Update 2023-10-24: To find out which of these are best in the snow, and how they compare to an all season and full winter tyre, please read the all terrain snow test here.
In this test I'll be testing nine of the most popular all terrain tyres to see which has the most grip in the dry, wet, AND offroad, and also to see which uses the least gas, and which has the best comfort and lowest noise in the real world. Basically, everything you'll ever need to know about these all terrain tyres!
Due to the sheer range of all terrain tyres in this tyre size, there's definitely tyres I've missed that I wanted to test, I'm sure you'll let me know your missing favorites in the comments, and if you know the all terrain tyre market well you'll know these are all from the mild end of the all terrain tyre spectrum which are designed to spend more time on-road than their aggressive all terrain brothers! If this test performs well, I'll of course do aggressive all terrain and mud terrain tests in the future.
On test we have the BFGoodrich Trail Terrain TA, Continental Terrain Contact AT, Firestone Destination A/T2, Goodyear Wrangler All Terrain Adventure, Nitto Terra Grappler G2, Pirelli Scorpion All Terrain plus, Toyo Open Country A/T III, Travelstar Ecopath AT, and the Yokohama Geolander AT G015.
On the road, it's the wet grip of the tyre that can really make a difference in an emergency situation which is why I feel wet braking and wet handling tests are very important tests of any tyre, including all terrain!
Only one tyre of the group made the raptor difficult to drive that was the Nitto, with the average of the three laps nearly 89 seconds. The balance was fine, but it really didn't want to grip longitudinally or laterally, and was the only tyre I out braked myself so badly I ended up leaving the course. Fortunately this is no problem for a Raptor, but on the road that's less than ideal.
Next up was the BFGoodrich, it had nice steering, and a safe understeer balance, the rear was very stable, but you were just waiting for the understeer to quit before getting on the power so the lap time was slow.
Toyo and Pirelli were next in the 84 second mark, and while they were close in time, they were very different to drive. The Toyo was a confusing tyre, difficult to drive quickly due to limited feedback, and once you were sliding it took a while to recover. The Pirelli conversely was a joy to drive, it felt almost sporty, certainly the most direct of the pack and an enjoyable experience.
The Travelstar finished fifth, another tyre with a lot of understeer and not much detail through the steering wheel, but the grip was good, impressive for the price point!
Goodyear and Yokohama were next. Like the Pirelli, the Goodyear was a really nice rounded tyre to drive, good grip, predictable, the Raptor went where you wanted it to go, just a rounded experience. The Yokohama on the other hand, excellent grip, especially on the brakes, but just lacked feedback and understeered a bit more than its main rivals.
The final two tyres were the Firestone and Continental. These tyres were almost tied on time, the Continental had a fraction of a lead, but they too delivered it in different ways. While the Firestone was fast and had loads of grip, it was a little numb and had more understeer than the Conti. The Continental was just a great tyre to drive, whatever you asked for it. Predictable grip, good communication at the limit, progressive past the limit. Considering this is a mild all terrain tyre, I'm very impressed!
In a repeat of wet handling, Nitto and BFGoodrich were at the back of the dry handling times. They didn't feel bad to drive, none of the tyres did, but they were slightly sluggish to react to inputs and didn't offer the most feedback.
The rest of the tyres were all within a second of each other, and honestly there wasn't a huge spread subjectively either below the limit or beyond. If I had to declare a winner, it would be the Goodyear as the steering was quick and direct and loaded up nicely, with the Firestone, Pirelli, Nitto and Travelstar being the next group of very good tyres.
The Conti and Yoko all felt fairly similar with slightly less responsive steering, and the Toyo felt the least precise, though the margins were small. None of the tyres failed the lane change stability exercise and none gave me any surprises on any of the 33 laps completed.
Gravel is an interesting test and very hard to do right! As a little insight, because of the damage I do to the track in my 3 lap run, which takes 3 minutes, the track needs 20 minutes of combing and fixing the surface between tyres to make sure it's the same for every tyre.
Also, I'm going to score off road a little differently to dry and wet. When using your vehicle offroad, you're less likely to need max out handling or emergency avoidance, so I'm going to give more score weight to how the tyre is subjectively, which is how the tyre reacts to your inputs, especially the sub limit. I have of course done max handling laps so you'll know which gives you the most grip too, so we should have all the bases covered. And caveat, it's very close between all the tyres.
The most difficult tyres to get around the lap were the Continental, Nitto and Yokohama. All three tyres felt like they had low grip sublimit, and the Continental was particularly bad as the rear would come around more quickly than any other tyre. This improved as you got faster, and while the grip was there you really had to work for it. Nitto was a bit better past the limit, but did like to slide too.
Goodyear and Pirelli were next in handling, I thought both of these, and the Nitto would do really well because of the tread pattern, but I guess there's more to it than that! There were better sublimit, but both lacked a little grip compared to the best.
Firestone and Travelstar were both very good, if anything it felt like the Travelstar had the edge, they were both responsive sublimit and had good levels of grip, but the stars of the show were BFGoodrich and Toyo. BFGoodrich is an off road brand, and it really showed here, as it had the fastest lap and the most impressive braking, turning and balance both sublimit, and doing big fun slides like these. If you live at the end of a long gravel drive, this is the tyre to have.
Like gravel, dirt is a very difficult surface to test on. I would go as far to say even more difficult to get consistent timings as some of it is hardpack, some of it is very dusty, some of it gets rutted, the list goes on, however as the group was extremely close we must be doing something right.
The BFGoodrich and Toyo were again the standouts on dirt, with the Nitto and Yoko again struggling. The rest of the group were all very close on time, with the Conti and Pirelli probably my favorites to drive quickly as they were just a little more predictable and responsive.
Pulling it back to everyday life, I think noise and comfort is very important for these tyres, and while none of the tyres were super loud and crashy as some all terrain and mud terrain tyres can be, there was definitely a spread.
The "not very good" award goes to the budget travel star tyre. As impressive as it's been so far in the test, it was let down as the only tyre with really intrusive pattern noise at speed, and it really did rattle the cabin over the impact strips and potholes.
Nitto and Toyo were the next pair of tyres, both having some audible noise in the cabin and feeling pretty firm in comfort, with the nitto noisy in a straight line and very noisy when turning left, but not right. Strange.
BFGoodrich and Goodyear were a step up again in noise and comfort, and I'm going to put the Pirelli in this group too as even though it felt like quite a firm tyre, it didn't have any secondary event after a big impact like the other tyres so it didn't feel as crashy overall. Abrupt but honest feeling. I appreciate this.
The Continental and Firestone were both impressive tyres in terms of noise and comfort, though the firestone did have a little tread pattern noise when turning, but was extremely quiet in a straight line. However, if you want the most comfortable and quietest mild all terrain tyre, it has to be the Yokohama. This was mega impressive, and while testing blind, I always instantly knew I was on the yokohama as it was a standout from the group in terms of comfort and in cabin refinement. Impressive job.
With gas prices as crazy as they are, the rolling resistance of a tyre, which is how much a tyre contributes to your gas bill, is very important. There wasn't a massive gap between the tyres, just under 13% which is around 3% difference in the real world, but over 60,000 miles those differences can add up! Firestone, BFgoodrich and Pirelli had the lowest rolling resistance, and Yokohama, Continental and Nitto had the highest of the group.
As all terrain tyres mean different things to different people, there's no one best tyre for everyone. As we have to present the results in some sort of order, we've used a score weighting we feel suits the intention of a mild all terrain tyre, i.e. more on road then off road. However, we've also just finished an update to the tyre reviews website where you can go and adjust the score weighting based on your own needs to see which tyre is best for you. I highly recommend you do that as it gives you total control in finding the best all terrain tyre for you. You can find it linked below.
Very short wet braking and good wet handling, high aquaplaning resistance, very good off road, low noise, good levels of comfort, lowest rolling resistance on test.
Long dry braking and slow dry handling with slow reactions to steering inputs.
The Firestone Destination A/T2 finished just 0.03% ahead of the Continental, but with a slightly different personality. Like the Continental it was exceptional in all the wet tests, but unlike the TerrainContact AT it was also one of the best tires in the off road tests. It also had an excellent level of comfort, low noise, and the lowest rolling resistance on test which is a fantastic combination of things. The negatives of the tire, it couldn't keep up with the Conti in the dry, and its steering response wasn't the best of the group. Like the Goodyear and Continental, this is the final tire we're putting the tire reviews highly recommended stamp on, and a very good road bias all terrain tire.
Best in wet handling, shortest wet braking distance, good aquaplaning resistance, shortest dry braking, good dry handling time, good on dirt, lowest noise on test, excellent levels of comfort.
Oversteer handling balance on gravel, high rolling resistance.
The Continental TerrainContact AT was the best tire in the wet grip tests with the best wet handling and shortest wet braking, good aquaplaning resistance, shortest dry braking, very good dry handling, and some of the lowest noise levels and best comfort on test. Where could the tire be better? It had a disappointingly high rolling resistance, and while the lap time on gravel finished mid pack, sublimit subjectively it was hindered by slow to react steering and a wandering rear axle. A very very good tire, with peak safety in both the braking tests. We highly recommend this tire and this is exactly what we think a mild AT tire should be.
Very good in the wet grip tests, best in dry handling with short dry braking, very good on dirt, low noise.
Low aquaplaning resistance, average gravel performance.
The Goodyear Wrangler All Terrain Adventure looks like it would struggle on the road with its blocky tread pattern, but it was exceptional in the dry and wet grip tests. It was also fine on gravel, very good on dirt, had low noise levels, good levels of comfort, and one of the most enjoyable tires to drive! The only drawback was its limited aquaplaning resistance and average rolling resistance, but we'd definitely fit it. Highly recommended, this is one of the best all round tires on test.
Good aquaplaning resistance with reasonable wet handling, very good dry handling, good on dirt, low rolling resistance.
High levels of noise, firm ride comfort.
The Pirelli Scorpion All Terrain plus might be one of the older tires in the group, but as a mild AT tire it ticked all the boxes with a great performance in the dry, acceptable in the wet, and a very low rolling resistance. It wasn't the best off road in terms of grip, but wasn't a million miles off and it was subjectively an enjoyable tire to drive on. We liked the character of this tyre, and if aggressive looking shoulders are your thing, this was one of the meatier ones.
Excellent in the wet with short wet braking, good handling and high aquaplaning resistance, best comfort on test, low noise.
Limited grip in the dry and on gravel, high rolling resistance.
The Yokohama Geolander AT G015 is probably the most road biased looking AT tire in this test, and it had a performance to match its looks! It was one of the best in the wet, but did struggle a little in the dry. It was average off-road, but it was by far the most comfortable tire on test and had a low noise level. The real let down, as one of the newer tires on test, it had one of the highest rolling resistance levels, meaning it'll cost you more at the pumps. Still recommended though, a really good product for someone who only does light off roading.
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Good wet handling, best aquaplaning resistance on test, good dry braking, good gravel performance, low price.
Extended wet braking, very high levels of noise with harsh ride comfort.
The Travelstar Eco path AT All Terrain is manufactured by a Chinese company called Unicorn Tyre, and it turned out to be an actual unicorn - a budget Chinese tyre that actually performed ok! It was the best tyre in the deep water hydroplaning tests, and very good in dry braking and in gravel.
It was however let down in wet braking, on dirt, and was a very noisy tire so even at the price, there's probably better purchases out there.
Very good off-road, good dry handling, low rolling resistance.
Limited wet performance with high levels of aquaplaning, poor comfort, high noise.
The Toyo Open Country A/T III was a similar tire to the BFGoodrich, in that it had a better off-road performance than its on-road grip, but it did brake better in the dry and wet which is why it finished higher overall. It certainly wasn't as refined as the BFG, with more nose, less comfort and a higher rolling resistance.
Best off road with fastest lap and excellent handling, low noise, good levels of comfort, very low rolling resistance.
Reduced on-road performance with long braking distances in the dry and wet and low grip in the handling tests.
The BFGoodrich Trail Terrain TA was the king of the offroad in this test and is the tire from this group we'd fit if we spent a lot of time offroad. However, it wasn't up to scratch in the dry and wet, and does make us wonder… if you spend a lot of time offroad, why not fit the hugely popular KO2... That said, it does have a very low rolling resistance, so if you want a good off road tyre with low gas use and low noise in the cabin, this is a good choice, just be mindful of it's on road performance.
Extremely long wet braking, slowest wet handling with difficult balance, slowest in dry handling, average offroad performance, noisy, highest rolling resistance on test.
The Nitto Terra Grappler G2 might not be the most expensive tire of the group, but we expected more from the Nitto brand. Sadly, the Terra Grappler was out classed on nearly every surface, and most worryingly had extremely long wet braking, stopping the F150 over 16 meters longer than the best of the group - when the best tire in the test had you stopped safely, you'll still be traveling 27 mph on the Nitto from just 50 mph.