Tire shopping can be a daunting task. With so many different brands making many various models, all with different tread patterns, ratings, sizes, and warranties — it can definitely result in information overload and lots of frustration.
Canadians looking for new all-season tires should focus on a few key things such as traction, treadwear, road noise, ride quality, fuel efficiency, and bang for your buck. That’s why we spent countless hours researching everything you need to know about the best all-season tires in Canada. Is the right tire out there for you? Stick around to find out.
Best all-season tires of 2020
- Best overall – Continental TrueContact Tour
- Best for high performance – Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+
- Best for light trucks and SUVs – Michelin LTX M/S 2
- Best on a budget – General Tire AltiMAX RT43
- Best value – Michelin Defender
- Best for fuel efficiency – Michelin Energy Saver A/S
- Best for wet weather – Goodyear Assurance Triple Tred
- Best for winter driving – Continental ExtremeContact DWS 06
Hours of Research
Best all-season tires comparison
|Continental TrueContact Tour||Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+||Michelin LTX M/S 2||General Tire AltiMAX RT43||Michelin Defender T + H||Michelin Energy Saver||Goodyear Assurance TripleTred||Continental ExtremeContact DWS 06|
|Best for||Overall||High Performance||Trucks & SUVs||Budget||Value||Fuel Efficiency||Wet Weather||Winter Driving|
|Price (per tire)||$100-160||$185-250||$240-275||$90-110||$120-170||$150-200||$140-220||$150-250|
|Sizes (radius)||15-19″||16-22″||17, 18, 20″||14-20″||14-18″||15-18″||15-18″||16-22″|
|UTQG||800 AA||500 AA||720 AA||700 AA||820 AB||480 AA||740 AB||560 AA|
|Speed rating||H||H, V, W, Y||R, S, T, H||T||H||H, T, S||T, H||W|
|Warranty||6 years, 128,000 km||6 years, 70,000 km||6 years, 115,000 km||6 years, 120,000 km||6 years, 130,000 km||6 years, 105,000 km||6 years, 130,000 km||6 years, 80,000 km|
Our pick for best overall – Continental TrueContact Tour
- Sizes Available (radius): 15-19”
- Uniform Tire Quality Grading: 800 AA
- Warranty: 6 years, 128,000 km
- Price (per tire): $100-165
- Speed rating: H
- Remarkably long-lasting tread life
- Low rolling resistance for better fuel economy
- Very smooth and quiet ride
- Solid performance on dry, wet, and snow covered surfaces
- Performance indicator reveals when the tire is no longer functioning optimally
- Alignment indicator suggests when the vehicle needs an alignment
- Handling around corners could be better
- Traction on snow is average for an all-season tire
The Continental TrueContact Tour provides solid traction across the board. A new generation of EcoPlus technology creates greater wet traction and shorter stopping distances. Additional traction grooves give the tire improved grip on snow covered roads.
Continental designed the TrueContact Tour to be a long-lasting all-season tire — and they certainly delivered. Based on the numerous positive reviews, and its 800 rating among UTQG scores, this tire is one of the longest-lasting all-season tires you can buy in Canada.
When driving on TrueContact Tour tires, you won’t have to worry much about road noise. There is a quiet, hardly noticeable hum. It’s not the quietest tire available, but unless you have very sensitive ears, the noise from these tires won’t bother you.
Driving on the TrueContact Tour tires is a smooth, enjoyable experience. Comfort Ride technology helps to eliminate the little bumps and vibrations that you might encounter on the road. The difference in ride quality between these tires and a more expensive option is nearly negligible.
The rubber compound, engineered with Continental’s unique EcoPlus Technology, creates a very low rolling resistance — meaning you get more kilometres out of every litre of gas.
Bang for your buck
Tire manufacturers often have to make sacrifices to certain aspects of a tire. For example, if a tire has above average traction and ride quality, the tread life and fuel efficiency might be lacking. Continental engineers deserve a ton of credit for designing an all-season tire that rates out above average in every major tire category.
Best high performance – Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+
- Sizes Available (radius): 16-22”
- Uniform Tire Quality Grading: 500 AA
- Warranty: 6 years, 70,000 km
- Price (per tire): $185-250
- Speed ratings: H, V, W, Y
- Premium quality ride — smooth and comfortable
- Confident stability around corners
- Among the best in dry road handling
- More than adequate wet road traction
- Short stopping distances on dry or wet surfaces
- Traction on snow is lacking compared to other competitors
- Can be expensive
The Pilot Sport A/S 3+ is Michelin’s premium high performance all-season tire, and it performs as such. These tires have tremendous grip on dry surfaces, especially in and out of turns. When these tires get onto wet roads, they hold up just as well. Like most all-season tires, the Pilot Sport A/S 3+ isn’t a high performer on snow, but they can get the job done.
What you gain in traction and ride quality, you lose a little bit in tread life. These tires are designed for high performance, and as such they are not built to last many years like some of the other tires on this list.
When driving on these tires, you’ll notice very little road noise. A slight sound of friction might be heard but it’s not a problem compared to other cheaper tires.
Known as one of the best all-season tires available in Canada, these high performance Michelins deliver a super smooth and confident ride. It’s no wonder these tires are often the first choice for Canadians who drive luxury or sports cars.
The Pilot Sport A/S 3+ tires are made from a rubber compound that’s generally firmer than most tires. The firmness of the rubber gives the tires a nice, easy roll on the roads, which saves you money at the pump.
Bang for your buck
The Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+ are a great option for Canadians who want a premium performance all-season tire. Perhaps the only factor keeping this tire from being our choice for best overall, is the fact that the price tag on these tires can get a little hefty. But if you’re not afraid to shell out upwards of $800 for an ultra high performance tire, you will not be disappointed with the Pilot Sport A/S 3+.
Best for light trucks and SUVs – Michelin LTX M/S 2
- Sizes Available (radius): 17, 18, 20”
- Uniform Tire Quality Grading: 720 AA
- Warranty: 6 years, 115,000 km
- Price (per tire): $240-275
- Speed ratings: R, S, T, H
- Strong durability — can handle heavy loads up to over 3,000 pounds
- Ideal for highway driving
- Long-lasting tread life compared to competitors
- Traction is outstanding on both dry and wet roads
- Very comfortable ride
- Fuel economy is not the greatest
- A dedicated winter tire performs much better in icy and snowy conditions
Michelin’s MaxTouch Construction technology ensures the tire grips the road evenly when accelerating, braking, and going around corners. The tread design features multiple channels, grooves, sipes and slots that create confident traction on both dry and wet surfaces.
Perhaps the most impressive feature about these all-season tires for small trucks and SUVs is the treadwear performance. The LTX M/S 2 tires are built with a special silica-enhanced compound that makes these tires go the distance.
Noise is not an issue for those who choose the Michelin LTX M/S 2. While these tires have a fairly aggressive tread pattern, they are nearly silent as you cruise down the highway.
“As smooth as a hot knife through butter.” That’s how one reviewer described the quality of the ride with LTX M/S 2s on his truck. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better feeling all-season tire for your truck or SUV.
Fuel efficiency definitely wouldn’t be the number bone reason to buy Michelin LTX M/S 2 tires. However, while they aren’t the most efficient tires available, they are at least above average.
Bang for your buck
Because of the great traction, ride quality and tread life, these tires are a great choice for Canadian truck or SUV drivers who want to get the most out of their money. Don’t expect these tires to perform well on snow or ice, but you can feel confident driving on these tires in almost every other condition. 275/55R20 113H SL originate in Canada.
Best on a budget – General Tire AltiMAX RT43
- Sizes Available (radius): 14-20”
- Uniform Tire Quality Grading: 700 AA
- Warranty: 120,000 km
- Price (per tire): $90-110
- Speed rating: T
- Great overall value for the cost
- Even and long treadwear
- Absorbs vibrations well — provides a comfortable ride
- Replacement tire monitor lets you know when you need new tires
- Traction is decent but uninspiring compared to more expensive tires
- Can be a bit noisy after some tread has worn off
The AltiMAX RT43 provides adequate traction in most weather conditions. While it’s not the most grippy all-season tire out there for Canadians, it does give enough grip to make you feel safe on the roads. General Tire’s Anti-Slip Sipe Design Technology increases traction by biting down the edges of the tire on slippery surfaces.
The Twin Cushion Silica Tread Compound that’s used on the outside of the AltiMAX RT43 gives drivers the long-lasting tread life that they require. These tires won’t last forever, but they also won’t wear down too quickly either.
If road noise is something that bothers you, then you might want to consider a different tire. The AltiMAX RT43 is a fairly quiet tire initially, but the noise when driving gets a bit louder as the tread wears down.
The tire has the ability to absorb and smooth out vibrations from the road by using a low-density internal foundation compound. Taking corners with these tires might not be as responsive as high performance tires, but overall they provide a polished ride.
As far as fuel economy goes, these all-season tires are average to above-average. There are more efficient tires out there but you won’t find them at this price.
Bang for your buck
Any tire that you can find with solid performance across the board, at a price point around $100, is certainly worthy of consideration.
Best Value – Michelin Defender T + H
- Sizes Available (radius): 14-18”
- Uniform Tire Quality Grading: 820 AB
- Warranty: 6 years, 145,000 km
- Price (per tire): $120-170
- Speed rating: H
- One of the most popular all-season tires ever — many great reviews
- Above average fuel efficiency
- High performer on dry roads
- Comfortable feel on the road
- Tread life is average
- Not a good performer on wet or snowy roads
The Michelin Defender was designed to be a safe, economical option for everyday vehicles, and it does just that. The asymmetric tread design features Michelin’s IntelliSipe Technology which keeps the tire rigid and biting down on the road. This tire does very well on dry roads, but is mediocre on wet or snow covered surfaces.
Although this tire comes with one of the best warranties available, the tread life is about average when compared to other tires in its class.
Michelin Defenders produce a small amount of noise on the road. Inside the cabin of your car, you might hear a very faint hum.
When driving on Defender tires, you’ll feel a comfortable and smooth ride, comparable to some of the more expensive performance all-season tires.
Michelin Defenders are widely known to be very eco-friendly, and they live up to that reputation. Michelin’s version of fuel saving tech is known as Green X Technology, which is what powers the Defender tire to a low rolling resistance.
Bang for your buck
Great fuel efficiency, above average ride quality, and great dry surface traction all for a competitive price? It’s no wonder these tires are so popular amongst Canadians.
Best fuel efficiency – Michelin Energy Saver A/S
- Sizes Available (radius): 15-18”
- Uniform Tire Quality Grading: 480 AA
- Warranty: 6 years, 105,000 km
- Price (per tire): $150-200
- Speed rating: H, T, S
- Exceptional fuel economy
- Solid ride quality
- Below average performance on wet roads
- Below average grip on snow
Like any automotive tire that emphasizes fuel economy, the Michelin Energy Saver A/S is made of a hard silica-based rubber compound. Hard rubber is not the ideal material for traction on wet, or coldy, snowy roads. Although, on warm, dry roads, this tire provides competent performance.
Once again, anytime a tire manufacturer focuses on the most fuel efficient model that they can make, other desirable aspects take a hit. The treadwear on these tires is average at best.
Road noise seems to be a bit of an issue as well, although if you only care about saving money at the fuel pumps, then this shouldn’t bother you.
Michelin Energy Saver tires actually produce quite a refined ride — mostly due to the hard rubber they’re made of. The internal structure of the tire also plays a part in making the ride smoother, as Michelin built in its Comfort Control Technology.
Michelin claims their Energy Saver A/S tires are up to 8% more fuel efficient than standard tires. While some customer reviews argue this exact number, it seems safe to say that these tires are in fact more fuel efficient than the average all-season tire. Michelin’s Green X Technology seems very effective for fuel economy.
Bang for your buck
It’s difficult to quantify just how much value these tires bring to the average Canadian consumer. Energy Saver A/S tires are not cheap to purchase, but they do make a noticeable difference in fuel economy over the long run.
Best for wet weather – Goodyear Assurance TripleTred
- Sizes Available (radius): 15-18”
- Uniform Tire Quality Grading: 740 AB
- Warranty: 130,000 km
- Price (per tire): $140-220
- Speed ratings: T, H
- Very grippy on slick roads
- Great performer on dry roads as well
- Noisy sound on the road due to the aggressive, soft tread
- Not the smoothest, nor the longest lasting tire
Drivers looking to feel ultimate confidence on both dry, and wet roads, should consider purchasing Goodyear Assurance TripleTred tires. Traction around corners, as well as up and down inclines is pristine and provides a sense of safety.
The directional tread uses three distinct zones — one for dry roads, one for wet roads, and one for snow and ice. While these tires work admirably in light snow, they’re only mediocre on ice.
Overall, these tires hold up alright after many thousands of kilometres of driving in Canada. There are some mixed reviews, stating the TripleTreds lose quite a bit of grip prowess after a couple of years, but that should be expected for any tire.
The Goodyear Assurance TripleTreds are louder than typical all-season tires. Due to the tackiness of the 3-zone tread, you will notice these tires emitting a hum on the road.
These tires certainly are not the most comfortable to drive on. With Goodyear focusing primarily on road grip, they lose some points for the way these tires feel when driving.
The fuel economy with Assurance TripleTreds is about average when compared to other all-season tires.
Bang for your buck
Canadians are used to adverse road conditions — which means we know how much we value peace of mind when it comes to the safety of being out on the roads. It’s too bad these tires don’t provide a more comfortable, quiet ride, or else they might be considered one of the best tires you can buy.
Best for winter driving – Continental ExtremeContact DWS 06
- Sizes Available (radius): 16-22”
- Uniform Tire Quality Grading: 560 AA
- Warranty: 6 years, 80,000 km
- Price (per tire): $150-250
- Speed rating: W
- Excellent performance in both dry and wet weather
- Above average performance on snow and ice
- Alignment and wear indicators work well
- Tread life could be better
The Continental ExtremeContact DWS 06 combines premium high performance ride quality with superb traction in almost every weather condition. Featuring SportPlus Technology, these tires combine chamfered edges with traction grooves, x-sipes and criss-cross grooves to give drivers confidence that they will remain glued to the road.
An average tread life for an above average high performance all-season tire.
The ExtremeCOntact DWS 06 tires have minimal road noise.
Is it possible to make a tire that not only provides great traction in every season, but also gives drivers the characteristics of a ultra high performance tire? Continental did just that when they designed the internal structure of this tire. Spirally wound jointless nylon cap plies reinforce the twin steel belts, resulting in less vibrations and more stability.
You won’t be buying these tires for the savings on gas. You buy these tires for the smooth, year-round safety that they provide.
Bang for your buck
While these tires are expensive, we think they’re quite worth the hefty price tag. Getting year-round safety and performance without sacrificing much tread life or fuel economy is a feat that not many other all-season tires can claim.
|Continental TrueContact Tour||Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+||Michelin LTX M/S 2||General Tire AltiMAX RT43||Michelin Defender||Michelin Energy Saver A/S||Goodyear Assurance TripleTred||Continental ExtremeContact DWS 06|
|Bang for your buck||4.6||4.3||4.4||4.7||4.6||4.2||4.1||4.2|
All-season tires buyer’s guide
- Tire size and speed rating
- Ask about the age of the tire before buying
- What does the Uniform Tire Quality Grading (UTQG) mean?
How to read tire size and speed rating?
|Speed Rating||Miles per hour||KM per hour||Application|
|L||75||120||Off-road and light truck tires|
|M||81||130||Temporary spare tires|
|N||87||140||Temporary spare tires|
|Q||99||160||Studless and studded winter tires|
|R||106||170||Heavy duty light truck tires|
|S||112||180||Family sedans and vans|
|T||118||190||Family sedans and vans|
|H||130||210||Sport sedans and coupes|
|V||149||240||Sport sedans, coupes and sports cars|
|W||168||270||Exotic sports cars|
|Y||186||300||Exotic sports cars|
Ask about the age of the tire before buying
Retailers can legally sell tires that are several years old as new without disclosing when they were manufactured and unless they were stored correctly, may have lost some of their useful life. Some difference between manufacture date and time of sale is to be expected and is acceptable – especially for less popular sizes or specialized versions.
There is a 4 number code that indicates the week and the year it was manufactured (e.g. 2118 means the 21st week of 2018).
Plant codes of Canadian-made tires include:
- 0X – Minto, NB
- 4B – Napanee, ON
- 9B, XY, VN – Joliette, QC
- AU – Kitchener, ON
- B3 – Bridgewater, NS
- BH – Kitchener, ON
- DC – Whitby, ON
- D3 – Cobourg, ON
- D9 – Etobicoke, ON
- HN – New Glasgow, NS
- LV – Barrie, ON
- M5 – Kentville, NS
- PC – Medicine Hat, AB
What does the Uniform Tire Quality Grading (UTQG) mean?
The UTQG was a system developed to help consumers become more informed before purchasing tires. When tires are designed and built, they go through standardized tests to measure the durability, traction, and the heat resistance.
The UTQG can be found on the side of the tire, or on the manufacturer’s website, and is listed as a three digit number followed by two letters.
The three numbers (eg. 800) denotes the durability of the tire (treadwear rating). The higher this number, the longer the tread will last.
The grade is determined by comparing the wear rate of a tire relative to the wear of Course Monitoring Tires (CMT) sold by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) when under controlled conditions. A convoy of vehicles that have the tires being graded and the CMTs are driven on a 400 mile government course for 7200 miles and tread groove depths are measured, tires rotated, air pressure checked and wheels aligned every 800 miles.
A tire graded 400 would last 4 times as long on the government course as a tire graded 100. However, actual performance of tires depends heavily on real-world conditions including personal driving habits, maintenance performed (wheel alignment, tire rotation & balancing) and road characteristics and climate.
The two letters that follow are the grades given to the tire’s traction and heat resistance (temperature) respectively.
The traction grade is the tire’s ability to stop on wet pavement as measured under controlled conditions on specified government test surfaces of asphalt and concrete. It does not take ABS braking systems, acceleration, cornering or stopping on a dry surface into account. Traction grades, from highest to lowest, are AA, A, B and C.
The temperature grade is the tire’s ability to dissipate heat when tested under controlled conditions on a specified indoor laboratory test wheel. High temperatures can cause a tire to deteriorate faster and extreme temperatures can cause sudden tire failure. C is the minimum acceptable grade required by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 109. Temperature grades, from highest to lowest, are A, B and C.
For example, a tire with a traction and temperature rating of “AB” would mean it tested as the best possible ‘A’ traction rating and the second best possible ‘B’ temperature rating.
Does all-season really mean all-season? Can I use these tires during winter?
The answer depends on the environment in which you live and drive your vehicle. As Canadians, most of us encounter a cold, snowy, and icy winter that lasts many months every year. For us, it’s best to use all-season tires for the spring, summer, and fall, and then use a dedicated winter tire for the harsh winter months.
If you live in a part of the country where winter weather doesn’t hit you as hard, you should be okay using an all-season tire that has good snow and ice traction capabilities. Note: Residents in Quebec are required by law to drive on winter tires from December 1st to March 15th of every winter.
How can I make my all-season tires last longer?
Maintain wheel alignment
The first thing you need to do when you buy a new set of tires is get your vehicle’s wheels aligned. This process can be done by yourself but it’s much easier to get your local mechanic to perform the alignment for you. Wheels that are perfectly aligned help ensure that your new tires will wear down evenly over time.
Check tire pressure
After you get your alignment, make sure you perform routine checks on your tire air pressure. The manufacturer’s recommended tire pressure is listed on the sidewall of the tire or on their website. Keeping your tires at the recommended air pressure not only optimizes your fuel economy and ride quality, but it prevents the tread from wearing down too quickly or unevenly.
One last thing that you can do to prolong the life of your tires is to get your tires rotated every 10,000 km or so. This is another way to make sure you get evenly distributed treadwear.
What to consider when looking for all-season tires?
Traction can be described as the tire’s ability to maintain contact, and friction with the road. Poor traction not only lowers the performance of the vehicle, but it’s also a major safety concern. Consumers often think that all tires have similar traction, or that they perform similarly in any type of weather condition. This is simply not the case, as tire manufacturers design tires to specifically excel in certain conditions.
Tread pattern, tread depth, and tread compounds (which kind of rubber is used) differ from tire to tire, which means while one tire might have good grip on dry roads and poor grip on wet roads, another tire might be best on wet roads.
Treadwear is the rate of which the tread of a tire wears down. As the tread wears down, the tire’s safety, ride quality, and even fuel economy also drops. That’s why it’s important to look for tires that not only have long-lasting tread, but tread that wears down evenly as well. Tire tread tends to wear down quicker for tires that emphasize other characteristics such as superior traction or high fuel efficiency.
Some models of tires can be noticeably loud to the point of making the driver or passengers uncomfortable. The sound emitted is often a low, tacky-sounding hum which is caused by the openness of the tire tread, the firmness of the rubber compound, or the tire’s lack of vibration protection.
Ride quality can be defined by the smoothness of the ride, or how comfortable the ride feels. The tire’s ability to absorb bumps and take corners with speed are just a couple of the factors that make up the quality of the ride. High performance tires typically score high in this section because they’re made with a soft outer rubber combined with a vibration-resistant inner structure.
A tire’s fuel economy can be measured by the rolling resistance — how much effort is needed to keep the tire rolling. A tire with a high-rolling resistance means the driver will have to press down on the gas pedal more often than if the tire had a low-rolling resistance.
To achieve a low rolling resistance, tire manufacturers build their eco-friendly tires with a harder rubber compound, and a reduction in tread depth. So while these tires may save drivers money on gas (anywhere from 3-10%), they will also reduce the traction, tread life, and possibly the quality of the ride.
Bang for your buck
Relative to the price of the tire, how much value is the consumer getting? A set of all-season tires can cost anywhere from $400 to upwards of $1000. But if the cheapest option can provide 80% of the benefits of the most expensive option, then it should be worth considering, right? That’s how we subjectively analyzed the “Bang for your buck” section.
What to read next
Over to you
Did this guide help you? Do you know which brand and model of tire you’re leaning towards? Is there a type of tire that was left off this list that you think should’ve made the cut? We’re interested to know your thoughts!