- Excellent snow performance
- Aquaplaning resistance is superb
- Decent road performance
- Very good in off-road situations
- May struggle in the sand
- Braking distances on gravel are slightly longer
Living in an age where SUVs and trucks are becoming more and more popular opens up many options for us car owners. Having one of these vehicles means that you have the versatility that some of the other segments cannot provide.
Comfortable ride, space in the back seat, or the ability to haul larger cargo are only a handful of advantages these vehicles can offer. With that said, there is one aspect that some people get wrong in terms of this.
Since we are talking about cars capable of off-roading, some people believe that having two sets of tires is the way to go. For the most part, I would agree because a proper tire will be able to cope with the most extreme conditions. But what about situations where you won’t need that?
Cue the all-terrain tires – a tire designed to perform on the road and off it, and the one I’ll be reviewing today is the Nexen Roadian AT Pro RA8. It’s a premium all-terrain all-season tire designed to bring balanced performance from both scenarios.
What are the features of the Nexen Roadian AT Pro RA8?
Nexen has a few claims about the Roadian AT Pro RA8, which should make it an excellent mid-range tire. Starting off with the compound, to ensure that it operates in multiple seasons, the company utilized a special rubber compound to enable the tire to remain softer in winter.
The Roadian AT Pro RA8 has a uniquely designed tread pattern that improves performance in various conditions. One of the several distinctive features is the dual blocks. They are positioned on both sides of the center rib and are tasked with ensuring that the grooves remain clear of mud and gravel. This means that the tire should have maximum performance at all times.
While I’m on the subject of the center rib, it also is designed to make some improvements in the performance department. Thanks to the staggered design, the rib should help increase the traction in on and off-road conditions. To aid in that, the Roadian AT Pro RA8 also features microgrooves, which have their own biting task and should help additionally improve grip and traction.
On the sides, the Roadian AT Pro RA8 has wider shoulder blocks, meaning that the tire’s handling characteristics should be improved as well.
How does it behave on dry tarmac?
Driving with the Roadian AT Pro RA8 on a dry road is generally a good experience. Even though the tire won’t win any awards, it’s still an acceptable contender.
As far as all-terrain tires go, the Roadian AT Pro RA8 delivers the right amount of grip and traction for everyday driving. The limit is a bit higher than that, and you won’t have any issues if you get a bit carried away, as long as you don’t push it too much.
The Roadian AT Pro RA8 is safe, something that can be clearly seen from the braking distances. Despite being longer than the premium models, they are still quite short.
Handling is, as you’d expect, good but not comparable touring or performance tires. The responsiveness is decent, which is thanks to the wider blocks at the shoulders.
How does it behave over wet and slippery roads?
The performance on wet roads is good and should pose no problems regardless of the conditions.
Thanks to the sipes and biting edges around the blocks, you will get a very good grip and traction from the Roadian AT Pro RA8. They help the tire hook up and eliminate slip as much as possible. Like with dry performance, avoid getting too aggressive. Even though the tire will give you plenty of confidence, its performance is not as good as the premium tires.
Aquaplaning resistance is excellent, and the Roadian AT Pro RA8 will have no problem “cutting” through the water. Braking distances are also quite good and are very similar to the Hankook Dynapro AT-M.
How is it over snow?
Winter performance with the Roadian AT Pro RA8 is excellent, which shouldn’t come as a surprise. Unlike some of its competitors, this tire has the 3PMSF rating, meaning that it can perform better than M+S rated tires.
The Roadian AT Pro RA8 has excellent traction on snow-covered roads, regardless if it’s packed or unpacked. You’ll get predictable handling, and combined with the decently short braking distances, you are looking at a safe tire that can be driven in the winter.
At a certain point, the tire will start to struggle with deeper snow, which is to be expected. With that said, if you are driving in those conditions, you probably already have proper winter tires, so you shouldn’t have any issues.
Is it comfortable and refined?
Even though Nexen made no big promises in terms of refinement, the Roadian AT Pro RA8 is a tire that performs well in this department.
Naturally, the comfort levels aren’t as good as touring tires but are quite good and can be compared with some premium contenders. It can absorb bumps and shocks quite well and offer an acceptably comfortable riding experience.
Noise is often a problem with off-road capable tires, which isn’t the case here. The Roadian AT Pro RA8 is a quiet tire, but not the quietest. The noise does increase a bit over rougher terrain and at higher speeds, which is to be expected.
Is it good for off-roading?
The off-road performance with the Roadian AT Pro RA8 is pretty good and should be more than enough for the casual off-roader.
Traction on gravel is excellent, and the tire will have no problem in these conditions. You can push it more, and it would deliver on the performance that Nexen delivered. With that said, the braking distances are not as impressive and are a bit longer than the best in this class.
Mud performance is also excellent, and you should expect plenty of traction in these conditions. It will struggle in deeper mud, but it’s not designed to be good at it, so it’s not a negative side.
Sand is the area where the Roadian AT Pro RA8 seems to struggle the most. Even though the traction isn’t the worse and the tire is usable, there are better performing tires in the mid-range section.
Is the Nexen Roadian AT Pro RA8 ideal for sporty driving?
Nor really, which shouldn’t be a surprise. Any off-road capable tire won’t be good for sporty driving, and the same goes for the Roadian AT Pro RA8.
The tire doesn’t have enough grip and traction to be pushed hard, meaning that you won’t have a lot to play with. Plus, the handling isn’t as dynamic as an enthusiast would want, so overall, the tire will disappoint you in this regard.
Nexen Roadian AT Pro RA8 Warranty
The warranty that Nexen offers is quite long, meaning that you should expect the Roadian AT Pro RA8 to last. You have a 50,000-mile treadwear warranty which is just as much as the Dynapro AT-M has. It does fall behind the Kumho Road Venture AT51, but only by 5,000 miles.
Nexen Roadian AT Pro RA8 Pricing: Is it worth the money?
This is the area where the Roadian AT Pro RA8 excels the most. The prices for this tire start at around $130, which is quite affordable for an all-terrain tire. Even when you look at tires from the mid-range segment, you will see a significant price difference that favors the Nexen tire.
Should I buy the Nexen Roadian AT Pro RA8?
The Roadian AT Pro RA8 is a great tire, and I won’t say that you should avoid it, but there are a few things that you should be aware of.
Even though the tire is great in dry and wet conditions, don’t expect it to be comparable to premium options. There is enough performance for everyday driving, and you shouldn’t expect any more than that. The tire is almost as good as the Hankook Dynapro AT-M in these conditions, which is a high praise.
The area where it excels is winter performance, which puts it among the best in its class. The 3PMSF rating means that the Roadian AT Pro RA8 will have no problem delivering performance even in harsher conditions.
Off-road is slightly limited but far from terrible. You can drive the Roadian AT Pro RA8 over gravel, mud, and sand, and you won’t have too many issues. Keep in mind that it may struggle in deeper mud and sand.
As an all-terrain tire, the Roadian AT Pro RA8 is quite comfortable and quiet, so driving on the roads won’t be problematic.
The best part is the price, which is lower than most of its competitors, and when you combine it with the 50-000-mile warranty, you are looking at an excellent bargain.
Overall, the Roadian AT Pro RA8 isn’t the best in the business but is an excellent tire when you consider the entire package. Decent performance at a lower cost is a combination that most people are after, and this is a tire that can deliver on that.
What Vehicles Will the Nexen Roadian AT Pro RA8 Fit?
Here’s a sample list of cars that the Nexen Roadian AT Pro RA8 will fit:
- Audi Q7
- BMW X5
- Ford F-150
- Honda Passport, Pilot, Ridgeline
- Kia Sorento, Telluride
- Jeep Wrangler
- Mitsubishi Outlander, L200
- Nissan Armada, Frontier, Titan
- Toyota Hilux, 4Runner, Land Cruiser
Tire Sizes for Nexen Roadian AT Pro RA8