Not everyone understands the same thing under the concept of “SUV.” Not everyone realizes that not every car of this type can go to the forest and easily conquer the ascents, move deep puddles and not slip in the mud. For this, one type of car, like SUV, is not enough. In this case, tires play an incredibly important role and match the status of the SUV and the off-road vehicles.
But some people buy a car of such a class to go to places that are not intended for this purpose. Others use these cars in the same way as cars, namely, for driving on the highway and city streets.
For paved roads, it makes no sense to buy tires for SUVs. They are not only much more expensive but also absolutely not justified on the road with standard coverage.
It is better to choose tires from the same manufacturer because they will have the same characteristics for strength, rolling resistance, hardness and composition of rubber.
It does not make sense to make particularly high demands for tires if the car drives mainly on the highway and city streets. We will tell you how to choose the right tires in this article. But you can also read more information about the choice of tires and get acquainted with the rating of the best 20 inch tires for Dodge RAM 1500 straight from the source.
SUVs tires standards
Tires for SUVs must meet several criteria that differ to some extent from the technical parameters required for other types of vehicles.
In this regard, for the SUV to live up to its name and primary purpose, its tires must meet the following requirements: a high degree of adhesion to the surface. Tires should perform well both on paved roads and on a variety of ground and in any weather.
Resistance to significant mechanical loads. Compliance with this parameter is especially important when the car overcomes serious road obstacles, and the load on the tires is maximum.
That is why, to increase the strength characteristics, manufacturers of high-quality tires for all-terrain vehicles use a particular brand of rubber, pattern, and tread depth — ensuring reasonable maneuverability. Even though the wheels should increase the passability of transport, they should not interfere with easy control of the car.
Classification of tires for SUVs
As in the case of city cars, it is impossible to choose tires for an SUV that would be equally well suited for driving off-road and for driving around the city. Therefore, some tires are suitable only for the first or second cases, as well as tires that are suitable to various degrees for urban driving and off-road driving.
H/T (Highway Terrain)
The tires are marked and designed for driving on asphalt. The phrase “to a greater extent” means that these tires are perfect for the owner of an SUV that moves 80% of the time in the city, only sometimes (20% of the time) driving on dirt roads.
Externally, these tires differ from rubber intended only for driving on asphalt, a deeper tread pattern. The direction of the slats guarantees excellent adhesion to the paved road at almost any level of humidity. Naturally, when driving on a dirt road, the car’s handling is somewhat reduced.
It is difficult to call this type of rubber “off-road,” this type of tires can only be used effectively on a flat paved road of good quality. These tires are usually installed on cars of the “premium class” segment, which no one would think to use on the hunt and drive off-road.
A/T (All-Terrain Tires)
Marking A/T means that off-road tires will suit the driver of the jeep, which is used both in the city and off-road (somewhere in the region). Adaptation to a dirt road is 50%, so the tires are adapted for driving on asphalt. The tread pattern of A/T rubber is characterized by the presence of massive blocks that divide fairly wide channels (which ensures a high level of cross-country and the wheels can be self-cleaned).
M/T (Mud Terrain Tires)
M/T tires give the SUV excellent cross-country performance in areas where dirt roads are of extremely poor quality or are not available at all. However, such tires are least suitable for use on paved roads (comfort, speed, and handling create a feeling of driving a tractor, loud noise).
Although it is generally assumed that the percentage of traffic on both types of roads corresponds to 80%/20% (where 20% is driving on asphalt), tires must withstand long trips on asphalt.
But, a hard surface (asphalt) leads to the rapid destruction of tires. The faster the speed – the faster the noise and wear. Externally, the M/T rubber has a very large tread pattern – large blocks, wide grooves for self-cleaning.
Tires for extreme driving
As a rule, such products do not have markings at all, since their appearance indicates their primary purpose. At first glance, the tires resemble the wheels of a tractor, and to some extent, their passability can be equated. Large treads and special tires will allow the SUV to overcome almost any terrain.
Driving on asphalt for extreme type tires is unacceptable, as this negatively affects the handling of transport, and also reduces the average operating life of the tire.
Any rubber, including those intended for a crossover, has not only parameters for cross-country performance, but also recommended temperature conditions. In this regard, tires for SUVs, as well as for conventional passenger cars, are divided into summer, winter with or without spikes, and all-season.
When choosing tires for an SUV, you can pay attention to the products of the following manufacturers:
- Goodyear. Products of this brand are traditionally expensive, but there are many fans of this brand among the owners of off-road cars. They provide excellent handling and comfortable driving on dry road surfaces, but on wet roads, the braking distance and handling leave much to be desired.
- Michelin. An excellent option for those who appreciate a safe ride, proper handling, and low noise level during the ride. Even though they cope with off-road, the products of the brand are the most important. Michelin is focused on movement in the city, and for hunting trips in a swampy area, it is better to prefer something else.
- Kumho. Tires are famous for their high level of grip on the road surface. They are also designed to make the car, and its driver feel confident even in wet weather and on wet asphalt.
- Goodrich. Guarantees efficient braking distance and excellent handling on dry road surfaces. The main drawback is the rapid loss of performance in hard-driving mode. However, connoisseurs of mud rubber can choose a suitable model from the line of this brand.
As the popularity of all-wheel-drive cars increases year by year, the automotive and chemical industries are continually developing new models of rubber tires for them.
Tips for choosing tires for SUV
Manufacturers of modern tires have scientific laboratories equipped with the latest technology and serious scientists who develop innovative technologies to improve the characteristics of tires.
Each well-known brand focuses on upgrading the selected characteristic, striving for excellence. As a result, motorists get “smart” tires that can show wonders of efficiency if the choice is made correctly.
How to make the right tire choice? Let’s just say that it is impossible to choose a universal tire for any conditions. It simply does not exist yet.
Fans of aggressive driving should have to accept the increased noise of tires that guarantee excellent traction.
Calm driving on soft tires is comfortable but prepare for less responsiveness of the tire to steering and longer braking distance.
Road tires are less effective on grass and dirt. Frictional tires are less effective on snow-covered ice.
In general, the choice of tires is a compromise between more or less important characteristics for you personally, the main of which is safety on the road.