By Theo Thimou: Your tires are a big part of what keeps you and your family safe on the road. So you want to be sure you get the best-performing wheels for your ride at the best price!
Here are the safest and best tires
Consumer Reports recently took a look at more than 150 tire models and put them through the ringer. After driving on many of them constantly for up to 16,000 miles in rural Texas, the magazine named its top picks:
Best All-Season Tire – Michelin Defender ($120)
Best Performance All-Season Tire – Continental PureContact ($113)
Best Ultra High Performance Summer Tire – Pirelli P Zero ($128)
Best All-Season Truck Tire – Michelin LTX M/S2 ($189)
Best All-Terrain Truck Tire – Hankook Dynapro AT-M ($130)
Best Winter/Snow Tire – Michelin X-ice XI3 ($117)
In addition to the ones listed above, a couple of other lesser-known tires received “best buy” marks from Consumer Reports.
Those models include the Continental TrueContact ($106); the General Altimax RT43 [T] ($91); and the Pirelli P4 Four Seasons Plus ($100).
Where should you get your tires?
Now that you know about some good wheels, the next question is…where should you buy tires? Clark has long recommended a few different options.
The first is TireRack.com, which will let you shop the market for the best deals in your area.
Then you’ve got the warehouse clubs…
In addition to free tire rotation, free flat repair and free lifetime tire balancing, Sam’s Club has another benefit for tire buyers that is uncommon: Emergency roadside tire service.
For three years from purchase, Sam’s Club members have 24 hour toll-free access for emergency tire change service. Apparently they will send a truck to come deal with your flat on the side of the road!
Meanwhile, Costco Wholesale is another great place to shop for tires. They have the free rotation, free flat repair and free tire balancing, but not the roadside assistance. On the plus side, Costco tends to discount select brands of tires by $70 to $80 off at different times of the year. Keep an eye out for that sale!