TireGrades Logo
Tire Guides and Advice that make the Grade

What Is A Touring Tire?

Tire manufacturers group tires into different categories to help customers understand what the features of a tire are. Unfortunately they do a pretty bad job of explaining these labels.

This makes it quite confusing for the average car owner who really doesn’t want to become a tire expert just to understand what to buy.

What Is A Touring Tire?

Touring tires are designed to provide longer tread life, good handling, quiet ride, and a comfortable ride. They don’t have the compromises of a performance tire that sacrifices tread life and comfort for traction, or the more extreme comfort and long tread life focus of a passenger tire at the expense of some grip.

In a sense, touring tires are a catch all term since they are the middle-of-the-road name for the performance category that tires in the middle of the pack get placed into.

Let’s take a closer look.

view of the road through the windshield of a car

Types Of Tires

The different types of tires are primarily grouped by season and then by performance. The category structure is as follows:

  • Summer Tires
    • Performance Tires
    • Touring Tires
    • Passenger Tires
  • All-Season Tires
    • Performance Tires
    • Touring Tires
    • Passenger Tires
  • Winter Tires
    • Performance Tires
    • Touring Tires
    • Passenger Tires

While the list above gives a good representation of the tire category a touring tire fits into, we should clarify things a little.

Due to limitations of seasonal tire designs you may not often find some of the tires in our list above in the real world.

Summer tires are designed more as a performance tire than as a passenger tire. You won’t see many Summer Passenger tires. The same is true of Winter tires. But you will find both performance and touring tires in all three season tire categories.

What Are Performance Tires

High performance tires sacrifice treadwear and ride quality for improved handling. Sports cars and exotic cars tend to have these tires installed as original equipment for their great handling and extra grip.

What Are Passenger Tires

Passenger tires have great fuel economy and low noise. They provide a very comfortable experience and will usually last many more miles than comparable performance or touring tire types. 

What Is A Touring Tire Pros & Cons


Touring tires offer a good combination of traction, handling, and comfort. They are a good choice for many drivers.


Touring tires may not offer the best performance in all conditions. They may not be the best choice for high-performance driving or the best choice for off-road driving.

vibration and noise after tire rotation

How Many Miles Do Touring Tires Last?

Touring tires typically last around 50,000 miles but this amount can be lower or much higher. Different tire manufacturers develop compounds that provide good grip and tire life with different results.

Check the mileage warranty for each tire to get an idea of how many miles to expect before needing to replace them.

What Are Touring Tires Good For?

Most touring tires are ideal for people looking for balanced handling and a well rounded tire. They will provide a quiet comfortable ride with low noise for daily driving.

Some touring tires my have a performance element to them but not to the same degree as the increased performance of a high performance tire.

Touring Tires Vs. Passenger Tires

Passenger tires are not designed with performance in mind. They are optimized for comfort, long tread life, a quiet ride, and comfort.

A touring tire is designed to bridge the wide gap between performance and passenger tires. They attempt to combine all of the benefits of each without any of the disadvantages.

In the end, they must compromise to achieve their goal but as tire manufacturers have advanced their technology and manufacturing processes, the touring tire category had been able to better serve both ends of the spectrum.

Touring Tires Vs. Performance Tires

Touring tires are satisfactory for most drivers. They offer good uniformity and a little sporty handling without too many compromises.

Performance tires are designed to maximize grip at the expense of tread life, road noise, and a comfortable ride.

Touring Tires Vs. All-Season

All-season tires are tires that are designed to provide year round traction. They can handle light snow and mild winter weather conditions.

All-season tires bridge the gap between summer and winter tires. A touring tire bridges the gap between responsive handling of performance tires and comfort and treadwear of passenger tires.

Touring all season tires are the ultimate jack-of-all-trades tire. They attempt to be a tire that can do everything.

If you live in a milder climate that doesn’t experience extreme winter weather and you want some performance features while still getting good fuel economy and a comfortable ride, touring all season tires are the right tires for you.

Touring Tires Vs. Grand Touring Tires

Standard all season tires are more performance-oriented than passenger tires while not being considered performance tires.

A grand touring tire may have a higher speed rating and enhanced performance compared to a standard touring tire.

Touring Tires Vs. Highway Tires

Highway tires are a category of light truck tire that focuses on long tread life and satisfactory performance.

Light truck tires are for larger SUVs and passenger trucks or commercial vans and work trucks that need a tire that has been designed to support heavier loads.

A touring tire will not necessarily have the same ability to support these heavier loads and they will usually be more performance-oriented than a highway tire.

Highway tires are more similar to passenger tires with increased sidewall strength for bigger vehicles.

tire on snow

Are Touring Tires Good In Snow?

Touring tires are available as summer, all-season, and winter tires. For the best snow traction, a winter all season tire is best, but they can only be used when temperatures are below 45º Fahrenheit. The rubber compounds used in winter tires designed to stay soft in winter months and will have too much flex when the temperature warms up.

An all-season touring tire is good in light snow and temperatures down to 45º Fahrenheit but the rubber begins to lose flexibility and grip as the temperature drops below this point.

A summer touring tire isn’t designed to be used in snowy conditions at all and would be unsafe to attempt to use in winter weather.

Are Touring Tires Quiet?

Touring tires are generally designed for low noise and provide a quiet comfortable ride. However, for the ultimate quiet tire a passenger tire is a better choice. Although passenger tires will trade some performance for comfort and low noise.

What Kind Of Tires Do I Need?

The type of tire that you need depends on a lot of different variables. Your driving style and the type of vehicle you drive are probably the biggest factors.

You can often limit the type of tires you need down easily by seeing which sizes are available for your vehicle. An extreme example is you won’t be able to find all-terrain tires that fit your Corvette most likely.

If you’re unsure of what new tires to purchase for your car or truck, chances are all-season touring tires will be an excellent choice.


Below are some links you may find helpful when learning about tires

Final Thoughts – Are Touring Tires Any Good?

Touring all season tires are the one tire to rule them all. They fit the driving habits of most people. Within the touring all-season tires category are tire options to fit a very wide group of car, truck, and SUV owners.

Unless you need snow tires for winter weather conditions, or have an exotic sports car with a need for low profile tires that only come in summer performance style, an all-season tire will likely work for you.

About The Author
Will Creech
Will has been an automotive enthusiast since he was old enough to make engine sounds. Formerly a member of the contract training team at Discount Tire, he is unusually knowledgeable on all things related to tires. He is now the owner of and main contributor to TireGrades.com.
In This Article
By Use Articles