The Mustang might be the most popular model in Ford’s lineup, but the Escape is the “bread and butter.” Right now, the compact crossover is one of the most important vehicles for the company and sells like hot cakes in recent years. The main reason for that is the popularity of SUVs and crossovers, but also Escape’s unique appeal as a driver’s crossover. Right now, this car is probably the most dynamic in its category, a testament to Ford’s focus on driving fun in recent years. That said, to extract the best possible performance from this car, you’ll need the best tires for Ford Escape at your disposal.
The thing is, choosing tires today has become a pretty daunting task. There are so many different makes and models, but even more importantly, many different types of tires. To choose the best set of tires for you, you first need to think about the climate in your area, then about your driving style, and in the end, the terrain you are driving your Escape on. And because Ford’s crossover is offered with various different engines, you also need to put that into account. For example, those that own the 2.0 EcoBoost version will need a different set of tires when compared to people that own less powerful versions.
Everything that we have said sounds confusing at first, but don’t worry, we will clarify that shortly. We created this extensive article to help you choose the best tires for your Ford Escape. Here, you will learn everything there is to know about Escape tires. That way, it will be easier for you to choose the right set for you. Then, with the knowledge you acquired, you can jump to the “Top 10 Tires for Ford Escape” section. There you will be able to find tires from every category that the average Escape owner might need.
Touring and Highway Tires are the Best Type for Most Escape Owners
We will start with touring and highway tires first, simply because they are the most popular choice for most Escape owners. Both touring and highway tires are very similar in their qualities, with one very big difference – highway tires are better for towing and hauling. In other words, they are tougher and come in higher load ranges.
However, touring tires will give you a much more responsive driving experience when you don’t tow or haul very heavy cargo. Considering the fact that the Escape is a compact crossover, we will include mostly touring tires on our list, but we will throw some highway tires for good measure as well.
After we cleared that out, let’s have a look at all the advantages of these tires. The first and perhaps most important one is their cost, both for purchasing and in the long term. Touring and highway tires are almost always cheaper than other alternatives. They are also the most durable tire type you can buy – the best touring tires come with an 80,000-mile treadwear warranty. Other types of tires can achieve only half of that! In other words, replacing these tires should be done once every 6-7 years, which is a pretty long time.
Then, touring tires are also designed to be very comfortable. Their name implies that they’re designed to cover long distances, which makes them the best solution for road trips. The ride quality of touring tires is better for any other tire type, both at lower and higher speeds. They are also designed to be very silent – you can’t even hear them at normal highway speeds. Overall, if you care about comfort and quietness, then a set of touring or highway tires is always the best bet.
Even though touring tires are designed for comfort, they also provide a completely safe and reliable driving experience. Well, the best of them, anyway. Touring tires might not be as responsive as some sporty alternatives, but they are completely fine for crossovers with comfort-oriented suspension. The best touring tires also offer high levels of grip and traction, more than the average driver would even need. Braking with these tires is also strong, and they work in the rain as well. Overall, they provide a very balanced driving experience.
But What If I Still Want a More Responsive Driving Experience?
Then you’ll want a set of Street/Sport tires or high-performance tires. These tires are designed to offer a much more engaging driving experience. In other words, they are much more responsive, improving the turn-in on any car you install them on. They also offer vastly better traction for more powerful vehicles and higher levels of grip. Finally, they also provide the driver with a much greater braking force, so stopping distances will be shorter. Street/Sport and high-performance tires work on damp roads and very wet roads, too. Overall, these tires will offer the best possible driving experience of any other tire, and it’s not even close.
Then, why everyone doesn’t drive on these tires? Well, they have some disadvantages. First of all, they wear much faster – the best tires in this category come only with a 50,000-mile treadwear warranty, nearly half of what touring tires offer. Sporty tires also produce more noise, especially at higher speeds, and have worse ride quality. Finally, they are pretty expensive to buy.
Still, owners of Escape V6 and Escape 2.0 EcoBoost models should consider these tires precisely because they can take that power to the ground more easily and generally offer a more engaging and rewarding driving experience.
What About Off-Road Tires?
That’s a hard question to answer if you don’t already know the limitations of the Ford Escape. In our opinion, off-road tires are totally not worth the hustle. They don’t offer the same driving dynamics of touring or Street/Sport tires, not even close. Off-road tires are also much noisier on the highway and tend to wear much faster. On top of that, the Ford Escape is nor exactly an off-road type of vehicle, despite the fact that it is offered with AWD. A good set of touring or highway tires should be enough for gravel roads, mind you. That’s why we won’t include any all-terrain, multi-terrain, or mud-terrain tires on this list.
What About the Climate? Does it Make a Difference?
It does, and it’s big. Apart from the difference in speed and terrain, tires are also divided according to the climate. More precisely, every tire is made to operate in a strict temperature window. Some tires work better in warmer conditions, while others work better in colder conditions. It is of paramount importance to choose tires that will work best in the climate in your area.
For example, if you choose tires that work in colder weather and use them in warm conditions, they will become too soft. Your car will be unresponsive, and high-speed stability will be seriously hampered. On the opposite, warm weather tires become too hard and brittle in colder weather and lose almost every single one of their qualities.
Luckily, most tires today are all-season tires. These tires operate in a wider temperature range, from warm summer days to colder winter nights. There will be compromises, as expected – tires made for warm weather will still be much better in the summer than all-season tires. It’s the same with tires made for very cold weather. However, for the majority of people, all-season tires offer enough traction, grip, and braking from around 20 °F to 100 °F, both in dry and wet conditions. That said, some all-season tires are only slightly usable in light snow.
If you need a universal set of tires that will work in the snow, then all-weather tires are a much better option. These tires are designed to work in lower temperatures when compared to all-season tires, at the expense of warm weather performance. So, if you live in areas with slightly harsher winters, you might want to consider all-weather tires.
That said, winter tires are still kings when it comes to freezing-cold weather performance. They are made from a softer rubber compound that helps them retain traction in very cold conditions. Winter tires also have a more aggressive tread pattern with a lot of siping that improves snow and ice traction by a significant margin.
Summer tires are the opposite of winter tires – they work extremely well at higher temperatures. Ford Escape owners that live in areas with warmer climates, such as Florida, might be tempted by summer tires. They offer vastly better performance than any other tire in warm weather, both on dry and wet roads. And it’s not even close, trust us.
Here's our list of the Top 10 Best Tires for Ford Escape:
Best Touring Tires for Ford Escape
1. Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza Plus
The Dueler H/L Alenza Plus is a favorite between the crossover and SUV community simply because it offers one of the most comfortable experiences around. The ride quality of the Bridgestone is very plush – the tire is good at absorbing both the smaller and bigger bumps from the road with ease. Noise is also not an issue, even at very high speeds.
The Dueler H/L Alenza Plus doesn’t stop to impress when it comes to dynamics. high-speed stability is also one of the best in the category, while traction, grip, and braking are among the class-leading. That said, due to the comfort-oriented compound, the Bridgestone isn’t as responsive as the best in the category, but that’s not something that most drivers will notice. On the positive side, the Alenza Plus is very good in wet conditions, though, and even works in light snow.
The best thing about this tire is how durable it is – the 80,000-mile treadwear warranty is right now the best in the touring category.
2. Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology
If you want a set of tires that’s not very expensive, yet still offers the R&D experience of a big company, then the Continental CrossContact LX20 is an amazing choice. This is one of the quietest touring tires right now – it is almost inaudible on the highway. The ride quality is also excellent, on par with the best premium touring tires.
Even though it is definitely focused on comfort, the Continental CrossContact LX20 also offers a very engaging driving experience. Responsiveness is top-notch, high-speed stability is good even for more powerful versions of the Escape, while traction, grip, and braking are sufficient for the average driver. Like most Continental tires, the LX20 also works extremely well in wet conditions, especially when it comes to hydroplaning resistance. Finally, the CrossContact also offers surprisingly good light snow traction for an all-season tire.
Thanks to EcoPlus Technology, this tire will also lower the fuel consumption of your crossover, which is always welcome in this day and age. That said, even though the 70,000-mile treadwear warranty is good, some competitors are starting to offer 80,000-miles.
3. Michelin Premier LTX
The Premier LTX is a more expensive tire than the CrossContact LX20, which also translates into how it drives. Right now, this is the best touring tire for crossovers and SUVs when it comes to the driving experience. Responsiveness is better than any other competitor, while high-speed stability is close to that of some sporty tires. Traction is also outstanding, grip excellent, and braking very strong.
The Premier LTX works in wet conditions, thanks to the Expanding Rain Grooves around the circumference and Emerging Grooves across the shoulders. It is also very usable in light snow, even though it’s only an all-season tire. Like every other Michelin tire, the Premier LTX is supremely quiet and comfortable.
That said, probably due to the more aggressive tread compound, oriented for performance, the Premier LTX comes only with a 60,000-miles treadwear warranty, lower than any other premium touring tire.
4. Cooper Discoverer SRX
The Discoverer SRX is a low-cost alternative to premium touring tires, yet a product that still offers an engaging and safe driving experience. The handling with a set of these tires will be better than almost any other similarly-priced product. Traction and grip are very good, and braking is very strong. The tire is also pretty responsive to drive and offers excellent high-speed stability. Performance in rainy conditions is almost on-par with the best premium tires on the market. However, the Cooper isn’t the best choice for light-snow traction.
On the positive side, the SRX has a very good ride quality, even when driving over bigger bumps and provides noise-free driving on the highway. This makes it a great choice for drivers that cover a lot of miles with their Ford Escapes. Another great advantage of the Cooper is the 75,000-mile treadwear warranty for T-Rated models and 70,000-mile for H-Rated models, which is the best at this price point.
5. Pirelli Scorpion Verde All Season Plus
The Pirelli Scorpion Verde and its 65,000-mile treadwear warranty don’t seem like class-beaters at first glance but wait until we tell you how it drives. Right now, this is probably the most responsive touring tire at this price range, coming close to the Michelin Premier LTX, which is more expensive. The engaging drive is complemented by high levels of grip and traction, as well as excellent braking performance. The Scorpion Verde Plus also works in wet conditions, and even in light snow.
The Italian competitor is very good for long road trips. The ride quality is very plush, and there is no noise at higher speeds.
6. Goodyear Assurance CS Fuel Max
Goodyear’s touring all-season contender also comes with a 65,000-mile treadwear warranty, lower than most premium competitors. However, despite the shorter warranty, it still has enough advantages that make it an almost complete package.
This is the only tire on the list that has different sections for dry, wet, and snowy surfaces. Dry Tread Zones on the inboard and outboard layers provide the driver with a responsive drive and a lot of grip through the corners. The Wet Tread Zone improves traction on damp roads, while the Aquachannel Grooves limit hydroplaning in heavy rain. The Assurance CS Fuel Max even offers surprisingly good traction in light snow.
That said, even though noise is not an issue, the ride quality of the Goodyear is worse than its rivals.
Best All-Weather Tires for Ford Escape
7. Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady
If you want a tire that will work better in the winter, yet still offer good performance in the summer, then the Assurance WeatherReady is an excellent choice. Compared to all-season alternatives, this tire will give you much better traction, grip, and braking in the winter. This is true for dry and wet pavement, as well as snow. Seriously, this is as close to a winter tire that you can get.
Responsiveness in warmer conditions is slightly worse but still great for the average driver. The WeatherReady retains its excellent wet performance in warmer conditions, too, and brakes very well. However, while we can’t complain about the ride quality, there is more noise than on a comparable all-season tire. On the positive side, the 60,000-mile treadwear warranty is very good for an all-weather tire.
Best High-Performance Tires for Ford Escape
8. Pirelli Scorpion Zero Asimmetrico
If you want a more engaging driving experience than what touring tires have to offer, or you own an Escape V6 and 2.0 EcoBoost, then the Scorpion Zero Asimmetrico is the best choice. This is an all-season Street/Sport tire that will make your crossover a much more interesting proposition to drive. This tire is one of the most responsive around, with progressive grip in the corners and high levels of traction.
As expected, high-speed stability is also outstanding. Wet traction and braking are among the best in the category as well, and the Pirelli even works in light snow. Interestingly, the Scorpion Zero Asimmetrico is also one of the quietest Street/Sport tires, thanks to the Pirelli Noise Cancelling System. However, unlike its rivals, the Pirelli doesn’t have any treadwear warranty.
Best Winter Tires for Ford Escape
9. Bridgestone Blizzak WS90
Right now, the Bridgestone Blizzak WS90 is the best winter tire for passenger cars and crossovers. Thanks to the NanoPro Tech Multicell compound that has a water-loving hydrophilic coating and EdgePerformance Technology Package, this tire beats any competitor when it comes to snow and ice traction. The Multicell compound, on the other hand, takes care of handling and braking on dry and wet surfaces. However, even though it consistently beats its competitors in almost every category, the Blizzak WS90 doesn’t come with any treadwear warranty.
10. Michelin X-Ice Xi3
If you want a winter tire with treadwear warranty, then the Michelin X-Ice Xi3 is an excellent choice. The 40,000-mile warranty is the best of any other winter tire on the market, bar none. On snow and ice, the Michelin has almost the same traction as the Blizzak WS90, but it’s slightly worse on braking. Still, handling and braking on dry and wet surfaces in the winter are superb, and overall, it’s an excellent tire for the money.
As you can see from the list above, we only included high-quality tires from well-known manufacturers. Tires are very important to the overall safety of the vehicle and buying very cheap products should never be an option. The cheapest tires on the market don’t offer nearly enough traction and braking, especially in wet conditions. They are also much less durable and might be more expensive in the long run. In other words, even if you don’t choose a set of tires from the list above, ensure that you at least choose a set from a reputable and well-known manufacturer.