SUV all-weather tires versus SUV all-season tires

SUV all-season tires

SUV all-weather tires compared to SUV all-season tires. The main difference between the two is the snow rating. The SUV all-weather tires hold the “Three Peak Mountain Snowflake” emblem which signifies they have met required performance criteria in snow testing. This is the same emblem held by SUV winter tires and recent testing showed that all-weather tires perform as well as winter tires on snow and ice.

With the main difference between SUV all-season tires and SUV all-weather tires being the severe snow service rating, the choice of tires, if in the market for a year-round tire, becomes simple. If the area where you live has severe winter weather you would be better off with a SUV all-weather tire, and if not, then a SUV all-season tire would suffice and possible be the better option. This is due to the lower rolling resistance on an all-season tire compared to an all-weather tire.  This is because they have less aggressive tread than either winter or all-weather tires which minimizes rolling resistance and thereby allows for better fuel economy. This is also important if you will be doing a lot of freeway miles. Keep in mind that fuel efficiency is also affected by tire dimensions. It is therefore always best to follow the manufacture’s recommended tire dimensions for your make and model SUV to assure proper braking and handling of the SUV. Dimensions of the tires also play a role in traction and hydroplaning protection. Narrower tires being better at redirecting water then wider tires whereas wider tires offer more traction. This however only holds true if your tires are of good quality and allow for a good grip on the road. If the manufacturer recommends 275/55R20 tire dimensions then you would need 275/55R20 SUV winter tires, 275/55R20 all-season tires, or 275/55R20 all-weather tires as this assures the best handling of your SUV.

If the area where you live has severe winter weather or if you are planning on driving off road then tires with good traction are important. In this case the SUV all-weather tires would be the better choice. All-weather tires are great for all year round driving by offering excellent handling and excellent grip and traction. In fact, the all-weather tires are actually a hybrid between winter tires and all-season tires and handle well in winter, spring, summer or fall.

Keep in mind that the fact that the SUV has 4-wheel drive only is an advantage in acceleration and not in braking so if you will be driving in severe winter weather it is still important to use tires that are severe snow service-rated.

Once the decision has been made what tires to get according to what kind of driving you will be doing and what kind of weather conditions you will be encountering then it is important to find good quality tires.

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