Full-size pickup trucks rarely get better than the GMC Sierra. The Sierra catches attention with its spacious and comfortable cabin, a vast array of tech features, and impressive ride quality. Its excellent towing and hauling abilities further distinguish it from its rivals.
All in all, the GMC Sierra 1500 is one of the most refined trucks right now, as long as you pair it with the right set of tires. Only the best tires for this pickup truck will let you fully exploit the qualities that have made it one of the best-selling vehicles in the US.
Unfortunately, choosing the right set of tires for Sierra is easier said than done. Only by considering your driving style, road conditions, and the trim you’re driving could you pick a set of tires that may prove to be a reliable driving companion for years to come.
In this article, we’ll review the top 9 best tires for GMC Sierra. We’ll also offer a buying guide of factors you must consider while choosing tires for this pickup truck. And finally, we’ll answer some of the frequently asked questions about the Sierra’s tires.
#1. Michelin Defender LTX M/S – Best Overall
The Michelin Defender LTX M/S has all the attributes to be one of the best tires for GMC Sierra. This tire’s EverTread compound gives it the perfect mix of firmness and flexibility for reliable year-round performance, as long as you’re driving on the highway.
Michelin has molded this tire’s tread compound into a symmetric tread pattern. This is done to help this tire soak up road vibrations and deflect road noise. The tread pattern also features multiple independent blocks for improved high-speed handling and performance.
Various 3D sipes enable this tire to excel in light snow. These biting edges plow through snow and ice with minimal skidding and slipping. At least four circumferential grooves also dot the tread area. Their unique design helps with water evacuation and resists hydroplaning.
MaxTouch Construction ensures that the LTX M/S’s contact patch widens as it meets the road. This results in a bigger contact area which, in turn, translates into low rolling resistance and improved fuel economy. You can thus count on this tire to improve your Sierra’s fuel mileage.
The only thing that could keep you from buying this tire is its price, which shouldn’t come as a surprise given that Michelin tires rarely come cheap. That said, if you are seeking refined performance, long treadlife, and excellent road manners, it’s recommended to bite the bullet.
- Available in a large number of sizes
- Backed with an excellent 70,000-mile treadwear warranty
- Superb hydroplaning resistance
- Excellent levels of grip in dry and wet conditions
- Doesn’t come cheap
#2. Continental CrossContact LX20 – Best Runner Up
The CrossContact LX20 is available in as many sizes as our top pick. Its tread life, year-round traction, and fuel economy also give close competition to the Defender LTX M/S. The only reason it isn’t our first choice for GMC Sierra is that it gives off vibrations at high speeds.
An eco-friendly tread compound is behind most of this tire’s excellent features. Featuring +Silane additives and Tf-F polymers, the tread compound expands the contact patch as the rubber meets the road, evenly distributing pressure forces for an extended treadlife.
The expansion of the contact patch also minimizes this tire’s rolling resistance, which is the inertia any tire experiences as it moves. The reduction in rolling resistance will have a noticeable effect on your Sierra’s fuel economy, regardless of which trim you might be driving.
Compared with its fellow all-season tires, the LX20 provides an enhanced steering response. The credit for this goes to its independent tread blocks and continuous center rib. However, the vibrations this tire gives off at high speeds are also due to these design elements.
Finally, Continental has pulled out all the stops to improve this tire’s wet performance. While most A/S tires on the market come with circumferential grooves, Continental has piled lateral grooves on top. The result is exceptional hydroplaning resistance.
- 70,000-mile treadwear warranty
- Excellent hydroplaning resistance
- Quiet on the highway
- Susceptible to vibrations at high speeds
#3. General Grabber HTS – Best Budget Highway
Who says pocket-friendly tires cannot offer decent performance? The General Grabber HTS proves that you don’t always have to blow your budget to get a set of high-quality tires. This tire’s performance is so good that GMC has picked it as OE for Sierra Base and SLE trims.
General offers the HTS 60 in two versions. The lighter version features more sipes and should thus be used in areas where it rains a lot. In contrast, the heavier version comes with a higher load rating, making it a better choice for towing or hauling heavy loads.
A vehicle-tuned tread pattern comes on both versions. This is by all means great news because the tread pattern enhances this tire’s wet grip while also improving high-speed handling. It is also due to the tread pattern that the HTS is exceptionally stable at the limit.
Treadlife is also impressive for a highway tire. General’s exclusive StabiliTread technology expands the tire’s footprint for better road contact and, as you might guess, lengthier tread life. As a result, you can count on this model to outlast its 65,000-mile warranty.
Unfortunately, a few corners seem to have been cut to keep this model’s price affordable. Unlike our top two picks, the HTS 60 isn’t reliable in snow, even in light snow. But that is something you can excuse since most highway tires aren’t reliable performers on snow.
- Competitively priced
- Offers marvelous high-speed stability
- Heavier versions are great for towing and hauling heavy loads
- Isn’t a reliable performer on snow
#4. Cooper Discoverer HTP – Best Mid-Priced
The Cooper Discoverer HTP is one of our top tire picks for Ford Explorer, Chevy Silverado 1500, and Dodge RAM 1500. There is no reason why GMC Sierra shouldn’t be on the list of vehicles that could gain multiple benefits from the installation of this mid-priced highway tire.
Three design elements – serpentine sipes, biting edges, circumferential grooves – enhance this model’s wet traction and performance. They do so by helping the HTP grip slippery surfaces reliably. On its own, the grooves take this model’s hydroplaning resistance to the next level.
Even though Sierra delivers a bit more refinement than its nearest rivals, you could still ask for improved ride quality. And you’d get that improved ride quality from the Discoverer HTP, whose computer-optimized tread pattern helps it provide a hushed ride.
A 65,000-mile warranty doesn’t seem that much when you compare it with that of all-season tires. But it’s excellent when juxtaposed with other highway tires, whose relatively high load ratings force manufacturers to slap them with relatively smaller warranties.
All of this is not to say that the Discoverer HTP is faultless. This model’s slightly soft sidewall has deprived it of the cornering performance you get from premium highway tires. As such, you’re advised to attack and leave corners with one eye on the speedometer.
- Value priced
- Excellent treadwear warranty for a highway tire
- Brilliant wet traction and low road noise
- Isn’t the best at high-speed cornering
#5. BFGoodrich All Terrain T/A KO2 – Best Budget Off-Road
Although you can do off-roading on any GMC Sierra trim, the new AT4X AEV Edition is specifically designed to tackle harsh terrains. Front and rear steel bumpers, additional steel skid plates, and a winch up front have enhanced this trim’s off-road capability above and beyond any other Sierra trim.
The BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 has what it takes to complement all these features. This tire’s double thick tread compound has given it all the toughness it would ever need to perform reliably on tough, loose, or soft surfaces. At the same time, it can also keep punctures and cuts at bay.
A sidewall that looks as thick as the tread compound provides massive steering feedback. It features a built-in rim protector to protect the wheels against curb damage. Mud-buster bars are also on offer to make sure that this tire doesn’t stop rolling upon encountering sludge.
Side-biter lugs perform the same job, albeit on snow-laden terrains. All these design elements weren’t on offer with this model’s predecessor, the T/A KO. Small wonder that BFG’s internal tests show T/A KO2 offering 10% higher traction on mud and 19% higher snow traction.
That said, you might want to invest in earplugs if you want to enjoy this model’s offerings. Either that or quit the habit of driving with windows rolled all the way down. Otherwise, this model’s noise might get unbearable, especially on the street and the highway.
- Backed by a 50,000-mile treadwear warranty
- Performs reliably on rock, slush, and mud
- Offers class-leading snow traction
- Might get loud on the highway
#6. Falken Wildpeak A/T3 W – Best Off-Road
The Falken Wildpeak AT3W epitomizes what all-terrain tires are all about. This model is as tough as any tire could ever get, comes with an ultra-strong sidewall to minimize the risk of punctures, and has the load rating to haul or tow loads weighing hundreds of pounds.
Start with the sidewall. Its toughness enables the sidewall to resist cuts, chips, tears, and even punctures like a charm. As a result, there is as little danger of this tire getting punctured on a rocky terrain as there is of our top pick suffering a blowup on the highway.
The sidewall also features heat diffusers to let any accumulated heat out before it could gather and damage the tire. The heat diffusers come in the shape of narrow openings in the tread area. Thanks to them, this tire can tow or haul heavy loads for eternity.
A close inspection of the tire’s tread will indicate the presence of step-down etching and support ramps. Both help this model offer a consistently high grip on gravel. They also eject stones from within the tread area, minimizing the risk of stone drilling and punctures.
Unfortunately, as it was with the BFG All-Terrain T/A KO2, the Wildpeak AT3W can also get unbearably loud at high speeds. This is the only flaw that could keep anyone from purchasing this tire.
- Offers long-lasting wear
- Resists cuts, chips, and punctures really well
- Offers a sharp steering response and feedback
- Roars at high speeds
#7. Pirelli Scorpion Verde All-Season Plus – Best Fuel-Efficient
Top oil traders have warned global oil prices could rise to $200 a barrel in the near future. This is bad news for every automobile driver, but especially for those owning light pickup trucks like the GMC Sierra. After all, these vehicles’ fuel consumption is much higher than standard passenger cars.
The Pirelli Scorpion Verde offers you a way out of this fuel crunch. This all-season tire features a computer-optimized tread pattern that optimizes its road contact. The result is even pressure distribution and, more importantly, low rolling resistance for an improved fuel economy.
Tests conducted by independent authorities confirm that the Scorpion Verde saves fuel. This all-season tire has been shown to lower fuel consumption by up to 3.9% for city driving. For mixed routes (city and highway), it can lower your fuel costs by as much as 3.4%.
A 4 percent improvement in fuel economy might not seem that much on paper. But it would amount to a world of difference on the road. A tire that consumes 96% fuel as that of its rivals to cover the same distance would definitely reduce your trips to the pump.
Although it might not look that way, the Scorpion Verde has much to offer besides lower fuel consumption. This tire comes with a sound-absorbing device to offer a silent highway ride. A 65,000-mile treadwear warranty is another feather on its cap.
- Delivers excellent fuel economy
- Offers a plush driving experience on the highway
- Backed with an excellent treadwear warranty
- Struggles at high speeds on wet roads
#8. Yokohama Parada Spec X – Best Performance
The GMC Sierra 1500 comes with two V8 engine options: a 355-hp 5.3 liter and a 420-hp 6.2 liter. Both these trims can have their performance enhanced with a set of tires offering low rolling resistance, enhanced steering feedback and aggressive cornering performance.
Enter Yokohama Parada Spec X. This light truck performance tire has got all the attributes to let you exploit the best qualities of the above Sierra trims. Its sidewall has the flexibility to let you attack corners with a vengeance and without as much as a hint of oversteering.
An aggressive tread pattern helps this model grip the road better. This, in turn, translates into improved steering feedback and enhanced high-speed stability. Multiple grooves are also on offer to minimize the risk of hydroplaning whenever you’re driving on wet roads.
Yokohama has equipped this tire with its exclusive variable tread pitch technology. The result is reduced tread pattern noise for a comfortable ride quality. From inside the tire, a polyester cord body also plays its part in improving ride comfort.
A built-in rim protector means your Sierra’s wheels will be protected from curb damage. However, the absence of a treadwear warranty signifies that you’d be on your own should anything goes wrong with this performance tire.
- Offers superb cornering performance
- Much cheaper than competitors
- Amazing steering response and feedback
- Zero treadwear warranty
#9. Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2 – Best Winter
One of the GMC Serra’s standout features is that it performs reliably in the snow. This light pickup truck’s 4-wheel-drive (4WD) system supplies its wheels with all the power they’d ever need to keep going, regardless of how much snow there is on the road.
Yet, even with a system as powerful as this, the GMC Sierra needs a set of dedicated winter tires to perform reliably in harsh conditions. Enter Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2. This model has what it takes to complement all the winter-specific attributes of the Sierra.
The DM V2’s rubber compound has that unique ability to stay flexible in sub-zero temperatures, helping this tire carrying you from point A to point B on snow-laden roads. Aside from that, its aggressive biting edges will plow through snow and ice to keep the tire rolling.
MultiCell Technology takes snow performance to the next level. It does that by trapping snow particles within the tread area. This is done to stimulate snow-on-snow contact, which, in turn, generates the friction this tire needs to grip the snow-laden road.
The only issue we have with this tire is that the MultiCell structure only covers the upper 55% of the tread depth. As soon as you exhaust half of the original tread area, this model’s snow performance will take a significant though non-fatal hit.
- Has excellent braking power
- Offers superb traction on snow and ice
- Great hydroplaning resistance
MultiCell structure covers only the first 55% of tread depth
Best Tires for GMC Sierra
Touring tires are the best choice for GMC Sierra owners who don’t tow or haul heavy loads. These tires are therefore the ideal option for the average Sierra 1500 owner. Mainly because they are very inexpensive, even models from Michelin and Bridgestone are affordable.
Touring tires also offer excellent road comfort, enhanced fuel economy and low road noise. They are also incredibly long-lasting, as long as you don’t use them on uneven terrains. And finally, the best touring tires come with generous warranties of 70,000 miles or more.
Highway tires are the ideal option for GMC Sierra owners who use this light pickup truck for towing and hauling heavy stuff. These models come with higher load ratings than their touring counterparts, making them the perfect choice for doing heavy-lifting on the highway.
Furthermore, highway tires have much tougher casings than touring tires to minimize the risk of punctures on uneven terrains. These models will work in both dry and wet conditions. That said, their warranties cannot compete with those of touring tires.
If you drive a V8 GMC Sierra, performance tires deserve to be on your list, given how they offer much better high-speed handling and cornering performance than touring or highway tires. Performance tires are made specifically to offer better driving experience at higher speeds.
On the road, these models offer better traction and a much perkier steering response. Their grip is also top-notch, turning into better cornering performance. However, these tires rarely if ever come cheap. Which is a shame once you consider that most of them aren’t backed with warranties.
Although winter tires come in two types, we suggest that you only go studless. Studded winter tires aren’t allowed entry on most public roads in the US. They have much lower tread lives than their studless counterparts and cannot be used anywhere but on heavy snow.
That isn’t the case with studless winter tires. Models like the Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2 are as reliable on snow-laden roads as they are on the highway. They also come with long treadwear warranties (for winter tires) and don’t need you to get a permission letter for their entry on public roads.
Frequently Asked Questions
What tires come standard on GMC Sierra?
Here are the standard tire sizes on various GMC Sierra 1500 trims:
- GMC Sierra Base and SLE : 17-inch wheels with General Grabber HTS
- GMC Sierra Elevation and SLT: 18- or 20-inch wheels with Grabber HTS
- GMC Sierra AT4: 18- or 20-inch wheels with Goodyear Wrangler
- GMC Sierra Denali: 20- or 22-inch wheels with General Grabber HTS 60
How long do GMC Sierra tires last?
As with most light truck tires, most tires that will go on your GMC Sierra will have a lifespan of about five years from the date they were manufactured. In terms of mileage, you can expect GMC Sierra tires to last anywhere between 40,000 and 70,000 miles of highway use.
What tires come on GMC AT4?
The GMC AT4 comes with 18- or 20-inch wheels with Goodyear Wrangler tires. Goodyear Wrangler are all-season, all-terrain tires which deliver superb off-road performance and offer good manners on the road. These tires are also backed with a generous 60,000-mile treadwear warranty.
Make sure to only install premium tires on your GMC Sierra. Cheap or inexpensive tires might cost less up front but will cause more headaches in the long term. In contrast, tires from premium manufacturers will offer long tread lives, excellent road manners and reliable on/off-road performance.