Summertime is definitely the best time for driving – the asphalt is hot, and the tires stick nicely to it. This means that your vehicle will have the best possible grip and traction in the corners and that the braking distances will be the shortest. If you live in Florida, you will encounter high temperatures through the year, which bodes well for the driving dynamics of your car.
That said, there are months when it rains heavily in Florida, which is why you should take care when choosing tires for your car. For example, while racing tires may give your coupe the edge in hot and dry conditions, the same will not be true when it rains. In order to get the best possible performance from your car, it is recommended that you install tires that will suit the weather in your area, and also your vehicle and driving style.
To help you choose the best tires for Florida, I’ve made a list of the best tires for Florida. In that list, you will find tires for every type of vehicle, be it a sporty coupe, mid-size sedan, compact car, SUV, Truck or Crossover. Before we do that, let’s learn what different type of tires will give you and why some of them are better suited to your area than others.
What to look for when choosing a set of best tires for Florida?
Tires are mainly differentiated by the weather they are best suited to. For example, winter tires will give you the best performance in very cold conditions and snow, summer tires will give you the best performance in warm and hot conditions, both dry and wet, while all-season tires will give you good performance in both cold and warm weather. Tires are also divided into the level of performance, comfort, and durability.
Obviously, the best tire type for Florida if you consider only the weather is summer tires. These tires will give you absolutely the best grip and traction in the corners, and also the shortest braking distances. They are also the best tires for rainy weather in Florida, providing outstanding traction in the corners. That said, they don’t last as long as all-season tires, but in the case of Florida, I think they are worth it considering the performance edge they have over all-season tires.
All-season tires, on the other hand, are more durable and can work at lower temperatures. Grand touring versions of these tires are also very comfortable and quiet. However, they can’t hold a candle to summer tires in the corners, and they don’t brake as good. I would still recommend all-season tires for the northern parts of Florida, or places like Tallahassee. Obviously, winter tires shouldn’t be used in Florida.
After we’ve determined that the best tire type for Florida are summer tires, let’s see other categories of tires. Grand-touring tires will probably be the most common type. They provide excellent straight-line stability, good grip, and traction in the corners, outstanding comfort and quietness, and are the most durable in the long run. Due to their qualities, I think that grand-touring summer tires are the best choice for owners of mid-size sedans, compact cars, SUVs, crossovers, Trucks.
In other words, if you own a vehicle that you use as your daily driver and you don’t care about sporty performance, then grand-touring summer tires are the best choice. That said, grand-touring summer tires are pretty scarce at the moment – most of them are all-season today. Happily, there are a lot of good all-season tires today that work admirably in warm conditions.
If you want a more responsive driving experience and higher speeds in the corners, then high-performance summer tires are the best choice for you. These tires (and their ultra-high-performance counterparts) offer the best possible grip in the corners, outstanding traction, and the shortest braking distances. Buy these tires if you own sporty vehicle such as coupes, convertibles, roadsters, etc.
As you can see, choosing tires is often personal – if one type works for some people, it doesn’t mean that it will work for others. That’s why I always recommend working out what types of tires you need first and then buying them. After we’ve cleared that out, let’s move on onto the Top 10 best tires for Florida, where I’ll try to show products that will be suited to various Florida residents and their vehicles.
Top 10 Best Tires for Florida
Michelin Primacy MXV4
Best grand-touring tires for Florida
The French Michelin almost always beats its rivals in the touring category due to the high-quality compound used and the advanced tread design. The Primacy MXV4 is their best touring tire that fits most vehicles, including mid-size sedans, crossovers, and some minivans. The reason why it sits on the first place on this list is that it is best suited to the most common type of vehicles in Florida and because it offers excellent performance in the corners, comfortable ride quality, quietness, and outstanding durability.
The Primacy MXV4 has a symmetrical design with notched shoulders, independent intermediate blocks and continuous center ribs, which is pretty standard in this category. However, it is also equipped with Active Sipes, which can lock together in warm climates for better grip. I find this technology to work miracles in places like Florida, improving grip in the corners greatly. Sure, a high-performance tire will still give you more responsive handling, but you’ll be surprised at how good this Michelin is in the corners. In addition to this, traction is very good, especially for the class, while braking distances are also very short. The MXV4 also works in wet weather, and in lower temperatures in the winter.
That said, the best thing about the Primacy MXV4 is not how it drives through the corners – it is a comfort. This is one of the most comfortable tires over bumps, making your travel experience much smoother and luxurious. On top of that, it is absolutely the quietest tire in its class, which is another plus for owners of mid-size sedans and crossovers. Michelin achieved all these traits with their proprietary Comfort Control Technology aided with computer-optimized design reduces noise from the road, but it also reduces vibration.
You can also expect long-lasting performance from this tire. The Advanced MaxTouch Construction that helps with even treadwear and BAZ (Bended at Zero Degrees) Technology with reinforced steel belts and spirally wrapped polyamide improve strength and durability. The manufacturer gives 60,000-mile tread warranty, which seems like it is shorter than other grand-touring tires, but in my experience, the Primacy MXV4 last for a long time before you need to change it.
Cooper CS5 Ultra Touring
Best budget tires for Florida
Cooper’s latest offering in the grand-touring category offers outstanding performance for the money. The CS5 Ultra Touring model is better-suited to Florida drivers in my opinion, because it offers better driving dynamics in the corners than the CS5 Grand Touring model, especially in warmer weather.
I find it to be an excellent choice for owners of compact cars, mid-size sedans, crossovers, SUVs, minivans, and even some sporty coupes such as the Ford Mustang. In other words, despite the lower price, this is a tire that covers most Florida drivers out there. It is also an American product, which is always a plus in the mind of some people.
The reason behind the Cooper CS5 Ultra Touring excellent performance lies in the Coupled Silica compound molded into an asymmetric pattern, and Cooper’s proprietary Stabiledge technology that reduces the flex inherent to independent tread blocks. In other words, it interlocks the tread elements for better handling responsiveness and high-speed cornering stability. For better wet weather traction, Cooper incorporated a full-depth 3D Micro-Gauge siping.
Despite its excellent handling abilities, Ultra Touring is also a pretty quiet and comfortable tire in its own right, which makes it a great choice for drivers who cover a lot of miles. In the end, the 70,000-mile tread warranty is one of the best out there, which is not something that can often be said for a tire with such great handling.
The praise doesn’t stop here – perhaps the biggest advantage of the CS5 Ultra Touring is that it offers all those traits at a lower price point than premium competitors. Definitely highly recommended!
Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position
Best summer tire for Florida / best performance tire for Florida
Touring tires may be a great choice for drivers of “normal” vehicles, but those who own luxurious and premium cars or vehicles with higher performance will want a proper high-performance tire. I find the Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position to offer the best performance for the money in the max performance category. It is available in many sizes and can be fitted to ultra high-performance sports cars, coupes, and sedans, but also some hot compact cars.
Being a summer tire, the Potenza S-04 Pole Position is completely unusable in freezing temperatures, but that’s not a big problem for Florida drivers. And as much as this tire is unusable in cold weather, it is a blast to drive in warm and hot conditions. The grip in the corners is simply stunning, the handling is very responsive and precise, and traction is outstanding.
With a set of these tires on your vehicle, you will experience neck-cracking speeds in the corners and a big adrenaline rush behind the steering wheel. The best thing about the Potenza S-04 Pole Position is that it works extremely good in both dry and wet conditions, so you shouldn’t worry about rain.
That said, these tires won’t last as long as grand-touring tires – expect around 20,000 to 25,000 miles before replacement. Not that other summer tires are better, but it is good to know this.
Continental ExtremeContact DWS06
Best high-performance all-season tires for Florida
If you live in colder areas in Florida and you want a set of tires that will work in cold conditions as well as it works in warm conditions, then the Continental ExtremeContact DWS06 is the best choice out there. This is a high-performance tire, which means that it can be used on sports cars, such as coupes and sedans, but it is also all-season tire, so it is good in the winter for places like Tallahassee. This also means that the ExtremeContact DWS06 can work in freezing conditions and in light snow – good news for those who use their vehicles for long road trips across the US.
Even though it is an all-season tire, it offers outstanding performance in warm conditions. Okay, maybe not at the level of high-performance summer tires, but it is close enough for most drivers. This means that you can expect responsive and precise handling, high levels of grip in the corners, excellent traction, and short braking distances. I find the DWS06 to be especially good in heavy rain, where it beats almost every other tire in its category out of the water (pun intended). That said, the price is a tad higher than its competition, but I think it’s worth it considering the performance it has.
Michelin Defender LTX
Best crossover tires for Florida / best SUV tires for Florida
If you want the best tire for your crossover, SUV or truck, then you should opt for the Defender LTX. This is no coincidence – it’s specifically designed to give the best possible performance for drivers of Trucks, SUVs, and Crossovers. The reason why this tire is best for “elevated” vehicles is that it offers great traction in dry surfaces, but it’s also excellent on wet pavement, and better than any other all-season tire we know of in the snow. Not that you will need that in Florida, but it is good to know that you’re covered when you go skiing.
The secret behind Defender’s performance lies in the Evertread compound, equipped with high-density Active Sipes for in harsh weather, and lateral grooves that help with better water drainage. The MaxTouch construction, on the other hand, evens the force over the tire evenly, which helps with durability, handling, and braking.
Apart from the performance in the corners, the Defender LTX is also outstanding on the highway. It not only offers stability at higher speeds, but it is also very quiet and comfortable, making your crossover or SUV that much more pleasant when traveling. On top of everything the Defender LTX offers, it is also one the most durable tire in its category. The manufacturer gives 80,000-mile tread warranty, and for once, that’s believable here.
Michelin Pilot Sport 4S
Best ultra-high-performance tire for Florida
If you want absolutely the best tire for attacking corners, then you should opt for the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S – it is simply outstanding in almost every scenario you put it in, offering a mix of qualities that almost no other competitor can match. Best-suited for high-performance cars (it’s an OEM tire for the Ferrari 599 GTO), a set of these tires do cost a fortune, but if you want the best of the best, you should be prepared to pay for it.
One of the reasons why the Pilot Sport 4S is so good in the corners is Dynamic Response Technology, which really helps the Pilot Sport 4S achieve precise and responsive steering in warm weather. The computer-modeled Variable Contact Patch 3.0, on the other hand, optimizes pressure distribution over the tire, giving unparalleled levels of grip while also elongating the tread life.
The result of all these technologies is outstanding – the Pilot Sport 4S is the best tire I’ve driven in the corners, with very responsive handling and high levels of grip. The reason it’s only in the sixth place here is the price, which is higher than almost every other ultra-high-performance tire.
Bridgestone DriveGuard Run-Flat
Best run-flat tires for Florida
Run-flat tires are already a staple in the premium vehicle category. These tires can be used at speeds of up to 50 mph and distance up to 50 miles after a puncture, which makes them a great choice for owners of luxury vehicles who don’t want to change tires by themselves. I think that the best run-flat tire for Florida is the Bridgestone DriveGuard Run-Flat.
This is an all-season tire that can be fitted to various vehicles, with great emphasis on comfort, something that is still a problem for most run-flat tires. The DriveGuard also has acceptable levels of grip and traction in the corners and pretty responsive handling for a run flat tire. It can also be used successfully in both dry and wet conditions, in warm and cold weather. It can also be used in light snow if you encounter it on the road.
The Bridgestone DriveGuard is also very durable – the manufacturer gives 60.000-mile tread warranty, which is one of the best in the class.
BFGoodrich g-Force Sport Comp 2
Best budget high-performance tire for Florida
High-performance tires tend to be very expensive, while also having limited tread life. The BFGoodrich g-Force Sport Comp is a tire for those who still want responsive handling and high levels of grip but at a lower price point. The directional tread of the g-Force Sport Comp is immediately recognizable and handsome, something that Miami citizens may quickly fall in love to.
More importantly, though, it provides excellent stability at higher speeds and with the help of the silica compound and Performance Racing Core, great handling abilities. In dry conditions, the handling is very precise and responsive, almost at the level of the Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position. Wet handling is also pretty good, especially for the price. Obviously, this is a summer that that shouldn’t be used in cold weather or in snow.
The lower price of the g-Force Sport Comp is certainly tempting, but it has some drawbacks too. Namely, the tread life is pretty short, and the tire can be loud at higher speeds. Still, for owners of sports cars, this is a great choice for the price.
Falken Azenis FK510
Another budget performance alternative
Summer performance tires are best-suited to the Florida heat, which is why I’ve also included the Falken Azenis FK510 here. This Japanese company is primarily known for its high-performance lineup, with the FK510 sitting at the top.
The Azenis FK510 is an excellent tire for everyone that wants high levels of grip and responsive handling on the road. It offers outstanding performance in dry conditions, where it can compete with the best tires from Michelin, Bridgestone, and Pirelli. It is precise, controllable at the limit and has excellent braking performance.
That said, while it is extremely good in dry conditions, the Azenis FK510 is not at its best in wet conditions. It is not bad by any means – this is a summer tire after all, but tires from Michelin, Bridgestone, and Continental are certainly better.
For the price, though, everything the Falken offers is better when compared to other tires in this price range. It is also pretty durable for a high-performance tire, which means that it stays budget-oriented in the long run as well.
Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 Plus
Best low-rolling resistance tires for Florida
Florida is maybe known for flashy cars with powerful engines, but there are still people that care about fuel economy and eco-credentials. If you are one of those people, then the Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 Plus is an excellent choice. This is a touring tire with outstanding comfort and quietness on the road and one that also offers low-rolling resistance capabilities for better fuel economy.
Despite its eco credentials, the Ecopia EP422 Plus offers very good grip and traction in the corners, both in wet and dry conditions – Bridgestone achieved this with the NanoPro-Tech technology. The 70,000-mile tread warranty is also one of the highest on this list, which will certainly entice some buyers.
Florida is a great place to be for everybody, and it is also a great place to be for drivers. Warm and inviting, the roads in this state are a pleasure to drive on. By choosing a set from the list of best tires for Florida above, you will also have tires that will live up to the roads by offering high levels of grip and traction. That said, you should always pay attention to your needs. For example, touring tires will not satisfy enthusiasts, and vice-versa with high-performance tires. Only then you will be completely satisfied with the performance of the tires!