Finding the best tires for a minivan is about more than just sizing and ratings. The way you drive your minivan may be different than the way I drive mine. Minivan tires, like most vehicle tires, are subjective to where they’re being used, who is using them, and what the person driving on them expects in terms of performance. What the manufacturer included with your van may not be the best tires for your situation.
Here’s our top rated best tires in the minivan category. They’ve been ranked according to our gold standards for tires. Included are comments as to why these tires placed where they did in our rankings and features accompanying those tires as a choice. Read on to get the answer to your question of, “Which tires are best for my minivan?”
All of these tire picks were ranked using Car Talk's unique methodology based on over 30 different data points:
Consumer Satisfaction: Consumers provided data about what their experience was using tire models within each of these brands.
Industry Professionals: Car Talk researchers performed a nation-wide survey of over 800 mechanics and industry professionals for their opinions.
Government Reporting: Statistics reported for safety and durability.
Tire Quality and Engineering: A tire brand’s overall quality and engineering or innovation influenced a consumer’s decision to purchase.
Performance: Car Talk looked at how tires from these particular brands performed in a variety of weather conditions.
The CrossClimate series of tires from Michelin are grand touring aimed towards strong daily driving comfort and maximum all-season safety. The Crossclimate2 models are aimed towards larger vehicles like minivans and SUVs that are active in all four seasons. They are rated as such, working well in all climates where dedicated winter tires aren’t a must.
The CrossClimate series features Michelin’s Thermal Adaptive all-season tread compound which changes grip characteristics according to temperature. The unique cross-directional tread design is engineered to push moisture from the center and get maximum grip in all conditions. Noise reduction tuning helps keep noise levels down while driving, providing added comfort for those in the vehicle.
The CS5 Ultra Touring tire from Cooper is designed for maximum road handling and responsive feel. These all-season grand touring tires have a unique tread that interconnects the tread blocks to add stability to the rubber while offering the wick-away and grip longevity of those independent tread blocks. Broad outboard blocks on the shoulders add lateral traction.
Internally, a combination of a single ply polyester casing and two high-strength steel belts with nylon reinforcement increases handling responsiveness and high-speed cornering. This gives a confident, sporty feel to the drive quality.
Made with a soy-based rubber compound, WeatherReady tires are more environmentally friendly. As grand touring all-season tires, the Goodyear WeatherReady series utilize 3D TredLock Technology Blades on their ribs to improve cornering while using Evolving Traction Grooves throughout to syphon water away and improve grip in slippery conditions. This is further improved with silica added to the tread rubber.
Internal construction of the Goodyear WeatherReady tires includes single-ply polyester casing and two steel belts.
AltiMAX Road Touring (RT) tires are the grand touring, all-season best-of from General for the minivan segment. They strive for balance and long tread life. These tires are designed as “three-season-plus” tires meant for most weather conditions and light snow.
Design qualities of the AltiMAX start with General’s proprietary Twin Cushion Silica Tread Compound for longer tread life atop a low-density compound for vibration absorption. Unlike others on our list, this General tire has a uniform, symmetrical tread design.
Made to fit most passenger vehicles, the WeatherGrip series is Firestone’s most popular grand touring, all-season offering. With a symmetrical tread pattern, comfortable drive feel, and relatively low price for the tread life rating, the WeatherGrip is a good, all-around offering.
The tread compound of the Firestone WeatherGrip series is a traction-focused design that uses the company’s Hydro-Grip Technology to push away moisture for better grip. Rounded tread and a chamfered edge help facilitate this goal. Added snow vices and Firestone’s Snow Traction Claw technology further aid that aim. Internal construction is single-ply polyester on two steel belts.
Bridgestone’s DriveGuard tire is the only run-flat tire on our list. Aiming towards drivers that want the peace of mind that comes with a run-flat or those wishing to replace original equipment run-flats, the DriveGuard is an all-season grand touring tire. It can run up to 50 miles at 50 mph in some pressure loss conditions.
An asymmetric tire tread and silica-enhanced, all-season tread compound make up the face of the Bridgestone DriveGuard tire. Internal construction includes twin steel belts reinforced by spirally-wrapped nylon atop rayon cording. The rayon cording acts as reinforcement for the sidewalls to support the vehicle during tire air pressure loss.
Most of the tires included as original equipment or highly recommended for minivans are touring tires made for heavier vehicles such as large sedans, station wagons, and small to mid-sized sport utility vehicles. Minivans, for the most part, fall in between station wagons and mid-sized SUVs in terms of weight and bulk on the road and the tire must match for those specifications.
Tires should be purchased when they’re ready for replacement for best convenience. They can also be purchased and stored for use, but storage requires several things in order to maximize the lifespan of the tires both on and off of the vehicle.
The table below includes three common minivans sold in the U.S. and our top four choices for tires. Prices are single tire averages for three ZIP codes in three zones of the U.S. and include basic mounting to the wheel size specified as OEM for the van listed.
|Van Make/Model||Michelin CrossClimate 2||Cooper CS5 Ultra Touring||Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady||General AltiMAX RT43|
Ask ten mechanics when to change tires and you’ll get ten anecdotal responses as to how to “test” for tire tread wear. The reality is, you should change tires when a tire professional recommends it or when you no longer feel safe using the tires on your vehicle. Whichever comes first. For most people who drive an average amount of miles annually, this means a new set of tires every 3-4 years.
They can, though usually the noise and vibration that cause higher noise levels in the cabin are mitigated by the underlayment and air in the tire rather than the tread design. So loud tires in a van could be a sign that something is wrong with the tires or suspension system.
Minivans are generally longer and have longer wheelbases than do most smaller passenger vehicles, which can mean more wear and tear on tires. The tires usually recommended for a minivan, however, are usually made for heavier vehicles like minivans and sport utilities, so that is accounted for in the tire’s design.
Ordering your tires online vs. the shop will save you money