Choosing the correct tires for your car can be tricky business, unless you opt for the same tires the manufacturer equipped the car with at the factory. If you were unimpressed with the car’s handling or performance, choosing different tires could make a world of difference in how you feel about the car in general.
The tires are the single most important part of the suspension system of your car or truck. Depending on the type of tire you choose, you will experience significant changes in not only the ride quality, but also in the handling capabilities of the car. Do you have an uninspired sedan with lackluster handling and an underpowered four-cylinder engine? A change of tires could make that little sedan quite a go-getter.
Most inexpensive four-door sedans are equipped with the least expensive tires available from whatever tire manufacturer the auto company currently has a contract to do business with. When you have the opportunity to replace the tires on your car, think about what it is on your car that you feel is lacking. Do the tires “hum” constantly while driving? Is the car’s cornering mushy and skittish? These issues can be corrected with proper tire selection. Let’s take a look at four of the most common types of tires, and the benefits and drawbacks that they offer when mounted on a common, everyday four-door sedan.
Selecting economy tires for your car is the same safe bet that the auto manufacturer took. They meet government safety regulations, provide adequate stopping, cornering, and wet/dry traction, and have a relatively comfortable ride that is neither too harsh nor too plush. Economy tires are tires designed largely to provide a good mixture of benefits at a low price, but most of all to pump up fuel economy numbers. With minimal contact patch, these tires produce low tire to ground friction, which benefits the auto makers who can then post great fuel economy numbers on the sticker price of the vehicle.
Sports tires force consumers to make a trade for using them. The trade is that not only do sports tires produce a much harsher ride when mounted on vehicles not originally intended to for sports tires, but also have the effect of reducing fuel economy. The positive aspects of sports tires on your car include improved handling and control of the car. Whether fitted to a sports car or a typical 4-door sedan, proper sports tires with a low sidewall can utterly redefine what it means to drive your car.
Touring tires are a compromise tire. They blend aspects of economy, sports, and luxury tires into a single package. Touring tires are similar to sports tires in that they provide a wide contact patch with the road to help improve cornering and control. Like economy tires, the treads are designed to optimize fuel economy where possible while providing all-season grip. Finally, like luxury tires, they have a taller sidewall than sports tires to help absorb the bumps and twists that the road has to offer. Touring tires are a good all-around choice for practically any car, and are almost guaranteed to provide just the ride, handling, and economy that anyone could expect.
Luxury tires are designed to do two things aside from the normal things car tires do. They are designed to provide a smooth ride while at the same time keeping road noise to an absolute minimum. Luxury tires have a cushier sidewall to the tire, allowing it to absorb more of the bumps that the road offers up.