By on December 13, 2019

best suv/truck tires

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Tire manufacturers have long since figured out there is a market for task-specific truck and SUV rubber. Sometimes those tasks take drivers over obstacles at Moab and other times it merely involves that gravel patch in the driveway that was supposed to be fixed last week. Better call the contractor, ASAP.

We’ve chosen a selection of tires available from the lads at TireBuyer.com that are good fit for most trucks and SUVs. Their mission may differ, however – some of the rubber on this list is aggressive off-road kit while others are best served tooling around the side streets of Beverly Hills. Whatever you select for your ride is up to yourself.

With that legal mumbo jumbo out of the way, here are a few options presented in alphabetical order.

(Editor’s note: As noted above, this post is meant to both help you be an informed shopper for automotive products but also to pay for our ‘90s sedan shopping habits operating expenses. Some of you don’t find these posts fun, but they help pay for Junkyard Finds, Rare Rides, Piston Slaps, and whatever else. Thanks for reading.)


1. BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2

bfgoodrich all terrain t/a ko2

Talking about truck and SUV tires without mentioning the mighty KO2 is akin to talking about racing greats without mentioning Schumacher. These well-designed hoops were arguably one of the first examples to inject a bit of aggro style into the off-road segment, or at least one of the first to popularize it and bring it to the masses.

Triangle-shaped stone ejectors kick rocks out of the tread voids to prevent the things from drilling into the rubber and causing a leak. Those lines in between the shoulder blocks are designed to flex slightly, breaking the vacuum created when mud is packed into the tread, allowing the gunk to fly away from the tire. This improves traction and looks great in pictures. The latter is very important, don’tcha know.

Pros: Packed with off-road tech, great aggressive looks

Cons: You’ll hardly be unique on the trail

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2. Falken Wildpeak H/T

falken wildpeak h/t

Different in mission from the BFGs listed above, the H/T in these Falken tires stands for Highway Terrain. The company says it is engineered to provide strong handling on the road and long-lasting, even wear over the long haul.

The Wildpeak H/T gets good marks on wet roads, thanks to tread sipes and grooves that enhance wet grip and evacuate water, helping to prevent hydroplaning. Its non-directional tread means you can ask your mechanic to rotate all four of these hoops to a new corner of your truck or SUV, extending their life and promoting even wear. If you’re always hitting the highway in your truck or SUV, this tire is a strong choice.

Pros: Positive real-world reviews, 60k mile warranty

Cons: Not a great off-road choice

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3. General Grabber AT2

general grabber at2

Don’t let the milquetoast brand name of General make you think these tires are simply an all-around choice with no outstanding features. The Grabber AT2 line is designed with an innovative 5-rib pattern so you can explore rocks, mud, or sand in your off-road rig. An acoustic tread pattern reduces the trademark paved road ‘zing’ plaguing so many of these types of tires.

General calls its rubber compound Duragen which sounds like a thing in Terminator but is actually a secret blend of ingredients designed to provide excellent cut and chip resistance. It is also said to maintain flexibility in cold temperatures, so it makes sense why these tires have good reviews for performance in the snow.

Pros: Robust off-road and towing cred, pinned for winter studs

Cons: No sizes over 18 inches

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4. Nitto Ridge Grappler

nitto ridge grappler

This tire’s name reminds your author of the old-school Ridge Racer game from the PS1 era. Vintage electronics aside, these tires combine the best of Nitto’s all-terrain and mud-terrain technology to produce a rugged beast of a tire that’s ready for just about anything. Shoulder grooves are arranged in alternating widths and lengths to clear mud and maintain traction.

The Ridge Grappler is equally at home playing in the dirt or the mud, thanks to rugged tread that bites into dirt and gravel, keeping traction in tough terrain. Because you have to get back on the highway at some point, Ridge Grappler has a tread design that won’t beat you up on tarmac once you depart from the wilderness

Pros: Looks the business, 85 sizes (including a gonzo 24-inch option)

Cons: Can be eye-wateringly expensive

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5. Toyo Open Country H/T II

toyo open country h/t ii

Another entrant into the primarily on-road game is this H/T variant of the Open Country line from Toyo. As such, its speaking points are primarily skewed towards features like wear resistance and silent operation. Those circumferential grooves help evacuate water efficiently to maintain traction in the wet, for example.

Still, this ain’t exactly an invisible wallflower. Light truck and SUV owners will appreciate the dual sidewall design – sporty on one side, classic on the other – which lets them choose the look that complements their vehicle. You know which one I’d select.

Pros: Two sidewall designs, big warranty and trial offer

Cons: Not handy for a trip along Moab

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6. Uniroyal Laredo Cross Country

uniroyal laredo cross country

We’re including this small-batch tire for two reasons. First, it has a traditional look to both the tread and sidewall which appeals to more than a few customers. Second, while its size catalog is tiny, it includes diameters which are perfect for someone fitting new rubber to a restored pickup or SUV from years gone by. Not everyone runs 24s.

Open tread grooves should get the job done in rain or snow. The manufacturer says these tires are able to handle light off-roading and the rigors of highway driving, a good combination for someone who likes going up to their cottage on weekends in their classic truck.

Pros: Great option for those having a hard time finding a 15-inch tire

Cons: Less warranty than others on this list, limited sizes

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[Images by the manufacturer; Lead image: Evannovostro/Shutterstock.com]

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17 Comments on “No Sized, Large: Best SUV/Truck Tires...”


  • avatar
    rpol35

    “Don’t let the milquetoast brand name of General make you think these tires are simply an all-around choice with no outstanding features.”

    You clearly have no experience with General tires.

    • 0 avatar
      CKNSLS Sierra SLT

      rpol35
      There are 100 upon 100s of positive reviews on the General RT43 (passenger/SUV) and the Grabber HTS and AT tires.

      Walmart sells A TON OF the Grabber STX-same tire as the HTS with a different tread pattern.

      So-I’m really not sure what kind of experience(s) you are referring too.

    • 0 avatar
      Tele Vision

      I have Grabber AT2s ( not studded ) on my 2010 F-150. They’re 10-ply, which is good, and they’re great on gravel and fresh snow. They are utter pucks on packed snow and, obviously, ice. Winter tires these are not. They’d perform better with studs on the above but, with forward assist and good braking practices, they’re manageable in a Western Canadian Winter – and have been just that for the five years I’ve had them mounted. Time for a rotation, though. I do look forward to large dumps of snow, I admit, as these tires grab like a cat on the curtains in that fresh stuff.

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    Does Michelin’s exclusion from the list mean that they’ve started applying sustainable technology to their previously-excellent truck tires?

    • 0 avatar
      ToolGuy

      As you are aware, Michelin has moved from brand-building to the “brand harvesting” phase (large price increases, ‘decontenting’ of the chemical goo to the point where observed treadwear pretty much sucks).

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        I’m aware that their ‘low rolling resistance’ tires have a lot in common with half-worn versions of cheap tires, but I didn’t know that they’d gotten around to ruining their LT tires.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Still my favorite LT tires of the ones I’ve owned.

    Hercules Terra Trac AT II – https://www.herculestire.com/tire-details/Hercules/Terra-Trac-AT-II

    Worst? Pep Boys Dakota AT

  • avatar
    dont.fit.in.cars

    Cooper Discoverer AT3-XLT Load 129/126S 4080 lb of sidewall.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Good article if you have the right type of truck or suv that these tires will fit. Many midsize trucks have more limited choice which if anyone who owns a first generation Colorado has much less choice especially in a 4×4. Only 2 brands to choose from one is a Goodyear.

  • avatar
    Sackajacka

    I really love the Continental TerrainContact A/T. They have a great combination of road manners with a more aggressive tread and look. I barely got 20k miles on the last set of Michelins and these Contis are barely worn after 20k. https://www.continentaltire.com/product/terraincontact-22560r17-99h

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      I’ve read nothing but praise for those Continentals in the forums. Tire Rack included them in a comparison review with three more aggressive AT tires last year in which the Continentals won across the board on pavement but were terrible in the snow.

  • avatar
    sayahh

    Does AT and A/T stand for “all-terrain”? What does T/A stand for?

    • 0 avatar
      ToddAtlasF1

      Trans Am, which translates as across America. It was a racing series for cars with back seats and also a car with a screaming chicken on the hood. BF Goodrich, maker of the Radial T/A tire, was once the Trans Am racing series sponsor.

  • avatar
    Dan

    I’ve used a lot of these.

    Firestone Destination ATs. Liked these. Not great in the snow. Quiet for an AT and they used to sell for like 100 bucks a corner.

    Bridgestone RH-S. Liked these too. Tread life isn’t great. OEM on Wranglers and GM 1500s so Craigslist has been full of cheap takeoffs forever.

    Michelin MS2s. My gold standard. Great in the rain, good in the winter, dead quiet, and they last forever.

    BFG KO2s. Scary in the rain. Surprisingly quiet and good on pavement otherwise for an aggressive AT.

    Goodyear Wrangler SR-As. Came with my ’14 Ram. Sucked. Wore down fast and were no good in the rain.

    Goodyear Fortitude. Came with my ’16 Ford. OK. Great tread life and good in the rain but suck in snow and got loud for a highway tire.

    Michelin Defender. Just replaced the Fortitudes. Seem exactly the same as the MS2s other than that they now cost $1000 a set.

    • 0 avatar
      TimK

      The Michelin Defender is a good tire, quiet at speed, good on wet roads — but — my set only lasted 45K miles, far short of the 60K they claim. Yes they have a warranty (pro rated) — but— the price is now ~ $200 per, so no great savings.

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