What are the best tires for Southern California?

By: Discount Tire


Locations in Southern California:
 90 (and counting)

First location opening year: 1997

Common Vehicles:  Hybrids, electric vehicles, crossovers, luxury SUVs, exotic sports cars

Major regions/cities: Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, Long Beach, Anaheim, Bakersfield, Palm Springs, Indio

Road Conditions: Potholes, construction, traffic, sporadic rain, seasonal heat

The best tires for Southern California? It’s a big question for a big place. 

From the South Bay to the Valley, from the lights of Hollywood to the mountains of Big Bear and the deserts of Palm Springs, you can be sure we have the perfect tires for wherever you reside in the sprawl of SoCal.

One of the coolest things about Southern California (other than the weather) is how diverse it is. But that can also be a challenge for us, because what you need out of your next set of tires could be totally different than the person next to you when the Five is at a standstill—even if you drive the same vehicle.

Want a more comfortable ride because of all the potholes in your neighborhood? Consider plus-sizing the sidewall height on your next set of tires by upping the section width a size or two. 

Maybe you want to extend the range of your Tesla or electric vehicle? Or get the best possible fuel efficiency out of your Prius? We have a number of great low rolling resistance options that put an emphasis on economy and all-season grip on your commute.

Or maybe you’re living the California dream? When it’s time to drop the top, (all the time) our summer, performance, and performance all-season tires offer predictable and precise handling and can support the power of your sports car when you want to show off.

So we’ll take it from the top in terms of our recommendations for tires when driving in SoCal, but you can be sure that you won’t be short of options when you come to see us. And even more important to note is the fact that our prices are the best in all of California. 

Don’t believe us? We’ll beat the advertised prices of any of our competition on the spot, including Discount Tire Centers, Big O, Les Schwab, American Tire Depot as well as any other mom and pop tire shop in Southern California.

Best All-Season Tires for Southern California

At the end of the day, if there’s one type of tire that can handle anything the roads and highways of California dish out, it’s a good set of all-season tires. But there are a ton to choose from!

If you try out Treadwell™, our tire decision guide can help you find the perfect all-season options for your vehicle. The interesting thing about all-season tires is that there’s an option for pretty much every vehicle on the road in Southern California. Cars, trucks, SUVs, hybrids, EV’s, sports cars, luxury vehicles and more. But that’s also a big part of why we recommend them.

Although the lack of rain has been a little more prominent in SoCal over the last several years, a good shower still isn’t unheard of. Combine that with the marine layer and fog and you still have potentially slippery conditions no matter what you drive or how it’s powered.

In a nutshell, all-season tires are going to cover all your bases in California. Good performance in wet and dry road conditions, quiet and comfortable ride quality, and usually pretty long service life. No need to reinvent the wheel on this one.

Our top three all-season tires include:

 

Best Tires for Fuel Economy Southern California

With some of the more expensive gas in the country, a lot of Californians, it’s no surprise to us when customers ask us for the most fuel-efficient tire available. You know, tires with low rolling resistance, that maximize and even improve on your vehicle’s EPA MPG ratings (or your electric vehicle’s battery range?)

Another good thing about fuel efficient tires is that they have the potential to lower your carbon footprint overall. Think about it: less gas used, less tailpipe emissions. Less electricity used by your EV, less electricity generated from the power plant used to charge your car; less strain on the grid overall.

Consider the Michelin Energy Saver A/S. With the traits of an all-season from one of the best brands in the business, its specially-formulated rubber compound reduces rolling resistance and lightens the load on your vehicle’s drivetrain. With long expectations for its service life, it’s a tire that will help you save on your commute while keeping you safe if the weather takes a turn.

If you want to minimize your environmental impact as much as possible, the Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 is specifically designed to do just that. It’s just like a lot of other low rolling resistance all-season tires, but with a rubber composition that creates as little waste as possible in its manufacturing process.

For a more budget-oriented option, the Hankook Optimo H724 is a great option for your commute or if you use your vehicle for rideshare or food delivery on the side. All-season traction, good braking performance, and balanced ride comfort all in one fuel-efficient package.

Best Performance Tires for Southern California

It’s almost always summertime in SoCal, so if you’re living the good life in fun to drive and you want to carve up Mulholland Drive or Angeles Crest Highway (or drop the top and cruise the PCH) you’re going to be pretty spoiled for options. 

One of our favorites is the  Michelin Pilot Sport 4S. Exceptional traction and control combined with surprisingly plush ride quality in stop and go traffic, there’s a reason why it’s the OE tire for Dual Motor Teslas. It can take all the power and aggressive driving you can throw at it, and is a perfect option for any muscle car, mid-engined exotic, high-dollar sedan (or SUV) and more.

An even more aggressive, track-oriented option is the Toyo Proxes R888R. This is a tire that wants to be driven hard, and is perfect for staggered setups that need to put a lot of RWD power down.

And if you want performance under budget, the Dunlop Direzza DZ102 is a solid choice for the street tuner and autocross enthusiast communities.

At the end of the day, we can help you find the right performance tires for your specific vehicle, driving habits, and even region of Southern California. 

Truck/SUV Tires for Southern California

Maybe you’re trying to get away from the metropolis of LA, or leave the beaches and city of San Diego for the mountains or the desert. 

If you drive a truck or SUV (or CUV), there’s a world of options available to you if your adventures might take you off pavement. 

Start with a set of all-terrain tires. Not only are they going to be awesome off-road, but in a lot of cases they’re even going to improve your ride quality over the bumps, potholes and otherwise rough road conditions on the freeways or the surface streets. 

And when the time comes to head to Big Bear or camp out at Joshua Tree, they’re going to have the rugged strength and tenacious 4x4 grip you’re after. (Plus they’ll make your truck or SUV look awesome.)

Some of our favorite all-terrain tires for Southern California include:

 

Questions? Stop by any Discount Tire location. We’ll be sure to help you find the right tire for your vehicle and get you taken care of!