The time has come to replace the worn-out all-season tires on your car, but the recent price hike has made you nervous about spending that much money. Don't worry because, in this article, I will cover budget-friendly all-season tires for passenger cars and crossovers that won't break the bank while giving you a safe and comfortable ride.
I will admit that I am guilty of promoting mostly premium tires in my articles, but there are reasons for that. Namely, in my experience driving on those tires, I always get the best experience, with the highest grip in most conditions and the most comfortable ride. Moreover, owners of premium tires generally report the longest treadlife.
With that said, there is something alluring about putting budget all-season tires on your car, especially when they come from reputable manufacturers. I am certainly not talking about ultra-cheap tires, which I would not recommend to anyone. Thus, in this list, you will find all-season tires that will save you from $100 to $200 for a set (depending on the size) while offering reasonable safety, comfort, and durability.
So, without further ado, let's see what are the best budget all season tires for cost-effective cruising!
- Best Grand-Touring All-Season Budget Tires
- Best Touring All-Season Budget Tires
- Best Budget All-Season Tire for Crossovers and SUVs
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- 1. How do budget all-season tires perform in various weather conditions?
- 2. Are budget all-season tires durable?
- 3. Can budget all-season tires handle snowy conditions effectively?
- 4. What's the average lifespan of budget all-season tires?
- 5. How does the performance of budget all-season tires compare with premium all-season tires?
- 6. Are budget all-season tires safe?
- 7. Are budget all-season tires suitable for all types of vehicles?
- 8. How much money can I save by choosing the best budget tires for all-seasons?
- 9. How do budget all-season tires affect fuel efficiency?
- 10. How are budget all-season tires constructed compared to their pricier counterparts?
Best Grand-Touring All-Season Budget Tires
1. Vredestein Quatrac
Vredestein's latest all-weather/all-season grand-touring tire is so good that it directly competes with the premium bunch. It is also a tire that comes with the Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake symbol, meaning it was tested by an independent body for higher longitudinal traction on snow. In other words, it is a tire that wants to be an all-around solution for drivers of passenger cars and crossovers at a lower price than a set of premium tires.
The Quatrac succeeds the Quatrac 5, which was already a pretty good tire. Still, the new model is vastly superior in wet conditions. In fact, the Vredestein Quatrac bests some premium tires in rainy conditions, particularly older models.
Notably, the tire impresses with its longitudinal traction on wet tarmac, which translates into short stopping distances and excellent acceleration off the line.
Furthermore, the lateral grip is outstanding for a tire with such an aggressive tread compound, and overall, the driving experience is positive. That is to say, the handling balance is neutral, and the Vredestein Quatrac performs predictably at the limit – very important when you need to make an evasive maneuver.
The Quatrac also impressed me on snow-covered roads. During the limited time I had with the tire, I found it to handle in a very neutral way, with a good balance between understeer and oversteer.
Moreover, the lateral grip on snowy roads was almost as good as on a premium 3PMSF-rated all-season tire, accompanied by relatively short stopping distances and good acceleration off the line.
Overall, the Vredestein Quatrac is a very usable snow tire. Sure, it won't replace a proper winter tire, particularly in areas with heavy snowfall during the winter, but for most drivers, it will work perfectly fine. That is especially true when you consider the price, which is pretty low for the performance you get.
Still, the Quatrac isn't my favorite tire on dry roads. It is completely safe – don't get me wrong, but push it hard, and it will start to show its limitations. Notably, the steering feels lifeless and not very responsive, and the lateral grip is only average for the category. Also, the braking distances are shorter than most budget all-season tires but off the mark when compared to premium all-season tires.
Fortunately, though, the Vredestein Quatrac feels very stable when pushed hard. The handling is balanced, and the tire loses traction in a predictable manner, meaning you will have time to react to the slide.
As for comfort, the Vredestein Quatrac is surprisingly quiet when you consider how aggressive the tread pattern is. On the highway, you can hear some tread noise from the tires, but it's a low-pitched growl that usually blends in the background. Still, I found that the Quatrac can be audible when cornering, especially the first few moments after you turn the steering wheel.
I have nothing bad to say about the ride quality, though. The Quatrac is an exceptionally smooth tire over bumps, going over them in a composed and luxurious manner. This is also true on bad roads with repetitive impacts, where other budget all-season tires usually lose composure.
With all that said, Vredestein offers a 55,000-mile treadwear warranty on the Quatrac. That isn't too bad, especially when you consider that the Michelin CrossClimate 2, which is a far more expensive 3PMSF-rated tire, comes with a 60,000-mile treadwear warranty.
However, Bridgestone, for example, offers a 70,000-mile warranty on the WeatherPeak 3PMSF tire, while Firestone offers a 65,000-mile treadwear warranty on its budget-friendly WeatherGrip 3PMSF tire.
- Good wet braking and acceleration for a budget-oriented all-season tire
- Solid lateral grip in the rain and neutral handling
- Stable and planted cornering in dry conditions
- A sophisticated ride that isolates sharp impacts very well
- Relatively quiet, even on bad roads
- Average (but still very safe) grip on dry roads
- Noisy during hard cornering
- The steering could be more responsive
2. Yokohama AVID Ascend GT
The AVID Ascend GT is Yokohama's grand-touring all-season tire focused on delivering the most luxurious ride. As such, it comes with Outside Adaptive Shoulder Blocks that focus on noise attenuation for a quiet driving experience and a specially-designed carcass to improve ride quality.
As a result, this is one of the most comfortable grand-touring all-season tires on the market, even when you compare it to the premium offerings. I was very pleased with how the AVID Ascend GT went over bumps. The ride felt very plush and luxurious, without the jarring vibrations other budget all-season tires produce.
Moreover, the tire remained composed over sharp imperfections, like potholes, and handled repetitive impacts very well, too. Hence, the overall ride was outstandingly smooth, even when driving on bad, broken roads.
I also liked the noise quality of the AVID Ascend GT. At lower speeds, the tires were almost inaudible, at least to my ears, and on the highway, there was only a slight low-pitched tread tone that never felt tiring inside the cabin. Actually, I would choose the AVID Ascend GT over many other grand-touring all-season tires if I had to cover long distances.
While we are on the matter of covering long distances, the AVID Ascend GT also comes with an excellent 65,000-mile treadwear warranty. Sure, that is not the best in the category – not even close. However, when you put the price in the equation, Yokohama's grand-touring all-season tire is very competitive and easily one of the most durable in its price range.
You must be thinking that all this focus on smoothness and durability made the AVID Ascend GT average in terms of performance. But you'd be wrong – this is a very safe tire, regardless of the weather conditions outside.
Sure, nitpickers will say that the steering isn't very responsive and that the AVID Ascend GT doesn't hold its own past the limit of traction. I found that to be true in my testing, but you have to keep in mind that this is not a tire designed for hitting the limit of traction frequently, nor one that focuses on bringing the most exhilarating driving experience.
What the AVID Ascend GT needs to do well is give you enough traction to feel safe, and it succeeds in doing that. On dry roads, it provides a solid lateral grip that matches that of some more expensive tires, short stopping distances, and good acceleration traction. It's not class-leading, but it definitely punches above its weight.
It is the same story in rainy conditions. The stopping distances are good (though off the mark when compared to premium grand-touring all-season tires), and the lateral grip is exemplary. I also had no issues accelerating swiftly, even when exiting a corner. Crucially, the AVID Ascend GT had a very good hydroplaning resistance, meaning I had no stability issues when hitting big puddles of water.
But what about snow? Well, the AVID Ascend GT didn't impress with its performance on light snow, but again, it was pretty good for the price. Notably, the stopping distances were among the shortest of its similarly-priced rivals, and the same was true for the acceleration traction. The lateral grip was also very good, and though the AVID Ascend GT exhibited understeer when pushed too hard on snow, it was overall easy to drive.
- Respectable traction and balanced handling on dry roads
- Good acceleration and lateral grip in rainy conditions
- Exceptionally smooth ride, even on some very bad roads
- Remains very quiet on the highway, without too much tread growl
- Solid traction and drivability on snow-covered roads
- Good treadwear warranty for the price
- The steering is slow and not very precise
- It doesn't want to be pushed past the limit in dry and wet conditions
3. Cooper ProControl
Cooper's latest grand-touring all-season tire, like all of its predecessors, sits right into budget territory. However, the American tiremaker still put a lot of effort into the design and used advanced technologies to make it more competitive in the segment. From its tread pattern with widening sipes optimized for wet traction to the Armor Belt Technology designed to increase steering response, the ProControl is truly a feature-rich tire.
But the real question is – how does the ProControl compare to its similarly-priced rivals?Very well, indeed. In fact, I enjoyed driving with a set of ProControls on, as the steering felt very precise and quick. The front tires also communicated traction loss through the steering wheel, something that I didn't expect in a budget grand-touring all-season tire.
The positive steering is accompanied by very good overall grip and traction. The Cooper ProControl won't beat a premium tire in those metrics, but it is perfectly fine for the category and better than most of its similarly-priced rivals. Notably, the braking distances are pretty short, there is a ton of acceleration traction and high lateral grip in the corners.
More importantly, the handling felt natural, with the front and rear tires playing nicely together. I also liked how the Cooper ProControl performed at the limit of traction, where it felt predictable and easy to control.
The ProControl showed the biggest jump from Cooper's previous grand-touring all-season tires in wet traction, though. The braking distances in rainy conditions now rival some expensive premium tires, and the acceleration traction is excellent as well.
Furthermore, the Cooper ProControl felt very nimble in the corners, contrary to how most other budget all-season tires drive. Meanwhile, the lateral grip was very good for the category, especially considering the price of the tire.
Not to mention, thanks to those widening sipes, the Cooper ProControl has excellent hydroplaning resistance, even when driving through standing water. Overall, the Cooper ProControl comes very close in terms of wet traction to its premium competitors, which is great considering the price differential.
As for snow, the Cooper ProControl performs adequately. The handling feels balanced enough, meaning you can retain control of your car when you hit the limit, and the lateral grip is very usable. In addition, the braking distances are short, and you won't have any issues accelerating on light snow. With that said, there is no question that opting for a premium all-season tire will give you much better overall snow performance.
Although the Cooper ProControl has quick steering, that didn't affect the ride quality negatively. In fact, the tire felt very composed over sharp imperfections and remained comfortable over repetitive impacts.
However, I felt that noise was an issue. The tone was high-pitched and was especially audible over rough tarmac and at higher speeds. It isn't as loud as to be unbearable, but it's definitely higher than what you get from its rivals.
Finally, Cooper offers an outstanding 70,000-mile treadwear warranty on the ProControl, which is the highest in its price category. In fact, the ProControl rivals some premium tires in terms of warranty!
- Excellent wet braking, acceleration, and cornering
- Nimble and balanced handling in rainy conditions
- Fast and precise steering on dry roads
- Good lateral grip and braking in dry conditions
- Very smooth ride, even over very bad roads
- Excellent treadwear warranty for the price
- Noisy, especially on rough tarmac
- Not as good on snow as premium grand-touring all-season tires
4. Toyo Celsius Sport
Toyo's latest entry in the grand-touring all-season category is specifically designed with winter weather in mind. As such, it has a more aggressive tread pattern with numerous zig-zag sipes inside the tread blocks and comes with the 3PMSF symbol. But did that make any difference in how it handles snowy conditions?
Well, although it's not class-leading, the Celsius Sport is a solid snow tire. The braking distances it provides are short, almost on the level of the premium competition. Moreover, the acceleration traction is excellent for the price – you certainly won't get stuck in the snow.
I also liked how the Celsius Sport felt in the corners. The lateral grip on snow was very good, meaning I could drive at the speed limit without too much hassle. And when the tire lost traction, it did that predictably, meaning I had full control over the vehicle. Overall, the handling balance was fairly neutral and slightly understeer-y when you really pushed the tires hard.
But the Celsius Sport is much more than just a good winter tire. In fact, the "Sport" in the name suggests that it is also a good driver's tire. Indeed, the Celsius Sport feels sportier than its closest 3PMSF rivals, thanks to the sharp and quick steering. But although responsive, the steering never felt too quick and instead felt linear through every corner.
The positive steering is accompanied by a very good lateral grip in the corners. In fact, the Celsius Sport has a better grip than its closest rivals and is close to the current crop of premium 3PMSF all-season/all-weather tires. Moreover, the braking distances are very short for the price, and you won't have any issues accelerating from a stop or out of a corner.
With that said, although the Celsius Sport feels subjectively good in rainy conditions, it is a step behind in terms of traction. Notably, the stopping distances are longer, the tires slip more during acceleration, and the lateral grip isn't as high. This doesn't mean the Celsius Sport isn't safe in the rain – the traction is still more than sufficient for a safe ride.
In addition, I really liked how the Celsius Sport handled the corners when raining. It felt nimble yet very balanced and always predictable at the limit. In that sense, it is an easy tire to drive on wet tarmac and one that instills confidence in the driver.
As for comfort, Toyo did a great job minimizing noise, despite the more aggressive tread pattern. Sure, the Celsius Sport isn't the quietest grand-touring all-season tire out there, but it isn't as noisy as some other 3PMSF tires. I think it won't bother you or the passengers inside your vehicle.
The same holds true for the ride, which, although taut, never feels too harsh or stiff. In fact, I preferred the Celsius Sport over repetitive impacts over some softer all-season tires, thanks to the composure of the tire. In other words, it keeps unwanted vibrations and harshness to a minimum.
Toyo provides a 60,000-mile treadwear warranty on the Celsius Sport. That doesn't seem too high when you compare it to other tires on this list, but it is pretty good considering the fact that the tire has the 3PMSF symbol. In fact, my favorite 3PMSF-rated grand-touring all-season tire, the Michelin CrossClimate 2, also comes with a 60,000-mile warranty yet costs much more than the Celsius Sport.
- Excellent lateral grip and stability on dry roads
- Strong braking and good acceleration in dry conditions
- Solid handling and drivability in rainy conditions
- Good handling and traction on light snow
- Very quick, precise, and linear steering
- Composed ride over repetitive and sharp impacts
- It doesn't become very noisy on the highway
- Lacks traction in the rain compared to some of its rivals
5. Nokian Encompass AW01
Nokian isn't a brand that you would often associate with all-season and summer tires. In fact, the Finnish brand is famous for its winter tires, which perform the best in very harsh "polar" winter conditions, like deep, unpacked snow and ice.
With that said, the company transferred its winter know-how into a grand-touring all-season tire. As expected, the Encompass AW01 is more focused on snow traction and comes with the 3PMSF symbol, meaning it was tested independently for higher longitudinal traction (braking and acceleration) on snow.
The tread pattern of the Encompass AW01 also looks very aggressive for an all-season tire. It features zig-zag sipes across all tread blocks, and the blocks themselves have a distinctive design that should provide additional biting edges on snow.
Did that work, though? Well, it did – the Encompass AW01 is one of the best snow tires in its category, especially when compared to its similarly-priced rivals. The longitudinal traction is exceptional – the Encompass AW01 has some of the shortest stopping distances on the snow of any grand-touring all-season tire, and the same is true for acceleration.
Furthermore, the lateral grip is also very high, and the overall handling balance is very neutral. Even when you approach the limit of traction, the Encompass AW01 feels predictable, making you feel like you are in control. On top of that, Nokian's grand-touring all-season tire even provides some ice traction, which isn't as common in the category.
But a grand-touring all-season tire needs to do much more than just provide good snow traction. Most of our drives are actually in dry conditions, and the tires need to be up to the job in those conditions as well. Unfortunately, the Encompass AW01 can't compete with the class leaders on dry tarmac, though it's not bad, either.
Namely, the braking is good, but the lateral grip isn't on the level of the premium competition, and it's even lower than some of its similarly-priced rivals. Moreover, the steering isn't very sharp or linear and instead feels a bit dull.
Not to mention, the Encompass AW01 doesn't want to be pushed past the limit of traction. The good news is that you probably won't feel these shortcomings on the road – the Encompass AW01 is still a solid performer.
Fortunately, the Encompass AW01 holds its own against the competition on a wet tarmac. It provides very good braking and acceleration, along with a solid lateral grip. More importantly, it feels very balanced in the corners – the Encompass AW01 has that easy-to-drive nature that instills confidence in the driver. Push it past the limit, and the tire still feels controllable and predictable.
As for comfort, the aggressive tread pattern of the Encompass AW01 does produce more noise than what you'd get on its rivals. It's not too noisy, but there is definitely more road disturbance. Nonetheless, the ride quality is excellent – Nokian did a great job here, as the Encompass AW01 glides smoothly over most obstacles on the road.
Finally, Nokian provides a 60,000-mile treadwear warranty on the Encompass AW01. Like with the Celsius Sport, that doesn't seem too high, but you need to consider the fact that this is a tire that focuses on delivering higher snow traction and does that with aplomb. Thus, the treadwear warranty is actually pretty good, especially considering the price of the Encompass AW01.
- Excellent braking and acceleration on snow
- Very easy to drive on snow, with very good lateral grip
- It even provides some traction on ice
- Excellent hydroplaning resistance and good overall handling in wet conditions
- Smooth ride on most roads
- Solid treadwear warranty considering the focus on snow traction
- It can become noisy on the highway
- It doesn't feel very sharp or grippy on dry roads
Best Touring All-Season Budget Tires
6. Vredestein Hitrac All Season
Vredestein's latest touring all-season tire brings advanced materials and a modern tread pattern to drivers with lower budgets. As a result, although it costs less than the premium competition, it works almost as well in terms of performance. In fact, it is one of the best touring all-season tires at the moment, period.
For instance, the Hitrac All Season is one of the best tires in its category on dry roads, at least in terms of traction. The braking distances are very short, there is a ton of grip in the corners, and you will have no problems accelerating off the line. Moreover, the handling is balanced, and the tire behaves very predictably at the limit.
However, I am not a fan of the steering of the Hitrac All Season. It is linear enough, but it lacks urgency and responsiveness. In other words, it feels a bit dull. Fortunately, this won't be an issue for buyers of this model because this is a touring all-season tire, after all.
More importantly, the Hitrac All Season is one of the best wet tires in its category, with outstanding overall grip. In terms of longitudinal traction, for instance, it competes with some premium tires that cost 10% more money. In other words, the stopping distances are some of the shortest in the category, and you will have no issues with acceleration traction.
But the Hitrac All Season also performs very well in the corners. The handling balance is very neutral, and when you reach the limit, there is enough time to catch the slide. That won't happen as easily, though, as the Hitrac All Season is also very grippy in rainy conditions, allowing you to drive at higher speeds without worrying about losing control.
The hydroplaning resistance is excellent as well – nothing negative to report there.
Surely the Hitrac All Season will suffer on snow, you might think. But you would be wrong – Vredestein did a great job on this tire regarding snow, just like with most of its other tires. The Hitrac All Season won't replace a winter tire, but as far as touring all-season tires go, it is one of the best on snow-covered roads.
Notably, the handling is very neutral, meaning you can play with the gas pedal to introduce understeer/oversteer. This is good because it gives you the means to turn into a corner by taking the foot off the gas and then slowly pushing the gas pedal to exit the corner. Meanwhile, the grip is pretty good for such a tire, meaning you won't need to drive very slowly to turn into a corner.
Also, the braking distances are shorter than most of Hitrac All Season's rivals, and I had no issues with accelerating on light snow. That said, this is not the best tire on ice – I had some issues stopping on the icy bits of the road. This is not surprising, as I can't really think of a touring all-season tire that will perform well on ice.
As for comfort, the Hitrac All Season has a buttery-smooth ride that's among the best of any touring all-season tire. Unlike most of its budget-oriented rivals, the Hitrac All Season keeps its composure over sharp and repetitive impacts and feels very soft elsewhere. Unfortunately, this is not a quiet tire. It isn't too noisy, but a relatively high-pitched tread growl definitely enters the cabin at higher speeds.
Vredestein provides a 70,000-mile treadwear warranty on the HiTrac All Season, which is among the highest in the category, including the premium competition. Moreover, the company has an excellent record regarding durability in Europe, where its tires are often rated as some of the longest-lasting in their respective categories.
- Displays predictable handling dynamics in dry conditions
- Exhibits commendable longitudinal traction and lateral grip on dry surfaces
- Offers short braking distances and superior lateral traction in wet conditions
- Performs admirably with high traction and controlled handling on snow-laden roads
- Promotes a smooth ride and operates quietly at cruising speed
- Includes a favorable treadwear warranty considering its price point
- Noise levels tend to increase at high speeds
- Steering could be more responsive
7. Kumho Solus TA11
Kumho's latest competitor in the hotly-contested touring all-season category brings several qualities that make it a unique proposition. For instance, the Korean company used an advanced carbon compound for the Solus TA11, which is nice to see considering the price. Its benefits are numerous, but basically, it allows for higher all-weather traction without sacrificing treadlife.
Indeed, the Solus TA11 comes with a 75,000-mile treadwear warranty, which is one of the highest in the category. Kumho also has a solid record regarding durability with its tires, and I have no doubts the Solus TA11 will last very long, even besting some premium rivals.
But can this tire compete with the premium competition with its performance? Well, it won't dethrone the best touring all-season tires right now, but it comes dangerously close. For instance, it performs very well on dry roads, with high lateral grip and short stopping distances. Moreover, the handling is very neutral, and the tire feels predictable at the limit.
Now, if I had to nitpick, the Solus TA11 doesn't communicate that well with the driver. The steering is responsive enough, but it is devoid of feel and completely shuts you down from the drive. I guess most drivers won't even know what I am talking about, especially those looking for a budget all-season tire. Still, I thought I would mention it, especially since responsiveness is usually connected to the ride quality, and the Solus TA11 isn't a particularly good-riding tire.
Namely, the tire's sidewalls are soft, but the ride still feels harsh, especially when driving over bad roads at lower speeds. That is because there are quite a lot of reverberations when you hit a pothole/crack, which means more vibrations entering the cabin. In other words, the ride isn't as well-damped. Fortunately, the Solus TA11 is a very quiet tire, even at higher speeds, so overall, it is a good companion on longer journeys.
Another positive of the Solus TA11 is that it drives really well on wet roads. Notably, the stopping distances are among the shortest of any budget-oriented touring all-season tire and even rival some premium tires. Moreover, the lateral grip is excellent, and the Solus TA11 has good hydroplaning resistance, keeping you safe when it pours outside.
I was also positively surprised by the snow traction on offer. Sure, the Solus TA11 won't replace a winter tire, but I think it is completely usable in areas where it doesn't frequently snow during the winter.
Kumho's touring all-season tire provides short stopping distances, feels very safe in the corners, and behaves predictably at the limit. It also has a good lateral grip, so you don't need to drive very slowly to feel safe. That said, the Solus TA11 lacks proper ice traction, so it's not a solution for very harsh wintry conditions.
- Provides solid dry grip for an all-season touring tire, ensuring confident maneuvers
- Boasts short stopping distances on dry tarmac, enhancing vehicle safety and control
- Offers solid grip and traction in rainy conditions, effectively mitigating hydroplaning risks
- Exhibits proficient braking performance on wet pavement
- Delivers very good traction and braking on light snow (for an all-season tire)
- Promotes a quiet and smooth ride on highways, enhancing comfort during long trips
- Features excellent tread life complemented by an extended treadwear warranty
- Ride quality can be somewhat harsh at lower speeds, detracting from the overall comfort
- The tire doesn't settle quickly after hitting bumps
- The steering lacks the desired level of feedback, reducing engagement
- The tire's performance on icy surfaces leaves room for improvement
8. Yokohama AVID Ascend LX
Suppose you want a tire that won't break the bank when you buy it, but you also want it to be durable so you can keep it on your car as long as possible. In that case, you want the Yokohama AVID Ascend LX. It is a touring all-season tire designed with longevity in mind and comes with an 85,000-mile treadwear warranty.
That warranty is the highest in the touring all-season category, regardless of the price of the tire. To put it into context, the brand-new Michelin Defender2 comes with an 80,000-mile treadwear warranty yet costs around $100 more for a set (size 205/55R16 91H). But it's not just the warranty – owners also report excellent real-world treadlife, with most of them being very happy with the longevity of the tire.
But a tire needs to do much more than just offer good treadlife to be on this list. And fortunately, the AVID Ascend LX mostly delivers in all other categories except in rainy conditions. The tire is not bad in the rain – far from it, but it can't compare to its closest rivals in terms of price.
Notably, the braking distances on a wet tarmac are much longer than on the current crop of premium touring all-season tires, and they are even longer than some key competitors in the budget segment. Moreover, the lateral grip wasn't impressive as well, and I had some issues accelerating out of a corner if I pushed the gas pedal too hard.
Now, if you keep the AVID Ascend LX inside the traction limits, i.e., drive more slowly, it is an easy tire to drive in the rain. The front wheels are eager to turn, and the handling balance is neutral. Even if you push harder, the handling is predictable. Still, the longer stopping distances mean that the safety record of the AVID Ascend LX won't be as stellar as on other touring all-season tires.
Yokohama's touring tire is also not the best performer on dry roads, but here it is at least close to its rivals. The braking distances are slightly shorter but not too objectionable, and the lateral grip is solid for the category. I also found that it was easy to drive on dry roads, thanks to the linear steering. That said, spirited drivers will find issues with the slower nature of the steering and the overall lack of grip.
With that said, the AVID Ascend LX surprised me with its performance on snow-covered roads. It provided traction that was close to that of premium touring all-season tires, meaning relatively short braking distances and good acceleration.
Moreover, the tire exhibited understeer when pushed into a corner, which is preferable for the general driver, as it is easier to control than oversteer. The lateral grip was very good as well.
What I really liked about the AVID Ascend LX was how good it felt on bumpy roads. The ride was very composed and luxurious, beating even some seasoned premium tires with its plushness. That was true even when driving over repetitive impacts, where the AVID Ascend LX felt smooth and vibration-free.
However, I can't say the same about the noise qualities of the tire. It is not too loud, but the high-pitched sound it produces can be tiring on longer journeys.
- Delivers excellent braking and lateral traction on dry surfaces
- Offers balanced handling and consistent performance at the limit of traction
- Provides an exceptionally smooth ride on diverse road surfaces
- Ensures effective control and traction on roads with light snow cover
- Promises a long tread life and comes with a class-leading treadwear warranty (85,000 miles)
- Poses a reasonable price considering its performance metrics
- Wet condition performance lags behind some competitors
- Generates a high-pitched noise at high speeds
Best Budget All-Season Tire for Crossovers and SUVs
9. Cooper Endeavor Plus
The Cooper Endeavor Plus is one of my favorite budget tires for crossovers and SUVs. It costs much less than the competition from Continental, Michelin, Bridgestone, and Pirelli, yet delivers good performance overall. Crucially, it is a very safe tire that I have no problems recommending to owners of older crossovers and SUVs.
For starters, the Endeavor Plus comes with a 65,000-mile treadwear warranty, which is outstanding considering the category and especially the price of the tire. For instance, the much more expensive Continental CrossContact LX25 (over $100 for a set of four tires) comes with a 70,000-mile warranty on H-rated and T-rated tires and 65,000 miles on V-rated tires. Meanwhile, the Pirelli Scorpion WeatherActive comes with a 60,000-mile warranty (though it has the 3PMSF symbol).
As for comfort, the thing that really surprised me was how well the Endeavor Plus performed on wet tarmac. It provides excellent longitudinal traction, meaning short stopping distances and good acceleration.
Moreover, the lateral grip was very good as well, and the handling balance was neutral. Even when I hit the limit, the Endeavor Plus felt predictable and easy to control. As expected from those sizeable circumferential grooves, the hydroplaning resistance was excellent – I had no issues when driving through puddles of water, even at higher speeds.
The Endeavor Plus is equally capable on dry roads. The steering was a nice surprise, as it felt very responsive and linear, opposite to most budget-oriented all-season tires for crossovers and SUVs.
Moreover, the lateral grip was higher than its similarly-priced rivals, and the handling was balanced overall. The stopping distances are naturally a bit longer than those of the premium competition but still within the safe zone and shorter than most of its budget rivals.
On top of that, Cooper did a great job with maximizing traction on light snow – the Endeavor Plus provides very good braking and has solid acceleration. However, the Achilles heel of the Endeavor Plus is definitely handling snow. It has a good lateral grip, but it feels nervous at the limit and requires constant attention from the driver. In other words, it is not as easy to drive on snow as some other tires, though it is ultimately safe.
As for comfort, the Endeavor Plus is noisy in urban conditions, where it produces a noticeable tread growl. Interestingly, though, the noise settles down at higher speeds, where it is usually covered by wind noise on most modern SUVs and crossovers. The ride is very smooth overall, though. The Endeavor Plus rides soft over smoother roads but feels composed on bad roads. In other words, it doesn't produce the jarring harshness like some of its rivals.
- Displays unexpectedly high performance in wet conditions considering its price point
- Ensures good traction and responsive steering in dry weather
- Offers a very smooth ride experience
- Includes a solid 65,000-mile treadwear warranty, given its cost
- Exhibits solid performance in light snow conditions
- Snow handling is surpassed by pricier competitors
- Generates noticeable noise at lower speeds, particularly in urban conditions
10. BFGoodrich Advantage T/A Sport LT
BFGoodrich's latest touring all-season tire for crossovers and SUVs brings some premium features at a lower price point. It is one of the few tires in its category that has the 3PMSF rating, meaning it was tested by an independent body for higher longitudinal traction on light snow than M+S tires.
And the rating isn't only for marketing – the Advantage T/A Sport LT indeed performs very well on snow-covered roads. Notably, the longitudinal traction is very good, near to that of some premium rivals. In other words, the stopping distances are relatively short (though still longer than premium crossover/SUV all-season tires), and you will have no issues accelerating off the line.
Furthermore, the Advantage T/A Sport LT feels good in the corners, thanks to the balanced handling and predictable behavior at the limit. The lateral grip is also solid, though here, the discrepancy between the Advantage T/A Sport LT and its premium rivals is slightly bigger. Overall, though, BFGoodrich's tire is among the best on snow in its category.
The same is true on dry roads, where the Advantage T/A Sport LT provides a solid grip in the corners, short stopping distances, and good acceleration. Again, it won't beat a premium tire with the overall traction, but it gets very close. Crucially, it feels completely safe on the road – it is stable in the corners and stops quickly when you need it to.
However, I am not a particular fan of how the Advantage T/A Sport LT steers. It feels very loose and unresponsive in the center, and it is also not very linear through the corner. Not a big issue on a crossover-oriented tire, but still important to note.
In rainy conditions, the Advantage T/A Sport LT is overall solid, but it can't match the premium competition. That is particularly evident when you need to stop, as this tire needs more time to come to a stop, and the difference is noticeable.
With that said, although the lateral grip is average, I had no issues driving the Advantage T/A Sport LT at the limit of the traction because it was predictable. Also, the hydroplaning resistance is excellent – no issues there at all.
As for comfort, BFGoodrich did a great job at minimizing road noise. The Advantage T/A Sport LT is a very quiet tire at lower urban speeds, and it remains noise-free on the highway. The ride is also relatively soft on most roads, though it can be unsettled by repetitive and sharp impacts, where it loses its composure. Overall, though, there is not much to complain about considering the price of this tire.
Finally, BFGoodrich provides a 65,000-mile treadwear warranty on H-rated and T-rated models and a 60,000-mile warranty on V-rated models. That is completely fine for the category and more than you could expect for the price.
- Excellent lateral grip on dry roads
- Short stopping distances and good acceleration in dry conditions
- Good longitudinal traction (braking and acceleration) on light snow
- Easy to drive on snow, with balanced handling
- Soft ride over smooth roads
- Relatively noise-free on the highway
- Very good treadwear warranty, especially for the price
- Unresponsive and loose-feeling steering
- The ride isn't very well-damped, which takes its toll over sharp and repetitive impacts
- Longer wet stopping distances than its premium rivals
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. How do budget all-season tires perform in various weather conditions?
Budget all-season tires are designed to deliver acceptable performance across a variety of weather conditions. These tires are typically constructed with a symmetric tread pattern and feature moderate water-channeling grooves and sipes for better hydroplaning resistance.
As a result, in my experience, modern budget all-season tires are safe in most weather conditions. Sure, they won't beat a premium tire on the track, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a traction difference at legal speeds.
They do perform slightly worse when pushed hard, though, especially on wet and snowy roads. They offer decent grip – enough for a safe driving experience, but ultimately fall short in braking distances and how they perform at the limit.
In dry conditions, though, the differences between premium and budget all-season tires are very narrow. Sure, you might get a less lateral grip and slightly longer stopping distances, but overall, both premium and budget tires are safe in dry conditions.
With that said, it is important to note that I am only talking in general terms here. Of course, there are many outliers, i.e., budget all-season tires that perform almost on the level or even overtake some premium tires. Thus, it is important to read reviews like this one, as it will help you better understand which particular model is best in different categories.
2. Are budget all-season tires durable?
The durability of budget all-season tires can vary significantly, largely dependent on the manufacturer's design and the quality of the materials used. Some budget all-season tires incorporate advanced tread compounds and construction techniques that enhance tread life and resist wear and tear. All models I listed in this article are made from a durable compound and should last nearly as long as premium tires.
Overall, budget premium tires will have around 10,000 to 15,000 miles shorter treadlife than their premium equivalents. Of course, this depends on the particular model, with some budget tires today having similar treadwear warranties to premium tires.
It is important to note that all-season tires today come in various designs and offerings. For instance, touring all-season tires are considered entry-level models that have the longest treadlife but at the expense of traction.
Meanwhile, grand-touring all-season tires sacrifice a bit of treadlife to give you better stability and higher traction and usually come with higher speed ratings. Finally, all-weather, all-season tires (with the 3PMSF symbol) sacrifice even more treadlife to give you higher snow and ice traction.
Nonetheless, other factors also impact the tire's lifespan. Namely, regular maintenance, including tire rotations, maintaining correct tire pressure, and alignment checks, can help maximize the life of budget all-season tires.
3. Can budget all-season tires handle snowy conditions effectively?
On average, budget all-season tires are typically designed to handle light snow and cold temperatures but may not be the best choice for heavy snowfall or extreme winter conditions.
They feature a versatile rubber compound that remains flexible in cold weather, helping to maintain grip. However, their tread pattern may not be as effective in clearing snow or biting into icy surfaces as a dedicated winter or snow tire.
However, there are some big outliers here. For instance, 3PMSF-rated all-weather budget tires are pretty good at handling snowy conditions. In fact, they will beat most premium all-season tires without the 3PMSF rating. This is because all-weather tires are usually made from a rubber compound that stays more pliable in freezing temperatures and has a more aggressive tread pattern with a higher number of sipes.
But even if you don't opt for a 3PMSF-rated tire, in regions with moderate winters, budget all-season tires can be a cost-effective and practical solution. They will still give you enough traction on light snow and a safe driving experience on wet tarmac or slushy roads.
4. What's the average lifespan of budget all-season tires?
The average lifespan of budget all-season tires can widely vary based on a number of factors, including the quality of the tire, driving conditions, driving habits, road surfaces, and the level of maintenance they receive.
With that said, most budget all-season tires today come with treadwear warranties that range between 50,000 and 70,000 miles. This doesn't mean that they will last that long, as maintenance, driving style, and road conditions also affect durability. Still, it is important to note that premium all-season tires don't offer a huge advantage in treadlife. In fact, they usually come with around 10,000 miles longer treadwear warranties.
In my experience, budget tires from reputable manufacturers, like Yokohama, Toyo, Kumho, BFGoodrich, Vredestein, Nokian, General, Cooper, etc., are very durable. Provided you are driving around 15,000 miles annually, any all-season model from this brand should last you for at least three years of driving (provided you don't change to winter tires for four months every year).
5. How does the performance of budget all-season tires compare with premium all-season tires?
When comparing budget all-season tires with their premium counterparts, there are several key performance aspects to consider.
In terms of dry and wet grip, premium tires offer better overall traction than budget tires. The differences aren't as big as you might think, but still, opting for premium tires will make your vehicle safer. That is especially true in rainy conditions, where in my experience, premium tires provide shorter braking distances, higher lateral grip, and perform more securely at the limit.
Furthermore, premium tires tend to be better on snow-covered roads, though here, it depends on the model you compare. Still, there is no question that the leading all-season/all-weather tires on snow today are some of the most expensive on the market.
6. Are budget all-season tires safe?
Budget all-season tires that were designed and manufactured by a reputable manufacturer are completely safe in various driving conditions. Sure, they won't give you the level of traction of premium tires, but they will offer better overall performance than a premium tire from 10 years ago, for example. Thus, for most drivers, a budget all-season tire will be safe.
With that said, it is important to note that very cheap tires from manufacturers that just emerged on the market are usually not safe. My experience with such tires, which usually come from China, is pretty bad, actually, especially on wet and snow-covered roads.
These cheap all-season tires often cost three times less than premium tires, and apart from the price, they don't offer any other quality. They are scary to drive on wet roads due to the much lower traction, but also the nervous behavior at the limit. As a result, it is very hard to control your car on these tires, especially when you need to make an evasive maneuver. Not to mention, the braking distances are much, much longer!
It is also worth noting that the safety of a tire also depends on proper maintenance. Even the most expensive tire can become unsafe if it's not properly inflated, is worn out, or is used in conditions it's not designed for.
7. Are budget all-season tires suitable for all types of vehicles?
There is a budget all-season tire for any type of vehicle, including compact cars, mid-size sedans, crossovers, SUVs, trucks, and even high-performance vehicles. They offer a balanced performance across a variety of conditions and are usually designed to deliver comfort and economy.
8. How much money can I save by choosing the best budget tires for all-seasons?
The cost savings from choosing budget all-season tires over premium ones can be significant, depending on the specific brands and models you're comparing. Depending on the size, the cost difference between budget and premium all-season tires ranges between $20 to $30 and up to $100 per tire. Therefore, for a set of four tires, you could potentially save from $100 to $500.
However, it's important to remember that the initial purchase price is only one part of the total cost of owning tires. Budget tires might not last as long or perform as well as premium ones, meaning you may need to replace them more frequently, or they could lead to higher fuel costs due to lower efficiency.
Some cheap tires that usually come from China are even cheaper – on average, they cost three times less than premium tires. Still, these ultra-cheap alternatives don't last nearly as long as premium tires. In fact, they might have a treadlife that is 1/3 of that of a premium tire, meaning the cost, in the long run, will be equal. Not to mention, they are more likely to lead to an accident, which might add a significant cost.
9. How do budget all-season tires affect fuel efficiency?
Tire design, including tread pattern and rubber compound, plays a crucial role in your car's fuel efficiency. And the most major contributor is rolling resistance - the force that opposes motion when a tire rolls along a surface.
In my experience in the tire industry, budget all-season tires have equal or just a slightly higher rolling resistance than premium tires. This means that your car might consume less fuel with premium tires, but the differences will be negligible in the tenths of a mpg. In fact, some budget all-season tires have lower rolling resistance than premium tires, albeit at the expense of some traction.
Still, due to the use of more exotic materials for the construction, premium all-season tires offer a better balance between rolling resistance and traction. In other words, a premium tire will give you the lowest rolling resistance and highest possible grip at the same time.
10. How are budget all-season tires constructed compared to their pricier counterparts?
Tire construction involves a complex interplay of materials, design, and manufacturing processes, all of which can influence the tire's performance characteristics.
All modern all-season tires share the same structure, and this includes premium, budget, and ultra-cheap tires. They are made of a body made of layered fabric (usually polyester) and steel belts encased in a rubber compound.
However, there can be notable differences in the quality and sophistication of these components. Premium tires often feature advanced tread compounds made from exotic materials that were developed through years of meticulous research. Companies like Michelin, Bridgestone, Continental, Pirelli, and Goodyear pour millions into R&D, which almost always results in more advanced tires.
With that said, clever engineering often brings budget all-season tires close in terms of performance. Companies like Yokohama, Toyo, Kumho, BFGoodrich, Vredestein, Nokian, General, and Cooper, also have advanced R&D facilities. Some of them are owned by larger tire corporations and have access to their knowledge.
So, overall, premium all-season tires are more sophisticated, meaning they are made from more advanced compounds and feature more intricate tread patterns. However, budget all-season tires from reputable manufacturers aren't too far behind and have some qualities of their own.
I can't say those things for ultra-cheap all-season tires, though. These are designed and developed in only a few months and almost always rushed to market without any significant testing.
Most manufacturers of ultra-cheap tires source various materials from different suppliers and then just assemble them without considering safety and durability. I will always advise against buying very cheap tires.
As we culminate our deep dive into the realm of budget-oriented all-season tires, I hope this comprehensive guide offers you a better understanding of the best available options in the market, spanning across various categories from entry-level touring all-season tires to the versatile crossover/SUV variants.
Each of the tires I've covered brings a commendable balance of safety, comfort, and durability. They stand up to the demands of changing weather conditions with resilience, and their relative longevity ensures that your investment remains protected for the long haul.
One may ask, why not consider the surge of super-affordable alternatives, predominantly from emerging brands hailing from China, that have recently flooded the market? The answer, quite simply, boils down to safety.
Having personally tested numerous budget options, I can assert that the drastic price cut often comes at the cost of compromised performance, particularly in wet and snowy conditions. More alarmingly, these ultra-budget tires are more prone to blowouts due to inferior manufacturing processes.
During my time behind the wheel with these tires, I've had more than a few unnerving moments of feeling distinctly unsafe on the road. Apart from the evident risk factor, the reduced lifespan of these low-cost tires negates the initial price advantage over time.
Moreover, should a blowout occur while driving on the highway, the ensuing repair costs can be exorbitant, easily overshadowing any savings made by choosing the cheaper option.
In light of these factors, I strongly advocate investing in tires from established, reputable manufacturers. Not only do they assure safety and performance, but they also offer a lasting peace of mind that is priceless. In the realm of tires, it pays to remember - the road to savings should never veer off the path of safety.
I’m Ivo Gievski, the content writer for Tireer. We built our website with over 15 years of experience and extensive research in the automotive and technology sectors. My dedication to delivering high-quality content is unwavering, and I strive to continuously hone my skills to stay ahead of industry trends and provide readers with informative, engaging, and valuable insights.