Minivans are a dying breed of vehicles. Many people avoid minivans due to the image they have, that of a boring family-oriented car oriented at “soccer moms. Due to this, people are keener on buying a crossover SUV or a 3-row SUV.
However, minivans are miles better at what they do when compared to any kind of SUV. They are significantly more comfortable, more spacious, quite cool looking in the later years, more economical, so on and so forth. People are sleeping at minivans for no reason, however, there’s a small demographic who still realizes how versatile a minivan is. To those people, here are the best tires you could get for your minivan.
Best All-Season Tires for a Minivan
1.Michelin Defender LTX M/S
Ride Quality: 9 Noise Comfort: 7 Handling: 9 Traction: 9
Generally speaking, minivans are workhorses built to carry your family dependably. To further add to the minivan’s recipe, mounting Michelin Defender LTX M/S tires is a good call due to a variety of reasons. The tire itself sports good characteristics overall, with good comfort thanks to its big tire blocks, decent grip with the help of a symmetrical tread pattern, and proper performance in the wet and on a soft layer of snow. This is done by the small edgy grooves that separate the tread blocks, but also due to the small sipes across each tread block that adds flexibility.
What’s better is the 70,000 miles warranty and its fantastic rolling resistance figures, providing you with a dependable tire that will be by your side for years to come. Where the Defender LTX M/S is lacking is in noise generation and overall mediocrity. While the tire is solid, it isn’t stellar, being a jack-of-all-trades but master of none. What also doesn’t help all that much is its price, being on the top of the spectrum.
2.Goodyear Assurance ComfortDrive
Ride Quality: 10 Noise Comfort: 8 Handling: 8 Traction: 9
Goodyear tries to make each tire highly specialized, being fantastic at one thing and at least decent at others. The Goodyear Assurance ComfortDrive tops the comfort charts due to a soft and compliant compound, helped by a few shoulders found in the tire blocks’ grooves. It sports an interesting tread pattern, with many small directional sipes and proper thought-out grooves assisting its wet performance.
However, they have a few caveats. On one hand, their performance in the snow isn’t anything to write home about. Noise generation is significant thanks to those shoulders, and similarly to the Michelin, they are quite expensive.
3.Vredestein HiTrac All Season
Ride Quality: 8 Noise Comfort: 8 Handling: 8 Traction: 10
Vredestein makes solid all-season tires, and the HiTrac is extra proof of that. The HiTrac is quite confident all-around, albeit somewhat mushy thanks to its soft compound. However, this soft compound combined with many soft sipes, and somewhat edgy tire blocks make a confident tire in light snows. This is coupled with a long treadlife warranty of 70,000 miles, making a solid winter-oriented tire.
Where the tire starts lacking is during really hot summers, the tire becoming overly mushy, soft, and uninspiring. Handling isn’t its strong suit due to the rubber compound, resulting in a squirmy feeling tire with a bit of lateral play. Comfort is average for the compound, not annoying but a bit disappointing.
Best All-Weather Tires for a Minivan
Ride Quality: 9 Noise Comfort: 7 Handling: 8 Traction: 10
The CrossClimate2 by Michelin is a known tire for its performance in all kinds of weathers and conditions. It’s V-type tread pattern gives the tire a decently sized contact patch, allowing you to be confident in the hot summer days. The rubber is on the harder side, so summer wear is also good. The CrossCliamate2 gets its performance from the V-type tread pattern, which was built for snow grip, all while giving the water plenty of escape routes if driven in a puddle.
The V-type tread pattern doesn’t give you that much feedback from the road, while also giving you almost no ice grip worth speaking of. Also, such a competent tire costs a pretty penny.
2. Nokian WR G4 SUV
Ride Quality: 8 Noise Comfort: 6 Handling: 8 Traction: 9
From the snow tire kings, the Nokian WR G4 SUV is an all-weather tire highly capable in the snows, having the ability to resist even snowstorms. The asymmetrical tread pattern is also capable in dry conditions when temperatures aren’t all that high, or in wet conditions in a warmer summer day. The tread pattern is on the softer side, but you are getting a 60,000 miles warranty so you’re somewhat protected from shredding the tire.
Performance starts going down on the hottest of summers. That’s when the tire will shred itself in a heartbeat and when traction will suffer the most. As such, only buy the Nokians WR G4 SUVs if you live in a cooler climate which sees rainy summers. Also, the asymmetrical tread pattern doesn’t help isolating the noise nor directing it elsewhere, so while having a comfortable ride the noise is quite apparent.
Best Winter Tires for a Minivan
1.Cooper Tires Evolution Winter
Ride Quality: 9 Noise Comfort: 8 Handling: 8 Traction: 10
Cooper Tires made a really competent winter tire with the Evolution Winter. To help with the ice performance, the Evolution Winter is studdable, so if you find yourself driving on plenty of icy roads, then consider getting these.
The tread pattern is really interesting, showing a symmetrical but staggered tire block configuration, with plenty of angular channels which aim at adding snow traction. This means that the tread pattern is directional, similar to a V-pattern. There are plenty of small zigzag sipes which help the tire flex in the coldest of winters.
Comfort is overall good, but noise generation is significant. Dry performance isn’t all that great, and due to the highly soft compound, warm winters without snow will damage the tire quickly. This means that the Cooper Tires Evolution Winter is built for heavy winters only.
2.Yokohama iceGUARD G075
Ride Quality: 8 Noise Comfort: 7 Handling: 9 Traction: 9
Yokohama did a real wonder with the iceGUARD G075, because they have a small bit of clever engineering done to them. The tread blocks present very fine zigzag edges, not sipes, but edges, giving you plenty of surface area for snow to grip to.
Grooves are very generous, all while having plenty of angular edges. This makes the iceGUARD G075 fantastic in the snow, providing unparalleled snow performance and ice performance for a studless winter tire. Compound is as expected, soft, and the ride quality is decent because of this.
The tire’s wear rate isn’t fantastic. Those small edges thrive in snowy conditions and driving on them in dry weather will damage them in a few hundreds of miles. As such, do not pick this tire for anything other than snowy conditions, because its wear will be quite poor. Not only that, but you aren’t backed-up by a mileage warranty. Noise generation is also significant, not having any technologies added to help in that regard.
Best Touring Tires for a Minivan
1.Goodyear Assurance Maxlife
Ride Quality: 9 Noise Comfort: 7 Handling: 8 Traction: 9
The Maxlife from Goodyear really is holding up to its name, having a staggering mileage warranty of 85,000 miles. The tread pattern is quite basic but holds its ground for general summer use. There are simple diagonal sipes which helps the tire in colder dry weather.
The grooves are generous and wide, being slightly slanted to help the water evacuate out of the tire. Contact patch is solid, and with all the tread pattern features should make the tire be thoroughly enjoyable to drive and have plenty of traction. Comfort is also a strong point, being praised by the users.
However, noise generation is significant, some select individuals having a serious complaint in regard to this. Also worth mentioning is that even if the tire is advertised as all-season, snow performance isn’t that good so it should be used as a summer tire. Due to its soft compound and tall tire blocks, the steering feel isn’t the greatest, but these are small faults for such a long-lasting tire.
2.Continental TrueContact Tour
Ride Quality: 9 Noise Comfort: 9 Handling: 10 Traction: 9
The tread pattern shown by the TrueContact Tour shows a tire capable in the dry and wet with good steering feel thanks to the thick tread blocks that run down the center. Explained briefly, the tire is split into three thirds, two of which sit on the shoulders and one third sitting exactly down the middle of the tire. This makes for a highly balanced tire with pristine handling.
Water evacuation is decent, comfort is noteworthy according to users, and the wear rate is fantastic, having a warranty of 80,000 miles.
Where the tire doesn’t shine all that bright is in the winter, being a touring tire aimed mostly at summer driving. Other than that, there aren’t any major faults apart from an uninspiring winter performance. Wet handling is alright, nothing worth mentioning, which means that it could’ve been improved slightly.
Best Tires for a Minivan: Buying Guide
All-Season tires and All-Weather tires are enough for most minivans
This is solely depending on your climate, but overall, you should be fine with an all-season or all-weather tire. A minivan isn’t a speed demon and due to its hefty weight traction will be decent overall in a variety of conditions if, and only if, you have a decent all-season or all-weather tire. Going back at climates, if you find yourself living in a balanced climate which doesn’t see that much snow nor asphalt melting summers, then a balanced all-season tire oriented for comfort is your best bet. If things go slightly towards an extreme of the spectrum, pick a tire for that situation, because it’s in your best interest to better be safe than sorry, especially with your family on board. If you are sure you can get an all-season tire then you are probably one of the luckiest folks out there, being able to sacrifice grip in harsh conditions for lush comfort. A minivan with a comfortable set of all-season tires rivals many cars, and even some entry executive cars.
If your weather is quite random and highly unpredictable, often going into manageable extremes, then an all-weather tire is your best bet. An all-weather tire is versatile enough that you can use in all kinds of weather and still be safe and sound. All-weather tires have very high performances, so you will get plenty of comfort and traction, basically everything you will ever need in a minivan. They have the price to boot, being one of the most expensive tires out there. Even those are quite split across a temperature range though, some being better for the summer days while others performing best in the winter days. So, if you’re planning to buy one such tire, take a proper look at them and pick based on your climate. The two listed here are biased towards summer, respectively for winter driving. However, in tough extremes like 0F and 100F an all-weather tire won’t be able to keep up. As such, you will need a dedicated summer tire and a dedicated winter tire.
A pair of winter tires and a pair of summer touring tires are the safest tire choices for someone who lives in a harsh climate
Winter tires are highly capable even in the harshest of winters, where you see multiple inches of snow even when a snowplow is regularly driving across. To be entirely safe, even if you’re just city driving but more so if you’re taking a skiing road trip, get a dedicated pair of winter tires. You’ll have plenty of grip to stop in a pinch, keep your family comfortable, or drive up the steepest of hills. Not only that, but a dedicated winter tire is very important in tough winters for a minivan, due to a minivan’s large weight. Seeing how heavy it is, stopping it is surprisingly harder than a regular old car or SUV due to inertia. As such a pair of proper winter tires is lovely to have, because you don’t want to rear-end anybody. Also, traction during turns on snow leaves a lot to be desired if you don’t have a proper set of winter tires. You will find yourself sliding if you enter a corner slightly too hard on all-seasons. This is also why I’d advise on getting some studdable winter tires if you have really tough winters.
In the summer, a touring tire with a good mileage warranty and tough tread will make wonders for your wallet. If you have a minivan then you are probably driving your family around quite a lot. A comfortable touring tire means that you won’t spend around 1000$ or even more on tires every couple of seasons or so. You are also getting a better rolling resistance than those found in an all-weather tire, so cheaper stops at the pump. Not only that, but your family will thank you, especially when they’ll be able to sleep during the most boring parts of any trip so you can detach and simply relax while driving.
Another significant advantage of having two sets is that you split your wear across two sets, and while it may seem more expensive to buy two sets of tires, in reality it isn’t the case. The biggest downfall of having two sets of tires is storage space and the inconvenience of constantly having to switch them around every winter and spring. This is just a small inconvenience, because you will have the peace of mind that you’re safe and sound on the road, regardless of conditions.