Ever wondered why there are so many minivans on the road? These vehicles provide as much space as their luxury counterparts but at half the price. Since they offer three rows of seating, minivans are an ideal option for extended families as well as drivers who carry people around for a living.
What is more, their lower center of gravity gives those traveling in the cabin an SUV like feel. That’s what differentiates them from, say, wagons, which provide space for more passengers but cannot rival the minivans when it comes to comfort and feels.
That said, if you want your minivan to provide the best performance, it’s imperative that you install a good set of tires. That is easier said than done since the market is flooded with tires from innumerable manufacturers. Which is why, in this article, we’re going to recommend you the best tires for minivan.
Best Tires For Minivan
General Altimax RT43
The General Altimax RT43 is one of those rare touring tires which give the performance of a grand touring tire while charging the price of a standard model. That’s what makes this tire a popular choice for minivan drivers across the United States.
Corners haven’t been cut to keep the price of this tire in your budget. You can guess that by studying the characteristics of its two-layered tread compound. The upper layer, with its high-density core, is rigid enough to provide adequate traction throughout the year.
The lower tread layer, meanwhile, is more flexible. You can count on it to absorb vibrations and give the passengers in your minivan a comfortable riding experience. It works in tandem with the independent tread blocks which join their forces with the continuous center rib to absorb road disturbances.
You won’t hear much road noise with this tire installed in your minivan. It is equipped with sound-wave suppression technology which does exactly as its name implies. We would spare you the technicalities as to how it would suss-out road noise, but rest assured: this technology works!
The same workmanship is on offer with the Low Surface Abrasion Technology of this tire. It widens that specific area of the tire that would come into contact with the surface. That forces surface abrasion, which thrives on low contact area, to experience a nosedive.
Consequently, with minimal surface abrasion, the friction which normal tires encounter when cornering at high speeds would be nowhere to be seen with this tire. Unrelated to this, the Altimax RT43 also has three visual indicators to let you easily keep the tire maintained.
- Low Surface Abrasion Technology
- Noise Wave Suppression Technology
- Three tire maintenance indicators
- Handling isn’t as great as its premium competitors
Cooper CS5 Grand Touring
What’s it that should get you excited about the Cooper CS5 Grand Touring Tires? Apart from its features, the fact that it doesn’t come from a huge tire manufacturer. That’s because with no brand name to sell, the CS5, despite its brilliant characteristics, has been forced to keep its price low to compete.
Of the several excellent features of this tire, the one that caught our eye right at the start of its review phase was the ease with which the CS5 kept treadwear at bay. We say its 3D grooves in action and how they interlock with each other to increase the tire’s contact area with the road.
There are two benefits that the tire harnesses from this mechanism. The increase in the tire’s contact area with the road has a noticeably positive impact on its grip and, by extension, its wet handling. So you can expect the tire to not sell your safety midway through your journey in winter conditions.
Although minivans aren’t designed to be driven roughly, this tire would let you do the same. You can do that because the CS5 boasts more siping at half worn. That feature improves the worn performance of this tire, which means as time passes by and the tire gets old, the tire’s performance would remain intact.
Provided you look closely at its tread area, you’d notice two indicators on the inner and outer sides. They are called the ‘visual wear indicator’ and it’s there to let you gauge the tire wear. The reason why they are two in number is that they do something more than letting you gauge the remaining tread life.
If it occurs to you that the inner and outer indicators aren’t aligned, then it’s probably time to realign your minivan’s vehicles. The silica-compound tread which is adorned with all these indicators also plays an important part in the tire’s performance, with silica ensuring the tire retains its original shape for long.
- 80,000-mile treadwear warranty
- Supremely comfortable and quiet
- Great handing in dry/wet conditions
- Remains usable in light snow
- Wet handling could have been better
Unlike the two tires which you saw above, the Continental TrueContact isn’t a grand touring tire. It’s a standard touring model whose handling precision isn’t the best in the world. You won’t notice that unless you’re driving at huge speeds. But what you’d most definitely notice is its cheaper asking price.
Two features have a positive impact as far as the dry performance of this tire is concerned. It comes with a new tread compound which not only increases the tire’s fuel efficiency – which means less refueling – but also improves its treadwear. So you can expect it to weigh lightly on your pocket and on the road.
In case you are wondering, the reason why this tire would consume less fuel is because of its EcoPlus technology. The main aim of this technology is to reduce your vehicle’s emissions, which it attains by lowering this tire’s rolling resistance.
The second feature is the symmetric pattern of the tread. Its main responsibility is to increase the steering performance of this standard touring tire on paved roads. What it also does, albeit a bit more sinisterly, is justify the ‘TrueContact’ name by ameliorating this tire’s grip on the road.
Similar performance is on offer in this tire’s wet performance as well. It has wide circumferential grooves and multiple lateral grooves which merge with each other to create a water channel. That channel, in turn, gives the water inside the tread a way out, thereby keeping hydroplaning at bay.
You won’t have to replace these tires with dedicated winter models in light snow conditions. It has unique traction grooves that bare their teeth only when the mercury falls below zero Celsius. The siped tread blocks also play an equally important role in light freezing conditions.
- Competitive asking price
- Better fuel efficiency
- 90,000-mile treadwear warranty
- Responsiveness can’t compete with its pricier rivals
Michelin Defender T+H
The Michelin Defender T+H was released on the market for the first time in 2012. Its popularity was so huge that five years later its manufacturer, instead of offering an alternative, introduced upgrades to this tire’s design. As a result, even though we’re in 2020, this tire’s fame still holds strong.
What’s the reason for this tire’s continuing popularity almost a decade after its release? Its three technologies, if you ask us. The most famous among them is the ‘Comfort Control’ technology which does exactly what its name claims and turns your ride in your minivan in a comfortable one.
The second of the three technologies – named ‘Intellisipe’ – is more focused on ensuring your and the minivan’s safety. It provides the tire’s tread with biting edges which, in turn, help the Defender T+H offer all-season traction. So you won’t have to worry about its handling in deep puddles.
Having taken care of your comfort and safety, the last of the three technologies is geared towards increasing the tire’s life. The ‘MaxTouch’ technology tries to achieve that goal by evenly distributing the tire’s tread area on the road, thereby minimizing stress points.
Three more features are there to keep you safe on the road. The first among them is the high silica content in the tread. It’s a flexible compound that expands on wet surfaces before coming back to its original size on dry tarmac. Consequently, it provides brilliant traction on both.
Next come the zigzag sipes. Their unique shape and crisscross pattern helps them improve your vehicle’s handling on extra-slippery surfaces. They give way to the circumferential grooves which, in turn, effectively remove water from within and beneath the tire’s surface, preventing hydroplaning in the process.
- Multiple safety features
- Comfortable driving experience
- Longer tire and tread life
- Not for snow
Hankook Kinergy GT
As we started reviewing the performance of the Hankook Kinergy GT, we were told by our fellow minivan drivers that we were wasting our time. There’s a myth surrounding these tires that they’re only suitable for sporty and luxury vehicles – one that we busted after testing it on our rented minivan.
Starting with a glance at its stand-out feature, and its silica-infused tread compound deserves a mention. It has the required flexibility that empowers the tire’s rubber to keep offering high levels of traction in all-seasons, including mild-to-moderate winter conditions.
Its steering responsiveness is yet another area where this tire really shines. That’s mainly because of its wide footprint as it allows the tire to have a maximum road contact at all times. However, the high-stiffness bead filter and solid center rib also play an important role in this regard.
You won’t have any complaints about its braking distance as well. This tire comes with wide steel belts which, together with its solid center rib, decreases its braking distance. The internal steel belt also prevents irregular wear and helps the tread last longer.
As for its wet traction, the silica compound plays its part, whereas its four circumferential grooves and multiple wide notches ensure water evacuation in rainy conditions. The multiple tread sipes with their chamfered edges, meanwhile, cover snow traction.
On top of everything else, the polyester cord body casing and jointless bead also cover comfort and quietness. That didn’t come to us as a surprise because we are aware that most Hankook tires won’t cause your ears to bleed with their noise.
- Quiet and comfortable ride
- Driving uniformity and durability
- Impressive hydroplaning resistance
- Short and secure braking distance
- Winter weather traction is below par
Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady
Since the majority of drivers want a tire that would perform 365 days a year, the Goodyear Assurance Weather Ready targets an ever-expanding consumer base with its all-season utility. It’s one of the best all-season tires for minivans, so you can use it in dry, wet and even light snow conditions.
In case you were wondering, there are several reasons why we went lyrical while explaining this tire’s year-round performance. Take its soy-based rubber tread compound as an example. It has been molded into an asymmetric pattern which, in turn, repels water and minimizes the chances of hydroplaning.
Sure, it might not be raining in your city every day, but wet handling is an area where most tires cannot hold their own. You won’t have this problem with the Goodyear Assurance Weather ready as it will keep your vehicle’s braking distance short, its steering responsive and your ride safe in wet conditions.
Despite placing so much emphasis on wet handling, Goodyear didn’t cut any corners on dry handling as well. It has provided this tire with Treadlock technology which, as its name implies, interlock the treads to provide a bigger road-contact patch. That results in better dry handling.
The keen-eyed observers among you might have noticed that we insinuated about this tire’s snow performance during the introductory paragraph. We did that because we have seen the Snowflake/Mountain symbol on this model – which is an indicator of dedicated winter tires.
Does that mean you can use it in heavy snow? We won’t go that far as we think it would perform best in light snow conditions. This tire also has Evolving Traction Grooves which bare their teeth with the passage of time. As a result, even after thousands of miles under its belt, this tire’s traction won’t suffer.
- Excellent wet handling
- Mountain/snowflake symbol
- Huge traction on slippery surfaces
- Not for heavy snow
Bridgestone Turanza Serenity Plus
Apart from all-season performance, most minivan drivers also want their tire to provide a comfortable ride. That’s exactly what the Bridgestone Turanza Serenity Plus provides. It’s a budget model whose grip and traction let everyone in your minivan enjoy a vibrations-free ride.
One of the main reasons why people choose all-season tires is because they deliver better fuel efficiency. The Bridgestone Turanza Serenity Plus offers just that with its Nano Pro Tech compound. Infused with silica gel, this compound lowers the tire’s rolling resistance, thereby lowering its fuel consumption.
The Nano Pro Tech compound does much more than maintaining the health of your wallet. It helps reduce the carbon emissions of your model and has an asymmetric tread pattern which increases the tire’s overall traction in both dry and wet conditions. To an extent, it makes this model functional in light snow too.
However, since you’re here to check this tire’s comfort credentials, let us assure you that it has loads of them. It has an interestingly named ‘Renoa Silencer’ feature which cuts the road noise during your highway journeys. The reinforcements in its sidewall, meanwhile, do the same to road vibrations.
As if that wasn’t enough to convince its potential buyers to give this model a chance, its 80,000 tread warranty should all but mellow your hearts. When put into perspective, this warranty makes the Bridgestone Turenza Serenity Plus one of the most durable tires on the market.
And on top of everything else, it contains three circumferential grooves and multiple lateral grooves. Both are responsible for making this tire resist hydroplaning. Then there is its 3-D Sub-Surface Platform which has attached more biting edges along the tire’s diameter to ameliorate its snow performance.
- 80.000-mile tread warranty
- Exceptional hydroplaning resistance
- Minimal road noise and vibrations
- Questionable deep snow performance
If you want the best all-season model for your minivan – and won’t mind if it tries to sweeten the deal by throwing some touring tire characteristics on top – you won’t go wrong with the long-lasting Continental Pure Contact.
The presence of Continental’s EcoPlus technology does wonders to this tire’s performance. It impregnates its tread with +Silane additives and TgF polymers which, in turn, equip this tire with exceptional dry and wet traction. That, in turn, creates a compound that is more fuel-efficient as it rolls more efficiently.
As for its wet weather traction, three elements in its tread area play a crucial role. They include its four circumferential grooves, multiple vertical ridges and independent tread blocks. All three of them have been interspersed in such a manner as to enhance this model’s wet performance.
You don’t need to have an electron microscope to notice the D, W and S markings on its tread area. Standing for ‘Dry’, ‘Wet’, and ‘Snow’, these markings are the indicators of the tire on the same surface. If any of them starts to get blurred, it’s an indicator that the tire’s traction on the said surface will suffer.
These markings do much more than simply sounding the death-knell of the tire’s traction on various surfaces. You can also use all of them in general – and the ‘D’ marking in particular – to decide when it’s time to replace the tire. Though you won’t be reaching that time quickly as this model has a 90,000mile tread warranty.
- Aggressive tread design
- Longer warranty period
- Competitively priced
- Average performance on snow
Yokohama Avid ENVigor
As we have stated earlier, most minivans drivers want tires that are fuel-efficient. These are the people who rarely, if ever, test the extreme-right end of their vehicle’s speedometer. The Yokohama Avid ENVigor isn’t for these drivers. This model is for those of you who want high-speed performance and stability. You should only go for this tire if you’re ready to press the ‘peddle to the metal’.
What is the best thing about this tire? It’s one of those rare performance tires that are available in a budget. The reason why we termed its budget price tag as rare is that most high-speed tires demand you to pay a king’s ransom, unlike this tire whose price tag won’t blow a hole in your pocket.
Though that’s not the only reason why this tire is so popular among the enthusiasts. Its tread compound consists of infused silica which goes together with its tapered continuous center rib and Uni-bloc shoulders. All these easy-to-forget substances increase this tire’s grip and handling on all surfaces.
Making sure the stress is distributed evenly as you travel at high speeds, its Groove-in-Groove technology comes handy. Apart from dissipating the stress, this technology makes the sidewalls stiffer – with the result that your minivan gets easy to handle.
Yokohama knew that high-speed handling is the make or break feature of high-performance tires. Which is why optimized the tread contact patch of the Avid ENVigor. Together with the Six Pitch Tread Variation – which reduces road noise, this arrangement results in increased rolling resistance for better grip.
Equal attention has been paid towards its wet-surface traction too. You can count on its 3D sipes to keep maintaining grip as you drive through deep puddles at high speeds. In the meantime, the independent tread blocks and angled grooves would display more-than-adequate hydroplane resistance.
- High-speed stability
- Above-average cornering grip
- Quiet ride for a high-performance tire
- Treadlife isn’t that huge
Bridgestone Blizzak WS80
Michelin and Continental rule the roost as far as all-season and touring tires for minivans are concerned. That leaves only one area for Bridgestone to exploit – that of winter. And it exploits the same with aplomb with its Blizzak WS80 tire.
Ever wondered why all-season tires become useless in deep snow? Sure, you know they don’t provide grip in freezing conditions, but ever asked yourself why that’s the case? Hear us for the answer; all-season tire’s tread compound is too stiff to remain flexible (and provide grip) when the mercury nosedives.
The Bridgestone Blizzak WS80 has that flexibility and, by extension, wet weather grip. It has the ‘Next-Gen Tube Multicell Compound’ which won’t go rigid in winter. Together with the ‘Swiss Cheese’ voids in the tread area, this compound ensures the WS80’s snow grip.
You won’t know when you’re driving this tire but different features are responsible for decreasing its squishiness and increases its grip on thick snow. The former is made sure by its 3D zigzag sipes that won’t let the tread blocks flex to attain their objective.
As for the latter, the tire ensures its absolute grip thanks to its bite particles. Equally useful are the angled tread blocks. They are set at a 45-degree angle and improve the tire’s lateral snow grip. You can also drive easy knowing that this model has increased block edges which increase its grip by 20 percent.
Before the absence of warranty on this model forces you to look away, you should know that no winter tire comes with any warranty. That said, its users claim that the lack of warranty hasn’t affected this tire’s durability. So you won’t be taking a chance if you end up choosing it.
- Huge stopping power
- Bite particles for added ice traction
- Reliable handling in tough conditions
- No warranty
How to Choose the Best Tires for Your Minivan
What do you expect from the best tires for a minivan? For starters, they should offer a great grip and traction in your weather conditions. Secondly, they should give a comfortable driving experience. And finally, their internal structure should be sturdy enough to guarantee their durability.
Not sure where you can find tires with all these qualities? You won’t have to – as we’ve listed all those types of tires in this section.
Ask your fellow drivers who are also driving a minivan, and nine out of ten would be using touring tires. The reason for that is simple – most touring tires are all-season performers, which means you can count on them to keep performing around the year.
That means that if you want the safest choice to take your family on a road trip, the touring tires are your best bet. Also, apart from their extreme braking and traction, the best touring tires for minivans are extremely comfortable as well. That means a drive with little to no vibrations.
On the flip side, touring tires cannot rival their all-season counterparts when it comes to snow. Their performance nosedives the moment the mercury falls below zero Celsius. And you can’t count on them to deliver the high-speed performance of summer tires, either.
- Best traction in dry/wet conditions;
- work through a wider temperature range
- Won’t do well when it’s extremely cold out there
All Season Tires
Take a touring tire, ameliorate its cold-weather performance, and what you have is an all-season option. People are mostly attracted to all-season tires because of their excellent traction in both wet and dry conditions. Also, if kept well maintained, they’d last a long time.
More importantly, these tires give their users peace of mind with their huge warranties. It won’t be easy for you to get touring tires with warranties exceeding 50,000 miles. But, if you can afford to pay a bit extra, you can get all-season tires with warranties as high as 70,000 miles.
Amid all this talk of their benefits, you need to know that all-season tires aren’t foolproof. Since they offer the best of both worlds (summer and winter), these tires aren’t meant aggressive driving. Also, you shouldn’t expect them to do well in off-road conditions.
- Come with long tread warranties
- Provide a comfortable driving experience
- Not for those with an aggressive driving style
- won’t do well in off-road conditions
Are you going to drive your minivan in areas where it snows like crazy? Then, for the winter months at least, you might need a set of winter tires. Otherwise, if you remain hell-bent on using the summer tires in such tough conditions, you will be risking not only the vehicle’s safety but also yours as well.
First-time users aren’t sure whether they can trust tires claiming to be best for winter. That’s why we have come with three signs of a dedicated winter tire. First, it has a snowflake/mountain symbol. Second, its treadlife/guarantee is short. And finally, it has visible sipes (biting edges).
Despite all their features, there are reasons why people don’t use winter tires. First of all, since their tread warranty is small, you’d have to replace them in relatively less time. Also, if you have purchased a winter tire with studs and use it on a road where studs are not allowed, you’ll be exposing yourself to huge fines.
- Extreme grip and traction on snow
- Brilliant water-removal characteristics
- Not for dry/summer roads
- Relatively small tread warranty period
At the cost of wearing quickly, performance tires offer higher precision and responsiveness. They also offer better levels of traction, higher grip, more powerful braking and high-speed stability. Also, since they are available in two types – all-season and summer – you can easily find a model for your needs.
While the summer performance tires provide better performance when it’s hot out there, their performance tumbles in winter. All-season tires, while remaining useful 365 days a year (as long as it doesn’t snow), force you to make compromises on high-speed handling.
That said, there are three reasons why you might not want performance tires underneath your minivan. They wear much faster, are noisier than all-season, winter, and touring tires and are less comfortable. So you can’t expect your mom and dad to like these tires’ features.
- Powerful braking
- Higher grip
- Better traction
- More high-speed stability
- Wear faster
- Less comfortable; noisy
Minivans are family vehicles driven by drivers who feel no need for speed. Hence the reason why we dedicated a major portion of this article shedding light on the best touring and all-season tires. However, if you’re an exception to the norm – and looking to take your automobile on a racing track – the tires in this article have still got your back.