Toyota is a brand that often gets associated with reliability, so it’s no wonder it manages to be on top in terms of “popularity.” Since the 60, this company has been selling the Corolla, which at that time came as a change considering the popular choices the US market had.
The success story of the Corolla spans for decades, reaching a point where last year, Toyota sold its 50th million “Little Crown,” outperforming Volkswagen’s Beetle. This is a true testament to how many cars have been sold throughout history and how popular this car is. But enough with the history lesson, we’re here to talk about tires, specifically tires for a Corolla.
Corollas may be reliable and last a long time, but that’s not the case with the tires. As you know, tires need to be replaced as the tread wears down or after 4-5 years, so if you’re in this predicament, then I’ll help you out.
The biggest struggle with choosing which models to include is the sizes. The latest generation Corolla comes in sizes from 15 to 18 inches, and not all models cover this range, so I had to improvise. I went with the middle ground – the 16-inch tires, which I believe are the most commonly purchased models of the latest generation. With that said, this is an overlap of the previous generation as well, so you can benefit from that.
Finally, most of these tires will have a model in the 17-inch range, meaning you should double-check before making a purchase. Also, since I’m not covering the GR Corolla, the tire choices will be more road-oriented, as the regular Corolla isn’t exactly a track weapon.
I’m kicking off the list strong with a premium model from the French manufacturer. The Primacy 4 is the latest addition to Michelin’s lineup, offering some improvements over the previous version and is a good option grand touring option.
The Corolla is a daily commuter, and the Primacy 4 can deliver on the performance the car would need. You’ll get plenty of grip and traction for driving around town or on the highway, and thanks to the short braking distances, you’re looking at a dependable tire. As high as the performance levels are, this is not a tire that will win awards with enthusiasts. While you can have some fun with it, the biggest drawback will be the handling which isn’t the most dynamic in this category.
When it comes to wet performance, the Primacy 4 won’t disappoint. The traction on damp roads is excellent, and there’s almost no slip, while the grip levels will keep the car planted and give you a confident feel. Like in dry conditions, you’re getting short braking distances, meaning the tire will be safe even in extreme situations. In harsher conditions, the tire’s tread pattern manages to deliver excellent aquaplaning resistance, making it very stable even when driving on the highway.
Refinement is an area where the Primacy 4 isn’t the best. The comfort levels are decent and will smooth out a good amount of bumps and minimize but not eliminate vibrations. Noise, on the other hand, isn’t as impressive, as the tire roars a bit more, especially on rougher surfaces or at higher speeds.
- Good comfort levels
- Short braking distances
- Excellent performance in dry and wet conditions
- Noise levels aren’t the lowest in this class
- Not the most dynamically inclined handling characteristics
#2. Bridgestone Turanza T005
As a direct competitor of the Michelin tire is the Turanza T005 from Bridgestone. Like its rival, this is a grand touring tire that may not do everything right, but it can be a very good option for your Corolla.
The performance in dry conditions is excellent and even slightly better than the Primacy 4. It can put the power down with ease and eliminate slip in almost any conditions. You can even get a bit more aggressive, but the tire won’t break a sweat. Surprisingly, the tire even manages to handle pretty well, and while it’s not on the same level as something from the Potenza lineup, it’s not bad. While it’s a bit behind the PremiumContact 6, I’d say it handles better than the Primacy 4.
Wet performance is something that the Turanza T005 does well, but not the best. The grip and traction levels are superb for daily driving, and the tire feels planted even at the limit. It isn’t the best in the grand touring class, but it does pretty well and is very close to the top. The braking distances aren’t the shortest but still remain very safe and are just a tad behind the Primacy 4. As for the aquaplaning resistance, the tire shines, especially in the corners, remaining planted and stable.
Refinement isn’t an area where the Turanza T005 will deliver some impressive results. In terms of comfort, it does decently well when it comes to softening up bumps but is far from the best in this class. The same goes for the noise levels, as it’s more or less similar to the Michelin model, so it won’t win you over with how quiet it is.
- Excellent aquaplaning resistance
- Grip and traction levels are superb
- Well responsive
- Not the most refined option on the market
- A bit behind its rivals in wet braking
#3. Michelin X-Ice Xi3
On the opposite side of the weather spectrum, we have the first of two tires that are excellent for winter performance, and it’s the X-Ice Xi3 from Michelin. Like most of the tires on this list, it’s not perfect, but it gets the important things right, like winter performance.
The biggest downside of the X-Ice Xi3 is the dry performance. Sure, the tire does decently well as far as grip and traction levels are concerned, but it’s not superior. It does a good job for everyday driving, as long as you’re aware that the performance levels aren’t the highest. The same goes for the braking distances, which despite being short, aren’t the shortest in this class. For handling, it’s decent considering that it’s a winter tire. There’s some responsiveness to it, but you won’t get tons of feedback through the steering wheel.
In wet conditions, the performance is much better, almost to a point where you’d think you’re driving a different tire. The sipes and rubber compound are doing an excellent job at delivering high levels of grip and traction. These two are also the main reasons behind the tire’s short braking distances. Finally, the aquaplaning resistance is superb, enabling the tire to remain stable when driving in deeper water patches.
As a winter tire, the performance you’ll get in snowy conditions is excellent. The tire’s tread design does an excellent job at biting into snow, so you won’t feel it struggling even over packed one. Considering the name, you may be expecting good performance on ice, and you’ll have it. It’s not on the same level as a studdable tire, but in this category, the tire is near the top.
Winter tires are considered to be well-refined ones, especially in terms of comfort, and the X-Ice Xi3 is no exception. The softer nature of the tire enables it to soften up blows and deliver a comfortable ride. You will notice a slight jolt and a bit of vibration, but nothing too harsh. Noise levels, on the other hand, aren’t the lowest in class, so you should be prepared for that. It’s not too loud, but you will notice it slightly at higher speeds and a bit more over rougher roads.
Michelin often falls back in terms of warranty, but not with the X-Ice Xi3. The tire comes with a 40,000-mile treadwear warranty, which is excellent, considering that its rivals don’t have one.
- Superb snow performance
- Very stable when driving in heavy rain
- Treadwear warranty is available
- Dry performance falls behind its main rivals
- Noise levels aren’t the lowest, especially at slightly higher temperatures
#4. Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3
You were probably expecting something from Continental’s lineup, but I went with a mid-range one – the Hakkapeliitta R3. Nokian managed to make an excellent winter tire to a point where it can compete with the premium options.
Like the previous tire, the Hakkapeliitta R3 isn’t overly impressive in dry conditions. Yes, the tire delivers a good amount of grip and traction, so it won’t struggle even when you get a bit carried away. With that said, one thing to keep in mind is that the braking distances aren’t the shortest in this class. While they are safe, there are better tires in this regard, even in the mid-range segment. As for the handling, the tire feels planted and easy to control, but it’s a winter tire, so the responsiveness isn’t superior.
Driving in wet conditions is something that the Hakkapeliitta R3 can do easily, so we have a déjà vu from the previous section. The tire delivers very good performance in damp conditions, putting it near the top of the mid-range class. It’s planted and won’t give you too much trouble when approaching the limits. With this tire, you’re getting very short braking distances, which are very close to the premium competitors. On the other hand, the aquaplaning resistance is good but not very competitive with the expensive rivals.
Snow performance with the Hakkapeliitta R3 is good for daily driving but not industry-leading. Even though the traction levels aren’t the best, they are still very much usable, leaving you plenty of breathing room. As for handling and braking distances, you are looking at above-average results. Yes, the tire does very well, but its premium rivals are slightly better. Ice traction, on the other hand, is among the best in this class. With this, you’re getting some decent handling characteristics and very safe braking distances.
The area where the previous tire falls short is where the Hakkapeliitta R3 does very well. Comfort is something the tire does very well, smoothing out road imperfections and softening up large potholes. The biggest surprise is in terms of noise levels. Winter tires aren’t the quietest, but this one is among the quitter ones, regardless of the speeds you’re driving at.
- Well refined
- Excellent performance for daily driving
- Among the best for driving on ice
- Average braking distances in wet conditions
- Performance in dry conditions is decent but not the best
#5. Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 Plus
Even though the Corolla may not be as refined as a premium sedan, you may want to fit a well-refined tire, which is where the Ecopia EP422 Plus comes into play. It’s not the most expensive option, but it’s well refined, and the performance is excellent.
Within its class, the Ecopia EP422 Plus delivers excellent performance. The grip and traction levels are high enough to prevent any slip when accelerating or understeering in the corners, making it perfect for everyday driving. With that said, it’s not a performance tire, so don’t expect it to perform as such. You can push it a bit, but it won’t be a very satisfying experience. In addition to that, the handling isn’t the most dynamic one.
The tire continues to deliver good results in less than ideal conditions like rain. Damp surfaces won’t be a massive issue, as the sipes help the tire with grip and traction, which are excellent for normal driving. There is some option to push it a bit, but don’t expect it to be as good as a performance model. Safety is an area where it doesn’t disappoint, thanks to the short braking distances and excellent aquaplaning resistance.
As an all-season tire, the Ecopia EP422 Plus is usable in snowy conditions, which is what you should expect. The traction levels over shallow and unpaced snow are decent and usable. With that said, it will begin to struggle over packed snow or especially in a deep one.
When it comes to refinement, the Ecopia EP422 Plus is among the best in the grand touring segment. The tire does an excellent job at providing a plush ride, absorbing bumps, and minimizing vibrations from larger potholes. You’re also getting a very quiet tire, putting it very close to my favorite – the Turanza QuietTrack. It’s very quiet around town, and on the highway, you’ll only hear a bit of a hum.
As for the warranty, the Ecopia EP422 Plus is pretty good and close to the top. The 70,000-mile treadwear warranty puts it on the same level as its main rivals, Continental and Michelin.
- The aquaplaning resistance is excellent
- Superior dry performance
- Comfort and noise levels are marvelous
- Not the best option for driving in snowy conditions
- Responsiveness and feedback levels are behind some of its competitors
#6. Goodyear Assurance MaxLife
A long-lasting car goes well with a long-lasting tire, which is where the Assurance MaxLife comes into play. The tire isn’t a performer that can win any awards, but it makes that up with having a long treadwear warranty and decent performance for daily driving.
In daily driving situations on dry roads, the Assurance MaxLife is a tire that will deliver very good performance. The Corolla isn’t overly powerful, so slip during acceleration will be limited, and in the corners, it won’t struggle to hold the line and start to understeer. In both cases, you can upset it to start sliding, but it takes some effort to do so. While this sounds good for daily driving, this isn’t a tire you can push hard. While the performance levels are excellent, the handling is the area where it falls short. The responsiveness levels aren’t terrible, but the feedback through the steering wheel is almost nonexistent.
Wet performance is something that the Assurance MaxLife does pretty well and won’t disappoint. The traction levels are pretty good, and the tire eliminates slip without too many problems. One area where it seems to do much better is in the corners. You’re getting pretty high grip levels, so you can go around a corner faster than you’d think. Even though you probably won’t be pushing it to the max, the tire is controllable and easy to handle at the limit. Speaking of control, the aquaplaning resistance is excellent, and the tire’s stability remains superb.
When it comes to winter, the Assurance MaxLife is a tire that can offer passable performance, so it’s not an ideal option for the harshest winters. The most you can get is some traction and grip in lighter snow conditions, and as long as it’s unpacked, you should be fine. You’ll notice it struggling a bit more over packed snow, but that’s also passable. Surprisingly, the tire does acceptably well over ice, but cautious driving is recommended.
The driving performance is good, but the refinement isn’t surprisingly good despite being a touring tire. You have average comfort levels, so you can expect some slight harshness. It’s not horrible and still does what a touring tire should do, but not with the best comfort in class. The noise levels, on the other hand, are a bit better, and it won’t be the loudest tire on the market. With that said, it’s not the Turanza QuietTrack, so you can expect to hear a bit more, especially at higher speeds.
Finally, the Assurance MaxLife is a tire with one of the longest treadwear in the industry. Sure, some models have more, but an 85,000-mile treadwear warranty is no joke, so you can expect it to be long-lasting.
- Easy to control at the limit
- Plenty of performance for dry and wet driving
- Refinement isn’t the best
- Average driving dynamics
#7. Cooper CS5 Grand Touring
Next up, we’re going with something a bit more affordable from the mid-range segment. Cooper’s CS5 Grand Touring is a model that balances performance and price very well, which is why I include it on this list.
For daily driving situations, the CS5 Grand Touring is a tire that can deliver very good performance levels, more than what you’d need for a Corolla. As long as you’re not overly aggressive, you won’t notice it slip when accelerating and will have no problems in the corners. While it’s an excellent performer, you should keep in mind that it’s not on the same level as something from the premium segment. Handling is another area where the tire offers average performance. You can expect good responsiveness for daily driving but won’t be nearly as sharp for pushing it hard down a twisty road. Also, you will often struggle to feel some feedback to know what the tires are doing.
In wet conditions, the CS5 Grand Touring also offers some very impressive results, considering that it’s a budget-minded tire. You can get a pretty good grip and traction levels on damp roads, and as long as you’re not flooring it, the tire will be fine. The same goes for the aquaplaning resistance in heavy rain conditions. Again, you shouldn’t expect premium-like performance in this segment, but the tire does pretty well and comes very close. Essentially, you’re getting a stable and well-behaved tire in these conditions.
You’d expect an all-season tire to perform well in winter, and the CS5 Grand Touring does that up to a point. The tire won’t struggle too much with performance in lighter conditions, as long as we’re talking about shallow and unpacked snow. Driving over packed snow is a bit more problematic as the tire will struggle more, just as it will in deeper snow. Finally, it’s an all-season tire, so the performance on ice is almost unusable.
Surprisingly, the CS5 Grand Touring is a well-refined tire to a point where I’ll say it’s better than the CS5 Ultra Touring. On the comfort side of things, you’re getting a tire that can do a lot in terms of smoothing out road irregularities. It will also soften up the blows from larger holes and keep the cabin with only a minimal amount of vibrations. The noise levels are also a big plus for the tire, as they are near the top in the mid-range category. At slower speeds around town, the tire is very quiet, and the noise increases a bit at highway speeds but still remains on the lower end of the spectrum.
The warranty is an area where the CS5 Grand Touring is impressive. Cooper sells the tire with an 80,000-mile treadwear warranty, which is on the same level as some of the premium models on the market.
- Long treadwear warranty
- Plenty of performance for daily driving
- Refinement is excellent
- Performance in snow isn’t the best in class
- Handling is average
#8. Hankook Kinergy GT
As a direct competitor of the previous tire, the last all-season grand touring tire I’ll be talking about is the Kinergy GT. Like before, this is a cost-friendly option that can deliver dependable performance, so you won’t have too many compromises to make.
In daily driving scenarios, the Kinergy GT can offer excellent performance, something which will be more than enough for a Corolla. There’s no slip when accelerating, and the tire holds the line in the corners very well. Yes, you can get it to slide, but most drivers probably won’t experience that. Speaking of sliding, this is not a tire that can be pushed despite the high levels of grip and traction. Most grand touring tires aren’t, but the premium models can handle a bit more. Like with most tires from this class, you won’t be getting the most responsive tire, not the most pronounced feedback.
Wet is another area where the Kinergy GT can provide some very decent results. Sure, it may not be the best in this class, but it’s more than up to the task in damp conditions. The traction and grip levels are near the top of the mid-range class, and unless you’re flooring it, the tire won’t struggle. Safety is a crucial aspect of the tire, and they are very short, putting it in the premium realm. The same goes for the aquaplaning resistance, which enables the tire to be driven in heavy rain without too many issues.
The weakest part of the Kinergy GT is the performance it has in snow. Even in the lightest conditions, the tire will struggle, so you’ll need to drive carefully. It’s not as bad as a summer tire, but when compared with other tires from this segment, it doesn’t do so well. The best you’d be able to get is passable traction in shallow and unpacked snow while going for anything more than that will result in some poor performance.
In the refinement department, the Kinergy GT does pretty well, considering that it’s a mid-range tire. You’ll be getting very low noise levels, putting it near the top of its class. The noise around town is very low and increases slightly at highway speeds. Rougher roads are worse, and you’ll hear more noise there. Comfort is also an excellent aspect, and you can expect a relatively plush ride. The tire does a very good job of smoothing out smaller bumps and imperfections. It won’t do wonders with the larger potholes as the tire will unsettle a bit. The good thing is that it manages to eliminate most of the vibrations from getting to the cabin.
As a mid-range tire, the Kinergy GT is right in the middle as far as warranty is concerned. The tire’s 70,000-mile treadwear warranty puts it between some Michelin and Continental models, which is a positive side of any mid-range tire.
- Well refined
- Plenty of performance in dry and wet conditions
- Cheaper than the premium models
- Not very usable in snow
- Average handling, like most touring tires
#9. Cooper Zeon RS3-G1
The last set of tires I’ll be mentioning are all-season UHP tires, and the first one is the Zeon RS3-G1. It’s a Cooper tire, so you can expect to have a good balance between price and performance.
As a performance tire, the Zeon RS3-G1 is an excellent performer that won’t leave you wanting for more. The grip and traction levels are very high and more than up to the task to keep the tire performing well and keep it planted. It’s excellent for daily driving and well suited for pushing it on a twisty road or even on a track. The tire sticks well and won’t slip even in the more aggressive scenarios. With this model, you have a well-performing tire paired with dynamic handling characteristics. It’s very responsive and will provide you with a good amount of feedback.
In rainy conditions, the Zeon RS3-G1 continues to provide some very good performance. There’s plenty of traction for acceleration without slipping, and it’s the same story in the corners. It’s not the best in this regard, and the grip levels aren’t the highest. The good thing about this is that the handling is progressive, and you’ll notice when the tire begins to lose grip. Another very positive area of the tire is the aquaplaning resistance, keeping the tire planted even at higher speeds. One area where it falls short is the braking distances, which are good, but not the shortest in this category.
Winter performance is not something that will wow. The Zeon RS3-G1 offers usable grip and traction levels in lighter conditions but still won’t be as good as a winter tire or even some of the premium touring ones. In these conditions, it’s only usable as long as you’re aware of the tire’s limitations, but you should keep things civilized. For the harsher conditions, the tire is unusable, so if you need that kind of performance, you’ll need a proper winter tire.
As far as warranty is concerned, the Zeon RS3-G1 is excellent, especially when you consider that it’s on the same level as its premium competitors. Cooper offers the tire with a 45,000-mile treadwear warranty, so it’s pretty good.
- Excellent performance
- Great balance between price and performance
- Wet braking distances are a bit behind its competitors
- Performance in winter is limited
#10. Kumho Ecsta PA51
Going for something even more affordable is the Ecsta PA51, which is even more affordable than the previous model. Naturally, the performance won’t be on the same level, but you will be saving a few bucks, so it may be worth it for some people.
Like before, the performance you’ll get is excellent, and the Ecsta PA51 won’t disappoint. It has high levels of grip and traction, much more than you’d need for daily driving your Corolla. This means you can push it and have some fun on a twisty road or maybe even a track unless you’re after the fastest times. In terms of handling, the tire does pretty well. The responsiveness levels are excellent, and there’s a good amount of traction. A slight downside is that you’ll be sacrificing a bit of the braking distances, which are short and safe but are behind its competitors.
Rain is another area where the Ecsta PA51 will deliver some very good results. On damp surfaces, the grip and traction levels are excellent and won’t slip at all in normal driving conditions. You can push it a lot before that happens, so the performance is there, and once it breaks traction, you can control it easily. The tread pattern does an excellent job at keeping the tire stable in heavy rain, so you won’t have any issues there as well. Like on dry roads, you are looking at short braking distances, which are still behind some of its rivals.
Driving on snow is where the Ecsta PA51 feels like it has a dual personality. Traction for accelerating in lighter conditions is excellent, and the tire almost feels like it doesn’t struggle. With that said, the grip levels aren’t phenomenal, and the tire begins to struggle. Another issue for the tire is the average braking distances for this category.
The dual personality continues in the refinement area. Kumho made the Ecsta PA51 as a performance tire, so the comfort levels aren’t impressive. It can feel harsh, especially over bad roads, and you should also expect some vibrations. Surprisingly, the noise levels are excellent for a UHP tire. It’s fairly quiet even at higher speeds, and the most you’ll hear is the tire’s roar over bad roads, which isn’t too bad.
Similar to the previous model, you have a mid-range tire with a premium-like warranty. The Ecsta PA51 comes with a 45,000-mile treadwear warranty, which is on par with Michelin and a bit behind Continental.
- An excellent performer for the price
- Handling is excellent
- Plenty of traction in light snow
- Average braking distances
- Comfort levels aren’t the best