In the realm of mid-size crossovers, the Toyota Highlander is one of the most popular cars in the world. Its reliability and comfort has given it the edge in the market for almost twenty years. On top of these characteristics, it handles like a coupe and can be as much fun to drive as any two-door car currently available. Because of this, finding the right set of tires is crucial. You will want to get a set that will compliment the features it already has, and accentuate its tight handling and superior dynamic ride.
Figure 1: The Toyota Highlander is a great mid-size sedan that is known for its superior handling and reactive steering. Source: TireDeets.com.
However, in a flooded market of crossover tires, it can be hard to find the set that will offer the right ride quality and safety. Fortunately, we have put together a shortlist of the best tires for a Toyota Highlander that can help you find the perfect combination of all of these factors. By choosing a tire from this list, you can be sure that it will compliment the already fantastic handling and comfort of your Highlander, and keep it living up to its well deserved popularity.
By seeking out a set of tires that will be comfortable on all types of terrain, give good traction and promote an even tread wear, you can check all the boxes on the Highlander’s must-have list. This will keep your crossover safe and comfortable for as long as possible, no matter what kind of driving you do on a regular basis. Picking out a set from our list of the best tires for a Toyota Highlander is a great start and is sure to fulfill all of these requirements.
What Makes a Great Tire for a Toyota Highlander?
One of the most important things to look for in the best tires for a Toyota Highlander is the ride quality. This usually translates to the level of vibration absorption and noise cancellation that they are engineered to give you. A tire with a good ride quality will have smooth response technology like interlocking tread blocks and proprietary compounds that are specifically designed to react to the road. These features give the tire a dynamic quality that will respond to the speed at which you are travelling, as well as the type of terrain you are driving on, be it winter conditions or damaged asphalt. If the tires have these dynamic design qualities, the car will react and feel the same no matter what.
Figure 2: Low road noise is a must for any daily commuter or regular driver. Source: WilsonvilleToyota.com.
The most sought after quality in a tire for the Highlander is road noise suppression. Some tires have a tendency to emit frequencies at high speeds, such as on the highway. These can become incredibly distracting on long commutes. Anyone who regularly drives long distances knows how important a quiet tire is to their comfort. The best tires for a Toyota Highlander will have an asymmetrical tread design that is meant to cancel out and squash these high pitched whines.
We spoke to a tire expert at Les Schwab who told us “If you want a quiet tire, look for a varied tread pattern. That will keep air from getting trapped in the grooves and making extra noise at high speeds. Also, a softer rubber will keep those tread blocks moving so they don’t get stuck at the same frequency on the highway. That’s usually the culprit if you’re getting a lot of tire noise on the highway.”
The best tires for a Toyota Highlander will have all of these qualities, as well as a solid construction and stability. By choosing a set from our shortlist below, you can be sure that you will have the best possible ride quality available on the market.
How Did We Pick the Best Tires for a Toyota Highlander?
Since there are so many different crossover tires on the market, it can be tough to find a set that has all the above features. Luckily, we went through all the available tires in the Highlander’s category to find the best possible combination of engineering, comfort and design.
All the tires on our shortlist have a varied tread design to help with road noise and increase comfort. They also use softer compounds to help with stability and grip no matter what the conditions are on the road. This is incredibly important if you are someone who drives year round in all kinds of weather. A softer compound lets the tires react and change shape along with the road, giving you the best possible grip, even in medium packed snow and milder ice conditions.
Figure 3: Silica and polymer blends can help tires react to weather and temperature in real time. Source: TruckTireReviews.com.
All of the tires on our list also use proprietary blends and compounds to enhance this reaction with the road and weather. By using polymers and silica in the rubber, these tires are able to change their properties based on the temperature. This allows them to stay soft even in below freezing temperatures, which improves grip and gives you more stopping power than a straight rubber compound. They can also harden in hot temperatures to give you a lower rolling resistance and better gas mileage in the summer. These features will be found on all of the best tires for a Toyota Highlander.
Figure 4: The Assurance MaxLife uses a center rib to maintain steady handling at all speeds. Source: TireRack.com.
The Assurance MaxLife by Goodyear is an all-season tire that is perfect for crossover sedans like the Highlander. The tread pattern has a center rib that maintains contact with the road no matter what kind of weather you are driving in. It also enhances the steering feel and stopping power in winter due to a constant center traction that dips below the snow line. This is an important safety feature on any crossover tire and will help keep the responsive handling that the Highlander is known for.
The Assurance MaxLife also includes Goodyear’s patented Wear Gauge, which helps you visualise the amount of tread depth you have in real time. This is an important safety feature, especially on the Highlander, which is known for its reliability. By knowing exactly how much tread you have left, you can make decisions on rotation and replacement in a timely manner that will keep you and your family safe. Combined with the deep grooves that help wick away water and prevent hydroplaning, you can be sure that you have the security you were looking for when you made the decision to buy your Highlander in the first place.
Figure 5: The CrossContact LX20 uses a polymer blend to adapt to the temperature of the road. Source: TireRack.com.
Continental’s CrossContact LX20 is a touring tire designed for mild off-road applications and other uneven terrain. The tread compound uses Tg-F Polymers to adapt to all kinds of terrain and weather, making them one of the best tires for a Toyota Highlander. If you regularly drive in different types of conditions, these could be a great choice for you.
The tread design utilizes notched shoulders and intermediate blocks to give you a combination of stability and comfort, even in an off-road situation. This kind of attention to handling and braking is crucial if you encounter different roads and terrain on a regular basis. By keeping their tread design varied and wide ranging, they have been able to produce a tire that will be comfortable on rough roads as well as quiet at high speeds. The circumferential grooves also enhance traction in the rain and help keep a solid contact patch on the asphalt at all times. Because of this, they are a great choice for drivers who want to avoid hydroplaning and have to regularly drive in the rain.
Figure 6: The Pirelli Scorpion Verde All Season Plus uses a low weight and a light footprint to get the most efficiency out of your Highlander. Source: TireRack.com.
The Pirelli Scorpion Verde All Season Plus is one of the best tires for a Toyota Highlander. It is an eco-friendly tire that uses a low rolling resistance to reduce emissions and get you a better fuel efficiency in the process. Its light weight helps keep the emissions down, while also giving you a comfortable, responsive feel to match the handling on your Highlander.
It is able to deliver this reduced footprint without sacrificing traction and safety on the road. It does this by maintaining an even rubber and groove ratio in the tread design, which is also asymmetrical and optimized for noise reduction. Its silica enhanced compound also gives you a dynamic response to road conditions, making it a great choice for year round driving. The even contact patch will help resist hydroplaning in wet conditions as well, so you can be sure that no matter what kind of weather you encounter, the Scorpion Verde All Season Plus has a feature designed to handle it.