SUV Tires - Light Truck Tires: Ratings of Sources
ConsumerReports.org tests nearly 20 sets of all-season truck and SUV tires. Each model is put through rigorous testing on wet, dry and snowy pavement; ice braking is tested at a skating rink. Ratings also include road noise, comfort, fuel economy and tread life. Six tires earn recommendations.
As part of ConsumerReports.org's comprehensive report on tires, editors test 15 sets of all-terrain tires. They recommend five models after thorough testing, rating tires on factors such as handling on wet and dry pavement, road noise, braking and tread life.
A team of testers rate roughly 30 all-terrain tire models on a variety of surfaces for this comparison. Each tire includes a short review and gets a score of 1 to 4 stars for performance on pavement, heavy rock, sand, snow, mud and ice. With no overall score, it's difficult to see which models rate at the top of their list, though it is useful to compare which tires excel, and which don't, under specific conditions.
TireRack.com conducts expert tire tests, usually pitting three similar tires in a side-by-side comparison. A few of the tests are recent -- for example a test of crossover/SUV touring all-season tires -- but several date from 2008 or older. Some tires appear in more than one comparison.
TireRack.com invites anyone to participate in its cumulative tire survey, which boasts more than 137,000 contributions since 1997, representing more than 2.5 billion miles of driving. Owners rate light truck and SUV tires in 11 categories and note their likelihood of purchasing the same tire again as well as what percentage of owners rate their tires as the best in the category. The survey includes scores for performance on dry pavement, handling in wet and snowy conditions, ride comfort and treadwear, as well as information on how many driving miles the ratings are based on.
TruckTrend.com offers lots of reviews of SUV and truck tires, including occasional reports that reflect long-term testing. Articles are detailed and opinions are offered, though tires are not rated and opinions of whether one tire is better than another are rarely offered.
Based in Canada, AutoGuide.com regularly tests tires, including SUV and light truck tires. Reviews are hands on, testing based and often comparative. Ratings are not provided, but reviews leave little doubt about how well the tires measure up.
Editors provide an extensive list of articles on wheels and tires for four-wheeling here, including many reviews of tires for four-wheel drive vehicles. Most testers have plenty of four-wheeling experience for comprehensive feedback, and put the tires through their paces in a variety of terrains. However, the majority of reviews are fairly short, with one or two paragraphs summarizing performance on pavement and trails.
This website covers everything off-road: dirt bikes, snowmobiles and four-wheelers, along with four-wheel drive trucks and Jeeps. There aren't any side-by-side tests, but individual reviews are posted for several off-road tires with testers rating performance both on the pavement and on the trail.
Editors focus on smaller 31-inch tires for this comparison, mounting 13 different all-terrain tires on volunteer and staff four-wheel drive vehicles. They compile the two most helpful reviews for each model, all of which are short write-ups. Performance details on a variety of terrain are helpful, but with no comparative scores or ratings it's difficult to see which tires are top performers. This review is now a little older, though many of the tires remain available.
1010Tires.com is an online tire retailer that also allows users to rate tire models. They list the top rated all-season light truck and SUV tires (along with other types of tires) on this review page, clearly displaying each tire's ratings and the number of owner reviews. Owners use a 5-star scale to score treadwear, noise and handling in a variety of conditions. There are fewer reviews here than at TireRack.com, but some tires amass enough feedback to be helpful.
TiresTest.com allows users to rate tires as part of their independent consumer survey. Editors list lots of tire brands and models; some get only a handful of reviews, or none at all, but some get dozens, hundreds and in a few cases thousands. Owners rate tires in nine categories, including tire wear, comfort, fuel consumption and handling in wet and dry conditions. A table lists which tires are currently top rated based on at least 10 reviews.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) requires manufacturers to test most tires for treadwear, traction and heat resistance, and to label tires with these ratings. Consumers can look up tire ratings either by brand or by rating. The NHTSA offers thorough explanations of the ratings, but it doesn't recommend one tire over another, and several light-truck tire lines are left out. Defect and recall alerts are also posted here.