ABSTRACT The contact patch between tire and road surface has a direct impact on tire grounding performance. Acquiring tire grounding performance either by testing or simulation is not only time intensive but comes at a high cost. This paper proposes an effective means of evaluating tire grounding performance based on the tire-ground contact pressure distribution. This paper adopts fifteen characteristics to describe the tire-ground contact patch in which twelve structural schemes were designed for a certain type of tire. By using the simulation test method, the grounding performance characteristics such as grip performance, rolling resistance, wear performance, and the tire footprint characteristics were obtained. Correlation analysis was used to explore the relationship between tire grounding performance and footprint characteristics. Based on the correlation analysis and expert judgement, the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) model for comprehensive grounding performance evaluation of a tire was constructed. Then judgment matrix of the AHP model was established, and the consistency or otherwise of the judgment matrix was verified. The model was then used to evaluate and predict the four design schemes of tires. The evaluation results were in good agreement with the simulation test results, which shows that the construction method of the tire comprehensive grounding performance evaluation system proposed in this paper is practical. It is also evident that grounding performance evaluation of a tire based on the tire footprint is feasible.