Mud tires are expected to perform admirably on the most challenging off-road terrain, including deep snow. Few people will expect a mud tire to behave like a touring tire when driven on paved roads. It’s a compromise that all people are willing to expect when they buy a set of mud tires for their pickup trucks, sport-utility vehicles, and hardcore off-road machines.
But the Kenda Klever M/T KR29 wants to be different. Similar to the capabilities of the Kenda A/T, the M/T is supposed to retain all the ruggedness and go-anywhere capabilities of a mud tire with a mild sprinkling of on-road refinement. Considering the price point of the Kenda Klever A/T, all of this sounds too good to be true, or is it?
In this review of the Kenda Klever M/T KR29, I wanted to find out if the bold and ambitious claims of on-road refinement are really true. I was expecting the tires to perform flawlessly on muddy and challenging terrain, but how can the tires cope in terms of high-speed driving, comfort, noise, and wear?
The Kenda Klever M/T KR29 is a heavy-duty mud tire designed to cope with the demands of off-road pickup trucks and SUVs. The tire is constructed using an improved and more durable tread compound to promote toughness and outstanding durability in all types of off-road driving applications.
The most apparent feature of the Kenda Klever M/T KR29 are the radiated shoulder lugs. This feature will serve to increase traction on sand, mud, or snow, even of the tires are deflated to a lower tire pressure. The shoulder lugs are also designed to be self-cleaning to constantly maintain traction even on wet and thick mud.
The aggressive and chunky treads are equipped with sipes to increase the biting edges on the tread surface. The tire is constructed with a double-steel belted design to promote durability with lasting and even tire wear.
My test vehicle for this Kenda Klever M/T KR29 review is a 2012 RAM 1500 SLT Quad Cab equipped with the 4.7-liter V8 gasoline motor and 6-speed automatic transmission. My test vehicle is bone stock except for the aftermarket 17-inch wheels and Kenda Klever M/T KR29 tires. I was excited to get cracking since this is my first time behind the wheel of a RAM pickup truck.
The tires felt confident in the dry. Acceleration and braking were strong even as I hauled the heavy truck to a full stop from average speeds. The steering also felt precise and communicative despite the size of my test vehicle. I never imagined the steering of the RAM to be similar to a sporty SUV, but it seems the tires had a lot to do with how the steering feels when driven on dry, paved roads.
It would be foolish to pilot the RAM at high speeds on a wet road, but the tires felt relentless as I sped on an empty patch of slippery tarmac peppered with water puddles and loose dirt. The tires felt they can take more than just a slight drizzle. I didn’t feel the tires were breaking traction even as I drove over muddy and rocky terrain, either. When it comes to wet and dry traction, the Klever M/T KR29 is one of the best I have tested considering the lower price point of the tires.
Traction in the snow is highly impressive, too. The Kenda Klever M/T KR29 tires gave me the assurance that I can safely navigate over deep snow. I was able to test the tires on roads covered with more than 3 to 4 inches of snow and I never felt the tires were hunting for traction even as I was a bit too aggressive with the throttle and steering. Overall, the tires felt good on snow and ice.
The Kenda Klever M/T KR29 tires are not the epitome of highway comfort. The ride actually felt a bit stiffer than I was expecting but it wasn’t too bad to give me backaches during my test drive. The suspension felt unsettled when you’re driving at high speed, but the ride will settle down once you traverse over a rough patch of road. If this sounds like the tires are more comfortable on the off-road than on smooth roads, you are correct.
Kenda claims the Klever M/T KR29 will roll quietly on paved roads, and they weren’t kidding. However, don’t expect the tires to be as silent as a mausoleum. The tires were a bit more subdued than the other mud tires that I tested, but the road noise and tire roar will intensify as you pile on the speed. In all fairness, the tires were indeed muffled at slow speeds, and that’s impressive.
This is where the problem starts. The Kenda Klever M/T KR29 tires fitted to my test vehicle were only about 4 months old (average of 2,500 or so miles) but there were already signs of accelerated wear on the chunky treads. Even though the wear pattern wear pattern was evenly distributed across the face of the treads, I find it hard to believe that the tires are capable of lasting 60,000 miles, which also happens to be the tread wear warranty offered on the tires.
The Kenda Klever M/T KR29 comes highly recommended despite the short tread life. If you are really bothered by this, you should consider the price of the Klever A/T and compare it with the top name brands. Prices start at around $140 to $150 each, which is less than half of what you can expect to pay from a similar set of mud tires from other famous brands.
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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