Searching for the best tires for your Nissan Leaf? You have a few choices. Go for ‘EV’ tires, which offer low rolling resistance (LRR) and get a few extra miles of mileage. EV tires can also handle the added weight of the battery, reduce noise levels, and offer better grip.
Alternatively, all-purpose tires (more commonly referred to as all-season tires) are your best bet. These tires work well 365 days a year. You can also expect a comfortable ride and better traction on wet roads. Plus, a 50,000-mile+ tread life warranty at a minimum.
Or you can go for specialized tires. I live in an area where it snows a lot, and thus have to use snow tires in the winter. These tires may hit your Leaf’s range hard. But I’d much rather see my car hooked to the charger in my garage than get involved in an accident.
Read on to find out the best tires for your Nissan Leaf.
#1. Goodyear Assurance MaxLife
The Goodyear Assurance MaxLife ticks several boxes for Nissan Leaf drivers, especially those using this hatchback for commuting purposes.
Start with the fact that it won’t require early replacement. An 85,000-mile treadwear warranty indicates that this tire should last you five to six years. This calculation is based on data highlighting that the average American driver covers around 15,000 miles a year.
Next comes its ability to offer a comfortable ride. A symmetric tread design helps this tire absorb vibrations and deflect road noise before either can penetrate the cabin. As a result, you’d be able to enjoy the quiet ride Nissan Leaf is highly famous for.
You can also count on this tire to not slip on oily surfaces. This is thanks to circumferential grooves that ensure quick water evacuation, even in deep puddles of water. As such, the contact patch remains dry, translating into effective grip on water-laden surfaces.
Bear in mind, though, that it isn’t the quickest to respond to steering inputs. How will that impact ride quality? You might not be able to execute quick lane changes while retaining full control over your car.
- Class-leading 85,000-mile treadwear warranty
- Outstanding grip in dry and wet conditions
- Offers an exceedingly quiet and comfortable ride
- Lackluster steering feedback
#2. Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 Plus
There are several compelling reasons why you might want to swap out your stock Bridgestone tires with the Ecopia EP422 Plus.
The first of which is that it’s incredibly fuel-efficient. Estimates by Bridgestone put this tire’s rolling resistance at 23% lower than the one it replaced. User reviews back this claim. As a result, you can count on this model to enhance your car’s range.
Refinement is another unique selling point of this tire. Many drivers I have spoken to claim this tire’s excellent road manners won them over. The majority is especially impressed with the way it doesn’t let road imperfections hurt ride quality.
The EP422 also performs acceptably well in the snow. As long as the snow is shallow and unpacked, it would offer decent enough traction. There might be a bit of struggle on packed snow, but you can minimize the risk by driving slowly.
Why, then, isn’t this model our top pick? It’s backed to last 5,000 fewer miles (75,000 miles vs. 80,000 miles) than our top pick. You may thus have to replace it relatively sooner.
- Quiet and comfortable
- Incredibly fuel-efficient
- 70,000-mile treadwear warranty
- Snow performance is a bit behind its competitors
#3. Michelin Energy Saver A/S
The Michelin Energy Saver A/S is one of the most fuel-efficient tires money can buy.
Don’t take my word as proof. In tests conducted by Consumer Reports, this tire garnered an overall excellent score for rolling resistance. Only one tire fared better in terms of fuel consumption, a testament to this model’s excellent fuel economy.
You might be tempted to buy this tire for its fuel economy, but it has other qualities, too. Take, for instance, its excellent performance in the rain. Alongside the all-season tread compound, the pattern shortens this tire’s braking distances for an improved wet performance.
MaxTouch Construction also deserves a mention. That is because it helps this tire last longer. How is that so? By evenly distributing the pressure your car will subject this tire to. Small wonder, then, that Michelin backs this tire with a 55,000 to 65,000 mile warranty.
Unfortunately, of all the things this tire is good at, value isn’t one. A 15-inch model will set you back around $170 (per tire). This means you’re looking at an investment of around $800 for an entire set, an eye-watering sum no matter how you put it.
- Specifically designed for electric vehicles
- Plenty of traction in dry and wet conditions
- Relatively long treadwear warranty
- There are more affordable options out there
#4. Continental TrueContact Tour
The Continental TrueContact Tour is another excellent pick for the Leaf hatchback.
Not just because one of my colleagues (who has been testing and reviewing tires for decades) regards it as one of the best tire for EVs.
Another reason why I trust this tire so much (and you should too) is because its rolling resistance is pretty low for a non-EV tire. This should enable it to enhance your Leaf’s range, which is much shorter than competitors like Chevrolet Bolt EV.
There’s another factor that convinced me to select this tire. With a rated 80,000-mile tread life (that Continental backs with an equally long warranty), it shouldn’t require replacement for the next half-decade unless you spend 15+ hours per day behind the wheel.
You can also find DWS indicators on its rubber. As long as these indicators haven’t completely faded away, this tire will be safe for Dry, Wet, and Snow driving.
- Low rolling resistance for improved range
- Offers excellent refinement levels
- 80,000-mile treadwear warranty
- Snow performance isn’t the best in class
#5. Michelin CrossClimate 2
The Michelin CrossClimate 2 offers the trifecta of qualities – excellent range, prolonged tire life, efficient heat-dissipation – EV drivers look for in tires.
Start with the range. This tire features Michelin’s EverTread Technology to deliver low rolling resistance and, as you might guess, improved battery mileage. You can thus count on it to improve the Leaf’s otherwise laughably low range.
Next comes tread life. A tough tread compound means that the CrossClimate 2 won’t suffer as much wear carrying the added weight of your EV’s battery as any other non-EV tire. The result? Lower tire degradation and many more years of road life.
Need proof? Check out this model’s treadwear warranty. A 60,000-mile guarantee indicates that Michelin expects this model to last at least 4 years for the average American driver.
Finally, heat dissipation. Thanks to the large tread blocks and multiple pores, this tire doesn’t get too hot, even when driven for hundreds of miles at a stretch in summer conditions. As a result, you won’t have to worry about heat build-up and, by extension, abnormal tread wear.
- May improve your Leaf’s range
- Exceptional dry and wet performance
- Shortest braking distances in its class
- Lower treadwear warranty than rivals
#6. Bridgestone Turanza QuietTrack
The Bridgestone Turanza QuietTrack will make your Leaf’s driving as quiet as it should be. To understand how, you should first know where tire noise comes from.
Tire noise has two origins: “cavity noise” (air bouncing inside the tire) and “pattern noise” (air bubbles getting compressed and released between the tread and the road). To hush down this tire, Bridgestone focused on reducing the pattern noise.
It did that by adding thin, longitudinal tires around this tire, as well as multiple short, diagonal grooves on the sides. Both these grooves serve several purposes. Yet their primary goal is only one – allowing air to escape as the tire rolls on the tarmac.
The result is a quiet ride. How quiet? While independent estimates are hard to come by, many drivers I have spoken to claim that this tire is whisper-quiet. The fact that reputed publications like Wired are repeating them shows they aren’t wide off the mark.
Finally, given what I have said above, you may feel that a hushed ride is the only thing this tire offers.
I don’t blame you if you think like that. However, as our detailed review of the Turanza QuietTrack shows, it has more tricks up its tread. Think of excellent dry and wet performance, an 80,000-mile treadwear warranty, and utility in light snow conditions.
- One of the quietest tires in the industry
- High 80,000-mile treadwear warranty
- Can be used in mild wintry conditions
#7. Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus II
The Cinturato P7 All Season Plus II is a standout tire in Pirelli’s lineup for Nissan Leaf.
Mainly because it has the trust of this hatchback’s owners. Except for the CrossClimate 2s, I’m yet to see a tire as highly rated by the Leaf driving community as the P7 All Season Plus. Dozens of reviews show high happy drivers are with this tire’s performance.
Good word of mouth isn’t only why I’m recommending this tire. The Cinturato P7 All Season Plus II is one of many tires I have tested over the years. As such, I am a direct witness to this model’s excellent performance in dry, wet, and light wintry conditions.
I can also vouch for this tire’s excellent road manners. At moderate speeds, there will be minimal tread growl, meaning you can enjoy the quiet ride EVs are famous for.
Another thing I can say about this tire is that it won’t betray you. Besides a 30-day money-back guarantee, Pirelli ships it with a 70,000-mile treadwear warranty. That is something you don’t get on many touring tires, let alone those as pocket-friendly as this tire.
- Offers excellent fuel economy
- Provides a comfortable driving experience
- Backed by a 70,000-mile treadwear warranty
- Isn’t the quickest to respond to steering inputs
#8. Michelin X-Ice Snow
The Michelin X-Ice Snow is one of (if not) the best winter tires on the market. As such, if your driving route sees more than its fair share of snow, it’s worth an investment.
Befitting a tire that ranks near the top of its category, the X-Ice Snow delivers class-leading braking distances on snow. This means that upon the application of brakes, it comes to a halt much more quickly than rivals, reducing the risk of accidents.
Another thing you’d appreciate about this tire is that there’s minimal risk of aquaplaning. Aquaplaning is a phenomenon caused by the build-up of water inside the tread area. If allowed to fester, it can lead to slippage and loss of control for the driver.
Moreover, while snow tires are notorious for poor wet handling, the X-Ice Snow is an exception. Its steering response is notably livelier and acceleration is significantly quicker than rivals.
To further sweeten the deal, Michelin backs it with a 40,000-mile treadwear warranty. That is a huge deal. At the time of writing, no winter tire comes with any mileage guarantee, let alone one that can rival that of all-season tires from lesser-known brands.
- One of the few winter tires to come with a treadwear warranty
- Amazing handling and traction in harsh winter
- Much livelier than competitors
- Poor handling in the dry
How We Chose the Best Tires for Nissan Leaf
When searching for the best tires for the Nissan Leaf, we selected models with the following qualities:
- Low Rolling Resistance: As you may know from experience, the Leaf hatchback’s range is already lower than rivals. It’s thus imperative to install tires with low rolling resistance. Otherwise, its mileage may decrease still.
- Long-lasting tread life: Every tire recommended above (including the winter tire) comes with a treadwear guarantee. This is done to give you insurance that, come what may, the tire won’t require replacement anytime soon.
- Low Road Noise: With no engine noise to overpower their growl, ordinary tires can be very loud if installed on an EV. It’s thus essential to pick tires that offer a quiet operation.
- Efficient heat dissipation: Since EVs generate a lot of power and torque, their tires experience increased heat during use. It’s thus essential to pick tires with efficient heat dissipation properties. Or else, the risk of blow-outs will be significant.
The Nissan Leaf is proof that an electric vehicle can be affordable. However, to get the most out of this hatchback, it’s essential to pair it with quality tires. Only then you’d be able to enjoy its ride.