Selecting the Best Car Tires with Tire Rack’s Tire Decision Guide

In the past I hated shopping for car tires so much, that the last time I needed new tires, I bought a new car. In my defense, the car was 11 years old with over 100,000 miles. Last summer, the shop at my dealer told me I would need new tires before winter. They handed me a 5 page printout of tire options, with no information. How would I determine the best car tires for me?

I partnered with Tire Rack to use their Tire Decision Guide to find the best tires for me. The Tire Decision Guide took the mystery out of selecting the best car tires for me. I simply rated how important each tire features was and it gave me the best tire and two alternatives.

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Find Best Car Tires with Tire Rack’s Tire Decision Guide

The Continental Cross-Contact LX20 with Ecoplus Technology helps you find the best tire in two minutes or less by answering a few simple questions.

  • What is your Vehicle Make, Year, Model, and Trim Level?
  • What type of tires do you want – All Seasons, Summer Only, Winter Only?
  • Do you drive off paved roads?
  • What features are most important to you?
    • Snow Traction
    • Wet Road Handling
    • Dry Road Handling
    • Ride Comfort
    • Wear
    • Price

After that, Tire Rack will give you the best tires for your situation.

Finding Best Car Tires for Me

Check out the video I made of the process:

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Caption: Selecting the best car tire for my Mazda CX-5 with the Tire Rack Tire Decision Guide}

The first question was actually the hardest for me to answer. I know I have a Mazda CX-5 AWD. But had to think about the model year (2016, although I bought it in 2015) and the trim level.

Even though I live in Michigan, I opted for an all-season tire. Where I live most of our snow comes in 1/2”-1” storms and not in 6”+ storms. Plus, they tend to close school when the roads are bad – as evidenced by our 8 snow days in the last 5 weeks – so I don’t have to go out much until the main roads are cleared.

The tire performance questions were easy – I want it all! We have all types of weather conditions so snow, wet pavement, and dry pavement performance are all equally important. Wear is also important to me. I don’t want to replace my tires in another 3 years and 35,000 miles. And of course I want the best value in my purchase.

{photo – tire-rack-decision-guide-priorities Caption: What is important to you in a tire? I want a tire that’s good at everything!}

From the Tire Decision Guide, I was able to view more information on each of the recommended tires. This breaks down their performance in each category, gives reviews, and the number of miles that the reviews are based on.

I chose the Continental Cross-Contact LX20 with Ecoplus Technology tire as a great all-around tire. Its reviews are based on 12 million miles driven so hopefully reflect long term wear statistics as opposed to a newer tire with less miles driven. I also liked that they are eco tires for improved gas mileage.

The original tires on my vehicle were eco tires. They got great gas mileage, but did not handle great in the snow and ice even when new. The Continental Cross-Contact is an eco tire and has good all around scores. .

Ordering the Best Car Tires with Tire Rack

In the past my husband and I used Tire Rack for research only because the idea of buying tires online was intimidating. However, Tire Rack has made online purchasing very easy with a network of local installers throughout the country. You purchase the tires from Tire Rack and they ship them directly to your chosen installer at no extra charge. Tire Rack continuously monitors the reviews and quality of the installers to ensure the local installers provide excellent service.

Selecting an Installer and Scheduling Installation

When I placed my order, I had 5 installers, including two top rated installers in my area. Tire Rack provides information on each installer to help you choose an installer. You can compare location, installation prices, and customer reviews. Once you select an installer, you complete your purchase on Tire Rack by paying for the tires. The installer is paid directly for installation.

I selected ArborMotion, one of the top-rated installers in my area. The tires arrived at ArborMotion a couple of days after I placed the order. I called ArborMotion and was able to schedule my appointment within a week at a busy time of year.

My Installation Experience

ArborMotion was a great choice for my installation. I had my choice of dates within a week of my phone call. They requested to have the vehicle for the day. I dropped the car off in the morning and they drove me home. Pickup service was available, but I had a ride to pick up vehicle. In addition to changing my tires, they also checked the vehicle for other maintenance needs and washed the car. They communicated with me through the day and had it ready at my requested time. I simply had to pay them for the installation at pickup.

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Caption: The ArborMotion shop in Ann Arbor, MI Photo Credit: Anna Mae Trievel for A Girls Guide to Cars}

Best Car Tires for Me

Over the last month I have had plenty of opportunity to test the snow and ice handling of my new Continental Cross Contact tires. The car has handled wonderfully in both snow and icy conditions that would have caused issues with my old tires. With snow melt on warm days I have also been able to see excellent wet road performance. The only thing left is to see how they wear in the long term.

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Caption: Continental Cross-Contact LX20 with Ecoplus Technology Installed and ready for winter weather. Photo Credit: Anna Mae Trievel for A Girls Guide to Cars}

Tire Rack’s Tire Decision Guide

Tire Rack’s Tire Decision Guide made the process of selecting a new tire very easy. With a few simple questions, they recommended three tires for me. The extra information provided for each tire helped me narrow it down to one choice. With free shipping to my installer choice in their network, the installation process was simple.

I definitely recommend Tire Rack and their Tire Decision Guide for an easy tire buying experience

Disclosure: Tire Rack provided 4 tires for purposes of this review; the opinions expressed are all our own.

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