pretty standard but there are options based on model type to upgrade the interior.

Here is a list of more performance features to consider for the VW Golf.  

Power 147 HP @ 5000 RPM
Torque 184 LB-FT @ 1400 RPM
Transmission 8-Speed Automatic with Manual Shifting Mode
Wheelbase 103.8 inches
Length 167.6 inches
Width 70.8 inches
Height 58.1 inches
60 MPH 7.6 seconds
100 MPH 22.2 seconds
120 MPH 41.4 seconds
Rolling Start 5-60 MPH in 8.2 seconds
Braking 70-0 MPH in 177 FT
Top Speed 122 MPH

How to Understand the VW Golf Tire Specifications

Learning to read a tire the right way is a helpful skill. While tire shopping, it is important to read the tire and know exactly what it means to help make a purchase. Without knowing, the chance exists to accidentally buy a tire that doesn't fit your vehicle.

We have created this chart to help teach drivers the right way to read a tire.

Symbol Example
Tire Type P or LT "P" means Passenger vehicle
Tire Width 3 Digits Tire measured in millimeters
Aspect Ratio 2 Digits Tire height to width ratio
Construction R, D, or B "R" means Radial construction
Wheel Diameter 2 Digits Tire measured end to end in inches
Load Index 2 Digits The max. weight the tire can hold
Speed Rating M, N, P, Q, R, S, T, H, V, W, Y, or Z The max speed the tire can drive

What Are the Different VW Golf Tire Sizes & Models Available?

Now that reading a tire is done. Let’s take a look at VW Golf tire sizes.

Because the VW Golf has been in production for such a long time, we decided to only look at the sizes on recently released models dating back to 2015 with the corresponding sizes. Including these models, there are seven different VW Golf tire sizes to choose from.  

  • 195/65R15
  • 225/45R17
  • 225/40R18
  • 205/55R16
  • 235/35R19
  • 205/55R17
  • 225/45R18

If you are still unsure what your tire size is, use this chart to figure it out. Simply look up your year and model type on your VW Golf and you will find the matching tire size or sizes that fit your vehicle. This will help you upgrade your tire with the correct size.

About THE AUTHOR

Matt Meurer

Matt Meurer

Matt is a VW Master Technician since 2009 after proceeding through the ranks as a Team Leader and Shop Foreman. He has developed software to increase car dealership efficiency, managed 10+ techs, and instructed students at multiple high-performance driving events since 2011. He is also the lead mechanic, engineer, and driver for Blue Goose Racing.

Read More About Matt Meurer