The car industry has many models we see every day and don’t pay much attention to. One such example is the Sonata. This mid-sized sedan has been a solid choice for many people since its release in the 80 and remains relevant today.
Overall, the Sonata isn’t a car that can do a lot, but it’s a car that can do things just right. It is decently spacious, comfortable and can get you a nice mileage, so it covers all the aspects that most people need. Like most cars we have today, it starts off with the lesser powerful models and ends up with something that can be fun to drive if you want to.
This brings me to the tires, which are a crucial aspect of what a car can do. Regardless of how good it is, the performance still gets dictated by the tires. Some lean toward performance, while others are aimed at refinement. This brings me to today’s topic, which you’ve probably guessed by now.
In this list, I’ll be talking about the best tires for a Hyundai Sonata, but like with most models, there are multiple tire sizes available. I’ve chosen the middle of the pack, 17-inch size, which covers the past 3 generations. Also, you will be able to find these tires in the other sizes, so you shouldn’t have any issues. With that said, I would recommend double-checking beforehand.
#1. Michelin CrossClimate 2
The list starts with one of the best all-season grand touring you can find on the market, the CrossClimate 2. Michelin’s latest addition to the lineup brings noticeable improvements over the previous version. With that said, as a premium tire, you should keep in mind that it isn’t the most affordable.
As a grand touring tire, the CrossClimate 2 can deliver marvelous performance in dry conditions, putting it at the top of its class. The tire’s ability to stick to the road well makes it a superb choice for daily driving and will have plenty of headroom, so you won’t be driving on the limit constantly. You can push it, and it won’t struggle too much, as long as you don’t consider it as a performance tire. The biggest tale that it’s not a UHP competitor is the handling. While the tire is responsive, nimble, and easy to control, it doesn’t provide a lot of feedback. It’s not terrible, by any means, but some of its competitors are better.
Driving in wet conditions with the CrossClimate 2 is something that you’ll find very enjoyable. The tire has no issues with grip and traction on damp roads, even if you get a bit enthusiastic. In these cases, it will remain planted and stable, giving you the confidence to push it a bit before it starts to break away. Regardless if you’re looking at acceleration or going around the corner, this is among the best in its class. The tire also has some of the shortest braking distances in the grand touring class. Stability in heavy rain is another big plus, as the tread pattern offers excellent aquaplaning resistance.
Snow performance is another positive side of the CrossClimate 2, and again, it’s among the best. Unlike some of its rivals, this tire won’t struggle as much over packed snow and will have no problem with unpacked one. Yes, it’s not a winter tire and will struggle in harsher conditions. With that said, in the all-season segment, you won’t find many tires that will outperform it drastically.
Grand touring tires are designed to be refined, and the CrossClimate 2 nails that part. The comfort levels are very high, as the tire irons out the minor imperfections and soften up the larger blows. While it does that, it manages to keep the vibrations to an absolute minimum. Noise levels are also very low, and the tire remains very quiet when driving around town. They increase a bit on the highway, but it’s far from terrible and usually gets drowned out by other noises.
When it comes to warranty, Michelin is at a slight disadvantage. The CrossClimate 2 comes with a 50,000-mile treadwear warranty, which is good, but not the best in the grand touring class.
- Grip and traction on snow are excellent
- Superb performance in dry and wet conditions
- High refinement levels
- Not the most affordable option
- Treadwear warranty is average
#2. Continental PureContact LS
Next on the list is another premium grand touring tire, capable of delivering superb performance. The PureContact LS has been a favorite in this class, mainly because it’s one of the best grand touring tires and a bit more affordable than the Michelin model.
Starting off with dry performance, the PureContact LS is a tire that’s more than up for the task. It can deliver very high grip and traction levels, which is more than enough for daily driving. Considering how much performance the tire can offer, it’s not a terrible choice for having some fun on a twisty road. You have the option to push it, and thanks to the very short braking distances, it won’t disappoint. Part of pushing a tire is something that won’t be fun if the handling is terrible, but that’s not the case here. The tire’s responsiveness levels are excellent, so it’s sharp, but unfortunately, the feedback isn’t the most pronounced.
When it comes to wet performance, you’ll be hard pressed to find a tire that can outperform the PureContact LS. The tire’s biting force from the sipes enables it to deliver very high levels of grip and traction on damp roads, more than enough for everyday use or even if you want to have some fun. Included in the package are also some very short braking distances, which are among the top in the grand touring class. Continental’s tread design does an excellent job evacuating water, so you get a tire with excellent aquaplaning resistance.
All-season means you’re getting some snow performance, which is what the PureContact LS can deliver. The traction levels are good in lighter conditions, so it won’t be completely useless. Even packed snow won’t be a massive issue, but the tire will begin to struggle a bit more in those conditions. Going for the harsher stuff, you shouldn’t expect any usable performance, as the tire isn’t designed for that.
The refinement is an area where the PureContact LS does an excellent job, so it’s among the best. You’re looking at one of the most comfortable tires in this class, capable of smoothing out road imperfections and softening up larger potholes. The same goes for the excellent noise levels. Regardless of the speeds you’re driving at, the tire remains very quiet, and most of the other noises you’ll hear in your car are louder.
One area where it does a lot better than its Michelin competitor is the warranty. The PureContact LS comes with a 70,000-mile treadwear warranty, which isn’t the most you can get, but it’s still pretty good.
- Responsive levels are very good for a touring tire
- Wet performance is superb
- Excellent refinement levels
- Some models offer a longer treadwear warranty
- Will struggle in harsher snow conditions
#3. Bridgestone Turanza QuietTrack
Looking at the premium options, there is one that often gets crowned as the quietest tire on the market. Bridgestone is known for this feature, and the Turanza QuietTrack has low noise levels and excellent performance in all conditions.
Most grand touring tires deliver excellent performance in dry conditions, and the Turanza QuietTrack is no exception. The tire can deliver everything you’d need for daily driving and more, so you won’t be caught wanting for more. With that said, the levels of grip aren’t as high as something from the Potenza lineup, so if you push it too much, you will get some understeer. Handling is also pretty good for a touring tire. There’s a decent amount of responsiveness and feedback, which enthusiasts won’t be overly happy about. At the end of the day, the tire does well in this regard, considering its category.
Even though the Turanza QuietTrack is a good tire in wet conditions, there is an area where it doesn’t do so well. The performance in damp conditions is excellent, and the grip and traction levels are more than enough to keep the tire in check. Thanks to the superb aquaplaning resistance, you’re also getting a stable tire, so far, so good. The area where the tire disappoints a bit is the braking distances. They are short, but in the premium segment, there are better performers.
When it comes to snow, the Turanza QuietTrack does decently well, considering that it’s an all-season tire. You’re getting usable performance in lighter conditions, and as long as you’re not overly aggressive, it will be safe. Packed snow can be slightly more problematic, but it can get the job done. In harsher conditions, the performance won’t be very usable, at which point a proper winter tire is required.
Refinement is the star of the show, and the Turanza QuietTrack is one of the best there is. The tire is one of the quietest grand touring tires on the market, regardless of the speed or type of surface you’re driving on. Worst case scenario, there may be a faint roar over rougher roads, but it’s very well muted. The same goes for the comfort levels, which are among the highest in this class. Smaller imperfections are ironed out almost completely, and with larger potholes, you won’t feel a jolt or any vibrations in the cabin.
In the warranty department, the Turanza QuietTrack is near the top of the grand touring segment. The tire comes with an 80,000-mile treadwear warranty, which is more than what the previous two tires had on offer.
- The quietest tire in the category
- Grip and traction levels are excellent
- Usable in lighter snow conditions
- Wet braking distances are a bit longer than the best in class
- A premium tire with a premium price tag
#4. Kumho Solus TA71
What if you’re looking for something more affordable from the mid-range segment? Then the Solus TA71 can be a solid option. The tire may not be on the same levels as its premium counterparts, but the price-per-performance ratio is excellent.
In dry conditions, the Solus TA71 can deliver excellent performance for daily driving scenarios. You won’t get a tire that sticks to the road as good as some of the premium options, but considering that the Sonata isn’t the world’s most powerful car, this one will cover your needs. The tire will be stable and planted, and you won’t have any issues as long as you’re not overdoing it. For daily driving scenarios, the handling is pretty good. It’s easy to control and is decently responsive for a grand touring tire. You won’t get too much feedback, but that’s not what the tire’s designed for.
In rainy conditions, the Solus TA71 continues to offer dependable performance, which ranks high in the mid-range segment. Damp roads won’t be a massive issue, and even though the tire can struggle, you’ll need to be aggressive for that. You’re looking at similarly positive performance in heavy rain conditions, where the tire delivers excellent aquaplaning resistance. With that said, you should keep in mind that it’s a mid-range grand touring tire, so it’s not a tire you should drive on the limit.
As an all-season tire, the Solus TA71 can offer a bit of performance, but not one that you should completely rely on. The tire has decent traction in light and unpacked snow and handles decently, and grip in the corners. Despite that, it’s not a winter tire, so you’ll need to be more careful when compared with driving in dry and wet. In harsher conditions, like deep snow, the tire will struggle a lot while it’s unusable on ice.
Looking at the refinement levels, the Solus TA71 does very well as a grand touring tire. The noise levels are pretty low, and you won’t hear too much, even at higher speeds. Over rougher roads, the tire will produce a slightly louder roar, but it’s not terrible. In the comfort department, it also delivers excellent results. I wouldn’t say that it’s as good as the premium models, but it does well with smoothing out the road and absorbing bumps, and minimizing jolts.
Considering that it’s mid-range and more affordable, the Solus TA71 isn’t the worst choice regarding warranty. Kumho offers the tire with a 60,000-mile treadwear warranty, which is the same as the CrossClimate2, which is more expensive.
- Excellent performance in dry and wet conditions
- Decent responsiveness
- Usable in light snow
- Steering feedback is a bit numb
- Unusable in icy conditions
#5. General AltiMAX RT43
Among the most affordable options, you can find for a Camaro SS is the Ecsta PS91. You may think that there would be a lot of compromises, but that’s not the case. The main reason I chose this tire is that it’s very close to the premium models but costs almost half the price in some cases.
In many ways, the Ecsta PS91 is a tire that reminds me of the Pirelli model I mentioned, especially in dry conditions. The tire delivers some very high grip and traction levels which are more than up to the task of daily driving your Camaro SS. With that said, it also has no issues getting pushed, so there’s plenty in there to enable you to have fun on a twisty road. Part of that process is the tire’s excellent handling characteristics. The tire’s responsiveness may not be the absolute best, but it’s up there with the best, just as is the feedback you’ll be getting through the steering wheel. One thing I like about the Kumho model when compared with the Pirelli tire is that it doesn’t seem to fade as quickly.
The wet performance is one area where the Ecsta PS91 doesn’t do so well. I wouldn’t classify it as horrible, but you can start to see the compromises you’ll need to make with a tire from the mid-range class. The tire is excellent for daily driving, and if you don’t push it, you probably won’t notice a difference between it and some premium counterparts. In some more aggressive situations, the tire will begin to fall back, and you’ll notice a slight drop in performance when compared with its premium rivals. The biggest tell that this is a mid-range tire is the braking distances which are good but fall slightly behind some of the premium competitors.
Another tell that we’re talking about a mid-range tire is the refinement. The Ecsta PS91 isn’t terrible, but the ride quality is the area it takes a slight hit. In terms of comfort levels, it’s passable, but the ride is a bit stiffer. The tire also doesn’t deal with vibrations too well, and you’ll notice a jolt when you hit a larger pothole. It’s the same story with the noise levels, but not in every situation. The tire is fairly quiet over smooth roads, but the road increases noticeably over rougher ones.
- High levels of grip and traction for a mid-range tire
- Refinement is excellent
- Long treadwear warranty
- Winter performance is average
- Not a lot of feedback through the steering wheel
#6. Continental VikingContact 7
So far, I’ve talked about tires with usable performance in winter, and the next few will be the ones for maximum winter attack. I’m starting with the VikingContact 7, a premium tire that won’t disappoint in almost any condition.
In dry conditions, the VikingContact 7 is a tire that can offer some of the highest levels of grip and traction. For everyday driving, the tire’s ability to stick to the road is excellent, leaving you plenty of headroom even to push it a bit. With that performance, you’re also getting very short braking distances, putting it near the top of its class. Despite not being a performance tire, you are still looking at some decent handling characteristics. There’s a good amount of responsiveness with decent feedback, so it won’t feel detached from the road.
Continental is known for making excellent wet performers, and the VikingContact 7 is among the best in the winter class. The grip and traction levels on damp roads are excellent, and the tire won’t struggle to accelerate or go around a corner. Yes, you can push it, but since it’s not performance-oriented, you should keep in mind that the limits aren’t as high. With that, you’re also getting excellent aquaplaning resistance, so stability also isn’t an issue. A slight disappointment is the braking distances. While they are short, they aren’t the shortest in this class.
The VikingContact 7 is designed for snow conditions and does that as best as it can. In this category, you are looking at the best performer, which doesn’t have any issues with grip or traction in any kind of shallow snow. The tire is also a very capable performer in deep snow, and even though you can get it to slip, it will be perfectly fine in normal conditions. Despite not being a studdable tire, you’re looking at very good ice performance, something that some of its rivals don’t do so well.
As good as the performance is, the refinement isn’t the best in this class. The VikingContact 7 can deliver good comfort levels and will do a decent job at smoothing out road imperfections. On the other hand, it will struggle with some harsher roads and may feel a bit bouncy. Winter tires are known for being noisy, and this one is no exception. On smooth roads, things are good, and the tire doesn’t produce a lot of noise. Rougher roads are a problem, as the tire’s roar is noticeably higher.
- Superior snow performance
- Excellent for dry and wet driving
- Well behaved with decent handling manners
- Braking distances on wet are a bit longer
- Refinement isn’t the best in this category
#7. Bridgestone Blizzak WS90
The Blizzak WS90 is a tire that’s in the same category as the previous one, so you’re looking at premium-like performance in winter conditions. In many ways, both tires seem very similar, so we are looking at similar performance.
Dry is an area where the Blizzak WS90 doesn’t disappoint. In daily driving scenarios, the grip and traction levels are phenomenal, eliminating slip or understeer. The tire’s performance is good, so you can even push it a bit without feeling like you’re not in control. You’re also looking at very short braking distances, which are near the top of the premium class. Handling is more or less similar to the Continental tire. It isn’t as soft as some of its rivals, so you’re getting a well-responsive winter tire with a good amount of feedback.
Rainy conditions are something that Blizzak WS90 won’t have any problems with. There’s plenty of performance, making it a “sticky” tire in these conditions. The grip and traction levels are high, and the tire won’t struggle even if you decide to push it a bit. With that performance, you also get excellent stopping power and some of the shortest braking distances. Even in harsher conditions, the tire’s ability to remain stable is excellent, which is thanks to the great aquaplaning resistance.
Winter tires are designed to deliver the best performance in snow conditions, and the Blizzak WS90 doesn’t disappoint. It handles shallow snow like a champ, and you won’t notice it slipping as long as you’re not too aggressive. Packed snow is also not an issue, and the tire can even deliver good traction in deep snow. The biggest surprise is the ice performance, which may not be as good as a studdable tire, but it’s pretty usable.
Like with the VikingContact 7, the Blizzak WS90 is a tire that takes a hit in the refinement department. The comfort is a bit of a mixed bag, depending on the road. On softer roads, the tire does good and irons out smaller imperfections. Bad roads are something that the tire doesn’t handle too well and can feel a bit bouncy at times. While it will be able to soften the large blows, it won’t do too well in terms of eliminating vibrations. Noise levels are not its strongest side as well. It does well on smooth roads and doesn’t make a lot of noise. They increase a bit at higher speeds and a bit more on bad roads.
- Excellent snow performer
- Usable traction on ice
- Plenty of performance in dry and wet conditions
- Comfort and noise levels aren’t the best in class
- There are some a bit more affordable options
#8. Cooper Evolution Winter
The last winter tire I’ll mention is a studdable one, and it’s from the mid-range segment. The Evolution Winter is a tire that blends performance and affordability, but the studs are what make it one of the best options for your Sonata.
Performance in dry conditions is good but not premium-like. The Evolution Winter does a pretty good job at being planted, and that grip and traction will be more than enough for normal driving. You can push it a bit, but don’t expect it to be as good as something from the Pilot Alpin lineup. Handling is another area where it shows that it’s not a performance tire. For most people, the dynamics will be fine, but enthusiasts won’t like the softness and lack of feedback.
Surprisingly, the Evolution Winter does very well in rainy conditions and is much closer to the premium competitors. Normal driving is what it does marvelously, thanks to the high levels of grip and traction. The levels are high enough to keep you planted, and while you can push it a bit, I wouldn’t recommend doing that too often. Luckily, if you get carried away, the short braking distances will keep things in control. Another controllable aspect of the tire is the stability in heavy rain. The aquaplaning resistance is excellent, and you won’t notice the tire getting twitchy even at higher speeds.
Snow and ice are the best sides of the Evolution Winter and are very high on my list of performers. Driving in snowy conditions without the studs is no problem for the tire. It can deliver high levels of grip and traction regardless if you’re driving on packed or unpacked snow. Slush or deep snow are also areas where the tire does very well, and the braking distances are very short. On the ice, it may not be as good as its premium counterparts, but with the studs on, it’s one of the best options you’ll find on the market.
In the refinement department, the Evolution Winter is not the worst choice available but also not the best. The noise levels are decently low at slower speeds around town, but you will notice them when driving on the highway. Comfort is not terrible, but there are some situations where it’s not as ideal as you may think. For the most part, the tire will smooth out road imperfections and soften up large potholes well. The thing worth mentioning is that on broken-up roads, the tire gets a bit bouncy.
- Superb winter performance even without the studs
- Braking distances are short
- Excellent daily driving option
- Feels a bit bouncy on rougher roads
- Noise levels increase a bit at higher speeds
#9. Kumho Ecsta PA51
The last two tires will be UHP all-season ones, and I’m starting with the mid-range one – the Ecsta PA51. Kumho made a tire that ticks all the right boxes for a performance-oriented tire if you have some of the more powerful Sonata variants.
Dry performance with the Ecsta PA51 is something that won’t disappoint most people. The grip and traction levels are pretty high, and unless you’re planning on taking your car on a track, you won’t have an issue with it being a mid-range tire. One area where I would have liked to see the tire perform a bit better is the braking distances. They are short, but not the shortest ones in its class. As far as handling is concerned, the tire does a good job. It’s very responsive, and you won’t be left without any feedback from the front end.
In wet conditions, the Ecsta PA51 continues to offer very high-performance levels. You’re getting very high grip and traction levels, preventing the tire from slipping on damp roads. This means you can push the tire a lot before it starts to let go. A similar story is with the braking distances in dry conditions – they are short but not the shortest in its class. The good news is that the tire’s handling characteristics don’t change too much, so it’s easy to control at the limit.
As an all-season tire, the Ecsta PA51 won’t offer the same performance levels as the previous 3 models I mentioned. It’s usable in lighter conditions, but there’s a problem. The tire has surprisingly good traction in shallow snow and doesn’t struggle too much. On the other hand, the grip in the corners doesn’t match, and you will need to be a bit more careful because the braking distances also aren’t the shortest.
Comfort and noise levels are a different story, each one with a different ending. The noise levels are pretty good for a UHP tire. It’s not comparable to a touring one, but it will be fine around town and even acceptably quiet on the highway. The comfort levels, on the other hand, aren’t the best. You’ll notice the tire won’t absorb bumps too well, so it will feel a bit on the harsher side.
UHP all-season tires come with a warranty, and the Ecsta PA51 is no exception. There’s a 45,000-mile treadwear warranty, which is as much as some of the premium models offer.
- The price per performance ratio is excellent
- Dynamic handling
- Very good traction on snow
- Braking distances fall behind the best in class
- The tire will feel a bit harsh
#10. Michelin Pilot Sport All-Season 4
I’m ending the list with a bang and a tire that some may seem like it’s an overkill for a Sonata. To be honest, it may be, but if budget isn’t your primary concern, the Pilot Sport All-Season 4 could be an excellent choice for you.
Premium UHP tires are among the best, and that’s the case with the Pilot Sport All-Season 4. The tire’s grip and traction levels in dry conditions are very high, so even in more aggressive scenarios, the tire will deliver more than you’ll ever need. The best part is that the tire’s handling characteristics are pretty good, giving you plenty of responsiveness and feedback. As long as you’re not on the limit, the tire’s character remains neutral, and if you overdo it, you can expect your Sonata to start understeering a lot. One thing to note is that there are some more responsive tires in this class, something which you’ll probably not need.
Once it starts raining, the Pilot Sport All-Season 4 continues to deliver the same positive performance it did in dry conditions. There’s more than enough grip and traction for normal driving or having a bit of fun. Combine that with the dynamic handling, and you’re getting the same recipe as before. Safety and stability are another big plus of this tire, which puts it on top. You’re getting some of the shortest braking distances in this category and excellent aquaplaning resistance.
As you can guess from the name, the Pilot Sport All-Season 4 is a tire that can deliver some performance in winter conditions. For this application, you’ll be getting some usable traction and grip in shallow snow, which should be fine for some lighter winters. In harsher conditions, the tire will begin to struggle, at which point you’ll need to think about getting a proper winter tire.
Performance tires aren’t the best option for refinement, so you shouldn’t expect the Pilot Sport All-Season 4 to be the best in this regard. The tire’s comfort levels are acceptable but not too great. There is some harshness to the tire, especially with the larger bumps and potholes. Noise levels also aren’t the best. At slower speeds, they are good enough so that they’re not overly intrusive, but on the highway, you’ll hear more of the tire.
Even though we’re looking at a premium tire, the Pilot Sport All-Season 4 isn’t the best in terms of the warranty. You’re getting the same treadwear warranty as the previous mid-range tire, which isn’t the best in this segment.
- Usable in light snow
- Superb performance on dry and wet roads
- Very good responsiveness and plenty of feedback
- Above average refinement
- Among the more expensive options in this class