Touring tires can be fitted into every type of car from exclusive luxury sedans to everyday SUVs and come in a wide variety of design characteristics.
In broad terms, touring tires are special tires that are designed to offer a quieter, more comfortable and fuel-economical ride in all sorts of road conditions and weather conditions. Touring tires offer solid and discrete foundation for a range of road travels, while ensuring long tread life.
With so many different types of touring tires in the market, it can be very stressful to decide which one to buy for your car. In this guide, we will look at the various types of touring tires, what factors define them, and what are the best brands of touring tires available in the market.
What are Touring Tires?
Touring tires are characterized by a comparatively wide tread, often with an asymmetrical pattern, which allows them to make maximum surface contact with the road and gain better traction. Because of this design, these tires offer a more balanced responsive handling of the vehicle as well as a quiet and comfortable ride and even treadwear.
Touring tires are best suited for sedans, SUVs, minivans, and other passenger vehicles, and a very reliable option if you drive a lot, whether going to the supermarket or on a cross-country tour.
Benefits of Touring Tires
Touring tires offer a plethora of benefits to drivers:
Optimal Ride Comfort
With touring tires, you will immediately notice an increase in your comfort level when riding since touring tires have large sidewalls and can better cushion the bumps in the road.
Touring tires are more balanced and handle better than regular tires because they have bigger aspect ratios and more aggressive and asymmetrical tire patterns that offer a good grip on the road in wet conditions or on high speed as well as high curve stability.
Since these cars offer a higher traction, they can be used throughout the year, in wet or dry conditions, and even on snowy roads.
Since they are designed to work in all sorts of conditions, the rubber is high-grade, built to last, and results in even treadwear that extends the life of the tire.
Types of Touring Tires
Touring tires are one of the most extensive categories for tires. However, most touring tires come in the types explained below:
Standard Touring All-Season Tires
These tires are general-use, all-season tires that are perfect for everyday driving. These tires offer a good amount of traction and decent performance in a wide variety of road conditions, giving you good handling and a smooth ride. These tires have larger aspect ratios but lower speed rating since the emphasis is on better vehicle control and rider comfort.
Continental TrueContact Touring Tires
Continental TrueContact Touring Tire is a modern standard touring all-season tire with strong four-season traction properties, warrantied tread life of up to 80,000 miles, excellent fuel economy, less road vibrations, and low noise. Its Quick View tire wear indicators effortlessly and conveniently inform drivers of when the tires are not performing optimally.
Standard touring all-season tires like Continental TrueContact are usually fitted in compact to full-sized sedans and minivans.
Performance Touring All-Season Tires
Performance Touring All-Season Tires are designed for luxury vehicles and sports cars and balance practicality with performance, offering the utility of standard touring tires with the sportiness and fast driving elements that premium vehicles need. In exchange for this, performance touring all-season tires do not have as long a tread life as Standard Touring All-Season Tires. The rolling resistance and fuel economy also deteriorates, but it is still much better than regular tires.
Michelin Primacy MX4
Michelin Primacy MX4 is engineered with a European-style handling profile that delivers superior control and handling for premium vehicles. Its treads are treated with a sunflower oil additive and have numerous biting edges that help them gain better traction and offer extra braking power in wet and snowy conditions. The tires have a warrantied tread life of up to 55,000 miles.
This tire is an OE tire for premium high-performance vehicles like Audi, Mercedes, and Acura which have performance-oriented chassis, power, and suspension properties and require the same grade of tires to match them.
Crossover and SUV Touring All-Season Tires
These touring tires are specifically designed for SUVs, crossovers, and pickup trucks and feature higher ply and load ratings to match the vehicle’s greater load capacity and weight. Some crossover and suv touring all-season tires are engineered to exploit the all-wheel drive traction systems that are commonly fitted in larger vehicles. These tires are used all-year around in the northern states of the country and offer four-season functionality that also includes driving in light snow.
When selecting a tire, just be considerate of the tread width as wider treads can reduce the tires’ traction in snow.
Toyo Celsius CUV
Toyo Celsius CUV tires are one of the best suv and crossover touring tires that meet their vehicle’s specification and can be used in daily driving. Also known as “variable condition” tires by the manufacturers, the Celsius CUV meets the criteria for the Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake (3PMSF) symbol that indicates the tire has been tested for driving on medium-packed snow.
These tires have a sportier look than standard touring tires while also offering a smoother ride.
Grand Touring and Ultra Touring Tires
The terms touring tires and grand touring tires are often used interchangeably. Manufacturers like to use the word “grand” in the brand name of their tires as this is one of the words that car manufacturers use on the premium trims of their cars.
You most probably have heard of the GT model of a car. The acronym stands for “gran turismo” or “grand touring” which means the vehicle is suitable for long-distance driving.
Ultra Touring is a term that is only used by tire manufacturers, Cooper. The company offers two lines of touring tires and the second, more recent, more upgraded line of touring tires is known as Cooper Ultra Touring tires.
In short, touring tires, grand touring tires, and ultra touring tires are all the same category of tires.
Key Factors to Consider When Buying Touring Tires
If you are shopping for touring tires for the first time, I have compiled the simple buying guide below to help you make the right choice.
Every tire has a tire size code stamped on its side. When buying touring tires, make sure you match them to this size. This will ensure you have the right sized tires for your cars. If there is a deviation in size, it can lead to lower fuel economy and a risk of your tire slipping off the rim.
Most advanced touring tires will be made of silica compounds or other materials that lend the tire more strength and durability. Make sure you buy tires made of high-grade material that offer more control and road grip. The tire manufacturers can tell you what material the tires are made from and how and where they should be used.
Your tires’ tread pattern can affect the grip on the road and fuel efficiency. The more tire surface that touches the road, the better your traction and fuel economy. A symmetrical pattern will allow you to rotate the tires fully but won’t give you as much grip on the road. On the other hand, an asymmetrical pattern gives the best traction but lower rotation abilities.
This is the rating that indicates how fast the tire can perform. Keep in mind that this is the maximum limit and you should not strive to drive as fast. When buying the tires, consider the maximum speeds you drive on highways.
Circumferential Grooves and Sipes
Circumferential grooves are the deepest channels that run around the circumference of the tires. These will give you better traction in wet conditions. Sipes are thin slots or cracks molded into the tire tread block. They give you better traction in the snow. The best touring tires will have a combination of both.
Should I Buy Touring Tires?
If you have regular tires, you may be considering buying touring tires. The decision comes down to how much driving you do, the type of driving you do, how much you want to get out of your tires, and how much you can spend.
If you want to get the most comfort, noise reduction, tread longevity, and performance from your tires, then we recommend spending a little bit extra to get one of the tires explained above that suits your vehicle type. Keep in mind though that many sedans and SUVs already come with touring tires so understand your wheels first before you jump to buy a set of expensive new tires that you don’t need.
About THE AUTHOR
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