Low profile tires offer various benefits. They enhance the vehicle’s looks on which they’re installed, improve its handling characteristics, and boost its acceleration. Plus, by increasing the car’s grip on the road surface, low profile tires shorten its braking distances.
These qualities make it clear why low profile tires are the first choice of enthusiasts or anyone who wants to enhance the looks and dynamics of their car. But not every low-profile tire will offer the desired results. In fact, the cheap ones may end up making things worse.
This article will look at the 10 best low profile tires on the market. We have made sure to mix things up so that you can find a set for the vehicle you’re driving, whether it’s a passenger car, muscle car, SUV, or even a crossover. Make sure to choose a model that fits you.
At the same time, pay attention to the tire’s tread compound. Modern low-profile tires come with all-season, summer, or winter tread compounds. That wasn’t the case in the past when you could only buy summer tires. For this reason, think about your weather.
To help you better understand all these factors, we created a buying guide section. It’s right after the detailed reviews of the ten best low profile tires. If you could go through that section before picking a model, chances are you’d be able to make a better choice.
#1. Continental PremiumContact 6 – Best Overall
The Continental PremiumContact 6 is one of the best low profile tires. This model has the aggressive looks most people expect from low-profile tires. Its handling, responsiveness, and road grip are also what allow low-profile tires to stand out from the competition.
This tire also offers reliable year-round performance. A silica rubber compound gives it the perfect mix of firmness and flexibility to stay useful in summer and winter conditions. The tread compound also has what it takes to withstand mild-to-moderate wintry conditions.
Next comes the three circumferential grooves that form the tire’s water evacuation system. The two grooves in the middle are wider and thus expel most of the water from the tread area. The third groove, which is on the side, helps keep the contact patch dry.
This PremiumContact 6 also has a refined highway drive for a low-profile tire. Continental’s ContiSilent Technology relies on a foam placed inside the tread to absorb most of the road noise. In addition, the rubber patch’s thickness enables it to absorb vibrations.
The PremiumContact 6 also has the features to enhance your drive’s handling. For example, a micro-block design enhances responsiveness for greater feedback at the steering. It also makes this tire quick to respond to steering inputs and improves handling.
- Offers dynamic handling
- Has sportier looks to enhance your vehicle’s outlook
- Short braking distances in wet conditions
- Ride isn’t that refined
#2. Hankook Ventus S1 Noble2 Performance Radial Tire – Best Value
The Hankook Ventus S1 Noble 2 has many things in common with our top pick. This low-profile tire is designed to perform reliably in dry, wet, and light wintry conditions. It also sports aggressive looks and delivers an improved handling and steering response.
An all-season tread compound helps this model behave reliably on dry, wet, and light snowy roads. The presence of silica inside the tread compound brings down the rolling resistance. This, as you might guess, has a positive effect on the S1 Noble2’s fuel economy.
Its tread design and notched shoulders join forces to offer high cornering grip and dry traction. The tread design’s asymmetric shape also has an impact on steering responsiveness. Compared with other A/S tires, this model offers impressive feedback at the steering wheel.
Four circumferential grooves and Hankook’s Aqua Hydro Block Technology improve wet performance and lower the risk of hydroplaning. The two features also reduce the tire’s braking distances on wet roads, thereby lowering the risk of any untoward incident.
To further sweeten the deal, Hankook backs the S1 Noble2 with a 50,000 mile warranty. This warranty may look average when you compare it with standard A/S tires, most of which are backed for 70,000 miles or higher. However, it’s excellent for a low-profile model.
- Comes with a 50,000-mile treadwear warranty
- Excellent wet traction and braking distances
- Offers impressive dry traction and cornering grip
- Wears down very quickly
#3. Bridgestone Turanza QuietTrack – Best Grand-Touring Tires
The Bridgestone Turanza QuietTrack offers everything you expect from grand touring tires. That includes an excellent performance on the highway, sure-footed driving experience in wet conditions and low rolling resistance for an improved fuel economy.
Aside from that, the Turanza QuietTrack is an incredibly quiet tire. This model doesn’t emit as much as a squeak at speeds at which its fellow grand touring tires roar. As a result, you won’t have to make any arrangements to block out outside noise.
Wet performance is another area where this tire shines. A combination of circumferential and lateral grooves ensures that all the water particles inside its tread area are expelled before they can accumulate and have a go at this model’s wet traction.
Ride comfort is also taken care of. Bridgestone’s Comfort Cruise Technology ensures that most of the vibrations and road noises this tire encounters are dissipated before they can reach the cabin. The result, as you might guess, is plush riding.
An 80,000-mile treadwear warranty further distinguishes this model from competitors, most of whom are backed for 70,000 miles or less. However, don’t expect this tire to perform reliably on snow. Like most GT tires, it will struggle in wintry conditions.
- 80,000-mile treadlife warranty
- Excellent dry and wet performance
- Exceptional ride quality and minimal road noise
- Snow performance is quite limited
#4. Michelin Pilot Sport A/S3+ – Best All-Season High Performance
The Michelin Pilot Sport A/S3+ is one of the priciest models in this review. Fortunately, it has the features to justify its astronomical asking price. If you could afford to splurge on a set of low profile tires, there’s no reason why this model should escape your attention.
This tire’s silica and sunflower oil tread compound help it deliver the best of both worlds. Silica gives the rubber the firmness to stay glued to dry roads. Sunflower oil injects the flexibility needed to go safely from point A to point B on wet and light snowy roads.
An asymmetric tread design and outboard shoulder blocks enhance this tire’s cornering grip and dry performance. The tread design also delivers excellent steering feedback, with a continuous center rib aiding it to enhance this model’s responsiveness.
Four circumferential grooves make this tire’s water evacuation system. Two inner steel cords give it high-speed stability and improved handling. You’d thus be able to go through water and mud puddles at high speeds with minimal risk of aquaplaning.
Ride comfort is the only area where this tire could have done better. Which is surprising given that it features Michelin’s Variable Contact Patch 3.0 Technology, whose main purpose is to evenly distribute pressure forces for a (supposed) comfortable driving experience.
- Exceptional performance and steering responsiveness
- Brilliant 45,000-mile treadwear warranty
- Outstanding straight-line tracking and high-speed stability
- Isn’t the most comfortable tire
#5. Falken Azenis FK510 – Best Budget UHP Low-Profile Tires
The Falken Azenis FK510 offers ultra-high performance on a budget. In doing so, it makes itself an attractive option for every driver who wants the kind of performance you get from premium UHP tires but don’t have the budget to make the purchase.
Falken has used a special tread called Adaptive Constant Pressure in the tire. We’re told that this design should help the tire evenly distribute all the pressure forces it’s subjected to. This, the lesson continues, must give it a sporty feeling, especially in corners.
Speaking of corners, the FK10 has wider shoulder blocks to increase its stability when taking sharp turns or entering/exiting corners at speed. The rigidness of the shoulders enables them to positively impact the tire’s responsiveness and stability at high speeds.
Even though it’s a UHP summer tire, the FK510 didn’t disregard wet traction. A combination of circumferential grooves and sipes helps channel water away from the tread area and provides this tire with all the grip it needs to stay reliable on waterlogged roads.
All of this is not to say that the FK510 has no shortcomings. For an ultra-high-performance summer tire, this tire could certainly use a bit more feedback on the steering. The other two flaws – poor ride comfort and long braking distances in wet conditions – were expected.
- Sharp and responsive steering
- Offers exceptional grip on dry surfaces
- Predictable at the speed and easy to handle
- Steering feedback could have been better
#6. BFGoodrich g-Force Sport COMP-2 – Best UHP Low-Profile Tires
The BFG g-Force Sport COMP-2 is one of the best summer UHP tires on the market. This model comes with a silica tread compound featuring fillers that enhance the tread life. The fillers do that by evenly distributing pressure forces to encourage even wear.
This tire also performs reliably in wet conditions, something not many UHP tires do. According to BFG, the credit for this goes to the Performance Racing Core inside the tread area. This design element increases wet traction by ensuring quick and effective water expulsion.
Multiple “g-Hooks” and a “g-Control” sidewall enhance grip at corners, letting you enter and exit turns at eye-watering speeds. The sidewall’s added stiffness means more feedback at the wheel. In return, it decreases the time this tire needs to respond to steering inputs.
Unlike most tires in this category, the Sport COMP-2 rides comfortably. There will be noises and vibrations inside the cabin, but they won’t be at a level where they’d get unbearable. On the whole, then, you won’t have many reasons to complain about its ride quality.
That said, this tire’s handling feels slightly worse than its premium rivals. Which is something you must expect given that this model is affordably priced.
- Excellent steering feel
- Relatively good ride quality
- Communicates brilliantly with the driver
- Premium UHP tires offer better handling
#7. Bridgestone Potenza RE980AS
The Bridgestone Potenza RE980AS is an all-season, ultra-high-performance tire. This model isn’t as pocket-friendly as the two UHP tires you saw above. Neither does it offer an extremely high tread life. Yet, it has the potential to make any passenger car a power horse on the highway.
Its all-season tread compound rolled into an asymmetric tread pattern has the capability to convert all the power coming from your car’s engine into sheer road acceleration. There will be little to no rolling resistance to stop your car’s speed from touching new highs.
Circumferential and lateral grooves team up to expel water particles before they can accumulate and open the door to hydroplaning. In doing so, they ensure the dryness of the contact patch, thereby improving this model’s traction on water-logged and light snowy roads.
What’s more, even though it is an ultra-high-performance tire, the RE980AS is almost as quiet as your standard touring tire. This tire is surprisingly quiet at lower speeds. And while the decibels do go up as you press the accelerator, they still remain in the bearable range.
One area where this model could have done better is treadlife. Which is something we were expecting given this tire’s above features. Yet just because we were expecting it doesn’t mean it couldn’t be a deal-breaker for you, especially if you want a tire that wears evenly.
- Extremely short braking distances
- Top notch responsiveness and dry handling
- Quiet for a high-performance tire
- Won’t wear evenly
#8. Michelin Pilot Sport 4S
The Michelin Pilot Sport 4S has got everything to make it the preferred choice of enthusiasts. This model has the looks to make your vehicle the center of everybody’s attention on the road. It also has the handling and acceleration you expect from low profile tires.
An asymmetric tread pattern is responsible for most of what is good about this tire. The tread pattern’s outer part, which is incredibly stiff, is the reason why this tire is so responsive. The inner part of the tread pattern, meanwhile, has enhanced its dry handling.
However, to give all the credit to the tread pattern would be a disservice to the V-shaped tread design. As it is the tread design that maximizes this tire’s straight line stability and makes it controllable at the limit. Plus, it also helps the tire offer a precise response.
An inner belt featuring nylon and aramid-fiber expands the tire’s contact patch at high speeds, ensuring maximum stability. Multiple grooves within the tread area evacuate water for enhanced wet traction, a novel quality for an ultra-high-performance tire.
Given the fact that this model doesn’t come cheap, it was surprising for us to note that its treadwear warranty (30,000 miles) cannot compete with rivals from Bridgestone and Continental.
- Exceptional cornering grip and stability
- Brilliant traction on wet and slippery roads
- Treadlife is excellent for a UHP tire
- Smaller treadwear warranty than rivals
#9. Bridgestone Dueler H/P Sport
The Bridgestone Dueler H/P Sport comes in standard and run-flat versions. The standard model is what we’re recommending because it comes with a treadwear warranty and weighs much lighter than the run-flat H/P Sport, thereby consuming less fuel.
A trio of features – UNI-T Technology, symmetric tread pattern, L.L. Carbon Black – enhance this tire’s grip on dry roads. The symmetric tread pattern also absorbs vibrations and deflects road noise, making this model one of the most comfortable high-performance tires.
Both the standard and run-flat versions of the H/P Sport come with wide shoulder blocks and two continuous center ribs running from top to bottom. The benefits of these features? Enhanced cornering performance courtesy of an exceptional cornering grip.
Multiple lateral grooves and four circumferential grooves ensure quick and effective water evacuation, ensuring enhanced wet traction and a low risk of hydroplaning. Furthermore, the H/P Sport also features sipes/biting edges for better traction on light snowy roads.
Bridgestone backs this tire with two warranties. The Platinum Pact Limited Warranty will see that Bridgestone replaces this tire if it becomes unusable due to workmanship or material defects within a certain period. A 40,000-mile treadwear warranty is also on offer.
- Good treadwear warranty (40,000 miles) for a UHP tire
- Offers exceptional cornering performance
- Excellent dry and wet traction
Pricier than rivals
#10. Pirelli Cinturato P7 All-Season Plus
The Pirelli Cinturato P7 All-Season Plus isn’t your standard touring tire. Mainly because your average touring tire doesn’t have 30% less rolling resistance than its competitors. Such low rolling resistance makes the P7 one of the most fuel-efficient tires on the market.
A computer-optimized tread compound keeps noise levels low. Pitch sequencing deflects road vibrations, even when you’re traveling on uneven roads, with four circumferential grooves doing an excellent job of resisting hydroplaning and improving wet traction.
Even though this model comes with a 70,000-mile treadwear warranty, it doesn’t mean it’s faultless. The P7 Cinturato wears way too quickly for us to be confident about its ability to outlast its treadwear warranty. This would be especially true if you attack corners.
- Available in a budget price point
- Backed with an excellent 70,000-mile treadwear warranty
- Offers outstanding fuel economy
- Wears pretty quickly
Buying Guide for Low Profile Tires
What are Low Profile Tires?
Low profile tires are those whose aspect ratio (the ratio of height to width) is less than 50. Standard tires’ aspect ratio is at least 55 or higher. Low profile tires were first used by BMW in the later 1960s when it put one of these on its vehicles.
Low profile tires can mostly be seen on sports cars and muscle cars, though passenger car owners can also use them to enhance their vehicle’s looks and handling. The main purpose behind these tires is to enhance a vehicle’s handling and increase its road grip.
What are the Benefits and Drawbacks of Low Profile Tires?
Although low-profile tires offer various benefits in terms of sporty looks and aggressive drivability, they also have their fair share of drawbacks. Let’s look at both:
- Provide your vehicle with sporty looks
- Improve steering responsiveness and feel
- Enhance grip on most surfaces
- Contribute to sharper handling on dry surfaces
- Shortened braking distances on dry and wet conditions
- Stiff ride than standard size tires
- Produce more noise at higher speeds
- Consume more fuel
- Generally perform poorly on snow
What are the Types of Low Profile Tires?
Low profile tires come in the following categories:
All-season tires deliver the both worlds. These models deliver exceptional grip and traction in dry and wet conditions for a reliable year-round performance. Most all-season tires come with symmetrical tread patterns to reduce road noise and vibrations for a comfortable drive.
Summer tires are designed to deliver enhanced steering feedback, improved handling, and superior performance on dry roads. These tires have incredibly low rolling resistances and are highly controllable at the limit. Their sidewalls are stiffer for increased responsiveness.
Winter tires come with flexible tread compounds that stay useful in sub-zero temperatures. They are available in studded and non-studded categories and come with deep grooves and various sipes/biting edges for improved traction on snow-laden roads.
How to Choose Low Profile Tires?
Here are the factors you must consider while choosing low-profile tires:
- Tire Type: Make sure to pick those low profile tires that complement your driving style (the way you drive) and driving conditions. Otherwise, you’d get poor performance from your pick.
- Correct Size: Make sure to get the correct size or else the tires won’t fit your vehicle. To check your car’s tire size, check the doorjamb on the driver’s side. Alternatively, consult the owner’s manual.
- Traction Grade: It refers to the tire’s grip on wet surfaces. Low profile tires with A or AA traction grade offer the best traction on wet roads. So, you might want to opt for them if it rains frequently where you drive.
- Tread Life: All-season, all-season touring, and all-season grand touring tires all have excellent tread lives. If you could get a premium model in any of these categories, you won’t have to replace it for 5 to 6 years.
The best low profile tires will not only enhance the looks of your vehicle and improve its handling. They will also shorten braking distances in dry and wet conditions and ensure improved steering feedback. As a result, you should always prefer them over cheap, low-profile models.