You got to congratulate Toyota when it comes to satisfying the needs of off-road fans around the world. Their portfolio of SUVs and trucks is second to none. As a matter of fact, one can argue that they have absolutely the best SUVs in the world. The 4Runner is an excellent example of that. Beloved by SUV fans in the USA, the 4Runner is a staple in the American culture thanks to the outstanding off-road abilities, and best-in-class reliability and ruggedness.
A big part of having the most exceptional off-road traction with the Toyota 4Runner is tires. The best tires for Toyota 4Runner will offer outstanding traction in most off-road conditions, but it should also provide functional on-road abilities. While most 4Runner owners use their vehicles to drive over different types of terrain, they still use them mostly on the road. And with a powerful and smooth V6 engine in the front, and lot of space inside for passenger and cargo, the 4Runner is a capable mile-eater.
Considering the fact that different people have different needs and live in areas with different climates, choosing a set of tires may be a chore for some. To help you select the best tires for Toyota 4Runner, I created a Top 10 list where you can find all types of tires that might be suited to the 4Runner. Before we jump to the list though, let’s see what is the best tire type for you.
What to look for when choosing a set of tires for Toyota 4Runner?
Most SUV and crossover owners buy their vehicles for the image they display, and then for the practicality, space, and functionality. A small number of buyers decide to buy SUVs for the all-terrain capabilities, and that’s true even for those who opt for a 4×4 system. However, that’s mostly not the case with 4Runner buyers, who choose this vehicle precisely because it offers outstanding off-road capabilities. Off-road enthusiasts if you like.
That’s why the best tires for Toyota 4Runner must be able to offer all-terrain capabilities, while also being quiet and comfortable enough on the road.
These requirements are only satisfied with all-terrain tires. These tires are specially designed to offer good off-road abilities, but also to be quiet and comfortable on the road, and have high levels of traction in most weather conditions. Most all-terrain tires are also all-season tires, which means that they should work both in warm and cold weather, while some of them even have light-snow capabilities. They should also be strong and durable – you certainly wouldn’t want to replace your tires after driving in off-road conditions after ten miles.
However, while all-terrain tires are suitable for most people when it comes to off-road abilities, they are certainly not perfect. With all-terrain tires, you can tackle most types of terrains, but for serious off-roading, like for example in mud or over big rocks, you will need mud-terrain or hardcore off-road tires. These tires will give you absolutely the best traction on the terrain they were designed to tackle, and they will also be the most durable.
However, mud-terrain tires don’t offer enough traction and grip on the road – certainly, not at the level a modern driver is used to, and they can be extremely loud on the highway. These specially designed off-road tires will also have an adverse effect on the fuel economy and the performance of the 4Runner. On the other hand, mud-terrain and off-road tires will look the part – they have a much more aggressive and deep tread pattern that some drivers are drawn to.
For those that want maximum off-road capability, 33-inch and 35-inch tires are definitely the best options out there and a popular choice with 4Runner owners. These tires have bigger sidewalls, which means that they can be driven at lower pressures and to provide outstanding traction in most off-road conditions, and also be more durable. That said, all things that are negative about mud-terrain and off-road tires are highlighted here – expect your fuel economy to fall even more and the noise on the highway to be unbearable.
If you want a smooth and quiet driving experience on the road, highway tires are the best choice. This type of tires is similar to grand-touring tires used on sedans and coupes, with the only difference that they’re designed for SUVs, trucks, and crossovers. Replace your all-terrain tires with highway tires and your 4Runner will instantly become quieter, especially on the highway, and the ride quality will also be improved.
Handling is another area where you will instantly feel improvement thanks to the more responsive nature of highway tires, while traction and grip will also be improved. In the end, most highway tires are designed with fuel economy in mind, so expect improvements there as well. They also have extended warranties and tread life if driven exclusively on the road. Please note that most highway tires are of the all-season variety, which means that they can be used in colder conditions and light snow.
Those who live in areas with harsh winters, though, should seriously think about winter tires, because highway tires offer only limited traction in snow. The best winter tires for Toyota 4Runner will provide outstanding traction in both light and deep snow, and also improvements in how the SUV handles on the road when the temperature falls below zero.
After you have learned everything there is to know about tires for Toyota 4Runner, let’s start with our list. I’ve tried to include every type of tire on the list, so everybody can find their favorites. In other words, don’t just rush and choose the first one, as it may not suit your particular needs.
Top 10 Best Tires for Toyota 4Runner Recommendation
1. BF Goodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2
Best all terrain tires for Toyota 4Runner
It is almost universally accepted by now that the BF Goodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 is the best all-terrain tire for SUVs, period. Designed with off-road driving in mind, the All-Terrain T/A KO2 is the best choice for 4Runner drivers who value off-road traction but also want a comfortable and long-lasting on-road tire.
The reason why the All-Terrain T/A KO2 is beloved by enthusiasts is the outstanding off-road abilities, which closely match what a real off-road tire offers. Thanks to the racing-derived tread compound that is cut, chip and tear resistant, this BF Goodrich masterpiece provides the toughness that is associated with specialized off-road tires.
The computer-optimized tread pattern with innovative siping and loose object ejection, on the other hand, provides the driver with outstanding traction in most off-road conditions. Durability is further improved with the help of the Sidewall Armor, which features a more robust sidewall compound. The sidewall is equipped with Serrated Shoulder Design which adds extra biting edges for more precise steering in deep dirt, sand or rock.
All these improvements make the All-Terrain T/A KO2 usable on almost every terrain, including mud-terrain, which is not something most of the competitors can achieve. Oh, and the BF Goodrich also comes with 50,000-mile tread warranty, which is longer than any other all-terrain tire on the market right now.
Now, a lot of other tires on the market offer excellent off-road abilities, but none of them combines that with excellent on-road performance as good as the BF Goodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2. Handling is responsive for an all-terrain tire, traction is useful both in dry and wet conditions, and grip is excellent even at higher speeds. Most importantly, the All-Terrain T/A KO2 is comfortable and quiet for an all-terrain tire.
Unlike most all-terrain tires, it’s even 3PMSF rated for light snow driving. Sure, it won’t replace a proper snow tire, but for most people, it will be good enough. A real jack of all trades!
2. BF Goodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM3
Best mud tires for Toyota 4Runner
What the All-Terrain T/A KO2 is for all-terrain driving, the Mud-Terrain T/A KM3 is for mud-terrain driving. Both tires really show which manufacturer is the best when it comes to SUV tires, especially those for serious off-road enthusiasts. Extremely capable on almost every terrain, and especially in mud, the T/A KM3 is a tire that will satisfy the needs of the most hardcore off-road dwellers out there.
The reason why this tire is so good (and popular) lies behind the Krawl-Tek compound, which is derived from the racing division of BF Goodrich. This advanced compound enhances traction and drivability on rock and slick surfaces, even though this tire is primarily marketed as mud-terrain. Mud driving is covered with the Terrain-Attack tread design – with a set of BF Goodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM3 tires; your 4Runner will never get stuck in the mud again!
Interestingly, even though it is incredible in mud, the BF Goodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM3 is not at its best in the snow – it lacks the biting edges winter or snow tires have to be able to tackle more difficult winter conditions. The tread compound also doesn’t react as good to freezing conditions.
On the road, this tire is as good as you can expect from a mud-terrain focused one. Noise can be an issue at the highway, even though the tire is pretty comfortable. Handling is not as responsive as a modern driver would like, and traction is limited when driving aggressively. On the positive side, this is one seriously durable tire, equipped with tread grooves that eject small stones.
3. Michelin Defender LTX M/S
Best highway tires for Toyota 4Runner
If you’re not very interested in off-road driving and only use your 4Runner for on-road duties, then the best tire is the Michelin Defender LTX. Popular with SUV and crossover drivers around the world, the Defender LTX offers an unmatched combination of durability, traction, and comfort in one package. The only area where the Defender LTX is not exemplary is the price, which is higher than other competitors in the category, but other than that, it is devoid of any disadvantages.
Michelin achieved this using the Evertread compound, which helps the tire be more durable and better when cornering. Additionally, the high-density Active Sipes help in harsh weather, the lateral grooves for better water drainage, while the MaxTouch construction that evens the force over the entire tire, thus making it more stable at higher speeds, even with a lot of weight on its shoulders.
In the real world, this means that traction is outstanding in warm and cold weather, dry or wet. The grip is also very high for a highway tire while handling responsiveness is also on a very high level. Comfort is another area where this tire excels – it is smooth over bumps and supremely quiet at higher speeds. The 70,000-mile tread wear warranty is the icing on the pretty fantastic cake here.
4. Dick Cepek Extreme Country
Best budget off-road tires for Toyota 4Runner
If you thought that off-road tires cost a fortune, then think again – the Dick Cepek Extreme Country is a very capable off-road tire that comes at a fraction of the price of premium tires. Despite the lower price, it still offers outstanding off-road abilities in most conditions.
The Dick Cepek Extreme Country has very deep treads which look great on vehicles such as the 4Runner, but more importantly, they make this tire capable of tackling mud, rocks, and gravel with ease. The best thing about the Extreme Country is that it is M/S rated (mad and snow), which means that it is equally good in the winter. With the Dick Cepek Extreme Country, you can be certain that your 4Runner will not get stuck regardless of the terrain.
Durability is also strong with this tire – it comes equipped with stone ejectors and puncture-resistant casing. That said, it can be pretty loud on the highway, while handling is also limited, especially at higher speeds.
5. Kumho Road Venture AT51
Best budget all terrain tires for Toyota 4Runner
Owners of older 4Runner’s might not want to spend a fortune on all-terrain tires such as the BF Goodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2. Despite that, I’m sure they will want a capable tire to tackle almost every terrain possible and the best one on the market is the Kumho Road Venture AT51. This tire is very popular with drivers of older SUVs, and it’s easy to see why – it comes with outstanding 55,000-mile tread warranty, and it has a lower price point than other all-terrain tires.
Made of new dual silica tread compound, the Road Venture AT51 is also resistant to punctures, cuts and bruising – very important for a tire that will be used in harsh off-road conditions. And you will want to use it there, too, because it offers excellent traction. The full-depth stepped circumferential grooves are great for gravel roads, while the tapered tread blocks give better clean out capabilities for other types of off-road driving. The AT51 is even good in light snow.
Kumho made sure that the Road Venture is also good on the road, where it offers pretty good handling abilities paired with a quiet ride. The ride quality suffers when compared to the best-in-class all-terrain tires, though, and the same can be said for mud-terrain driving.
6. Yokohama YK HTX
Best all season tires for Toyota 4Runner
The Yokohama YK HTX is somewhat cheaper than other on-road all-season tires for the 4Runner, but it is still one of the best in its category. Made of a compound rich in silica content and orange oil, the YK HTX is both responsive and precise in warm weather, and pliable and soft in colder weather. This means that it is a truly all-season tire which works regardless of the weather outside. This is an all-season tire in the true sense of the word – it provides the driver with precise handling in dry conditions, excellent traction in wet conditions, and even very good traction in snow.
Comfort is also on a very high level here, while noise is mostly suppressed on the highway. Paired with the excellent 70,000-mile tread warranty, these characteristics make the Yokohama YK HTX one of the best tires for 4Runner owners who use their vehicles exclusively on the road. As with other on-road focused tires, the Yokohama doesn’t offer enough traction in off-road conditions.
7. Bridgestone Dueler A/T Revo 2
Best road-focused all terrain tires for Toyota 4Runner
While the BF Goodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 is the best all-terrain tire when it comes to off-road abilities, there are some models that have better on-road capabilities, such as the Bridgestone Dueler A/T Revo 2. The Japanese competitors is still very much an all-terrain tire, which means that it is capable of tackling any terrain you can encounter, but it is more road-focused than other tires in this category.
Thanks to the symmetric tread pattern, which admittedly doesn’t look as aggressive as the one on the BF Goodrich, this tire offers exemplary on-road handling and road holding. The lightweight design improves acceleration and braking, while also making the handling more responsive. The advanced tread compound works its magic in dry conditions, both warm and cold, giving the driver enough traction and grip for a more focused and aggressive driving experience.
The Bridgestone is excellent in the wet, too, thanks to the open shoulders that evacuate water from the tire, and Semi-Stealth design technology that combines water evacuation with higher tread stiffness. Overall, this means that you get a very capable on-road tire that is closely matched to highway tires and touring tires when it comes to the way it drives. The only gripe I have is the slightly worse snow traction, but that is expected in this category.
For most drivers, the Dueler A/T Revo 2 will be a very capable off-road tire as well. Traction is good in light off-road conditions, while the hexagon-shaped bead improves toughness so you don’t have to worry about tackling those rocky sections. The 50,000-mile tread warranty is outstanding as well – up there with the best all-terrain tires in the category.
8. Cooper Discoverer HTP
Best road tires for Toyota 4Runner
If you use your 4Runner mostly on the road, then the Cooper Discoverer HTP ticks all the boxes. It is very durable, offers excellent traction in all conditions, and it is even quiet and comfortable. Thanks to the asymmetrical tread design, the Discoverer HTP offers great traction, grip, and handling in both wet and dry weather. It is even good in light snow, which is another big plus. Quietness is another aspect why you would want to consider a set of these tires, especially considering the lower price. The 65,000-mile tread warranty is the icing on the cake here!
9. General Tire Grabber AT2
Another great all terrain budget alternative
Luckily, the market today is flooded with good all-terrain options, which is why I’ve included another one in this list. The General Tire Grabber AT2 offers excellent off-road abilities – one of the best in the all-terrain category, while also costing a fraction of the price of its competitors. Designed for any type of terrain, in the real world, the Grabber AT2 is especially good on rocky terrains, gravel, and sand. It is also capable of tackling light snow, which is another plus for the price. On-road handling is pretty good too, with high levels of traction and grip. That said, this is not the quietest tire out there and might be annoying on the highway.
10. Goodyear Wrangler MT/R Kevlar
Best 33-inch tires for Toyota 4Runner
We’re finishing the list with the best 33-inch tires for Toyota 4Runner, aimed at the most hardcore off-road enthusiasts. These tires will not only elevate your vehicle so that it can tackle more serious terrain, but they also offer unparalleled off-road traction and durability. The Wrangler MT/R Kevlar it offers great traction on gravel, in mud and snow, and on rocky terrain. The Kevlar reinforcement and hardworking wraparound tread help with longevity as well – this is one of the longest-lasting off-road tires out there. As expected, on-road performance will be severely limited here, but honestly, that is not something that off-road enthusiasts are often worried about.
As you can see, most tires serve different purposes and are incomparable to each other. In other words, choose your best tires for Toyota 4Runner according to your lifestyle and the weather in your area. The list above is certainly a good place to start, as it contains the best tires in most categories 4Runner owners should be concerned about.