No tire satisfies all driving conditions, but some come close to doing so.
That’s where touring tires come in.
We’d explore how they work and what they can do for you.
Here’s what touring tires are used for:
Touring tires are used for almost any type of road condition. While driving with them, you can expect impressive balance, smoother rides and improved handling. That’s not all; you’d get longer tread life with them.
How Are Touring Tires Different?
It’s easy to confuse touring tires with all-season tires, but no one would blame you for that. The reason is that most touring tires are all-season tires. Think of them as improved all-season tires because of their added benefits.
This makes them a combination of all-season and performance tires so that you can regard them as hybrids. They have the versatility of all-season tires and the handling of performance tires. At the same time, they shed off some disadvantages of both tire types.
Touring tires are notable for their asymmetrical tread patterns. They also have lower profiles than regular tires, meaning their sidewalls are shorter relative to their width.
So their low profiles result from greater width and not shorter sidewalls.
They perform better and usually have higher speed ratings. This makes them perfect for road trips and highway driving. So if speed is an essential requirement, you’d be satisfied with them.
They’re designed for speed.
What Are Touring Tires Good for?
They’ll do fairly well in whatever weather conditions, hence you’re never short of traction. So even though they won’t perform as well as winter tires in the snow, they’ll give average results.
You’ll also get better handling and cornering with them than with average tires. They’re a great option if you consider comfort but don’t want reduced performance. That’s why they’re superior, because they provide all these benefits at the same time they offer quiet rides.
We’d explain these benefits in detail below.
Pros of Using Touring Tires
The advantages of using touring tires are off the charts. When asked about touring tires, you may describe them as products geared towards improving tire advantages and eliminating their downfalls. Allow us to explain.
A wider range of applications
Since touring tires are practically all-season tires, they have similar advantages. So they provide more than sufficient traction on wet or dry roads year-round.
Their wide range of applications also means you’d get the most out of them. Thus, instead of using them for only some months in the year, you can use them all year round.
As you’ve guessed, that creates ease for car owners who wouldn’t have to swap tires whenever the weather changes.
Better stability due to wider tread
Their wider treads allow for more road balance because they’ll have more contact with the road than slimmer tires. Their asymmetrical tread patterns further enhance stability and traction.
Better road interaction also allows for exceptional handling, making cornering easier on wet and dry roads. You’d also feel less of an effect when cornering, and we’d look into that briefly.
Driving doesn’t get more comfortable than with touring tires. Comfort here translates to a smoother and quieter ride experience.
So when trying to maneuver slippery roads or sharp corners, the impact on passengers is reduced. Hence, they provide not only better handling, as we’ve discussed. Instead, they also ensure you don’t have a crude experience.
Uniform wear rate
Recall that they have better contact with roads, so the tread blocks wear out evenly. With a uniform wearing rate, you get more from your tires.
They’d last longer and have better performance, including traction. However, an even wearing rate does not mean you should skip tire rotation altogether. They complement each other.
Although many factors contribute to tire lifespan, touring tires outlive other types. Since they are wider, they last longer. Their treads are also thicker, so they take longer to wear than performance tires.
Their increased durability provides more than just a longer lifespan. It means you can drive without breaks with them for long periods as they’re built for long drives.
Cons of Using Touring Tires
They don’t have a lot of disadvantages. However, we dug deep to find cases where they underperformed.
Reduced performance in hot or freezing weather
This takes away the supposed advantage of driving with your touring tires all season.
While touring tires still perform well on light snow, they’re terrible in intense snow. It has to do with their tread design, but that’s not all. They’re made from materials that are supposed to adapt to average temperature rise or drop.
That’s why when the winter gets angry, touring tires, like their all-season counterparts, become liabilities.
The same applies in the summer. Although they work, their performance in extreme heat cannot match summer tires.
Subpar fuel economy
There’s always a debate on the relationship of rolling resistance with tire width. Rolling resistance is the force opposing the free movement of tires.
Experts argue that wide tires (like touring tires) have less rolling resistance, hence consume less fuel. Others disagree because the theory seems conflicting, as a broader contact area with the ground should mean more resistance.
Luckily, other factors help us determine gas mileage, so we know they have reduced fuel economy. Not to worry, as long as your tire pressure remains ideal, the difference wouldn’t be by a large margin.
Besides, for the value they bring, they have acceptable gas mileage. They also deliver better gas mileage than performance tires.
What Vehicle Should Use Touring Tires?
Most cars on the road can use touring tires. Still, it’s a better fit for some than for others.
They’re ideal for sedans, SUVs and vans. Recall we said they’ll serve well on road trips. So minivans and SUVs are great road trip vehicles that can perform even better with touring tires.
Driving a luxury car, you’re also better off with touring tires. They’ll make your ride smoother and noise-free. However, regular summer or high-performance tires are ideal if you own a sporty car.
At the moment, touring tires are so effective that many cars come factory equipped with them. So you’d only have to replace them with OE touring tires when they wear out.
Is It Recommended to Use Touring Tires?
It sure is. Who wouldn’t recommend touring tires? They’re remarkable if you drive a lot; as their name implies, they’re made for long trips.
Besides, automakers even equip new cars with them, so that’s the biggest recommendation you’d ever need.
If your car doesn’t come factory equipped with them, evaluate your driving habits and seasonal environmental conditions. After that, get an opinion from your mechanic before deciding if they’re an excellent option for you.
If your car already comes with touring tires, it becomes easier to continue using them. Car manufacturers do a lot of analysis before deciding what tires to equip their vehicles with. They also work with tire manufacturers to select the best-suited option.
Their decision usually fits the purpose for which they designed the vehicle.
So if you find touring tires in your new car, your best bet would be to stick with it. However, a more recent vehicle model may hit the market, and you’ll notice non-touring tires. If that happens, you may need to follow suit depending on why your automaker swapped tires.
Sadly, if you frequently witness extreme weather in your location, you’d need an extra set of winter or summer tires.
What Are the Most-popular Touring Tire Brands?
It helps to know what you’re looking for when tire shopping. Moreso if you know the best brands in the market. These brands produce some of the best touring tires you’d find:
Everyone already knows Continental makes world-class tires. That’s why it is no surprise that their touring tires are among the best in the industry.
There are several models to pick from.
Michelin is a pioneer in the tire industry. So we’d expect that their touring tires would be among the best. Luckily, they don’t disappoint.
Their touring tires have exceptional tread life. So with them, you’re assured of getting your money back in terms of longevity.
Their touring tires compete with products from the other top brands. A good example is their CS5 Grand Touring Radial Tire. A radial construction here means the tires would dissipate heat better, among other advantages.
However, most touring tires produced today will probably be radial tires. So you’d enjoy radial tire technology with other brands too.
They have manufactured some of the best touring tires, and their tires are known for their durability and dependability.
So if you’re after longevity, they’ll last as long as any tire.
We expect high-quality touring tires to be more expensive regardless of the brand. However, the latest technologies in the industry usually back these expensive ones.
Also, it’s noteworthy that different tire brands manufacture tires with amplified characteristics. This means one brand might focus on longevity rather than aesthetics. Another would try to produce tires with better versatility relative to others.
You must know what each brand or product is geared towards before you go shopping.