While most car enthusiasts won’t ever replace their sporty sedans, the general public has already shifted towards compact SUVs and crossovers. They view these vehicles as a replacement for minivans, albeit with much more style and cool factor. One of the most popular compact crossovers in the US is certainly the Ford Escape. Built primarily to satisfy the needs of families in the world, the Escape is also known to bring driving enjoyment and performance in the otherwise boring sector. That is especially true for previous V6 models and the new 2.0 EcoBoost model.
However, having all that power and not having the option to put it down to the ground can be a deal breaker. To completely enjoy your Ford Escape, you’ll need a good set of tires. The best tires for Ford Escape must be quiet and comfortable, but they should also have high levels of traction and grip. The thing is, there is no single tire that’s excellent in all categories. Some are made for leisurely driving your Escape on long road trips, while others are designed to offer exhilarating speeds in the corners.
With all the options available on the market, it can be hard to find the right set of tires for your Ford Escape. And by options I don’t mean brands – I mean tire types. To help you find the right tire type for your needs, the weather in your area and your driving style, I’ve created a Top 10 list of the best tires for Ford Escape. There you can find all types of tires that might be interesting to Ford Escape owners around the US.
Before we jump to the Top 10 list though, let’s see what’s the difference between various tire types and why you need one more than the other. Trust me; it will be much easier to choose the best tires for Ford Escape after reading the next section.
What to look for when choosing a set of tires for Ford Escape?
The first thing we need to clear out is that the Ford Explorer is not an off-road vehicle. Of course, some people choose crossovers because they are farther from the ground, but that doesn’t make them off-road machines. This is especially true for the Ford Escape, a crossover that was primarily designed for urban and highway driving. Suffice to say, all-terrain tires shouldn’t be on the list of any Ford Escape owner. These tires tend to be noisy on the highway and more importantly, aren’t as safe as normal tires made for street driving. Therefore, I’ll not include all-terrain tires or god forbid off-road tires in the list below.
With that said, the best tire type for most Ford Escape owners are touring and grand-touring tires of the all-season variety (some are also called highway tires, but they are pretty much the same). These tires have generally good grip and traction in most conditions, including dry and wet pavement, warm and cold weather, and even traction in snowy conditions. Some people may think that these tires are often a compromise in all those conditions, but trust me – modern all-season tires really work amazingly well in most weather conditions.
The greatest benefits of touring and grand-touring tires aren’t all-season capabilities nor good traction. Not at all. People love these tires because they offer the most comfortable and quiet driving experience. With a set of these tires, your Ford Escape will be whisper-quiet on the highway and supremely comfortable over bumps. On top of that, touring and grand-touring tires last a very long time. Most of them have 70,000-mile tread wear warranty, and some even offer 80,000 and 90,000-mile tread wear warranty. Suffice to say; these warranties are unbeatable by any other tire type.
That said, while they are good for most Ford Escape drivers in the corners, if you want better grip and traction in the corners, you will need high-performance tires. These tires are designed for more powerful vehicles and bring many benefits for owners of Escape V6 or 2.0 EcoBoost owners. With a set of high-performance tires, the Escape will be able to achieve much higher speeds in the corners, it will be more responsive, it will put the power down on the road better, and it will brake better. Suffice to say, for maximum performance; the best choice is high-performance tires. These tires do have disadvantages, though. First of all, their tread life is not nearly as good as touring and grand-touring tires and perhaps more important, they aren’t as comfortable or quiet.
High-performance tires are offered as summer and all-season tires. The former is much better in warmer conditions, both on dry and wet pavement, but completely unusable in colder weather. All-season high-performance tires are somewhat of a compromise, but the best of them still offer excellent driving dynamics in cold and warm weather, and some of them even work in light snow. In my opinion, due to the nature of the vehicle, all-season high-performance tires work better with the Ford Escape V6 or 2.0 EcoBoost models.
With all that said, while all-season tires, touring or high-performance, are probably the best choice for Ford Escape owners, they aren’t the best set of tires for extreme winter weather. People who live in areas with harsh winters should really purchase winter tires for their Escape. These tires work only in colder conditions, which means that they can’t be used in the winter, but the performance they give in these conditions is miles above other tire types. Winter tires have the best traction and grip in very cold weather, both in dry, wet and snowy conditions, and they also offer the best traction on ice. Their disadvantages are higher noise on the highway and shorter tread life, but that’s something you’ll have to live with if you want the best performance in the winter.
With all that said, we can now move on to the Top 10 list. There I’ll include mostly touring and grand-touring tires, but I’ll also include high-performance tires for owners of Escape V6 and 2.0 EcoBoost models, and also a set of winter tires for colder climates.
Top 10 Best Tires for Ford Escape
Michelin Defender LTX M/S
Best all-season tires for Ford Escape
The Michelin Defender LTX M/S is one of the most popular tires for SUVs and crossovers due to several reasons, with the biggest one being excellent performance in all weather conditions. A set of these tires will give you a high level of traction both in dry and wet conditions. Braking distances will be very short – perhaps best in class, while the grip is very good in the corners.
That said, responsiveness in the corners is not its forte, but that’s not very important for a tire in this category. On the positive side, the Defender is one of the best all-season tires in snow, achieving surprisingly high levels of traction. All these things are achieved thanks to the Evertread compound molded into a symmetric tread design of stable, independent tread blocks with high-density 3D Active Sipes.
What is important is that the Defender LTX M/S is extremely durable. It comes with 70,000-mile tread wear warranty, which is not the best in the category, but in reality, this is probably the longest lasting tire of the bunch. This is in part thanks to the stiffer sidewalls which can sustain a lot of weight thanks to the MaxTouch construction that evens the force over the tire evenly, which helps with durability, handling, and braking.
On top of everything, the Defender LTX is pretty comfortable over bumps and supremely quiet on the highway. In other words, it offers everything the average Ford Escape owner needs in one tire.
Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology
Best touring tires for Ford Escape
Another tire that is close to the Michelin Defender in terms of quality and refinement is the Continental CrossContact LX20 EcoPlus. This tire is especially good for owners who have families and cover a lot of miles with their Escape. Due to the fact that it is a touring all-season tire, it offers a blend of characteristics that work excellent with this crossover, as well as other crossovers in the compact category.
The reason why the CrossContact LX20 EcoPlus is so good is the compound made of Tg-F polymers and +Silane additives that help the tire have better contact with the road in almost every area and be more durable as well. Thanks to that, a set of these tires will give you very safe driving experience on the road with high levels of grip and traction in dry and wet conditions, warm or cold. The Continental even has continuous center rib and independent tread blocks for increased response, giving the driver much more confidence in the corners. Being an all-season tire, it also works in light snow, but I wouldn’t use it in harsh winter conditions.
The best thing about this tire is how quiet and comfortable it is, beating almost every other competitor. The 70,000-mile tread wear warranty is also one of the highest, and what’s more important, real-life durability is also one of the best out there. Suffice to say; this is one of the most versatile tires for compact crossovers around.
Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza Plus
Best comfortable tires for Ford Escape
You can’t have a good list of tires for compact crossovers without a Bridgestone in it. The Dueler H/L Alenza Plus is a competitor to the Michelin and Continental and comes close to both tires in almost every measurable category. However, the biggest advantage it has over other touring tires is how comfortable it is over bumps.
With a set of Dueler’s on your Escape, smaller imperfections on the road will be eaten without the suspension even bothering. Apart from that, the Dueler Alenza Plus is also supremely quiet on the highway. According to Bridgestone, this was achieved thanks to the symmetric tread pattern designed for lower noise levels at higher speeds, and better ride comfort.
Despite the focus on comfort, the Dueler Alenza Plus also offers high levels of grip and traction in both dry conditions thanks to the notched shoulder blocks and continuous center rib, as well as very good traction in wet and snowy conditions thanks to the circumferential grooves, lateral notches, and sipes.
In the end, the 80,000-mile tread warranty is certainly one of the best in the category. Happily, it also translates into excellent real-life durability – this Bridgestone will serve you without any issues for over 4 years.
Kumho Solus TA31
Best budget all-season tires for Ford Escape
If you want a good set of tires for your Ford Escape but don’t want to break the bank, the Kumho Solus TA31 might be a great choice. Kumho is known for producing excellent tires at lower price points, and the TA31 is one of the best examples. Designed to offer high levels of grip and traction in most conditions, the Solus TA31 offers a safe and reliable driving experience.
The symmetrical tread pattern of the Kumho TA31 helps with traction and grip in rainy weather, together with the lateral notches and wide shoulder blocks. Handling responsiveness is also very good, with surprisingly high levels of grip and traction in the corners. That said, while the Solus TA31 is marketed as usable in light snow, in reality, it’s not as good as its closest competitors in the premium category.
On top of that, the Solus TA31 is also very comfortable and quiet on the road. Kumho gives 60,000-mile tread wear warranty, which is shorter than premium competitors, but still very good considering the price of the Kumho, which is much lower than that of Michelin and Bridgestone tires, for example.
Bridgestone Blizzak WS80
Best winter tires for Ford Escape
The Blizzak WS80 is universally considered to be the best winter tire for crossovers. Designed to offer the best possible traction in harsh winter conditions, the Blizzak WS80 comfortably outperforms its competition in most areas and trails only slightly in few of them. Bridgestone really designed a complete product here and should be proud of it.
The reason why it is so good in winter conditions is the Multicellular Compound with Nano Pro Tech that keeps the rubber pliable at freezing temperatures thus improving grip and traction. The result is the shortest braking distances and highest speeds in the corners. On top of that, the Hydrophilic Coating technology takes the water out of snow and ice, thus improving traction in those conditions. Again, the result is outstanding and better than every competitor.
The Blizzak WS80 is not only good in the performance department; it is also very quiet and comfortable for a winter tire. Combined with the durable compound, that makes it an easy recommendation for the best set of winter tires for the Ford Escape.
Goodyear Ultra Grip Winter
Best budget winter tires for Ford Escape
While we are talking about winter tires, why not include a cheaper option? Goodyear really designed a great tire here – the Ultra Grip Winter is not class-leading, but considering the price, it is perhaps the best value. For the average driver, I think that the Ultra Grip Winter offers enough traction in almost every condition one can encounter in the winter.
Starting with very cold and dry weather, the Ultra Grip Winter offers very responsive handling with good levels of grip and traction. Wet traction is also covered, giving the driver a lot of confidence in the corners and in panic breaking. In the end, the Goodyear is excellent in both light and heavy snow, providing a lot of traction and braking power. While we’re at it, you can also have good times on ice with a set of these tires – they are really that good.
In the end, the Ultra Grip Winter is also pretty durable for a winter tire, and it also provides a very comfortable and quiet driving experience.
Falken Ziex STZ05
Best high-performance all-season tires for Ford Escape / best tires for Ford Escape EcoBoost
If you want a more enjoyable driving experience, as I previously mentioned, you will need a set of high-performance tires. The Falken Ziex STZ05 is the first that comes to mind. It offers one of the best performances in most conditions when compared to other tires in the category; it is all-season which means that it works in colder climates and on top of that, the price is budget friendly. Considering the type of tire the Ziex STZ05 is, I recommend it for owners of Escape V6 and 2.0 EcoBoost models.
Falken made several design decisions that make the Ziex STZ05 outstanding in the corners, including five-rib symmetric tread design for long life and stability, solid center rib for better handling precision in the corners, wide shoulder blocks for enhanced stability at higher speeds in both dry and wet conditions. The result is a much more focused driving experience with extremely responsive handling, high levels of grip, and excellent traction. The best thing about the Falken is that it works in colder climates and in wet conditions.
Lastly, the 50,000-mile tread warranty may seem short, but it is higher than most competitors in the high-performance category.
Pirelli Scorpion Verde All Season Plus
Another great touring option for excellent traction / best tires for Ford Escape all-wheel drive
The Pirelli Scorpion Verde is another tire in the all-season touring category that offers excellent performance across the board and thus should be on the list of owners of the Ford Escape. Designed to offer high levels of traction, the Pirelli is also one of the lightest tires in its category. Considering the fact that all-wheel drive Escape models tend to weigh more, the Scorpion Verde can at least take some of the burden and improve the performance of the vehicle.
Pirelli achieved this with the lighter weight of the silica-enhanced tread compound, which also enhances traction and grip in both dry and wet conditions, and even in light snow. The Pirelli is also designed to improve fuel economy, which is great news for every Escape driver. The biggest downside of the Scorpion Verde is the somewhat shorter 65,000-mile tread wear warranty, especially when compared to other premium tires.
General Tire Grabber HTS 60
Best budget highway tires for Ford Escape
General Tire is another brand that is known for producing excellent tires at lower price points, and the Grabber HTS 60 is one of their best examples. According to General Tire, the Grabber HTS 60 offers a blend of style, comfort, durability, and performance, which is what the average Escape owner really needs.
Luckily, all that General says translates into the real world where the HTS 60 offers high levels of traction and grip, both in dry and wet conditions. It is also very comfortable on the highway, and very quiet as well. Surprisingly, the Grabber HTS 60 is also usable in light snow, which is great considering the price. That said, the 65,000-mile tread warranty is not impressive, but it’s not bad either.
Best cheap tires for Ford Escape
The last but certainly not the least, the Nitto NT421Q is a cheap tire aimed at owners of older car models and those that don’t have a big budget to spend on tires. Despite that, the Nitto offers very good grip and traction in the corners and short braking distances. It is also very responsive, thanks to the rubber inserts in the shoulders, which add structural integrity to the tire and make it withstand greater “G” forces in the corners. Comfort and quietness are also good for the price, while the 75,000-mile tread wear warranty is outstanding.
I am pretty confident that you will have a safe and reliable driving experience by choosing a set of tires from the list above. That said, to be completely satisfied with your purchase, I suggest reading the short reviews to see if that tire really suits you. More precisely, a set of tires should first work with the weather in your area, and then with your driving style.