When you think about a car, there’s a high probability that a picture of the Toyota Corolla displays in your mind. And why shouldn’t it – the Corolla is the best-selling vehicle of all time, and it’s not even close. Toyota’s compact car has been a staple in the automotive world for over five decades now, and it’s still going strong (best-selling car in 2018). There are several reasons why the Corolla is very popular with buyers, but the two most important factors are certainly the low cost of ownership and reliability.
Toyota is not a tire manufacturer, though, so to make the most out of Corolla’s qualities, you’ll need a good set of tires to go with it. Naturally, the tires that you choose should also be reliable and have low cost of ownership, but there are other things that are very important here as well. Things like safety, for example. The best tires for Toyota Corolla should be equally reliable and safe – remember, this is a car that you transport your family with.
That said, choosing a set of tires that will suit your needs becomes increasingly difficult by the day. Tire manufacturers seem to invent new technologies and tire types at a rapid pace, which makes choosing the right set a painful process. Also, the market is flooded with very cheap options, budget-oriented options, and premium options, something that certainly doesn’t make things easier for the buyers.
Luckily, we’re here to help. In this article, you can read everything there is to know about tires for the Toyota Corolla. First, we will start with a buying guide, where you can learn about all the tire types that you might want to install on your Corolla. Then, we will also list the 10 best tires for the Japanese compact car, also divided into several categories, so everyone finds something that will suit their needs.
Touring Tires are the Best Choice for 90% of Corolla Owners
Touring and their higher-quality alternative, grand-touring tires, are designed to offer a balanced driving experience that suits cars like the Corolla very well. These tires are also what you find on Corolla’s that come out right from the dealership, which means that even Toyota thinks that they’re the best for most people.
Touring and grand-touring tires are popular primarily because they are extremely durable. Some premium models today come with 90,000-mile treadwear warranty, a number that is unbeatable by any other tire type today. And it’s not just the warranty – touring tires really succeed when it comes to achieving those numbers.
Then, touring and grand-touring tires are also sufficiently safe for Corolla drivers. Sure, they might not offer extremely responsive and grippy driving experience, but for the average Corolla driver, they are more than good enough. More importantly, the best touring tires give enough grip, traction, and stability for faster driving, and also very good stopping power. They also work in damp and very wet conditions – touring tires are known to offer very good hydroplaning resistance.
That edginess that touring tires lose in the responsiveness gives back in driving comfort. Touring and grand-touring tires are by far the most comfortable rubber you will install on your Corolla, bar none. Ride quality with touring tires will be plush and soft, and there will be imperceptible tire noise on the highway.
As you can see, touring and grand-touring tires give an all-rounded driving experience that closely matches the all-round abilities of the Corolla. But, what’s the difference between touring and grand-touring tires? The former are lower-cost alternatives that have lower speed ratings, which makes them an excellent choice for most Corolla drivers. However, if you own a more powerful model or just want a better set of tires, grand-touring models offer higher speed ratings and overall better handling and braking, albeit at a higher starting price.
What if I Want the Ultimate Handling Experience?
While grand-touring tires will suffice for most people that want better road-holding and stability, enthusiasts might want to steer towards high-performance tires. These tires are made specifically for high-speed driving in the corners and offer a much better overall driving experience than touring and grand-touring tires.
With a set of high-performance tires, your Corolla will immediately feel more responsive, and the steering will be more direct. Grip and traction will also be much, much better, and high-speed stability will improve by a significant margin. As expected, high-performance tires also stop much better than touring or grand-touring tires. Finally, these tires also work better on damp surfaces, and some of them work better even in heavy rain. In other words, the ultimate handling experience.
However, high-performance tires also have some glaring disadvantages. First and foremost, they’re not exactly cheap and won’t last nearly as long as touring or grand-touring tires – the best of them come with a treadwear warranty in the range of 40,000 – 50,000-miles. They also lose points in the comfort department – ride quality is worse, and noise can be an issue on the highway.
What About the Climate? Does it Make a Difference?
You bet it does! Apart from choosing a set of tires that will suit your needs, you also need to think about the climate in your area. That is if you want an ultimately safe and reliable driving experience, of course.
In this classification, tires are divided into all-season tires, all-weather tires, summer tires, and winter tires. All-season tires are the most common type today, simply because they’re designed to work in a wide temperature range. A good set of all-season tires will work in warm climates, as well as cold climates. In the minds of most people, these tires are the only type they really need, but things aren’t that straightforward. See, while the best all-season tires for Corolla really do work in warm and cold climates, they’re almost unusable in snow. That means that if you live in areas with harsh winters, all-season tires might be unsafe to drive when the snow starts to fall.
Luckily, some manufacturers launched all-weather tires in recent years. These tires are somewhat similar to all-season tires in the way that they work in a wide temperature range, but that range here is usually lower. In other words, if all-season tires work from 23°F to 105°F, all-weather tires work from -4°F to 86°F (this is an example, not all tires work in that range). Also, these tires have deeper tread and more siping, which makes them better in the snow. That means that all-weather tires are more usable for areas with colder climates, while all-season tires are designed for areas with warmer climates.
Still, for the safest driving experience in the winter, a proper set of winter tires is still the best choice. These tires are designed specifically to work in colder climates and offer absolutely the best driving experience in freezing conditions. Winter tires are also the best choice for driving in snow or on ice, much better than both all-season and all-weather alternatives, in fact. Nonetheless, winter tires aren’t usable at all in the summer and degrade much faster at warmer temperatures.
On the other hand, summer tires are the best choice for driving in the summer. They’re designed to work in very warm climates and offer much better handling than all-season tires, both in dry and wet conditions. That’s why, today, most high-performance tires are also summer tires – the performance they offer is simply outstanding in warm climates. That said, summer tires aren’t usable at all in the winter.
Here's our list of the Top 10 best tires for Toyota Corolla:
Best All-Season Touring Tires for Toyota Corolla
1. Michelin Defender T+H
The Michelin Defender T+H is probably the best touring tire for Toyota Corolla right now when it comes to performance. However, it is also more expensive than most options on the market. In our opinion, it is absolutely worth the money, but if you own an older Corolla, you might want to check other options listed down below.
The all-season tread compound of the Defender T+H is aided by the IntelliSipe Technology of zigzag sipes that interlock below the surface. According to Michelin, this gives the tire much better rigidity without losing wet traction. Luckily, that translates into the real-life – the Defender T+H is one of the most responsive touring tires, and also one that grips the road best. Oh, and it works both in dry and wet conditions and even in light snow.
On top of that, the Defender T+H is supremely quiet and comfortable on the road, better than almost every other competitor. The 80,000-mile treadwear warranty is another great advantage of the Michelin, and so is the real-life treadlife.
2. Cooper CS5 Grand Touring
The CS5 Grand Touring is the newest addition to Cooper’s passenger family of tires. Don’t let the name confuse you – this is a standard touring tire, not a grand-touring one (the CS5 Ultra Touring fills that gap). Still, for most Corolla drivers, the Cooper CS5 Grand Touring offers a compelling set of qualities and low price point, that seem to lure buyers in.
Take the with 80,000-mile treadwear warranty as an example. It is one of the highest of any touring tire on the market right now, and much better than similarly-priced competitors. The CS5 Grand Touring should easily achieve that number in the real-life – Cooper is known for producing durable tires. The CS5 is even equipped with Wear Square Indicators, which easily tell the driver how much treadlife is left on the tire. Comfort levels are also very high here. Ride quality is plush and soft, and there is not a lot of noise on the highway.
On the road, the CS5 Grand Touring is good enough for the average Corolla driver. It isn’t the most responsive tire in the world, but it still offers very high levels of grip, traction, and stopping power. It also works in rainy conditions, thanks to the four wide circumferential grooves and 3D Micro-Gauge siping. Light snow traction is only average, though, so plan on replacing these with winter tires if the winters in your area are harsh.
3. Yokohama AVID Touring-S
The Yokohama AVID Touring-S is another budget-oriented touring tire that offers outstanding qualities for the money. Thanks to the Tri-plex Tread Compound, this tire offers excellent responsiveness and precise steering feel, something that most Yokohama tires can be credited for.
Grip and traction are also very good, among the best in the category. The AVID Touring-S also stops very well and has excellent high-speed stability. The Tapered Rain channels improve wet traction as well, making the Yokohama one of the best all-rounders in the category.
Comfort is also very good here. Ride quality is plush, while noise levels are very low. It seems like the Silent Shoulder tread block sizes and Twin Rail Stability Rib really work lowering the noise on the highway.
That said, the AVID Touring-S isn’t the best tire for driving in snow, and the 65,000-mile treadwear warranty is lacking in comparison to the best.
4. Goodyear Assurance TripleTred All-Season
If you live in areas with frequent rain, then you might want a set of tires that are specifically designed to work in heavy rain. The Goodyear Assurance TripleTred is such a tire – it has a directional tread design that incorporates three different zones for dry, wet, and snowy conditions. As expected from a Goodyear tire, responsiveness and handling are very good in dry conditions, but it’s the wet where this tire impresses.
Thanks to the Water Zone with Aquachannel, the Assurance TripleTred resists hydroplaning better than almost every other tire in this category. Handling and braking in wet conditions are second to none, which makes driving much safer. The Goodyear is also very good for driving in light snow, another great advantage it has over its competitors.
However, even though the ride quality is supple, this tire is far from the quietest in its category. On the positive side, it comes with an outstanding 80,000-mile treadwear warranty like the best tires out there.
Best Grand-Touring Tires for Toyota Corolla
5. Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 Plus
What if you want all the benefits of a premium grand-touring tire, but also want one with eco-credentials? Then the Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 Plus is one of the best choices out there. This tire is designed to give you the best contact with the road possible, while also improving the gas mileage. And, who doesn’t want that?
Thanks to the NanoPro-Tech compound, the Ecopia EP422 Plus offers very high levels of grip and traction, regardless of the temperature, while also offering low-rolling resistance. Wet traction and braking are sublime – this is one of the best wet tires out there right now. It also works in light snow, but it’s not the best option for wintry driving out there.
One the other hand, the Ecopia EP422 Plus is the quietest and most comfortable grand-touring tires right now. Ride quality is super plush, and there’s almost no noise on the highway. Bridgestone also offers a 70,000-mile treadwear warranty, excellent for the category.
6. Falken Sincera SN250 A/S
The Sincera SN250 A/S is the newest addition in Falken’s lineup, and right now, one of the best. It is even the OEM choice for the European Corolla 2019, which is almost the same car as the American one. If Toyota thinks that this tire is good for the new, improved Corolla, then it must be an excellent choice for every other generation.
Equipped with the Dynamic Range technology, the Sincera SN250 works excellently in warm and cold conditions. Responsiveness is very, very good, braking is strong, while grip and traction are sufficient. Highway stability is also excellent here, while wet traction beats even some premium competitors. Surprisingly, the Falken also works in light snow, better than the most all-season tires out there.
The ride quality is also one of the best in the category. However, even though it isn’t loud, we would’ve wanted it to be a tad quieter. On the positive side, the Sincera SN250 A/S comes with an outstanding 80,000-mile treadwear warranty for T-Speed rated models and 75,000-mile warranty for H & V rated models.
7. General AltiMAX RT43
The General AltiMAX RT43 is one of the most popular tire choices for Corolla buyers because it offers excellent grand-touring capabilities at a lower price point than premium competitors. RT43’s balanced performance in all categories comes courtesy of the Twin Cushion Silica all-season tread compound.
This material gives the tire excellent all-season capabilities. Handling on dry and warm surfaces is very good, and it doesn’t fall off in cold weather. The tire is also very responsive and provides the driver with exemplary high-speed stability. Wet traction is also one of the best in the category, and there’s even enough traction in light snow.
On top of that, the Twin Cushion Silica gives the RT43 excellent ride quality and quiet ride at higher speeds. That said, the H & V rated models (which is this grand-touring model) come only with a 65,000-mile treadwear warranty, less than its premium competitors.
Best Winter Tires for Toyota Corolla
8. Bridgestone Blizzak WS90
If you want the best results in almost every measurable winter category, then the Bridgestone Blizzak WS80 is the best choice. Thanks to Multi-Cell Technology, the WS80 beats every other winter tire in dry handling and braking in very cold conditions, and also in wet handling and braking.
The Hydrophilic Coating, helped by the EdgePerformance Technology Package and bite particles in the compound, also makes the Blizzak the best snow tire of the bunch. Interestingly, the Hydrophilic Coating takes the water out from the snow, improving traction along the way. Sounds silly, but we won’t complain, because the snow traction and braking are simply unbeatable right now.
That said, the Blizzak WS90 doesn’t come with any treadwear warranty, unlike some other premium competitors, even though Bridgestone promises improved wear life compared to the predecessor.
9. Michelin X-Ice Xi3
The Michelin X-Ice Xi3 is perhaps the second-best winter tire for Corolla right now. Honestly, the Bridgestone beats it in almost every category, especially when it comes to braking on snow or ice. However, that shouldn’t take away from the fact that the X-Ice Xi3 is still a very safe and reliable tire in the winter. And unlike the Blizzak WS90, the Michelin comes with a 40,000-mile treadwear warranty, which is the best result of any other winter tire.
Best High-Performance Tires for Toyota Corolla
10. Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 Plus
The Pilot Sport A/S 3+ is not only a high-performance but an ultra-high-performance tire. Thanks to the Helio+ Technology, the traction and grip it offers are sufficient for a V12 Lamborghini, let alone for a Corolla. It is also extremely responsive – definitely the best tire you will try in your life. Wet traction, grip, and braking are also by far the best in its category. The Pilot Sport A/S 3+ is also an all-season tire, which works in light snow.
If that wasn’t enough, this tire is also one of the most comfortable ultra-high-performance tires on the market right now, and it comes with an unbeatable 45,000-mile treadwear warranty. The only downside is perhaps the price, but that was expected considering the performance on offer.
In the hope that this article helped you choose the best tires for Toyota Corolla; we will finish by saying a few important words. As you can see from the list, we haven’t included extremely cheap options that you can find on some online stores that don’t specialize in tires, simply because they aren’t safe enough for everyday driving. Buying a tire from a manufacturer you know and trust improves not only improves safety by a significant margin, but it also means that the tires will last much longer. In our experience, buying very cheap tires is not a cost-effective option in the long run, and you should definitely avoid them.