Types Of Tires & What They Mean

There are many types of tires for many different types of applications. So what do they all mean?
Posted On August 23, 2021
By Integra Tire Canada

Tires can be confusing – there are many types of tires for different seasons, applications, speed ratings, and more. Choosing the first tire you find that fits on your vehicle, or simply choosing a tire that looks cool may be a mistake. Tires are each built with a purpose. Each tire is built with a different design of their sipes, unique rubber compound, varying grooves, and much more. Depending on what kind of driver you are, there will be a tire that best suits your needs. In this guide we overview a few popular types of tires and what their best usage cases are.

Do you have a car, crossover, or minivan?

There are four major types of tires for passenger (car, crossover, or minivan) vehicles: touring, grand touring, summer, and performance tires. If you’re driving a passenger vehicle, you’re likely using your vehicle for typical day-to-day tasks, such as driving the kids to school, grocery shopping, and other errands; however, it’s possible you’re wanting to push your vehicle with a performance tire. Here’s a quick summary of the types of tires in this category:

Touring Tires

Touring Tires are the most basic type of all-season tires you can find. They are a great match for almost every daily driving condition you’ll face. These tires are often the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) tires for basic domestic sedans and minivans. These tires are popular because they offer a quiet, comfortable ride in most conditions, although they do not deliver high performance or cornering abilities.

Grand Touring Tires

Grand Touring Tires are very similar to Touring tires. They offer a comfortable ride in most daily-driver conditions but with more responsive handling and control. These tires are often asymmetrical and offer a higher speed rating. These tires may be a good option for someone who is a daily driver but also wants to push their vehicle, with an enhancement on performance over comfort.

Performance Tires

Performance tires have a focus on acceleration, cornering, and reduced stopping abilities. These tires are popular for those with sports cars, exotics, and racing vehicles. Performance tires offer the highest speed rating of all vehicles and are typically used in the warmer summer months. Because of their construction focused on high-performance, these tires typically sacrifice road noise, gas mileage, and comfort.


Do you have a Truck or Sports Utility Vehicle?

If you are driving a truck or full-sized SUV, you might be seeking a tire for quiet and comfortable highway driving, rugged capabilities for off-roading, or even a combination of the two. These are the types of tires best suited for trucks and SUVs:

All-Terrain Tires

These tires are the perfect match for someone who is mostly a city or highway driver, but still wants the extra flexibility to take on multiple surface conditions like light mud, rain, sand, gravel and more. With wider tread blocks and more grooves, these tires may be slightly noisier than a highway/touring tire, however are quieter and more comfortable than off-road tires in everyday conditions.

Off-Road Tires and Mud Tires

Off-road tires are the best choice for a driver who finds themselves off the pavement on a regular basis dealing with mud, gravel, sand, and a variety of other conditions. Many light duty fleet vehicles that travel around forestry, mining, and oilfield sites use off-road or mud tires. Off-road and mud tires are much more rugged-looking with large tread blocks, spacing, and sipes designed to evacuate mud, water, and debris. This comes with trade-offs. Off-road and mud tires will not be the best match for someone who primarily drives within city streets and highways as they are louder and travel less smoothly on pavement.

Highway/Ribbed Tires

These tires are built for the ultimate comfort and quiet in highway driving conditions and typically have the longest tread life when compared to other tires. If you find yourself on the highway often for long road trips, or traveling often for work, these are the best tires for your needs.

More Types Of Tires

There many more types of tires for different usage cases. Depending on your needs, your local Integra Tire service advisor will be able to help you find a tire that will suit you. We’ll ask you a number of questions including:

  • What type of driving do you do?
  • What is your budget?
  • What type of lifespan would you like to get out of your tires?

Contact us today for more info.

Questions? Our Advisors are Happy to Help!

If you have questions about anything you've read in this resource page, contact your nearest Integra Tire dealer for more information. We are passionate in assisting our customers make the best choices to keep their vehicles in tip-top shape and keep their families safe.
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