Do you need to buy new tires for your Toyota RAV4? The answer to this question depends on the condition of your hybrid’s existing tires. Provided they have gone bald, are past their treadwear warranty period, or giving off excessive vibrations, then it’s probably time to lighten up your wallet.
But before you head off to the market in search of the best tires for RAV4, you might want to know more about tires. After all, you’re going to spend a significant amount, so it is simply a matter of common sense that you educate yourself to avoid getting ripped off.
That’s exactly where this article comes into play. Apart from recommending you the ten best tires for Toyota RAV4, we’re going to list down a detailed buying guide. Also, as you can see by scrolling down, we have differentiated these tires based on different terrains and weather conditions.
Best Tires For RAV4
Best All Season Tires for Toyota Rav4
General Grabber HTS 60
When compared with its predecessor, the Grabber HTS60 offers up to 25% more tread life than the Grabber HTS and is more expensive of the two as well. However, given its high-end features, the relatively steep asking price of this model seems justified.
One thing which has always been true about General tires is that all of them come loaded with technologies. Luckily for you, the Grabber HTS60 is no exception. This tire’s DuraGen Technology has overseen the introduction of cuts in its tread area to increase its chip and cut resistance.
Next comes this tire’s Comfort Balance Technology. It has introduced a cushioned layer on the outer side of the tread, which is that area where the tire comes into contact with the road. With this layer coming into direct contact with the road, you could enjoy a quiet and comfortable ride.
Its StabiliTread Technology is concerned with increasing the tire’s tread life. That it does by increasing the footprint of the tire on the road. For this reason, and with a greater surface area of the tire gripping the road, the tread will experience less stress and, therefore, last longer.
Winter and snow performance of this tire is equally top-notch. It has circumferential grooves in its tread area which effectively channel water away as the tire rolls through deep puddles. For this reason, you won’t be facing the risk of hydroplaning.
Finally, as its warranty of 50,000 miles indicates, you can count on this tire to last many years. You can order it in both LT as well as Metric sizes and have the option to choose between three speed ratings (S, R, and T). Also, it is available in sizes between 15 and 22 inches.
- Precise steering response
- Enhanced wet weather performance
- Quiet and ultra-comfortable
- Some sizes are pricey
Michelin Defender LTX M/S
When Michelin announced its intention to replace the uber-popular LTX M/S2 with the LTX MS in 2015, more than a few eyebrows were raised. All of them have since come back to their normal position, mainly because this tire has proved all its detractors wrong with its features.
Similar to their counterparts over at General, the engineers at Michelin have never shied away from loading their tires with new technologies. The Defender LTX M/S is a beneficiary of this approach as its three state-of-the-art technologies have done wonders for its performance.
Need proofs about this claim? The LTX M/S comes equipped with ‘EverTread’ Technology which has reinforced its inner substances to increase this tire’s tread life. That, in turn, means that this tire is more than capable of withstanding road abuse.
Then there is its ‘Intellisipe’ Technology. Though you don’t need any introduction for this Technology as the presence of many biting edges on the tire’s tread area does the same. These biting edges have enhanced this tire’s grip, which means that even at high speeds, you’d have full control over the tire.
Since its tread has been reinforced by twin-steel belts, you can count on this tire to not wilt under pressure. Its MaxTouch construction balances the forces of acceleration, cornering, and braking to not let any of the abuse signs make an appearance on the tread area.
On top of everything else, the LTX M/S comes in three different speed ratings to attract everyone from a family driver to a speed-enthusiast. The ratings include the mild (R; max speed limit 108mph), moderate (R; max speed limit 118mph), and the extreme (H; max speed limit 130mph).
- Tough tread compound
- Decent level of traction
- Quiet and comfortable riding
- Not for snowy conditions
Cooper Discoverer HTP
The Cooper Discoverer HTP is an all-season highway tire that provides the unique combination of all-season traction alongside a smooth and quiet ride. Also, while its dry performance is a given, this tire’s grip on wet and snow-covered roads is exemplary.
First things first, the Discoverer HTP uses a silica-enhanced tread compound. This substance is known for its flexibility and can remain pliable in the most testing of conditions. That’s why it’s used by tire manufacturers who want their model to provide excellent traction in wet conditions.
To justify its reputation as a highway tire, this model boasts a tread block design and a computer-optimized profile that lowers its noise on dry tarmac. Apart from that, we can say from experience that as long as the tire is still in its warranty period, it would provide a vibrations-free ride.
Its “3-D Siping” Technology equips this tire with two useful features. It has introduced biting edges to the tread area to enhance its handling in wet conditions. That, in turn, means that you can drive on high-speeds without the worry of losing control over the tire.
The water-draining capabilities of this tire are second to none. It contains both circumferential and longitudinal grooves to effectively remove water from beneath the tire’s footprint. Throw into the mix its biting edges, and what you get is a tire that can handle light slow as well.
Lastly, apart from removing water, the circumferential grooves also keep the tire glued to the road. That is what makes hard cornering (even in slippery conditions) possible, making this tire a must-have for family buyers who won’t take any chances on the safety of their loved ones.
- Excellent traction
- 65,000-mile tread warranty
- Above-average winter handling
- Not that good for fast cornering
Michelin Premier LTX
Did you ever think of seeing the name of sunflower oil in the ingredients list of a tire? Assuming that you don’t have super-weird thoughts, prepare to be surprised. The Michelin Premier LTX lets the world know that strange choices can, sometimes, lead to wonderful results.
In case you were wondering, it’s the tread area of this tire that uses sunflower oil (as well as silica-enhanced compound). While the former has increased the tire’s flexibility to increase its traction on all surfaces, silica is responsible for improving the tire’s strength.
On the count of strength, you cannot disregard the role played by steel belts. Supplemented with polyamide cord and encapsulated by a polyester casing ply, the steel belts are the reason why 99% of vibrations that this tire will experience on the road won’t make an entry into the car’s cabin.
The ‘EverGrip’ Technology of the Premier LTX not only increases this model’s traction but also helps maintain that traction for longer periods. The reason why it is capable of providing both the benefits (more traction, more traction for a long time) is that this Technology has tinkered with the tire’s tread.
As the tire nears its warranty period and its grooves start to show signs of wearing, the EverGrip Technology starts to widen the old grooves. Then, once they have completed worn out, it would replace the worn-out grooves with the new ones, thereby helping the tire maintain its original traction.
Sounds like a fantastical scenario? Then you need to consult with any fellow drivers who may have used this tire to know that it’s for real. Only then you’d realize the numerous benefits which this tire garners from the presence of EverGrip Technology.
- Super-quiet riding
- High traction levels
- Extremely flexible
Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza Plus
Although not as good as the Michelin Premier LTX when it comes to responsiveness, the Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza Plus definitely carries the day when it comes to comfort. And you don’t have to worry about its grip, traction and stability on dry tarmac as well.
The biggest challenge touring tires face is how to remain useful around the year. There are more tires than ever on the market, the competition is brutal and brand loyalty is a part of history. Only performance, and not the manufacturer’s name, helps tires stand out.
Performance is exactly what you get from the H/L Alenza Plus. It is equipped with a silica-based tread compound whose flexibility makes it a master of all weather conditions. Hence why this tire ticks the ‘useful-in-all-seasons’ box with aplomb.
Snow- and ice-performance of this tire is equally excellent. The optimal siping details which dot the outer side of the tread design firmly grips extra-slippery surfaces. Also on offer are additional biting edges which let this tire perform safely on snow-covered roads.
Hydroplaning is also kept at bay. It has circumferential grooves which do an excellent job of dispersing water (and slush) from beneath its footprint. This mechanism doesn’t allow standing water and mud from removing the contact of this tire with the road surface.
All the abovementioned features combine to give this tire a better flexibility and road contact. But what do you get from all of them? For starters, gas savings. That’s right; when a tire grips the road better, its rolling resistance would be minimal, and so does the fuel consumption of your vehicle.
- 80,000-mile tread warranty
- Responsive steering control
- Excellent ride comfort
Nitto NT 421Q
Is there something that this high-performance tire is incapable of doing? That was the main question we had once we had seen in play the aggressive style, sporty-handling, and excellent high-speed cornering of the Nitto 421Q. As it turned out, it won’t come in the range of budget-minded users.
Since it is the show-stopper of Nitto’s latest generation of CUV tires, the NT421Q comes with a lot of high-end features. None of them comes close to its dual-faced tread design which improves the traction, handling and high-speed stability of this tire.
How? The inner shoulder, which is responsible for removing water, has larger open grooves that juxtapose the rate of water entry with its exit. As for the outer shoulder, it is equipped with larger tread blocks which not only do everything mentioned in the last paragraph but also improve the tire’s cornering.
Its added circumferential layer of rubber prevents vibrations from setting the passengers sitting inside your RAV4 on vibration. The 3D interlocking sipe design and 3D multi-wave, meanwhile, ensure powerful (and controlled) cornering as well as added traction in wet conditions.
To lower the road noise, Nitto uses what it calls Quiet Serration Technology. It dissipates the sound by breaking up the repetition and reverberations that are the primary source of road noise. Add to the mix its variable pitch tread block elements, and NT 421Q comes across as quietest tires on the road.
Lastly, to further sweeten the deal, Nitto has equipped this tire with two maintenance indicators. You can use them to gauge any irregular wear that the tire might be experiencing and check whether there are alignment issues with this tire. You also get a 60,000-mile tread warranty with this model.
- Ultra-comfortable riding experience
- Added traction in wet conditions
- Excellent cornering grip and handling
BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2
The BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 has undergone four upgrades since its release almost one-and-a-half decade ago. This tire is aimed at SUV, jeep and pickup truck drivers and is designed for on as well as off-road terrains.
One way of gauging the potential performance of this tire is a glance at its construction. It features a tough sidewall rubber compound which, when compared to its predecessor, is twice as thick and a lot tougher. A thick extended shoulder rubber shield gives the already fierce sidewall massive impact resistance.
Then comes its advanced deflection design whose name betrays its intentions. It deflects the incoming road debris away from the sidewall and onto the road. This feature has a positive impact on this tire’s shelf-life as roadside elements aren’t able to attack the sidewall and split it.
Its tread rubber is specially formulated to minimize the chip and tear that this tire would encounter during off-road driving. Even the entry of stones inside the tread area shouldn’t be of concern as there are stone ejectors which would save the tread from stone drilling.
The tire’s footprint on the road is such that the forces of acceleration, braking, and cornering are evenly balanced. That is what allows the T/A KO2 to promote uniform wear. It also has a serrated shoulder design that provides extreme maneuverability on multiple terrains.
Snow traction is yet another strong point of this tire. It is equipped with 3-D sipe technology which, in turn, has dotted innumerable biting edges alongside this tire’s circumference. Together with the sidewall traction bars, these edges ensure excellent snow, mud, and even rock traction.
- Excellent maneuverability on snowy roads
- Saves the tread from stone drilling
- Unique tread design promotes even wear
- Loud on off-road conditions
Cooper Discoverer A/T3
Ask your fellow RAV4 drivers, and you’d realize that finding an all-terrain tire that can withstand the rigors of off-road while also handling its on on-road conditions isn’t easy. Luckily for you, the Cooper Discoverer A/T3 manages to do well on both counts.
Let’s start by looking at its on-road performance. The Cooper Discoverer A/T3 has an optimized tread design which improves this tire’s grip on dry tarmac. Its five-ribbed design meanwhile helps give this tire high-speed stability and also has a positive effect on its handling.
All-terrain tires are notorious for their off-road noise. But that isn’t the case with the A/T3. This tire is equipped with a spiral siping structure that absorbs off-road sound and doesn’t let it make its way into the cabin, while also improving the tire’s treadwear to increase its overall lifespan.
Self-cleaning is one feature of this tire that really impressed us. The lateral grooves within its tread area do an excellent job of removing stone and pebbles that mostly get inside the tire’s contours in off-rad conditions. Perhaps that’s why this model can retain its fresh-from-the-factory looks for long.
You won’t feel like losing control when driving this tire on wet and icy surfaces. Its tread is made of a snow-friendly silica compound whose flexibility is dependent on temperature. While it becomes soft in winter to retain a grip on slippery surfaces, silica hardens when it’s hot out there.
Provided you end up purchasing this tire, its replacement date won’t come soon. Inside the casing are two steel belts that help it retain its shape and absorb impact from curbs and raised hard shoulders. Its polyester cord body and a nylon wrapping also increase its strength.
- Impressive all-terrain traction
- Quiet and comfortable ride
- Offers self-cleaning capabilities
- Not recommended for heavy snow conditions
Goodyear Eagle F1 GS-D3
Similar to other summer tires that are made for passenger vehicles, the Goodyear Eagle F1 GS D-3 offers an excellent combination of dry and wet traction alongside a huge cornering grip.
Every summer tire worth its salt has to prevent heat build-up and withstand high summer heat. The Goodyear Eagle F1 does well on both these counts. It has an AAtrax compound which not only resists heat for long but also prevents its build-up inside the tread surface.
You don’t have to worry about its wet performance, either. This tire has a OneTred design which increases its gripping power on slippery roads. Its sweeping tread grooves, meanwhile, remove the water from within (and beneath) the tire to resist hydroplaning.
The overall controllability of this tire is also second to none. Together with its continuous center area, its sweeping grooves and a directional tread maximizes its road contact. Its exclusive V-Tred Technology also plays its part in increasing the tire’s road contract and provide better steering responsiveness.
Special rim protector is one feature that you don’t usually see in summer tires. Luckily for you, the F1 GS-D3 doesn’t care much about convention. The presence of this feature means that your tire’s rims would remain guarded against the accidental curb and other damage.
- AA-rated wet traction
- Minimizes heat build-up
- Excellent heat dissipation
- Tread life is relatively short due to its softer tread
Bridgestone Blizzak WS80
Given the recommendations you have seen thus far, it shouldn’t come to you as a surprise that Michelin and General dominate the market for all-season, touring, and even summer tires. However, when it comes to winter tires, Bridgestone is the undisputed front runner due to its offerings like the WS80.
Have you ever asked yourself why most all-season tires can’t do well in extreme snow conditions? Why, despite holding its own in wet and (less) slippery roads, their tread compound simply gives way the moment it encounters layers of snow? Here’s the one-word answer: flexibility.
The ‘Next-Gen Tube Multicell Compound,’ which has equipped the tread area with tiny ‘Swiss cheese’ voids, imparts this tire with that flexibility. Bridgestone has also provided this model with a hydrophilic coating which helps its tread area clear up more water.
Its dedicated snow-performance is also top-notch. Its tread area contains bite particles that provide absolute grip on snow and ice, whereas the 3D zigzag sipes that dot this tire’s outer circumference decrease squishiness by saving the tread blocks from flexing.
Next comes the angled tread blocks. Relative to the rotation of the tire, they’re set at a 45-degree angle and improve the tire’s lateral snow grip. An equally important role in increasing the tire’s grip is played by its raised block edges which have resulted in increasing its biting edges by 20%.
If Bridgestone is to be believed, all these features have combined to increase the overall grip of this model by 20%, compared to its predecessor. Having driven this tire ourselves in Alaska-like weather conditions, we didn’t find any reason to doubt this claim.
- Huge stopping power
- Bite particles for added ice traction
- Reliable handling in severe conditions
How to choose the best tires for RAV4?
Although there’s indeed a RAV4 out there for everyone, it’s also true that not every tire out there is the one for a RAV4. Depending on the terrain you usually drive your SUV on, the weather in your area, and your driving style, one of the following types of tires might fulfil your requirements.
1. Based on the Weather
a. Summer Tires
As their name implies, summer tires are designed to work brilliantly in hot conditions. You can count on them to give excellent traction, grip, and cornering performance in the summer. Also, as long as winter hasn’t arrived, they’d do well in rainy conditions too.
Having said that, we’re against using these tires in colder weather. The absence of any sipes (biting edges) on their tread area means they won’t provide adequate grip in winter. It goes without saying that they aren’t any good on snow as well.
Pros: Excellent cornering power; brilliant grip and traction
Cons: Poor performance in colder weather
b. Winter Tires
Winter tires are the polar opposite of their summer counterparts. Some of them, which are studless, are designed to be used in mild-to-moderate conditions. Others that allow the insertion of studs can conquer layers of snow and ice.
Furthermore, since these tires have a soft rubber compound, their contact with dry tarmac remains excellent in both dry and wet conditions. Though, if you don’t want these tires to suffer from excessive tread wear and get destroyed in the process, you shouldn’t use them in the summer.
Pros: Provide above-average traction in both cold and freezing conditions
Cons: Might get destroyed if used in the summer
c. All-Season Tires
Their name leaves no doubt that these tires are designed to roll effortlessly in all weather conditions. That’s mainly because of their tread compound which becomes pliable in the winter but remains harder when the sun is shining.
While most people think of them as a compromise between summer and winter tires, the best all-season tires for RAV4 provide more-than-enough grip and traction, regardless of the temperature outside. Some of them are capable of holding their own even in light snow.
Pros: Responsive handling in both dry and wet conditions; high levels of grip
Cons: Won’t perform well on heavy snow
Based on the Driving Terrain
a. Highway tires
Also known as touring and grand-touring tires, these tires have higher load rating, resist wear for long periods, and boast the same levels of grip and traction as their all-season counterparts. The steering control they provide at high speeds further endears these tires to RAV4 owners.
Unfortunately, not everything is hunky-dory about the highway tires. Their performance in winter conditions leaves a lot to be desired. Also, the moment you’d take them off dry tarmac and onto gravel, mud or dirt terrains, their grip and traction would nosedive.
Pros: Longer wear-resistance; better high-speed stability; all-season traction
Cons: Not for off-road and/or winter conditions
b. High-Performance tires
Provided you belong to the creed of sporty drivers, then the high-performance tires might be the best bet for your RAV4. The traction, grip, and cornering response that these tires provide – both in summer/winter conditions as well as at high speeds – is definitely one that speed enthusiasts need.
Having said that, there are three reasons why not everyone is a fan. First, they produce more noise than your average tire. Second, they sacrifice the comfort of your ride in exchange for high-speed stability. And finally, their tread life is relatively short.
Pros: Extremely responsive; brilliant high-speed stability
Cons: Short tread life
c. All-terrain tires
Since their asymmetric tread pattern increases the footprint of these tires, their off-road traction is second to none. Also, they have significant shoulder blocks, a nylon ply cord, and inner steel belts to boost significant impact resistance.
On top of that, the best all-terrain tires for RAV4 have reinforced sidewalls and a softer rubber compound. Both of them combine to increase these tires’ grip on smooth surfaces, i.e., gravel. However, just like high-performance tires, their tread life is short.
Pros: Significant impact resistance; short tread life; retain grip on smooth surfaces
Cons: Short tread life
In addition to being the only hybrid in its class, the Toyota RAV4 provides real-off road capabilities, has excellent engine performance, and provides plenty of passenger and cargo space. Throw into the mix its impressive infotainment system and a full-package of standard safety features, and it comes across as a vehicle for the entire family. Provided you want to enjoy all of its offerings, the tires mentioned in this review will play their part pretty well.