- Phenomenal driving characteristics
- Excellent aquaplaning resistance
- Grip and traction levels are superb
- Acceptably quiet tire
- It can get a bit harsh at times
- Snow performance is very poor
For many decades, trucks and sporty driving were two sides that didn’t mix together. Trucks and SUVs were mainly aimed at going off-road, towing, or hauling bigger cargo. As a result, they weren’t really considered a good option for sporty driving.
Throughout the years, car manufacturers have tried to attract a broader range of owners, so some changes were made. The market saw plenty of models that were more capable on the road and in more aggressive driving situations. This didn’t make them a replacement for a sports car, but it provided enthusiasts with a fun-ish daily driver.
Owning a vehicle capable of bringing a smile on your face means that you’ll need a set of tires capable of handling more aggressive driving. Considering that the typical passenger high-performance tires won’t fit on most SUVs or trucks, you’ll need a different type of tire.
Truck or SUV tires aren’t too different than the regular ones. In general, you are getting a very similar compound, but it is a tire capable of handling a bigger and heavier vehicle.
Many manufacturers are aiming for this market, and the one I’ll be talking about today is Toyo and its Proxes ST III. This is a tire that the company claims to balance refinement and performance excellently. Since I’m not the type of person who believes in marketing, I decided to test it and see how good it really is.
What are the features of the Toyo Proxes ST III?
Features aren’t something that the Proxes ST III lacks, and by the looks of things, Toyo tried to pay attention to both sides.
The Proxes ST III features a silica enriched rubber compound, meaning that it’s an all-season tire and can be used in winter. To provide traction in those conditions, Toyo molded the compound using a tread pattern with multi-wave sipes. They also should help lower the noise levels and provide even wear throughout the tire’s life.
In terms of the noise, the Proxes ST III is designed with directional shoulder blocks. Going with this approach means that not only should the tire be quieter, but the braking distances should also be shorter.
Another area that the tread design that is expected to bring improvements is the directional design. The goal is to improve the way the Proxes ST III handles and increase the traction levels in wet conditions. Here you also have the lightning grooves, which are part of the water evacuation system of the tire.
The tapers are designed like arrows, which help make the blocks of the tire stiffer. This should help keep the tire stable when driving in a straight line.
How does it behave on dry tarmac?
The dry performance is what justifies the sport badge that Toyo gave the Proxes ST III. It’s a tire that won’t disappoint you in these conditions.
Traction and grip levels are superb, to a point where it completely transforms how a truck or an SUV drive. Aggressive acceleration or sudden braking is not a problem, as the Proxes ST III performed excellently in both cases. Lateral grip is another aspect where the tire surprises. There is more than enough grip for even heavier trucks to go in a corner without the tire breaking a sweat.
In the handling department, Proxes ST III delivers on the promises that Toyo made. The dynamic handling, combined with plenty of feedback through the steering wheel, is an enthusiast’s dream come true.
How does it behave over wet and slippery roads?
Wet performance is just as impressive, and the Proxes ST III delivers on this front as well.
Even though wet roads are known to be problematic for some tires, but not for this one. It will provide you with plenty of traction, so tire slip won’t be a common occurrence. If you put some effort into it, the tire will break traction, but not constantly. The same can be said about the grip levels. They are very high for a tire that is designed to be performance-oriented and refined.
Thanks to the tread design and grooves, the aquaplaning resistance of the Proxes ST III is superb. It can remain stable even when you drive on water at higher speeds. You may find some better-performing tires out there, but not by much.
How is it over snow?
Snow performance is where the Proxes ST III disappoints a little. All-season tires aren’t really known for being particularly good on snow, and this one is no different and maybe even worse.
In light snow conditions, the Proxes ST III will struggle a bit to find traction. Once it does, it handles decently as long as you are careful. Performance on ice is not any different, I may even say that it’s almost undrivable.
If the roads are clear of snow and ice, the performance of the Proxes ST III is not too bad. It seems to struggle a bit in very cold temperatures, but it’s not a drastic difference.
Is it comfortable and refined?
Performance tires struggle from being not very comfortable or quiet, and the Proxes ST III seems to follow that trend to a point.
Comfort levels are decent if you have reasonable expectations. The Proxes ST III isn’t a replacement for a touring tire, so don’t expect a super-smooth experience. It can absorb some bumps, but not all of them, and you shouldn’t expect to be completely isolated from vibrations.
As for the noise, it’s a better situation. The Proxes ST III isn’t the quietest tire on the market but is decent. You will hear the tire mainly over rougher surfaces or at higher speeds, and despite that, it’s not terribly loud.
Is it good for off-roading?
No, the Proxes ST III won’t perform well in off-road scenarios. Like most road tires, this one has two disadvantages that prevent it from delivering in these conditions: durability and tread pattern.
The grooves aren’t nearly as deep or as wide to enable the Proxes ST III to have decent traction in mud or sand. In addition to that, the harsher conditions mean that it won’t take that kind of abuse for a long time.
Is the Toyo Proxes ST III ideal for sporty driving?
Absolutely, the Proxes ST III is primarily designed to be driven like that, so you can expect it to be excellent for sporty driving.
The tire offers plenty of grip and traction, meaning that you can push it quite a lot before it starts to break away. This makes it excellent for driving your truck or SUV on the limit.
To control things, a tire needs to handle good, which the Proxes ST III does excellently. It is very responsive, and there isn’t too much flex in the sidewall. In addition to that, you’ll get plenty of feedback, meaning that you won’t struggle to figure out what the front tires are doing.
Toyo Proxes ST III Warranty
The warranty isn’t industry-leading and falls a bit behind some of its competitors. The Proxes ST III comes with a 40,000-mile treadwear warranty, putting it behind something like the Hankook Ventus ST RH06 with its 50,000-mile warranty.
Toyo Proxes ST III Pricing: Is it worth the money?
When you compare the Proxes ST III with other tires from its class, it’s quite a good option that is worth it. You can get it as low as a little over $160, which is a bargain compared to other models.
Tires like the Kumho Ecsta STX KL12 or the Cooper Discoverer H/T Plus are both significantly more expensive.
Should I buy the Toyo Proxes ST III?
There are one or two things to keep in mind before you head out and buy the Proxes ST III.
The tire is an excellent option for people looking to give their SUVs or trucks a sportier driving feel. You will get superb levels of traction and grip combined with a tire that possesses very dynamic handling characteristics. Wet roads are also not a problem, and thanks to the excellent aquaplaning resistance, you can be sure that you’ll get excellent stability at higher speeds.
While I’m on the subject of driving, the Proxes ST III is a tire that can give a sporty-like feel to your truck or SUV. It’s a tire that responds instantly to inputs and provides you with plenty of feedback through the steering wheel.
Snow and ice performance are not particularly good, making the Proxes ST III a poor choice for winter driving.
Refinement is decent but far from perfect. The comfort levels are acceptable if that isn’t your priority. Noise, on the other hand, isn’t too bad and can be drowned out by the sound of the engine.
As long as you are willing to make some compromises in the comfort section and winter performance, the Proxes ST III is an excellent sporty tire for a truck or SUV
What Vehicles Will the Toyo Proxes ST III Fit?
Here’s a sample list of cars that the Toyo Proxes ST III will fit:
- Alfa Romeo Stelvio
- Audi Q2, Q3, Q4, Q5
- BMW X3, X5, X6
- Ford F-150
- Honda HR-V, CR-V, Passport
- Kia Seltos, Sportage
- Lexus NX, RX
- Mazda CX-3, CX-30, CX-5
- Mitsubishi L200
- Nissan Pathfinder
- Subaru Crosstrek, Forester
- Toyota Rav4, CH-R, Hilux
Tire Sizes for Toyo Proxes ST III
List of Toyo Tire Reviews