What matters when it comes to SUV tires

What makes a good SUV tire - the explanation using the example of the new one Goodyear EfficientGrip 2 SUV.

SUVs are very much in vogue. Goodyear has therefore developed the new EfficientGrip 2 SUV specifically for the requirements of SUV drivers. Auto image all-wheel selected the new product as the test winner in the current summer tire test. Compared to its predecessor, it also offers 25% longer mileage.

Holger Rehberg, Product Manager Goodyear DACH, explains the advantages of the new SUV tire in this short video.


The SUV is a practical vehicle because you can transport a lot with it. You can also place and secure your dog in the rear area to take him to the vet or for a walk. But what makes a good SUV tire? This is what we want to deal with in this guide today. It should be robust, flexible and, on the other hand, usable on any surface.

More and more drivers are opting for SUVs or crossovers as vehicles that meet their need for more mobility and comfort. There are already three SUVs among the ten best-selling vehicles in Europe. [1] The robust look, the elevated driving position, the easy entry and the better off-road capability make SUVs the preferred vehicle for families and sports enthusiasts.

With the onset of spring, the prospect of outdoor leisure activities increases. From damp grass to muddy ground to gravel roads - excursions into the countryside require a car that can cope with different surfaces. Even if SUV drivers do not expect the extreme off-road performance of an off-road vehicle, they need the appropriate traction to pull a caravan, horse box or other trailer on various surfaces, for example.

"It can happen that a vehicle is equipped with all-wheel drive, but for example all four tires spin on a wet meadow because the traction is insufficient," explains Holger Rehberg, Product Manager Goodyear DACH.

Since the tire is the only contact area between the vehicle and the ground, it is crucial for SUVs that they are equipped with tires that are tailored to the needs of their drivers. Goodyear has therefore developed the new EfficientGrip 2 SUV specifically for the requirements of SUV drivers.

More mobility through modern tire technology

Goodyear therefore takes a special approach to the design of SUV tires. SUV tires need to be tougher and more versatile, while still delivering the dynamic driving feel and performance demanded by drivers switching from sedans and station wagons to SUVs. Rehberg explains the differences between the two tire series EfficientGrip 2 SUV and EfficientGrip Performance 2 for cars [2]:

“To ensure versatility off-road, the typically larger size of an SUV tire offers more gripping edges. In addition, it has a 33% thicker, sturdy bottom rubber which, in combination with a carcass that is twice as strong as that of car tires, offers the required durability.

The thicker side wall and the 35% thicker belt material in the construction not only contribute to longevity, but also ensure precise steering and dynamics. This is important in a vehicle that has a higher center of gravity. In order to cope with the additional weight of an SUV, the tires are usually larger and have more air volume. "

Even more mileage

The innovative Mileage Plus technology® of the new SUV tire from Goodyear guarantees a high flexibility of the tread compound and minimizes microcracks on rough road surfaces. Compared to its predecessor, the new EfficientGrip 2 SUV offers a 25% longer mileage. [3] With regard to braking in wet conditions, it is identified by the EU tire label with the best category A.

SUV tires, the all-rounder among tires

With most vehicles, the tire does not do well if the car drives up the curb at an acute angle. They can be damaged and, in the worst case, burst. This is less of a problem with an SUV. That's because both the tire and the vehicle are more robust. The carcass is more stable. In addition, the side walls are higher than on other cars. However, this should not become the rule, because SUV tires can also be damaged in the long run.

Furthermore, the speed when driving up the curb also influences whether there is a defect in the tire. So it is important that this be done slowly.

SUVs are considered all-rounders among passenger cars. However, if you want to be on the road with such a vehicle on country roads, you should know that SUVs were not developed for this purpose. The reason for this is that they are heavy and the center of gravity is relatively high. This means there is a dynamic wheelbase shift to the front or to the outside in curves. Therefore, the tire tread must be stable. The outer shoulder should be even more stable so that the SUV stays on the road with a sporty driving style.

Which tires are beneficial for an SUV?

Tires with the aforementioned properties show their advantages when braking and cornering. They are also asymmetrical. This is also important when installing SUV tires and must be observed. This is because journeys in dry or wet conditions have to handle large dynamic wheel loads.

When driving on gravel roads, tires must be designed to prevent small stones from entering. That would make the tires unusable in the long run. For this, the tires must be equipped with a thicker profile package and thicker bottom rubber. This is what distinguishes SUV tires from those for conventional cars.

Starting on a wet meadow is difficult on a four-wheel drive vehicle with the wrong tires because the wheels are spinning. In order to still be able to drive on wet surfaces such as meadows, SUV tires should be provided with traction edges. These prevent spinning. However, they do not have to be quite as pronounced as in an off-road vehicle, since an SUV also has to drive on normal roads.

The right tire for the SUV when driving through mud and puddles

If the SUV tire comes into contact with moisture, it is particularly important that the rubber can be easily cut by stones. Therefore, it must have a sturdy carcass in order to eliminate this risk. A rubber compound is required that is less sensitive to wet cuts than conventional cars.

As already mentioned, the SUV is an all-rounder, which must also apply to the tire. He must be able to drive through gravel, wet meadows, mud and water or be able to cope with all surfaces and from there to be able to return to the asphalt without any problems.

The demands on an SUV tire are high. You should therefore pay attention to these points when choosing new tires in order to get the most out of your car. It takes a great deal of experience to develop an SUV tire that meets these requirements.

On which axis should the appropriate profile be mounted?

It is believed that a front-wheel drive vehicle needs the best profile at the front. However, if only two new tires are fitted, it must be ensured that the stability is generated via the rear axle. This is not so important for the front axle.

If the grip is lost there, it matters less. It is therefore an advantage to assign more grip to the rear axle. Vehicles lose grip, especially when it is wet. And that can be dangerous. Anyone who travels a lot in the wet should replace worn tires with new ones in order to increase safety.

If you want to counteract the loss of grip on the rear axle in wet conditions, the better tire should always be mounted on the rear axle, regardless of the drive.

Conclusion on the properties of a good SUV tire

It has to be more stable, flexible and robust than normal cars. In addition, the optimal model should be able to safely cope with different surfaces. Therefore, the tire should always perform well on asphalt, gravel, wet meadows, mud and water.