Driving in hot weather is tiring for most people, even with the AC turned on to the maximum. And we completely understand that – nobody wants to be constantly bombarded by the sun’s photons.
However, a certain type of people love hot climate driving and they are called car enthusiasts. The reason why these people put a smile on their faces when the sun shines to its fullest potential is pretty straightforward – the tires stick to the road better.
Sure, not every type of tire shows its fullest potential in hot weather, but the ones that car enthusiasts use do perform best in hot weather. But what are those tires? Don’t worry; you’re just at the right place to find out. Here is the definitive article on the best tires for hot climates.
With all that said, today, most tires aren’t designed only for summer use. Most of the high-performance tires that you find are primarily designed for hot weather, but the run-of-the-mill standard tire that you’d put on your passenger car isn’t.
More precisely, most tires today are all-season tires. In other words, the rubber compound they are made of is specifically designed to work both in colder and warmer climates. This makes all-season tires an excellent choice for most people, even those that live in hot areas.
To help you make the best decision, regardless of the car you drive, we put together a list of the 10 best tires for hot climates, divided into several categories. Every category is specifically designed for a certain type of vehicle and driver.
If you don’t know what type of tire you need, we recommend reading through our buying guide. There we will try to explain everything there is to know about passenger tires and especially those that work well in hot climates.
Top 10 List of The Best Tires for Hot Climates Recommended & Reviews
Best All-Season Touring Tires for Hot Climates
The Michelin Defender T+H is the best option for drivers of sub-compact and compact cars that want a safe and reliable drive, despite the slightly higher price than its closest competitors. But if you are in the hunt for the best tires for hot climates, but still the best tire for rain, then this is the way to go.
On the road, the Defender T+H offers dependable handling and braking in dry and wet conditions, and it is supremely quiet and comfortable. High-speed stability is also top-notch.
The 80,000-mile treadwear warranty is one of the longest in the category as well, and Michelin as a manufacturer has been known for producing long-lasting tires for over a century now.
Best All-season Grand-Touring Tires for Hot Climates
The Michelin Premier is the most expensive grand-touring tire on the market, but one that works best in hot climates. It also comes with “only” 60,000-mile treadwear warranty, but for us, that’s always a sign for outstanding handling.
Right now, this is the most responsive grand-touring tire on the market – it drives almost like a high-performance tire. It also offers much better grip and traction than the competitors, and stronger braking, both in dry and wet conditions.
Like most Michelin summer tires, the Premier A/S offers plush ride quality and quiet rolling, even at higher speeds. Another great advantage is the EverTread Technology with Expanding Rain Grooves, which keeps the wet traction and braking intact even when the tire is worn down.
Best All-season Grand-Touring Tires for Hot Climates
The Bridgestone Turanza QuietTrack might not be as responsive as the Premier A/S, but it is still completely fine for the average driver. Traction and grip are excellent in dry and wet conditions, and braking is very strong regardless of the weather. The Turanza also provides the driver with excellent high-speed stability.
The biggest advantage of the Turanza QuietTrack is the comfort it offers. Thanks to the ComfortCruise Technology Package, this tire simply glides over smaller and bigger road imperfections with ease, while the computer-optimized tread pattern lowers noise, making it the quietest grand-touring tire on the market.
Finally, the Bridgestone Turanza also comes with an 80,000-mile treadwear warranty, the best in its class.
Best Touring SUV and Truck Tires for Hot Climates
If you own a crossover or an SUV, the safest choice right now is the Dueler H/L Alenza Plus. Bridgestone’s SUV/Crossover touring tire offers the most comfortable ride of any other competitor and the least noise on the highway. It also comes with an 80,000-miles treadwear warranty, which is the best result in the category.
On the road, the Dueler provides the driver with an engaging driving experience. It has enough traction and grip, even on some more powerful SUVs, and works both in dry and wet conditions.
That said, the Dueler is not the best option for towing large trailers – you’ll need highway tires for that.
Best All-Season Highway Tires for Hot Climates
The Defender LTX M/S is the best highway tire on the market right now. It offers excellent performance, both in dry and wet conditions and provides the driver with excellent high-speed stability. Performance is great, even with a large trailer attached.
Thanks to the EverTread cut- and -chip resistant Compound, the Defender LTX is a heavy-duty tire that can be used for driving on roads and gravel.
The Defender is also very quiet and comfortable and comes with a 70,000-miles treadwear warranty for T- H- & V-Speed Rated, and 50,000-mile treadwear warranty for W-Speed rated models – an excellent result for the category.
Best High-Performance Summer Tires for Hot Climates
The Michelin Pilot Sport 4S is the best ultra-high-performance summer tires on the market right now. It provides the driver with outstanding responsiveness and high levels of grip and traction. Driving on these tires is a pure pleasure, both on the street and on the track.
This tire even works in rainy weather, but only when the weather is warm – you can’t use this tire in colder conditions. On the positive side, it comes with a 30,000-mile treadwear warranty, which is unbeatable in the ultra-high-performance summer category.
Best High-Performance Summer Tires for Hot Climates
The Falken Azenis FK510 is a much cheaper option than the Michelin, but still an amazing ultra-high-performance summer tire in its own right.
Behind the wheel, this is one of the most responsive tires around. It also has outstanding levels of grip and traction and strong braking ability. In our opinion, the Azenis FK510 is a great option both on the street and on the track.
Unlike most tires in its category, the Azenis FK510 is surprisingly quiet, even on the highway. However, the same can’t be said for the ride quality, which is a bit harsh.
Best Max-Performance Tires for Hot Climates
If you do a lot of autocross or track days, then the Yokohama ADVAN Apex V601 is an excellent choice. This tire offers outstanding grip and traction on dry and hot pavement, almost like a proper racing tire. Due to the outstanding traction, this tire will work for drag racing, as well.
Unlike most max-performance tires, the Yokohama ADVAN Apex V601 offers very good hydroplaning resistance, which means that you can use it as a daily driver. The Japanese manufacturer even optimized the grooves for lower noise, and that shows on the highway.
Finally, the ADVAN Apex V601 comes with a 25,000-mile treadwear warranty, which is unheard in the max-performance summer tire category.
Best Street/Sport Tires for Hot Climates
Much like its ultra-high-performance brother, the Azenis FK510 for SUVs and crossovers provides the driver with outstanding handling, both on the street and on the track.
This tire is supremely responsive, has an amazing grip, and strong braking. It is also one of the best wet tires right now. We consider it to be a great choice both for 2WD and 4WD SUVs and crossovers, both smaller and larger.
Same as the normal Azenis, this model is also surprisingly quiet but doesn’t offer the best ride quality.
Best All Terrain Tires for Hot Climates
The BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 isn’t the newest tire in its category, but one that is still a favorite amongst off-roaders. It is very strong and durable, thanks to the Sidewall Armor, so you can freely use it on any type of terrain. It even comes with an excellent 50,000-mile treadwear warranty.
On-road traction and grip are pretty good too, even in heavy rain. We are also fans of the high-speed stability this tire offers, but certainly, not of the noise, it produces on the highway.
Best Tires for Hot Climates: Buying Guide
Different Types of Tires for Different Vehicles
When you go online to shop for tires, you will be flooded by different tire types. There are so many categories available that choosing one is not the most straightforward thing. Don’t worry; we got you covered – below, you can read about every type of tire that is available on the market and who it is for.
Passenger All-Season Tires
The smallest and cheapest tires you will encounter are called passenger tires. These tires are mostly available with an all-season compound. The main reason for using all-season compound is because drivers of smaller vehicles don’t really care about ultimate handling performance; they just want a dependable set of tires that will work in most weather conditions.
As for the cars, passenger all-season tires are designed to be used on subcompact cars like the Toyota Yaris, Honda Fit, and Ford Fiesta, as well as compact cars such as the Corolla and Civic. These tires can also be fitted to some older mid-size sedans with 4-cylinder engines. The main advantages of passenger all-season tires are excellent tread life, dependable traction in most conditions, and comfort.
Touring tires are an upgrade to normal all-season tires. They can also be used on subcompact cars, but also on some mid-size sedans. These tires provide the driver with better performance overall. They have very good traction, grip, and braking performance on dry and wet pavement, and some of them even work in light snow.
Touring tires are also very comfortable, especially when it comes to quietness. Touring tires also offer the best tread life – some of them come with a 90,000-mile treadwear warranty. Most touring tires today are also only available with all-season compound, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t be used in hot climates. As a matter of fact, they perform best in warmer environments.
Grand-touring tires are a version of touring tires, made for faster vehicles. Compared to touring tires, they offer much better traction, grip, and braking performance in all conditions. Grand-touring tires also offer better high-speed stability and are available in higher speed ratings.
This makes them an excellent choice for a multitude of vehicles, including mid-size sedans with V6 engines, sports sedans like Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and Lexus IS, and even some crossovers.
Grand-touring tires also offer a very comfortable and plush ride quality and quiet rolling on the highway. That said, these tires also come with slightly lower treadwear warranties than touring tires. They are also largely available with all-season compound, but will still work very well in hot climates.
Highway tires are similar to their qualities to grand-touring tires, but with one significant difference – they are available in higher load range capacities. This means that you can use highway tires for towing large trailers and hauling heavy cargo in your SUV or pickup truck.
The best use scenario for these tires is the highway, but they can also be used on dirt roads and gravel, thanks to the tougher casing than normal SUV touring tires. Highway tires come with up to 70,000-mile treadwear warranty as well.
Highway tires are mostly available with an all-season compound.
High-performance tires offer even better on-road performance than grand-touring tires. They are far more responsive – the moment you turn the steering wheel, the car will react. Grip levels will also be higher; there will be better traction overall, stronger braking, and outstanding high-speed stability.
High-performance tires can be used on the same cars as grand-touring tires. We recommend choosing these models if you want an elevated and more sporty driving experience. That said, be prepared to lose overall comfort – the ride will be busier, and there will be more noise on the highway.
Luckily, these tires are available in summer compounds. This makes them an outstanding choice for driving in hot climates – much better than all-season tires.
These tires are offered on fast and sporty versions of mid-size and premium sedans, as well as sporty coupes. They offer an even more aggressive tread compound and have smaller sidewalls for better handling.
Behind the steering wheel, ultra-high-performance tires feel super responsive and offer outstanding grip and traction. They brake outstandingly well, too, and offer excellent high-speed stability. In other words, you can drive much faster without worrying about losing traction or grip.
To get the most out of ultra-high-performance tires in hot climates, we recommend going for a summer compound; it will give you the best combination of traction, grip, and braking on dry and wet surfaces in the summer.
These tires have an even more aggressive tread compound than ultra-high-performance tires. They are specifically designed to offer the best possible handling experience, including razor-sharp steering and responsiveness, ultra-high levels of traction and grip, and very strong braking.
To achieve this, tire manufacturers offer max-performance tires only with a summer compound. We recommend these tires for supercars, sports coupes, and heavily modified and tuned vehicles. Max-performance tires are the best choice for tracks and autocross.
That said, these tires won’t work very well in heavy rain and have a very short tread life. They are also very expensive.
Street/Sport Tires for Crossover and SUV
Street/Sport Tires are similar to high-performance tires but designed for larger crossovers and SUVs. In other words, if you have a sporty crossover with a turbocharged V6 or V8 engine, then these tires are the best choice right now.
On the road, they will give you advanced traction for better acceleration, more grip for higher speeds in the corners, and better braking abilities. They will also provide you with better high-speed stability.
However, Street/Sport tires aren’t as comfortable as touring or grand-touring tires, especially when it comes to noise on the highway. They also have shorter treadwear warranties at around 50,000-miles.
Street/Sport tires are mostly available with all-season compound, but some models are available with summer compounds.
These tires are also made for SUVs and crossovers but mostly for people that use them for off-roading. All-terrain tires are still usable on the street, providing the driver with good traction, grip, and braking, both in dry and wet conditions. That said, they are much noisier than touring or highway tires.
Thanks to the deeper and more aggressive tread pattern, all-terrain tires provide advanced traction for off-road on almost every surface you encounter. They aren’t the best choice, but still usable for most people.
Modern all-terrain tires come with excellent treadwear warranties of around 60,000-miles. They are only available with an all-season tread compound.
Mud-Terrain Tires and Maximum Traction Off-Road Tires
These tires are made for real off-road enthusiasts. They aren’t the best choice for street driving and lack traction and grip. However, they are still completely safe, even when it rains.
On the other hand, these tires offer by far the best traction for off-roading, especially in very demanding conditions, such as driving in mud or climbing rocks. These tires are mostly available with an all-season compound.
Summer Tires are the Best Option for Hot Climates
Summer tires are specifically designed to operate in warmer temperatures, and naturally, they are the best choice for hot climates. In these conditions, summer tires offer by far the best handling abilities.
They are supremely responsive, have ample traction, outstanding grip, and strong braking. Summer tires also work both in dry and wet conditions, better than every other tire type.
Suffice to say, with a set of the best summer tires in your car you will have the safest driving experience in hot climates. The difference between a summer compound and other compounds in hot climates is pretty significant, especially if you own a more powerful car.
That said, most tire types today aren’t available with a summer compound, which is why you might want to look at high-quality all-season tires.
Modern All-Season Tires are an Excellent Option as Well
While all-season tires don’t offer the same handling precision as summer tires, they are still completely fine for most people. The advantage of these tires is that they will work great in colder weather, something that could happen if you often go on long road trips.
The best all season tires today also offer outstanding traction in heavy rain; in our opinion, they have the best hydroplaning resistance. Finally, all season tires also have longer treadwear warranties than summer tires; they should last 2-3 years longer.
As you can see from the list of the best tires for hot climates above, we mostly included tires from reputable and well-known manufacturers. In our testing, every cheap tire we tried (mostly found on sites like eBay and Amazon) doesn’t offer a safe experience and might be even dangerous in the rain. In order to be completely safe on the road and to fully appreciate the driving dynamics of your car, we recommend buying high-quality tires from reputable manufacturers.