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Top 2014 Summer Tires

We’ve been promised that the outside temperature will eventually climb over the freezing point and simply because of this, the time has come to consider your summer tires.

Buying a new set of tires continues to be a complex undertaking given that countless new “inexpensive” brands persist to flood the market with new makes and models, all seemingly affordable and flawless. Needs, expectations, budget, and most importantly safety are important factors that must be met. The following list of top recommendations, per price point, has been devised to help you along with selecting your best summer tire option.

Compact cars remain very popular in Canada, as such, I’ve selected the following P205/55R16 size as the benchmark.

As well, I’ve included P225/45R17 tires on the list, as it has become a common standard and optional performance tire size. The below recommendations apply only to those marked as “performance” and the price ranges increase by $40 to $60 per tire.

Here are the picks:

Best tire in the $100-$150 range (P205/55R16)
  • Dunlop Signature II (touring) – High-mileage tread designed for comfort
  • Continental PureContact (performance) - A high-mileage, DWS rating*, low-rolling resistance tire with a “V” rating
  • Pirelli P7 A/S Plus (performance) - Comfort biased, good handling, low-rolling resistance with a “V” rating
  • Toyo Extensa A/S (touring) – High-mileage tread, good handling

Best tire in the $150-$200 range (P205/55R16)
  • Toyo Proxes 4+ (performance) - A fairly high-mileage performance tire with a “V” rating
  • Michelin Pilot A/S 3 (performance) - Good low-temp and wet grip, excellent dry, strong lateral grip
  • Michelin Premier(touring) – High-mileage tread, good wet traction, EverGrip Technology**
  • Yokohama Ascend (touring) - Eco low-rolling resistance technology, high mileage and quiet tire
  • Bridgestone Turanza Serenity + (touring) - Quiet, comfort biased, good handling

Best tire: $225+ (P225/45R17)
  • Michelin Pilot Super Sport (summer performance) - Fairly high-mileage ultra-high performance, good wet traction
  • Michelin Pilot A/S 3 (all-season performance) - Good low-temp and wet grip, excellent dry, strong lateral grip
  • Bridgestone Potenza RE97 AS (all-season performance) - Quiet, comfort biased, superior handling
  • Yokohama ADVAN Sport V105 (summer performance) - Ultra-high performance, decent wet traction

* DWS stands for Dry, Wet & Snow and indicates the tire has sufficient tread depth for dry conditions, as well as wet roads and light snow. After the "S" has worn away, the remaining "DW" indicates the tire only has sufficient tread depth for dry and most wet road conditions. And after the "W" and "S" have both worn away, the remaining "D" indicates the tire has appropriate tread depth for dry conditions only. (From Tire Rack)

** EverGrip Technology is the "emerging grooves" -- more than 150 rain grooves located along the tire's shoulder. These extra grooves, which lie hidden beneath the outer layer of compound, emerge as the tire wears to provide a boost in wet traction later in the tire's life.