Mazda’s newest compact crossover is a nice addition to their lineup, undercutting its competitors in a lot of things, but perhaps most importantly for car lovers, in driving dynamics. The crossover craze in the last decade almost destroyed driving enjoyment – sedans are still much better in the corners. However, Mazda is perhaps the only manufacturer out of premium companies that tries to inject some verve into their crossover lineup. The CX-5 is still a very roomy and versatile car, but it’s also good in the corners. As much as a crossover can be, of course.
That said, in order to get the most out of CX-5’s driving dynamics, you’ll need a good set of tires. The best tires for Mazda CX-5 should offer responsive handling, but also quiet and comfortable ride. This is still a car that’s aimed at family buyers that want a serene and safe driving experience, mind you. Happily, the tire market is flooded with premium models that can give you good driving experience behind the wheel, and comfortable ride over long journeys.
On top of that, the best tires for Mazda CX-5 should also give the driver confidence in all weather conditions. They should work equally well in dry and wet conditions, and in warm and cold conditions. Having a set of tires that will have traction in most seasons is having a piece of mind. Imagine going on a long road trip, coming across a heavy rain season and losing traction. In other words, the best tires for Mazda CX-5 must be completely safe on the road.
To help you choose the best set of tires for your CX-5, I’ve prepared a Top 10 list of the best tires for that vehicle. In that list, you will be able to find both premium and budget tires, as well as tires made for comfortable and quiet ride experience, and sporty tires for an engaging driving experience. Before we jump to the list though, I recommend reading through the short buying guide. In that section, I will explain what different tire types bring to the driver and why you need one more than the other.
What to look for when choosing a set of best tires for Mazda CX-5
Most modern car buyers opt for crossover vehicles due to the added room and versatility, and some of them even buy these vehicles due to the added height. In their minds, crossovers seem to be better for off-road driving than sedans, which is true but only to a point. Even in AWD form, the Mazda CX-5 is not designed to tackle hard terrain. That’s why I will not include all-terrain tires in this list. These tires may give you added traction in harsh off-road conditions, but they are too loud on the road, not as responsive in the corners, and even spoil the performance and fuel economy of the CX-5.
To get the most out of the Mazda CX-5, you will need touring or grand-touring tires. These tires offer the best combination of responsiveness in the corners, traction in most conditions, and supreme comfort over longer journeys. The best grand-touring tires for Mazda CX-5 will also be extremely long-lasting – some manufacturers offer 100,000-mile treadwear warranty, which is simply unbeatable by any other tire type.
Touring and grand-touring tires are almost exclusively offered as all-season today. This means that they work in spring, summer, fall, and winter. In other words, their rubber is designed to be harder in warm weather and soft in cold weather, while their tread design offers grip in dry conditions, traction in wet and snowy conditions, and excellent braking performance through the board. With all that said, grand-touring tires are still not the best choice if you want to attack corners like a sports driver – that accolade goes to high-performance tires.
High-performance tires are designed to offer the best possible grip and traction in the corners, both in dry and wet conditions. With a set of these tires, your Mazda CX-5 will transform into a vehicle that will be much more stable at higher speeds, much more agile in the corners, and one with much better braking performance. This means that these tires are also safer, but only if you use them in the conditions, they’re designed for.
Most high-performance tires are of the summer variety, which means that they will not work in colder weather, but there are all-season models that are more forgiving. In the list below, I will include one set of high-performance tires to satisfy the needs of more aggressive drivers. The reason why there will be only one set of these tires is that high-performance tires aren’t as comfortable or quiet as grand-touring tires. They also have a much shorter tread life and are more expensive to buy.
But, what about winter driving? Most all-season grand-touring tires today offer reliable traction in light snow and cold weather, but for those that live in areas with harsh winters, there is only one choice. Winter tires are specifically designed to offer the best possible grip, traction and braking performance in freezing conditions. They are also the best choice for driving in snow – very important for those that live in the Northern regions. The reason why winter tires work excellently in cold conditions is the soft and pliable rubber, while the aggressive tread pattern helps for better traction in snow and on ice.
That said, winter tires have some disadvantages. First of all, they suffer in warm conditions in the handling front and also have shorter tread life (most of them come without tread wear warranty). On top of that, winter tires are louder, especially at higher speeds. In other words, they are designed to be used only in the winter, which means that you need to replace them with your all-season or summer set when the weather is warmer.
After we exhausted every type of tire you might want to install on your Mazda CX-5, we can move on to the Top 10 list. There you will mostly find touring and grand-touring tires, but I will throw high-performance and winter tires for good measure. Let’s start!
Top 10 Best Tires for Mazda CX-5
Michelin Premier LTX
Best touring tires for Mazda CX-5
Michelin’s latest addition to their touring lineup aimed at crossover and SUV owners brings small improvements over its predecessor, enough to keep it on top of other tires in this category. The Premium LTX is an all-season tire, which means that it will work in most weather conditions, but also one that offers very responsive drive for a touring tire, and comfortable and quiet driving experience.
In the corners, the Premier LTX handles like a champ. Traction and grip are excellent both in dry and wet conditions, giving the driver a lot of confidence to push more in the corners. High-speed stability is also one of the best in the category, but rainy weather is really where the Premier LTX excels. Thanks to the EverGrip Technology that utilizes Expanding Rain Grooves around the circumference and Emerging Grooves across the shoulders that help the tire being usable in heavy rain even after the tread wears down, a set of these tires will give you absolutely the best traction in both light and heavy rain. This tire is also the most responsive touring tire in the corners – a great fit with the agile nature of the Mazda CX-5.
While most tires that offer responsive handling are bad in the comfort department, the Premier LTX sure isn’t. Like almost all Michelin touring tires, it offers very comfortable and quiet driving experience, even at higher speeds. I especially like how the Premier LTX handles smaller imperfections – they are almost not felt in the cabin. Being a touring tire, the Premier LTX is very durable – owners of the previous generation report 4-5 seasons of carefree driving. That said, the 60,000-mile tread wear warranty is shorter than its rivals, but that’s the price you pay for the added performance.
To achieve all these advantages, Michelin used their Total Performance Technology that utilizes a lot of innovative technologies to achieve high levels of grip and traction, better fuel economy, long tread life, and quiet rolling. The most impressive is the use of extreme silica and sunflower oil in the tread compound, molded into symmetric tread design with continuous center rib, which gives the Premier LTX its stunning handling performance.
Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology
Best all-season tires for Mazda CX-5
$70 Prepaid Mastercard by mail when you purchase a set of four select Continental Control Contact tires.
Valid through Sept 30, 2020
Available at DiscountTireDirect.com
While the Premier LTX is certainly a better choice for drivers who want a more engaging driving experience, the Continental CrossContact LX20 with EcoPlus Technology is better for those that want a long-lasting set of tires that are primarily designed to offer comfort and quietness. The Continental also has the EcoPlus Technology, which gives it less rolling resistance. Thanks to this, your Mazda CX-5 should experience better fuel economy, which makes the LX20 more cost-effective in the long run.
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. This helps the tire achieve much better grip and traction in both dry and wet conditions, warm or cold. For a more responsive drive, Continental equipped the CrossContact with continuous center rib and independent tread blocks. They work but don’t expect involvement on the level of the Premier LTX.
On the other hand, the CrossContact LX20 EcoPlus is outstanding in the comfort department. Smaller imperfections on the road are easily suspended, while there is almost no noise coming from the tires at 70mph. On top of that, the Continental comes with 70,000-mile tread wear warranty, which is higher than its closest competitor, the Michelin Premier LTX. Pair that with a slightly lower price point, and you have a very good set of tires for the years to come.
Bridgestone Dueler H/L 422 Ecopia
Best riding tires for Mazda CX-5 / best fuel-efficient tires for Mazda CX-5
Bridgestone is another company that can be completely trusted by buyers, and the Dueler H/L 422 Ecopia is a very good example of that. Competitor of the Michelin and Continental above, the Dueler 422 is designed with fuel efficiency and ride comfort in mind, but it also offers a safe driving experience in most conditions.
According to Bridgestone, a set of these tires will give you much better fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions, thanks to the reduced rolling resistance. Bridgestone's unique NanoPro-Tech compound is the one to “blame” here – it not only provides low rolling resistance but also improved traction in dry, wet and snowy conditions.
Apart from the focus on fuel efficiency, the Dueler H/L 422 Ecopia is also the most comfortable tire you can have for your CX-5, thanks to the structure that includes twin steel belts reinforced by spirally wrapped nylon on top of a polyester casing. On the other hand, the symmetric tread design helps with noise – this is one of the quietest tires on the road right now.
While I have no worries about durability, I would’ve liked the Bridgestone Dueler H/L 422 Ecopia to be offered with a higher warranty than 65,000-mile tread wear. Still, for all other advantages it offers, the Bridgestone is one of the best all-season tires for Mazda CX-5, and certainly the best for long traveling sessions.
Bridgestone Blizzak WS80
Best winter tires for Mazda CX-5 / best snow tires for Mazda CX-5
If you live in areas with harsh winters, then there is no better option than the Blizzak WS80. Universally appraised by the automotive media, this tire offers excellent results across the board. More precisely, it is in front of its competitors when it comes to handling in dry and wet conditions, traction in snow and ice, and braking performance in every winter setting imaginable.
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. Another ace in Bridgestone’s pocket is Hydrophilic Coating technology takes the water out of snow and ice, improving traction on the way. I know, it sounds silly, but it really works!
Apart from making your winter drive safer, the Blizzak WS80 is also very comfortable and quiet by winter tire standards. And while it doesn’t come with any tread wear warranty, buyers around the world seem to be very happy with its longevity.
Goodyear Ultra Grip Winter
Best budget winter tires for Mazda CX-5
If the Bridgestone Blizzak is too expensive for you, then the Goodyear Ultra Grip Winter is a great budget option. Sure, it trails behind premium competitors slightly when it comes to performance across all conditions, but for the price, it is simply unbeatable. For the average driver, I think that it is more than good enough in the winter, regardless of the conditions.
On the road, the Ultra Grip Winter is very responsive in colder conditions, and it also provides high levels of grip and traction. Driving in the wet is also very safe – the Goodyear resists hydroplaning like a champ. In the end, snow traction is almost on the level of the best, while braking performance is outstanding. The Ultra Grip Winter even works on ice, despite the lower price point. Oh, and unlike some other premium tires, the Goodyear is also studdable!
When it comes to comfort, the Goodyear can be noisy on the highway, but that is something that you can say for most winter tires.
Kumho Solus TA31
Best budget all-season tires for Mazda CX-5
When you purchase set of four (4) select Kumho tires you may be eligible to receive a $75 Tire Rack Prepaid Mastercard by mail-in rebate.
Valid through Sept 30, 2020
Available at Tirerack.com
If premium tires are out of your budget, you can also get very good performance from budget tires, such as the Kumho Solus TA31. Kumho is a manufacturer that is known for producing excellent tires at lower price points, and this model is one of the best examples. Despite the lower price point, the Solus TA31 is designed to offer high levels of grip and traction in dry and wet conditions, and even traction in light snow.
The symmetrical tread pattern with lateral notches and wide shoulder blocks certainly helps the tire achieve high levels of traction in heavy rain, but also very good responsiveness in the corners. You will be surprised at how good the Solus TA31 is given the price point. However, while marketed for use in light snow, the Kumho isn’t the best choice for those conditions, especially when you compare it to premium all-season tires. On the positive side, the Kumho is supremely quiet and comfortable – up there with the best premium tires.
The Kumho Solus TA31 comes with 60,000-mile tread wear warranty, which seems lower than premium competitors, but remember that this is a budget option. For the price, the Kumho is still a viable option for Mazda CX-5 owners who don’t plan on spending much.
Best high-performance tires for Mazda CX-5
If you have some of the higher-end Mazda CX-5 models and you want to refresh it with a set of sporty tires, then the Nitto NT421Q is a great choice. This tire not only offers excellent handling characteristics – far better than any other tire on this list, but it is also budget-oriented. This means that owners of CX-5’s with 19-inch rims will not spend a fortune to put high-performance tires on their vehicle.
On the road, the Nitto provides superior grip and traction, sharp responses, and outstanding braking performance. And even though it was primarily designed with performance in mind, the NT421Q still offers very comfortable ride quality and quiet ride at higher speeds thanks to the Quiet Serration Technology.
Even though I previously said that high-performance tires aren’t as durable as touring tires, the Nitto comes with outstanding 75,000-mile tread wear warranty. In real life, though, it isn’t as long-lasting as premium touring tires, but still great for a high-performance tire. The best thing about it is that it is of the all-season variety, which means that it will work in colder conditions, too.
Pirelli Scorpion Verde All Season Plus
Best tires for Mazda CX-5 AWD
A competitor to the first three tires on this list, Pirelli’s touring all-season option brings lightweight construction to the table. Thanks to this, I think it is a great choice for AWD models because they are heavier than front-wheel-drive counterparts. Despite weighing less than its competitors, the Pirelli still offers supreme traction and grip in dry and wet conditions, regardless of the temperature. It also works in light snow, and it is one of the most comfortable and quiet tires out there. The 65,000-mile tread warranty may seem short, but owners around the world report long-lasting performance.
Hankook Kinergy GT
Best budget quiet tires for Mazda CX-5
If you want a set of supremely quiet and comfortable tires on a budget, look no further than the Hankook Kinergy GT. A standard touring all-season tire, the Hankook offers high levels of grip and traction in dry and wet conditions, at a lower price than other premium competitors. The best thing about this tire is that it is outstandingly quiet and comfortable, even at higher speeds, but on the negative side, it offers below-par snow traction. The warranty sits at 70,000-mile tread wear, which is an excellent result for the price though.
Cooper CS5 Ultra Touring
Best budget handling tires for Mazda CX-5
The CS5 Ultra Touring is one of my favorite grand-touring all-season tires right now because it offers elevated driving experience like the Michelin Premier LTX but at the lower price point. Grip and traction are excellent across the board; and handling responsiveness is outstanding while braking performance neck-cracking. Comfort is also on a very high level, with the only disadvantage being the worse snow traction. To counter that, you get excellent 70,000-mile tread wear warranty for the price.
I am confident that every set of tires on the list of best tires for Mazda CX-5 above offers a safe driving experience. However, in order to get the most out of your purchase, always choose tires according to the weather in your area and then your needs. Only then you will be completely satisfied with the purchase you made. For added safety, take care of the tires – rotating at every maintenance certainly won’t hurt.