- Excellent off-road performance
- Very good aquaplaning resistance
- Usable on the road
- Higher noise levels
- It can be a struggle to balance
In the world of off-roading, there are plenty of things that you need to think of. If you’re embarking on that kind of adventure with your own car, then the first thing you should pay attention to is the tires.
As the tire industry evolved, manufacturers began to produce tires that could deliver excellent performance in specific scenarios. In the case of off-roading, you’ll need a proper set of tires that can get the job done.
For the most part, off-road capable tires today come in two flavors – all-terrain and mud-terrain tires. The first is tires that offer a combination of on and off-road performance. On the other hand, the second type is for the most hardcore off-roaders.
The tire in question for this review comes from a relatively young US tire brand. Gladiator is known for attacking the off-road market, and the one that is designed for the most extreme conditions is the X Comp M/T.
It’s an all-season mud-terrain tire, designed for the toughest terrain without sacrificing durability, all of which come at an affordable price.
What are the features of the Gladiator X Comp M/T?
The tread design is the first thing you’ll notice about the X Comp M/T. I’ve reviewed a lot of mud-terrain tires, but this one seems to have the most aggressive pattern. Going with this approach, Gladiator aims to offer advantages in multiple areas.
Gladiator made the design to feature bigger voids created to help the X Comp M/T with traction in mud or sand. With that, you should also see some good performance in the snow. The way the high void tread helps isn’t only with traction but also with providing consistent performance. It’s designed to prevent debris buildup, so the tire can dig in and produce performance.
To provide even more traction in deeper mud or in rock-crawling situations, the X Comp M/T also features reinforced shoulder blocks. They have the same high void design, meaning that they will remain clear and offer consistent performance.
The rubber compound is made specifically to resist cuts and chips and, combined with the 3-ply internal construction, should result in a very durable tire.
How does it behave on dry tarmac?
Like most mud-terrain tires, the X Comp M/T won’t be able to provide superior performance in dry conditions. It’s usable but far worse when compared with all-terrain or highway tires.
The traction levels with the X Comp M/T are acceptable and are safe. With that said, I would advise against pushing the tire too much. It will begin to slip if you accelerate too aggressively. You should expect similar results in the corners. As long as you drive within the speed limit, you shouldn’t have too many issues. Going over that means that you’ll be pushing the tire past its limits.
When it comes to safety, the X Comp M/T delivers pretty good braking distances, which are a bit above average for this class.
In the handling department, the performance isn’t nearly enough to put a smile on your face. The X Comp M/T is decently responsive for a mud-terrain tire. Even though it will take a fraction of a second for the car to change direction, don’t expect it to be razor-sharp.
How does it behave over wet and slippery roads?
The X Comp M/T is good enough to deliver a safe driving experience in wet conditions, as long as you won’t overdo it.
Even though the traction levels aren’t as good as on dry roads, thanks to the bigger blocks and rubber compound, the X Comp M/T is acceptable. Traction and grip levels should be enough for normal driving, and as long as you’re aware of the tire’s limitations, it won’t catch you by surprise. The braking distances are also acceptable and far from the worst in the mud-terrain class.
On the other hand, the aquaplaning resistance is excellent. Thanks to the wide and deep grooves X Comp M/T has, the tire can evacuate a lot of water and remain stable.
How is it over snow?
The X Comp M/T isn’t designed to be a winter tire, but it can deliver some very usable performance in those conditions.
In light conditions, especially over unpacked snow, the X Comp M/T is excellent. You get dependable traction from a tire that is very controllable in those situations. You can drive in a bit deeper snow and not worry about the performance.
Over packed snow, the performance is there, but it’s not as good as in unpacked conditions. Traction and grip levels are decent, just like the braking distances.
Ice isn’t this tire’s forte, which isn’t surprising. The X Comp M/T struggles to find traction in these cases, so if you’re looking for a tire capable of delivering performance in harsh conditions, you’ll need to look at proper winter tires.
Is it comfortable and refined?
Due to how mud-terrain tires are designed, refinement isn’t something you can expect from them. The same goes for the X Comp M/T, which is not particularly good at this.
Comfort levels are acceptable at best, mainly because the tire isn’t as harsh as some of its competitors. The internal construction is more rigid, so the tire cannot absorb bumps and vibrations and offer the most comfortable ride.
The worst side of the refinement is the noise levels. Due to the tread design, Mud-terrain tires suffer from higher noise levels on paved roads. Since the X Comp M/T features a high-void pattern, which results in high road noise.
Is it good for off-roading?
Gladiator specializes in off-road capable tires, and the X Comp M/T can deliver some serious off-road performance.
Dirt or gravel will pose no problem, and the X Comp M/T can offer very good traction in these conditions. Mud seems to be where the tire feels most at home. Even in deeper patches, the tire will dig in and find traction in cases where you may think that’s impossible.
Thanks to the 3-ply construction, you can deflate the X Comp M/T without worrying about damaging it. This makes it an excellent option for rock crawling. The extended shoulder blocks will improve the traction in situations with rocks along the sides.
Is the Gladiator X Comp M/T ideal for sporty driving?
It’s a mud-terrain tire, so you probably already know the answer to this.
The X Comp M/T is a tire that cannot pride itself as the world’s stickiest tire. Grip and traction levels are limited, and the tire shouldn’t be pushed hard.
Handling is another setback, so enthusiasts won’t find it too pleasing. It’s not particularly responsive for sporty driving, and the feedback will be about average.
Gladiator X Comp M/T Warranty
Mud-terrain tires don’t come with any treadwear warranty, and the same goes for the X Comp M/T. Even in the premium segment, tires like the BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A have no warranty, so this isn’t a drawback for Gladiator’s tire.
Gladiator X Comp M/T Pricing: Is it worth the money?
Things aren’t as they seem at first glance when it comes to pricing. The X Comp M/T starts from around $230, which is in the range of the premium models like the Goodyear Wrangler MT/R. With that said, for some sizes, you are looking at a price very similar to the General Grabber X3.
Should I buy the Gladiator X Comp M/T?
If you need a tire built for superior off-road capabilities, then the X Comp M/T is a model that you should shortlist.
The X Comp M/T isn’t a tire that can deliver excellent performance when it comes to road performance. In dry and wet conditions, you’ll have acceptable levels of grip and traction, enough for everyday driving. The same can be said about the handling – fine for most drivers, but nothing to write home about. With that said, you can expect to have excellent aquaplaning resistance.
Another area of the X Comp M/T that’s pretty good is the snow performance. Even though it’s not a replacement for a winter tire, it seems to deliver pretty good performance.
In off-road scenarios, there’s hardly any situation where the tire will struggle. The X Comp M/T is an excellent performer in anything from dirt roads to rock-crawling. Thanks to the tread design and sturdy construction, the tire can provide excellent performance and will remain undamaged in most scenarios.
Refinement is a weak side, which isn’t surprising. The comfort levels are passable, and people who have driven mud-terrain tires in the past won’t complain about that too much. Noise is a bit on the high side, even when compared with rivals from its class.
Price-wise, it will depend on the size, but for the most part, it’s positioned somewhere in the upper mid-range market.
One thing to keep in mind is that the X Comp M/T is notoriously difficult to balance.
As long as you are willing to sacrifice road performance and refinement for superior off-road capabilities, the X Comp M/T is an excellent choice that can satisfy your needs.
What Vehicles Will the Gladiator X Comp M/T Fit?
- Chevrolet Tahoe, Blazer, Silverado
- Ford F-150, Explorer, Bronco
- GMC Yukon, Canyon
- Honda Pilot
- Hummer H3
- Jeep Wrangler
- Land Rover Defender
- Nissan Titan
- Toyota Hilux, 4Runner
Tire Sizes for Gladiator X Comp M/T