P-Metric Tires Can’t Hang on the Trail With Mickey Thompson Baja MTZ P3 Light Truck (LT) TiresPosted in How To: Wheels Tires on September 28, 2018
New trucks are more capable than ever, with options like the Raptor, Colorado ZR2, and Tacoma TRD Off-Road all offering plenty of trail prowess. While the Raptor comes with BFGoodrich All-Terrain KO2s and the Colorado ZR2 comes with Goodyear Duratracs, the Tacoma is shod with Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure tires. Not only are these treads incredibly tame, but they are also P-Metric. Know what the P stands for? Passenger. Yes, that’s right, these are passenger car tires.
We understand why Toyota does this. P-Metric tires are lighter and have less rolling resistance than LT (Light Truck) tires, and as such they provide better fuel economy. That isn’t much of a consolation if you get a flat in the middle of nowhere. Fortunately, tires are a lot easier to add to a truck than Crawl Control or locking differentials. Since our stock tires were smoked it was time to upgrade to a tire that was not only a little taller and more aggressive but also significantly stronger than the factory P-Metric tires.
We went from a P-Metric to a P3, in the form of Mickey Thompson’s Baja MTZ P3s with three-ply sidewalls. The choice to run Mickey Thompson Baja MTZ P3s was an easy one. We have run these tires on several trucks in the past and found them to be surprisingly quiet, and we have never had a puncture through one of Mickey Thompson’s Powerply sidewalls. The stock size on our 2016 Tacoma TRD Off-Road is 265/70R16, which works out to 30.6 inches tall. We opted for slightly larger LT265/75R16 (31.9 inches) Mickey Thompson Baja MTZ P3s, which fit on our factory wheels with no rubbing. Mickey Thompson offers the Baja MTZ P3 in 30 sizes up to 40 inches tall, so there is likely one that fits your application.
Of course, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Those larger, more aggressive tires weigh 55 percent more than the factory tires: 54 pounds each versus 35. The added weight has had a modest effect on acceleration and braking, and a more significant effect on fuel economy. We saw our mileage drop from 21 mpg on average to 18 with the new Baja MTZ P3s. We will trade a few miles per gallon for stronger tires that offer increased traction, required zero modifications to our truck, and give us peace of mind on the trail. But as the saying goes, your mileage may vary.
Tire SpecificationsMickey Thompson Baja MTZ P3
Size Tested: LT265/75R16
Load Range: E
Maximum Load (lb): 3,415 at 80 psi
Sidewall Construction: 3-ply
Approved Rim Width (in): 7.0-8.0
Tread Depth (in): 18.5/32
Tread Width (in): 8.4
Section Width (in): 10.7
Overall Diameter (in): 31.9
Weight (lb): 54
Sizes Available: 29 sizes from 31 to 40 inches tall