Can an all-terrain tire roll as smoothly and quietly as a tire with highway treads? That was the big question I was looking to answer in this Toyo Open Country A/T II Review.
I am not particularly favorable of large trucks and sport-utility vehicles. I find them too big and too complicated for my city-based lifestyle. I have nothing against these behemoths. In fact, I appreciate the macho and rugged appeal of pickup trucks, and I admire the space and cargo carrying capabilities of large SUVs.
If I were to have a truck, I would most certainly choose all-terrain over highway-terrain tires. Chunkier tires will enhance the go-anywhere capabilities of your Silverado, RAM, or F-150 while making them look more aggressive on all sides.
My test vehicle for this Toyo Open Country A/T II review is a 2014 Ford F-150 STX 4-door SuperCab. The rig is equipped with a lift kit, aftermarket off-road suspension, and the 302-horsepower 3.7-liter EcoBoost V6. The truck is also fitted with 20-inch wheels and Toyo Open Country A/T tires. In short, the truck means business.
The owner of the badass F-150 is an off-road enthusiast who does a lot of highway driving on a daily basis. He particularly chose the Toyo Open Country A/T because of two main factors: cost and on-road capabilities. The looks alone will leave no doubts about the off-road capabilities of the tire, but is it also capable to silently and comfortably cruise on the highway? Not all tires designed for all-terrain driving can boast that claim, and that’s what I’m here to find out.
Mind you, the Toyo Open Country A/T tires fitted on my test vehicle were not exactly cheap, but they cost less than variants from Michelin or Bridgestone. A 20-inch Open Country A/T II from Toyo will set you back about $340 a piece. Of course, you will pay less if your truck or SUV is fitted with smaller diameter stock OEM wheels.
Toyo claims unparalleled versatility with the Toyo Open Country A/T II. They did it by combining a wear-resistant tread compound with an open tread block design. The tire has deep tread grooves with specially-designed stone-ejecting blocks to offer superior off-road performance and durability.
The tire is engineered with tie bars between the tread blocks that improves wet and dry braking while helping to reduce irregular tire wear. If this sounds like the features of a highway tire then you’re right. The Toyo Open Country A/T II is a highway tire in disguise since it rolls silently while offering impressive off-road capabilities.
The Toyo Open Country A/T II is available in three shoulder designs. You can choose P-Metric, LT-Metric, and Xtreme sizes in 15” to 22” diameters for a wide array of applications.
Since I am not exactly an off-road type of driver, I had no plans to test the Toyo Open Country A/T tires on challenging terrain. I was more particular about the on-road behavior of the tire. However, the owner of the F-150 brought me to a rough country road near the end of our test drive. This gave me the chance to discover all the fascinating merits of the tires.
I have nothing bad to report when it comes to dry traction since I never felt the tires skipped a beat. Whether you’re on the highway or traversing over rough patches of terrain, the Toyo Open Country A/T II tires will give you the confidence to forge ahead. But not on deep mud or anything that will resemble thick slush.
Wet traction was admirable. In fact, it was pretty good. But don’t expect the Toyo Open Country A/T II to grip like an ultra-high performance tire in the wet, particularly at above average speeds. It also performed well on loose, damp soil peppered with sharp rocks and wet sand.
I didn’t get the chance to test the Toyo Open Country A/T II in the snow, but the owner told me the tires can handle inches of snow with no problems at all. Deep snow will prove challenging but it still offers a modicum of grip so you can inch forward without feeling the tires losing traction.
I was pleasantly surprised about the ride comfort of the Toyo Open Country A/T II tires. It can also be attributed to the magnificent off-road suspension fitted to my ride, but the tires were compliant on all types of road surfaces, whether on-road or off-road. But this tire is not the best in terms of comfort, and I think the Kumho Road Venture AT51 still offers better on-road comfort overall.
Toyo made good on the promise of lesser tire roar in the Open Country A/T II. The tires rolled silently on city streets and they managed to remain muffled as I sped on the freeway. Due to the lifted nature of my test vehicle, I wasn’t brave enough to climb to silly speeds, but the tires were quiet enough on moderate speeds to merit a high score.
The Toyo Open Country A/T II tires fitted on the F-150 were purchased three months ago. At the time of this writing, the tires have accumulated an estimated 1,200 miles. The owner of my badass test vehicle had nothing bad to say about the durability of the tires, either. He’s never had a flat or a puncture, and he never had cuts or abrasions on the tires.
I was impressed with the on-road and off-road capabilities of the Toyo Open Country A/T II. I guess this tire is one of the reasons why some people are still apprehensive in purchasing a cheaper set of all-terrain tires from a relatively unknown brand.
Yes, the Toyo Open Country A/T II commands a higher price but it delivers on all fronts. It now belongs in my shortlist as one of the best all-terrain tires for trucks and SUVs.
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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