KEEP ON TRUCKIN'
Most of the same brands that make tires for passenger cars offer tire lines designed to fit crossovers, minivans, SUVs and light-duty pickups. Many also offer heavier-duty tires — which carry an LT prefix —that are specially designed to carry the loads more typical of larger SUVs and pickups and full-sized vans. Our picks for the best truck and SUV tires include wallet-friendly options from well-known tire manufacturers like Continental, Firestone, and even Pirelli, as well as some lesser-known economy brands that have proven able to hold their own against the big names. Choices include all-season tires for day-to-day commuting on streets and highways; all-terrain tires that are made to perform well on pavement, but can also venture off the road if need be; and we've even got a slightly pricier set of off-road tires (also called mud tires) that are acceptable on roads, but primarily intended for where the pavement ends.
To make our picks, we consulted a variety of expert and user reviews. As is the case with our roundup of the best all-season tires, Consumer Reports and Tire Rack, a respected retail site that conducts extensive independent testing of the majority of tires it sells, provide the most comprehensive assessments of truck tires. We also read through reviews at automotive sites and enthusiast sites, the latter being especially helpful in evaluating all terrain and mud tires. User feedback at Tire Rack, Simple Tire, and other tire sellers helped to complete the picture, giving us a sense of how these tires performed over the long haul with real-world usage.
A final note to drivers looking for a truck tire for use in colder climes. Because of their aggressive tread, some truck owners think that all-terrain and off-road tires are also acceptable for driving in severe winter weather. They are not. While some of these tires, carry the mountain and snowflake "severe" winter designation — meaning that they should provide safe performance in moderate snow and ice conditions — they are not ideal choices for negotiating serious snowfalls. We've seen lots of reviews at enthusiast sites that have pitted mud and all-terrain tires against snow tires, and the all-terrain and mud tires have invariably performed poorly in comparison. See our snow tires report to learn more about the benefits, and drawbacks, of dedicated winter tires and to see our picks for the best snow tires for trucks and SUVs.
*Prices and availability are subject to change. Starting prices are generally for smallest tire sizes for each line.