Spend any time on the UK’s roads and you’ll probably have noticed how popular SUVs, 4x4s and Crossover vehicles are. Did you know that they account for 25% of all new cars sold in Europe? Many new buyers would previously have purchased hatchbacks and estates, but not anymore. There’s so much more variation available now in the car segment. Not so long ago things were simple – there was one size, and it was big.
If you’re in the market for one of these vehicles, there are now seven different SUV categories, encompassing everything from “large” – such as the Hyundai Sante Fe – to “small” – think Kia Soul. But the majority of drivers tend to opt for a very popular vehicle segment known as “compact” SUVs, and here the Nissan Qashqai is king.
4x4s, SUVs and Crossovers require special tyres, and in our latest tyre safety article the Asda Tyres team examine what to look out for, and why.
So why are SUVs, 4x4s and Crossovers popular?
Good question. When asked, most SUV drivers tend to say one of two things: Either “my family is safer in an SUV…” or “I really like the higher driving position”. Interestingly, you don’t usually hear “I love off-road driving”.
What do you use your vehicle for?
It’s important, since your answer to this question determines which tyres are right for you.
Mainly typical, on-road driving?
If you say you mainly use your SUV, 4×4 or Crossover for the school run, the expert team at Asda Tyres will recommend one that’s designed primarily for road use. Exampes include Continental’s ContiSportContact 5 SUV or the ContiPremiumContact 5 SUV.
The ContiSportContact 5 SUV is a popular choice because it offers perfect grip and optimal handling in every driving situation, delivering short braking distances on both dry and wet surfaces. It’s also offers a very comfortable driving experience, as well as improved rolling resistance.
The ContiPremiumContact 5 SUV featuring ContiSeal™ offers superb road grip and handling, delivering safety when cornering. It provides drivers with shorter braking distances in all weather conditions – especially in the wet – and reduced fuel consumption and high mileage.
These tyres are designed primarily for driving on roads. They offer drivers a quieter, noticeably more comfortable drive, and provide reduced fuel consumption thanks to what’s known as “low rolling resistance”. And while they’re also fine for some light adventures off-road, it’s worth remembering that they’re first and foremost designed for the urban driving environment.
Are you mainly driving off-road?
Yes? Well if you live on a farm in the countryside, or spend significant time driving in fields, open land, loose tracks or woods, your tyre choice should reflect your need for extra grip. Consider a tyre like the Continental CrossContact AT.
The CrossContact AT provides drivers with increased wet traction, as well as superior braking on slippery surfaces, improved overall durability, and substantial road noise reduction. Since you won’t just be confined to off-road, it’s worth noting that this tyre is very good on paved roads too, where the tyres also need to perform well. The Continental CrossContact AT is a great high performance all-round tyre.
If you can, always choose OE – Original Equipment
OE – Original Equipment – tyres are the ones that your car manufacturer fitted to your SUV, 4×4 or Crossover when you bought it new. Original Equipment are specifically designed for that vehicle, following a prolonged and comprehensive development process with premium tyre makers, such as Continental.
You’ll find Continental OE on a wide range of 4×4, SUV and Crossovers. Why? Because OE tyres are optimised to work with – and bring out – the driving characteristics of your specific vehicle. As a result, Original Equipment tyres enhance the capabilities of your vehicle, providing you with superior handling, braking and driving performance.
What about driver safety?
The role tyres play in terms of road safety is still by and large under-valued by many motorists. It really shouldn’t be.
Why? Because your tyres are the only contact your SUV, 4×4 or Crossover has with the road and – no matter what other safety features your vehicle may have, like airbags – when it comes down to keeping you safe it’s the quality of the tyres that really count.
With SUVs, 4x4s and Crossovers you need to remember that these vehicles are typically heavier than normal cars. They have a higher centre of gravity, and as a result this places extra demands on the tyres. Whatever tyre choice you make, they need to keep you and your passengers safe by dispersing water off the road surface as effectively as possible, so that they can provide you with the grip you need to be able to stop exactly when you need to.
Speak to Asda Tyres for 4×4, SUV and Crossover tyre advice and support
To learn more about this topic – and for impartial advice on the best SUV, 4×4 or Crossover tyre choice for you, get professional tyre advice from Asda Tyres. Our tyre professionals can offer you expert fitting solutions, and more. Click here to live chat to one of our experts, or find your nearest fitting station.