It’s always summer in Hawaii, or so it seems. In places where there is no true winter, only wet and dry weather, cruising along highways or city roads requires summer tires.
Summer tires are also called performance tires because of the ability to perform well in warm temperatures, above 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
With softer rubber compounds and larger tread blocks, they ensure maximum road contact. If you’re on the lookout for a replacement set, here’s the rundown of the top summer tires on the market today.
Table of Contents
- Our Pick
- Which is the Best Summer Tire?
- What Are the Best Tires for Hot Weather?
- What Are the Best Ultra High Performance Tires?
- How to Choose a Summer Tire
6 Best Summer Tires
The French tire manufacturer ups the ante with an ultra-high performance summer tire for both the street and the track. Boosting your car’s power is the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S, which is an approved tire model by Ferrari and Mercedes-Benz AMG.
Get familiar with the precise steering that summer tires are known for through the Dynamic Response Technology, which adapts to any road.
Its dependable dry and wet traction go hand in hand with unmatched handling. Responsible for the latter is Multi-Compound Construction. While summer tires aren’t the most reliable in terms of tread life, the Pilot Sport 4S bumps up its tread life by 9%, preventing the typical grip tradeoffs.
This tire, with its enhanced asymmetric tread design, wears well while its dark velvet finish racks up visual appeal points. It’s the result of examined output from endurance racing. Its value commands a high price, so it may not be for everyone. It is backed by a 30,000 miles warranty.
Michelin Pilot Sport 4S is Suitable For:
Meeting the expectations of high-end car owners, this model mostly caters to premium vehicle sizes, ranging from 17 to 22 inches. With a starting price of almost $200, it also fits a more flexible type of budget and requirements.
- Ultra high performance premium tires
- High speed tire for car enthusiast
- A street tire suitable for some track usage
- This tire features a technology that lets it adapt to any road, allowing for reliable traction on dry and wet surfaces.
- Its multi-compound construction enhances cornering grip and stability.
- It promotes precise steering for total performance driving.
- It delivers a 9% longer tread life than other summer tires.
- It has a visually appealing velvet finish for luxury car fittings.
- It is available in high-end car sizes.
- Its starting price is a bit higher than most summer tires.
Best Overall Runner-Up
Bridgestone showcases its topnotch features and functionalities through its flagship brand, the Potenza. In particular, you can sample the advantages and benefits of the Potenza in RE760 Sport. This tire combines race tire-inspired technology with its signature particulars to deploy increased control, handling, and response.
The optimized tread pattern sets it apart, starting with the semi-slick shoulder that helps enhance the cornering grip. The 3D center block maximizes road contact while the inside offset twin rib improves response and stability. For secure wet traction, Bridgestone also designed wide straight grooves for this Potenza model.
Available at around $150, this option is the more affordable alternative to Pilot Sport 4S. It is covered by the 90-Day Buy & Try Guarantee of Bridgestone, which stands in, as a trial period. You can get a full refund or an exchange when you are not satisfied with your purchase.
Bridgestone Potenza RE760 Sport is Suitable For:
This tire has 14 to 20 inches sizes, which can fit vehicles such as the Audi A4 and A6, BMW 3-series and 5-series, Mercedes-Benz C Class and E Class, Nissan Z, and Saab 9-7. Its reasonable price makes the product also accessible to more customers.
- High performance sport tire
- Semi-slick shoulder design maximizes cornering grip
- Wide straight grooves improve wet traction
- This product combines race tire-inspired tech with its own strong points to deliver improved response, handling, and control.
- It has optimal road contact and cornering grip.
- It is responsive and stable.
- Its wet traction is outstanding.
- It is a more affordable alternative to the Pilot Sport 4S.
- All sizes are applicable only to the W speed rating.
Michelin has another high-performance summer tire to watch out for. The Super Sport is part of the premium maker’s Pilot tire family. Its claim to fame is its designation as original equipment for some of the most exclusive road cars, including the Ferrari’s fastest, the 599 GTO.
Engineered using endurance racing victories as inspiration, this product has 12% better handling than its top competitors. It offers best-in-class cornering grip, sufficient dry as well as wet traction, superior dry as well as wet braking.
It has extended tread wear, which is exceptional in its category. Achieve fast speeds like a pro with its notched center ribs and inboard shoulder.
Running around the same price as the Sport 4S, the price of this one starts at $181.99 and can go above $500. This is complemented by a miles warranty of 30,000, which is on top of the standard materials and workmanship warranty for treadwear or mileage.
Michelin Pilot Super Sport is Suitable For:
This one is available in 17 to 22 inches sizes, which affect its final pricing.
- This is designed to provide similar effects and those used to win endurance racing.
- It has excellent dry and wet weather braking.
- Its handling and cornering grip is worth writing home about.
- Sporting longer treadwear, it is covered by a 30,000 miles warranty.
- It is a more reasonably priced tire from Michelin.
- It has poor resistance to aquaplaning.
- It can be prone to oversteering on wet roads.
- It can still be expensive for some people.
Best Value Runner-Up
A list of best high-performance tires won’t be complete without the Pirelli P Zero. It is not just a hard worker on dry and wet roads. It’s also a toughie when you’re out driving in light snow. Its asymmetric design is in charge of delivering handling and braking. Steering control and stability are achieved through the nano-composites of its high-grip tread compound.
Demonstrating more functionality is the wide grooves that promote high aquaplaning resistance. The S-shaped sipes can reduce rolling noise. When you’re driving at limited speeds, such as in congested cities, the large, rigid blocks outside the tread have excellent handling. Meanwhile, the high-density nylon belt contributes even distribution upon ground contact while cornering.
One downside of this premium tire model is the high cost it commands. At $350, it may only be accessible to those who have the budget to buy a set.
Pirelli P Zero is Suitable For:
This model has sizes that are 18 to 24 inches, which work for a variety of vehicles. This product is not available for sale in the state of Arkansas.
- Engineered to provide superior handling and feedback during extreme driving conditions
- Optimized structure featuring a high-density nylon belt leads to even distribution of ground contact pressure during cornering
- Solid rib block in the center enhances braking performance
- It is a high-performance tire with all-season capabilities as well.
- It has a tread design that makes superior handling and braking possible.
- It allows enhanced steering control and stability.
- It increases aquaplaning resistance and reduces rolling noise.
- It is durable and aesthetically pleasing.
- It is one of the more expensive models on our list.
- It can be prone to blowouts.
International manufacturer Hankook, which traces its origins in South Korea, brings to you the best budget summer tire you can find on the market: the Hankook Dynapro HT (RH12). This model is a performance all-season tire that features low rolling resistance, enhancing your fuel economy in the process.
Of course, it is chosen for its excellent snow traction. At the same time, it amasses high tires ratings in terms of dry and wet weather performance. An environment-friendly tread compound leads the way in mileage and braking. This component also prevents abrasions, cuts, and chips.
On top of these benefits, you can also rely on its high-strength steel belts and high-tensile strength sidewall rubber for durability. However, handling of the Dynapro HT is average. And the tire pattern can feel stiff. But this model is unbeatable with its $125 starting price and a 50,000 miles treadwear mileage warranty.
Hankook Dynapro HT (RH12) is Suitable For:
This model has P-metric and LT options in 15 to 20 inches. Hankook is a proud partner of Ford, Nissan, Ram, and Toyota, among others. So if your car is from any of these manufacturers, it may be compatible with this tire.
- Fit Type: Vehicle Specific
- Tire Diameter: 31.7 Inches
- It helps build confidence in driving through light snow and slush.
- It is known for its high performance in both wet and dry conditions.
- It is durable and stable.
- It can reduce the risk of hydroplaning.
- It can enhance fuel economy while providing you a relatively quiet and smooth ride.
- Its price tag is one of the most reasonable we can find for a performance all-season tire.
- It offers a generous 50,000 miles warranty.
Its handling response may be average due in part to a tread pattern that is too stiff.
Best Budget Runner-Up
Providing tires to on- and off-road sports cars is BFGoodrich. And this brand has a budget-friendly entry in the summer tire category through the g-Force Sport Comp-2. Breaking down its name can help you get to know it more. Referring to the silica-infused compound, Comp-2 is a component derived from racing technology, which enhances grip and steering response.
The tread pattern is called the g-Force Sport. It is responsible for the tire’s remarkable cornering and stability. Responsiveness, control, and durability are credited to the Performance Racing Core, which makes up the internal structure. Further, whether you are driving on wet or dry pavement, the grip remains great without sacrificing treadwear.
This product is available starting at around $90. It is covered by the 6-year standard limited warranty from BFGoodrich. However, the manufacturer does not provide a tread mileage warranty for this one.
BFGoodrich g-Force Sport Comp-2 is Suitable For:
This model has sizes between 15 and 20 inches. It can fit vehicles such as the Cadillac CTS, Ford Mustang, Mini Cooper, and Porsche 911. If you own these cars, you may not exactly be looking for a “budget” tire. But you can rely on this one to deliver luxury car benefits without cheapening the effect.
- g-Force Sport Comp-2 235/50ZR18 97W
- Load Range: SL (Standard Load)
- Black Sidewall
- Its compound is infused with silica for better grip in wet and dry conditions.
- Its tread design boosts grip while also promoting stability and cornering.
- It uses a construction that improves control, responsiveness, and durability.
- It features an added grip, which is great in wet conditions.
- A standard limited warranty applies, but there is no tread mileage warranty.
- Treadwear may not be as excellent as that of higher-end versions.
Which is the Best Summer Tire?
There is no question that the Michelin Pilot 4S is the best overall summer tire. But there are other contenders on our list.
For instance, the Michelin Super Sport from the same Pilot family is the best in terms of value for money. For the best budget-friendly option, the Hankook Ventus RS4 holds the spot.
In case you missed it, we also have alternatives to each best version. Go ahead and check them out, too.
What Are the Best Tires for Hot Weather?
Leading the list of performance summer tire options are Michelin Pilot Sport 4S, followed closely by Bridgestone Potenza RE760 Sport. These are made for faster speeds and higher temperatures. You can also check out the rest of our picks if you want to focus on specific features, such as value for money and budget.
What Are the Best Ultra High Performance Tires?
The ultra-high performance option in our book is no less than the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S. Our quick review of this product in this guide shows the upsides and downsides (is there one, except for its high price?).
How to Choose a Summer Tire
When it comes to choosing a summer tire over an all-season tire, some people may be wondering why to do it at all. In this section, we will explore the different factors to consider when you’re on the market for this performance product. These factors can also support your decision to go for this one instead of the all-season option:
While we want tires that can work in any season, all-season tires may not be the one you need when you want dry traction to combine with a faster drive. The latter is the performance offered by summer tires.
Customized for the Season
All-season tread design may work as a one-size-fits-all creation. The tread design that comes with a summer tire, however, is exclusively made for the season. Thus, it has a better chance at control and grip over dry surfaces and water evacuation on wet surfaces in wet planes.
All-seasons may perform fairly when the temperature is hot. However, their response is not optimized for the season. Meanwhile, summer tires can have an immediate reaction to the hotter surface as it is engineered to do so.
Summer tires have special tread patterns and compounds that help them exhibit excellent grip on both wet and dry roads. At the same time, they promote stable driving in curves and boost mileage performance.
In this guide, you’ve come across our top summer tire picks for 2020. The Michelin 4S ranks first here because it packs a lot of functionalities and features in one product. The only downside to it is its price. But you’re probably more willing to spend on a performance model because it’s what you need.
If you want a less expensive alternative, the Bridgestone Potenza RE760 is a worthy contender. It performs well on and off the road. But its price is so reasonable that it’s difficult to not feel the cost difference. This product is still all about elevating the driving experience. And that is exactly what you need from a summer tire.
You can also try one of the others. All of the models mentioned above are certified awesome in their respective subcategories. With this in mind, you can have the chance to customize your choice according to your requirements.
If you are still choosing which among these six products is the right for you, we recommend going through the frequently asked questions sections. Tell us how the answer to each can help you improve your riding quality. Likewise, you can share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.