We've pieced together a handy guide on everything you need to know about SUV tyres.
Picking the Perfect SUV Tyre
As the Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) class continues to dominate not only the British car market, but the sale of new cars throughout the world, understanding the class is undoubtedly crucial.
The popularity of the SUV has increased massively in Europe since 2010. In 2018, despite the fact the automotive market sales had fell by 6.8 per cent, the SUV class boasted a market share of 35.8 per cent in the UK, a boost of 7.8 per cent on the previous year.
We all have a car for different reasons. The main reason tends to be the daily commute to and from work — 36% of Britons only use their car to get to work. The rush hour journey will often go as far as dictating the car in which we drive, especially for those among us who work in and around the city centre, with fuel efficiency and maneuverability ranking highly among the reasons for new car purchases. Regardless of your reason for driving, or perhaps your completely unique driving style, everyone has one common connection when it comes to getting behind the wheel — safety.
Obviously, there are a whole host of safety features present in modern vehicles, from smart technologies such as driver assists, to centuries-old characteristics, like brakes. The only part of your car, however, that is in constant connection with the tarmac beneath, is the tyre. Therefore, having the right tyre on your vehicle not only guarantees an optimum driving experience, but it also goes a long way in delivering safety. We don’t expect you to be able to differentiate between a CrossClimate and a Pilot Sport but, here at Michelin, we have a long heritage in creating industry leading rubber compounds, so you travel with peace of mind that you’re driving on high-quality tyres.
This article will steer you in the right direction for replacing the tyres on your SUV, taking into consideration the daily usage, the style of driving, and the model of SUV.
Firstly, it is worth grasping an understanding of what the variations of tyres are. For SUVs, the options can be loosely grouped into three main categories, before splintering in many, smaller sub-sections. Summer, Winter, and all-season exist as the trio of alternatives.
Summer tyres consist of a harder rubber compound, with few inverted grooves. The lack of significant embossments allows the tyres to soften in hotter temperatures, while the shape of the indents, similarly, prevents aquaplaning when the rubber comes into contact with large quantities of surface water. Furthermore, carefully engineered tread depth and size provides less friction than alternatives which place significant emphasis on grip, meaning the summer tyres are considerably more economic — making for improved fuel efficiency. We all love to visit the fuel station a little less often!
Winter tyres, on the other hand, are made up of many smaller grooves, which successfully helps disperse built-up surface water that is typical of weather during the winter months. These attributes also prove their worth in regard to grip during icy conditions and snowfall, as the tyres effectively compact the thick precipitation, enhancing traction. All-season, meanwhile, takes the qualities of both tyres and amalgamates them into one all-encompassing compound for every weather condition, all-year round. Take the CrossClimate SUV tyre as a prime example of a tyre ready for every weather condition.
It is more than likely that the motoring enthusiast who buys into the SUV market will position themselves behind the wheel of the Super or luxury SUV (SSUV). This subsection includes the likes of the Porsche Cayenne and the Range Rover Evoque, combining performance you could only expect from a supercar with luxury you’d be anticipating from a chauffeur-driven limousine.
For these owners, driving is a passion, and getting their hands on the DSG, flappy paddle gear box, will only result in one outcome — sports mode. True, unrestricted power is an essential for these motorists.
Harsh acceleration, braking, and cornering places tyres under significantly high temperatures. However, we would suggest avoiding doing this on a general basis, as it will diminish the tread quicker over time. For cars that sway more on the favour of the sports category, we would advise the Pilot Sports Tyre , with the CrossClimate SUV existing as the most appropriate choice in terms of All-Season. Due to the fact temperatures here in the UK rarely fall into what we would consider extreme lows, the all-season compounds are often suffice. However, if you are going to be negotiating extreme winter conditions in the likes of a Super SUV, the Latitude Alpin tyres are leaders in their class.
As we previously mentioned, many motorists will only use their cars for the daily commute as, after spending Monday to Friday sat in traffic, the last thing on their minds is driving any further when the weekend arrives. This transit doesn’t differ from the rest though, other than the fact the characteristics of the journey will in some sense manipulate the most appropriate tyre. The general everyday driver, who will often focus their attention on fuel economy and safety characteristics, is more likely to opt for a compact SUV. The Renault Captur is one such example of a compact SUV, delivering a healthy serving of miles per gallon, while similarly providing interior space.
For the driver of this vehicle, they will be keen to achieve considerable value for money. The driver of this vehicle may be cautious in relation to their purchase, but it does exist as an important entity in their life. This will often result in them departing with significant capital. A rarity of aggressive-style driving makes the Crossclimate+ the most effective choice regarding compound. Thanks to fluid indents, which adapt to a wide range of temperature, these tyres last 11,000 miles longer on average than competitors. Furthermore, fresh grooves continually emerge to provide optimum grip when the outer most sipes begin to wear down.
The aforementioned beauty of the SUV is its sheer versatility, offering unlimited opportunities. For those looking to arrive to business meetings during the week, before towing the caravan on a Friday evening, the likes of the Toyota Land Cruiser is stylish, sharp, and strong. During the summer months, an SUV with 4X4 capability should call upon the Latitude Cross tyre, which has both on-road and off-road capabilities — assuring a harmonious connection between surfaces.
The Latitude Cross offers drivers support throughout the year. However, if you are expecting to be navigating through ice and snow on a regular occasion, particularly in your area during the winter months, you might wish to consider the Latitude Alpin, which provides greater traction in these conditions. Similarly, innovative Stabiligrip technology provides for greater resistance when travelling at higher speeds.
Obviously, each and every car in the class has a variety of uses and can be altered to fit the driver’s needs. However, the likes of the Nissan Qashqai, the UK’s most popular SUV in 2018, and the fourth most popular car overall, is a particular preference for families thanks to its economic fuel returns and vast interior space. Due to the Qashqai offering capacity for car booster seats, sports kits, and shopping bags, it is no wonder it has successfully cemented its position as a firm favourite. But, ensuring the likes of this compact SUV has a smooth magnetism with the road is crucial.
A variety of tyres can be utilised on the likes of the Qashqai, as this model is positioned truly as a crossover. In regard to summer tyres, the Primacy 4, which boast the same superior safety when worn as they did when they were new, are one choice, features innovative sculptures which provide 22% of space to evacuate more water. Alternatively, the Pilot Sport 4 offers enhanced traction on wet roads, thanks to its wide and deep longitudinal grooves.
Although this is the case, as we’ve previously mentioned, the all-season CrossClimate+ performs with equally outstanding performance in every weather condition, giving you comfort and confidence from the first, to the very last mile of your journey.
For more information on the wide range of tyres for not only SUVs, but every vehicle, available at Michelin, contact us today.