Best Summer Tires

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As the name 'summer tire' implies, these tires are best suited for high performance driving when the weather is good. Important characteristics for a summer tire are overall grip and steering response above all else, with road manners coming in second. That's not to say you have to live with an unbearably loud or harsh-riding tire to get maximum performance - the best summer tires manage to blend both high traction levels with refined road manners. Less important are factors such as treadwear and price, while winter traction is not considered at all.

Best Ultra High Performance Summer Tires:

Ultra high performance summer tires are a strange proposition, as they attempt to blend characteristics of tires types usually seen as polar opposites. These tires are not designed to be as harsh-riding as the purely performance-oriented extreme performance summer tires, but they don’t offer the same levels of overall grip. Nor are these tires as quiet and comfortable as touring tires, though the noise levels and ride comfort of the tires in this class are outstanding given their capabilities.

In a way, these tires represent the ultimate compromise in terms of summer tires; smooth enough to be used comfortably as daily drivers, yet with enough traction capabilities to edge up against max performance summer tires. We've selected the best ultra high performance summer tires available that best exhibit all of these traits in a variety of price ranges.

Michelin Pilot Exalto PE2 Tire

Michelin's ability to blend ride comfort and outright performance earns the Pilot Exalto PE2 the number one spot on this list. These tires offer tremendous amounts of traction and crisp, predictable handling, making them an excellent choice for an ultra high performance summer tire. Read Full Review

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    Michelin Pilot Exalto PE2 Tire

    Bridgestone Potenza RE760 Sport Summer Tires

    The Bridgestone Potenza RE760 Sport offers high traction levels in dry and wet conditions, combined with quick steering response and good feedback. Unlike many other summer performance tires, the RE760 Sport also rides smoothly and quietly, making it a great choice for people who own more luxury-oriented sedans and coupes. Read Full Review

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      Bridgestone Potenza RE760 Sport  Summer Tires

      TOYO PROXES T1R 4PLY Ultra High Performance Summer TIres

      The Toyo Proxes T1R back up their flashy tread pattern with excellent overall performance in both wet and dry conditions. Although there are performance tires that will objectively offer better performance overall, the affordability of these tires make them an excellent value. Read Full Review

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        TOYO PROXES T1R 4PLY Ultra High Performance Summer TIres

        BFGoodrich g-Force T/A KDW NT High Performance Tire

        The BFGoodrich g-Force T/A KDW offers excellent performance and a flashy tread pattern for the money, with loads of grip in dry conditions. Although these tires can get quite noisy, this is par for the course with most performance-oriented tires. Read Full Review

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          BFGoodrich g-Force T/A KDW NT High Performance Tire

          Kumho Ecsta SPT KU31 High Performance Tire

          Although tread wear is not the strong point of these tires, the Kumho Ecsta SPT are a good way to pick up affordable summer tires that perform well for the price. Objectively, these tires won't win any awards, but for day to day driving, they offer good overall grip and handling in both wet and dry conditions. Read Full Review

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            Kumho Ecsta SPT KU31 High Performance Tire

            Best Max Performance Summer Tires:

            Max performance summer tires strike a perfect balance between performance and everyday driving. While these tires may be a lot stiffer and noisier than touring tires, they offer substantial increases in grip and performance. Predictably, max performance summer tires wear out a lot more quickly than standard passenger tires due to the softer, stickier compound of the rubber. Needless to say, do not attempt to drive in freezing/icy/snowy conditions with these tires.

            We've chosen the best max performance tires for their ability to provide excellent grip and handling while still being usable every day. Although price varies, all of the following selections perform well in both wet and dry conditions, and are reasonably comfortable in regular driving.

            Michelin Pilot Super Sport Summer Tire

            One of the main criticisms leveled at the Pilot Sport PS2 was its accelerated treadwear which combined with its high price tag, made replacing tires an expensive proposition. While the new Pilot Super Sport is still very expensive, Michelin has found a way to extend tread life while bumping up performance levels even higher. Read Full Review

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              Michelin Pilot Super Sport Summer Tire

              Continental ExtremeContact DW Tire

              In many ways, the Continental ExtremeContact DW is a top pick. This tire offers outstanding traction levels and surefooted handling, all while costing substantially less than the competition. However, considering the performance tilt of the tires evaluated here, the Michelin tires still offer superior performance. Read Full Review

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                Continental ExtremeContact DW Tire

                Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position Tire

                The Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position offers massive amounts of grip with very few drawbacks. These tires are confidence-inspiring in both wet and dry conditions, while offering good tread life for the performance and a smooth, quiet ride quality. Read Full Review

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                  Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position Tire

                  Dunlop SP Sport Maxx Summer Tire

                  Dunlop's SP Sport Maxx GT tires deliver high overall traction in both wet and dry conditions. Steering response lags behind Michelin's Pilot Sport PS2, but this tire remains stable during hard cornering and braking. Read Full Review

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                    Dunlop SP Sport Maxx Summer Tire

                    Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 Tire

                    Despite its age, the Pilot Sport PS2 is still a benchmark when it comes to max performance summer tires. This tire offers lofty grip levels with predictable handling characteristics, and is suitable for everyday use thanks to its quiet, smooth ride. However, the newer Pilot Super Sport provides superior tread life while simultaneously upping the performance. Read Full Review

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                      Michelin Pilot Sport PS2  Tire

                      Best Extreme Performance Summer Tires:

                      In the tire performance hierarchy, extreme performance summer tires sit just below dedicated competition tires. These tires offer the highest level of grip available in a street tire and many weekend racers opt to keep them installed on their cars for everyday driving since they remain competitive in racing situations due to their outstanding performance.

                      Extreme performance summer tires are suited to being daily-driven if you want the highest level of performance from your car and tires on a daily basis. Of course, no single tire can be everything and do everything but these best extreme performance summer tires place high emphasis on traction, steering response, and performance at the expense of tread wear, noise, and ride comfort. Needless to say, don't attempt to drive in freezing or snowy conditions with these tires.

                      Bridgestone Potenza RE-11 Summer Tire

                      These excellent extreme performance summer tires offer top-notch grip and handling. The Bridgestone Potenza RE-11 might not be brand new anymore, but they still offer enough performance to lead the pack. Read Full Review

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                        Bridgestone Potenza RE-11 Summer Tire

                        Yokohama ADVAN Neova AD08 Tire

                        The Yokohama ADVAN Neova AD08 deliver fantastic grip and steering response regardless of the conditions. Although increased tread wear and road noise are the cost of this high level of traction and performance, these are excellent extreme performance summer tires. Read Full Review

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                          Yokohama ADVAN Neova AD08 Tire

                          Dunlop Direzza ZII

                          For those want massive grip over long tread life, the Dunlop Direzza ZII is an excellent choice. These tires offer excellent traction and handling in dry conditions while also being suitable for daily driving despite their relatively loud road noise which is typical of extreme performance tires. Read Full Review

                          Dunlop Direzza ZII

                          Hankook Ventus R-S3 Z222 High Performance Tire

                          For dry performance rivaling that of category-leading tires, the Hankook Ventus R-S3 is an excellent and affordable option. Although performance in wet conditions suffers, these tires are excellent both overall and for the money. Read Full Review

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                            Hankook Ventus R-S3 Z222 High Performance Tire

                            Kumho Ecsta XS Tire

                            In terms of excellent grip and cornering ability in dry conditions, the Kumho Ecsta XS extreme performance summer tires are able to keep up with category leaders. However, these tires suffer greatly in wet conditions, making them less well-suited to overall daily driving. Read Full Review

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                              Kumho Ecsta XS Tire

                              Best Summer Run-Flat Tires:

                              Over the past decade, run-flat tires have taken the market by storm, offering all of the performance characteristics of standard tires, but allowing your car to remain drivable in case of a puncture or loss of air pressure. In exchange for a small amount of increased ride stiffness during normal operation, these tires will give you the ability to drive to a repair shop as long as the tire itself remains intact.

                              In order to achieve this feat, run-flat tires are built with thicker, stiffer sidewalls capable of carrying load without coming apart. Tire manufacturers highly recommend using run-flat tires in conjunction with tire pressure monitoring systems, as the performance of the tires may not be immediately noticeable in case of a flat.

                              We've chosen some of the best run-flat tires available today, combining summer tire handling characteristics with run-flat capabilities. Prices vary, but each of the following selections offers good performance in wet and dry conditions, while having decent ride quality and reasonable noise levels.

                              Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 Tire

                              The Zero Pressure (ZP) version of this tire compromises some of the ride quality of the excellent Michelin Pilot Sport PS2, but very little of the confidence-inspiring handling characteristics. Excellent performance in both wet and dry conditions make this one of the best-performing summer run-flat tires on the market. Read Full Review

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                                Michelin Pilot Sport PS2  Tire

                                Pirelli PZero RFT

                                The run-flat version of the Pirelli PZero offers the high traction in both wet and dry conditions paired with the ability to drive on a flat tire for up to 50 miles at 50 miles per hour. Although ride quality is somewhat compromised due to the thicker sidewalls, this is an excellent-performing run-flat tire overall. Read Full Review

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                                  Pirelli PZero RFT

                                  Yokohama ADVAN Sport ZPS

                                  Confidence-inspiring performance in both wet and dry conditions is combined with the ability to drive up to 50 miles at 50 miles per hour on a flat tire. The Yokohama ADVAN Sport ZPS offers a slightly less expensive alternative to our top two picks, while maintaining excellent performance. Read Full Review

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                                    Yokohama ADVAN Sport ZPS

                                    Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2 RunOnFlat

                                    While the Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2 RunOnFlat tire might not particularly stand out in one way or another, it offers solid overall performance. Grip is good in both wet and dry conditions, although treadwear is not the best. Read Full Review

                                    Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2 RunOnFlat

                                    Continental ContiSportContact 3 SSR

                                    The Continental ContiSportContact 3 offers balanced performance and the ability to drive at up to 50 miles per hour for 50 miles on a flat tire. Although this tire doesn’t stand out for anything in particular, it’s an all-around good choice. Read Full Review

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                                      Continental ContiSportContact 3 SSR
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