Off-roading is a way of life, and to live that life, you’ll need a vehicle capable of that. There are many modern models that can deliver that and more, but what if you own something that’s not on the market anymore?
There are plenty of discontinued models on the streets today, and I feel like we often neglect them. Sure, the manufacturer doesn’t sell them, but that doesn’t mean that you, as an owner, should scrap them. This brings me to today’s choice.
The model in question is the Mitsubishi Montero, a solid off-roading vehicle many people use today. As for the sizes, I usually cover one, but in this case, there were many overlaps between the 16 and 17-inch sizes, so all tires on this list come in both.
#1. Michelin Defender LTX M/S
As usual, my list starts with a premium model, in this case, an all-season touring tire from Michelin. The Defender LTX M/S isn’t the newest tire in the company’s lineup, but it’s still a very good choice for many people.
The performance in dry conditions is excellent, more than enough for your Montero. Under normal driving conditions, the tire’s grip and traction levels are more than enough to eliminate or minimize slip and understeer. You can accelerate hard, and the tires will let go, but it’s not something people do when they go grocery shopping. The tire’s handling characteristics are pretty solid. Thanks to the stiffer blocks, the responsiveness is pretty decent, and there’s some feedback through the steering wheel.
Rain isn’t something that bothers the Defender LTX M/S too much. The traction on damp roads is excellent, meaning you won’t experience too much slip unless you really want to. Going into a corner isn’t a massive problem, and you won’t deal with understeer as long as you don’t drive like you’re on a track. All of this comes backed by the very short braking distances, which are among the best in this class. For heavy rain, the aquaplaning resistance is excellent, meaning that the tire remains planted even when you’re driving at highway speeds.
The Defender LTX M/S also does a pretty good job on snow. It delivers solid levels of traction on packed and unpacked snow, making it more than just usable in these conditions. Naturally, since it’s not a proper winter tire, you’ll find it struggling in harsher conditions, which is to be expected. The braking distances are also quite short, making it a safe all-season option.
As for refinement, the Defender LTX M/S is still among the best in its class. The comfort levels are excellent, thanks to the tire’s ability to iron out road imperfections. With larger bumps or potholes, the impact is dampened, and the vibrations are almost eliminated. The noise levels are also very good. You won’t hear the tire too much around town, and it will remain that way even at higher speeds.
The warranty is pretty good, considering it’s a Michelin tire. You’ll get the Defender LTX M/S with a 70,000-mile treadwear warranty, which may not be the longest in the premium segment, but it’s still pretty good.
- High refinement levels
- Dry and wet performance is excellent
- Solid handling characteristics
- Not the cheapest option
- Struggles a bit more in harsher conditions
#2. Goodyear Wrangler Steadfast HT
Continuing the trend of premium models, I have one that’s a direct competitor of the previous one. The Wrangler Steadfast HT is another excellent highway tire for your Montero.
The performance of the Wrangler Steadfast HT is good, and there isn’t anything that stands out. You’ll have plenty of grip and traction, meaning the tire won’t slip as long as you don’t ask too much. The overall performance, including the braking distances, is excellent and more than enough for most drivers, but it’s a bit behind some of its rivals. In terms of handling, the tire is solidly responsive, which is a good thing. It’s easy to drive at the limit, and despite feeling a bit imprecise at times, I cannot fault it too much.
Things seem to improve a bit in wet conditions, and the Wrangler Steadfast HT comes closer to its rivals. The performance on damp roads is pretty good, meaning you won’t light up the tires every time you accelerate. Understeer is mostly eliminated as long as you don’t go into a corner at a high speed. The braking distances are solid, and the tire falls well within the safe zone in the premium segment. Speaking of safety, the tire also delivers very good aquaplaning resistance, even when driving at higher speeds in harsh rain.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to experience the winter performance of the Wrangler Steadfast HT, so I cannot comment on that. Speaking from experience with other Goodyear highway tires, it should offer usable performance, but we’ll have to see if it can deliver. If you have tried it on snow, let me know.
The refinement is an area where the Wrangler Steadfast HT does well, but it’s not perfect. In terms of comfort, the tire does a good job of smoothing road imperfections and softening blows. The ride is just a tar firmer than some of its rivals, and you may notice that it won’t be too happy with repetitive bumps. On the other hand, we have the solid noise levels. The tire is quiet around town, and you won’t hear it too much or at all. On the highway, the hum is there, and you will notice it, but it won’t be overly intrusive.
As a highway tire, the warranty is pretty good. The Wrangler Steadfast HT comes with a 70,000-mile treadwear warranty, which isn’t the best, but it’s pretty good for the premium segment.
- More than enough performance for daily driving
- Absorb bumps quite well
- Solidly responsive
- Lacks just a bit more precision
- Doesn’t like repetitive bumps on bad roads
#3. Continental TerrainContact H/T
Another premium option for your Montero is a tire from Continental and it’s the TerrainContact H/T. Considering the category, you can probably guess we’re talking about an excellent performer as long as you’re prepared for the premium price tag.
As a highway tire, the TerrainContact H/T offers plenty of performance in dry conditions. The traction is more than enough to eliminate slip when accelerating, while the grip levels will help you minimize understeer in the corners. Even though it’s not a tire that should be pushed hard, it may handle a bit of aggressiveness before you remember what kind of vehicle you drive. The handling is fine for a highway tire, but it’s not overly dynamic. There is some responsiveness to it, but the flex in the sidewall is noticeable, so it’s not an ideal choice for enthusiasts.
Like many Continental tires on the market, the TerrainContact H/T is phenomenal in wet conditions. The grip and traction levels are very high, meaning you won’t experience slip unless you push it hard. It remains planted and stable, which, combined with the short braking distances, makes this one of the best wet performers in the category. Also, the aquaplaning resistance is very good, keeping the tire stable even in pouring rain.
As an all-season tire, the TerrainContact H/T works well in snowy conditions. In lighter conditions, the tire will provide satisfactory performance, which should be fine if you’re in an area with milder winters. The tire offers solid traction on packed and unpacked snow, and you may get away with a bit deeper patches. Ice isn’t this tire’s friend, so you’ll need to be a bit more careful in those conditions.
The TerrainContact H/T is all about refinement, and it delivers that excellently. It offers high comfort levels, smoothing out smaller road imperfections and softening the larger ones. During that, it suppresses the vibrations and keeps them from entering the cabin. The noise levels are very low for a tire from this category. At slower speeds, the hum is almost unnoticeable, and even though it’s more noticeable at higher speeds, it’s not as intrusive as with some of this tire’s rivals.
In terms of warranty, the TerrainContact H/T doesn’t disappoint. The tire comes with a 70,000-mile treadwear warranty, putting it near the top of the premium category.
- Wet performance is phenomenal
- Very quiet and comfortable
- Long treadwear warranty
- The responsiveness needs just a bit more work
- It’s a bit on the pricy side
#4. Vredestein Pinza HT
The last of the touring options is a model from the mid-range segment. Vredestein released the Pinza HT about a year ago, and it’s a tire that can compete with some of the premium rivals in certain areas.
When it comes to dry performance, the Pinza HT is a tire that won’t disappoint. The grip and traction levels are very close to what the premium models offer, so you won’t find it lacking. It will offer more than enough for daily driving or even if you’re a bit aggressive. To be fair, since we’re talking about the Montero, you probably won’t be chasing lap times at your local circuit. The handing is pretty good and responsive enough, which is what you’d expect from a tire in this category. It takes a bit of input for the tire to follow the lead, which is my only complaint.
Wet performance is something that the Pinza HT does well, considering it’s a mid-range tire. The grip and traction levels on damp roads are very good and come very close to the leading premium models in this category. It also offers short braking distances, putting it well within the safe zone. Even though the metrics say that it’s behind some of its rivals, it’s still a solid performer. The same thing goes for the aquaplaning resistance. It’s pretty good, and you won’t experience stability issues in harsh rain situations.
Looking at the snow performance, the Pinza HT is a very solid choice. You’re looking at pretty good and very usable performance in these conditions. The tire offers dependable levels of traction on snow, and the sipes do a solid job of keeping the tire planted on packed snow. It brakes well, so you won’t have too many issues with that. You can drive on ice, as long as you’re careful because the traction isn’t on the same level as a dedicated winter tire.
The Pinza HT offers solid refinement, but it’s not perfect. In terms of the noise levels, they are low when compared with other mid-range tires but slightly higher when put up against the premium models. It’s not overly loud, but some noise will go into the cabin, especially at higher speeds. The comfort levels are good, and the tire’s dampening properties are excellent. With that said, there is some bounciness, meaning that bad roads will upset it, and you may notice that inside the car.
In terms of warranty, the Pinza HT does very well. The tire comes with a 70,000-mile treadwear warranty, putting it on the same level as the premium rivals.
- Solid performance in dry and wet conditions
- Usable in areas with milder winters
- Dampens large potholes well
- There is some bounciness in certain conditions
- Needs a bit more responsive handling
#5. Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2
The tires so far are all-season ones, so what if you need better winter performance? You get a proper winter tire, and the model I have in mind is the Blizzak DM-V2.
Cold and dry roads are something that the Blizzak DM-V2 doesn’t have any issues with. It delivers high levels of traction, meaning you won’t experience slip unless you get very aggressive when accelerating. The cornering grip is also plentiful, meaning the understeer will be noticed only when you go in too hard. Finally, the safety is excellent, thanks to the short braking distances. The handling is as good as you can expect from a winter tire. There is some responsiveness to it, but you’ll need to make bigger inputs just to make micro-adjustments.
The tire’s impressive performance continues in wet conditions. On damp roads, the grip and traction levels that the Blizzak DM-V2 delivers are excellent. The slip is kept to a minimum, and the tire will hold on to the road quite well. With short braking distances and excellent aquaplaning resistance, this is a tire that won’t disappoint or leave you needing more.
Since the Blizzak DM-V2 is a winter tire, you’re looking at excellent snow performance. The tire deals with the white stuff with no issues, regardless of whether we’re talking about packed or unpacked snow. There’s more than enough traction to prevent slip unless you want to have some fun in an empty parking lot. The best part is that once you start to approach the limit, the tire’s progressive nature means it won’t let go instantly, so it won’t catch you by surprise. You’re also looking at a very solid performer on ice, something some of its rivals struggle with.
The refinement is an area where the Blizzak DM-V2 does some things well. You’ll get high levels of comfort, and the tire will handle smaller imperfections, excellently smoothing them and offering a plush ride. It absorbs larger bumps and minimizes the vibrations very well. The noise levels are good, and the tire isn’t overly intrusive, even when you’re on the highway. As good as all of this sounds, there are a few quieter tires in this category.
- Excellent performance in dry and wet
- There is some traction on ice
- The comfort levels are very high
- Not the sharpest tire in terms of handling
- There are a few slightly quieter tires
#6. Cooper Discoverer AT3 4S
Since the Montero is a solidly capable off-roader, my next few tires will be models that can deliver performance in these conditions. My first pick is a milder all-terrain tire, the Discoverer AT3 4S. It’s primarily designed for on-road use, but it can also handle a bit of off-roading.
The Discoverer AT3 4S is a tire that offers impressive performance in dry conditions. It offers very high levels of grip and traction, considering it’s a mid-range all-terrain tire, which will satisfy your daily driving needs. The tire isn’t a performance-oriented one, but it won’t let you down, even if you get a bit carried away. This also covers the braking distances, comparable to some road-going tires. The handling is pretty decent, and despite the flex in the sidewall, the tire responds well to inputs.
Wet roads are something that the Discoverer AT3 4S won’t struggle with. The tire’s grip and traction levels on damp surfaces are excellent, meaning it will hold on to the road quite well. You can push it past its limits, and the tire will slip, but as long as you’re not the world’s most aggressive driver, you should be fine. The tire also offers very short braking distances, meaning it’s safe. For harsh rain, the tire’s design does an excellent job of evacuating water, meaning that the aquaplaning resistance is very good.
The Discoverer AT3 4S is a 3PMSF-rated tire, so the performance on snow is a bit better than its M+S rivals. This translates into solid traction on packed and unpacked snow, as the tire holds and offers dependable performance. You can drive in deeper snow patches, but you’ll notice it struggling a bit more. It’s an all-season tire, so the overall winter performance is satisfactory as long as you’re in an area with milder winters.
Considering it’s an all-terrain tire, some off-road performance is available to you. The Discoverer AT3 4S deals with hard-packed surfaces well and offers more than enough performance for driving on dirt roads. Driving in mud is something that the tire can do, but up to a point. Being a milder all-terrain option means that the pattern isn’t as aggressive, so it will handle shallower mud well. If you’re going for something more extreme, you should look at mud-terrain tires.
As for refinement, the Discoverer AT3 4S does a surprisingly good enough job. The comfort levels are pretty good for an all-terrain tire, and it can smooth out or absorb bumps pretty good and offer a smooth ride without too much vibration. I was also impressed by the noise levels. It’s not as quiet as a highway tire, but when compared to some of its rivals, it’s far from the loudest option on the market.
All-terrain tires come with a warranty, and this one is no exception. The Discoverer AT3 4S comes with a 65,000-mile treadwear warranty, putting it on the same level as some touring models.
- 3PMSF rating means you’re getting slightly better snow traction
- Dry and wet performance is pretty good
- Solid refinement
- Not suitable for harsher off-road conditions like deep mud or rock-crawling
- Not as competitively priced as some of its rivals
#7. BFGoodrich Trail-Terrain T/A
Another milder all-terrain option for your Montero comes from BFGoodrich. The Trail-Terrain T/A is a premium option, meaning it does some things better than the previous one.
The performance on dry roads is pretty good. In these conditions, the Trail-Terrain T/A delivers high levels of grip and traction, making it an excellent performer for daily driving scenarios. The tire won’t slip on acceleration and will hold on to the road when cornering. When it comes to stopping, the braking distances are pretty short, putting the tire well within the safe zone. The handling is solid enough, considering it’s an all-terrain tire. It’s responsive enough, and you won’t struggle to find some feedback through the steering wheel.
Driving in wet conditions is something that the Trail-Terrain T/A won’t struggle with. The tire’s traction levels on damp roads are pretty good, and as long as you’re not overly aggressive, the slip will remain minimal. You’re also looking at a very solid grip, resulting in almost no understeer in the corners unless you get carried away. To keep things safe, the tire offers short braking distances. As for the aquaplaning resistance, it’s good but a bit behind some of its rivals.
Similar to the previous tire, the Trail-Terrain T/A comes with the 3PMSF rating, meaning the snow performance is solid. The tire offers pretty good levels of traction for an all-season tire, meaning it’s more than just usable. It won’t struggle with packed snow as much as some of its rivals. With that said, I feel like it doesn’t handle deep snow as well as I hoped it would.
The Trail-Terrain T/A is an all-terrain tire, meaning you can take it off-roading if you know its limitations. It can deliver pretty good performance on dirt and gravel roads, meaning that not only will it survive, but you’ll also won’t notice it struggling. You can also drive through mud, but there are situations where it will struggle. Since it doesn’t have the most aggressive pattern, it will start to struggle in deeper snow.
When it comes to refinement, the Trail-Terrain T/A does a decent job. The comfort levels are pretty good for a tire from this category. It can smooth out the smaller imperfections and soften the larger ones. You may notice some of the vibrations in the cabin, but it’s not terrible. The noise levels are also pretty good. It won’t be too loud around town, and even though the hum is noticeable at higher speeds, I wouldn’t classify it as intrusive.
The warranty is a bit of a step back, especially when compared with the previous tire. You can get the Trail-Terrain T/A with a 60,000-mile treadwear warranty, which is good but not the best in this category.
- The overall performance is good for daily driving
- It can deal well with light winter conditions
- Comfort and noise levels are pretty solid
- It may start to struggle in slightly deeper snow
- The aquaplaning resistance isn’t the best in class
#8. Toyo Open Country A/T III
Now let’s talk about all-terrain tires with a bit more aggressive tread pattern and the first one is from Toyo. The Open Country A/T III is an all-terrain tire, but it’s one that can handle a bit more off-roading when compared to the previous two.
As far as dry performance is concerned, the Open Country A/T III is a solid choice. The tire delivers pretty good levels of grip and traction, and most people won’t have any issues in their Monteros. Sure, you can get it to slip when you accelerate aggressively or go into a corner at higher speeds, but that’s not what this tire is designed for. The safety aspect is pretty good, thanks to the short braking distances. Regarding handling, the responsiveness is average, and you won’t have a lot of feedback to work with.
Wet performance is another aspect where the Open Country A/T III will deliver solid results. On damp roads, the traction is good enough to eliminate slip, and the tire will grip well around a corner. Naturally, since it’s not a performance tire, the levels aren’t too high. As for braking distances, they are quite short and are among the shortest in the mid-range segment. The tread pattern does a very good job at evacuating water, meaning that the aquaplaning resistance is excellent.
The Open Country A/T III is an all-season tire but comes with the 3PMSF rating, meaning the snow performance is quite decent. It will deliver excellent traction on unpacked snow and is quite usable even in deeper patches. Surprisingly, the tire doesn’t struggle on packed snow as much as I thought it would. Combining this with the short braking distances means you get a solid winter contender.
As an all-terrain tire, the Open Country A/T III offers very good off-road performance across the board. The traction levels on hard-packed surfaces are excellent, and the tire doesn’t slip unless you get too aggressive. It deals with mud quite well, especially in shallow patches. For the deeper ones, there is a point where it will start to struggle, but that’s in more extreme situations. It’s a similar story to rock crawling. It will be fine with smaller rocks, but you’ll notice it struggling with larger ones.
Refinement is an area where the Open Country A/T III doesn’t do so well. The comfort levels are average, and the tire has a firm nature. It’s not too bad with the smaller bumps, but you’ll notice it with larger ones. It’s more or less the same with the noise levels. I wouldn’t call this a loud tire, but it’s louder than some of its rivals. It’s not too bad around town, but the roar is there when you’re driving on the highway.
Finally, for the warranty, it’s excellent. The Open Country A/T III comes with a 65,000-mile treadwear warranty, which is better than some of the premium models I mentioned.
- Excellent off-roader
- Performance on paved surfaces is superb
- Long treadwear warranty
- Not the most refined tire
- A bit more expensive than other mid-range models
#9. General Grabber A/TX
Another option from the mid-range segment comes from General. The Grabber A/TX may not win any awards with performance on the road, but it makes up for that in off-road performance.
On dry roads, the Grabber A/TX delivers solid performance as long as you don’t expect too much from it. The grip and traction levels aren’t on the same levels as a touring tire, but they are good enough for daily driving. You can overwhelm the tire, so as long as you’re not overly aggressive, it will be fine, and you won’t experience any slip. It’s the same story with the braking distances – short to be safe but not industry-leading. As for the handling, it’s acceptable for most people. There is some responsiveness, and as long as you’re okay with the flex in the sidewall, you won’t have a lot of complaints.
Things don’t change too much in wet conditions. The Grabber A/TX is a solid performer in these conditions and won’t struggle unless you push it hard. There’s enough grip and traction to minimize slip or understeer, but it’s not a tire that can handle a lot of aggressiveness. The good thing about it is that it offers short braking distances, at least when compared with its all-terrain rivals. It’s the same story with the aquaplaning resistance. Thanks to the tread pattern, the tire will remain stable in harsh rain, regardless of the speed you’re driving at.
Like the previous two tires, the Grabber A/TX comes with a 3PMSF rating, so it’s a solid snow performer. It deals with shallow unpacked snow quite well and won’t struggle on packed on as much as some of its rivals. It’s planted and stable, so as long as you don’t live in an area with harsh winter conditions, this tire should be enough, as long as you don’t expect too much from it.
Off-roading is what the Grabber A/TX is designed for, and it does that well. The tire’s performance on hard-packed surfaces is excellent, meaning that you won’t find it struggling for traction. Driving in mud is something that the tire won’t struggle with and can handle deeper patches well, especially when compared with the previous two. The self-cleaning pattern will also ensure that the performance remains as consistent as possible. It’s not the ideal choice for rock-crawling, but it will handle some smaller obstacles.
The refinement of the Grabber A/TX is pretty good for an all-terrain tire. It deals with bumps and potholes very well, smoothing or absorbing them and offering a decently comfortable ride without too much harshness. The noise levels are also pretty good for a tire from this category. It’s acceptably quiet, and even though it’s not comparable to a touring tire, in this category, it’s far from the loudest option.
Like most of the options here, the warranty is good. The Grabber A/TX comes with a 60,000-mile treadwear warranty, so it’s pretty good for an all-terrain tire.
- Very good off-road performance
- Competitively priced
- Solid refinement levels
- Not the most ideal choice for extreme off-road conditions
- The on-road performance is a bit behind some of its rivals
#10. Nitto Ridge Grappler
The last entry on this list is a model we often refer to as a rugged-terrain tire, somewhere between the all-terrain and mud-terrain options. For this list, I’ve chosen the Ridge Grappler, a very capable off-roader.
On dry roads, the Ridge Grappler offers acceptable performance. The grip and traction levels are good enough as long as you’re not the type of person who is very aggressive with your inputs. You can get it to slip on acceleration, and you’ll notice understeer when going into a corner at higher-than-normal speed. The braking distances are short enough for me to call them safe but not something I’d call excellent. As for the handling, it’s fine for most people. The responsiveness isn’t too bad, and it won’t feel vague without any feedback.
The tire’s average performance continues in wet conditions as well. Driving on damp roads with the Ridge Grappler will show that it’s not the most capable tire in this category. The grip and traction levels are, again, good enough as long as you’re not too aggressive. It’s the same story with the braking distance. They aren’t unsafely long but are longer than some of its rivals. The only thing worth praising in these conditions is the aquaplaning resistance, which is thanks to the more aggressive tread pattern.
Snow is something that the Ridge Grappler doesn’t struggle with as much as I thought it would. The tread pattern does a pretty good job of delivering traction on unpacked snow, and the tire seems to do a solid job even if you’re driving in deeper patches. It may struggle a bit on packed snow, especially if you get a bit aggressive, but it still remains a solid performer. For anything more than this, you’d be better off with a dedicated winter tire, at least for road use.
As a rugged-terrain tire, the Ridge Grappler features a more aggressive design, meaning you’re looking at better off-road performance. On a dirt road, the tire does a very good job. It offers plenty of traction and remains stable even if you want to push it hard. The mud performance is also pretty good, and even in deeper patches, the tire won’t struggle as much as some of its rivals. Surprisingly, the tire can handle rock-crawling, something that the previous all-terrain options didn’t like as much.
The refinement of the Ridge Grappler is as good as you can expect from a tire from this category. It’s comfortable enough if you’re prepared for this kind of experience. The tire doesn’t do a poor job of smoothing out the road, as much as it doesn’t absorb the vibrations. As for noise levels, they are acceptable. The tire isn’t quiet when compared with a highway tire, so even though you will hear the growl, it’s not the loudest in this category.
- Acceptable noise levels
- Superb off-roader
- Solid snow performance
- The performance on paved roads is average
- No treadwear warranty