In this test drive and review of the Falken Wildpeak A/T3W, I got the chance to test drive a 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited AWD with the 2.4-liter four-cylinder motor paired with a smooth 9-speed automatic transmission.
The Falken Wildpeak A/T3W has a solid following in the off-road community. Many will say that this is an excellent all-terrain tire that can handle deep snow, while others say the tire turns civilized when you are driving on the open road.
Falken was the first to say that the Wildpeak A/T3W was designed to outshine its rivals in three main aspects: winter performance, wear, and wet capabilities. It is also important to note that the Falken Wildpeak A/T3W is recognized by the Rubber Manufacturer’s Association and is worthy of the Three Peak Mountain Snowflake or 3PMSF symbol for extreme snow performance. If you happen to be searching for an all-terrain tire that excels in the snow, you have come to the right place.
All-terrain tires from previous generations were stellar in the off-road, but they were harsh and crude on the highway. Falken utilized all the tricks in the book to produce an all-terrain and all-season tire that will behave smoothly on civilized roads. The result of this is the go-anywhere Wildpeak A/T3W.
The Falken Wildpeak A/T3W is engineered with an outer apex sidewall with heat diffuser technology. This will protect the inner casing of the tire against excess heat so the tire maintains a decent level of traction and grip in extreme driving environments.
This tire is also equipped with an aggressive upper sidewall found just below the offset shoulder blocks. This design will protect the tire from cuts, scratches, and punctures when traversing over rocky terrain. It will also provide more traction at low tire pressures as it will serve to extend the biting surface of the tire on soft sand or off-camber surfaces.
The Falken Wildpeak A/T3W is also touted to have the deepest treads in the all-terrain category. Deeper treads will improve the wear characteristics of the tire while providing deeper channels to quickly channel water or snow away from the tread surface. The reinforced tread blocks are equipped with support ramps and step-down features to prevent stones and other debris from being trapped inside the grooves.
Finally, this all-terrain tire is constructed using a silica-enriched polymer compound that provides impressive tread life and better performance in the wet.
This is not my first time to drive the 2014 Jeep Cherokee, but it is my first time to test the vehicle in the wilderness. I also got the chance to test the Falken Wildpeak A/T3W tires in the snow.
Traction and grip were evident whether you’re on the beaten path or cruising quietly on the highway. The steering of the Cherokee felt a bit more precise and there seems to be more bite as I crept slowly to safely navigate over themildly rough terrain.
I only felt the tires spin to hunt for traction as the rear wheels plunged deep in themuddy soil as I tried to avoid a large rock formation in front of the Cherokee, but the tires soon regained their composure and got back on track with a slight prod of the throttle pedal.
By the time I was on my way home from the test drive, the highway was drenched with water puddles. This was not a problem for the Falken Wildpeak A/T3W.
The tires simply glided over wet concrete and I never felt them break traction as I splashed over a deep puddle at highway speeds. The steering remained dead straight even when the tires over slippery wet asphalt.
Overall, I was impressed with the dry and wet performance of the Falken Wilkdpeak A/T3W.
The real test of a chunky all-terrain tire is to take it over moderately deep snow. Falken made it clear that the Willdpeak A/T3W is designed to excel and outlast the competition in the snow.
In this regard, I am proud to report that the tires felt magnificent on snowy or icy pavement. I never felt the tires lose control of the surface as I drove other inches of snow. Credit also goes to the Cherokee since the AWD system performed flawlessly when I needed it most.
The Falken Wildpeak A/T3W was one of the most comfortable all-terrain tires I have tried so far. You will be surprised at the comfort and refinement of the Jeep Cherokee when paired with this tire.
The softer tread compound paid off in this regard as the tires remained comfy even when the vehicle was crawling over rugged terrain.
The Falken Wildpeak A/T3W also gets a high score in terms of refinement. The tires were pleasantly silent as I cruised the Jeep on the highway, and they remained muffled as I aggressively drove over therough and uneven terrain.
The owner of the Jeep Cherokee even said the Falken tires were quieter than his old Bridgestone all-terrain tires on all types of road surfaces. This is high praise for a tire that costs less than the aforementioned brand.
I also bring good news in terms of tread wear. The Falken Wildpeak A/T3W tires on my Cherokee had minimal signs of wear even after 6,000 miles of mixed off-road and on-road driving. This is atestament to the engineering and design of the tires in providing maximum all-season traction with the wear characteristics of a touring tire. This also gives the tires terrific value since you are basically paying less money for a set of Falken Wildpeak A/T3W tires.
Falken stayed true to the promise of an all-terrain tire that performs incredibly well on wet and snow-covered roads while having the long tread life of a touring tire.
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Alvin Reyes has expertise in automotive evaluation. He collaborated with famous newspapers and is still making efforts in tire review for DrivingPress.com