One of the biggest compliments anybody can pay to the Volkswagen Atlas is that it doesn’t drive like a three-row SUV. Unlike most models in this category, it is surprisingly agile for its size, even though its acceleration and fuel economy trails competitors’.
Also, while most three-row SUVs have a cramped last row, the Atlas’s third row can easily fit adults of almost all sizes. What’s more, thanks to the effortlessly articulating and well-designed second row, you can easily make your way in and out of the wayback.
Yet, like every other vehicle on the road, the VW Atlas’s performance can be enhanced by equipping it with the right set of tires. The best radials for this SUV would be those that can enhance its qualities, while also not hurting its already average fuel economy.
This article will rate and review the ten best tires for VW Atlas. We’ll provide you with all-season, all-season touring, high-performance, and even winter tires. Plus, a comprehensive buying guide section will help you decide how to pick the best tires for this SUV.
#1. Michelin Defender LTX M/S – Best All-Season
The Michelin Defender LTX M/S is one of the best tires VW Atlas drivers can buy. This model offers unrivaled dry and wet performance, and backs it up with superb road manners, extended treadwear warranty, and above-average fuel economy.
Start with how it behaves in dry and wet conditions. An all-season silica tread compound helps this model strike the perfect balance between firmness and flexibility. The result? Excellent grip on dry roads as well as short braking distances in wet conditions.
Then comes its excellent fuel economy, which should catch your attention given that the VW Atlas can safely be described as a fuel guzzler. Thanks to Michelin’s MaxTouch Construction, the Defender LTX M/S will help your Atlas do more miles per gallon.
You can also rely on this tire to keep you safe on light snow and ice. Its tread area features multiple biting edges that keep this model stable in harsh weather. The sipes also shorten this model’s braking distances, minimizing the risk of skidding and slipping.
Throw its 70,000-mile treadwear warranty into the mix, and you may think that this model is faultless. Which is not the case as its asking price is astronomical enough to make you forget about all the above qualities and start looking for alternatives.
- Backed with an excellent 70,000-mile treadwear warranty
- Ensures even road contact for an extended tread life
- Offers excellent traction on wet roads
- Doesn’t come cheap
#2. Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady – Best All-Season
The Continental TrueContact rivals our top pick on various counts. This all-season touring tire offers a reliable driving experience in all types of weather conditions. Plus, it features the latest tire technologies to deliver consistent performance over the long term.
An all-season tread compound featuring additives and polymers has been molded into an optimized symmetric tread pattern. The result? Dependable performance on dry and wet roads, as well as above-average steering response for a model in this class.
Wet traction is one area where this model shines. The credit for this goes to Continental’s proprietary Traction Grooves, which keep this model firmly planted on the road in the worst of weather conditions. So, you can rely on this tire on waterlogged roads.
Continental has also paid particular attention to ride comfort. For example, an internal structure utilizing twin steel belts absorbs road vibrations before they can enter the cabin. Plus, a unique comfort band system smoothens road noises before they can get loud.
Yet there are areas where this model could do better. Unlike the Altimax RT43, whose performance in mild winter is beyond reproach, this model isn’t meant to be driven in the winter. So, don’t count on it to safely carry you from point A to point B on snow.
- Comes with the 3PMSF emblem
- Offers excellent traction on wet roads
- Provides excellent and long-lasting traction
- Mild road noise at higher speeds
#3. Michelin Premier LTX – Best Touring All-Season
The Michelin Premier LTX ticks various boxes for the average VW Atlas driver. This model stays quiet and comfortable on the highway and in city traffic regardless of how hard you’re pushing it. However, if you’re merciful, it will reward you with fuel savings.
Its sunflower and silica oil tread compound helps this tire perform reliably 365 days a year. Silica gives it the firmness needed for excellent grip on dry roads, with sunflower oil injecting the rubber with the flexibility required to stay stable in wet conditions.
EverGrip Technology makes sure that this tire offers consistent traction throughout its time on the road. It does that by introducing new (‘hidden’) grooves as the built-in (‘visible) ones wear out. You can thus count on this tire to stay useful since its last day of use.
While it’s true that the Premier LTX wasn’t designed with fuel economy in mind, drivers regularly praise this model’s low fuel consumption. This should be great news for VW Atlas drivers, given how this model trails its competitors in terms of fuel mileage.
Given that this tire comes with a 60,000-mile treadwear warranty, you can easily get 4 to 5 years out of it with responsible driving and regular maintenance. Bear in mind, though, that this model doesn’t come cheap.
- Offers long-lasting dry and wet traction
- Provides a refined driving experience
- Backed with a 60,000-mile treadwear warranty
- The tire is expensive
#4. Pirelli Scorpion Verde All Season Plus – Best Touring All-Season
According to EPA estimates, the 2023 VW Atlas does 20 miles per gallon in the city and up to 24 mpg on the highway. These numbers aren’t bargain basement. But as rivals such as the Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander show, the Atlas could do better in terms of fuel economy.
Which is precisely what the Scorpion Verde All Season Plus would help this model do. Pirelli’s internal tests reveal that this model consumes 4% less fuel on mixed routes than its rivals, meaning significant fuel savings will be all but guaranteed if you pair this tire on your Atlas.
Ride quality is another area where this model impresses. A sound-absorbing device (fancy name for a thick and flat piece of rubber) underneath its tread area helps it absorb road noise and vibrations before either could reach the cabin and hurt your Atlas’s famed ride quality.
You can also count on this tire to perform reliably in wet and wintry conditions. Plus, thanks to its unique rubber-to-void ratio, this tire grips the road better for even tread wear. One would thus expect it to outlast its already significant 65,000-mile treadwear warranty.
Lastly, the fact that it comes in multiple sizes from 16- to 22-inches means this model can cover all Atlas trims. What more can you ask for!
- Offers excellent fuel economy
- Great handling and traction in different conditions
- Provides a noise-free and comfortable ride
- May wear quickly if regularly pushed too hard
#5. Continental TerrainContact HT – Best Highway Tire
The Continental TerrainContact HT isn’t your run-of-the-mill highway tire. Mainly because your average highway tire is loud on the street. Neither can it keep vibrations away from the cabin, something which this tire does with an unnerving ease.
A combination of TractionPlus Technology and +Silane additives helps this model offer the best of both worlds. Apart from enhancing its performance in mild-to-moderate cold weather, the combo enables this tire to steamroll its way through slush and gravel.
Thanks to its cut- and chip-resistant tread compound, this model can be used for light off-roading with minimal risk of sharp objects penetrating the rubber. As such, the chances of the TerrainContact HT getting punctured in the middle of nowhere are slim.
Four circumferential grooves help enhance this model’s wet performance. They do that by ensuring timely evacuation of water particles, depriving them of the time they need to coalesce and invite hydroplaning, a phenomenon that can put your Atlas’s stability at risk.
A 60,000- or 70,000-mile treadwear guarantee is also on offer, depending on tire size. This model’s workmanship and materials are warrantied for half-a-year too. However, unlike our top two picks, the TerrainContact HT will struggle on ice.
- Extremely quiet and comfortable
- Backed by a 70,000-mile treadwear warranty
- Performs marvelously on dry and wet roads
- May struggle on ice
#6. Bridgestone Dueler HL Alenza Plus – Best Highway Tire
The Bridgestone Dueler HL Alenza Plus regularly tops the wish-list of drivers looking for high-quality highway tires. If you are looking for a reliable highway tire and are willing to pay over the odds for it, opting for this model is a no-brainer.
An all-season tread compound has been molded into a symmetric tread pattern. The result? Uniform road contact for even tread wear and thus an extended treadlife. Small wonder, then, that Bridgestone backs this model with an 80,000-mile treadlife warranty.
One area where this model diverges from its fellow highway tires is how it keeps hydroplaning at bay. While most of its counterparts rely on circumferential grooves for water evacuation. The HL Alenza Plus counts on multiple lateral grooves for the same.
You won’t have any complaints about this model’s steering response, either. A continuous center frame and knurled shoulder block make sure to transmit maximum feedback to the steering, giving you detailed information of what’s going on with this tire on the road.
Despite all these qualities, there are areas where this tire could do better. The complete absence of sipes or biting edges means that one should never count on it to do well in harsh weather.
- 80,000-mile treadwear warranty
- Offers reliable year-round traction
- Quiet and comfortable ride on the highway
- Not the best for snow driving
#7. Pirelli P Zero All Season – Best High-Performance All-Season
The Pirelli P Zero All-Season offers several features you don’t expect to see in high-performance tires. The first of which is excellent traction on wet roads, with this model’s sticky rubber compound making sure that the road contact never breaks in damp conditions.
Next comes above-average performance on light snow. A close inspection of this model’s tread area will reveal unique ‘S’-shaped sipes. These biting edges aren’t just there to attract attention to this tire’s stylish profile – they’ll help reduce braking distances on light snow.
A 50,000-mile treadwear warranty is another way this model breaks from the tradition followed by the majority of its colleagues. Such an extended tread guarantee means that you can easily get 4 to 5 years out of this model, provided you don’t push it to its limits.
Yet there are areas where this model shows its high-performance colors. Take, for instance, its cornering performance, which has been enhanced by Nano rubber composites. As such, you can enter and exit corners at full speed and with minimal risk of oversteering.
Unfortunately, it isn’t just the sought-after qualities of HP tires that this model has borrowed. Just like its counterparts, the Pirelli P Zero tends to wear pretty quickly if you press it too hard.
- Backed with a 50,000-mile limited treadwear warranty
- Superb cornering performance
- Great straight-line tracking and steering response
- May wear pretty quickly if regularly pushed to the limits
#8. Nitto NT 421Q – Best High-Performance All-Season
The Nitto NT421Q has everything that drivers want in a high-performance all-season tire. This model offers top-of-the-line dry handling, cornering performance, and steering response. And it offers all of them at a price that won’t blow a hole in your pocket.
An asymmetric tread pattern may not help this model’s case for being the quietest tire on the block. But it does help it in other ways. Think of dry and wet traction, straight-line tracking and high-speed stability, areas where the tread pattern helps this tire deliver.
Outer shoulder blocks do what you expect outer shoulder blocks to do – enhance this model’s cornering grip and performance. Inner shoulder blocks do the same, albeit with one key difference. They enhance this tire’s cornering grip in wet and light wintry conditions.
Be ready to be pleasantly surprised about this model’s braking distances too. Thanks to the 3D interlocking sipe design – which lock the biting edges as you apply brakes. The NT421Q doesn’t long to come to a halt after you have pressed the brakes.
Still unsure as to whether this tire should go on your Atlas or not? Its 60,000- or 70,000-mile treadwear warranty (depending on tire size) should be enough to make up your mind. The same could be said about the maintenance indicators lining its tread area.
- Above-average treadwear warranty
- Best-in-class dry, wet, and winter traction
- Superb dry handling and cornering
- Relatively limited size availability
#9. Continental CrossContact UHP – Best Summer High-Performance
The Continental CrossContact UHP is one of the best summer performance tires for SUVs, crossovers, and light trucks. This model offers unrivaled dry grip, high-speed stability, and wet traction. And before it will do all that, its stylish design will win you over.
A high-silica tread compound lays bare where this model’s loyalties lie. Silica is the most common material used in summer performance tires because it enhances the rubber’s firmness, thereby improving the tire’s dry grip and handling, as well as high-speed stability.
Cornering performance is another area where this model shines. A continuous center rib running from top to bottom put extra pressure on the contact patch every time you take a turn, expanding its size for increased cornering grip. As such, you can confidently attack bends.
The center rib does all that and more. Together with the outer tread blocks, it enhances this model’s high-speed stability, keeping this tire from wobbling as you press down on the accelerator. Plus, its visible outline in the center will help this tire attract everybody’s attention.
Bear in mind, though, that the CrossContact UHP doesn’t come with a treadwear warranty. Which isn’t all that surprising given that most summer high-performance tires aren’t judged on the basis of their tread lives.
- Supreme handling at high speeds
- Exceptional steering response and feedback
- Has a built-in rim flange protector
Tread life isn’t the best
#10. Firestone Destination AT2 – Best All-Terrain
The Firestone Destination AT2 demolishes the myth that all-terrain tires cannot be affordably priced and high-quality at the same time. If you have ever thought about purchasing an A/T tire but were deterred by the prices you came across, the Destination AT2 offers you the chance to fulfil your wish.
Compared with its predecessor, the famed Destination A/T, this model has a more aggressive shoulder pattern. You can thus count on it to offer better grip in harsh wintry conditions, safely carrying you and your VW Atlas from point A to point B on snow and ice.
Another improvement is the addition of the 3PMSF symbol. The presence of this emblem all but guarantees this model’s excellent winter performance.
Firestone has also bumped up this model’s treadwear warranty. While the Destination A/T was backed to last up to 50,000 miles, this model comes with a 55,000-mile treadwear warranty. This means that Firestone itself expects the AT2 to be more durable.
- Outstanding (55,000 miles) treadwear warranty for an all-terrain tire
- Is surprisingly quiet and comfortable on the road
- Features multiple improvements over its predecessor
- Only comes in P-Metric models
Best Tires for VW Atlas
Regular all-season and all-season touring tires can be an excellent choice if you want reliable performance 365 days a year. These models don’t cost as much as their high-performance or all-terrain counterparts. Yet offer excellent tread lives, ride quality, and road manners.
Another thing to like about all-season tires is their fuel economy. As the above Pirelli Scorpion Verde All-Season Plus shows, it isn’t uncommon for these models to offer market leading mileages. As such, if you’re worried about the rising prices of gas, all-season tires may be worth a shot.
Highway tires differ from their touring counterparts on two counts. The first of which is the road conditions they are designed to be driven on. While touring tires are designed for long-distance driving on a variety of road surfaces, highway tires are made for paved roads.
Furthermore, most touring tires you see on the market have a more aggressive tread pattern. In contrast, highway tires have a smooth tread pattern meant for better high-speed stability. As such, you shouldn’t expect them to be as fuel efficient or boast extended tread lives.
Performance tires are a must-have if you intend to push your VW Atlas to its limits. These tires are designed to provide maximum traction and grip on wet and dry roads, making them ideal for high-power vehicles as well as for sports cars and sports-oriented SUVs.
What’s more, since these tires have a low profile design, the distance between the wheel and performance tires won’t be much. This enables them to provide a lower center of gravity and subsequently improved handling on paved roads.
All-terrain tires are constructed using robust materials are specialized rubber compounds. This enables them to better withstand wear and tear and make it more difficult for sharp objects such as rocks to penetrate the rubber, lowering the risk of punctures.
Plus, they have a specialized tread pattern for better traction in snowy and muddy conditions. Some A/T tires also have massive voids in the tread area to self-clean their tread area of dust and debris and offer consistent traction across a variety of surfaces.
Frequently Asked Questions
What tires come on the VW Atlas?
The OEM tire on most VW Atlas trims is the Continental TerrainContact AT. Although it’s a dedicated all-terrain tire, the TerrainContact AT can be safely used for highway driving. It’s backed by a 60,000-mile treadwear warranty and 6-month workmanship and defects guarantee.
What size tires fit VW Atlas?
The 245/60R18 and 255/50R20 tires are designed to fit the VW Atlas S, SE, SEL, and SEL Premium trims.
Given the impact tires can have on the VW Atlas’s ride quality and performance, those who can afford must avoid penny pinching while choosing radials for this three-row SUV. That is because only premium tires from renowned brands can help you get the best out of the Atlas.