If you want a car that will be both practical and fun to drive, the Nissan Altima is one of the best choices out there. This mid-size sedan is one of the most popular in the USA for all the good reasons. It provides its passengers with a comfortable and quiet traveling experience, yet it is still fun to drive behind the steering wheel. That said, to fully exploit Altima’s capabilities, you’ll need a set of high-quality tires. The best tires for Nissan Altima should provide the driver with high levels of responsiveness and excellent contact with the road, yet also make the ride more comfortable for the passengers. It would also not hurt if they are durable and last for several seasons before a replacement is imminent.
The thing is, the tire market today is flooded with different models and types of tires. Even a single manufacturer, like Michelin or Bridgestone, offers several different tires that can be fitted to the Altima. Choosing the right set of Nissan Altima tires becomes increasingly difficult, simply because tires are divided into several categories. First, you need to think about the climate in your area – tires are designed to work in a tight temperature range, and choosing the wrong tire can result in degraded performance. Then, you also need to think about your driving style. Some drivers are more into leisurely driving and want a quiet and comfortable tire, while others value the ultimate driving experience in the corners or during fast driving.
Luckily, we are here to help you choose just the right set of tires for your Nissan Altima. We will give you the list of the Top 10 best tires for Nissan Altima, again divided into different categories, so everyone can choose a favorite set of Nissan Altima tires. Then, to make things very easy for you, we created a buying guide, where we will talk about every type of tire that Altima drivers might need.
Best Touring and Grand-Touring Tires for Nissan Altima
1. Bridgestone Turanza QuietTrack
The Turanza QuietTrack is the newest grand-touring tire in its category. That doesn’t always mean that it is also the best, but in this case, we would argue that it is. The main reason why we rate the Turanza so highly is comfort. Thanks to ComfortCruise Technology, the ride quality is so plush that the roughness from the road seems to fade to oblivion. The QuietTrack is also whisper-quiet on the highway, just like its name suggests.
Despite the focus on comfort, the Japanese grand-touring tire is excellent when it comes to handling. Responsiveness is very good; there is ample traction under hard acceleration, a lot of grip in the corners, and very strong braking. The Turanza puts the same show in rainy weather, both on damp and very wet pavement. The Turanza even works in light snow, unlike some budget-oriented alternatives.
On top of everything else, the Turanza QuietTrack comes with an outstanding 80,000-mile treadwear warranty, the best of any other grand-touring tire right now. The only real downside, if we can call it that, is the higher price than most premium grand-touring tires.
2. Michelin Premier A/S
If you only care about performance, there is no better tire than the Michelin Premier A/S. With this tire, Michelin shows everything it knows about tires. Right now, the Premier A/S offers the best wet traction and braking of any other grand-touring tire thanks to the Expanding Rain Grooves. On top of that, thanks to the EverTread technology, new grooves emerge as the tire wears down, which keeps the wet traction even after several years of usage.
The Premier A/S is also very good on dry pavement, providing the driver with excellent responsiveness and a lot of grip and traction. Comfort levels are very high as well – the ride quality is plush, and there is no noise on the highway. Unlike some cheaper alternatives, the Premier A/S also works in light snow.
That said, the 60,000-mile treadwear warranty is lower than Premier’s direct competitors, and the price is pretty high as well.
3. Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus
Like most Pirelli tires, the Cinturato P7 All Season Plus offers an elevated driving experience that the enthusiasts will appreciate. This is probably the most responsive grand-touring tire apart from the Premier A/S, and one that offers the best dry grip and traction. Wet traction and braking are amazing as well, on par with the best in the category.
On top of that, the Pirelli is also supremely quiet and comfortable, more so than we expected for a tire that is good in the corners. The 70,000-mile treadwear warranty only adds to the list of qualities of the Cinturato P7 All Season Plus.
However, while it is not bad, the Cinturato is not the best choice for driving in light snow.
4. General AltiMAX RT43
The first two tires on this list might be expensive for owners of older Altima’s. If the price is a big hurdle for you to overcome, then the AltiMAX RT43 is a great choice. This is one of the most popular tires in the grand-touring category, simply because it offers excellent performance at a budget-oriented price. It is also very durable – it comes with a 75,000-mile treadwear warranty for T-Rated models and 65,000-miles for H and V-rated models. That is amazing for a tire that’s priced to compete with budget brands.
On the road, the RT43 holds itself very well. Sure, it may lack ultimate sharpness and grip when compared to tires from Michelin and Bridgestone, but it’s close enough that the average driver won’t notice the difference. The AltiMAX works on dry and wet pavement without any issues, and it is also supremely quiet and comfortable. Highly recommended for everyone on a budget!
5. Cooper CS5 Ultra Touring
Despite the “Ultra Touring” in the name, this tire is the grand-touring offering from Cooper. It is also one of the newest tires in the category, competing directly with the likes of Michelin, Bridgestone, and Pirelli. Like most tires from Cooper, it costs less than the premium alternatives, yet it offers excellent performance across the board.
Thanks to the Stabiledge Performance technology that interlocks the tread elements, the CS5 Ultra Touring is surprisingly responsive in and reacts to steering inputs almost instantly. Grip and traction are also excellent, and we don’t have anything bad to say about braking. The treadwear warranty is also pretty good for a grand-touring tire at 70,000-miles. However, while the ride quality is excellent, the noise is more prominent than on the closest competitors.
6. Continental PureContact with EcoPlus Technology
The PureContact is an excellent grand-touring tire for people that want to save on fuel. Thanks to EcoPlus Technology, this tire will improve the fuel efficiency of the Nissan Altima, and any other vehicle for that matter. On top of that, the PureContact is supremely quiet and comfortable, up there with the best premium grand-touring models.
On the road, the tire is very responsive and provides the driver with a lot of grip and traction in dry and wet conditions. Traction is especially good in the wet, where the Continental competes directly with the Premier A/S for best-in-class honors. The PureContact comes with excellent 70,000-mile treadwear warranty and Tuned Performance Indicators that show the driver when the tire isn’t good for snow or wet driving anymore. However, the PureContact is not the best choice for light snow.
Best High-Performance Tires for Nissan Altima
7. Bridgestone Potenza RE980AS
The Potenza RE980AS is a tire that feels especially light on its feet. Its athleticism is translated into outstanding responsiveness and a lot of feedback through the steering wheel. It also provides the driver with very high levels of grip and traction, both on dry and wet surfaces. Braking is also a very strong point for the Potenza, even in heavy rain.
The Potenza RE980AS is also very quiet at higher speeds and comes with an outstanding 50,000-mile treadwear warranty. However, the ride quality is worse than its closest competitors.
8. Pirelli P Zero All Season Plus
The P Zero All Season Plus is not the newest ultra-high-performance all-season tire, but it still holds its own against the closest competitors. Enthusiast drivers will be happy to hear that the Pirelli is as responsive as it gets, elevating the driving experience to a new level. On top of that, there is a lot of grip and traction, even on more powerful versions of the Altima. Wet traction is also very good, although the Potenza RE980AS is better in this regard.
On the positive side, the P Zero is very quiet and comfortable for an ultra-high-performance tire, something that not a lot of its competitors can brag about. It also comes with an outstanding 50,000-mile treadwear warranty, again amazing given the ultra-high-performance moniker.
Best Winter Tires for Nissan Altima
9. Bridgestone Blizzak WS90
The Blizzak WS90 is the newest winter tire in the hotly contested sector, and right now, it’s probably the best one. It beats almost every competitor in all tests, including dry and wet traction and braking, dry and wet grip, and snow traction and braking. That makes it the best winter tire overall when it comes to performance.
However, while we can’t say anything negative on how the Blizzak WS90 drives, it doesn’t come with any treadwear warranty, which is a shame in this day and age.
10. Michelin X-Ice Xi3
The Michelin X-Ice Xi3 is close second when it comes to winter driving. It provides almost the same results as the WS90 across the board, and it only really loses in the braking tests. It is still better than any other winter tire in that regard, though.
However, the French tire also comes with a 40,000-mile treadwear warranty, which is better than any other winter tire out there.
Types of Nissan Altima Tires: Buying Guide
Touring Tires are the Best Choice for the Average Altima Driver
There is one type of tires to rule them all in this day and age, and that’s touring tires. These tires are designed to offer a balanced driving experience. They aren’t really great at anything when it comes to performance, but still, offer a safe and reliable driving experience. In other words, you’d be hard-pressed to find any fault with these tires, especially if you drive your car always around the speed limit.
While we’re at it, we must also mention grand-touring tires. These models are an alternative to touring tires, made for faster cars. Grand-touring tires usually come with higher speed ratings and offer better performance overall, especially at higher speeds. On the other hand, grand-touring tires have slightly lower treadwear warranties, but the differences are often negligible. If you own a newer version of the Altima, and especially the V6 models, you might need grand-touring tires.
With all that said, the main reason why touring and grand-touring tires are mega-popular is durability. When it comes to treadlife, no other tire type can catch touring and grand-touring tires. Premium manufacturers today offer warranties up to 80,000-miles treadwear, which is quite simply astonishing. This means that you can use these tires for over 5 years if you cover around 15,000-miles annually. Other tires, like high-performance models, usually come with 40,000 to 50,000-miles, and some of them don’t offer any treadwear warranty. In other words, touring and grand-touring tires will be much more cost-effective in the long run.
Then, touring and grand-touring tires are also very comfortable. Thanks to the smooth but not overly soft sidewalls, premium touring tires offer super-plush ride quality that will please the passengers inside the Altima. These tires are also designed to be quiet. The best touring tires are almost inaudible on the highway, unlike the alternatives. Overall, these tires will give you the most luxurious driving experience, transforming your Altima into a premium sedan.
But what about performance? Well, touring tires are good enough for the average driver, but not made for enthusiast drivers. What you need to hear is that they are completely safe and reliable, regardless of conditions. The best touring and grand-touring tires offer respectable traction, grip, and braking on dry and wet pavement. They also have very good hydroplaning resistance in heavy rain, and some of them even offer good traction and braking in light snow. Overall, touring tires offer a very balanced driving experience. If you drive your Altima like a “normal” person, up to the speed limits, you won’t need to carry about the tires at all – they will provide you with enough traction, grip, and braking for every purpose.
However, enthusiast drivers might want to look elsewhere. Touring and grand-touring tires aren’t designed for very fast driving, especially in the corners. Drivers that constantly drive their Altima to the limits will notice a significant drop in cornering performance, including lack of ultimate grip and traction. On top of that, these tires aren’t nearly as responsive as some sportier alternatives, which is the first thing you will notice if your Altima was previously equipped with high-performance tires.
That said, this only applies to few Altima owners – for the general driver, touring and grand-touring tires have more than enough traction, grip, and braking. More importantly, they are completely safe in almost every condition you encounter, and that’s everything the average driver might need to hear.
High-performance Tires are the Best Choice for Enthusiast Drivers
If touring and grand-touring tires don’t cut the mustard for you when it comes to handling, then you might want to check high-performance tires. These tires are usually made of slightly softer tread compound and stiffer sidewall, a combination that gives them much, much better performance. High-performance tires are extremely responsive and elevate the driving experience on another level. They also provide the driver with much better traction and grip in the corners, and stronger braking. With a set of high-performance tires on your Nissan Altima, you can drive faster without worrying that the car will start to slide.
That said, while high-performance tires really make the whole driving experience much better, they have some glaring disadvantages. First, they have much shorter treadwear warranties and generally last twice less than touring tires. They are also much more expensive to buy in the first place, so prepare to spend a lot of cash of tires if you want to drive enthusiastically. In the end, high-performance tires are also not designed for comfort. The best might be comfortable, but the ride will still be choppier than on touring tires, and there will be more noise on the highway.
What About the Climate?
As you can see on most online tire retailer’s websites, both touring and high-performance tires are offered as all-season, summer, and winter tires. That is because the climate is also very important when it comes to choosing a set of Nissan Altima tires. The main factor here is temperature. Tires are designed to work in a tight temperature range. Very low temperatures make the rubber more brittle, almost like plastic, which translates into a lack of traction and grip. Very high temperatures, on the other hand, make the tires too soft, which translates into worse responsiveness and stability. Choosing a set of tires that will work great with the climate in your area is not only important for the driving experience, but also for overall safety.
With that said, all-season tires are designed to work in most conditions. They are made from a tread compound that doesn’t become too brittle in the winter, nor too soft in the summer. This means that they will safely work in a larger temperature range than other tires. The best all-season tires for Nissan Altima provide safe and reliable driving experience on dry and wet pavement. However, this also means that they are ultimately a compromise – a specialized winter or summer tire will provide you with much better performance. All-season tires tend to be worse in the winter than in the summer as well.
If you live in areas with harsh winters, then you might consider all-weather tires. These tires are a variation of all-season tires, with the main difference being that they work better at lower temperatures. This means that you’ll lose responsiveness in the summer, but gain traction and grip in the winter. All-weather tires have a more prominent tread pattern, which makes them better in light snow and ice as well.
However, if you want the ultimate driving experience in the winter, then you’ll want winter tires. These tires are designed specifically to operate in very cold conditions and have a deeper tread with a lot of siping. The result is excellent grip and traction on dry and wet pavement in the winter, and the best snow and ice traction and braking.
You may think that we included only premium tires on the list, but that’s for a reason. Very cheap tires that you’ll find on online retailers that sell other stuff might be unsafe to drive. Seriously, tires made from manufacturers that you haven’t heard before are very bad when it comes to traction, grip, and braking. They are also much less durable and might be more expensive in the long run. To be sure that you get a set of tires that will give you a safe and reliable drive, always choose Nissan Altima tires from reputable manufacturers!