In the last decade, crossovers are becoming increasingly more popular. Some crossover models, for example, were designed with body-on-frame chassis in the past, but today are based on normal cars. Manufacturers made this change in order to inject dynamics on these vehicles, but also to make them lighter and more efficient. There are other improvements, such as better ride comfort and better refinement. Such is the Honda Pilot – a crossover that not only offers agile driving experience and refined mechanics, but also a lot of space inside the cabin.
This means that when choosing tires for this car, several things need to be addressed. First of all, given the good road holding of the Pilot, the tires must be able to give the driver high levels of grip and traction, and also short braking distances. Then, the tires must offer a smooth ride, and they should also be quiet, especially on the highway. On top of that, these tires should have a long-lasting tread, and they should be able to carry weight. Remember, given the fact that the Pilot has a lot of space inside, the owners may use it to its full potential.
That’s a tall order, I admit. That’s why I’ve prepared this article, where we will talk about tires for Honda Pilot. More precisely, I will tell you what are the things you need to look out for when buying tires, and then you give you my Top 10 list of the best tires for Honda Pilot.
What to look for when choosing a set of best tires for Honda Pilot?
Right until now, I’ve never mentioned off-road driving, and the reason for that is simple – Honda Pilot drivers almost never venture off-road with their vehicles. Sure, this crossover may be available with an AWD system, but it is primarily designed for slippery surfaces, such as snow. That said, if you really want to go off-road with your Pilot, then all-terrain tires are the best choice.
In my opinion, the best tires for Honda Pilot are all-season touring tires or highway tires. The best all-season touring tires have a very good grip and traction in both dry and wet conditions, and some of them even offer good snow traction. Apart from that, touring and highway tires are the most comfortable out there, and the quietest as well. This makes them the best choice for owners who use their Pilots for longer road trips, which is a lot of owners. All-season touring tires are also very durable and last the longest when compared to other types of tires. Also, very important for a vehicle that’ll be used for long family trips.
For owners of older vehicles or those who don’t have deep pockets, normal all-season tires will do the job just fine. When compared to touring tires they have a tad shorter lifespan and can be a bit noisier on the highway, but the best all-season tires should still offer good traction and grip in most conditions, so they are perfectly safe for your family. If you live in an area with where it rains often, or an area with a bit more snow in the winter, you might consider all-weather tires. These tires are generally better than all-season in wet conditions and snow. Don’t worry – they still offer comparable performance to all-season tires in dry conditions.
However, no tire is better for freezing and snowy winters than a proper winter tire. These tires will offer the best possible traction in cold conditions, both dry and wet, thanks to the softer and more pliable rubber material. They also work much better in the snow thanks to deeper grooves and sipes. You may also find snow tires on the market today have even deeper grooves and more aggressive tread pattern, but they are made for really bad weather. That said, winter tires are much worse in warmer conditions because the rubber degrades much faster and the soft rubber quickly loses traction.
For the hot days, high-performance summer tires are the best choice. These tires not only offer superior traction and grip on dry surfaces, but they are also the best in rainy conditions. That said high-performance summer tires are better-suited to sporty vehicles, such as coupes and high-performance sedans. They’re also completely unusable on snow and in cold weather, so we advise against using them in those circumstances. In the end, they don’t last as long as all-season or touring tires – not even close. That’s why I think that they are not a great choice for owners of the Honda Pilot.
Having cleared that out, we can now start with the Top 10 list, where I’ll include every type of tire that I think will suit the Honda Pilot and its driver/owner.
Top 10 Best Tires for Honda Pilot
1. Michelin Defender LTX M/S
Best highway all-season tire for Honda Pilot
The Michelin Defender is almost a guaranteed winner for owners of crossovers and SUVs, and that’s why it sits on the first place on this list as well. The Defender LTX M/S is not only capable of tackling any weather you throw at it, but it is also extremely durable, it can withstand higher weight on its shoulders, and on top of that, it is quiet and comfortable. With a set of Defender LTX M/S tires, your Honda Pilot will be transformed into a do-everything type of vehicle.
To achieve all its treats, the Defender LTX M/S is equipped with Michelin’s proprietary Evertread compound with high-density Active Sipes that help in harsh weather, lateral grooves that help with better water drainage, and MaxTouch construction that evens the force over the tire evenly, which helps with durability, handling, and braking.
The result is a tire that provides excellent traction and grip in warm and dry weather, but also colder weather. The Defender is extremely good in wet conditions and damp conditions, providing very good traction, road holding, and short braking distances. Being a highway tire, it also holds itself favorably on the highway, even at higher speeds, where it provides high levels of stability. The Defender can even tackle light snow, and it can be used for light off-roading.
The best thing about the Defender is how long it lasts. This is a tire that you will forget when was the year you replaced it. Michelin gives 80,000-mile tread warranty, which is the best in its category, and so are the results for treadlife in real life. Of course, being a Michelin tire, it is expensive, but it may be the best solution in the long run, even for budget-minded buyers. A real champ!
2. Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2
Best winter tires for Honda Pilot
What the Defender LTX M/S is for all-season highway driving, the Blizzak DM-V2 is for winter driving. In the past few years, Bridgestone’s Blizzak line of tires consistently beats its competitors in the winter tire category. Their tires always steer and brake better in cold weather, on snow and even on ice. On top of that, they are the longest-lasting winter tires. If you live in an area where it snows a lot in the winter, I can’t think of a better set of tires for your Honda Pilot other than the Blizzak DM-V2. Sure, you may find cheaper winter tires that will do a good job, but none is close to this Bridgestone.
The secret behind its winter prowess is in the adaptive NanoPro Tech Multicell compound that features a water-loving hydrophilic coating that takes the water out of the snow, thus improving traction and grip. Traction is further improved by the microscopic bite particles, while the Multicell compound remains flexible in freezing conditions, further improving grip and improving braking on ice.
But Bridgestone didn’t stop here. The directional tread design features 15% more aggressive block edges than its predecessor, which help channel water, slush, and snow away from the contact area of the tire. For even more biting edges, the company installed 3D zigzag sipes on the tread. The Blizzak DM-V2 even has a tread depth indicator that shows when the NanoPro Tech Multicell Compound is used (55% of the tread), and the tire only uses normal winter compound (remaining 45%). That will not happen soon though as the Blizzak DM-V2 is one of the most durable winter tires out there.
3. Continental CrossContact LX20 EcoPlus
Best touring all-season tire for Honda Pilot
Continental is a German manufacturer that should always be on your shortlist when buying new tires, and the CrossContact LX20 EcoPlus is a perfect example of that. Being a touring tire, it not only offers comfortable and quiet ride experience, but it is also very good in the performance category, and on top of that it offers low rolling resistance for better fuel mileage.
The secret with the Continental CrossContact LX20 EcoPlus lies in the Tg-F polymers and +Silane additives that give the tire both good handling abilities and durability. Even though the CrossContact LX20 EcoPlus doesn’t offer the same longevity as the Michelin Defender, it is still respectable in this area and offers 70,000-mile tread warranty.
In the real world, the EcoPlus offers very good traction and grip in dry conditions, almost on the level of a high-performance tire. Wet traction is also very well covered – in this area; the Continental is probably one of the best tires out there. Surprisingly, I also found the CrossContact LX20 EcoPlus to be usable in light snow, which is not something that can be said for most all-season tires, especially for a model that offers low rolling resistance.
4. Pirelli Scorpion Verde All Season Plus
Best tires for Honda Pilot all-wheel drive
Another all-season touring tire, but this time better suited to AWD Pilot models. The Pirelli Scorpion Verde All Season Plus is a tire that’s very similar to the Continental that sits above it on this list. This means that it offers excellent traction in almost every condition you throw at it, it is long-lasting and durable, and it also offers a quiet and comfortable driving experience. Due to the lighter weight of this tire, I think it is a great choice for owners of AWD Pilot vehicles, which are heavier than FWD models.
Pirelli achieved this with the lighter weight of the silica-enhanced tread compound, which not only helps in the performance department but also makes the Pilot AWD more efficient (helped by the low rolling resistance credentials). The asymmetric tread design provides excellent traction and grip in wet and snowy conditions, while the uniform contact patch allows for better grip in dry weather and almost sport-like handling, while also promoting uniform tire wear.
When compared to other touring tires in this category, the Pirelli Scorpion Verde has slightly shorter 65,000-mile tread warranty. That said I still find it sufficiently durable for most Pilot owners, even those who cover a lot of miles annually.
5. Falken Ziex STZ05
Best high-performance all-season tire for Honda Pilot
The Honda Pilot is certainly not a car for those who want a sporty driving experience, but let’s be honest – there are still fathers (or mothers) that want to experience a little extra gravity in the corners. To achieve that, you will need a high-performance tire. For the Pilot, I chose the Falken Ziex STZ05, which is not only a high-performance tire but also an all-season one. This makes it a perfect choice for Pilot owners who don’t want a tire that will be useful in cold conditions, but also one that can provide higher levels of grip in the corners.
To achieve that, the Ziex STZ05 is equipped with 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. Even though it is a primarily sporty tire, the Falken still offers a smooth and quiet ride, thanks to the wide and narrowing shoulder grooves. That said, the 50,000-mile tread warranty is shorter than what touring tires offer, but that’s always the price to pay for the added performance benefits.
6. Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza Plus
Best comfortable tires for Honda Pilot
Almost every tire on this list offers comfortable driving experience, even on bumpy roads, but none is at the level of the Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza Plus. With a set of these tires, your family will experience the smoothest road trip, both in urban areas and on the highway. Don’t worry – the Dueler H/L Alenza Plus is very good in other categories too. It offers a quiet ride, long-lasting tread, very good handling in dry weather and wet weather, and even good traction in light snow.
The excellent ride comfort and quietness are achieved thanks to the symmetric tread pattern, while the notched shoulder blocks and continuous center rib help with handling. In the end, the circumferential grooves, lateral notches, and sipes help in slippery conditions, such as rain and snow. The Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza Plus is also one of the most durable tires out there, almost at the level of the Michelin Defender LTX. It’s no coincidence then that Bridgestone gives 80,000-mile tread warranty.
Best Budget Tires for Honda Pilot
1. Nitto NT421Q
Best budget tires for Honda Pilot
Even though I prefer premium tires, there are some budget offerings that tend to change my mind from time to time. The Nitto NT421Q is a perfect example of that because it offers excellent traction and grip at a much lower price point than premium tires – over $50 less for one tire. That’s a significant difference. Sure, the premium tires that sit higher on this list will still give you better traction and grip, but most drivers will never notice the difference.
The reason why the Nitto NT421Q is excellent across the board is the rubber inserts in the shoulders, which add structural integrity to the tire and make it withstand greater “G” forces in the corners. In some ways, the Nitto almost feels like a high-performance tire. Wet traction is also very good, thanks to the wide and deep circumferential grooves, which also help in snowy conditions. Despite these characteristics, the Nitto NT421Q is pretty comfortable and quiet, thanks to the Quiet Serration Technology.
In the end, the 75,000-mile tread warranty is excellent for the category, and especially the price you pay.
2. Yokohama Geolandar A/T G015
Best budget all-terrain tire for Honda Pilot
Even though most Honda Pilot owners never venture off-road with their vehicles, there are still some that do that, especially people that own houses in remote areas. For those folks, the Yokohama Geolandar A/T G015 is an excellent choice, because it not only offers very good traction in light off-roading but it is also very good on the road.
The Enduro all-season compound with orange oil and EdgeTec grooves helps the Geolandar A/T G015 achieve respectable traction in light off-road driving, like gravel or grass. The on-road driving experience is also very positive, with admirable traction and grip in the corners, both in dry and wet conditions. The Geolandar A/T G015 is also rated for snow driving thanks to the 3-D sipes and biting edges. That said, this tire is not very responsive in the corners, but no other all-terrain tire is.
The 60,000-mile tread warranty is excellent for an all-terrain tire, and on top of that, the Geolandar A/T G015 is not very expensive to buy.
3. General Tire Grabber HTS 60
Best budget all-season tires for Honda Pilot
General Tire is a very popular brand in the US, known for offering high-quality tires at lower price points. Their HTS 60 model is a good example of that. Designed for light trucks and SUVs, the Grabber HTS 60 is available in sizes that will suit the Honda Pilot. According to the company, it offers a blend of style, comfort, durability, and performance. It is considered as an all-season tire, which means that it can also be used in light snow.
In the real world, the Grabber HTS 60 offers outstanding traction and grip for the price, both in dry and wet conditions. It is also usable in light snow, but I would still recommend a proper winter tire for those conditions. Due to the sound barrier ribs, it is also very quiet on the highway. For those who want to haul a lot of stuff with their Pilot, this tire is also designed to withstand more weight on its shoulders. The 65,000-mile tread warranty offers a piece of mind in the coming years and is especially impressive considering the price of this tire.
4. Yokohama YK-HTX
Another lower-cost option
The Japanese company Yokohama is known for producing excellent tires at lower prices than other premium competitors, and that’s why this is their second entry on this list. The YK-HTX is designed to offer a quiet ride, courtesy of the adaptive shoulder blocks that form a continuous outer rib that reduces noise throughout the whole life of the tire. While I am not sure about the whole life of the tire, I can tell you that it is really quiet in the first few thousand miles.
The YK-HTX also offers all-season traction and grip thanks to the implementation of triple 3D sipes and multi-sipe blocks, while the optimized contact patch promotes even wear by distributing stress across the entire tread area. In the end, the proprietary Yokohama compound resists wearing for outstanding longevity. The YK-HTX comes with a 70,000-mile tread warranty, which is one of the best results in the all-season class, despite the lower price than other premium competitors.
Whatever choice of tire you make, always be sure that it suits your driving style, the needs of your family, and also the weather in your area. Only then you can be really happy with the choice you make. For added safety, take care of the tires – rotating at every maintenance certainly won’t hurt.
Thanks for reading and I hope you found this review of best tires for Honda Pilot helpful. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave them in the comments section below.