2017 marked the year sport utility vehicles (SUVs) outsold passenger cars for the first time in Australia. The dominance of SUVs in the local market has also seen most car manufacturers branch out into the lucrative SUV market. What might come as a surprise, is that SUVs are not designed for dedicated off-road driving… an SUV is predominantly a highway vehicle and will not get you to Cape York in the Wet Season, no matter what tyres you put on them, and just like the multitude of SUV makes and models, SUV tyres come in many different designs. The off-road and on-road vehicles each target different segments, and fill different needs. But both have one thing in common - they bring exceptional performance traits to vehicles that can also be used as daily drivers.
Which are the safest, most fuel efficient and quietest tyres for your SUV?
First up, you should probably understand that the perfect all season tyre just doesn’t exist. Sadly, we don’t yet have the technology to make a tyre that works perfectly in the dry, summer heat as well as the wet, snowy mountain terrain. Going back a few years, some of the less scrupulous manufacturers simply put an all seasons side wall on a winter tyre, so your all season tyres were essentially a winter tyre. Fortunately the manufacturers have become a lot better at making a tyre that works in most conditions, and today all season tyres are an excellent choice for the casual SUV motorist.
In 2019, the professional market research company, Canstar Blue commissioned a consumer review and comparison on SUV tyres. This review compared various brands on durability, dry weather handling, stopping ability, value for money, wet weather handling, driving noise and overall satisfaction. In this instance Michelin took out first place with five-star reviews on durability, dry weather handling, stopping ability, wet weather handling and noise. It got four stars on value for money.
Then we have motoring magazine “Wheels” SUV tyre test, performed on a Sydney Dragway by a seasoned test driver, (paid to do burnouts)? Testing included road noise at various speeds, slalom (cornering), speed braking, wet surface driving/braking. Each discipline was given a score, with the totals expressed as a percentage.
Different surveys with different overall winners. By now you have probably realised that what the experts voted No. 1 may not be at the top of your list of priorities. Let’s take a closer look at these tests – commissioned by Wheels Magazine - to determine which SUV tyre reigns best for you and your driving style.
Obviously, all these tests are performed with a single driver on a controlled track. One more consideration to be aware off is FOUR-UP BRAKING. Has it ever occurred to you that you might need a bit more room when you have a car load of passengers and luggage on board?
Using the above disciplines, controlled off-road tests proved that a vehicle loaded with passengers and luggage requires as much as 2.4 metres of extra stopping distance. That’s up to half a car length, or a 9% increase, meaning an extra 1 second of stopping time distance between you and the holiday-makers in front, could be life-saving.
Consumer Reviews and Surveys are a great place to start when researching what tyres are best for your SUV and driving preferences, simply jump onto the internet and ask “best SUV tyres for XYZ model vehicle”, scroll down past all the paid advertising, then research your priorities…
- Best SUV Tyres for highway motoring for XYZ
- Cheapest SUV Tyres for XYZ
- Safest SUV Tyres for XYZ
- Quietest SUV Tyres for XYZ
- Best SUV Tyres for fuel economy for XYZ