10 Best Tire Brands for 2021

Most people shop for tires by tire model, but you can get pretty close to buying an exceptional tire if you stick with a specific tire brand, and then choose the most appropriate model within that brand for your vehicle. We analyzed the top 10 tire brands to make that decision easier for you.

But how do you determine which tire brand is the best? We took a look at several sources that rate tires, from independent consumer rating agencies to industry rating agencies, publications and government bureaus. Then we conducted our own research involving a nation-wide survey of over 800 mechanics and industry experts.

The list below shows our calculated ratings for the top ten tire brands.

See our overall recommendations for Best Tires

4.9 of 5

Michelin is the world's top tire manufacturer and leads the industry in innovation and trust. As our top Golden Wrench winner for Best Tire Brand, Michelin has a trusted track record for quality and longevity.

4.6 of 5

Continental produces a wide range of tires from bicycles and motorcycles to commercial trucks and industrial equipment. Their core business is in passenger tires. Our second top-rated Golden Wrench goes to this company, as they have achieved a great deal of success in the automotive world.

4.4 of 5

Cooper Tires has the winning combination of pricing, brand reputation, and popularity among automotive manufacturers. They sell tires that match nearly every market need, from fuel efficient low rolling resistance tires to extreme off-road treads.

4.4 of 5

This Japanese company now produces top-flight passenger, performance, and truck tires at excellent facilities in Virginia and Mississippi. The brand is popular in racing circles, as well as passenger, SUV, light truck and all-season tire types.

4.3 of 5

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber is an American company founded in 1898 and has grown to become one of the world’s largest tire companies. Known for a vast array of tires, this company is known for durability and quality.

4.3 of 5

Bridgestone is currently the largest tire manufacturer in the world. This company offers over 100 different tire models and boasts something for every type of driver. Bridgestone is credited with reinventing the industry approach to winter tires in the 1990s with the Blizzak line.

4.3 of 5

BFGoodrich has been in business since 1870, and is one of the oldest tire manufacturers in existence. The company maintains a good reputation for all-terrain and mud-terrain tires and is widely available for consumers.

4.2 of 5

Pirelli is one of the oldest and most respected tire brands on the market. The company is now the fifth largest tire manufacturer in the world. While well known in racing circles, Pirelli has a wide variety of tire models and sizes to offer to the regular consumer.

4.2 of 5

Firestone tires are one of the most popular and widely available brands on the market today. These tires are consistently rated as being quiet, comfortable and affordable.

4.2 of 5

General Tires has been in business since 1915. General is known to deliver quality, performance, and value. The company offers a wide variety of tires for many driving applications.

4.2 of 5

Hankook is relatively new to the game, compared to many of the larger companies in the automotive space, however they have a huge selection and maintain very good consumer reviews.

4.1 of 5

Dunlop has been in the business for over a hundred years, specializing in racing and motorsports. The company is known for its history of innovation and development.

4.1 of 5

This company is known in tire circles for quality of manufacturing and good consumer reviews. The company provides passenger car, SUV, crossover, light truck and bicycle tires.

2.7 of 5

Budget tires. Sometimes you get what you pay for. Milestar was not highly rated in our research and a common complaint from buyers was shorter than expected tread life

2.4 of 5

Chaoyang is a Chinese rubber manufacturer offering mostly bicycle tires and more recently, passenger, SUV, light truck, and motorcycle tires. This brand is not widely known in the industry. We recommend doing your due diligence and proceed with caution.

See all tire brands »

Car Talk's Methodology

All of these tire brands were ranked using Car Talk's unique methodology based on over 30 different data points:

  • Consumer Satisfaction: This is the key finding in any of these rankings. Consumers provided data about what their experience was using tire models within each of these brands. The thing to keep in mind is that a single brand may get strong ratings for one tire model, but fall apart on others. It’s important to look at these ratings and then find the tires within those brands that best meet your needs, then look at ratings for that particular tire model versus its competition.

  • Industry Professionals: Car Talk researchers performed a nation-wide survey of over 800 mechanics for their opinions on the best tires available on the market today.

  • Government Reporting: Statistics reported for safety and durability.

  • Tire Quality and Engineering: These studies looked at how a tire brand’s overall quality and engineering or innovation influenced a consumer’s decision to purchase.

  • Performance: All of these agencies looked at how tires from these particular brands performed in wet and dry conditions, under heavy braking and cornering, and in winter weather.

One attribute noticeably absent from the rankings is price. Tires are kind of a “you get what you pay for” situation. One thing that we can extrapolate from this data is that tire brands which are at the lowest rung of the price ladder were the brands that performed below the industry average, almost across the board.

Which is the Best Tire Brand by Category?

We also took a look at how tire brands performed in different categories of tire:

  • Best Overall Quality Tire Brand: Michelin - This company has been in the tire business for 100 years. They have a trusted track record and a long history of innovation and quality. Michelin is known as a brand the consumer can trust.
  • Best All-Season Tire Brand: Michelin - This solid manufacturer provided what the rating agencies all suggested was the most comprehensive array of all-season tires for the average consumer, who is spending almost 100% of their time on paved surfaces, with no outsized performance aspirations.
  • Best High Performance and Ultra High Performance Tire Brand: Michelin - This brand ranked at the top overall, but was particularly singled out for its high performance and ultra high performance tires.
  • Best All-Terrain/Mud-Terrain Tire Brand: Coming soon.
  • Best Winter Tire Brand: Coming soon.
  • Best Crossover Tire Brand: Coming soon.

Tire Rankings By Brand

Michelin

Michelin logo

Michelin is a French multinational tire manufacturer, which has been in business since 1889. Michelin is recognized as the second-largest tire manufacturer on the planet, behind the behemoth Bridgestone, and ahead of brands like Goodyear and Continental.

Michelin offers 53 different tire models for 2021, from the Golden Wrench winner for Best All Season CrossClimate2 to the Golden Wrench Winner for Best Performance tire, the Pilot Sport S4. It’s also one of the manufacturers that offers more than one tire specific to winter climates.

Around the world, and with every rating agency we looked at, Michelin has a stellar reputation for building a quality tire. For this reason, Michelin is our Golden Wrench winner for Best Overall Tire Brand.

Types: All-season tires, touring tires, high performance tires, ultra-high performance tires, winter tires, all-terrain tires, mud-terrain tires.

Pros and Cons

  • Nationwide retail network
  • Top quality ranking
  • Top consumer ranking
  • Wide range of tire models
  • Outstanding performance tires
  • Price

For more in-depth information, read our full Michelin tires review »

Continental

Continental logo

Continental is a German tire manufacturer which has been in the business for 150 years this year. It’s part of a massive multinational conglomerate that provides all manner of subsystems for automotive and transportation applications. Making tires is just one facet of the business.

Continental has a range of 59 different tires available in the United States. In general, it’s concerned with mainstream automotive tire production, so look to Continental for excellent high-performance tires, touring tires and medium-duty truck and SUV tires, and not so much for the extreme mud-terrain and all-terrain models.

Types: All-season tires, touring tires, high performance tires, ultra-high performance tires winter tires.

Pros and Cons

  • Substantial range, especially at the performance end
  • Excellent winter tire range
  • Excellent all-season/touring tire range
  • Not many all-terrain or mud-terrain offerings

For more in-depth information, read our full Continental tires review »

Goodyear

Goodyear logo

American tire manufacturer Goodyear has been in the business of building tires since the invention of vulcanization. Founded in 1898, it’s one of the top four tire makers in the world today.

Goodyear has a bewildering array of 85 different tires, in everything from ultra-performance tires like the Eagle F1 Supercar, all the way down to the Radial LS, a budget all-season tire for commuter sedans. About half the tires that Goodyear offers are for trucks and SUVs, so there’s plenty of range there, too.

Types: All-season tires, touring tires, high performance tires, ultra-high performance tires, winter tires, all-terrain tires, mud-terrain tires.

Pros and Cons

  • Nationwide retail network
  • Standalone Goodyear tire shops
  • Top quality ranking
  • Top consumer ranking
  • Wide range of tire models
  • Winter tire range
  • Price
  • Only fair wet performance on some models

For more in-depth information, read our full Goodyear tires review »

Bridgestone

Bridgestone logo

Japanese tire manufacturer Bridgestone has been making hoops since 1931. Because of its purchase of Firestone in 1988, and various other acquisitions over the years, Bridgestone Corporation is the largest tire manufacturer in the world.

It maintains the Bridgestone brand, which offers more than 100 different tire models for just about every kind of driver. Its Potenza line is its ultra-high- and high-performance line, but it also provides the Turanza and Ecopia tires for passenger vehicles. It’s also credited with essentially reinventing the approach to winter tires in the 1990s with its Blizzak tire, of which it now offers nine different varieties.

Types: All-season tires, touring tires, high performance tires, ultra-high performance tires, winter tires, all-terrain tires, mud terrain tires.

Pros and Cons

  • Huge range of tires for every application
  • Good retailer network across the country
  • Excellent wet performance
  • Excellent dry performance
  • Excellent winter performance
  • Nowhere near the breadth of models of other manufacturers

For more in-depth information, read our full Bridgestone tires review »

BFGoodrich

BFGoodrich logo

BFGoodrich has been around since 1870, and is one of the oldest tire manufacturers in existence. It’s been part of the Michelin family of brands since 1990, but has maintained a strong presence in the United States ever since.

For its legacy as a household brand, BFGoodrich has really focused on a narrow range of just 21 different tire models. The g-Force ultra-high performance tires, and the All-Terrain T/A K02 and Mud Terrain KM3 tires are its most popular. The Radial T/A is the only other white-letter 14- and 15-inch tire for vintage muscle cars. It has also made a strong showing with its Advantage T/A touring tires, as a replacement for commuter sedans and sports cars.

Types: All-season tires, touring tires, high performance tires, all-terrain tires, mud terrain tires.

Pros and Cons

  • Excellent all-terrain tires
  • Excellent mud-terrain tires
  • One of just a few tires for vintage muscle cars
  • Small product range

For more in-depth information, read our full BFGoodrich tires review »

Cooper

Cooper Tires logo

Cooper has been on the scene since 1914, another one of those Akron rubber manufacturers. It went through some fairly dark days, but recently has been on the upswing providing some standout models in a few categories.

It only offers 21 different models, so it can’t compete with the wide range of the big manufacturers, but where it provides products, it performs well. Most notably, it’s Discoverer truck and SUV tire has been a favorite, and muscle car fans still love the Cooper Cobra, which is one of just a few solid white-letter tires available with fat sidewalls in 14- and 15-inch diameters.

Types: All-season tires, touring tires, high performance tires, winter tires, all-terrain tires, mud terrain tires.

Pros and Cons

  • Excellent all-terrain tires
  • Excellent mud-terrain tires
  • One of just a few tires for vintage muscle cars
  • Small product range
  • Limited high performance offerings

For more in-depth information, read our full Cooper tires review »

Yokohama

Yokohama logo

Japanese manufacturer Yokohama has been turning out tires since 1917, but it’s remarkably only made a name for itself in the United States since 1969. Since then, it has opened two manufacturing facilities in the US, and has become a household brand by providing tires for a lot of OEM applications.

There are 76 different Yokohama models available for US consumers, mostly centered around the ADVAN line of performance tires, the Avid all-season/touring tires, and the Geolandar truck and SUV lineup. It also has several winter tire offerings.

Types: All-season tires, touring tires, high performance tires, ultra-high performance tires, winter tires, all-terrain tires, mud terrain tires.

Pros and Cons

  • Outstanding performance lineup
  • Broad line of all-season/touring tires
  • Broad line of truck and SUV tires, including mud- and all-terrain varieties
  • Less of a retailer network than some other manufacturers
  • Poor winter performance of some all-season models
Pirelli Logo

The Milanese tire manufacturer Pirelli has been in business for nearly 150 years, and has exclusively provided tires for major European racing series and events including the Grand Am Rolex Sports Car Series and FIA Formula One.

Pirelli has 63 tire models, and the bulk of its reputation comes from producing ultra-high performance tires for exclusive performance and sport-luxury cars. However, Pirelli is also a noted producer of high-end tires for trucks and SUVs, with the Scorpion line of tires. It also has a formidable line of track tires, as well as a range of winter performance tires.

Types: All-season tires, touring tires, high performance tires, ultra-high performance tires, winter tires, all-terrain tires.

Pros and Cons

  • Nationwide retail network
  • Top quality ranking
  • Top consumer ranking
  • Wide range of tire models
  • Winter tire range
  • Price
  • No dedicated mud terrain tires

For more in-depth information, read our full Pirelli tires review »

General

General Tire logo

General Tire is an American tire manufacturer that’s been in the business since 1915, and was one of the many rubber manufacturers that made Akron, Ohio, an industrial powerhouse in the early to mid-20th century.

General doesn’t have the breadth of tire models that the larger manufacturers do. It only has 19 available tire models, and the bulk of those are truck and SUV tires in the Grabber line. It also has several winter tires in its lineup: the Altimax for passenger vehicles and the Grabber Arctic for trucks and SUVs.

Types: All-season tires, touring tires, high performance tires, ultra-high performance tires, winter tires, all-terrain tires, mud terrain tires.

Pros and Cons

  • Top quality ranking
  • Top consumer ranking
  • All-terrain/Mud-Terrain tire range
  • Winter tire range
  • Nowhere near the breadth of models of other manufacturers
  • Limited performance range
  • Smaller retail network
Hankook logo

Hankook is the youngest tire brand in our list, having launched as the Chosun Tire Company in South Korea in 1941. Hankook -- the native pronunciation of “Korean” -- was rebranded in 1968, and really only began selling tires here in the 1990s.

With that short history, though, Hankook has become a tire-making force to be reckoned with, delivering a slate of 42 different models, broken into the Ventus high performance line, the Optimo and Kinergy all-season and touring tires, and recently, the Dynapro all-terrain and mud-terrain line.

Types: All-season tires, touring tires, high performance tires, ultra-high performance tires, all-terrain tires, mud terrain tires.

Pros and Cons

  • Outstanding performance lineup
  • Broad line of all-season/touring tires
  • Limited all-terrain/mud-terrain offering
  • No winter tire offering

For more in-depth information, read our full Hankook tires review »

FAQ

Which brand of tires last the longest?

Depending on who you ask, the Cooper CS5 Grand Touring and the General Altimax RT43 tend to last longer than your average tire.

What are the worst tire brands?

Ones you’ve never heard of before, with names that sound like they were made up on the set of a movie to avoid giving free advertising to actual brands: GoodDay, B.R. Goodrach, Michelob, Pirollo.

Are Walmart tires good?

Depends on what they’re selling. You can buy just about any brand of tires through a Walmart store. A Michelin tire from Wally World is just as good as one sold through any other tire retailer.

Are Michelin tires worth the money?

Based on the consumer satisfaction and ratings from professional consumer agencies, yes. Michelin consistently outperforms all other tire brands in those rankings, but the question you need to ask is “Is this the right tire for my vehicle, and the way I drive it?” An ultra-performance Michelin tire on your clapped out 1988 Ford Tempo that never breaks 60 miles an hour is going to be wasted money.

Editor's note and disclaimer: Car Talk is supported by our fans, readers and listeners. When you click on some of the links on our website, we may receive referral compensation. However, you should know that the recommendations we make are based on our independent editorial review and analyses.