What Are SUV Tyres And Do You Need Special Tyres For An SUV

By Julia Freeman

Tyres are one of the few things that are easier to examine online than by wandering around a shop. When you look at our 4x4 tyres online you have a vast catalogue at your fingertips and can easily compare their specifications, prices and performance. We have made it easy, but there are still a few things to bear in mind.


As of March 2021, SUVs accounted for 50% of new car sales in Europe [1]. This figure includes not only the traditional sports utility vehicle, the most popular of which remains the Nissan Qashqai, but also accounts for crossover utility vehicles including the Honda CR-V and multi-purpose utility vehicles such as the Volkswagen Touran.

These vehicles are gaining in popularity amongst rural and city dwellers alike, being praised for their raised seating position, generously sized interiors and versatility. Many MPVs are compact enough to make parking a breeze whilst offering the option for seven seats, rendering them ideal for busy families.

SUVs are ideal for sales reps and those who travel for business, offering good legroom and generous boot space. They are comfortable on long journeys, can easily accommodate tall people and can carry heavy loads. They also perform well in NCAP safety tests which is reassuring for those who spend a lot of time on the road.

Many SUVs also feature an excellent towing capability, making them a versatile choice for families who may wish to tow a caravan or trailer on occasion but do not wish to run a second car.

Why do SUVs need special tyres?

Their increased kerb weight and elevated position are the primary reasons why SUVs need special tyres. Their centre of gravity is higher than that of a typical passenger vehicle and this means that the shoulder and outside tread area of their tyres are put under greater pressure when cornering, especially at speed.

SUV tyres are specifically designed and tested to provide a safe, comfortable and quiet driving experience when fitted to these vehicles, and car tyres, whilst cheaper, will not offer the same levels of safety or durability. It is essential, therefore, that when the time comes to change your SUV tyres, you choose tyres that are designed for use by SUVs.

What tyres should I choose for my SUV?

In choosing new tyres for your SUV, you could do worse than to replace them with the same tyres that were fitted when the vehicle was brand new. The Original Equipment fitted to a brand new car is that which the vehicle manufacturer deems to be highly compatible for that vehicle. Many leading tyre manufacturers such as Continental and Bridgestone supply special tyres for an SUV to be fitted as original equipment and for aftermarket replacement. The original equipment is selected for its ability to enhance the performance of the vehicle in terms of handling, cornering, braking, driver comfort and cabin noise. 

If you decide against OE tyres, you will need to select an alternative that is the correct size for your vehicle. The current tyres will have the size printed on their sidewalls, but to ensure that you select tyres of the correct size and rating, you can check your owner's handbook. Some larger SUVs require extra load tyres, which are indicated by an "XL" mark on the sidewall. These are capable of handling a greater load capacity without any degradation in performance. 

You will also need to decide whether you want seasonal tyres, which you will swap when the weather changes, or all season tyres that can remain in use for the entirety of the year. Summer tyres are designed to provide the highest possible levels of performance when the temperature is consistently above 7°c, whilst Winter tyres provide extra grip in particularly cold and wet conditions, including ice and snow. All season tyres are the most common compromise, offering good levels of performance year round.

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Can I fit 4x4 tyres to my SUV?

In our experience, the majority of SUVs in the UK are only used on the road. For this reason, we do not recommend fitting rugged 4x4 tyres to these vehicles, even though they are often compatible in terms of size and load bearing capacity. 4x4 tyres may improve the aesthetic appearance of an SUV, but they will also reduce its fuel economy, create extra cabin noise and decrease driver comfort. The deep tread and solid sidewall are unnecessary for typical road driving conditions and offer no improvement for driver or passenger safety.

If, however, you live in a particularly rural location whereby your roads are regularly covered in mud or ice, or you frequently engage in light off-roading, our tyre professionals will be able to recommend a suitable tyre to allow your vehicle to handle the demands that you place upon it, without compromising on comfort, safety and economy.

Why are SUV tyres so important?

It is important to remember that your tyres are the only part of your vehicle that is in constant contact with the road and that they are designed to ensure that you can safely stop in all weather conditions and take evasive action when necessary. They need to be able to handle the weight of the vehicle, disperse water effectively and provide sufficient grip to allow you to drive your vehicle with confidence.

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Where can I get SUV tyres?

Here at Protyre, we offer a comprehensive SUV tyres selection to suit every budget, vehicle and driving environment and with over 100 garages situated across the country, you will always find a selection at Protyre when you search 'SUV tyres near me' along with helpful, friendly staff to advise you and provide the perfect tyres for your vehicle.

For advice on the perfect tyres to suit your vehicle, or to ensure that the tyres that are currently fitted to your vehicle are still performing adequately, please contact us today. We offer a free tyre check [2] service that can be booked online at a time to suit you, during which our qualified fitters will perform a full inspection of your tyres to ensure that they are free from damage, correctly inflated, wearing evenly and have sufficient tread depth. This service can help you to drive with confidence and to pre-empt any problems such as blow-outs or tracking issues, which can be costly to repair.

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About the author

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By Julia Freeman
Julia is Head of Retail Marketing for Protyre and loves engaging with customers and the business as a whole to make sure Protyre is more than just a local garage.
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