The Volkswagen Jetta is an incredibly good car. It offers a plush ride, capable and fuel-efficient engines, and spacious seating. A user-friendly infotainment system, quiet cabin (even for a sedan), and automatic climate controls further add to its appeal.
Yet there are areas where the Jetta could do better. Its ride, though absorbent, can feel a tad too tender over sharp bumps. Another thing the Jetta could improve on is handling, which might be competent on its own but feels dull compared with rivals.
Almost everyone who owns a VW Jetta is aware of its above qualities and ‘flaws’. This car’s drivers also know how a set of tires can make or break things for it. That is, while premium tires can improve Jetta’s ride, cheap radials can make things worse.
This article will rate and review the 10 best tires for VW Jetta. Apart from reinforcing what makes this car unique, the below models will mitigate this car’s questionable ride-related features. Think of better vibration absorption and more agile handling.
#1. General Altimax RT43 – Best Overall
The General Altimax RT43 is our top tire pick for VW Jetta. This all-season tire offers a quiet and vibration-free drive and backs it up with superb handling in dry and wet conditions. Best of all, this model’s asking price won’t force you to break the bank.
A dual-layer tread compound helps the Altimax RT43 offer the best of both worlds. The tread compound’s upper layer gives the rubber the firmness for a better dry grip. The flexible lower layer, meanwhile, enhances its wet traction and vibration absorption.
An optimized pitch sequence and Sound Wave Suppression Technology work in unison to deflect road noise before it can reach the cabin and hurt ride quality. The result? The Altimax RT43 is one of the quietest tires currently available on the market.
You don’t have to worry about this model wearing unevenly or too soon, thanks to General’s Low Surface Abrasion Technology. This technology ensures that all the pressure forces this model is subjected to are distributed evenly across the tread for an even wear.
Best of all, this model can hold its own in the snow. It has far more (and far more useful) biting edges than its predecessor to come short in harsh wintry conditions. A 75,000-mile treadwear warranty and multiple replacement guarantees further enhance its appeal.
- Competitively priced
- Backed with a 75,000-mile treadwear warranty
- Offers excellent road manners
- Not much steering feedback
#2. Michelin Defender T+H – Best Runner Up
The Michelin Defender T+H might not be the most pocket-friendly tire out there. But its excellent road manners, superb dry and wet performance, and exceptional tread life warranty go a long way in justifying the whole this model will blow in your pocket.
An all-season compound helps this model perform at its best in dry, wet, and light wintry conditions. It does that by striking an optimal balance between firmness (which is needed for dry grip) and flexibility (which tires need to excel in wet and wintry conditions).
Unlike most all-season tires (including our top pick), the Defender T+H doesn’t come with a symmetric tread pattern. Instead, it has opted for an asymmetric tread design, which explains why this model offers the kind of handling and grip you normally expect from performance tires.
Comfort Control Technology is another feature its rivals cannot claim to have. What this technology does is help the rubber deflect road noise and absorb vibrations. As such, if you install this tire on your Jetta, the tenderness in this car’s ride as it moves over bumps will cease to exit.
In theory, its 80,000-mile treadwear warranty means that this tire should last anywhere between 6 months to a year longer than the Altimax RT43. However, the difference in pricing means that even with a small road life, our top pick will prove to be more pocket-friendly.
- Excellent treadwear warranty (60,000 miles)
- Reliable in light wintry conditions
- Offers a quiet and comfortable ride
- Doesn’t come cheap
#3. Continental TrueContact Tour – Best Touring Tire
The Continental TrueContact Tour checks several boxes for the average VW Jetta driver. The first of which is improved fuel economy, as this model’s lightweight construction will help it take this car’s already impressive fuel average and make it even better.
An all-season tread compound has been molded into an asymmetric tread pattern for high amounts of grip and traction in dry and wet conditions. It also has a positive impact on this model’s ride quality, meaning you won’t be hearing road noise in the cabin.
If you install the TrueContact Tour on your car, replacement time might be way down the line. Continental’s internal tests report that this model’s tread life is 27% longer than its predecessor, meaning it should offer at least a year or two of extra road life.
DWS indicators will help you gauge when this model will be no longer or less reliable for Dry, Wet, and Snow driving. Add its 80,000-mile treadwear warranty into the mix, and you’d have every reason to believe that this model is without any shortcomings.
Which isn’t true, unfortunately. Unlike our top two picks, the TrueContact Tour offers poor ice traction, so you’d do well to replace it when the snow starts falling.
- 80,000-mile treadwear warranty
- Enhanced steering response and handling
- Superb fuel economy and tread life
- Poor ice traction
#4. Michelin Premier A/S – Best Premium Touring Tire
The Michelin Premier A/S offers excellent year-round performance, superb road manners, and decent amounts of road feedback and cornering grip. An above-average tread life warranty further justifies its selection as one of the best premium touring tires for the VW Jetta.
Its sunflower and silica oil tread compound is the major reason this model can perform reliably on dry and wet roads. Sunflower oil gives this model the flexibility needed to tackle wet conditions, with silica injecting the rubber with the firmness needed on dry roads.
While most of its rivals opt for circumferential grooves to evacuate water, the Premier A/S features circumferential as well as lateral grooves. The combination of the two channels is the reason why this model evacuates water so quickly that negligible risk of hydroplaning remains.
Just as it is with the Defender T+H, the Premier A/S also comes with Comfort Control Technology. You can thus count on this model to offer a noise- and vibration-free driving experience.
Yet there’s one area where this model disappoints. Its 60,000-mile warranty is much lower than what we have come to expect from all-season touring tires, most of which are backed to last at least 70,000 miles, if not longer (like our top picks).
- Offers a comfortable and quiet ride
- Provides excellent traction on wet surfaces
- Can easily handle mild wintry conditions
- Relatively small treadwear warranty
#5. BFGoodrich g-Force Sport Comp-2 – Best High Performance
Exceptional cornering grip and performance? Check. High amounts of steering response and feedback? Present. Minimal risk of premature deformation due to high-speed driving? Absolutely. All these qualities make the BFG g-Force Sport Comp-2 one of the best performance tires.
At the same time, this model has design elements that can help any tire keep on going year after year. One of those features is the ‘Equal Tension Containment System’ (ETEC), which ensures a balanced distribution of pressure forces, helping this model wear evenly.
Multiple “g-Hooks” and a ‘g-Control” sidewall enhance its cornering grip and performance, while also delivering high amounts of feedback to the steering. Thanks to these two features, you would always get a great feel of what is happening down there on the road.
While most summer performance tires struggle in the rain, this model’s silica tread compound and ‘Performance Racing Core’ enable it to hold its own in wet conditions. That means you won’t have to remove this tire on the first hint of inclement weather.
Bear in mind, though, that this tire may wear quickly if you push it too hard, a fact you’d do well to keep in mind considering that this tire offers no backup (it doesn’t come with a treadwear warranty) if the replacement time comes sooner than you like.
- Delivers added feedback at the steering
- Offers decent wet traction for a UHP tire
- Exceptional cornering grip and performance
- May wear quickly if pushed to the limits
#6. Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 – Best Summer Performance
The Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 isn’t your average summer performance tire. This model won’t cost you an arm and a leg, comes with a respectable warranty, and performs reliably in inclement weather. That too while offering everything you may expect from a model in this class.
The Indy 500 is as responsive as any premium summer performance tire. Its cornering grip and performance won’t let you guess this model’s true asking price, with all the grip that this model offers making sure that you don’t have any trouble controlling it at the limit.
Wet performance is one area where this tire surprises (for the better). The credit for this goes to multiple grooves in its tread area (which quickly and effectively evacuate water) and Firestone’s Pulse Groove Technology (which gives this tire the teeth to offer enhanced wet grip).
Their 65,000-mile treadwear warranty is 65,000 miles bigger than what you get on your average summer performance tire. Need proof? Just check the above BFG g-Force Sport Comp-2.
You might want to note that the Indy 500s cannot be rotated. That is because their asymmetric tread pattern is designed to work a certain way. If you ignore this advice, these models’ famed straight-line tracking might take a notable though not fatal hit.
- 65,000-mile limited treadlife warranty
- Excellent steering response and feedback
- High levels of cornering grip and performance
- Not for wintry conditions
#7. Kumho Solus TA71 – Best Budget Tire
The Kumho Solus TA71 proves that sometimes in life you get more than what you paid for. Despite coming in at a much more reasonable price than its premium counterparts, this model offers the kind of performance that won’t let you rue its selection.
A nano-silica tread compound is designed to give enhanced traction in wet conditions and extend tread life for long-term use. At the same time, it gives this model the ability to reliably grip dry roads at high speed, helping it perform excellently 365 days a year.
Kumho’s decision to mold the tread compound into an asymmetric tread pattern has done wonders for this tire’s high-speed stability and road grip. Furthermore, four circumferential grooves quickly channel water away to minimize the risk of aquaplaning.
Inside the carcass you’ll find jointless bead bundles. They have been specifically designed to help isolate any vibrations from driving over uneven surfaces. Their action will also result in a quiet ride.
To further sweeten the deal, Kumho backs the Solus TA71 with a 60,000-mile treadwear warranty, an impressive number for a mid-range tire. All in all, expect this model’s long braking distances on ice, it doesn’t have any significant flaws that could prove to be deal-breakers.
- Dependable dry and wet traction
- Offers a vibration-free and quiet ride
- Very good tread life for a mid-range tire
- Long braking distances on ice-covered roads
#8. Yokohama Avid Ascend LX – Best for VW Jetta TDI
The Yokohama Avid Ascend LX is a premium touring tire designed for various vehicles. This model promises to deliver superb road comfort, significant mileage potential, and better fuel economy than rivals. Yokohama also claims that it can come in handy across a range of road conditions.
An advanced L2 tread compound gives this tire long tread life and confident wet grip, with multiple circumferential and lateral grooves shortening braking distances. The grooves quick action also minimizes the risk of hydroplaning, helping this tire perform confidently in the rain.
A staggered, offset tread design deflects road noise for a quiet driving experience. It also enables the tread to wear evenly for a long tread life. Plus, this model has wavy 3D shoulder sipes and notches to deliver above-average grip (for a tire in this class) on snow and ice.
What’s more, unlike most all-season tires out there, the Avid Ascend LX won’t suffer a dangerous loss of traction in its last few days on the road. The ‘Adaptive 3D Sipes’ will help it provide consistent traction by constantly changing their shape as this model wears down.
To further up the ante, Yokohama has backed this tire to last up to 85,000 miles, the biggest treadwear warranty of any model in this review.
- Extremely impressive tread life
- Offers high driving comfort levels
- Enhanced controllability in the rain
- Wet traction could be better
#9. Falken Sincera SN250 A/S – Best OE Tire
The Falken Sincera SN250 A/S is the OEM tire on many VW Jetta trims. It’s a grand-touring all-season tire that claims to offer balanced driving capabilities across roads in different regions.
Falken opted for their tried and tested all-season tread compound, which previously worked wonders on the brand’s best-selling Pro G4 A/S. This compound features higher amounts of silica to deliver enhanced dry and wet traction and extended treadwear.
The trio of Dynamic Range Technology, asymmetric tread pattern, and optimized tread block pavement ensures a smoother and more comfortable ride, even on uneven surfaces. This makes it ideal for VW Jetta, a car that struggles to stay vibration-free off the highway.
Wet and light wintry conditions are where this tire really shines. A combination of four circumferential grooves and multiple lateral sipes provide it with necessary wet traction as well as added grip on snow and ice, which is where most all-season tires struggle.
- 80,000-mile tread warranty
- Smooth and comfortable ride
- Dependable wet and light wintry traction
Dry handling could be better
#10. Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 – Best Winter Tire
The Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 is a dedicated winter tire for cars, hatchbacks, small SUVs, and minivans. This tire is designed to deliver high performance and excellent winter traction, which will help you cruise through snow and ice.
An innovative tread compound is the main force behind this tire’s excellent snow performance. Made of specialized polymers, the compound’s thermal properties help it perform dynamically on snow, something an A/S compound could never do.
Pirelli’s Noise Canceling System, or PNCS, does precisely what its name implies. It makes the tire quieter to let you enjoy the drive in near-total silence.
Two wide circumferential grooves, multiple lateral grooves, and innumerable 3D biting edges enhance this tire’s aquaplaning resistance and help it stay glued to the road in harsh weather. The grooves also minimize the risk of aquaplaning in the rain.
- Excellent traction on thick snow
- Very comfortable for a dedicated winter tire
- Excellent dry performance
- Might last less longer than its rivals
Best Tires for VW Jetta
All-Season Touring Tires
All-season touring tires are the best option for most VW Jetta drivers because these tires enhance the qualities of this car while playing down its flaws.
Start with qualities. As noted at the start, the VW Jetta offers a plush ride, doesn’t consume as much fuel as some of its rivals, and has a surprisingly quiet cabin. If you want these things to stay that way, premium touring tires should be on the top of your wish list.
These tires won’t just make the VW Jetta better at things this car is already good at. The best touring tires will also make this vehicle less tender as it rolls over bumps, meaning you won’t experience many vibrations inside the cabin.
Performance tires might not be as capable as their touring counterparts in maintaining your VW Jetta’s plush ride quality. However, they will help this car in other ways.
Think of enhanced steering response, exceptional cornering grip, and supreme high-speed stability. Performance and high-performance tires will provide all these benefits, making them a must-have for Jetta drivers who like driving close to the speed limit.
Bear in mind, though, that performance tires won’t just hurt this car’s ride quality. If pushed to the limits, they will also disturb Jetta’s fuel economy.
Frequently Asked Questions
What tires do Volkswagen Jettas use?
Most Volkswagen Jettas come with Falken Sincera SN250 A/S tires.
What tire sizes come on VW Jetta?
Starting from the model year 2016, the VW Jetta comes with the following tire sizes:
How long do Jetta tires last?
If you rotate them regularly and don’t abuse them too much, the VW Jetta tires can last between 50,000 and 70,000 miles. Remember that your tires may last fewer miles in most cases, as your driving style, road conditions, and weather may slash a few years of their tread/road life.
Your search for the best tires for VW Jetta ends here. After consulting the above buying guide, you could select the tire from the list that best meets your requirements. If you have doubts about your VW Jetta’s correct tire size, our FAQs section might help.