Toyo Open Country R/T Tire Test

    A tweener tire that really works

    Rick PéwéWriterRick PéwéPhotographerEla PetersPhotographer

    Tires are a staple of our industry and one of the most important parts of a Jeep. Without a properly shod 4x4, you won’t be having much fun in the dirt, or mud, or sand, or even highway. That last pavement pickle is the real stickler for 90 percent of our market. We all want gnarly looking and long lasting mudslinging tires that wear like iron and ride like a pillow. Fortunately, this type of tire is actually available now and in all the popular sizes: welcome to the Toyo Open Country R/T. This tire may not be the most aggressive, and it’s probably not the longest lasting (although it’s rated at 45,000 miles), and it’s not the smoothest riding, yet because it still excels in all those areas, it may be the best bang for the buck. This type of tire is known as a “tweener”—not a full mud-rated tire like the Toyo Open Country M/T but not as well mannered as the Open Country A/T. It’s the perfect combination of all of a tire’s good qualities, without the drawbacks, noise, harshness, or weakness.

    We mounted up a set of 37x13.50R17LT on some Method beadlock wheels and headed to the desert to try the tires. Our first surprise was the noise level—or lack thereof. Sure, we drive a big, loud, open Jeep and sometimes need earplugs to save our hearing, but the new meats were surprisingly quiet. We’ve tested many a mud tire on the Jeep and know what noise is, both on and off the road. These tires were quiet at 35 psi as they were at 10 and at speeds from 10 to 75 mph. After a weekend of thrashing them through every terrain but snow, we were pleasantly surprised at the good road manners, great wet and dry pavement traction, super flotation in sand, and mud traction. Our only complaint was that they didn’t flex as well as some smaller tires with a lower load rating, but then again, we were running a D-rated tire on a 4,000-pound Jeep, not a 10,000-pound tow rig. Even at that, the tires flexed well enough in the rock garden to grab and go without any slippage. We figure that given the good wear quality, we will get way more than 45,000 miles on them before it’s time to turn them in.

    Size Tested: 37x13.50R17LT
    Type: Crossover/Mud-Terrain
    Load Range: D
    Maximum Load (lb @ psi): 3,195@50
    Sidewall: Three-ply Duragen
    Tread: Radial steel belted
    Approved Rim Width (in): 8.5-11.0
    Tread Depth (in): 18.9⁄32
    Tread Width (in): 11.0
    Section Width (in): 13.6
    Overall Diameter (in): 36.8
    Weight (lb): 84.0