It’s not just people who dislike driving in hot climates. Constant exposure to high heat levels can also make your car’s tires uncomfortable, causing their rubber to dry, shrink, and crack. Also known as heat aging, this phenomenon can reduce your tires’ overall life.
Another way high temperatures can damage cheap rubber is by forcing it to over-inflate. That is something that should worry you since over-inflated tires are more susceptible to blowouts, putting your vehicle’s stability and the safety of its passengers in jeopardy.
Which is why premium tires are essential for hot weather. High-quality tires from famous brands are made with advanced rubber materials that better resist heat aging. They can better withstand exposure to high heat levels without hurting their structural integrity.
On top of that, the best tires for hot climates have specialized tread patterns for quick and effective heat dissipation. This helps in reducing the risk of over-inflation and unbalanced tread wear. Plus, it helps the tires deliver more stable performance on hot roads.
#1. Michelin Defender T+H – Best Overall
Several features make the Michelin Defender T+H one of the best tires for hot climates.
The first of which is that its rubber contains ample amounts of silica, a substance with excellent heat dissipation properties. Silica has the ability to disperse heat before it can penetrate the rubber, thereby preventing the tire from overheating.
Another way silica helps this tire deliver enhanced performance on hot roads is by improving its grip and traction on sun-baked surfaces. The result is better handling and cornering capabilities, providing you with increased control over your vehicle.
The fact that this tire comes with an asymmetric tread pattern means that it will be more responsive to your commands than fellow all-season tires. You’d thus feel confident to execute quick lane changes while also attacking bends at maximum speed.
To further sweeten the deal, Michelin has slapped this model with an 80,000-mile treadwear warranty. Such an extended guarantee gives this tire an edge over its competitors. Most of which are backed to last less long by their manufacturers.
- Boasts excellent heat dissipation properties
- Delivers superior grip and traction on hot roads
- Comes with an extended treadwear guarantee
- Straight-line tracking could be better
#2. Continental TrueContact Tour – Best Runner Up
The Continental TrueContact Tour is another excellent pick for hot roads.
A heat-resistant tread compound is the main reason why we’re saving that. This compound not only resists heat but in doing so also prevents heat build-up. As such, the risk of high heat levels causing the rubber to dry, shrink, and crack remains slim.
Next comes superior fuel economy. Thanks to Continental’s EcoPlus Technology, this model offers significant fuel savings throughout its road life. This distinguishes it from most premium tires whose fuel economy takes a hit as their tread wears down.
A longer tread life is another reason why you may want to opt for this tire. Per Continental’s internal tests, the TrueContact Tour lasts 27% longer than the model it replaced. Small wonder, then, that it comes with a class-leading 80,000-mile treadwear guarantee.
Bear in mind, though, that this model isn’t for the enthusiasts. While it offers plenty of grip for everyday driving around town or on the highway, push it too hard, and it may become a tad twitchy.
- Comes with an extended treadwear guarantee
- Offers significant fuel savings
- Delivers a quiet and comfortable ride
- Dry performance lags its competitors
#3. Bridgestone Turanza QuietTrack – Best Quiet Tire
Do you regularly drive on paved roads? Want a set of tires that can cater to daily driving needs? If so, the Bridgestone Turanza QuietTrack is worth a shot.
This model won’t just offer a safe ride on sun-glazed roads. It will also dampen out all but the harshest road imperfections to provide you with a quiet and comfortable ride. As such, you’d be able to enjoy your daily commute to and from work.
The technology responsible for its plush ride quality – Comfort Cruise – also helps deliver savings at the pump. It does that by expanding this tire’s contact patch as you press the accelerator, thereby enhancing road contact for high fuel economy.
Similar to our top two picks, the QuietTrack also comes with an 80,000-mile guarantee. For an average American driver, this means at least 5 to 6 years of road life, which is something I’d look for if I were to buy this tire as it’s by no means cheap.
- One of the quietest tires on the market
- Offers exceptional dry and wet performance
- Delivers high fuel savings
- Doesn’t come cheap
#4. Pirelli P4 Four Season Plus – Best Tread Life
The Pirelli P4 Four Season Plus checks several boxes for the average driver.
The first of which is that it comes at an affordable asking price, especially when compared with its three counterparts recommended above. You won’t have to blow a hole in your pocket to afford this tire.
Despite the budget asking price, this model is backed with a market-leading 90,000-mile treadwear warranty. Of course, rated tread life may not translate to the same road life. But still, such a high guarantee should mean something.
Want to hear more good news? The P4 Four Season Plus is one of the most fuel-efficient tires I have ever encountered. Which may seem to be unbelievable once you have experienced this model’s handling, which is pretty decent for an all-season tire.
- 90,000-mile treadlife guarantee
- Low rolling resistance for an improved fuel economy
- Comfortable ride with minimal road noise
- Wet braking distances are longer than rivals’
#5. General Altimax RT 43 – Best Value for Money
The General Altimax RT43 performs reliably 365 days a year, though it saves its best for hot weather.
A dual-layer tread compound is the main reason behind its excellent year-round performance. The compound’s upper layer (which is the firmer of the two) helps it provide adequate grip and traction on dry roads. So, short braking distances are given.
In the event of unforeseen showers, the lower layer comes to your rescue. Its flexibility makes sure that the tire doesn’t suffer skidding on slipping when there’s water on the roads. As such, you won’t have to slow down when driving through deep puddles.
You can also count on this tire to deliver a quiet riding experience, thanks mainly to the optimized pitch sequence dotting its tread area. This design element does an excellent job of absorbing vibrations and dissipating vibrations before either can hurt ride quality.
Throw its 75,000-mile treadwear warranty into the mix, and you may come to believe that this model is faultless. Unfortunately, that isn’t true. The RT43 is one of those tires whose wet traction get worse as their tread wears.
- Plenty of comfort and low noise levels
- Backed by a 75,000-mile treadwear warranty
- Plenty of biting edges for superb grip and traction
- Wet traction takes a hit as the tire wears
#6. Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza Plus – Best for SUVs
The Dueler H/L Alenza Plus is another must-have tire for sunshine drivers.
On dry roads, this model offers more than enough grip to let you push your SUV to its limits. Its cornering grip is also adequate to tackle those testing bends at speed. Plus, thanks to internal steel belts, the risk of premature deformation is next to negligible with it.
Plenty of wide grooves ensure that there is minimal heat build-up within the tire, thereby minimizing the danger of blowouts. Additionally, these grooves keep the tire firmly planted on the road for low rolling resistance and (as you might guess) high fuel economy.
As one of Bridgestone’s leading tires for SUVs, crossovers and trucks, the H/L Alenza Plus boasts several bells and whistles its competitors lack. Think of an exceedingly comfortable drive, class-leading 80,000-mile treadwear warranty, and low noise at high speeds.
Does all of the above mean that this tire is foolproof? Yes, assuming you won’t be using this tire in wintry conditions. As the H/L Alenza Plus is useless on thick snow.
- Market-leading 80,000-mile treadwear warranty
- Offers exceptional high-speed stability and grip
- Won’t let heat build up inside the tread
- Cons Not the best option for enthusiasts
#7. Cooper CS5 Grand Touring – Best for Sub-Compacts
The CS5 Grand Touring is one of the best tires on the market for sub-compact cars, mid-size sedans, compact crossovers, and minivans.
You’d believe the above for yourself when you drive this tire on dry roads. As it’s on the hot tarmac that this model offers superb grip and traction. At the same time, it offers decent fuel economy, especially for a tire that doesn’t struggle for road grip.
A combination of tiny voids in the tread area and massive outboard tread blocks make it ultra-stable at higher speeds. As soon as they sense acceleration, the design elements come together, delivering added grip the situation demands to keep things from going haywire.
Wear Square Indicators are also on offer. These indicators will be a few inches above the tread when you’re installing this tire for the first time. After a few years (or earlier, depending on your driving habits), they’ll become flush with the tread, indicating the tire’s time is up.
- Comes with an outstanding treadlife warranty
- Offers superb performance in dry and wet conditions
- Carries wear square indicators
- Useless in snow
#8. Falken Azenis FK510 – Best High-Performance Tire
The Azenis FK510 is one of those rare ultra-high-performance tires that you can buy without blowing a hole in your pocket.
Falken has used a special tread compound called Adaptive Constant Pressure in making this tire. The manufacturer claims that the compound helps evenly distribute the pressure forces it’s subjected to, thereby enhancing its grip on dry roads.
Multiple wide shoulder blocks not only improve this tire’s high-speed stability. They also keep it planted on the road when entering/exiting turns. Also, since the shoulders don’t flex, you can expect to get plenty of feedback and responsiveness at the wheel.
Bear in mind, though, that the FK510 isn’t the most comfortable tire to ride. It could have done a better job at absorbing the vibrations high-speed driving subjects a tire to. So, expect the ride quality to be a bit harsh.
- Sharp and responsive steering
- Offers exceptional grip on dry surfaces
- Predictable at high speeds and easy to handle
- Not the most comfortable tire to drive
#9. BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 – Best All-Terrain Tire
The BFG All-Terrain T/A KO2 is one of the most popular, best-selling, and widely praised all-terrain tires of all time.
A double-thick tread compound deserves some of the credit for this tire’s fame, given how it has made its rubber almost impenetrable to rocks, stones, and roadside debris. Additionally, the compound helps absorb vibrations before they can enter the cabin.
Aggressive side biter lugs not just enhance this tire’s traction on slippery surfaces. They also join forces to make the BFG T/A KO2 one of the most efficient rock crawlers out there. In fact, they are the major contributing factor to this tire’s excellent off-road performance.
A category-leading 50,000-mile warranty further justifies the hype, especially because most all-terrain tires come with zero guarantee.
- Highly resistant to cuts, chips, and punctures
- Performs reliably on mud, slush, and even rock
- Backed by a 50,000-mile treadwear warranty
- May get loud on the highway
High heat isn’t just annoying and dangerous for humans. It can also damage your tire’s rubber, putting your vehicle’s stability and the safety of its passengers at risk. As such, if you do a lot of driving in hot climate, it’s crucial to pick the best tires for heat.