The Best Daily Driver Tires For 2013

I often end up doing reviews on the hottest new tires out there on the market, the ones designed to keep you on the road while going really, really fast. I won't deny that doing those reviews is a whole lot of fun. But it's important to me that I remember that not everyone is tracking their M3 or taking the Mustang out for a high-adrenaline spin. It's important that I also spend time talking about tires for the vast majority of drivers, the soccer moms and commuter dads (and vice versa, of course) that just need to get where they're going on time and on budget. Nobody needs a set of Pilot Super Sports for the minivan, and nobody really wants to spend that kind of money for performance that they don't use.

So here's my list of some of the best Daily Driver tires, the ones that get you where you're going safely with a minimum of fuss and price. The ones that have a nice smooth ride, resist hydroplaning in the rain, and preferably give you good gas mileage and long treadwear to boot. This one's for the real road warriors out there...

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Pirelli's Standard Touring All-Season tire features a directional tread with a large number of water evacuation grooves for excellent wet traction and hydroplaning resistance.
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Goodyear's Assurance ComforTred is a Grand Touring All-Season that features a softer layer of rubber between the tread and steel belts to quiet and cushion the ride. The Assurance gets excellent marks from customers for wet and dry grip, as well as light snow.
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Yokohama's “Orange Oil” tire gets great marks for wet and dry traction as well as extremely low rolling resistance. The tread compound uses resin extracted from orange peels to improve the molecular bond between natural and synthetic rubber. It does tend to have a harder ride than some.
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Continental's ProContact EcoPlus is a Standard Touring All-Season which gets good marks from TireRack's testers especially for wet traction and ride comfort. EcoPlus technology provides low rolling resistance and fuel efficiency.

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Fuzion's Touring tire is a very good tire at an exceptional price, combining decent handling and low rolling resistance with excellent ride quality. I used to sell quite a few of these tires because I like them a lot and it showed. I had a lot of customers come back to thank me for it.
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Bridgestone's Grand Touring All Season provides extremely good wet grip and light snow performance married to low rolling resistance and a quiet, smooth ride.
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Michelin's Primacy MXV4 is an excellent compromise between a Grand Touring style ride quality with low rolling resistance and UHP style performance and steering feel, making for a slightly higher priced, but very high-quality tire.

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Nokian WRG2:

Nokian WR G2
Nokian WR G2. Nokian Tyres plc

This one is my own preferred daily driver for the ever-changing New England weather. Nokian's WRG2 all-weather tire does everything a tire should do. With snow and ice handling that is just barely short of the best snow tires, wet and slush performance that is simply excellent, and dry handling well above average even for all-season tires, the WRG2 shatters the idea that there should be tradeoffs when making an all-season, low rolling resistance tire.

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Bridgestone's Ecopia is a Grand Touring tire that gets very low rolling resistance and even better ride quality while retaining extraordinarily long treadlife. My wife adores these tires for the hush-puppy ride and soft handling. I like them for the incredibly good gas mileage.

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Michelin's Defender is one of those tires that seems to be able to do it all, in absolute defiance of conventional tire wisdom. It is known to have near miraculous dry and wet grip, gets surprisingly good reviews for winter performance, excellent empirical braking results, and comes with a 90,000 mile treadwear warranty. The only possible explanation is black magic...