When discussing car tyres, products are often separated into various “classes” or “segments”. This can confuse drivers and, as a result, there are a lot of myths and misunderstandings surrounding this form of classification.

Since many people consider these classes important to their tyre choice, it’s important to be well informed about what these different classes mean. To help you, we’ve compiled necessary information to help answer common questions regarding these segments.

How Are Tyres Divided?

Tyres are divided into three groups:
 

  • Economy tyres
  • Medium tyres
  • Premium tyres

What Are The Differences Between Classes?

The tyres in different classes each have different price ranges, performance, quality and durability.
 
Generally, it can be assumed that economy class tyres do not offer the best performance, but offer reliable quality and long durability. They are called ‘economy’ due to the low cost associated with them.
 
Premium tyres, on the other hand, generally cost more but offer much higher performance and quality.
 
Medium class tyres, as the name suggest, represents products that fall in between these two other categories. They offer more quality than an economy product, but not as much as a premium class tyre.

How Do I Choose A Tyre Class?

To answer this question, you should first understand what you actually need from your tyre. For example, you should consider the following factors:
 

  • Power: You should not use an economy class tyre on a powerful car.
  • Driving style: economy class tyres should not be used by dynamic drivers, as they are not designed to cope with the additional strain of aggressive motoring.

Are More Expensive, Premium Tyres Worth Buying?

You should consider buying premium or medium class tyres if you any of the following apply to you:

  • You have a high mileage.
  • Large portions of your driving occur outside of cities.
  • You drive a powerful car and need tyres suited to this level of power.

Are Inexpensive, Economy Tyres Worth Buying?

You should consider buying economy-class tyres if any of the following apply to you:

  • You have a low mileage.
  • You mostly drive in cities and urban areas.
  • You have a city car, such as a small compact.
  • You have a calm driving style.

Characterising Each Class Of Tyre

Still not sure on what each class of tyre does? To help you make the best tyre choice, below you can find a brief overview of each tyre segment, including a few sample brands and various example summer tyres and winter tyres in each category.

Economy Tyres

These are best used for city cars and calm drivers, which drive moderate distances in urban areas. These tyres typically offer a low rolling resistance and decent tread wear. They are designed to cope with normal driving environments.
 
Some examples of brands that specialise in economy class tyres include:
 

 
The most popular summer models from these companies include:
 

 
Popular examples of economic winter tyres include:
 

 
There are also a number of reliable Asian brands that specialise in this category. Popular options include:
 


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The Debica Frigo 2: A popular economy tyre choice.

Medium Tyres

These tyres offer a little more performance than economy-class tyres, making them idea for moderate drivers expecting a more moderate performance from their vehicle. They are also suitable for mid-range vehicles and drivers that travel both in and out of urban, city environments.
 
Popular brands that specialise in this segment include:
 

 
Some of the most popular summer products from these brands are:
 

 
The most popular winter models are:
 


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The Uniroyal RainExpert: A popular medium-class tyre choice

Premium Tyres
 

The premium segment represents the most powerful products, making them ideal for high-end vehicles and even the most powerful mid-range options. They should be used by drivers who appreciate top quality performance. These tyres use the best materials and manufacturing technologies available.
 
Premium tyres are produced by a number of leading brands, such as:
 

 
Some of the most popular premium summer models are:
 

 
Popular examples of premium winter tyres include:
 

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Pirelli Sotto Zero: A popular premium-class tyre choice.]