The US car market is quite a diverse one, offering all kinds of vehicles depending on your needs. You can find anything from small hatchbacks to large pickup trucks, and somewhere in between are sedans.
There are multiple types of sedans, and today, I’ll be talking about something from the middle segment, and it’s a model from Nissan. The one I have in mind is the Maxima. Car enthusiasts will know it as the beater car that beats a Porche on the drag strip, while the rest know it as the reliable daily commuter.
For the latest generation of the Maxima, Nissan offered two tire options, with the 18-inch ones being the favorable choice, which is the size I’ve considered when compiling this list.
#1. Michelin CrossClimate 2
The list kicks off with one of the best all-season grand touring tires on the market. Of course, I’m talking about the CrossClimate 2. It’s expensive, but I think it’s worth it when you consider the performance you’re getting.
Thanks to some of the improvements Michelin made to the CrossClimate 2, you’re looking at a tire with excellent dry performance. The grip and traction levels come in abundance, offering a lot more than what most drivers would need. Even if you accelerate more aggressively or go into a corner at slightly higher speeds, the tire will be fine. The handling is decent for a grand touring tire, offering solid responsiveness but not a lot of feedback.
In terms of wet performance, the CrossClimate 2 is a phenomenal performer. The tire’s traction levels offer much more than you’d need in daily driving scenarios. You can accelerate aggressively, and the tire won’t slip as much as some of the other tires. The grip levels are also excellent, keeping the tire in check even when you’re going around a corner at higher speeds. Thanks to the V-shaped pattern, the tire’s aquaplaning resistance is superb, offering a stable ride in harsh conditions.
The CrossClimate 2 is an all-season tire, but it still manages to offer solid snow performance. Like many of its rivals, it deals with light snow well, and the packed one doesn’t pose a massive problem. With that said, the tire comes with the 3PMSF rating, meaning that you’ll get slightly better performance in deeper snow.
Refinement is another area where the CrossClimate 2 excels. The comfort levels are exceptional, and the tire irons out most of the smaller imperfections. With the larger bumps and potholes, the tire softens the initial blow and minimizes the vibrations. The noise levels are also very good. There’s almost no noise around town, and the hum is faint when you drive on the highway.
Unfortunately, the warranty isn’t the strongest side of this tire. The CrossClimate 2 comes with a 60,000-mile treadwear warranty, which is average for the premium segment.
- Marvelous performance in dry and wet conditions
- 3PMSF rating for slightly better snow performance
- Exceptional refinement
- The treadwear warranty is average
- Slightly more expensive than its rivals
#2. Continental PureContact LS
Michelin isn’t the only premium tire manufacturer, so mentioning a tire from Continental would be fair. You have the PureContact LS, which is another grand touring tire, making it a good option for your Maxima.
The performance in dry conditions is excellent. With the PureContact LS, you’re getting plenty of traction, thanks to which you need to worry about it slipping when you accelerate aggressively. Going around a corner way too fast will result in understeer, but that’s in very extreme cases, meaning that the grip levels are also high. The biggest surprise is the handling. Despite being a grand touring model, this tire is quite responsive. Unfortunately, the feedback isn’t as pronounced as enthusiasts would want it to be.
Continental makes some of the best tires in the industry in terms of wet performance, and the same applies to the PureContact LS. The tire provides high grip levels that will keep your Maxima planted when going into a corner. It’s a touring tire, so don’t expect wonders, but it’s among the best for this category. It’s the same story with the traction levels. You can accelerate without any slip as long as you’re not too aggressive. With very short braking distances and excellent aquaplaning resistance, this is probably the best wet performer.
Like most all-season tires, the PureContact LS delivers good winter performance only in lighter conditions. There’s a good amount of traction on unpacked snow and slush, and the tire doesn’t struggle in these conditions. Driving on packed snow also isn’t a problem, as long as you’re aware of the tire’s capabilities in these conditions.
Most tires in this category are well-refined, and that can be said about the PureContact LS. The tire’s comfort levels are phenomenal, and it easily deals with anything from small imperfections to potholes while eliminating almost all vibrations. You’ll also get low noise levels regardless of the speed you’re driving, putting this tire near the top.
Unlike the previous model, the warranty on this one is a bit better. Continental offers the PureContact LS with a 70,000-mile treadwear warranty, which is on the same level as the WeatherPeak.
- Surprisingly dynamic handling
- One of the best tires for wet driving
- Superb refinement
- Some models offer better snow performance
- The treadwear warranty is behind some of its rivals
#3. Yokohama Avid Ascend GT
Going for something more affordable from the grand touring segment leads us to the Avid Ascend GT. Despite the lower price tag, the tire from Yokohama will not be a massive disappointment.
The performance in dry conditions is pretty good and even manages to outperform some of the premium rivals. There’s plenty of grip and traction, even if you’re a more aggressive driver. Like most tires in this category, you can get it to slip or understeer, but it won’t happen as commonly as you may think. The handling characteristics of the Avid Ascend GT are good. It’s quite responsive and offers very good stability at higher speeds. While it lacks a bit more feedback, it’s not completely numb.
Wet conditions also pose no problem for the Avid Ascend GT. The tire does a very good job of providing plenty of traction on damp roads, meaning the slip will be kept to a minimum. Grip is another positive side of it, and going around a corner won’t be an issue. The braking distances are very short and better than some premium rivals. In harsh rain, the tire evacuates water well, providing excellent aquaplaning resistance.
When it comes to winter performance, the Avid Ascend GT is as good as you’d expect an all-season tire to be. It deals with shallow snow decently well, providing you with usable traction. The tread design does a solid job of keeping the tire performing decently on packed snow while keeping the braking distances short.
Refinement is another area where the Avid Ascend GT doesn’t disappoint. The comfort levels are excellent, and the tire does a very good job of smoothing out road imperfections. With larger potholes, the initial jolt is softened, and you can barely notice any vibrations. The noise levels are very low, among the lowest in this class. Even when you’re driving at higher speeds, the hum is minimal.
The warranty is good, but it’s not the best. Yokohama sells the Avid Ascend GT with a 65,000-mile treadwear warranty, putting it in the middle of the Michelin and Continental models.
- Superb refinement
- Excellent performance in multiple conditions
- Decent responsiveness for a grand touring tire
- Slightly limited winter performance
- Needs just a bit more feedback
#4. Bridgestone Turanza QuietTrack
I have to go back to the premium segment for a tire that’s one of the quietest in the industry. The Turanza QuietTrack has been considered the best in terms of noise levels and doesn’t disappoint in other areas.
In dry conditions, the Turanza QuietTrack delivers all the performance you’d need for your Maxima. It will put the power down without issues, eliminating slip even in slightly aggressive scenarios. You can throw it into a corner, and thanks to the high levels of grip, the infamous understeer won’t be too noticeable. Keep in mind that the levels aren’t as high as a performance tire, so you can push it too hard, and the tire will let go. The handling is pretty decent for a grand touring tire. There’s a good amount of responsiveness, and the tire is very precise. You’ll have a decent amount of feedback, which would be fine for most drivers.
The tire continues to deliver excellent results in wet conditions. With the Turanza QuietTrack, you’re getting plenty of grip and traction on damp roads, meaning that the slip will be kept at a minimum. It won’t stick to the road as it does in dry conditions, but it’s still an excellent performer. My only complaint is the braking distances. They are short and very safe, but within the premium segment, there are models that can outperform it. Finally, the aquaplaning resistance is superb, thanks to the grooves that evacuate water very efficiently.
We are talking about an all-season tire, so the Turanza QuetTrack will deliver usable performance in winter. The traction on unpacked snow is pretty good, so as long as you’re driving normally, the tire won’t struggle. It may exhibit some problems with packed snow, but it will still remain very usable. If the conditions are harsher than these, then the tire will struggle a lot, to a point where it won’t be so usable.
Refinement is what the Turanza QuietTrack is known for. The tire’s noise levels are among the lowest in the industry, making it whisper quiet when you’re driving around town. There is a faint hum at highway speeds or rough surfaces, but even then, the tire is quiet. The comfort levels are also phenomenal. It smooths out smaller road imperfections with ease and deals with bumps softly. It absorbs larger potholes without transferring vibrations into the cabin.
The warranty is another positive side of the Turanza QuietTrack. You’ll get the tire with an 80,000-mile treadwear warranty, which is among the longest in the grand touring segment.
- Very comfortable and quiet
- Superb performance in multiple conditions
- Usable on unpacked snow
- Wet braking distances are a bit behind some of its rivals
- Traction on packed snow is average
#5. General AltiMAX RT43
Let’s say you’re looking for something a bit more affordable. I have something for you from the mid-range segment from General. The tire in question is the AltiMAX RT43, which offers solid performance for the money.
In dry conditions, the AltiMAX RT43 delivers enough performance that most people would be happy with. The grip and traction levels aren’t on the same level as some of the premium models on this list, but they are among the best in the mid-range class. You won’t notice too much slip for daily driving scenarios, and the grip will prevent understeer unless you get carried away. The tire also offers short braking distances, so it’s safe. As for the handling, I have to say I was impressed with the responsiveness when you consider that it’s not a performance tire. With that said, it doesn’t offer a lot of feedback.
The tire continues to impress when it comes to wet performance. It offers enough traction to eliminate slip, as long as you’re aware of its limitations. The understeer is almost non-existent unless you throw it into a corner at higher speeds. Like on dry roads, the braking distances are excellent for its class. Finally, we have the marvelous aquaplaning resistance, allowing the tire to remain stable even when you’re driving at highway speeds.
Things were good so far, but the AltiMAX RT43 disappoints a bit in winter performance. On unpacked snow, it delivers decent traction for a mid-range tire. Sure, you’ll notice a bit of slip here and there, but it’s not too terrible. The tire struggles a bit more on packed snow. I wouldn’t classify it as unusable, but when you combine that with the slightly longer braking distances, it means that you’ll need to be cautious.
I’m going back to the positive aspects of the AltiMAX RT43, and that’s the refinement. The tire’s comfort levels are excellent for its category, offering a smooth ride. It deals with imperfections and bumps very well, and you may only notice some vibrations when you hit a larger pothole. As for the noise levels, you’re looking at a very quiet tire. There isn’t a lot of noise you’ll notice when driving around town, and the hum on the highway isn’t overly pronounced.
When it comes to warranty, the AltiMAX RT43 is very close to the top. The tire comes with a 75,000-mile treadwear warranty, more than some premium models offer.
- Well refined
- Long treadwear warranty
- Excellent dry and wet performance
- Lacks a bit more feedback
- Snow performance isn’t the best, especially on packed snow
#6. Firestone WeatherGrip
The last of the all-season options for your Maxima is a model from Firestone. It’s the WeatherGrip, which is a direct competitor of the previous tire, and it does some things better while others are not.
In dry conditions, the WeatherGrip is decent, but it’s not a class-leading tire. The grip and traction levels will be fine for most drivers, and the tire won’t struggle to put the power down. This means that you won’t notice any slip or understeer, which is what most people need. With that said, the levels aren’t too high, so you won’t have a lot of room to push it. The handling also isn’t something marvelous. It’s responsive enough with not a lot of feedback, so it lands somewhere in the middle of the class.
Wet is where the WeatherGrip seems to do a slightly better job. The traction is very good, and the tire minimizes slip even if you decide to accelerate a bit enthusiastically. It goes around corners quite well, but the grip isn’t very high, so you can get it to understeer if you push it hard. The braking distances are quite short and better than most of the other tires in this segment. In harsh rain, the aquaplaning resistance is excellent, so the stability won’t be compromised.
The WeatherGrip comes with the 3PMSF rating, so it’s a pretty solid performer in winter conditions. It can deal with packed and unpacked snow easily and deliver plenty of performance. You can drive in slightly deeper snow, and even though you’ll notice a bit more slip, the tire will be fine. Surprisingly, the tire is usable on ice. Don’t get me wrong, it’s far from a winter tire, but it should suffice if you need to rely on it.
In terms of refinement, there are two sides to the WeatherGrip. On the positive one, you’re looking at pretty decent comfort levels. It irons a good amount of smaller road imperfections, and it can absorb larger blows well. You may notice some vibration, but it’s not terrible. The noise levels, on the other hand, aren’t the best. I wouldn’t classify it as the loudest tire in the mid-range segment, but you’ll hear it, especially at highway speeds.
Even though there is a step down in the warranty over the previous model, this one still does a good job. The WeatherGrip comes with a 65,000-mile treadwear warranty, putting it above some premium tires.
- Marvelous snow performance for an all-season tire
- Excellent aquaplaning resistance
- The comfort levels are pretty high
- Among the more expensive options in this class
- The treadwear warranty is behind some of its competitors
#7. Michelin X-Ice Snow
You can probably guess that a tire that has snow in the name is made for winter performance. The X-Ice Snow is an excellent model for your Maxima if you’re after one of the premium winter options.
Winter doesn’t always mean snow, so you’ll need to drive on dry roads as well, something that the X-Ice Snow can deliver. The tire’s grip and traction levels are pretty good, and it won’t struggle in normal driving conditions. You can push it a bit, but you’ll notice that it’s not a performance-oriented option. This shows with the handling as well. It’s responsive enough, considering it’s a winter tire, while the feedback is average at best.
The wet performance of the X-Ice Snow is quite impressive. There’s plenty of traction on damp roads, which will help eliminate any slip, while the cornering grip is enough to eliminate any under or oversteer. With that said, you can get too aggressive, and the tire will let go of the road, so keep that in mind if you’re planning on pushing it on a twisty road. The V-shaped tread pattern does a phenomenal job of evacuating water, resulting in excellent aquaplaning resistance.
There’s snow in the name, so the X-Ice Snow should be good in snowy conditions, right? Yes, the tire delivers on this front. Regardless of whether we’re talking about lighter or harsher conditions, the tire’s ability to deliver traction is excellent. Even in deeper patches, you won’t notice it slipping too much. It deals with packed snow very well, and there isn’t a massive performance drop like with some of its rivals. Surprisingly, it’s even usable on ice.
Refinement is an area where the X-Ice Snow does well. The comfort levels are excellent, and the tire delivers a plush experience. Most of the road imperfections are smoothed out, and the larger potholes are softened well. The noise levels are as you’d expect from a winter tire. Around town, it’s generally quiet, and the noise increases when you get on the highway.
When it comes to warranty, Michelin nailed it. The tire comes with a 40,000-mile treadwear warranty, which is pretty good for a winter tire.
- Winter performance is excellent, including ice
- Stable in harsh rain at higher speeds
- Traction on dry and wet roads is very high
- There are slightly more dynamic winter tires out there
- Noise levels are a bit higher
#8. Continental VikingContact 7
Within this class, there are many tires, but the one I’ve chosen as a good option for an Maxima is the VikingContact 7. Like the previous model, it’s a studless winter tire for those harsher winter conditions.
Similar to the previous tire, the VikingContact 7 has no issues with performance in dry conditions. Regardless of whether you’re driving normally or slightly aggressively, you won’t notice any slip in most situations. The tire will feel planted and stable and will offer very short braking distances. As far as the handling is concerned, it’s pretty good. There’s a solid amount of responsiveness for a winter tire, and it won’t feel as numb as some of its rivals.
In wet conditions, the VikingContact 7 offers excellent performance, but not without a slight drawback. This tire’s biggest downside is the braking distances. They are short and safe but are longer when compared to the previous model. In terms of grip and traction, the tire is excellent. It won’t slip even in slightly aggressive scenarios and will go around a corner without promoting understeer. Also, the aquaplaning resistance is very good, so the highway stability will be excellent.
The tire is called the VikingContact 7, so there’s no doubt about its capability to deliver excellent performance in winter conditions. You’ll have plenty of traction in shallow and deeper snow, and unless you floor it, the tire won’t struggle for traction as much as some of its rivals. Driving on packed snow is also not a problem, and the tire will continue to deliver its performance with no issues. Similar to the previous tire, you have usable performance on ice, combined with short braking distances.
Unlike the previous tire, the refinement with the VikingContact 7 is a bit better. The noise levels are slightly lower. Yes, like most winter tires, there is a bit of roar from the tread, but it’s lower than most of its competitors. The comfort levels are excellent, and the tire softens larger bumps and potholes without transferring too much vibration into the cabin. All of this is nice, but that changes when you’re driving on rougher roads, at which point the refinement takes a bit of a hit.
- Marvelous aquaplaning resistance
- Superb snow performance
- Wet and try traction is excellent
- Braking distances on damp roads are slightly longer
- Refinement takes a hit on rougher roads
#9. Bridgestone Blizzak WS90
So far, all the options were all-season tires with slightly limited winter performance. This is where the tires like the Blizzak WS90 come into play. Bridgestone’s proper winter tire should remedy that problem without sacrificing performance in other conditions.
On a dry road, the Blizzak WS90 is an excellent tire. It manages to put the power down without too much slip, so even if you get a bit carried away, you won’t risk doing a burnout. Going into a corner a bit faster won’t be an issue, thanks to the higher levels of grip. I wouldn’t start to compare it with something from the UHP lineup, but as a winter tire, it’s among the best. The handling is also quite dynamic, meaning you’ll get a decently responsive tire. As for the feedback, it’s there, but enthusiasts may want more.
Wet is another situation where the Blizzak WS90 doesn’t disappoint. The tire deals with damp roads marvelously, offering plenty of grip and traction, more than what most people need. This also translates to very short braking distances, so you won’t be getting a tire that may compromise your safety. Driving in harsh rain conditions is no problem for this tire, thanks to the superb aquaplaning resistance, keeping it on the road even in deeper water patches.
The Blizzak WS90 feels at home when it comes to snow performance. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about packed or unpacked snow, this tire can handle both very well. Even if you need to drive in deep snow patches, you won’t notice it struggling too much. Throw in the short braking distances into the mix, and you’re looking at one of the best winter tires on the market. Unlike most winter tires, this one seems to handle ice quite well. When I say well, I mean it’s usable in a pinch.
I have to say that the refinement is something that the Blizzak WS90 doesn’t do so well. The comfort levels are good enough, and the tire absorbs bumps and road imperfections. With that said, there are some noticeable vibrations. The noise levels are fine as long as you’re driving on smoother roads. On rougher ones, the tire’s roar is a bit more noticeable.
- Usable on ice
- Superb performance in multiple conditions
- Decently responsive for a winter tire
- It doesn’t absorb vibrations as much as it should
- There’s noticeable noise, especially over rougher roads
#10. Vredestein Wintrac Pro
Last but not least is a tire from Vredestein. The Wintrac Pro is a more affordable option when compared to the previous tires, meaning there is a slight sacrifice in certain areas.
The performance of the Wintrac Pro in dry conditions is excellent. It offers high levels of traction, keeping the slip to a minimum, which, combined with the excellent cornering grip, makes this a very strong contender in this segment. I can say the same about the braking distances, which are shorter than most of its rivals. The handling is also pretty good. You’ll have a solid amount of responsiveness, which is a surprise for an affordable winter tire.
In wet conditions, the Wintrac Pro continues to deliver excellent performance. On damp roads, the traction is enough to prevent the tire from slipping when accelerating. You’re also getting high grip levels, which will help you go around a corner with no issues. The tire also impresses with the braking distances, putting it above some premium rivals. Regarding the aquaplaning resistance, Vredestein could’ve done a bit better. The tire is stable in harsh rain, but even within the mid-range segment, it gets outperformed by some of its rivals.
The Wintrac Pro is a winter tire, but the snow performance isn’t something I’d call marvelous. It gets the job done and offers solid levels of traction on unpacked snow, even if it’s deeper. The traction on packed snow is average, but as long as you’re not pushing it hard, you should be fine with the performance. Surprisingly, the tire manages to deliver short braking distances, better than many mid-range rivals.
As for refinement, the Wintrac Pro does a decent enough job as long as you don’t have high expectations. It’s a mid-range model, so the noise levels won’t be as low as its premium rivals. You’re not looking at an obnoxiously loud tire, but it’s more noticeable than some of the premium competitors. The comfort levels are pretty decent. It’s not the softest tire, so you’ll notice some vibrations or stiffness over certain surfaces, but overall, it won’t be the harshest riding tire in the world.
- Handles well
- Solid comfort levels
- Performance in dry and wet is very good
- Struggles a bit with packed snow
- The noise levels aren’t particularly low