The Ford Explorer is a versatile SUV for both on-road and off-road use. With the ability to meet a variety of needs than many cars in the same segment, it is understandable that the Ford Explorer has received a lot of favor.
Because of the popularity of this model, OEM manufacturers create a variety of tires, from cheap to high-end, to meet users' needs.
So, choosing the best tires for Ford Explorer is no longer straightforward. Understanding this, my team and I tested many different versions and gave the top 10 picks worth buying in 2022 below.
- In-Depth Reviews of the Best Tires for Ford Explorer Available in 2022
- Buying Guides: How to Choose the Best Tires for Ford Explorer
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
In-Depth Reviews of the Best Tires for Ford Explorer Available in 2022
To get the highest accuracy, it took me almost two years to gather enough information and test most of the best quality tires for the Ford Explorer.
All the best Ford Explorer tires on this list today are the best names I have selected. In addition to being tailored to each need, these tires have incredibly high construction quality and reliability.
1. Bridgestone Alenza AS Ultra
Best for Overall
Recently, the selection and use of all-season touring tires have been popular.
If you also want to experience this model, then Bridgestone Alenza AS Ultra is the most prominent name.
All movements of Alenza AS Ultra are incredibly smooth. I'm inherently sensitive to outside influences so any shaking could upset me.
However, during more than 100 hours of testing for a long time, I hardly felt any amount of jet even though I had to go through quite a few potholes.
This version impressed me with its balance and responsive steering when tested on dry roads. In terms of dry brake performance in the 50 - 0mph range, it's almost on par with the high-end Michelin or Continental models I've used.
Although not fitted with 3PMSF, this tire model still performs very well on thin snow with smooth cornering and impressive horizontal traction.
Since it's not a dedicated winter model, its snow performance is only acceptable.
Tested on wet surfaces, I feel its firm grip on the road. My car feels freer and makes more turns than other versions. If the goal is fast lap times on wet roads, it is almost impossible to find a perfect model other than the Bridgestone Alenza AS Ultra.
The Alenza AS Ultra features wide perimeter grooves for comfort on wet roads.
The reinforced surface helps the tire withstand heat better on arid terrain. These unique features have made it available in the car for most of the year.
As an all-season release, it's not surprising that the tire works in nearly all weather. However, snow is still a big challenge for Bridgestone Alenza AS Ultra. Its responsiveness and performance drop dramatically on snow surfaces.
2. Pirelli Scorpion AS Plus 3
Best Touring All-Season Tires for Dry Traction
If you are looking for an all-season touring model with high stability on dry surfaces, the Pirelli Scorpion All-Season Plus 3 is a perfect choice.
I tried traveling at about 60 mph with the product on a 125-mile stretch. During this time, the outside temperature rises, but the tire has not shown any weakness or severe damage. It is all thanks to the synthetic polymer components inside the tire compound.
Even when moving at such a high speed, the grip and handling ability of Scorpion All-Season Plus 3 has not decreased. I also tried cornering on the move and braking hard to check the tires. And the result did not disappoint me.
Despite being quite durable in construction, Pirelli still offers a warranty program for up to 70000 miles. This number is quite large compared to other all-season touring products.
Regarding touring, we certainly cannot ignore these products' comfort. The key lies in the shock absorption capacity of the constituent materials. Thanks to it, I hardly noticed any annoying sounds on the way.
Usually, all-season touring models will move quite poorly on the snow surface. But Scorpion All-Season Plus 3 is an exception because it handles snow-covered surfaces of 3 inches or less.
However, this version proved much weaker with snow terrain from 4 inches thick and worse; your chance of getting stuck in it is pretty high.
3. Michelin Defender LTX M/S
Best for Towing and Hauling
To tow trailers or motorhomes, choose a suitable tire model. Not all products have enough capacity to carry the vehicle's weight and the rear axle. If you are still struggling to make a choice, the Michelin Defender LTX M/S is my recommendation.
The load capacity is the first factor I want to test in the Defender LTX M/S. So I used shafts from 1 ton to 1.5 and 2 tons, respectively, to see the change in responsiveness. The result surprised me when the tire was stable and had good traction to all three milestones.
As mentioned above, the tire can tow all types of cargo boxes or mobile homes from 1 to 2 tons. However, with things from 2 tons, the control will start to encounter some difficulties.
The Defender LTX M/S's nature is a highway all-season tire, so it's not unusual for me to be able to hit 75mph on the highway.
However, the point of concern is that with the 1-ton container behind, I can still reach 68 mph. I also control to bypass other vehicles on the road quickly.
Noisy high-speed tires are an outdated mindset. The Defender LTX M/S, despite having very good friction at high speeds, is not as loud as imagined.
I usually play music inside the cabin, but rarely tire noise affects my entertainment experience in the car.
The Michelin Defender LTX M/S is a quality product. However, this tire model is not for everyone because the price is relatively high.
4. Continental TerrainContact H/T
Best Highway All-Season Tires for Wet/Rain
It's hard to believe, but I've driven the Ford Explorer at almost 60mph with this version. With an all-season highway pattern, traveling at high speeds is obvious.
But to keep up that speed in wet, rainy areas, the Continental TerrainContact H/T is one of the few models I can confidently recommend.
While driving, I tried turning the steering wheel to see if the car skidded a lot or not. As a result, it still has a slight deflection on smooth surfaces. But when I stopped observing, I realized this number was not too significant.
Also, on this road, some points are low-lying areas with a lot of standing water.
Other products may shy away from moving through these areas, but TerrainContact H/T is not. I overcame this challenge quickly despite the water being about half a wheel high.
I used knives, scissors, and even a razor blade in some tests to test the cut resistance. And as expected, most of these items can't make too deep cuts in the tire's surface. Twigs or sharp rocks are also tough to wear down for a long time.
Another highlight of this version that convinced me was the quiet move. Even when friction with fast water currents at high speed, its noise level does not bother me too much.
Besides the outstanding advantages, the heavy driving feeling is still the drawback of this version over the years. If you are used to flexible and gentle products, you need to consider them.
5. Michelin CrossClimate 2
Best for All-weather
The Michelin CrossClimate 2 performs superbly on dry, wet and snow roads. Thanks to that, this tire model is always ready for you to handle all kinds of weather.
I tested it for about 125 miles on a dry surface like asphalt to check for grip and response issues. The first thing I noticed is that the tire tread does indeed work very well to maintain the vehicle's stability. There are no signs of sliding or vibration, and the manipulations are much softer.
On wet surfaces, the CrossClimate 2 also proves to be a reliable product. The tire performance remains the same on a 100-mile road with various conditions from mild to severe flooding.
Hydroplaning does not occur with this product either. The combination of performance factors and resistance to hydroplaning enhances user safety.
The common point of the Michelin CrossClimate 2 on dry and wet surfaces is high grip. I tried braking at 40 mph đến 0 mph, and the heavy Ford Explorer only skidded about 50ft on dry surfaces. This number increases to 60ft in wet areas but is still relatively small compared to many other products.
The Michelin CrossClimate 2 is still a product that combines touring and all-season. Therefore, the fact that the tire has a high level of comfort is undeniable. I like to move with this product because of its smoothness and ability to limit noise.
You will have to pay a small cost to own the CrossClimate 2. You can look for alternatives if you cannot afford a large budget.
6. Vredestein Quatrac Pro
Best All-weather Tires for Comfort Ride
Few products give me a feeling of total comfort, like the Vredestein Quatrac Pro.
Everything from control and handling to durability is suitable for us to use without worrying about facing too much pressure.
The processing accuracy with the Quatrac Pro is relatively high, and the response time between us and the tire is also fast. Combining these factors saves you from overthinking about possible scenarios to manipulate.
I performed a continuous sequence of actions of turning, stopping, accelerating, and screeching. Not a single step proved to be slower than average. All are good for my control.
The traction of the Vredestein Quatrac Pro is quite good on many different surfaces. If you are tired of having to step on the gas to make your tires move faster and more robust, this version is the perfect solution.
I tried using some rocks as obstructions to see if the tires could pull the whole car through. So, the Quatrac Pro can easily handle this task. At acceleration, it can reach a speed of 72 mph in just 8 seconds, thanks to this impressive traction.
The Quatrac Pro's durability is always relatively high. Thanks to the silica compound with the inner steel belts, the wear rate of the tire surface is significantly reduced. At the same time, the compound also helps to increase surface durability.
The Vredestein Quatrac Pro does not cause too much noise when moving at average speeds. However, if you accelerate, you will inevitably hear unpleasant sounds.
7. Continental ExtremeContact DWS 06 Plus
Best for Sporty Driving
The Continental ExtremeContact DWS 06 PLUS is the typical sporty SUV to enhance your vehicle's actual performance. The built-in technologies certainly won't let you down.
Among the many improvements, I need to mention the surface and the tread system above. Thanks to the beveled macroblocks of an alternating design, I can control the tire better in many cases, especially at high speeds.
Its grip is also very impressive. I can travel about 70 mph without any dangerous situations. A good grip also helps the tire slip less when you perform braking or cornering.
The complex tread compound on the tire surface is the key to high grip. Not only are there advanced plastics, but inside the DWS 06 PLUS, there are also SPORTPLUS. Continental only applies this production technology to high-performance products.
The Continental ExtremeContact DWS 06 PLUS is famous for its practical braking ability. The tire performance difference is only about 10 ft on dry and wet surfaces. I tested hard braking and noticed that the tire would drift 50 ft in non-wet places and about 65 ft in more slippery environments.
It should be noted that the Continental ExtremeContact DWS 06 PLUS is not a responsive product. You need to observe in advance to prepare for different situations.
8. Cooper Discoverer AT3 4S
Best All-Terrain Tires for Dry Traction
The gravel and dirt terrains are usually not too difficult to traverse. So, instead of spending more money on off-road tires, you need a mild all-terrain tire model to handle everything on this kind of road. And a standard version that I would recommend to you is the Cooper Discoverer AT3 4S.
Its weight is relatively light with smart holding designs. Therefore, I can quickly put it in the rim by myself without the help of others.
I was surprised at the comfort that this tire model brings. In many tests on gravel roads, it provides excellent traction, while still providing a comfortable ride, the tires absorb the feedback from the road too well. Most of the responses from the pavement are absorbed by its flexible structure.
Even if something goes wrong, you don't need to worry too much. The AT3 4S all come with a 65,000-mile repair warranty. And you just need to bring the damaged tire to the store and wait to receive help from the staff.
Although it's an all-terrain model that works well on dry, wet, and snowy roads with short braking distances, it should not be available in sharp mud and rock. Its mud drag is relatively low, and these sharp edges can damage the tire wall.
9. Falken WildPeak A/T Trail
Best All-Terrain Tires for Snow
Snowy terrain is also a real challenge with all common tires. Meanwhile, specialized tires for snow are not very versatile to serve us. So if you're looking for something available on snow but not specialized tires, try the Falken WildPeak A/T Trail.
This product has 3PMSF markings on the surface to demonstrate its snow-riding ability. To get this badge, each one has to go through many different stages of testing. So you don't need to worry about its ability to move on the snow.
Tires grip pretty well on most types of terrain. I tested the Ford Explorer with tires through sandy terrain, large rocky areas, and forest edgesThey all have the same result. I can pass easily without any problems. This performance of the Falken WildPeak A/T Trail is maintained with thin snow surfaces.
At less than 3 inches of snow, I found this tire effectively digs into the surface for grip. However, not a dedicated snow tire, handling snow from 4 inches is almost impossible with it.
With all the above features, you would think that the price of the Falken WildPeak A/T Trail is relatively high. Quite the contrary, I only spent about half the cost compared to the in-class models to buy the WildPeak A/T Trail.
10. Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2
Best for Winter Driving
To move more safely in the winter, you will need a specialized winter tire model like the Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2. Although it loses some features compared to all-season tires, the Blizzak DM-V2 allows us to operate even in harsh winters.
The tire only took me about 10 seconds to reach 72 mph on light snow. We won't need to move that fast in the icy regions. This is the best demonstration of the Blizzak DM-V2's impressive acceleration on the unstable surface.
I used several models of specialized winter tires for Ford Explorer. But the Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2 is the first to have such an excellent grip.
I even experimented with cornering on snow and ice in patches. Although the controls were a bit difficult, I still finished the test well in the end.
A high grip also helps the Blizzak DM-V2 brake much better. If I were traveling at a medium speed, I would need about 70ft for the car to come to a complete stop. Tires are less prone to slip when combined with a quality tire surface, and the ability to brake is high.
Besides, In my test on the road, at slow and medium speeds the tire noise is so low, that I can barely hear them. However, when I was driving on the highway from New Hampshire to New Jersey at over 60 mph, I noticed that the noise was quite loud. It may annoy you during long-distance travel.
So, if you are not particularly impressed with its advantages, you can consider other options.
Buying Guides: How to Choose the Best Tires for Ford Explorer
Here are some common tire types that you need to know. The variety of these models will help us decide which task they are best suited for.
- Touring tires (Best for most Explorer owners)
Touring tires are always an excellent choice for those who love to travel and explore. This line provides impressive performance for traveling in different terrains and weather conditions. In addition, touring tires are also quite famous for the comfort they give users throughout their journey.
- Highway all-season tires (Best for towing or hauling)
Highway all-season tires are tires that are surprisingly fast on highways.
The durability of this tire is also relatively high due to frequent exposure to heat generated by friction. In addition, highway all-season tires are also suitable for towing trailers behind.
- All-weather tires (The best choice for all weather conditions)
True to their name, all-weather tires are products capable of operating in various environments (Dry, wet and snow)
The Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake symbols (3PMSF) on this tire indicate good performance in light snow conditions.
If you want your car to move better in the snow, your only option is a set of specialized winter tires.
All-weather tires can also be used in warm weather but are not perfect.
- Ultra high-performance all-season tires (for sports cars, sports coupes, performance sedans)
Ultra high-performance all-season tires will be the perfect choice for customers who own luxury or sports cars.
These tires often have a lot of technology to increase the feeling of driving and the ability to move as fast as highway all-season tires.
- Winter tires
The construction of winter tires is intended for winter travel. However, you can still use some models of winter tires to replace regular tires.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- How often should I rotate my Ford Explorer tires?
According to Ford, 7,000–10,000 miles is the right time.
- What's the correct tire pressure on my Ford Explorer?
You need to make sure the tire pressure is stable at 32 to 35 PSI, depending on the specific model.
- Do my driving habits affect the life of my tires?
If you drive in a way that is too extreme, the tires' treads will have a lot of contact with the ground. After a while, the stability and durability of the spikes also decrease.
- Are all-season tires good on snow and ice?
Not all all-season tires can help us navigate on snowy terrain. There are only a handful of products that do this. One of them is called an all-weather tire.
Above are the top 10 best tires for Ford Explorer that I recommend to you. Each version will bring some outstanding features of its own.
The Michelin Defender LTX M/S comes with excellent towing performance, while the Vredestein Quatrac Pro impresses me with its incredible smoothness.
I hope this article will be helpful for you in finding the version that works best for you. Thank you for reading!