What to look for when buying SUV tyres
SUVs are widely loved for their ability to do everything - the spacious capacity of a van, the handling capabilities of a car, and sometimes, off road capability as well. But the challenges of getting a much heavier vehicle with a higher centre of gravity to brake and handle safely are quite different to that of a car tyre. Here's some factors to keep in mind when you're shopping for SUV tyres:
If you bought your SUV new, you probably remember how it drove when you took it on the first test drive, took a note of whether it was quiet inside and checked the fuel economy specs. All of these factors – plus acceleration and braking capability – can be changed significantly by the choice of tyres. If you want showroom vehicle performance, ideally replace the tyres with the same as it was originally fitted with if possible. Otherwise, consider the following factors:
SUVs are expected to deliver car-like performance, in a vehicle that is much heavier and with a much higher centre of gravity than a car. This means unique design challenges for SUV tyres. Look for tyres with good handling properties and those specifically designed for an SUV.
Again, you need to bring all that weight to a safe stop when you need it. Look for tyres with a proven test record of good braking in both wet and dry.
The tyres your SUV left the factory on probably made it nice and quiet inside. Look for tyres with noise breaker or noise cancellation technology. Your passengers will want to hear the conversation, not the road!
Look for a tyre with a good balance of both safety and treadwear. While some tyre designs trade off one for the other, a high quality tyre in a modern design should be able to deliver good levels of both.
If you’re venturing beyond the asphalt, look for tyres that are constructed for robust damage resistance, and for tyres that offer off-road grip without compromising on-road performance.