Those four patches of rubber are the only things that connect your vehicle to the road beneath you. That is why we stress the importance of tires, and it is no surprise that they are one of the first items that most off-roaders upgrade on their rigs. But what if you didn’t have to? Tires represent a large financial investment, and vehicle manufacturers are taking note of this and outfitting their vehicles with some excellent tires straight from the factory. Here are the tires and wheels that our SUV of the Year and Pickup Truck of the Year competitors for 2017 are shod with.
The Four Wheeler of the Year competition has a reputation for killing tires. It happens when you push vehicles to their limits off-road.
The best of the bunch are the BFGoodrich All-Terrain KO2s offered on the Ford Raptor. In addition to being an aggressive all-terrain with a three-ply sidewall, the LT315/70R17 BFGs are the largest in the test, at 34.8 inches tall. They are mounted on forged aluminum rims that offer the ability to be easily converted to beadlocks with a new clamping ring.
The King Ranch Super Duty comes with 20-inch rims wrapped in LT275/65R20 load range E Michelin LTX tires. Even with a 20-inch rim there is still plenty of sidewall on this 34-inch-tall tire.
The Trailhawk edition of the Grand Cherokee comes with 265/60R18 Goodyear Wrangler tires that are 30.5-inches tall. The air suspension and 18x8 aluminum wheels will likely accommodate a slightly larger tire without any fitment issues.
The Nissan Armada Platinum comes outfitted more for luxury and handling than off-road prowess. Still, the P275/60R20 Bridgestone Duelers are 33 inches tall and provide plenty of ground clearance, even if they do have a street-oriented tread design. We would just prefer a 17- or 18-inch rim that provided more sidewall height.
The Nissan Titan PRO-4X comes shod with P275/70R18 General Grabber APT tires mounted on 18-inch alloy rims. We like the 33.2-inch height of these tires but would prefer that this fullsize truck came with an LT tire rather than P-metric.
The Nissan Titan XD PRO-4X actually comes with a slightly smaller LT275/65R18 tire when compared to the 1/2-ton Titan. The tire is actually an inch shorter (32.1 inches), but we appreciate that the heavier duty XD truck comes with an LT-rated General Grabber APT instead of a P-metric tire.
The Ram 2500 Laramie Longhorn comes equipped with LT275/70R18 Firestone Transforce ATs that measure 33.1-inches tall. These are load range E tires that are well suited to this 3/4-ton truck. While not quite as tall as the Michelins on the Super Duty, we appreciate that the Ram comes with 18-inch wheels for increased sidewall height.
The Ram Power Wagon comes with arguably the most aggressive tires in the test: Goodyear Wrangler DuraTracs. The LT285/70R17D DuraTracs are load range D tires that measure 33 inches tall.
The Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro comes with the same model Goodyear Wranglers as the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk. The Tacoma’s tires are the same height as the Jeep’s at 30.5 inches, but are mounted on 16-inch rims instead of 18s. The 16-inch TRD alloy wheels are the smallest in the test, and the P265/70R16 Goodyears are only P-metric rated. On a truck designed for the desert, we would prefer an LT tire.