Your car came with the right size tire on it for the vast majority of your needs.
Wider tires use more fuel, are more likely to hydroplane and hunt more while driving straight. Lower profile tires can cause increased chances of bent wheels due to the New England roads.
Tread compounds and compound quality as well as tread shape span directly relate to the life of a tire. A new compound tire with no treads cut in it, will hold the road best as long as there is absolutely no water on the ground. A soft compound tire will hold the road best and wear the fastest. A hard compound tire will wear like iron but won't stick well under any condition. Tread design's job is to get the water out of the way or to dig through the snow to get a firm footing. Tread design is also responsible for the amount of noise a tire produces and affects the lifespan of a tire. Unfortunately any tread on dry pavement will flex which compromises dry footing.