How to Choose the Top Performing Summer Tires

Tires Summer

By Easter at the latest, many motorists are asking themselves the critical question of which summer tires are probably the best for their car. When it is time to buy new summer tires, you are faced with a large selection of different manufacturers, tire types, and sizes. To help you find the best summer tires for your car, let's start from scratch.

Which summer tires to choose for my car?

It is best to use this as a guide when choosing your summer tires. Each tire has numbers and letters on its flank, giving you the right clues to make the right tire choice. You can also find this information in the vehicle documents. How so? Because the manufacturer of your car has specified a specific tire size for the vehicle and only slightly deviates from some guide values.

You should always choose tires that correspond to the approved tire sizes and indexes. This is the only way you can ensure that your vehicle realizes its full potential. A deviation from the values ​​could lead to limitations or malfunctions of essential systems such as ABS, ESP, or ASP or poorer grip and acceleration. Fuel consumption can also be negatively influenced by choosing wider tires that are necessary.

Note that deviations from your summer tires' load index can be costly, especially if you fall below the specified values.

Which summer tires are the best?

Of course, there is no one perfect tire. All major tire manufacturers, such as Michelin, Goodyear, Continental, and Bridgestone, have a wide range of tires, which are divided into different classes: budget, middle and upper class. These classes also correspond to the vehicle classes and - as you can imagine - indicate the different price ranges.

Here we want to go into detail and explain the advantages of each class for different areas of application.

Budget tires

Budget class tires are often referred to as "budget tires." However, this should not express their quality but rather emphasize the low prices. The tires are flawless in production technology but are based on an older technological standard. This standard is not flawed but has become obsolete over time and replaced by more innovative technologies used in the mid-to-high-end segment. These older methods affect both the treads and the rubber compounds.

Budget tires are particularly well suited for use primarily in urban areas on a budget to mid-range vehicles. With low mileage and a relaxed driving style, nothing speaks against tires from the budget class, such as those from the cheapest brands, Barum, Imperial, or Nexen.

Mid-range tires

Mid-range tires are aimed at drivers who expect good performance from their tires, mainly because they use their car very often and therefore cover long distances. Here, you will find tires that perfectly compromise quality and price for vehicles of all classes - from small cars to luxury vehicles. Brands such as Fulda, BFGoodrich, Kleber, Firestone, and Uniroyal dominate this segment.

Top class tires

This premium segment is aimed at drivers with high demands on all the factors that make up a tire. The tires are engineered to withstand any situation you might typically experience in summer. Top-class tires are an excellent choice: emergency braking, aquaplaning, high asphalt temperatures, or the need to be exceptionally environmentally friendly on the road. The best technologies and most innovative profiles are used to perfect the driving experience.

The upper class is the trademark of every tire manufacturer, so when buying tires of this class, we get the highest quality that the respective tire manufacturer can offer us. The tires of this class are designed for both middle-class cars, sedans, sports cars, and cars with powerful engines. Premium tires include Bridgestone, Pirelli, Continental, Dunlop, Goodyear, and Michelin.

Which summer tires to buy?

Now that we know what tire models there are, which summer tires should you choose for your vehicle? Which summer tires are suitable for your driving style? The tire profile is significant for solving this problem. Here the tires differ particularly strongly from each other. Each type of profile has its advantages, so you should think carefully about which properties are fundamental to you when choosing your summer tires.

The central tread types are symmetrical, asymmetrical, and directional tires.

Symmetrical tires

As the name suggests, this is an asymmetrical profile. There are many more symmetrical tires in summer tires in particular than in winter tires because they are specially designed for summer needs. The main advantages of balanced summer tires are:

  • Noise comfort
  • Low rolling resistance
  • Reduced fuel consumption
  • Long lifetime

These tires are particularly suitable for small and medium-sized cars with relatively low performance and a calm driving style. This type of tire is not recommended for intensive vehicle use and a sporty driving style.

Asymmetrical tires

Asymmetric tires have been around for about 20 years and are fitted as original equipment, particularly on mid-size and full-size vehicles. As the name suggests, the profile is not symmetrical, making it easy to identify the tire type. This asymmetrical profile provides several advantages:

  • Good water drainage (prevention of aquaplaning)
  • Good steering
  • High cornering stability
  • Long lifetime
  • Low noise level

Mounting is critical with asymmetric tires because they cannot be mounted at will. Asymmetrical profiles are primarily found in mid- and high-end tires - they are used for compact and city cars, as well as for sports cars and sedans with high engine power.

Directional tires

The profile of directional tires is designed so that they can only be fitted in one direction. The characteristic of this type of profile is the V-shaped alignment, which has a particular effect on handling wet roads. Therefore, the advantages associated with this type of profile are:

  • Excellent drainage
  • Good response to acceleration
  • Good braking response

Therefore, these tires are top-rated for sports cars but are also offered in all other tire classes.

When should I mount summer tires?

The date from which summer tires can be mounted is not legally determined. Surely you know the rule of thumb from Easter to October. However, we also know that Easter is not a fixed date and that the weather in April is not exceptionally reliable. Therefore, it is advisable to take a look at the weather conditions to determine the right time for the tire change. If the temperatures are reliably above freezing and extreme situations such as black ice no longer occur, you can mount your summer tires (or have them mounted). The benchmark Easter offers you a good orientation point.

Ultra High Performance Summer

Low-profile tires tailored for perfect traction on dry and wet roads. With excellent treadwear ratings, the tires offer a quality ride with excellent handling capabilities. The manufacture of the tires uses high-quality technology and materials to guarantee safe driving over summer conditions only.

Street/Sport Truck Summer

Restricted for use over summer conditions. They perform dismally during the winter. Their design optimizes handling. Perfect for enhancing a vehicle’s performance on dry and wet roads. These tires have a fair tread life with wider wheel diameters. Their low profiles improve ride comfort.

Max Performance Summer

Low-profile tires tailored for perfect traction on dry and wet roads. With excellent treadwear ratings, the tires offer a quality ride with excellent handling capabilities. The manufacture of the tires uses high-quality technology and materials to guarantee safe driving over summer conditions only.

Extreme Performance Summer

Possess excellent dry grip with poor defense against hydroplaning on wet roads. They are made from tough compounds to enhance responsiveness, traction and handling on dry roads. Manufacturing compounds extend their useful life. The tires are optimized for comfort at high speeds.

High Performance Summer

Optimized for quick steering responsiveness, good handling and descend dry traction. The tires are not suitable for winter use. They are generally low-profile tires with fair treadwear ratings. They perform well when driving on wet roads and have a good braking response.

Highway Rib Summer

Rib-type treaded tires that provide superb dry and wet traction. Commonly used on heavy-duty sports utility vehicles or pickup trucks. The tires have a perfect balance of highway comfort, uniform tread wear and optimum traction. The tires are not suitable for winter use.