Some may think that you’re a complete nutjob when doing that, but shredding tires with a muscle car is probably the manliest thing you can do. As an enthusiast myself, I am absolutely on your side (duh). The Ford Mustang is definitely the most popular muscle car out there and the one that started the tire-shredding craze back in the ’70s.
Today, the Mustang is faster and more powerful than ever, which again makes it the best tool for drivers who want a muscular driving experience. It is extremely fast in a straight line – even the base V6 engine, but it is also good in the corners. The same can’t be said for older ‘Stangs, which were mostly made for straight-line acceleration and top speed.
Whatever the model you have (or want to have), considering the extreme power Mustang engines make, tires are the most important thing next to the vehicle itself. Sure, you may think that cheaper tires will be better because let’s be honest, you will burn them in no time, but they will be extremely bad in other areas.
The best tires for Mustang should be able to give you the best possible traction when accelerating hard for better 0-60 times, and that’s especially true for V8 models. Other than that, grip in the corners is also very important in a sports car, so tires on your Mustang should be outstanding in that category as well. Of course, braking distances should be the shortest possible. Remember, this is an extremely fast car, regardless of the generation.
Owners of the Mustang V6 may even want all-season traction in their tires, as most of them use the car as a daily driver. Those who live in areas with harsh winters may even want to consider high-performance winter tires, as they offer the best possible traction in cold conditions and in snow.
All these things are simply unachievable in one set of tires. Because of that, I’ve created a Top 10 list of the best tires for Ford Mustang where I will make sure that all Mustang owners are covered. Before we do that though, let’s have a look at some things that you should look out for when choosing tires for your Mustang.
How to Find the Best Mustang Tires for Your Particular Model and Your Needs?
Before you shell out the cash for a new set of tires, you first need to ask yourself what you really want from those tires. For example, if you only use your Mustang as a daily driver, you won’t need some drag-focused tires that cost a fortune – all you probably need is a good set of high-performance all-season tires.
Let’s first start with high-performance summer tires, and their more extreme counterparts max-performance and ultra-high-performance summer tires. In my opinion, these offer the best possible performance for Mustang owners who use their vehicle as daily drivers and want the best possible traction when accelerating crisp and responsive handling and short braking distances. These tires are also used by enthusiasts who use their vehicles on track days, as some of them are directly sourced from racing tires, such as those from Michelin, Bridgestone, and Pirelli.
Drag and competition tires are a more extreme version of all types of high-performance tires. Most of these tires are made for straight-line speed and have beefy sidewalls for better traction when accelerating. They also offer excellent grip in the corners but aren’t as crisp or responsive due to the bigger sidewalls. Still, if you want to drive your Mustang like a maniac, competition and drag tires are the best choice for you. That said, these tires are not suited to everyday driving. They are big and cumbersome and don’t offer great traction when not heated properly. Suffice to say, they are also quite bad in rainy conditions and couldn’t be used in colder weather.
If bad weather often visits the area you live in, then high-performance all-season tires might be a great choice. These tires lose a bit of the responsiveness and grip summer tires have in the corners, but bring better traction in colder conditions. Most of these tires can also be used in light snow, which is another benefit over summer tires. In my opinion, these tires are best-suited to owners who want one set of tires to rule them all. That said, people who live in areas with harsh winters might still want to use winter tires in those months.
While we are talking about winter tires, they offer absolutely the best driving experience in colder weather. For the Mustang, I think that the best option is high-performance winter tires, which offer the best possible traction when accelerating, high levels of grip in the corners, and very short braking distances. These tires are also very good in both light and deep snow. Given the fact that the Mustang is an RWD vehicle, this means that drifting in the snow will be much safer and more predictable.
Touring and grand-touring tires are another option that some owners might think of installing on their Mustang, but in my opinion, these don’t offer sufficient traction and grip for this vehicle. Sure, they might be more comfortable and quieter, which makes them a great choice for long road trips, but still, the Mustang is too powerful for this type of tires.
As you can see, choosing the right set of tires for your Mustang depends on different circumstances. Some tires work better for drivers that want a more enjoyable driving experience in the corners, while others want better traction for neck-cracking acceleration in a straight line. You must also consider the weather in your area – summer tires are the best choice for aggressive driving, but they are unusable below 50oF.
If you’re still unsure about what types of tires you want, then perhaps the list of Top 10 best tires for Mustang will help you!
Top 10 Best Tires for Mustang
1. Michelin Pilot Sport 4S
Best ultra-high-performance summer tire for Mustang / best tires for Mustang GT
If you want a do-everything high-performance tire for your Mustang, then the Pilot Sport 4S is the one. This is a summer tire, which means that it only works in warmer conditions, but when it does, oh boy, it is good. A set of these tires will give you excellent traction when accelerating out of a corner, mind-blowing grip when cornering, and the shortest braking distances possible, both in dry and wet conditions. It is no coincidence then that the Pilot Sport 4S is used as an OEM tire of choice for the 599 GTB, one of the fastest Ferrari vehicles.
There are several reasons why the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S is so good, so I’ll start with the most obvious ones. For example, Dynamic Response Technology (despite its marketing-derived name), really helps the Pilot Sport 4S achieve precise and fantastically responsive steering in warm and hot conditions. Your “beefy” Mustang will have that go-kart feeling you wanted in the corners. Then, 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.
For those who use their Mustang primarily for straight-line acceleration, the Pilot Sport 4S has you covered with hybrid Aramid and nylon belt inside for high strength and low weight. Thanks to this, your Mustang will not only accelerate better, but the tire is strong enough for multiple accelerations and even some burnouts. And unlike other high-performance summer tires, this Michelin even comes with a 30,000-mile tread warranty!
The only gripe I have with the Pilot Sport 4S is the very high price. That said, all muscle car owners already overpay for tires, so then why not pay a little more and take the best one? If you own the Mustang GT, the Michelin, in my opinion, is a no-brainer, really.
2. Continental ExtremeContact DWS06
Best high-performance all-season tires for Mustang
High-performance summer tires do offer the best grip and traction in warm conditions, but what if the ambient temperature becomes cooler? Then, you will need a high-performance all-season tire, and the best one right now is the Continental ExtremeContact DWS06. This is still a high-performance tire, which means that owners of the Mustang GT can use it for hard cornering and be very satisfied. Sure, the performance in the corners is not on the level of the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S, but the Continental has the added benefit of all-season traction.
On the road, most drivers will be completely satisfied with how the DWS06 handles the dry and wet condition. I find it to be very precise, responsive, and controllable at the limit, with high levels of grip in the corners, excellent traction, and short braking distances. Thanks to Continental's SportPlus Technology, this tire is the best in its class when it comes to wet handling – great news for those who want enjoyable driving experience in slippery conditions. The DWS06 can also be used in light snow with surprisingly good results.
The Continental ExtremeContact DWS06 comes with QuickView indicators to help identify vehicle misalignment and Tuned Performance Indicators that show the owner when they stop being usable in the snow after a few years of using them. That said, you will use them for a very long time – the 50,000-mile tread warranty is the best on this list!
3. BFGoodrich g-Force COMP-2 A/S
Best tires for Mustang V6
If you want a tire that will work in every type of weather but still want a slightly more budget-oriented model, then the BFGoodrich g-Force COMP-2 A/S is also a great choice. The reason why I recommend the BFGoodrich is that it offers excellent performance in the corners at a slightly lower price point than premium competitors.
BFGoodrich achieved excellent driving dynamics with the g-Force COMP-2 thanks to the UltiGrip technology with large and rigid tread blocks that optimize rubber-to-road contact. This tech not only improves traction, but it also brings outstanding grip in dry weather. For enhanced stability at higher speed, the g-Force COMP-2 is equipped with ETEC System (TM) Equal Tension Containment System.
For colder weather, the high-silica, cold-weather flexing compound brings pliability, which really helps the tire remain drivable at really low temperatures. The all-season compound is also designed for better traction in the rain, together with the directional and symmetrical tread design. Thanks to that, the BFGoodrich is one of the best all-season tires in wet conditions, both in light and heavy rain. In the end, thanks to the angled lateral and longitudinal grooves, squared off shoulders and wraparound tread blocks, this tire can even be used in light snow with surprising levels of traction.
Despite the lower price than some high-performance summer tires, the g-Force COMP-2 comes with outstanding 45,000-mile tread warranty, something that most tires on this list simply don’t offer. This is only valid if these tires aren’t used on the track, where they can use their properties quickly. That’s why I think that apart from owners that need all-season traction, a set of these tires is a great choice for Mustang V6 owners. It is cheaper than most, it offers very good levels of grip and traction, and it can last very long if not used for burnouts, drag or drift races.
4. Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4
Best snow tires for Mustang
For those who live in areas with harsh winters and low temperatures through the year, the absolute best choice is the Pilot Alpin PA4. This tire offers an outstanding level of traction and grip when the temperature falls below 50oF, it is very responsive, offers precise steering, and is controllable at the limit. Suffice to say; this is a high-performance winter tire that can be used as a high-performance summer tire, only at lower temperatures.
The Pilot Alpin PA4 is also extremely good in light and deep snow, where it offers traction that almost no other winter tire can touch. These performance benefits are achieved thanks to the sunflower oil-enriched Helio Compound+ tread rubber that remains flexible at lower temperatures and the high-density Stabilgrip 3D technology that enhances acceleration, braking, and handling.
That said, the price of the Pilot Alpin PA4 is pretty high, but it is somewhat mitigated by the excellent (for a winter tire) 30,000-mile tread warranty.
5. Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position
Best autocross tire for Mustang
If the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S is too expensive for you, but you still want a capable tire for agile and responsive experience on the road, then the Potenza S-04 Pole Position is the best choice out there. The Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position offers the best performance for the money in the max performance category, which is targeted at drivers who want elevated driving experience on a twisty road.
With a set of these tires on your Mustang, you will experience neck-cracking speeds in the corners and a big adrenaline rush behind the steering wheel. Grip levels are outstanding, traction is excellent, and the braking distances will be very short. The Potenza also works very good in rainy conditions, but can only be used in warmer conditions. Winter driving is out of the question here.
The biggest drawback of the Potenza S-04 Pole Position is its longevity – expect around 20,000 to 25,000 miles before replacement. Not that other summer tires will be much better, especially in this category, but there are still some that are better in this regard, namely from Michelin.
6. Mickey Thompson ET Street R Bias Tire
Best drag tires for Mustang
Mickey Thompson is a manufacturer that specializes in producing tires for muscle cars, which always makes them a great choice for Mustang owners. This particular tire offers astonishing levels of traction when accelerating and is the best choice for drivers who use their ‘Stangs in competition drag racing. Due to the bias-ply design, the Mickey Thompson ET Street can withstand the accelerating force of not only the Mustang GT, but also models such as the Cobra, Bullit, Shelby GT350 and GT350R, and even aftermarket tuned Mustang models.
The Mickey Thompson ET Street tires should only be used on the rear wheels and only for maximum attack on the drag strip. It uses the latest ET Drag Technology which gives it traction that is simply incomparable to any other tire on this list. With a pair of these tires in the back, you can cut several tenths of the second of your quarter-mile time. With all that said, the Mickey Thompson ET Street is pricey and can’t be used in wet conditions. Also, hard cornering is not its forte due to the large sidewalls, and for best results, special drag wheels are recommended.
7. Mickey Thompson Street Comp Performance
Best tires designed for Mustang
The second set of tires from Mickey Thompson on this list and for a good reason – they’re specifically designed for Mustang! The manufacturer offers sizes that are good for all Mustang generations, starting from 1979 to this day. Their Street Comp Performance model is an ultra-high-performance tire that offers exhilarating driving experience in the corners on the level with the best summer tires.
On the street, the Mickey Thompson Street Comp Performance offers crisp and responsive handling, both in dry and wet conditions. Traction is also outstanding, and grip in the corners is on a very high level. High-speed stability is also covered thanks to the stiff sidewall construction. Burnouts with these tires are also not out of the question – owners report pretty long tread life. In the end, the price of these tires is not as high as premium competitors, which is another plus.
A pair of Mickey Thompson Street Comp Performance tires can be used as front support for a pair of ET Street R Bias Tires in the back.
8. Falken Azenis FK510
Best budget performance tire for Mustang
Falken is another well-known company in the enthusiast community that produces excellent high-performance tires. Their Azenis FK510 model offers excellent performance at a lower price point than premium tires. I think that this 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 and Bridgestone.
Wet traction is limited when compared to the likes of the mentioned companies. It’s not bad by any stretch of the imagination, but if you plan on driving your Mustang with aggressiveness in the wet, then look for tires that are higher on this list. And, to be honest, considering the price of the Azenis FK510, it is hard to find many flaws to the driving experience.
9. Dunlop Sport Maxx RT2
The Dunlop Sport Maxx RT2 is another high-performance summer tire that might be tempting for Mustang owners. The price of these tires is one of the highest in the high-performance category, but if you want a great combination of dry and wet grip, then it is absolutely worth the investment. It’s no coincidence that the Sport Maxx RT2 is used as Original Equipment tires on many sports cars and performance coupes – the performance it has is one of the best of any sporty tire out there.
I especially like the combination of both dry and wet traction, the excellent responsiveness, and amazing grip in the corners. The Sport Maxx RT2 is especially good in wet conditions, both in light and heavy rain, where it probably beats all other competitors. The one thing where the Dunlop falls short of its premium competition is probably braking performance, but I’m really splitting hairs here. On the positive side, the Sport Maxx RT2 offers fuel economy benefits, which is unheard of in this category.
10. Firestone Firehawk Indy 500
Best budget autocross tires for Mustang
If you want a tire that will satisfy your needs for brutal driving in the corners and careless acceleration in the straights, then the Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 is a great choice. This tire offers outstanding grip in the corners and excellent grip when accelerating hard. It is as responsive as the best ultra-high-performance tires, which is another plus, and it can stop the vehicle in no time. The Firehawk Indy 500 works both in dry and wet condition and has a lower price than premium competitors.
The Ford Mustang is one of the best cars for driving enthusiasts for sure, but it is nothing without a good set of tires. I am sure that the list of best tires for Mustang above will help you get the best out of your car, but only if you choose tires according to your needs and the weather in your area.