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If you're in the market for truck tires, we'd like to share with you some solid choices. Admittedly, we can't test every truck and SUV tire on the market — a massive undertaking — so we're leaning here on the best tires as evaluated by the good folks at Consumer Reports and Tire Rack, who performance-test hundreds of tires per year. Tire Rack also ranks its tire by customer feedback. Interestingly, the two sources have come up with two very different sets of rankings, but they concur on many points.
Let's get right to the top truck tires, starting with all-terrain models, then the all-seasons that are more appropriate for road duty.
Here are some standouts:
All-terrain truck tires
This was CR's top-rated model, which the magazine called "impressively quiet for an all-terrain tire." It has enough grip for a bit of off-road use, and is a solid all-terrain tire for the road. It earned a CR recommendation checkmark.
This Michelin was a very close second in CR testing. Testers declared it "
This Dutch brand is a relatively new entry in the light-truck segment. It tops the comparison chart at Tire Rack, and its overall test score at CR was just one point behind the Michelin and two behind the Continental. It has a Three Peak Mountain Snowflake (3PMSF) designation, meaning it qualifies as a winter traction tire. "Strikes a good balance of general performance" — and at an impressive low price. CR recommended.
Tire Rack likes the Falken's on-road performance and wet grip, dings it a bit for noise (common problem in this tire class), and concludes it's "a very good on-road performer with an off-road flavor."
This got very good marks in all areas except for a middling performance in wet braking, but still earned a CR recommendation.
Tire Rack says, "The alert steering feels surprisingly sporty, and the ride is very nice." Could use some more wet grip.
Cooper AT3 4S is another all-terrain tire that earned a winter designation — meaning it qualifies when snow traction tires are required. It's not the only all-terrain to do that, but it's at a nice price. Tire Rack says, "This customer favorite is a strong performer."
The AT3 4S's even chunkier brother has steering and ride quality that "are both satisfying for the daily drive, and it's nice to drive in the snow."
Tire Rack calls this one the "benchmark" of this category, and it gets high marks in surveys from customers who've reported 23 million miles of driving it. Tire Rack tested this knobby Goodrich head-to-head and tread-to-tread with three "mild" on/off-road designs, and it fared surprisingly well, excelling unsurprisingly in snow traction/handling.
Well-liked overall, Tire Rack says: "It's very good and would be great with that last bit of performance and refinement." Offers quick and light steering response and compared well in head-to-head testing with the Continental TerrainContact A/T.
Consumer Reports salutes the General APT for an "outstanding resistance to hydroplaning" and says it has "few shortcomings." It's more of an on-road tire.
The APT's more ruggedly off-road country cousin is lauded for its handling and light snow traction and is considerably cheaper.
This is another all-terrain tire that is both snow-rated and rugged enough for off-road use. A good all-arounder with "few shortcomings," CR says. Tire Rack praises its noise level and wet traction: "We can see why it's a consumer favorite."
This entry gets high marks from Tire Rack customers, and in comparison testing it bested the General AT/X and Falken we just discussed in terms of wet traction. Could use "a little on-road refinement."
Likewise, could use some added refinement on the road, but it was second only to the Vredestein in head-to-head testing, and outperformed it in the snow. "A great choice for many drivers."
All-season truck tires
This is CR's top-rated truck/SUV tire, with outstanding marks for its quiet demeanor on the road and exceptional traction in snow. It has an expected tread life of 95,000 miles. It's the only one in this subset to earn a CR recommendation checkmark — at least, the only one that's easy to find. CR recommended a few other models that are no longer easy to find, so we didn't highlight those.
This is Tire Rack's top-rated all-season truck/SUV tire. The site describes it as refined to drive and a "worthy successor" to previous, popular Scorpion All-Season tires, and highlighted its "athletic" steering feel.
Tire Rack calls this a "proven performer" with high marks in all categories, especially snow traction — "a great, do-everything option."
This Michelin with its unusual tread pattern "earns the highest subjective score on the road, in the wet, and in the dry" and scored well in snow also. Tire Rack's conclusion: "We're impressed."
Another CR salute for a General, this tire earning a top grade for rolling resistance — an important consideration given today's gasoline prices. It scores well in other categories too, and its projected tread life is 75,000 miles.
TireRack gave this Cooper high marks in a comparison of economy/entry-level truck and SUV tires. Kudos for ride, steering, wet traction. A bit noisy. But "a strong new competitor in the segment."
CR's ratings chart uses green to denote a 5/5 rating, and the Defender's scorecard shows a lot of green — top marks for rolling resistance, snow traction and a quiet ride. It does not fare so well in wet braking, where it scored a 2/5, which CR characterizes as just "fair." An 80,000-mile tread life, and it is T-rated for speeds up to 118 mph.
Tire Rack customers give the Geolandar X-CV high marks, particularly for wet braking and hydroplaning, along with steering and handling performance. Not available in smaller sizes.
Tire Rack test results for the CVG058 also praise its performance in wet and call it a well-rounded touring tire.
Tire Rack likes this Cooper's snow performance but it notes some road noise, and testing indicates it could be better in wet conditions.
The Scorpion Verde gets a new tread compound and footprint that improves wet breaking and wet and dry handling. Tire Rack declares it "just right," saying, "It's smooth and quiet on the road, nice to drive in the dry, strong in the wet, good in the snow."
Says Tire Rack, "This is a strong new competitor" with "an impressive balance of performance." It placed third in head-to-head testing against Continental CrossContacts and Michelin CrossClimates, but lagged only by a bit.
In Consumer Report rankings typically dominated by Continentals and Michelins, here's something different. Laufeen is a budget brand of Hankook. Its overall score was a step down from the tires that precede it on this list, but it scored well in everything save for a "fair" rating for wet braking. Yet it's one of the lowest-price tires tested.
Top marks for rolling resistance and noise level.
Rated only "fair" for wet braking and snow traction. Not available in smaller wheel sizes.