Crossovers and SUVs are becoming more popular by the day. The biggest reason for their success is definitely the added functionality they offer when compared to sedans for example, but if it’s only functionality that is important to the buyer, then aren’t minivans the best choice? Well, minivans are definitely not cool anymore, not with all the funky crossovers available on the market right now.
That said, if you don’t care how other people view your taste in vehicles, minivans are absolutely the better choice if you care about room and functionality, but also about driving performance and comfort. Yes, minivans are closer to the ground and have better handling abilities, as well as a more comfortable driving experience. With all that said, you still need a good set of tires in order to get the most out of your minivan. The best tires for minivans should offer good grip and traction in the corners, preferably in all seasons, they should be comfortable, and in the end, extremely durable.
That’s a tall order, even for premium tires, which is why I’ve prepared this article where we’re going to talk about the best tires for minivan and why you need one type or another. That means that first I’ll tell you all about tires for minivans and why some work better in some conditions, and others in different conditions, so you can choose the best set for your area, and also for your driving style.
What to look out for when choosing a set of best tires for Minivans?
Before you choose a set of tires for your Minivan, you first need to ask yourself what is the weather like in your area. For example, summer tires will only work very well in hot climates, but they completely lose their abilities in cold weather or snow.
All-season tires (and their improved counterparts all-weather tires), on the other hand, work in all conditions, but they are always a compromise. In other words, summer tire is better in warm weather, dry or wet, while winter tires will work better in cold weather. That said, all-season tires of today are much better than their predecessors, and some of them really offer excellent drivability in most conditions. In my opinion, the best tires for minivans when it comes to climate are all-season tires. They offer a completely safe driving experience and pretty long tread life.
Touring and grand-touring tires are an extension of all-season and all-weather tires (some summer touring tires are available, but they are pretty scarce today). These offer even better durability – some of them come with 80,000-mile tread warranty, better comfort, and better high-speed stability. Imagine them as a long-distance travel version of all-season tires. This means that they are the best version of all-season tires for minivans, as these vehicles are often used for long road trips.
That said, owners of more powerful V6 minivans may want to consider summer tires. This tire type offers absolutely the best handling ability, with outstanding grip in the corners, excellent responsiveness, and high levels of traction. If you want to drive fast, summer tires are the way to go. These often come in high-performance or max-performance varieties, which further accentuates the fact that they are primarily made for the best possible performance in the corners. This also means that they are the safest tires of them all. On the negative side, summer tires aren’t as durable as all-season tires, and they can’t be used in the winter at all.
For the cold months, or areas where the temperatures are mostly below 50oF, winter tires are the best choice. While most of the people think that they should only be used in areas with snow, the truth is that they give the best performance in dry and cold weather, as well as wet and cold weather.
Some minivan owners may also want to install run-flat tires on their vehicles. These tires offer the ability to use them when punctured, at a speed of up to 50mph and distances of up to 50 miles. In other words, until you find a tire technician that can seal the puncture. Given the fact that minivan vehicles are used for long road trips, I’ll include a run-flat tire here too.
After we’ve figured out what’s the best way to choose tires for your minivan, we can move on to the Top 10 List. In that list, you can find different types of tires, which means that the first one on the list may not be the best for your needs. Always choose tires that will suit you!
Top 10 Best Tires for Minivan
Michelin Defender T+H
Best grand-touring tires for minivans
The Michelin Defender T+H is probably the best michelin tires for minivan and the most popular tire with minivan owners for a plethora of reasons. It offers long-lasting performance – the longest of any tire on this list, it is excellent in both dry and wet conditions, and it is also one of the most durable tires on the market right now. The price of the Defender T+H is a tad higher than other premium competitors and a lot higher than budget offerings, but if you want absolutely the best tire out there, then this is it.
Michelin developed a completely new all-season tread compound for the newest generation of the Defender T+H that improves both durability and longevity when compared to the predecessor. The 80,000-mile tread warranty is proof of that. It is not only better than almost every other competitors in this category, but it also declares that Michelin is very self-confident about how much this tire will last. Even some independent tests show that this tire is the most durable on the market right now and there is no reason not to believe them.
The asymmetric tread pattern of the Defender T+H is designed so that it offers supreme ride comfort and quiet operation. On the highway, this is one of the quietest tires out there, and it is also one of the smoothest over bumps. Long road trips are a breeze with a set of four Michelin Defenders.
Michelin’s IntelliSlip technology utilizes zigzag sipes that interlock beneath the surface, a design that increases tread block rigidity. Thanks to this, the tire has improved contact with the surface, which gives the driver better grip and traction in the corners, as well as shorter braking distances. Wet traction, on the other hand, is covered with the new generation compound with high silica content for damp conditions, and lateral notches and circumferential grooves for less hydroplaning in heavy rain.
The Defender T+H even works in light snow thanks to the biting edges created by the independent tread blocks and zigzag sipes, but for those that live in areas with harsh winters, I still recommend a proper winter tire.
Most durable tires for minivans
Most touring tires for minivans today are pretty durable, but none at the level of the Continental TrueContact. The German company produced the tire with probably the longest-lasting tread life on the market right now, and they give mind-blowing warranty of 90,000-miles to back that claim.
With a set of these tires, you will forget when was the last time you replaced them, and according to owners, the tread of the Continental TrueContact is likely to last its whole life. This means that while the tire might change its geometry, the tread will be intact and the driver will still get excellent wet performance even after thousands of miles.
While we’re at it, the TrueContact is also one of the best touring tires out there for driving in dry and wet conditions, thanks to the all-season tread compound with Tg-F polymers and +Sylane additives, molded into a symmetric design. This design not only helps for excellent traction and grip in the corner, regardless of weather, but it also promotes better fuel efficiency. Continental says that the Traction Grooves and Intermediate Tread Blocks provide additional biting edges for traction in light snow, and while that’s true to some degree, I would still recommend a proper winter tire if you use your tires in the snow.
Being a touring tire, the Continental TrueContact is also very comfortable on the road – it simply glides over bumps. It is also very quiet on the highway – one of the quietest in its category.
The price of the Continental TrueContact is certainly not low, especially when compared to some budget offerings, but you really get a lot for the money here. Highly recommended for any minivan owner!
Bridgestone Blizzak WS80
Best winter tires for minivans / best snow tires for minivans
While Michelin is slightly better with its Defender T+H in the all-season category, Bridgestone punches back with their Blizzak line of winter tires, which are the best in the business. Their Blizzak WS80 model is perfectly suited to minivans, bringing the much-needed safety in slippery and freezing conditions.
The secret behind the success of the Blizzak WS80 lies in the Hydrophilic Coating that takes the water out of the snow, thus improving traction. I know, it sounds silly, but trust me, it works wonders in snow. This is the best tire in both light and deep snow out of every other winter tire, except perhaps tires with studs. Other than that, the Multicellular compound and Nano Pro-Tech keep the tire soft and pliable at freezing temperatures. Thanks to this, the Blizzak WS80 is also the best tire in cold weather, dry or wet.
Even though Bridgestone doesn’t give any warranty on the Blizzak WS80 (no winter tire has), owners of these tires claim that they last for a pretty long time. It is also one of the quietest and most comfortable winter tires out there, which is only the top of the iceberg.
Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady
Best all-weather tires for Minivans
If you want a tire that will work in most conditions with aplomb, then the Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady is the best choice out there – you can think of it as the jack of all trades. This is the best all-weather tire for minivans, which means that it is outstanding in dry and wet conditions, as well as in light snow.
The soy-based rubber tread compound molded into an asymmetric tread pattern repels water for less hydroplaning, which makes the Assurance WeatherReady the best tire in wet conditions. Sure, you may not encounter rain every day, but that’s where most other tires fall short. With a set of these tires, your minivan will be controllable and responsive in the rain, and the braking distances will be very short.
Goodyear didn’t forget about dry handling as well. Their Treadlock technology locks the tire treads together for a bigger contact patch and better handling in dry conditions. The Assurance WeatherReady is even capable in light snow – more so than almost every all-season tire out there. It is even equipped with the 3PMSF (Three Peak Mountain Snowflake) symbol. Still, I wouldn’t go as far as to say that it can replace a proper winter tire in the coldest months, but for minivan owners who live in areas with harsh winters, I still recommend a proper set of winter tires.
In the comfort department, the Assurance WeatherReady also achieves a high score, besting almost every other grand-touring tire in its category. Comfortable over bumps and quiet on the highway, a set of these tires certainly make for a more enjoyable driving experience.
Apart from the outstanding drivability and safety, it offers on the road; the Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady is also very durable. The manufacturer gives a 60,000-mile tread warranty – not impressive, but owners of these tires are very happy with their longevity, and I have no reason to suspect otherwise. More importantly, the Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady is equipped with Evolving Traction Grooves that widen as the time goes by, which keep the wet performance at bay even after thousands of miles driven.
Bridgestone Turanza Serenity Plus
Best quiet tires for minivans
Some minivan owners care mostly about comfort, and for them, the Bridgestone Turanza Serenity Plus is the best choice out there. That said, it still offers excellent performance in other areas, such as grip and traction, and it is also very durable. The Turanza Serenity Plus is an all-season tire, which means that it works in most conditions you will throw at it.
Bridgestone equipped the Turanza Serenity Plus with their proprietary Nano ProTech compound infused with silica gel. Thanks to this, the tire is off the low-rolling-resistance variety, which means that it will improve the fuel economy of your minivan, as well as cut the emissions. Apart from that, the advanced compound also helps with traction in dry and wet conditions with the help of the asymmetric tread pattern. As with most touring tires, it can also work in light snow.
But you’re here to read about the comfort credentials of the Turanza Serenity Plus, and it has plenty of them. The Renoa silencer works its magic here and makes the tire whisper-quiet on the highway, while the specifically designed rubber sidewall reinforcements improve ride quality. The Turanza Serenity Plus is one of the most durable tires on the market right now and comes with 80,000-mile tread warranty.
Cooper CS5 Grand Touring
Best budget touring tires for minivans
Cooper’s latest grand-touring offering is the best in the budget category right now, thanks to the outstanding grip and traction, excellent durability, and comfort levels. This tire proves that you don’t need to pay a fortune to get great performance across the board, which makes it a great choice for owners of older minivans or those whose pockets are not as deep.
The Cooper CS5 Grand Touring has an asymmetrical tread pattern that’s specifically designed to be effective in several different usage scenarios. It is also equipped with Wear Square technology that can show the driver the state of the tread wear, while the StabilEdge technology helps for more precise and agile handling.
Thanks to these technologies, the tire offers very good performance in dry and wet conditions, almost on the level of premium tires from Michelin and Continental. The CS5 Grand Touring also works in light snow, but like all all-season tires, you need to take care in deep snow. Considering the price, the CS5 Grand Touring is also a very durable tire and Cooper gives 70,000-mile tread warranty to certify that claim (60,000-mile tread warranty for higher speed ratings).
Yokohama Avid ENVigor
Best budget high-performance tire for minivans
Most minivan owners don’t care about performance and high-speed cornering, but there are still some spirited family drivers out there. If you are of the people that want more responsive handling, the Yokohama Avid ENVigor is an excellent tire. This is a tire that’s still of the all-season variety, but one that offers elevated driving experience due to its high-performance moniker. The best thing about it is that it comes at a lower price than other premium competitors on the market.
This all-season Yokohama tire not only offers excellent grip and traction in the corners, both in dry and wet conditions, but it also looks the part. The directional tread design is sporty and aggressive, giving your minivan the much-needed sporty appearance. The driver can also transfer that aggressiveness when driving, thanks to the outstanding responsiveness this tire gives.
Despite being a high-performance tire, the Avid ENVigor still offers 60,000-mile tread warranty, which is a great result for the money.
Goodyear Ultra Grip Winter
Best budget winter tire for minivans
While the Blizzak WS80 is absolutely the best winter tire out there, it can be expensive for some people. If you’re on a budget and still want a good performer in the winter, I recommend the Goodyear Ultra, Grip Winter.
This tire offers very good traction in freezing cold weather, both on dry and wet surfaces. It even beats some more expensive winter tires, which is very high praise. The Ultra Grip Winter is also very capable in both light and heavy snow – up there with the best premium (and expensive) winter tires.
Owners of the Goodyear also report long-lasting tread life for a winter tire, but I must mention that bigger degradation may happen if you use these tires in warmer climates. If you use them only in the winter though, you should get several seasons of carefree driving.
General Tire Altimax RT43
Best budget all-season tires for minivans
The General Altimax RT43 is a very popular tire in the US due to its combination of good performance across the board and lower price than premium competitors. The successful blend of durability, excellent traction in dry and wet conditions, and comfort make the RT43 an excellent all-rounder.
On the road, this tire offers very good traction and grip in dry and wet conditions, improving the safety of your minivan. It can also be used in light snow, but only just. Being a grand-touring tire, the General Tire Altimax RT43 is also very quiet and comfortable. This makes it one of the best tires for minivans when it comes to highway driving and long trips.
Despite the lower price point, General Tire gives 75,000-mile tread warranty on lower speed ratings and 65,000-mile warranty on higher speed ratings. Excellent result!
Toyo Extensa A/S
Best budget quiet tires for minivans
The Japanese Toyo is known in the enthusiast community for their high-performance tires, but they also produce excellent “normal” tires. The Extensa A/S is an all-season tire that fits minivans like a glove, and also one that offers excellent grip and traction across the board, even in light snow.
That said, while it is very good in the handling department, the Extensa A/S shines in if you care about comfort and quietness – it is both comfortable over bumps and whisper-quiet on the highway. The 60,000-mile tread warranty is also pretty good for the price, albeit not the best out there.
I am sure that every single tire from the list of best tires for minivan above will offer you safe and reliable driving in the years to come. That said, always be sure that you choose a tire according to your driving style and the weather in your area. Only then you can be sure that you get the best possible performance from it. Apart from that, rotating the tires is always a good idea if you want them to be reliable in the long run. Do that at every oil maintenance, and you’re good to go!