List of Performance Categories for Tires

Our tire evaluations are conducted in order to offer a quality reference for your next purchase, but also to open your horizons to new brands of lesser notoriety that still offer tires with outstanding reliability on the road. We want to guide you and make your choice easier by offering you the best tires in each category, depending on the season and your type of vehicle.

We count 9 different tires categories for all-season tires, 7 categories for summer tires and 5 for winter tires. In addition, a detailed assessment according to several criterias is offered in order to know more about the products. Each tire has its strengths and weaknesses, making it easier for you to determine which one best suits your riding style and performance you are looking for as a driver.

Review the following performance categories to find the description of a tire type that best fits your needs.

Passenger Tires

All Season

most popular type of tire   designed to handle most conditions   tend to be slightly more winter-capable   often used as original equipment   generally lower in price and performance  

Passenger All-Season tires come standard on many sedans and minivans. They are the most popular type of tire and are designed to handle most conditions, including dry and wet pavement and light to moderate snow.

Passenger All-Season - See Tire Models

more comfortable than Grand Touring   higher aspect ratio sizes than Grand Touring   lower prices than Grand Touring  

Standard Touring tires are typically available in the lower speed ratings and higher aspect ratio sizes and place more emphasis on ride comfort and treadwear than Grand Touring tires.

Standard Touring All-Season - See Tire Models

more gripping power in wet conditions   responsive handling with noise and ride comfort   often used as original equipment   low rolling resistance  
  • 13" to 18" fitments available
  • Generally more comfortable and lower noise
  • Lower fuel use than UHP tires
  • Not ideal on high performance vehicles (Porsche, BMW)

These tires feature substantially more gripping power in wet conditions, along with the smooth ride and low rolling resistance of their summer counterparts. Although many do have somewhat more light winter capability than UHP all-seasons, for example, most of them are still not winter-capable in any real sense.

Grand Touring All-Season tires are often used as Original Equipment and place more emphasis on handling and high-speed capabilities than Standard Touring tires

Premium Touring All-Season - See Tire Models

step up from regular all-season tires   mixture of performance and appearance   reasonable price   year-round grip tuned for enthusiastic driving  

These tires are generally designed for decent handling and good looks, along with somewhat upgraded ride quality

These tires provide year-round traction (even in light snow) and will upgrade the appearance and performance of vehicles originally equipped with Passenger All-Season tires. Most tires offer white letter or black sidewall styling.

Performance All-Season - See Tire Models

for all weather conditions   for driving sports coupe or sedan   blend of all-season traction with good handling   low profile tires   quite expensive  

These particular all-season tires are made for good performance, while adding in wet capabilities. As with most tires labeled “All-Season” they should not actually be trusted in any kind of real winter conditions.

Tires are designed to provide year-round traction (even in light snow) through tread designs and compounds that remain flexible in the cold weather to help blend all-season traction with good handling

High Performance All-Season - See Tire Models

all-season traction   ultra low profile   very good handling and high-speed capabilities   designed to provide year-round traction  
  • Typically 18" and above
  • Designed with sporty handling in mind
  • Ideal for performance cars
  • OE fitment for margues like Porsche, BMW

The highest level of performance many street drivers will ever need for most weather conditions.

These tires are much the same as UHP summer tires, but with siping or other technologies added to enhance wet grip and hydroplaning resistance. Despite the all-season label, with the notable exception of the Conti DWS, these are not usually tires to be trusted in any kind of snow or ice.

Ultra High Performance All-Season - See Tire Models

Summer

less expensive than their high- performance tires   great for daily-driver   optimized for warm weather   often used as original equipment   for ride quality and fuel efficiency   acceptable level of performance  
  • 13" to 18" fitments available
  • Generally more comfortable and lower noise
  • Lower fuel use than UHP tires
  • Not ideal on high performance vehicles (Porsche, BMW)

These tires are designed to blend a performance tire's appearance with a passenger tire's smooth, quiet ride. Grand Touring tires are often used as Original Equipment and place more emphasis on handling and high-speed capabilities than high performance tires.

They are also almost always less expensive than their higher-performance cousins.

Premuim Touring Summer - See Tire Models

good blend of dry and wet street performance   predictable handling at high speed   slight step down from UHP tires   H-speed rated (210 km/h)  

A slight step down from UHP summer tires, these are built for good performance and predictable handling at high speed, and provide good ride quality. Many OE tires, except for those on very high-performance cars, will fall into this category. HP tires are much more likely to carry “H” speed ratings.

High Performance Summer - See Tire Models

optimized for warm weather   V-speed rated (240 km/h)   deliver the ultimate dry and wet grip and handling   low profile tires   responsive handling and crisp steering response   deliver a noisier ride than regular tires  
  • Typically 18" and above
  • Designed with sporty handling in mind
  • Ideal for performance cars
  • OE fitment for margues like Porsche, BMW

UHP summer tires are generally low-profile, high-steering, response monsters made for cornering the hottest cars at the hottest speeds. They will almost always carry “V” or higher speed ratings. Their wet conditions capabilities will be more toward the useless side.

UHP tires can handle the extra horsepower of sports cars, but they’re pricier and don’t last as long as regular all-season tires.

Average predicted tread life is 35000 miles.

UHP tires have been around for decades but were traditionally found on high-end sports cars. Now more and more manufacturers are offering them on performance-tuned versions of mainstream vehicles, such as the Buick Regal GS, Chrysler 300S, and Ford Fiesta ST. Even the Chevrolet Impala and Lincoln MKZ come in versions that can be outfitted with UHP tires

Ultra High Performance Summer - See Tire Models

superior performance   optimized for summer   blend of dry and wet street traction and handling   not the best for daily drivers   ultra low profile   computer developed designs   no longevity   not for everyday short-trip driving   high-speed handling  

Max Performance Summer tires are designed to offer the highest blend of dry/wet traction and handling via the latest in design and technology.

They're the pinnacle in tire technology, blending the latest in tread compounds and internal components with highly engineered designs.

Max Performance Summer - See Tire Models

for serious driving challenges   great handling   W or Y speed rated (270-300km/h)   for exotic sport cars   for competition-level performance   minimal level of comfort   not for everyday driving  

Extreme-performance tires offer the highest level of street performance. What they lack in comfort and wet condition handling, they more than make up for with maximum dry-grip performance. While these are not specifically track tires, they are best used in situations where competition-level performance is needed. Using them for everyday short-trip driving is like using dynamite to kill flies.

Extreme Performance Summer - See Tire Models

Winter

using winter tire studs  

Designed for cold temps and deeper snow, winter tires should be put on as soon as you can see your breath in the air and taken off again when you can't.

For drivers wanting basic snow traction and/or the additional security provided by adding optional winter tire studs to enhance traction on ice.

These tires feature traditional winter tire compounds and tread designs that provide good traction in snow. They are also molded to accept optional metal studs that are especially helpful when driving in climates where freezing rain, sleet and wet ice occurs as ambient temperatures hover around 32° Fahrenheit. Available in a wide range of sizes for coupes, sedans, minivans and crossover vehicles.

Meet severe snow service standards, branded with mountain/snowflake symbol.

Q-, S- or T-speed rated.

Must be installed in sets of four.

Because studded tires damage road surfaces, many states restrict them to wintertime use or prohibit them entirely. Check with local authorities to confirm legality.

Studdable Winter / Snow - See Tire Models

maximizing snow and ice traction   using without winter tire studs  

Designed for cold temps and deeper snow, winter tires should be put on as soon as you can see your breath in the air and taken off again when you can't.

For drivers wanting to maximize snow and ice traction from their winter / snow tires without the inconvenience of using winter tire studs.

These tires were developed to meet challenging winter driving conditions around the world by delivering studded-like snow and ice traction without employing noisy, road-damaging studs. These tires feature pliable tread compounds molded into purposeful tread designs that trade some handling in dry and wet conditions to deliver excellent snow and ice traction. Available in a wide range of sizes for coupes, sedans, minivans, and crossover vehicles.

Meet severe snow service standards, branded with mountain/snowflake symbol.

Q-, R-, S-, T- or H-speed rated.

Must be installed in sets of four.

Studless Ice & Snow - See Tire Models

better handling on clear roads   improved traction in winter's cold temperatures  

Compared with Studless Ice & Snow winter tires, Performance Winter / Snow tires deliver better handling on clear roads along with improved wet and dry traction in winter's cold temperatures. The tradeoff comes with modestly lower ice and snow traction. But when winter weather strikes, Performance Winter / Snow tires still deliver better performance than the best all-season tires.

Performance Winter / Snow tires may be the right tire solution for drivers who need mobility in winter weather, and still want to maintain better handling for when roads are just cold, dry or wet.

These tires were originally developed for winter driving on European highways where high-speed driving on clear roads must be combined with traction on snow-covered roads.

H-, V- or W-speed rated.

Run-flat tires available.

Must be installed in sets of four.

Performance Winter / Snow - See Tire Models

designed for temporary use only  

This tire is designed for temporary use only. It can help drivers temporarily regain mobility in the event of a flat tire due to a puncture, cut, road hazard, accident or blowout.

Temporary Spare tires can be recognized by the "T" for "Temporary" in front of the tire size description.

Temporary/Compact Spare - See Tire Models

Light Truck / SUV Tires

All Season

sophisticated blend of fashion and function   all-season on-road traction   noise comfort   stylish appearance  

Sport truck tires are designed to provide style and performance, while offering handling and a smooth, quite ride in an all season tire. Popular on pickup trucks, sport utility vehicles and crossovers, performance sport truck tires have a wide design with a low profile, and come in sizes to fit larger diameter rims.

These tires combine the sporty appearance of Street/Sport Truck tires with much of the ride quality and noise comfort associated with Highway All-Season tires to deliver a sophisticated blend of fashion and function. While they offer all-season versatility, including traction in light snow, tire sizes featuring extremely wide tread widths may limit the traction this type of tire can provide in deep snow.

Crossover/SUV Touring All-Season - See Tire Models

ride quality   predictable handling   noise comfort   reasonable ride comfort   all-season on-road traction   good treadlife  

Tires for pleasing comfort, predictable handling and all-season on-road traction for your crossover, sport utility vehicle or pickup

These tires typically feature independent tread blocks and multiple sipes positioned around the tire to combine good on-road (including gravel and dirt roads) poise with foul-weather traction. They are branded with the M+S symbol and capable of providing all-season versatility, including traction in light snow.

Highway All-Season - See Tire Models

year-round performance   low profile   enhance a vehicle's looks   sport truck appearance  

Sport truck appearance and year-round performance for your pickup, crossover or sport utility vehicle.

These wide, low profile and large rim diameter tires enhance a vehicle's looks and performance when used to replace most Original Equipment tires. While they offer all-season versatility, including traction in light snow, tire sizes featuring extremely wide tread widths may limit the traction this type of tire can provide in deep snow.

Street/Sport Truck All-Season - See Tire Models

Summer

large rim diameter   sporty appearance   optimized for warm weather   dry and wet road performance   low profile   enhance a vehicle's looks  

These wide, low profile and large rim diameter tires enhance a vehicle's looks and performance when used to replace most Original Equipment tires. They emphasize traction and handling in dry and wet conditions, but like all summer tires, are not intended to be driven in near-freezing temperatures, through snow or on ice.

Street/Sport Truck Summer - See Tire Models

noise comfort   optimized for warm weather   developed for street and highway use   designed to provide on-road traction  

Heavy-duty tires designed to provide on-road traction in dry and wet conditions.

These heavy-duty light truck/SUV tires feature rib-type tread designs developed primarily for street and highway use. They emphasize even wear, low noise and good traction on dry and wet roads, but like all summer tires, are not intended to be driven in near-freezing temperatures, through snow or on ice.

Highway Rib Summer - See Tire Models

Winter

using without winter tire studs  

For drivers wanting to maximize snow and ice traction from their winter / snow tires without the inconvenience of using winter tire studs.

These tires were developed to meet challenging winter driving conditions around the world by delivering studded-like snow and ice traction without employing noisy, road-damaging studs. These tires feature pliable tread compounds molded into purposeful tread designs that trade some handling in dry and wet conditions to deliver excellent snow and ice traction. Available in a wide range of standard and heavy-duty sizes for full-size vans, crossover vehicles, sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks.

Meet severe snow service standards, branded with mountain/snowflake symbol.

Q-, R-, S-, T- or H-speed rated.

Must be installed in sets of four.

Light Truck/SUV Studless Ice & Snow - See Tire Models

For drivers wanting basic snow traction and/or the additional security provided by adding optional winter tire studs to enhance traction on ice.

These tires feature traditional winter tire compounds and tread designs that provide good traction in snow. They are also molded to accept optional metal studs that are especially helpful when driving in climates where freezing rain, sleet and wet ice occurs as ambient temperatures hover around 32° Fahrenheit. Available in a wide range of standard and heavy-duty sizes for full-size vans, crossovers, sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks.

Meet severe snow service standards, branded with mountain/snowflake symbol.

Q-, S- or T-speed rated.

Must be installed in sets of four.

Because studded tires damage road surfaces, many states restrict them to wintertime use or prohibit them entirely. Check with local authorities to confirm legality.

Light Truck/SUV Studdable Winter / Snow - See Tire Models

better handling on clear roads   improved traction in winter's cold temperatures  

For drivers wanting enhanced dry road handling from their winter / snow tires and are willing to trade some snow and ice traction to get it.

These tires were originally developed for winter driving on European highways where high-speed driving on clear roads must be combined with traction on snow-covered roads. These tires are available in many of the low sidewall profile, large wheel diameter, Extra Load sizes used on performance-oriented crossover and sport utility vehicles, as well as several full-size cars.

Meet severe snow service standards, branded with mountain/snowflake symbol.

T-, H- or V-speed rated.

Run-flat tires available.

Must be installed in sets of four.

Light Truck/SUV Performance Winter / Snow - See Tire Models

all-season versatility   for snow-covered roads   for roads from gravel / stone / soil  

Your on-road and off-road travels include snow-covered roads, as well as gravel, stone, soil and sandy off-road trails.

These tires typically have as much capability off the road as they do on the road. They feature multifaceted tread blocks to help deliver traction in any direction on gravel roads and dirt trails, as well as are branded with the M+S symbol indicating their ability to provide all-season versatility, including traction in snow.

On-/Off-Road All-Terrain - See Tire Models

higher load rating   reduced off-road capacity   designed for companies that need tires to last   aggressive tread designs   stiffer compound  

Your truck uses heavy-duty tires to provide off-road traction at work jobsites and recreation areas, as well as in snow.

These heavy-duty tires feature aggressive tread designs that generate off-road traction by biting into loose or muddy surfaces. They are branded with the M+S symbol and capable of providing traction in snow (some are even designed to accept optional studs to enhance traction on ice).

On-/Off-Road Commercial Traction - See Tire Models

for the toughest trails   for deep mud  

Your off-road challenges include deep mud, loose soil, slippery rock and the toughest trails.

These typically oversize tires feature aggressive tread lugs that bite into loose or muddy surfaces to provide maximum traction that helps propel the vehicle through muddy ruts and over slippery rocks. While many are branded with the M+S symbol and some are even pinned to accept optional metal studs to increase ice traction, their typical oversize applications, use of extra-large lugs and the absence of snow-biting sipes often challenges an Off-Road Maximum Traction tire's on-road wintertime traction in slush, packed snow and on ice.

Off-Road Max Traction - See Tire Models