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Gaining Ground: A Look At Firestone’s New Destination M/T2 Mud Tire

Posted in Product Reviews on July 11, 2017
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Fifteen years ago Firestone took a big step forward in the traction tire market with the introduction of the Destination M/T. It was well accepted at the time, and still commands a decent following more than a decade-and-a-half later, but it’s old technology that has been playing follow the leader for years.

That changes as of July 2017. Firestone has put a new face on mud with the release of the Destination M/T2, which we had the opportunity to get a preview of during a daylong outing putting the tire to the test on the muddy backroads at Overland Experts’ 8,600-acre training center in Orange, Virginia.

We wheeled a dozen identical 2017 Jeep Wrangler Rubicons over the same roads, trails, and off-road obstacles as Special Forces and other military and commercial students, and learned advanced driving skills and 4x4 self-recovery techniques. Most of the JKs were shod with the new M/T2s, while a few were running on new BFGoodrich Mud Terrain T/A KM2s. It was a good test of the new second-generation Firestone against a formidable competitor.

What we learned from our initial seat-of-the-pants experience driving on both tires is the Destination M/T2 has a slight advantage over the BFGs in both off-camber traction and negotiating wet, rocky terrain. Stone and mud ejectors help keep the tread clear of debris, and 23-degree attack angles give the tire strong pulling power. An all-new tread compound, three-ply sidewall construction, and more aggressive upper sidewall design give the Destination M/T2 increased traction in mud and offer stronger resistance to chips and tears. The new Firestones also appear as though they would do well in snow, with sipes cut into the tread blocks and a slightly softer tread compound from the previous generation. Those are significant off-road performance increases from the original version.

When it comes to flat-out throwing mud on the level or straight line, the M/T2 is far better than the old version, but lacks the heavy open cleats that give the KM2s a slightly better grip in the sticky muck.

“The Firestone Destination M/T2 tire is the ultimate tire for adventure-seekers looking to get the most performance out of their truck or Jeep,” said Erik Seidel, president, consumer replacement tire sales, U.S. and Canada, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations. “Overlanders and weekend warriors expect their tires to perform across a wide range of intense conditions, and the Destination M/T2 delivers an incredible off-road driving experience. We built a tough tire that attacks the terrain.”

The second-gen Destination M/T2 showed very good tractive abilities on muddy sidehill tracks.

Available in 29 sizes for 15–22-inch wheels, the Firestone Destination M/T2 tire will replace the Firestone Destination M/T tire and offers increased size coverage compared to the first-generation product offering. Firestone is standing behind their promise the new Destination M/T2 tire will deliver by backing them with a Gold Pledge Limited Warranty and the Firestone 30-Day Buy & Try Guarantee.

We plan on slipping a set of the M/T2s on a fullsize SUV for a long-term evaluation, putting them against real-world, daily driving over the next few months. We’ll let you know how they fare when the dust, mud, sand, and snow settle.

We tested the new Firestone mud tires over a variety of terrain including a quarter-mile route along a narrow, boulder-strewn creek. The M/T2s performed excellent in that situation.
We like the new tread pattern, which is more aggressive than the old version. Note the sipes in the tread blocks, which Firestone says aids snow traction.
Where we found the M/T2 to excel is in muddy, rocky terrain. When put in this type of off-road setting the Destination M/T2s showed both good grip and cleaning ability.
A day driving a variety of trails in challenging conditions, made even more challenging by driving with open differentials, showed us Firestone’s tire designers have brought the Destination mud tires back to the forefront when it comes to traction tires suited for everyday use.

Sources

Firestone Tire
Akron, OH
216-796-2121
http://www.firestonetire.com/
Overland Experts
overlandexperts.com

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