Shopping for Toyota 4Runner tires? There are two things you need to keep in mind. The first is that while this SUV is a more-than-capable off-roader, there is nothing in its owner’s manual barring you from using it for everyday driving. Don’t believe anyone who tells you otherwise.
Now that you have this information, make it reflect in your tire choices. Don’t go around believing that all-terrain tires are the only ones suitable for this vehicle, a belief held by many first-time 4Runner buyers. You can pick touring, highway, and even performance tires for this SUV.
This leads us to the second thing you must keep in mind. Just because you can install performance tires on the 4Runner doesn’t mean you should. These models have poor fuel economies and last less than half as long as touring tires, costing more in the short and long term.
Luckily, this article is here to help. This comprehensive guide will provide you with reviews of the 11 best tires for Toyota 4Runner. We’ll highlight areas where our picks excel as well as those where they could do better. So that you can pick tires meeting your requirements.
#1. Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza Plus – Best Overall
Have you grown tired of replacing tires every few years? Here’s some much-needed good news for you. The Dueler H/L Alenza Plus won’t need replacement anytime soon. This model’s 80,000-mile treadwear warranty means it can easily last 5, 6 years.
A symmetric tread pattern guarantees more good news. This tread pattern is famous for its ability to soak up vibrations for a comfortable ride. It also deflects road noise for a quiet driving experience. Plus, its low rolling resistance translates into enhanced fuel economy.
Parallel grooves evacuate water from the tread area to reduce the risk of hydroplaning. Separate from them, a knurled shoulder block and continuous center frame enhance this tire’s high-speed stability. The trio’s partnership allows for a sure-footed driving experience in the rain.
Yet, there are areas where this model could have done better. The absence of biting edges means you cannot count on it for snow driving. That said, a flexible tread compound and water-evacuating grooves help this product hold its own in mild wintry conditions.
- 80,000-mile treadwear warranty
- Offers year-round traction
- Quiet and comfortable ride
- Not designed for deep snow driving
#2. Michelin Defender LTX M/S – Best Highway Tire
The Michelin Defender LTX M/S has many things in common with our top pick. Both tires feature a symmetric tread pattern for enhanced road comfort, decent fuel economy, and minimal road noise. Each of them is backed with a generous warranty. And neither comes cheap.
That said, the duo does differ on two key counts. First, the H/L Alenza Plus comes with a bigger treadwear warranty (80,000 miles v/s 70,000 miles). But it performs poorly in snow than the LTX M/S, whose M+S rating makes it a reliable performer in harsh wintry conditions.
Which of the two should you pick for your 4Runner, then?
The choice, as always, is yours. If you want a higher treadwear warranty, and if it rarely snows where you live, the H/L Alenza Plus is a no-brainer. However, if the first thing you do in the winter season is shovel snow off your front yard, the LTX M/S might be a better option.
Having made the comparison, let’s focus on what makes this tire unique.
MaxTouch construction would be a good place to start, given how it increases this tire’s wear life. The symmetric pattern featuring 3D sipes and independent blocks would be next. Without all these design elements, the LTX M/S won’t be a reliable year-round performer.
- Available in a large number of sizes
- Backed with an excellent 70,000-mile treadwear warranty
- Superb hydroplaning resistance
- Excellent levels of grip in dry and wet conditions
- Doesn’t come cheap
#3. BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 – Best All-Terrain
The BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 is one of the most reliable A/T tires out there. It provides the driver with unbelievable levels of traction on almost every off-road surface, including gravel, mud, sand, and even rocks. So, with this tire, you can conquer any terrain you want.
A double-thick tread compound and Tri-Gard sidewall design make the T/A KO2 a reliable option for extreme off-roading exploits. The tread compound provides this tire with the toughness needed to withstand hard, soft, and loose surfaces.
The sidewall, meanwhile, features various improvements over that in the T/A KO, this tire’s predecessor and competitor. The rubber compound used in the sidewall is twice as thick as what was used in the T/A KO, resulting in added toughness and higher durability.
Side biter lugs and mud buster bars give this tire all the traction it needs to excel in snow and mud, respectively. The side biter lugs also enhance the T/A KO2’s rock crawling abilities, especially after you have aired down this tire.
BFGoodrich conducted tests to verify these claims. Results from the tests show that the T/A KO2 has a 19% higher traction on snow than its previous versions. This tire’s mud traction has also gone up by 10%. No matter how you look at them, these are serious improvements.
- Tough and durable tread
- Brilliant off-road performance
- Very, very impressive treadlife
- Could get noisy at high speeds on gravel
#4. Mickey Thompson Baja ATZ P3 – Best Off-Road Traction
Mickey Thompson is one of multiple tire brands that have gone for the hybrid approach in recent years. This change has seen most Mickey Thompson tires feature an aggressive tread pattern as well as decent road manners. Fortunately for you, the Baja ATZ P3 is no exception.
This all-terrain tire comes with a completely open circumferential groove to completely drain water while also maintaining an excellent grip. Its tough internal construction saves this tire from premature deformation, a fate suffered by cheap A/T tires.
High-speed stability is another area where this tire excels. The credit for this goes to the continuous tread block sequence and specific tie bars, which keep the tread element stable even when the tire is rolling. This stability, in turn, helps the tire maintain constant road contact.
It also enhances the steering response as well as the feedback to the driver, while also making sure that any forces the tread is subjected to are distributed evenly. All of this helps the Baja ATZ P3 offer a more secure and sure-footed overall performance.
Unfortunately, all these qualities come at the cost of added tire stiffness, which results in harsh ride quality, even on paved roads.
- Exceptional 40,000 miles treadwear warranty
- Secure performance on mud, snow, gravel, rocks
- Gives excellent feedback to the driver
- Ride quality is harsh
#5. Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure with Kevlar – Best for Light Snow
Few all-terrain tires offer a comfortable ride quality. Fewer still back this up with an extended treadwear warranty, reliable snow driving, and exceptional off-road performance. Luckily for you, the Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Adventurer with Kevlar has all three attributes.
Start with snow driving. This model has the perfect combo – soft tread compound and various biting edges – to plow through light wintry conditions. Its symmetric tread pattern with open shoulders and traction ridges further enables the Wrangler A/T Adventurer to dig into the snow.
If your 4Runner’s wheel size allows you to, make sure to opt for LT-Metric models. Unlike P Models, the LT-Metric tires come with a 3PMSF rating. This makes them slightly better in deeper snow, though both models are equally reliable in light snow.
Despite having a stiff sidewall, this tire provides a comfortable ride. The tire manages to eliminate most vibrations, and road imperfections are smoothed out. However, the same thing cannot be said about its noise levels, which can get pretty loud at highway speeds.
That said, don’t expect any wonders in the handling department. The same thing happens with responsiveness and feedback, both of which are average for an all-terrain tire.
- 60,000-mile treadwear warranty
- Excellent on- and off-road performance
- Very usable in light snow conditions
- Only LT-Metric models get a 3PMSF rating
#6. Falken Wildpeak A/T3W – Best for Responsiveness
The Falken Wildpeak A/T3W excels where the Wrangler All-Terrain Adventurer struggles. This model offers excellent responsiveness, even for an all-terrain tire. It will give more feedback to the driver than they’d know what to do with. So, be ready for quick and precise turns.
This tire comes with an ultra-sturdy sidewall that doubles as a heat shield. So you can expect it to keep cuts, tears and punctures at bay while also minimizing heat build-up inside the tire. This function of the sidewall minimizes the risk of blow-ups with this tire.
A close inspection of the tread area will reveal multiple narrow openings. These are heat diffusers, whose function their name betrays. Thanks to them, the Wildpeak A/T3W won’t suffer deformation after hauling or towing heavy loads for years.
Right next to the heat diffusers are support ramps and step-down etching. Both these design elements are meant to offer a secure and stable grip on gravel. The support ramps also help with ejecting stones, reducing the risk of stone drilling and, by extension, punctures.
Don’t expect this tire to be quiet, though. Even by the high-noise standards set by all-terrain tires, this model is still pretty loud, especially at high speeds where this model seems to roar. That said, the racket will die down when you take your foot off the accelerator.
- Offers long-lasting wear
- Resists cuts, chips, and punctures really well
- Offers a sharp steering response and feedback
- Roars at high speeds
#7. BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM 3 – Best Mud-Terrain
The BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM3 proves that most things people say about M/T tires is true. This tire is exceptionally loud and has a huge rolling resistance. At the same time, it offers excellent traction in mud while remaining useful on gravel, dirt, and rocks.
Having said that, mud-climbing is the main reason this tire exists. You can verify that by looking at its design. The KM3 comes with large spike blocks to dig into mud and slush. In addition, mud-phonic bars help with mud evacuation, ensuring this tire’s traction stays intact.
A Krawl-Tek tread compound offers 5% better traction on mud terrains, if results from BFG’s tests are to be believed. Apart from that, the symmetrical grooves are designed so that they can help with mud evacuation when the abovementioned mud-phonic bars are overloaded.
Given that it’s annotated as M+S, you can count this tire to perform well in light snow, too. Furthermore, a deep groove design along with Terrain-Attack tread gives this tire all the traction it needs to be in the good books of rock-crawling enthusiasts.
Remember, though, that this tire isn’t made for city driving. BFG admits that when it says that this tire is 80% for off-road and 20% for the road. So, don’t expect it to perform any wonders on the highway.
- Offers outstanding mud traction
- Performs brilliantly during rock crawling
- Reliable on loose and hard-packed snow
- Isn’t made for highway driving
#8. Firestone Destination A/T2 – Best Mid-Priced A/T Tire
Many myths circulate about what all-terrain tires can and cannot be. Among them, none is as widespread as the falsely-held belief that A/T tires cannot be cheap. However, as the Firestone Destination A/T2 shows, you don’t always have to blow your budget to land an all-terrain tire.
This model features several upgrades over its predecessor, the Destination A/T. Unlike its previous version, the A/T2 is annotated with a 3PMSF rating, meaning reliable light snow performance. Overall comfort and dry grip have also gone up with this tire.
Another improvement is in the shoulder pattern, which has become more aggressive and therefore should offer better grip and traction on snow. You can thus count on the pattern to help this tire safely carry you from point A to point B in extreme winter conditions.
Firestone has also bumped up the treadwear warranty on this tire. The A/T came with a 50,000-mile treadwear warranty, while this model is backed for 55,000 miles. The increase in the warranty means Firestone expects the A/T2 to be more durable.
Yet not everything is great about this tire. This tire is only available in P-Metric models, so those of you whose vehicle supports LT-Metric tires better look elsewhere.
- Outstanding (55,000 miles) treadwear warranty for an all-terrain tire
- Is surprisingly quiet and comfortable on the road
- Features multiple improvements over its predecessor
- Only comes in P-Metric models
#9. Michelin Latitude X-Ice Xi2 – Best Winter Tire
Driving on snow-laden roads will become more manageable with the Latitude X-ice Xi2. This dedicated winter tire has everything to offer a sure-footed driving experience in harsh wintry conditions. However, its steep asking price might keep you from closing the deal.
Michelin has equipped this tire with its class-leading FleX-IceTM tread compound. In addition, the French tire manufacturer has used one of its latest technologies – Cross Z-SipesTM Technology – in this winter tire’s construction. Here’s why these are good pieces of news.
The tread compound has all the flexibility a tire could ever need to stay flexible in sub-zero temperatures. Unless you’re driving your 4Runner in Antarctica, the compound won’t become hard. As for the technology, it locks the sipes with micro-pumps for superior stability.
Michelin’s own tests confirm that this model boasts the best-in-class braking distances. Its ice-braking distances are also among the shortest in the category. Throw into the mix this model’s 40,000-mile warranty, and there isn’t much to dislike about it.
That said, there is one thing you should know about this tire. It is that it doesn’t come cheap, even by the standards of dedicated winter tires.
- 40,000 miles treadwear warranty
- Offers excellent stability in all winter conditions
- Reliable winter tire for light trucks
- Steep asking price
#10. General Grabber HTS 60 – Best Budget Highway Tire
The Michelin Defender LTX M/S might be the best highway tire for Toyota 4Runner. But its steep asking price won’t convince many people to buy that model. As such, you’re left with two options: abandon the thought of installing highway tires on your 4Runner or opt for the Grabber HTS 60.
Don’t think for a second that any corners have been cut to keep this tire’s price low. Had that been the case, it wouldn’t have come with a cut- and chip-resistant tread compound. One that makes this model capable of handling gravel.
A vehicle-tuned tread pattern improves the tire’s grip and traction on the highway, while a strong continuous center rib won’t let its stability waiver at high speeds. Aside from that, external sipes increase traction in wet and slippery conditions.
To cast the net as wide as possible, General offers this tire in two versions. The lighter version will suit you more if it regularly rains where you live. The heavier version, meanwhile, has the sturdy internal construction needed to tow or haul heavy loads for years.
As expected, there are a few areas where the LTX M/S performs better. That tire is warranted for 5,000 miles more than the Grabber HTS 60. Its steering responsiveness is much sharper too. That said, considering the price difference, the HTS 60 is still a worthy performer.
- Competitively priced
- 65,000 miles treadwear warranty
- Provides excellent high-speed stability
- Isn’t a reliable performer on snow
#11. Toyo Open Country A/T III
Toyo’s Open Country lineup has gained worldwide fame among off-road enthusiasts. The A/T III is the latest addition to this lineup, meaning you can expect it to offer features that were lacking in its predecessors.
Unlike the Open Country A/T II, which struggled on damp roads, the A/T III excels in this area. The credit for this improvement goes to its rubber compound, which has gotten an upgrade. The upgrade has also improved this model’s cut- and chip resistance.
Next up is the tread pattern, which too offers various benefits. The tread pattern has the uncanny ability to stiffen up at high speeds, helping with handling. Aside from that, multiple void areas help it distribute the pressures evenly, enabling the tire to wear more evenly.
The implementation of 3D multi-wave sipes has seen this tire get the 3PMSF rating, so decent performance in light snow is all but guaranteed. But it isn’t only on hard-packed snow where the sipes deliver. They have also improved the A/T III’s wet traction.
- 65,000 miles treadwear warranty
- Multiple size options
- Comes with the 3PMSF rating
- Ride quality could have been smoother
Best Tires for Toyota 4Runner
Touring tires strike a good balance between road comfort, fuel economy, performance, and price. They have excellent road manners and won’t expose those sitting in the cabin to many vibrations. These tires also operate quietly and will enhance your 4Runner’s mileage.
On top of everything else, touring tires are incredibly durable. You can guess that by looking at their warranties, with premium tire brands backing their touring tires for as many as 80,000 miles. So, if you want a set of cost effective tires that will last very long, pick touring tires.
There are various similarities between touring and highway tires. Both these tires offer a balanced and comfortable driving experience in most weather conditions. They are backed with extended warranties and come with a durable tread compound.
However, highway tires are a better choice for hauling or towing heavy loads than touring tires, which can only come in handy for towing lighter and smaller trailers. Furthermore, highway tires are a better choice if you spend most of your time behind the wheel on gravel roads.
Most people won’t use their Toyota 4Runner for off-roading. However, for those who do, all-terrain tires are the way to go. These tires perform wonders in challenging conditions, including sand, mud, rocks, and gravel. They also have stiffer sidewalls shielding them from cuts and punctures.
That said, all-terrain tires suffer in wet conditions, especially when it’s raining heavily. Plus, even the best all-terrain tires come with smaller warranties than mid-range touring or highway models. Another negative is the added noise these tires make on the highway.
A sizeable minority of off-road enthusiasts doesn’t care much about road manners or noise. For them, mud-terrain tires are the way to go. These tires have incredibly deep and aggressive tread patterns that help them offer commanding traction in mid.
While their name gives no clue of that, mud-terrain tires can also attack rocks and gravel. Still, they are very loud on the highway and have the shortest tread life of all tires we have discussed.
Models from well-known manufacturers populate our list of the best tires for Toyota 4Runner. That is because most cheap tire manufacturers use poor materials in their tires, resulting in below-average performance and short tread lives.
It’s thus recommended to only install premium tires on your Toyota 4Runner.