Despite the fact that crossovers and SUVs are becoming more popular every single day, the best vehicles for families are definitely minivans. These cars are designed to maximize the space inside the cabin and are offered with three rows of seating, and they also have car-like driving characteristics thanks lower center of gravity when compared to SUVs and crossovers.
That said, to extract the best performance from your minivan, you’ll definitely need a good set of tires. The problem is, the market today is simply flooded with tires from different manufacturers, and also tires in several different categories. Choosing the best tire for your needs becomes increasingly difficult, especially when you throw in all the factors.
Luckily, we prepared this article in which we will explain everything there’s to know about minivan tires. Here you can read about different tire types and how they satisfy different drivers and different climates, and you can also find the 10 best tires for minivan according to our website. To make it even easier for you, the list of the best tires is divided into several categories – it’s not just a simple Top 10 list.
With all that said, let’s jump to the tire categories and why choosing the right tire type is crucial for safe driving.
Touring All-Season Tires are the Best Tire Type for Minivan Drivers
Touring and subsequently, grand-touring and performance-touring tires are the most used tires on the road today. The reason behind this is simple – they offer a set of characteristics that appeal to the casual driver. Minivans are driven by “casual” drivers, not racing drivers, and that’s why for them, touring tires are the best choice.
But, let’s start with the advantages. First of all, most touring tires today are also all-season tires, which means that they will work in a wider temperature range than summer tires or winter tires. Sure, there are compromises on both ends, but a set of touring all-season tires are the safest choice if you go on a long road trip with your family and the climate changes depending on the area you’re driving in. This also means that a good set of touring all-season tires will work throughout the year, especially if you live in areas where it doesn’t snow in the winter, or it rarely snows.
The best touring all-season tires have excellent dry traction in warm and cold conditions and outstanding braking performance. They are also becoming extremely good at tackling wet conditions – the best touring tires have outstanding hydroplaning resistance, and they also work on damp surfaces. All touring all-season tires should also work in light snow, but few of them do that perfectly. This means that for severe wintry conditions, you’ll still need a proper set of winter tires.
Apart from the grip, traction and braking, touring tires are also desirable thanks to their comfort levels. There is no other tire type available today that is as comfortable or quiet as a touring tire. With a set of high-quality touring tires, your minivan will have much better ride quality, even on rough terrain, and it will be much quieter at highway speeds. Your family will definitely appreciate this.
Perhaps most importantly for minivan owners, touring, grand-touring and performance-touring tires are the most cost-effective solution in the long run. They consistently beat their high-performance and winter counterparts when it comes to treadwear warranty. For example, some touring tires today are offered with outstanding 90,000-mile treadwear warranty, while high-performance tires top at 50,000-miles. This also translates into the real world – touring tires almost never lose their tread, even after years of service. Oh, and they are also cheaper to buy at the beginning, which is another great advantage of touring tires.
You’ve probably noticed by now, we also mentioned grand-touring and performance-touring tires. These are derivatives of touring tires, and both offer better handling and braking at the expense of treadlife and price. Also, grand-touring tires and performance-touring tires are aimed at owners of bigger and more powerful vehicles, such as minivans.
In our opinion, owners of minivans should choose grand-touring tires primarily, or touring tires as a more budget-oriented option. That said, some drivers of V6 minivans might want to have a look at performance-touring tires.
But What If I Want Sporty Handling?
In our opinion, performance-touring tires are an excellent choice for drivers who want the extra edge when cornering or braking. These tires don’t lose much in terms of comfort or noise but offer that extra precision in the corners. They also offer very good treadlife, especially when compared to some more sporty alternatives.
However, if you want to be the racing daddy or mommy, you may want to try high-performance tires. These tires will give you much higher responsiveness and precision while driving in the corners. They also have much higher levels of grip, better traction, stronger braking, and much better high-speed stability. High-performance tires are available as summer and all-season. The summer option is much better at very warm climates, but unusable in colder conditions. In other words, they are aimed at owners of coupes and sporty sedans, not minivans. That’s why we recommend high-performance all-season tires if you want a more engaging drive.
That said, always consider the fact that high-performance all-season tires wear much faster, and they’re also less comfortable and noisier than touring, grand-touring and performance-touring tires.
And What About the Winter?
For the majority of people, a proper set of winter tires is the best choice when the winter comes. These tires are specifically designed to work in cold and freezing temperatures and will give you the best traction, grip, and braking performance when it drops below zero. Also, they are by far the best choice for driving on snow and ice. As a matter of fact, the difference between winter and all-season tires is so big that in the snow that there is really no comparison. Every driver should seriously consider winter tires.
That said, a new type of tires emerged in recent years called all-weather tires. These tires are somewhat similar to all-season tires with the main difference being the operating temperature. While all-season tires operate better at higher temperatures, all-weather tires operate better at lower temperatures. In other words, all-weather tires are usable throughout the year and will have better performance than all-season tires in winter, but worse in the summer. Also, they tend to degrade faster due to the softer rubber. And while the best all-weather tires might be usable in the winter, they are still no match for a proper winter tire in very harsh conditions. Use them only if you live in areas with mild winters.
Best Touring Tires for Minivan
1. Bridgestone Turanza QuietTrack
The QuietTrack is the latest addition to the Turanza lineup of touring tires from Bridgestone, competing directly with the likes from Michelin, Continental, Goodyear, and Pirelli. Right now, it is also probably the best grand-touring tire for minivans due to the fact that it incorporates the latest technologies from the biggest tire company in the world.
The Turanza QuietTrack is available in many sizes that will suit most popular minivans such as the Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna, Chrysler Pacifica, and Nissan Quest. The main thing about this tire is how quiet it is. Bridgestone brands it as a “tire that quietly impresses,” and that’s really the case in the real world. It is also supremely comfortable over bumps, more so than almost any other competitor. All of this is achieved thanks to the ComfortCruise Technology Package, which will turn your minivan into a much better long-distance cruiser.
Luckily, the outstanding comfort the Turanza QuietTrack offers is joined by outstanding performance in every condition you encounter. Responsiveness is one of the best in the category, as is the level of grip in the corners and traction when exiting a corner. Oh, and the same can be said when it rains – the Turanza competes with the best in the class in this category, too. Braking is also outstanding, both in dry and wet conditions, and the Turanza is even usable in light snow.
Oh, and we’re not finished. The Turanza QuietTrack also comes with an outstanding 80,000-mile treadwear warranty, which is one of the best in the grand-touring category. Real-world durability reports should be excellent as well – this is Bridgestone after all.
That said, some may find the Turanza QuietTrack a tad expensive, especially those with older minivans.
2. Michelin Defender T+H
The Michelin Defender T+H is one of the most popular touring tires for crossovers and minivans thanks to its fair price, outstanding durability report, and excellent performance throughout. It might not offer the same driving qualities of the grand-touring Premier A/S, especially in the handling department, but we think that it is a better choice for minivan owners due to its unique set of advantages.
The first one is definitely comfort, which is almost neck-to-neck with the Bridgestone Turanza QuietTrack. The Defender is especially good over bumps, making the ride of any minivan much more comfortable. It is also quiet on the highway – on newer minivans it is almost inaudible at 70mph.
On the road, the Defender grips the road very well and provides the driver with ample levels of traction on dry surfaces. We still think that the Turanza QuietTrack is better in the handling department, but the Defender T+H is no slouch either. The Michelin is especially good in wet conditions, where it beats almost any other competitors in the category. It is also usable in light snow, unlike most touring tires, and it offers very good high-speed stability.
The Michelin Defender T+H also comes with outstanding 80,000-mile treadwear warranty which is up there with the best grand-touring tires. This tire also won numerous independent tests for durability, beating competitors with the same treadwear warranty. That said, those tests didn’t include some of the latest tires from Bridgestone and Continental.
The Defender T+H is also not very expensive, especially because it is a Michelin tire. And while it doesn’t offer the ultimate handling prowess of the Turanza QuietTrack, it is worth a close look considering the price and durability report.
3. Continental TrueContact with EcoPlus Technology
Like the Michelin Defender T+H, the Continental TrueContact with EcoPlus Technology is also a standard touring tire. This means that it won’t offer the same handling precision as grand-touring tires, but it also means that it will be cheaper and more durable. More precisely, the Continental is much cheaper than its competitors from Bridgestone and Michelin, and it also undercuts them on durability. At 90,000-mile treadwear warranty, the TrueContact is simply unbeatable when it comes to longevity.
On dry roads, the TrueContact offers very good grip and traction for safe and reliable driving experience. It is not that responsive, but that’s not something that most minivan drivers will notice. What they will certainly notice is the level of wet traction and grip on offer – the Continental is the best touring tire in that regard right now. Braking on wet surfaces is also outstanding, and the tire resists hydroplaning like no other. On top of that, the Continental TrueContact is supremely quiet on the highway and comfortable over bumps.
That said, we would’ve liked a bit more light-snow traction – the Defender T+H is better in this regard. Still, considering the price of the Continental, that is a small issue.
4. Cooper CS5 Grand Touring
Despite the “Grand” in its name, the CS5 Grand Touring is a standard touring tire that competes with the Michelin Defender T+H and Continental TrueContact. When compared to those tires, it is cheaper than the Michelin and almost similarly priced to the Continental.
That price is justified with excellent showing throughout our tests, especially in the comfort department. The CS5 Grand Touring is supremely comfortable over bumps and almost inaudible at highway speeds. It is also very good in the handling department, almost on the level of the Continental TrueContact. Wet performance is very good, too, albeit not on the level of the TrueContact. On the other hand, the Cooper might be better in light snow.
The CS5 Grand Touring also comes with excellent 80,000-mile treadwear warranty, which is one of the best in the category. We also like that it is made from Coupled Silica compound molded into an asymmetric pattern which allows side-to-side rotations for even wear of the tires.
5. Goodyear Assurance ComforTred Touring
The Assurance ComforTred Touring is one of the most popular tires for minivans and for a good reason. It offers probably the best ride quality in the segment without losing in the braking and performance department. That is achieved with the Comfort Layer and ComfortEdge technologies, both of which help even out vibrations from the road. The Goodyear is also very quiet thanks to those same technologies.
In the handling department, the Goodyear trails some newer grand-touring competitors slightly, but it’s still very safe and reliable. It brakes very well on dry and wet surfaces, it steers nicely, and it also grips the road well in tight turns. High-speed stability is also excellent – much better than that of standard touring tires, for example.
The ComforTred Touring is adequate for light snow, and it comes with 80,000-mile treadwear warranty. Oh, and it also undercuts the Bridgestone Turanza QuietTrack in terms of price, which is also a grand-touring tire.
6. General AltiMAX RT43
If you want a grand-touring tire at the price of a standard touring tire, the General AltiMAX RT43 is the best choice right now. This tire is another popular choice for US and Canada minivan owners due to its unique set of qualities.
The first one is definitely the durability – at 75,000-mile treadwear warranty for T-Rated models and 65,000-miles for H and V-rated models, the AltiMAX RT43 is comparable to the best grand-touring tires in terms of treadlife. For example, the Turanza QuietTrack offers an 80,000-mile treadwear warranty, but it’s also much more expensive.
The General is also very responsive, offers high levels of grip and traction, and it brakes very well in dry and wet conditions. Thanks to the Anti-Slip Sipe Design Technology, the General is also usable in light snow, while the Twin Cushion Silica compound helps in the comfort and noise department.
7. Hankook Kinergy GT
The Kinergy GT is another grand-touring alternative that is priced to match standard touring tires from premium manufacturers. It offers several compelling advantages to standard touring tires, like more responsive handling and better high-speed stability. The Hankook Kinergy GT also grips the road very well, offers high levels of traction, and very good braking performance. Wet traction is also very good, and the Hankook resists hydroplaning like a champ.
Despite the focus on responsiveness, the Kinergy GT is also very quiet and comfortable on the road. Durability is also good, but not outstanding – the Hankook comes with 70,000-mile treadwear warranty, which is lower than the premium competitors. Still, not too bad for the price.
Best All-Weather Tires for Minivan
8. Michelin CrossClimate+
The Michelin CrossClimate+ is the best all-weather tire right now thanks to its outstanding showing in the winter. Sure, it’s not a winter tire, but it will definitely work in mild winter conditions. It is also supremely usable in light snow thanks to the 3PMSF emblem, something that its all-season competitors can’t brag about.
The CrossClimate+ also offers very good handling abilities in both dry and wet conditions and excellent high-speed stability. Truly a tire that you can use throughout the year. Oh, and it’s also quiet and comfortable.
However, there’s a catch here – the CrossClimate+ comes only with 50,000-mile treadwear warranty and has a higher price than the best grand-touring all-season tires.
9. Toyo Celsius
Another excellent all-weather tire, but this time at a more budget-oriented price point. The Toyo Celsius offers excellent performance in the winter, both on snow and ice, albeit not on the level of the Michelin. It is also very usable in warmer conditions, offering high levels of grip, traction, and braking performance. It also comes with excellent 60,000-mile treadwear warranty, which is close to that of all-season tires.
Best Winter Tires for Minivan
10. Michelin X-Ice Xi3
If you want the most reliable traction in the winter, then a proper winter tire is a must. For minivan owners, we think that the Michelin X-Ice Xi3 is the best choice because it offers outstanding performance in the winter. Put it in deep snow, unpacked or packed, and the X-Ice Xi3 will find itself out of it. It also brakes extremely well on snow, and even works on ice. As expected, the Michelin handles freezing and dry weather as good as it handles snow, beating almost any other competitor in the winter category.
Despite that fact that it’s a winter tire, the Michelin is also pretty quiet and comfortable, and it even comes with a 40,000-mile treadwear warranty. Not bad for a winter tire for sure. What is bad is the price, though, which is the highest in the segment.
As you can see from our list of tires, we always stick to reputable manufacturers. Tires are no joke – the difference between and cheap low-quality tire and more expensive and high-quality one may be the difference between life and death. Big tire companies put a lot of effort into research and development so you can have safer and more reliable driving experience. We know, you may find most of the tires on this list expensive, but they are also much more durable than cheap tires and maybe the more cost-effective option in the long run.