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Living in a hot and dry climate produces challenges that people in many other parts of the country might never have to encounter on a regular basis, and nowhere is that truer than in the American Southwest. The heat, winds and dry air here can put strains on everything, but especially on your car and tires. Many models that would be just fine in a more temperate climate simply can’t hold up to the strains that Arizona’s unique weather presents, so it’s important to pick ones that fit the bill.

Choosing the right cars and tires that will stand up to the ultimate test of Arizona weather can be difficult to figure out. However, we’ve taken the time to pull together some tips on where customers can at least start their research. Read on for more thoughts about what cars and tires are best suited for the Southwest.

Nokian zLine Ultra-High-Performance Summer
Nokian zLine Ultra-High-Performance Summer
Lifestyle and Side view of Nokian zLine Ultra-High-Performance Summer Tire. Images belong to NokiaTires.com

Tire Choice
Nokian zLine Ultra-High-Performance Summer

One nifty feature of these tires is a system that helps prevent the tire’s sidewall from grazing the moving tire – a rare occurrence, but one that can happen and cause significant damage when it does. Nokian sought to combat this by using a rare proprietary fiber in the sidewall to offer an unparalleled degree of protection.

Also, many people aren’t aware that living in a climate like Arizona means that when rain does come, it usually comes as a monsoon. This creates unsafe conditions of standing water that can lead to hydroplaning. To combat this, these tires feature special channels to help redirect water and assist you in keeping control of the car at all times, even after hitting deep puddles.

Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 Ultra-High Summer Performance
2 views of Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 Ultra-High Summer Performance Tires. Images belong to firestonetire.com

Tire Choice
Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 Ultra-High Summer Performance

If there was one thing that stood out about this tire choice, it would be the high degree of control that they offer to drivers. Desert climates often mean an awful lot of sand on the roadways, and these tires give you the sustained control and maneuverability that you crave—even if you do run into appreciable amounts of debris.

This control also extends to their ability to brake—you’re going to have very short stopping distances with such a highly-engineered tire. This is something all drivers, Southwestern or otherwise, can appreciate. The ability to hit the brakes and feel the car respond instantly offers a peace of mind that’s difficult to articulate, and it can’t be overvalued.

Chevrolet Trailblazer
Zeus Bronze Metallic 2022 Chevrolet Trailblazer

Car Choice
Chevrolet Trailblazer

Year in and year out, Trailblazers are one of the most popular sport utility vehicles in America, and with good reason. Traiblazers live up to their name in many ways—you can rely on them for a good amount of desert driving (if that’s your thing), but they’re also built to handle paved roads in cities and suburbs with ease. Either way, their available all-wheel drive could come in handy to drivers.

They’re a great commuting or family car, as they offer a degree of comfort and safety that many other SUVs can’t always match. They can carry a huge amount of cargo as well, so a camping trip to Joshua Tree or just a soccer practice or two is no match for this vehicle.

Toyota Land Cruiser
Off-White 2022 Toyota Land Cruiser

Car Choice
Toyota Land Cruiser

Land Cruisers are quite a bit bigger than Trailblazers, but they’re more affordable than other cars that are in their enviable class. They feature more luxury than ever before for a car that made its reputation on rugged durability and practicality but make no mistake—the power and toughness of the Land Cruiser brand is still very much evident.

For readers who might have seen old footage of Land Cruisers careening over swamps and savannahs, it should come as no surprise that they’re also fantastic in the desert. They can maintain maneuverability and power over many different types of weathered landscapes and will keep you and your family safe and sound throughout.

Final Thoughts

All in all, picking a proper tire is probably a larger priority if you’re not planning on venturing too much into the desert sands that you can find all over Arizona. If you’re going to keep most of your driving to the cities and suburbs of the state, then the right tires will give you a greater degree of support and safety than most larger trucks and SUVs would that are better fitted to off-roading.

One additional thing to note about tires in Arizona—hot weather means that compressed air expands, which can lead to your tires overinflating as the day goes on and the heat picks up. Make sure to always follow manufacturer specifications and never overinflate your tires and you’ll feel confident in relying on them to always perform for you.