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With pickup trucks and SUVs dominating roadways nowadays, all-terrain tires are certainly in demand. Choosing a replacement set can be a daunting task, as this segment is absolutely packed with choices. Jonathan Benson at Tyre Reviews knows a thing or two about testing tires, and he accepted the herculean task of evaluating nine all-terrain brands in nearly every situation imaginable.
In this instance, it really is a massive effort because proper testing requires equal conditions for accurate results. That's not a problem on pavement, but dirt and gravel courses change after every pass. To eliminate the variables, the dirt course Benson used was resurfaced after each individual tire session, giving each brand a fair shot on a smooth road. And to make sure the tires were exercised properly, his test vehicle was an older V8-powered Ford F-150 Raptor.
As for the testing, Benson explains his tire choices are on the milder side of all-terrain, as those are most common on passenger vehicles that often see more use on pavement than off. The tests include wet and dry performance, wet and dry braking, gravel performance, dirt performance, noise and comfort, and rolling resistance.
All tires in the test are the same size, 275/65 R18. The specific brands include:
The video at the top of this article features the results of the testing sessions, but with something as subjective as tires, simple numbers don't tell the whole story. A quick summary finds Continental and Firestone performing best in the wet, with Goodyear and Pirelli best on dry pavement. Off-road, BFGoodrich has no rival, though Firestone is also good. Continental scores well for noise, and is also runner-up for comfort behind Yokohama. As overall winners, the video singles out Goodyear, Continental, and Firestone.
However, Benson stresses that tire performance is quite subjective. Drivers spending more time off pavement would likely prefer the BFGoodrich or Pirelli. The video does a fantastic job of explaining everything from subtle nuances during driving to overall tire character, and an article at Tire-reviews even allows people to adjust metrics to find the best all-terrain tires for their situation.
We've talked up tires with Benson a few times on the Rambling About Cars podcast. Check out his most recent visit in the episode below.