Categories and terms like “all season,” “mud-terrain,” and “snow tires” are meant to provide some immediate meaning to the various types available. However, in most cases, the real world capabilities and limitations of tires defy a pithy label. Further explanation and understanding is almost always required.
The touring tire category is no exception. One of the most extensive tire categories, touring tires can be fitted to everything from luxury coupes “touring” the California coast, to everyday, daily driver vehicles slogging away in variable temperatures and road conditions. “Touring tires” is essentially a catch-all term for hundreds of tires with widely varying design characteristics and purposes.
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So, what are they? Let’s get into the basic definition, then explore the sub-categories, which will help funnel you into the types that might be the right fit for your vehicle and circumstances.
In broad terms, touring tires are designed to be used year-round and offer capable handling, a comfortable, quiet ride, and long tread life.
As compared to many other tire types that specialize in particular performances, touring tires are more oriented towards practicality. The common characteristics are comfort, reasonable traction across a range of road conditions, often superior fuel economy (low rolling resistance), and significant tread life/mileage potential.
Touring tires are intended to be a solid, unobtrusive foundation for just about any variety of on-road travels.
Looking for a year-round tire with great handling? A comfortable, quiet ride, and long tread life? A touring tire may be the perfect match for your vehicle.
The “workhorses” of the touring tire category, standard touring all-season tires are for everyday, daily driving. No matter the road types and driving conditions of your commute, it’s likely that standard touring all-season tires are a match.
Continental’s TrueContact Touring is an ideal example of a modern standard touring all-season tire. Highlights include strong four-season traction characteristics, low road noise, excellent fuel economy, and long tread life (warrantied for up to 80,000 miles). Tire wear indicators that exhibit tire wear status at a glance help keep you informed without requiring legwork or analysis.
“This tire represents the next generation in TrueContact technology, taking you to a new level in touring with reduced noise and less road vibrations for your ultimate comfort. Quick View Indicators enable you to see when the tire isn’t performing to the best of its abilities and when the tires are ready for realignment.”
Standard touring all-season tires like the TrueContact Tour are most often fitted on compact, mid-size, and full-size sedans, as well as minivans. The Original Equipment (OE) tires fitted to domestic vehicles in these categories are primarily standard touring all-season tires.
Engineered for vehicles that fall toward the luxury/sport side of the spectrum, Performance Touring All Season Tires bring most of the practicality of Standard Touring All Season Tires, but with an element of sportiness.
Michelin’s Primacy MXM4, for example, is an OE tire for vehicles from Acura, Mercedes, and Audi. The performance-oriented chassis, suspension, and power characteristics of these vehicles require uprated tires that are constructed to match.
“Built with a European-style handling profile for excellent handling and control, the Michelin Primacy MXM4 tire is a great choice for your premium vehicle. A sunflower oil additive in the tread compound helps provides extra grip and braking power in cold and wet conditions, while the tread itself features elements that lock together to provide more traction when needed.”
In exchange for the performance element, performance touring all-season tires generally don’t have quite the tread life of standard touring all-season tires. (The MXM4 is warrantied up to 55,000 miles, for example.) The performance engineering factor also deprioritizes fuel economy and rolling resistance, to a certain extent.
Luxury/sport sedans and coupes aren’t the only vehicles requiring tire construction and design characteristics – touring tires intended for SUVs and crossovers also have to be specifically engineered.
These touring tires feature higher ply and load ratings reflective of greater vehicle weight and load capacity.
Certain SUV/crossover all-season touring tires are also engineered to exploit the all-wheel drive traction control systems commonly fitted to SUVs and CUVs. These vehicles are often used year-round in northern U.S. regions, and new generation SUV/crossover all-season touring tires are designed to reflect four season driving environments.
The Toyo Celsius CUV is an excellent example of a touring tire that meets the vehicle specification and daily use needs of its audience. Called a “variable conditions” tire by Toyo, the Celsius CUV meets the same criteria for 3-Peak Mountain Snowflake symbol that’s the benchmark for full-fledged winter tires.
Shop all touring tires today at TireBuyer. If you need more help tracking down the best touring tire for your vehicle and daily drive, give us a call at 866-961-8668. Whether it’s touring the California coast, or more stop-and-go touring of Chicago’s I-90/I-94, we’ve got the right set of tires to match.