LAST UPDATED: July 27th, 2020
It all started with car enthusiasts. Users wanted the sporty vibe on the wheels, and there came the low profile tires with the idea of less meat more bone, less rubber more rim.
Then, the passenger cars adopted them, and now even light truck users feel like to get in on the deal.
Early low profile tires sacrifice on some of the important features, but the low profile tires nowadays, especially the modern ones, overcame most of those drawbacks.
People now prefer these tires for driving on highways as these are better for fuel economy and looks cool! But what about it that gets it so much praise and as well as criticism?
Benefits and Drawbacks of Low Profile Tires
Low profile tires, with their different set of features, bring some benefits to the table and also some drawbacks. To understand these, let’s have a look at its Pros and Cons.
Let’s discuss the points;
Road Performance Increased
By this point, we mean that the tires perform better on-road due to some features. The low profile tires have larger tread blocks that give high traction on surfaces, so you’ll have a better steering response. In wet roads, it has high gripping ability due to the directional treads.
Thanks to the shorter sidewall height, the tire flexes less when cornering. As a result, wheel response is sharper, and you know what that means. Cornering is as smooth as it gets. And of course, more efficient.
In terms of braking, low profile tires need less braking elements, so braking distance is shorter. That’s why these tires have higher speed ratings.
Better Fuel Economy
Lower rolling resistance equals better fuel economy. In tests, we’ve observed that these tires need 15-20% of the regular fuel consumption at slow speeds and 35% at high speed. So, of course, you’ll be saving a lot of money.
Although this point isn’t about performance, we’re now at an age where looks matter as much as performance. Less tire and more rim are where everyone’s going. People prefer sporty slim looks to ruggedness. That’s why low profile tires are often the OEM tires.
Not all low profile tires have this advantage, but most have. The trick is to have a reinforced sidewall so that when you have a flat tire, you can drive to a repair shop without stopping. And of course, you won’t lose stability in case if you have a blowout. But they’re expensive.
Let’s understand the severity of the cons;
The low profile tires wear faster than regular profile tires. It’s because the rubber is softer and stiffer, which causes the tire to lose its rubber. Overloading the tire, passing the speed limit of the tire, sharp cornering at high speeds will speed up the wearing even more.
Due to having a wider contact patch area, these tires are noisier than regular profile tires. With the increased width, the number of grooves increases, and more air can pass through them, which causes the noise.
Vulnerable to Damage
Less Shock Absorption
Due to the shorted stiff sidewalls, the tire cannot absorb the shocks and vibrations on the road. With not much sidewall, the tire struggles to receive fluctuations. But with good suspension system, the seat cushion can reduce this aspect.
Less Grip on Uneven Surfaces
Low profile tires have a stiff tread design, which means it’s not as adjustable to the uneven surfaces as regular profile tires are. These are only for on-road driving, which deals with a smooth surface.
5 Best Low Profile Tires Reviews 2020
We understand that it consumes time to choose from the hundreds of options available. Which is why, in this article, we reviewed 5 finest options you can look at. Keep reading to learn about them.
Milestar MS932 Sport All-Season Radial Tire – 225/65R17 102V
Let’s start with this tire from Milestar. The company’s not a new unknown company, and it’s got a lot of appreciation in the bag from the customers. Continuing that legacy, this MS932 Sport tire will impress you.
It’s got that contemporary look of a highway tire while providing some sweet features at a low price. Sport coupes, SUVs, crossovers, Sedans; this tire will fit in anyone of them. You can see from the look that it’s a low profile tire with less rubber and more width.
In its tread, it has got rounded shoulders and large tread blocks. On dry pavements, the vehicle receives high traction due to the tread blocks. Cornering, braking is smooth as it can be.
Consumers commended its handling and steering response. It’s wide circumferential grooves and the sipes along the shoulders really enhance the tire’s gripping power on wet roads.
And it also takes care of hydroplaning on wet roads by dispersing the water from the road as the vehicle moves forward. Tackling the rainy season is a breeze.
On light snow, it holds its own, but you shouldn’t take it on a road covered in deep snow. It’s not cut out for that kind of driving.
Inside, the tire has two highly tensile steel belts installed for strength and rigidity. On rough terrains, this rigidity tackles instability and wear due to friction and promotes uniform wear.
With an appreciable tread life for a low profile tire and even wear, this affordable all-season touring tire is a favorite among the budget buyers.
Enthusiasts also can’t look down upon it. It shouldn’t be a cause of regret, although if you’re sensitive in the ear, it will sound a bit noisy at times.
Related Guide: Jeep All Terrain Tires Reviews
Milestar MS932 Sport All Season Radial Tire – 225/45R17 94V
Again, we have another tire from Milestar’s budget-friendly solutions. This one has a different rating than the previous, rated at a speed rating V with a load rating of 94.
It means it can take up to 670kg at a maximum speed of 240km/h. You’ll like its attractive slim tread design.
It’s targeted towards vehicles like SUVs, Sedans, sport coupes, crossovers. The contemporary sporty look will never seem out of place.
The tire got that less rubber more rim look with low sidewall height and wide tread surface. It has big tread blocks along with the tread and sipes along the rounded shoulders.
When driving on dry pavements, these give the tire high traction due to large contact surfaces.
So during cornering and braking, the suspension and transmission system doesn’t feel the strain because it’s got a nice steering response.
When driving on wet roads, the circumferential grooves and the sipes will keep any risk of hydroplaning away from you.
It does it by channeling the water away from the tire’s track and keeps the grip on the road uninterrupted. That being said, in deep snow, it doesn’t do much. However, it’s capable enough to run on light snow.
As a highway tire, it’s a must for the tire to be highly rigid. And this tire is rigid enough to handle all the roughness of hard pavements thanks to the highly tensile steel belt construction inside the tire. There are two of those belts that promote even wear.
The tire is quite affordable, and with its performance on dry and wet roads, you won’t want to spend a premium price unless you prefer the brand-value more than the price-performance ratio.
Cooper Cobra GT All-Season Tire – 275/60R15 107T
This Cobra GT tire is all about ruggedness. If you own a muscle truck or car, you’ll love how it looks on the wheels.
With a commendable all-season performance and cool looking white labels, it’ll wow any crowd. It’s a classic with a 190 km/h speed and a 975 kg load rating. You can even fit these into SUVs, sedans, crossovers, etc.
At a glance, you’ll notice the aggressive tread design and a low height sidewall—characteristics of a good low profile tire.
The wide and flat tread design is all about larger contact surface, and yes, this design is responsible for the high traction it’s known for. Taking hard turns and braking won’t take any extra effort from your part.
It has some sipes along the thick shoulders, but on a slippery situation, it sometimes struggles to grip on to the road.
You won’t face any significant amount of hydroplaning, which is a good thing. The wheels will cut through light snow with no issue, but in severe conditions, the tire gives up.
Rigidity is not an issue to be worried about with this tire. As with all highway tires, it has twin steel belt construction inside.
This rigidity promotes even wear and tackles the shocks and vibrations of the road. Comfortable riding is its strength. But it’ll wear faster than regular tires as all low profile tires do.
This Cobra GT tire from Cooper is more of a fashion statement than a performance show. On dry roads, it’s more than fine, but if you want a performance tire, than the next tire in this review should suffice you. However, only for looks and regular driving, this Cobra GT will do fine.
Continental Extreme Contact DWS06 All-Season Radial Tire – 225/45ZR17 91W
In our view, you’re looking at the best tire in this article. After this tire, you won’t need to look anywhere else because this Extreme Contact tire from Continental is a people-pleaser.
It has got the Looks, top-class all year performance, and whatnot. With a speed limit of 270 km/h and a maximum load of 615 kg, you won’t need anything more.
The DWS in its name isn’t just a code, it’s the tire’s identity. That D in DWS06 means dry traction.
With chamfered shoulders and large tread grooves, the tire will absolutely boss around dry pavements of tarmac. Width of this tire might feel overwhelming sometimes in a good way.
Then the W is for its traction on wet surfaces. The Extreme Contact tire is made from an excellent silica tread compound.
Furthermore, it has Continental’s Sport Plus Technology and Silane additives as traction enhancement.
In both hot and cold weather, the tire can maintain high pliability. This means it can grip on to the roads in any condition — wet or snow.
The S is to indicate it’s snowy surface traction ability. It’s multiple tread grooves work like a biting edge when you’re driving on snowy, icy pavements.
Unlike other low profile tires, this Extreme Contact DWS06 tire bosses even in deep snowy conditions with its three circumferentially designed grooves and central wide grooves. As you can guess, hydroplaning is not an issue you need to worry about.
You’ll be happy to know that this tire has improved on the issue of noise level as it’s significantly quiet compared to its competitors.
The only negative thing we can say about this tire is the treadwear rate, which is an issue with all low profile tires. Yes, it’s pricey, but the sporty, aggressive looks with a high performance sure make it worth the price.
Continental Extreme Contact DWS06 All-Season Radial Tire – 225/40ZR18 92Y
Again, it’s the Extreme Contact tire from Continental. Why wouldn’t it be when it performs? This Continental tire has wowed people.
The look, the performance, it’s got it all. With a speed limit of 300 km/h and a maximum load of 630 kg, it will suffice your everyday needs.
The codename DWS is more than a code; it’s the identity. D indicates dry traction ability. With its rounded shoulders and large tread blocks, the tire performs more than enough on dry highways of tarmac.
And as a good low profile, it boasts about its width. Sometimes the width might feel a little too much. But tire’s contact surface is never too much.
Then the letter W indicates the tire’s wet surface handling. The tread of Extreme Contact tires has a quality silica compound along with Continental’s Sport Plus Technology.
Included Silane additives enhance traction. At any temperature, the tire’s high pliability doesn’t fluctuate.
It means the tire’s grip on the roads is strong, even on wet and snowy surfaces. Hydroplaning will never be an issue as long as you keep the speed under the limit.
The last letter S is there because the tire, unlike other low profile tires, performs excellently on snow. Multiple tread grooves bite on to the roads even during heavy on snow.
This ExtremeContact DWS06 tire keeps the vehicle in a forward motion even in deep snow thanks to the wide circumferential grooves and wide grooves at the tread center.
You’ll be glad to know that this tire has reduced the noise level where it’s almost negligible, which is rare in low profile tires.
The only bad thing about the tire is its rate of treadwear just like all of the tires in its class. We say that the sporty-muscle look, coupled with the performance, justifies its high price.
What to Look for in a Low Profile Tire?
Before considering which set of low profile tires to buy, you need to factor in some points in order to make the right decision. These factors are vital to ensuring that your money is well-spent.
Knowing the Best Place to Buy From
There are 3 options you can choose to buy your tires. Buying from dealers, from your local shops, and buying directly from the manufacturers.
Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Buying from dealers will ensure you’re getting the quality, but it will cost more and then there’s the installation cost.
You can buy and install the tires in your local shop in a single procedure. It’ll take less time, but still, it’ll cost more than the third option, which is buying directly from the manufacturers.
When you buy from the manufacturers, you can avoid going through channels and make the procedure of claiming warranty hassle-free as well. And of course, it’s the least costly option out of the three.
Your Driving Route
If you’re driving is only on highways, then look for a set of all-season tires. But if you’re going to driving on harsh terrains now and then, you’re better off buying all-terrain tires. All-terrain tires nowadays can act as all-season tires due to the advancement of technology.
This matters because the level of stiffness determines the performance on different terrains as pressure load fluctuates. Also, the amount of air you need to pump will change according to the stiffness.
Load Bearing Capacity
Calculate your vehicle’s carrying load so that you can pinpoint the balance between the comfort and the load-bearing capacity of the tire.
Tire sizing is important because comfort during driving and maintenance will depend on it. The wheel diameter needs to be measured correctly. Else your tire won’t fit. Consider tire thickness, the number of tires in each wheel, and the add-in wheel size before choosing a tire.
Tires won’t directly affect your vehicle’s fuel economy. But you can’t avoid the effect it has on fuel consumption.
Using any other tire than your OEM tires will change your vehicle’s fuel consumption. For avoiding any error, consider the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Should You Buy New or Used?
If you buy a used tire, make sure to check the treadwear as it will be worn out to some extent. You can’t expect the mileage of a brand new tire from a used one, but it costs less. Used tires won’t disappoint you unless you’re after the brand new look of a tire.
New tires, on the other hand, is costlier than used ones, but they will serve you longer. Also, you’re getting the original warranty period. And you can deal with the manufacturer directly, which is usually not the case with used tires.
If the tires don’t have the necessary features to tackle the road then the tire will have a shortened tread life.
Rough roads wear the tires faster, and off-road driving requires high traction. If you get it wrong, the tires, your vehicle and, even you will be affected.
That’s why you should consider all-season tires for on-road driving and all-terrain tires for multi-terrain driving.
There are two tread block designs available. The circumferentially designed blocks, and the other is radially designed blocks. Both come with their benefits. Some tire manufacturers merge them to gain an advantage.
Tire Tread Features
Tread pattern, stone ejectors, rigidity, long tread life, anti-hydroplaning, the coating on the rubber are such features that determine the tire’s quality.
These determine your tire’s longevity. Get the best from your money and being safe at the same time.
Tire’s Speed Rating
Check the speed rating; it will determine how fast you can go without affecting the structural condition of the tire. That’s your speed limit, after which your tires will start deteriorating.
Consider Your Manufacturer’s Recommendations
Your vehicle’s manufacturer has a bunch of tires that they recommend for their vehicle. They know how those tires perform when fitted in their vehicles. So, it’s in your betterment that you take their recommendations into consideration.
Consumer reviews give a lot of insight into what makes the tire best or total crap of a product. Of course, there’ll be some partial views, but you’ll get a general idea.
Frequently Asked Questions
Low profile tires have a lower sidewall height compared to the regular ones. The tread blocks are also larger, stiffer, and wider. When a tire has 50 or less aspect ratio, then it’s considered a low profile.
Low profile tires have lower sidewall heights with higher traction than regular tires. That said, low profile tires wear faster as the contact treat pitch is wider, and also it makes a bit more noise.
Low profiles tires take about 15-20% of fuel consumption at low speeds and 35% at higher speeds. Lower rolling resistance means lower fuel consumption.
Low profile tires experience flats no more than regular profile tires. The construction of the outer layer, width, and contact surface are basically the same.
It’s recommended to have 32 to 35 psi in your tire, it’ll vary depending on the tire stiffness.
Tires are of two types with regards to tread pattern; One has radially designed tread blocks, and the other is circumferentially designed.
You now have all the necessary information to spot the low profile tires if you see them. If you’re asking for a final recommendation, then the “Continental Extreme Contact DWS06 All-Season” is the one we prefer. You won’t regret it if you buy it. Do share if you benefit from this review.