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Best SUV Tires for Rain

SUVs may have a respectable off-road potential and an impressive towing capacity but most of the time they are going to deployed on the road under regular driving conditions. As such investing in off-road tires is not only unnecessary but comes with its due share of compromises like a heftier price, increased noise and a reduced gas mileage. Unless you intend to do some serious off-roading, it is highly recommended you go for highway terrain (all-season) tire.

On the highway, the biggest threat you can face is rain and thus the risk to hydroplane. And if you plan on driving an SUV at a place which experiences frequent rainfall, it is ideal to choose a tire that is compatible with rainy and wet conditions. Failing to do so can be disastrous, as wet roads can severely diminish the grip and stability of the vehicle, making it prone to slipping and accidents.

The Top 5 Best SUV tires for Rain

If you are having trouble finding the best SUV tire for rain, worry no more! Here is a list of the best tires for rain, available in the market today:

  1. Michelin Premier LTX All Season Radial Tire 225/65R17 102H (Editor’s choice)
  2. Yokohama Avid Touring S All-Season Tire – 205/55R16 89T
  3. Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza Highway Terrain SUV Tire P275/55R20 111 H
  4. Nexen N’Priz AH5 All- Season Radial Tire-215/75R15SL 100S
  5. Firestone Destination LE2 Highway Terrain SUV Tire 225/65R17 102 T

1. Michelin Premier LTX All Season Radial Tire 225/65R17 102H (Editor’s choice)

Zero compromises when it gets old…

Michelin has long been known for introducing innovative, elegant and superior quality tires in the market. This 17-inch all-season tire is no exception!

Apart from having an attractive appearance, this tire is equipped with a number of features that make it roll over easily and elegantly in all weathers, including rain. Its tread pattern is capable of conforming to the road conditions so that the grip of the tire is not compromised in case of wet or rough areas. An innovative addition to this tire are the rain grooves and emerging grooves. These grooves widen and open respectively, in response to wet conditions. This allows the tread to get rid of excess water so that the stability and grip of the tire on the road is maintained. Being a Michelin tire, it also handles pretty well while still providing a good level of quietness and comfort.

The tread compound of this tire is composed of functional elastomers and silica, both of which enhance the drainage of the tire multifold. Thus, ample wet traction is provided and the safety of the SUV on wet roads is ensured. Interestingly, the wet braking distance of this tire decreases as the tire wears, a hallmark of innovation. The advanced tread compound with rubber reinforcements also impart a long wear life to the tread and guarantee less fuel expenditure. However, this Michelin tire retails for a much higher price than many other options.

Pros:

  • Excellent wet traction
  • Can perform well in all seasons
  • Steady grip
  • Looks appealing
  • Short wet braking distance
  • Backed by a 60,000 miles treadwear warranty

Cons:

  • Expensive

2. Yokohama Avid Touring S All-Season Tire – 205/55R16 89T

The best budget option with no compromise on quality…

If you are searching for an economical option for your SUV that meets all the requirements in rain, this 16-inch tire by Yokohama is your best bet. It is manufactured using a tough rubber compound, which is intended to provide strength and durability. The tread pattern is unique and symmetrical with stiff, variable-sized tread blocks. This construction makes the tire ideal for use on wet roads as the grip is greatly enhanced. The variable tread blocks also allow this tire to provide an year-round performance, irrespective of the weather conditions. Furthermore, its tread contains sipes which are of great help if light snow is encountered, making it one of the very few in this category to provide that.

The selling point of this Yokohama tire is the presence of specialized rain channels in its tread. These channels function along with the deep circumferential grooves in evacuating water from the tread. The water is cleared in the direction opposite to the direction of the tire, allowing the tire to maintain its contact with the road firmly and minimize any chances of slipping. However, despite the stabilizing factors, this tire is not ideal for use at high speeds. This is mainly due to the soft sidewall, which may cause swaying of the SUV at very high speeds. A 30-days test drive is promised on the purchase of this tire.

Pros:

  • Safe to use in rain and snow
  • Strong tread 
  • Features rain channels
  • Inexpensive
  • Durable

Cons:

  • Performance might be compromised at very high speeds
  • Might sway on highways

3. Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza Highway Terrain SUV Tire P275/55R20 111 H

The eerily quiet and silky smooth one…

This 20-inch all-season tire by Bridgestone is equipped with a myriad of features that guarantee its survival in rainy conditions. The most prominent of these are lateral notches. These specialized grooves work together with circumferential grooves and greatly add to the ability of the tire to survive on wet roads by providing both forward and lateral traction. This also means that the stability is maintained even when facing sharp corners. The tread blocks are designed in an advanced manner, with optimally sized voids between them. These play a major role in resisting hydroplaning, so that the ride is safe despite the road being wet.

Cherry on top is the highly specialized tread compound, which is chosen for its compatibility with water. This dual layered tread compound allows the driver to have great control and better handling of the SUV which is a blessing in rain. The tire tread also has sipes, which are additional small notches that provide significant traction in wet and snowy conditions.

The engineering of this tire is particularly user-friendly. A quiet and comfortable ride is ensured even when the driving conditions are poor. However, as a result of the great riding compound, the mileage and tread life of this tire is significantly less and it can be cumbersome to frequently replace it.

Pros:

  • Great wet traction
  • All season performance 
  • Quiet
  • Efficient in evacuating water
  • Smooth ride

Cons:

  • Short tread life

4. Nexen N’Priz AH5 All- Season Radial Tire-215/75R15SL 100S

The best looking all season tread, in our opinion…

This 15-inch all-season tire by Nexen is a picture of versatility, both in appearance and performance. Credit goes to its innovative features and advanced construction, which is done keeping in view the requirements of different weather conditions, including rain. Thus, this tire can be a game-changer for your SUV. Many other tires claim to have self-cleaning properties but this tire actually delivers on that claim.

This Nexen tire also stands out due to the comfortable ride that it guarantees. It provides the driver with sufficient control, and its noise production is minimal. The tread pattern of this tire is sleek with stiff tread blocks. This design is aimed at increasing the grip of the tire so that the vehicle does not slip on wet areas. It also features 4 wide circumferential grooves that work by clearing water from the tread which are really effective. As the water is evacuated, the tread holds onto the ground firmly and ample wet traction is provided. Surprisingly, this firm and steady grip is maintained even during sharp turns and corners. This crucial feature results from the rigid shoulder blocks of this tire, which also add greatly to its strength.

However, a noticeable drawback of this tire is that it is hard to balance and might need the assistance of an expert. Also, the gas mileage of this tire is comparatively less.

Pros:

  • All season friendly 
  • Substantial wet traction
  • Great looks
  • Steady grip
  • Inexpensive

Cons:

  • Balancing is difficult
  • Tread life is not up to par

5. Firestone Destination LE2 Highway Terrain SUV Tire 225/65R17 102 T

The best rated rain tire among the pack…

This 17-inch tire by Firestone is another excellent choice for your SUV, if you intend to drive in rainy conditions. It is different from the conventional all-season tires, thanks to the presence of unique sweeping grooves. These grooves reinforce the action of circumferential grooves in evacuating water from the tread. Thus, any hindrance to the driving by water is avoided and the amount of wet traction is amplified. Overall, it is one of the best rain tire in the market in any category. These features also grant you a limited cover on snow and ice which is rare for an all-season tire.

The tread compound of this tire is constructed in an innovative way, with the addition of silica. The purpose of this is to further enhance the traction of the tire, and to add to the tread life. It is strengthened by the installment of spiral belts so that the shape and sturdiness of the tire is maintained for long. Nonetheless, mounting this tire can be a challenging task.

The tire is backed up by a 60,000 miles treadwear warranty, so that the customer can make the purchase comfortably. Also the tire inherits the robustness and durability form Bridgestone so you can go ahead and choose this tire without many concerns.

Pros:

  • Can resist hydroplaning
  • Steady grip
  • OEM tire
  • Reasonable price

     Cons:

  • Difficult to mount

 How to buy the best SUV tire for rain?

Rain can be one of the most challenging conditions to drive in, and can be a significant threat to your safety if proper tires are not chosen for the SUV. When making this choice, a few points should be taken into consideration to ensure that the best purchase is made.

1. Choose All-Season tires

This goes without saying; no other tire can match up to all-season tires in terms of wet performance, traction and braking. This makes them the obvious choice if you have to drive in rain every now and then or live in areas that experience frequent rainfalls. Such weather is typically encountered in Florida. so we’ve dealt with the issue in a completely separate article: Best SUV Tires for Florida

2. Check wet braking distances:

It is extremely important to look for a tire with the minimum braking distance on wet road. This ensures that the vehicle will come to a halt in time after the brakes are applied, preventing any unfortunate accident.

3. Choose tires with circumferential grooves:

The presence of deep, longitudinal grooves is a major advantage as they channel the water away from the tread. This allows the contact between the tread and the road to be maintained firmly, preventing the vehicle from slipping.

4. Prefer tires with rain channels:

It is advisable to buy a tire with specialized rain channels, which are small grooves that evacuate the water from the tread in different directions, thus, efficiently resisting hydroplaning.

Similar read: Best Truck Tires for Rain

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