Here’s the 10 best tires for a Ford Explorer [2023]

The Ford Explorer is a powerful vehicle that can greatly benefit from the best tires for on and off-road driving.

best tires for a Ford Explorer

The best tires for a Ford Explorer include:

  • Michelin Defender M/S
  • Goodyear Assurance MaxLife
  • Cooper CS5 Ultra Touring
  • Pirelli Scorpion AS PLUS 3
  • Continental ContiCrossContact LX20
  • Yokohama PARADA Spec-X
  • Vredestein Quatrac Pro
  • Bridgestone Alenza AS Ultra
  • Falken WildPeak A/T
  • Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady

When I drive my Ford Explorer, I may need to drive it in or out of the city in a variety of weather conditions. Since I never know what kind of roads or weather I may be facing on a given day, it’s important for me to have tires that can handle just about anything that comes my way.

The 10 Best Tires For A Ford Explorer

Michelin Defender M/S

Michelin is one of my favorite tire brands since they offer affordable and high-quality tires for a wide range of vehicles.

One of my favorite Michelin tires is the Defender LTX M/S, which performs particularly well on mud and snow. Though the Defender M/S is great for rugged driving conditions, they also work well for everyday driving on city roads and freeways.

When it’s time to replace the tires on my car or my wife’s car, I tend to lean toward getting Michelin Defender M/S tires.

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Expert Tip

If you are not sure which tires to buy for a truck or SUV, and if your vehicle is your daily driver, then I strongly suggest you go with the Michelin Defender LTX M/S.
As long as 95% or more of your driving is going to be on the road around town or on the highway, these will be excellent tires.
I have these tires on my daughter’s Lexus GX 460, my wife’s GMC Yukon, my Father’s Toyota Sequoia, my Mother’s Lexus RX350, and my father-in-law’s Mercedes ML350. Needless to say, I am a big fan of this tire for daily driver status.

–Kern Campbell

These tires are affordable, comfortable, and perform well on smooth, rough, curved, and bumpy roads.

A Ford Explorer is a heavy vehicle that should have tires that can handle heavier loads and grip the road well during turns.

Compared to lighter vehicles, an Explorer is more forceful on the tires during turns, so having strong tires with solid traction is necessary to keep the driver and passengers safe.

When considering tires for larger vehicles like the Ford Explorer, you should look at the compound used in it.

The Defender LTX M/S uses a strong compound called EverTread that makes the tread more durable and longer-lasting.

Whether you drive on smooth and straight roads or over bumpy and curvy roads with rain, the tread life of these tires should be quite good compared to standard tires.

These tires also have features that can improve safety and control while on wet or snowy roads.

The tread design and construction of Michelin Defender M/S tires allow for dependable traction and braking over wet or snowy surfaces.

Michelin Defender LTX M/S tires for the Ford Explorer can be purchased online at Tire Rack or Amazon.

MICHELIN Defender LTX M/S All Season Radial Car Tire for Light Trucks, SUVs and Crossovers,…
  • Radial car tire for Light Trucks, SUVs and Crossovers designed for All-Season use; provides exceptional grip for shorter braking distances on wet roads
  • More Mileage- MICHELIN EverTread Compound provides 10% more longevity in severe conditions, compared to its predecessor.
  • Reduced risk of hydroplaning- outstanding grip for improved braking performance on wet roads and better traction on snow when compared to leading competitors.
  • Fuel-efficient and eco-friendly- Features MICHELIN MaxTouch Construction to save up to 65 gallons of fuel over the tire’s life
  • 70,000 Miles Manufacturer’s Treadwear Limited Warranty; 6 Year Standard Limited Warranty; 235/55R18 100T

Goodyear Assurance MaxLife

Goodyear is an excellent tire company that offers dependable tires at some of the lowest prices around.

Though the prices for many Goodyear tires can be quite low, the quality of the tires are often very good.

Goodyear’s Assurance MaxLife tires are one of the best values in the entire tire market for the Ford Explorer.

Not only is the price for these tires relatively low, the longevity of these tires is relatively high compared to other Goodyear tires.

If you’re looking to get the most money out of your tires expenses, getting Assurance MaxLife tires might be the way to go.

The Ford Explorer is a large and sturdy vehicle that requires strong and sturdy tires to safely get through all-season driving conditions.

Assurance MaxLife tires from Goodyear are made with technology called TredLife that makes the tires more reliable through all kinds of weather.

You can easily monitor the treadwear on these tires by viewing the integrated wear gauges on the tires.

The wear gauges clearly display the tread depth of the tires, so you can get a straightforward reading on the condition of your tire tread.

For added assurance, Goodyear offers a tread life warranty for up to 85,000 miles.

Assurance MaxLife tires also come with a tire replacement warranty that allows you to have the tires replaced if there are any defects or performance issues with the tires such as loud noises, bumpiness, or heavy vibrations.

On top of the warranties, new Assurance MaxLife owners may also be able to exchange the tires for a different tire model if they are not satisfied within 30 days.

Goodyear Assurance MaxLife tires for the Ford Explorer can be purchased online at Walmart or Tire Rack.

Cooper CS5 Ultra Touring

The CS5 Ultra Touring tire from Cooper has all the hallmarks of a great tire for a Ford Explorer.

A Ford Explorer should have a tough and responsive set of tires that can perform well under many road and weather conditions.

Cooper’s CS5 Ultra Touring tires have outstanding grip and handling for smoother and more controlled turns around tight corners.

These tires include a technology called Stabiledge that enhances stability and overall control over dry road surfaces.

The Ford Explorer can use up quite a bit of gas compared to more compact cars, so I appreciate that CS5 Ultra Touring tires can help to increase the gas mileage I get out of an Explorer.

best tires for a Ford Explorer

The tread profile and compound of these tires also help to increase tread life and reduce my need to buy a new set of tires.

To help maintain control of a Ford Explorer over wet roads, the CS5 Ultra Touring tire has a tread design with edges that can repel water and grab onto the road more firmly.

Though the tread on these tires last a relatively long time, it’s nice to know how worn the tread is at any given time.

Cooper CS5 Ultra Touring tires have a wear indicator called Wear Square that lets you easily monitor the amount of wear on your tires.

You can get a solid approximation of how much tread life is available and know well in advance when your tires should be replaced.

For added protection, these tires come with a treadwear warranty of up to 70,000 miles and a test drive period of 45 days.

Cooper CS5 Ultra Touring tires for the Ford Explorer can be purchased online at Priority Tire or Amazon.

Cooper CS5 Ultra Touring All-Season 255/65R18 111H Tire
  • Treadwear warranty: 70,000 miles
  • All-Season Premium Luxury Touring Tire
  • Designed for comfort, agile handling and an ultra-quiet ride
  • Quiet and smooth ride
  • Superior handling, cornering and stability

Pirelli Scorpion AS PLUS 3

As a car racing fan, I see Pirelli often being used on race cars and premium sports cars on the road.

As exotic and high-performing as they might seem, Pirelli tires are actually quite affordable and easy to access.

Scorpion AS PLUS 3 tires by Pirelli are an excellent fit for a Ford Explorer since they perform well in all seasons and through rough, wet, dry, and snowy weather conditions.

Though I often see Pirelli tires on cars driving on dry roads and race tracks, they can be used with great effectiveness for more off-road driving.

I can take my Explorer out for smooth rides on standard highways and city streets, or drive it through rougher areas without the fear of losing traction and control.

Pirelli Scorpion AS PLUS 3 tires do a fantastic job of maintaining contact with the road during all types of weather.

These tires can eliminate water to prevent hydroplaning and grip the road firmly when snow is present.

Since I don’t often find myself driving on wet or snowy roads, I want tires that can run fast, smooth, and quietly on regular paved streets and highways.

The Scorpion AS PLUS 3 is a tire that lets me feel comfortable no matter where I’m driving and what I’m facing.

I can get solid handling around tight turns and corners and get reliable braking within short distances.

One of the standout features of these Pirelli tires is the presence of full-depth 3D sipes, which allow for more control and grip throughout the life of the tires.

New Scorpion AS PLUS 3 owners will have the added assurance of a limited treadwear warranty for up to 70,000 miles.

Pirelli Scorpion AS PLUS 3 tires for the Ford Explorer can be purchased online at Amazon or Walmart.

Pirelli Scorpion All Season Plus 3 All Season 255/65R18 111T SUV/Crossover Tire
  • Designed for use on CUVs, SUVs, and light trucks
  • Innovative tread compound is designed to go the extra mile while delivering all-season confidence
  • Full depth tread sipes that work from the first mile to the last mile for improved traction, handling, and braking
  • 3D sipe technology that works together with the tread pattern to delivery confident handling feel in dry and wet conditions
  • Ideal for use on some of today’s most popular vehicles such as the Acura MDX, Audi Q5, Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Blazer, Dodge Journey, Ford F-150, GMC Yukon. Honda CR-V, Hyundai Santa Fe, Infiniti…

Continental ContiCrossContact LX20

If you’re looking for a Ford Explorer tire with some of the most bells and whistles around, you should look no further than the ContiCrossContact LX20 by Continental.

These tires have superb technology features that can help you maintain optimized traction, handling, and braking ability across various road and weather conditions.

One of the technology features I like most about ContiCrossContact LX20 tires is EcoPlus.

EcoPlus makes these tires more fuel-efficient so I can save money by getting more gas mileage compared to other tires.

These tires are designed to roll more consistently along a straight line, which can help to maximize the mileage achieved during a drive.

Getting more gas mileage also makes these tires better for the environment since less gas is needed to take my Ford Explorer over a given distance.

Maintaining control of Ford Explorer can be difficult under regular road conditions, so having sturdy and versatile tires are particularly important when driving through conditions that are less gentle.

Continental ContiCrossContact LX20 tires have a tread design and materials that can effectively combat hydroplaning and hazardous off-road obstacles.

When it comes to braking on wet roads, being able to stop within shorter distances is very important for safety.

ContiCrossContact LX20 tires allow for more effective braking within dry, wet, or snowy conditions.

The specialized grooves in the tread of these tires enhance traction in the snow and provide more grip along the edges of the tires.

The Continental ContiCrossContact LX20 tire provides a wonderful balance between all-season performance and comfort.

You won’t have to sacrifice having a smooth and quiet ride while having excellent steering and traction capabilities.

Continental ContiCrossContact LX20 tires for the Ford Explorer can be purchased online at Walmart or TireMart.

Yokohama PARADA Spec-X

If you’re looking to put a sharp set of street tires on your Ford Explorer, you should consider getting the PARADA Spec-X by Yokohama.

When I was younger and wanted the best-looking tires for my car, Yokohama tires would often be at the top of my list.

PARADA Spec-X can give a Ford Explorer eye-catching looks while delivering solid traction and handling capabilities across all seasons and road conditions.

If I’m in a tight situation on the road where it might be snowing or raining, I want tires that will help me maintain as much control and braking ability as possible.

The PARADA Spec-X was developed for SUVs in mind, so they are a good fit for a vehicle like the Ford Explorer.

The flat profile on these tires lend to smoother and quieter rides with more even wear.

The center of PARADA Spec-X tires have solid curved ribs that help to deliver better traction while driving on dry roads.

These tires also have a center groove around the entire circumference so allow for effective water removal and better acceleration over wet surfaces.

Maintaining control while speeding up, turning, or stopping is undoubtedly important in wet weather, so it gives me great peace of mind that these tires are well-equipped to deal with wetness.

PARADA Spec-X tires have sturdy construction that lend to a longer lifespan for the tread.

The shoulder blocks on these tires allow for more stable cornering and even wear over the life of the tires.

If you are not certain these tires are right for you, you can try them with less risk under Yokohama’s 30-day satisfaction guarantee.

Yokohama PARADA Spec-X tires for the Ford Explorer can be purchased through a tire dealer.

Vredestein Quatrac Pro

When I think of a Ford Explorer, a vehicle with ultra-high-performance tires usually doesn’t come to mind.

However, Quatrac Pro tires by Vredestein makes UHP tires more accessible to those wanting more of a driving edge.

Though Vredestein Quatrac Pro tires may not make your Explorer suitable for an actual race track, they can substantially elevate your vehicle’s style.

Even without all the performance and comfort features I’ll go over later, the Quatrac Pro can be a great addition for your Explorer due to its outstanding sporty look.

These Italdesign Giugiaro-designed tires can do more for a vehicle’s looks than many aftermarket accessories like exhaust pipes, lights, and trim.

When performance advantages are factored in, there’s no question that Quatrac Pro are premium tires for a Ford Explorer.

Though Quatrac Pro are UHP tires that can improve acceleration, traction, and braking on standard dry roads, they do a great job at improving performance on wet or snowy roads.

These all-weather tires from Vredestein have dependable handling and braking capabilities on wet surfaces, so you can drive more assuredly when it’s raining outside.

Quatrac Pro tires can also handle very well when a Ford Explorer is being driven through light snow.

These tires were designed with high performance and innovative style in mind, but they also pack solid safety features that can help you maintain stability and control of your car.

Added benefits that come with Vredestein tires include a treadwear warranty, road hazard program, and trial period of 30 days.

Quatrac Pro tire owners will also be protected with a warranty that covers defects in materials and workmanship.

Vredestein Quatrac Pro tires for the Ford Explorer can be purchased online at Tire Rack.

Bridgestone Alenza AS Ultra

The Alenza AS Ultra tire from Bridgestone is known as a luxury tire, but it also packs numerous performance, comfort, and safety features that make it an excellent all-around tire for a Ford Explorer.

Though having a good-looking tire can be fantastic, I will always favor a tire’s capabilities over its aesthetic characteristics.

When I look deeper at the build and craftsmanship of the Alenza AS Ultra, I can appreciate the high-silica compound that enhances the tire’s performance in wet, cold, and snowy conditions.

For added traction in the snow, these tires include streamlined snow vices that help to deliver more reliable grip.

Whether you are driving in the snow or on dry roads, you’ll get long-lasting tread life that can help to minimize your tire expenses.

Bridgestone uses a technology called QuietTrack to keep these all-season tires quiet no matter where your Ford Explorer is being driven.

Though I like the comfortable and high-performing features of these tires, I have just as much appreciation for the safety features of this tire.

The Alenza AS Ultra has excellent braking capabilities on dry, wet, and snowy roads, so I drive with less fear when my family and friends are in the car.

On top of all the outstanding features of this tire, Bridgestone offers amazing warranties and guarantees that make this tire an awesome value.

Bridgestone gives Alenza AS Ultra owners a trial guarantee of 90 days, which is much longer than many other tire trial guarantees.

You will also get an 80,000-mile warranty with this tire, which is quite generous compared to many other tire companies.

Bridgestone Alenza AS Ultra tires for the Ford Explorer can be purchased online at Priority Tire or Amazon.

Bridgestone 255/65R18 111T ALENZA AS ULTRA Highway All Season
  • New High Silica Compound helps deliver improved wet and winter performance
  • Snow Vices help deliver improved winter performance by providing additional grip on snowy roads
  • QuietTrack Technology helps reduce tread pattern noise for a quiet ride
  • Long-Lasting Performance – designed to provide long-lasting wear and backed by a 80,000 mile limited warranty

Falken WildPeak A/T Trail

For Ford Explorer drivers that prefer more off-road driving, the Falken WildPeak A/T Trail might be a solid choice for an all-terrain tire.

Though this Falken tire can perform well in standard dry driving conditions, it really shines when it comes to off-road driving in wet or snowy weather.

A key performance component in these tires is the sipe technology that allows for greater tread depth and more traction in winter weather.

This WildPeak A/T Trail has the USTMA’s three-peak mountain snowflake on it, which means it is rated for severe snow driving.

Just looking at this tire’s 2-ply polyester build and tough sidewalls will tell you a great deal about the durability of these tires.

The tread is made with a silica-enriched compound that enhances tread life within cold or hot temperatures.

If you want tires constructed with advanced defensive features against rocks and other hazardous objects, Falken’s WildPeak A/T Trail is among the best tires in its class at dealing with sharp road objects.

As much as I like Ford Explorer tires that can handle rugged conditions, I value tires that can give me a smooth and quiet ride during daily drives on paved roads and freeways.

WildPeak A/T Trail tires allow me to drive comfortably to my office or fitness center without extreme noise or bumpiness.

To give new tire owners peace of mind, Falken offers a ride guarantee of 30 days that lets you replace the tires if you are not happy with them.

These tires also come with road hazard protection and a tread life warranty that covers 65,000 miles.

Falken WildPeak A/T Trail tires for the Ford Explorer can be purchased online at Amazon or Tire Rack.

Falken Wildpeak A/T Trail 255/65R18 111H
  • Backed by a 65,000 mile limited manufacturer tread life warranty
  • Designed for use on CUVs and smaller SUVs that drive on- and off-road
  • 3D Canyon Sipe Technology and increased tread depth provide more winter traction than a traditional all-season tire

Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady

For a tire as affordable as Goodyear’s Assurance WeatherReady tire, it’s remarkable what kind of technology, engineering, and materials are included.

As the name of this tire suggests, this tire is designed and constructed to take on all weather conditions from very hot to very cold.

A tire with that much versatility requires materials that are flexible enough to quickly adapt to changing conditions.

Assurance WeatherReady tires are made with a soybean-based rubber compound that can maintain flexibility and grip at the same time.

When driving a Ford Explorer in extremely cold weather, it’s important to have tires that aren’t too stiff and won’t fall apart.

The strong and adaptive materials of Assurance WeatherReady tires play a big part in them being certified for severe snow driving.

Though driving safely in the snow is a major priority when I’m in a Ford Explorer, it’s just as important for me to maintain traction, stability, and control when driving on wet surfaces.

Assurance WeatherReady tires are made with Weather Reactive Technology that uses grooves called Evolving Traction that help the tires maintain a solid grip when it’s raining.

These tires also include a technology called Tredlock that can help a Ford Explorer manage tight corners with enhanced handling.

Ford Explorer tires with the best traction capabilities won’t do much good if the tires are not in full contact with the road due to hydroplaning.

To prevent hydroplaning, the tread on Assurance WeatherReady tires have an asymmetric pattern with sweeping grooves that help to move water away from the tires.

Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady tires for the Ford Explorer can be purchased online at Walmart or Amazon.

Goodyear 255/65R18 111T ASSUR WEATHERREADY VSB
  • Speed rating: T
  • Load index: 111.0
  • Load capacity: 2403
  • Section width: 255.0

Frequently Asked Questions

What Makes A Good Tire For The Ford Explorer?

The Ford Explorer is a sizable and powerful SUV that should have strong and versatile tires.

Many modern tires have advanced designs, engineering, and materials that can optimize performance, comfort, and tread wear of Ford Explorer tires.

If you want to drive in a variety of road and weather conditions, you should look for all-season or all-terrain tires that can help you deal with a wider range of driving conditions.

If you don’t plan to venture from standard paved roads, highway tires might deliver better performance and comfort.

Highway tires tend to focus more on delivering the best traction and handling on dry paved roads.

Though some all-terrain tires can perform well on standard flat roads, you will likely get better performance with smoother and quieter rides when using highway tires.

Where Are The Best Places To Buy Tires For A Ford Explorer?

The Ford Explorer is a relatively popular vehicle in most cities across the United States, so it’s very likely you’ll be able to find high-quality tires for a Ford Explorer at your local tire dealer.

You can also find tires for a Ford Explorer at popular online tire stores like Tire Rack, TireBuyer, and Priority Tire. General retail websites like Walmart and Amazon are also good places to find tires for a Ford Explorer.

To make sure you buy genuine tires, you should focus on shopping for tires from reputable retail outlets such as nationwide chain stores and well-known websites.

Though Amazon is a well-known website, the seller you buy your tires from on Amazon might not be reputable. Be sure to research and read reviews about an Amazon seller before buying your Ford Explorer tires from them.

Do I Need All-Terrain Tires For A Ford Explorer

Do I Need All-Terrain Tires For A Ford Explorer?

Though all-terrain tires can be great for a Ford Explorer, you may not need them if you don’t often drive in off-road conditions.

Many modern highway tires that aren’t designed for all-terrain use may perform well when driven in certain off-road areas, so you might be able to get by with tires that are not all-terrain.

If the price for all-terrain tires is slightly higher than standard tires, I’d recommend going for the all-terrain tires to enhance performance, comfort, and safety across a wider range of driving surfaces and conditions.

Since the Ford Explorer is a large vehicle that puts a heavier load on tires compared to more compact vehicles, using all-terrain tires might help to deal with traction, acceleration, and handling issues specific to heavier vehicles.

Key Takeaways

  • The Ford Explorer is a rugged vehicle that can benefit from versatile all-terrain tires.
  • The best tires for a Ford Explorer have strong materials and advanced tread designs.
  • Michelin Defender M/S and Goodyear Assurance MaxLife are among the best Ford Explorer tires.
  • Picking the best tires largely depends on the driver’s expected road and weather conditions.