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When it comes to off-road performance through an SUV or truck, often the quality of tires installed determines how well the vehicle performs. That’s why it’s vital to understand how to shop for mud-terrain and all-terrain tires, and to pick the best product suited to your specific needs. Below is my comparison of the Toyo Open Country M/T Performance tires and the Nitto Trail Grappler Performance M/T tire. Both are built for off-roading, but each does some things better than the other. Keep reading to learn what.
What to Consider When Buying One
Below are the major considerations to keep in mind when purchasing off-road tires. The tires who meet more of these considerations are worth considering more than the others.
Traction and Handling
By far the most important feature of off-road tires is how well they perform on dirt, gravel, sand, and mud when driving around. The tire that offers the most dependable level of traction is likely the superior off-roading option in general. It’s also to consider how each tire handles on a smooth paved surface because you’ll undoubtedly have to cross a few now and then with your new tires installed.
When buying tires it’s important to consider how long the tires will last after your purchase. While it’s difficult to predict the lifespan of a tire perfectly, past customer experiences can give you a good idea of what to expect. Consider which tires are going to last longer, and make sure to think about the lifespan of each set of tires when looking at things like price to decide which is the best value overall.
Even though off-road tires are designed for use off standard paved roads you’ll likely have to drive them over paved surfaces before you get to your destination. If this is true for you, you’re going to care about road noise and just how loud or quiet your off-road tires are when taken over a smooth paved surface. Aggressive all-terrain and mud-terrain style tires tend to be loud on smooth paved surfaces in general, so consider noise when making your purchase if who sort of thing is important.
The cost of the tire really helps to determine whether it’s a worthwhile purchase or not. Tires that cost 50% more than other tires would have to last 50% longer to be justified for their price. That’s the sort of comparisons you should be making to help you find the highest quality set of off-roading tires.
By making each of these different considerations it will be a bit easier to choose quality mud-terrain tires designed for rough driving conditions and regular off-roading performance.
Toyo Open Country MT Overview
Nitto Trail Grappler Overview
The Nitto Trail Grappler is a mud terrain tire who features rough blocky tread for gripping loose driving surfaces and is protected by a dual sidewall design for enhanced durability on rough trail conditions. This tire is also supposed to be nice and quiet when used on standard paved roads, something that isn’t always true for mud terrain tires.
Credibility and Durability
To determine the best set of mud-terrain tires it’s important to consider what features they have to offer and how they perform on and off paved roads. Below is a quick comparison of the two tires and how they hold up in standard driving conditions.
Open Country MT
Toyo Open Country MT tires are known for their long-lasting off-road performance and tend to wear more slowly when driven over hard terrain than the Nitto Trail Grappler tires do. They come equipped with durable 3-ply casing everywhere and are reinforced with polyester for maximum durability.
Nitto Trail Grappler
The Nitto Trail Grappler is a more rugged and high-performance off-roading tire with a slightly more aggressive tread block pattern for more reliable traction generation while driving through mud or dirt. The Nitto tires are slightly more durable than the Open Country option because they benefit from 3-ply casing construction all around, while the Toyo’s only have 3-ply casing on the sidewalls and 2-ply elsewhere.
Open Country MT
These tires are the quieter of the two on paved surfaces but they offer poorer traction on wet pavement despite their siped tread blocks, making them more difficult to drive during rainy conditions. This could be due in part to their harder compound than the Nitto tires. They vibrate less intensely than the Nitto tires do, and likely boost fuel-efficiency on the road compared to the Nitto tires. These tires feature a spaced tread pattern designed to encourage dirt and rocks to be ejected during intense driving to help maintain traction over time.
Nitto Trail Grappler
These off-road tires are slightly louder than the Open Country tires are on paved surfaces, but still, a manageable volume while driving at highway speeds. They also offer superior wet traction than the Open Country tires do on paved surfaces and feature distinct siping on each of the individual tread blocks to prevent hydroplaning. These Nitto Trail Grappler off-road tires come equipped with spaced block tread sections who eject rocks and mud reliably during driving sessions to help maximize traction.
When comparing two different sets of tires the price difference is always going to be used as the main tool for comparison purposes. There is a pretty major price difference between these Nitto tires and Toyo tires. The Toyos are designed to last longer, but they’re significantly more expensive than the Nitto tires are as well. It’s crucial to consider the price difference between the two tires before making your purchasing decision, and then to decide which is the better value after considering how long each set of tires is likely to last during use.
For quiet on-road performance with decent off-road dependability, the Nitto tires are an excellent option and they’re also the option that you can choose to help you save some money off your tire purchase. If you’re looking for the longest-lasting tires, the most aggressive off-road performance and you aren’t concerned about price or ride volume so much the Toyo Open Country M/T tires are pretty impressive. They’re a good long-term investment and a tire who can be counted on for off-road performance, though they can get a bit slippery on damp paved surfaces.
About Jerry Ford
Jerry Ford started his vehiculareer as a freelance writer for Australian Associated Press. A wide variety of outdoor interests (off-road driving among them) brought him to car magazines. He has a distinguished career as a print and broadcast reporter and editor with over 25 years of experience writing about the car industry, best practices and new technologies.