Updated March 30, 2020 by John Goreham
Which are the best tires for the Honda CR-V? That depends on who you ask. When Honda built your CR-V, they tried to strike a balance between cost, treadwear, fuel economy, and performance. You might have different priorities when the time comes to replace your Honda’s tires. Maybe you want the most durable tires that will last your CR-V the longest. Or maybe you’re a penny-pinching cheapskate and just want the cheapest tires your meager funds can buy. Whatever your needs are, we hope our overview of the best tire options for the Honda CR-V crossover can help.
Best Tires for the Honda CR-V LX:
- Hankook Kinergy ST. Best budget tire
- Continental Truecontact Tour. Best mid-priced tire
- Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady. Best superior tire
Best Tires for the Honda CR-V EX, EX-L, Touring:
- Pirelli Scorpion Verde All Season. Best budget tire
- Yokohama Geolandar GO55. Best mid-priced tire
- Michelin Premier LTX. Best superior tire
Original Equipment CR-V Tires
The current generation Honda CR-V crossover is sold in multiple trims with two tire sizes:
- The LX trim comes with 17-inch wheels and either Hankook Kinergy GT or Bridgestone Ecopia H/L422 tires. Either way, the exact size specification is 235/65R17 1yoko
- The EX, EX-L and Touring trim all come with 18-inch wheels and have the same original equipment manufacturer (OEM) brand and model choices. However, the size specification changes to 235/60R18 103H.
Top Replacement Tire Brands for Honda CR-V
We’ve recommended three replacement tires in both 17- and 18-inch sizes, in the budget, moderately priced and cost-no-object varieties. Whether your pockets are deeper than the Mariana trench or Ebenezer Scrooge considers you a role model, don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. All of these tires have ratings of four-stars or higher based on consumer surveys:17-inch Tires for Honda CR-V (LX trim)
- Budget: Hankook Kinergy ST. This tire is very affordable and still earns a four-star rating from owners. The design focus here is a long tread life and performance. This is the value choice.
- Moderately Priced: Continental Truecontact Tour. While moderately priced, this tire earns a high 4.5 score and is rated Excellent or Good in all categories. Continental emphasized a quiet ride, smooth operation, and long tread life.
- Cost-No-Object: Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady. With a similar rating to the Continental, but at a higher price by about 20%, this tire may appeal to Goodyear fans. Although this tire is considered all season, it also comes with the Severe Snow Certification symbol. If you don’t want to also use winter tires and live in a snowy area, this is your pick.
18-inch Tires for Honda CR-V (EX, EX-L and Touring trims)
- Budget: Pirelli Scorpion Verde All Season. Pirelli is a legend in the tire world and the Scorpion line is standard equipment on many fancy crossovers we’ve tested. The Scorpion Verde All-Season is an affordable choice from a trusted brand.
- Moderately Priced: Yokohama Geolandar GO55. Yokohama is a brand that Subaru turns to for its crossovers. The Geolander is a popular tire model and is moderately priced. This tire’s focus is on fuel savings, handling, and treadwear. It earns Good ratings in most categories.
- Cost-No-Object: Michelin Premier LTX. Michelin is one of the largest tire companies and has a model for most occasions. The Premier LTX is rated Excellent in Wet, Dry, and Comfort. This tire is not the longest-lasting, but instead is focused on being the best.
When Should You Replace Tires?
There are two regular milestones that will suggest that it’s time to replace the tires, not only on your CR-V but any vehicle in your driveway: Time and Mileage.
Considering most drivers cover between 12,000 and 15,000 miles per year, the vast majority of CR-V owners are going to be past the mileage that their original equipment tires were intended to cover before they’ll go past the tire’s usable age.
The life of your tire can be somewhat predicted by its UTQG (Uniform Tire Quality Grade) rating. Tire manufacturers apply their own grades to tires for treadwear, traction, and temperature. When you’re researching tires online, a UTQG will come up next to the tire name in three digits and a number (ex. 500 A A).
You can glean a bit of info from the tires by reading this rating:
- 500 - The durability rating of a tire, compared to a control tire with a tread life of 100. To obtain a grade, tires run on a 640-kilometer course for 11,520 km. Every 1,280 km, the tread depth is measured, to provide a projected tread life. The higher the number, the longer the predicted tread life.
- A - This is the Traction rating of a tire, which indicates how well a tire stops in wet conditions. The highest letter grade is AA, followed by A, B, and C.
- A - The second letter in the UTQG is the Temperature rating, which indicates how well a tire holds up to extreme heat. A is the highest, followed by B and C.
Original equipment Bridgestone Ecopia tires on the CR-V earn a solid 700 AA UTGQ rating. Unless they are damaged, these tires could last as long as 70,000 miles before you need to replace them.
The other consideration is time. Each tire has a raised date code on the sidewall. The number begins with the letters “DOT” followed by 12 digits in three four-digit groups. The date code is the third group of four digits. To decipher the date of your tires, the first two digits represent the WEEK the tire was produced, and the second two digits represent the YEAR.
For example, if your tire’s date code is 3217, that indicates the tire was manufactured in the 37th week of 2017, or sometime between September 11 and 17th that year.
Once tires go beyond five years old, it’s time to consider replacing them. Tires are made up not just of rubber and steel or kevlar belts, but chemicals that help the tires resist UV rays, temperature changes and a lot of other environmental hazards. Those chemicals start to break down after five years or so, and the tires aren’t doing the job that they need to do.
Why Not Replace with Original Equipment Tires?
There’s no harm in replacing your tires with the shoes it came with from the factory. However, depending on what kind of driver you are, there are significant reasons to purchase something different.
You only need to purchase ONE set of tires for your car every four years or so, depending on how much you drive. When an auto manufacturer purchases tires, they buy them by the hundreds of thousands. For the manufacturer, the decision to choose a supplier one brand or another comes down to a price point.
For you, your consideration may be completely different. If you could get a tire that stopped 20 feet shorter for an additional $10 per tire over the original equipment, you’d probably do it. Similarly, if there was a tire that for a minimal investment overstock, you’d probably decide on the slightly more expensive tire. (that is unless you’re trying to drown out the conversation of your back-seat-driving spouse.)
Changing Honda CR-V Tire Sizes
Depending on the year and model, you may be shopping tires to fit anything between 15-inch for older models to 18-inch wheels with various widths and sidewall sizes along the way. It is possible to change the wheel and tire sizes, but a general rule of thumb is to keep the total diameter of the wheel and tire the same. So, that means that downsizing an 18-inch wheel to a 17-inch wheel would include a proportionate upsizing of the tire sidewall to compensate.
Downsizing wheels has its advantages. Benefits include:
- Better ride quality – More rubber means more cushion for poor road conditions.
- Cost reduction – Big tires are expensive, so moving to a smaller wheel size will mean less costly tire purchases.
- Seasonal changes – Winter and snow tires are available for a larger selection of smaller wheel sizes and the narrower footprint will provide better traction.
- Off-road – Many people choose to downsize wheels for off-road use to increase the vehicle’s shock absorption capabilities and bump traction on loose surfaces.
On the other side of the coin, going up in wheel size has its benefits:
- Better handling – Slimmer profile tires make for less rubber to move around.
- Better looks – This one’s subjective, but many people feel that larger wheels look better than smaller wheels with more rubber.
- Better braking – Larger, wider wheels provide a bigger patch of rubber on the ground to slow the vehicle, reducing braking distance.
How to Read Tire Sizes
When reading tire sizes, it’s important to understand what the numbers mean. The Honda CR-V’s 17-inch wheels come with 235/65R17 103H all-season tires:
- 235 indicates the width of the tire from one sidewall to the other in millimeters. This tire is 235 millimeters wide.
- 65 indicates the aspect ratio, or sidewall height, as a percentage of the tire’s width. In this case, it’s 50 percent or of the tire’s width.
- R means radial tires. Radials are the most common type of automotive tire and have fabric woven in at various angles with a tread that is strengthened with additional layers of rubber.
- 17 indicates the wheel diameter.
- 103 is the tire’s load rating.
- H is the tire’s speed rating. H-rated tires have a maximum top speed of 130 mph.
You may have noticed that the Honda CR-V’s two tire sizes have different diameters and also different aspect ratios. Generally, automakers choose tires that have the same outer diameter. This allows them to have only one speedometer setting.
Now that you know what comes on the new CR-V and how to read the size numbers, let’s look at the different types of tires available to you. Depending on the type of driving you’re doing, where you live, and the weather, you have a variety of choices for tire types:
- Touring and All-season tires provide a smooth ride, good wet and dry traction, decent winter traction, and longer tread life. These tires are acceptable for winter use but can’t be expected to provide the traction and stopping power that a dedicated winter tire can.
- Performance tires are focused on providing confident handling, better wet and dry traction, and a sporty feel. Their higher grip and speed ratings come with a tradeoff of shortened tread life and reduced ride quality.
- All-terrain tires are built to maximize off-road traction and provide good durability overall. Their construction means more noise and less comfort on the road, but winter traction and tread wear are acceptable.
- Winter and snow tires are made with special rubber compounds that maintain grip and pliability when temperatures drop. patterns to maximize the vehicle’s ability to start and stop on very slippery roads.
Honda CR-V Tire FAQ
Q: What is the best Honda CR-V tire pressure?
A: Check inside your driver’s side door for a white and yellow label that will tell you the exact tire pressure recommendations for your CR-V model. Note that the pressure on the tire itself is never the correct setting, but rather a maximum.
Q: How often should I rotate my CR-V’s tires?
A: Rotating tires is more about the tire than it is about the car. A typical rotation interval is somewhere between 5,000 and 7,000 miles, though specific cars and tires may change those numbers a bit. The CR-Vis a front-wheel drive-based car, so the front tires will be worn more quickly than the rears.
Q: What is the best CR-V tire change kit?
A: Your Honda CR-V should have come equipped with a compact spare tire and changing tools in the trunk. In this case, you already have everything you need to physically change the tire, but you may want to carry an extra roadside emergency kit with an upgraded lug wrench, jumper cables, and emergency markers just in case.
Tire Buying FAQ
Q: Where do I shop for the best prices?
A: Several online retailers like Tire Rack offer regular discounts and free shipping for their tires. Their sites also have tire fit guides and pricing estimators to help you understand what you’re buying.
Q: How much is shipping?
A: Most online tire retailers have free shipping or reduced shipping cost when you choose to have them installed at a partner shop. The retailer may have an arrangement with a local tire chain or installation center and can ship the tires there for free.
Q: How long does shipping take?
A: Retailers like Tire Rack offer fast shipping and can often have tires to your preferred installer in as little as two days. Many others, like Discount Tire Direct, offer the same fast and free shipping. It also depends on where you live. If you’re in a large metro area, close to a distribution center, it should be relatively quick. If you live 5 miles from East Moosejaw, it might take a little longer.
Q: How much does it cost to install a tire?
A: Some shops will offer free installation when you purchase tires from them, and online retailers often promote the same deal for people who choose to have the installation done at one of their partners. If you do find yourself paying for tire installation, expect to pay between $15 and $50 per tire, depending on what is needed. That money pays for mounting and balancing the tire to ensure a safe and comfortable ride.
Q: Do I need to change the tire pressure monitoring system with tires?
A: The tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) is independent of your tires, but should be checked at regular intervals to ensure no damage or malfunctions are occurring. Your local tire shop can perform this check as part of a normal tire rotation or installation.
Q: Can an online retailer help me with winter tires?
A: Yes! You can find the right fit, tread pattern, and speed rating on nearly any online retailer’s site. They sometimes offer specials and rebates around the time when people start looking for winter tires (late fall).
Q: If I’m changing tire sizes or buying winter tires, should I buy a wheel and tire package from an online retailer?
A: It’s certainly not a requirement to buy your tires and wheels from the same place, but you’re more likely to get a deal on the package if you buy from the same place. Check the retailer’s specials and make a determination from there. You may also find a better deal ordering either the tires or wheels online and buying the other component from your local shop.
Q: Do online retailers provide tire rebates the way traditional stores do?
A: Yes, and in some cases, rebates are offered alongside discounts on the tires. It’s important to ask questions and understand what you’re getting, so be sure to chat or call the retailer before ordering if the rebates are unclear.
Editor's note and disclaimer: Car Talk is supported by our fans, readers, and listeners. When you click on some of the links on our website, we may receive referral compensation. However, you should know that the recommendations we make are based on our independent editorial review and analyses.