Motorsport racers and off-roaders don’t agree on many things. One of them prefers spending their days on the track with zero obstructions and no speed limits. The other proves his mettle on dirt and gravel tracks punctuated with stones, mud particles, and rocks.
But there is one area where the opinions of performance drivers and off-roading enthusiasts align – the reverence for Toyo and BF Goodrich tires. Both these brands offer multiple options for the track and off-road, earning them the respect of two different breeds of drivers.
Given that both these tire makers target the same customer, competition is inevitable. Hence the growing rivalry between the BF Goodrich KO2 and Toyo Open Country AT3. Both these tires are built for off-roading. Yet, as common sense dictates, only one can be fitted at a time.
In this article, we aim to put the spotlight on the Toyo Vs BF Goodrich tires rivalry. We’ll kick things off by discussing the histories as well as the tire families of these brands. Next, we’ll compare their products on multiple counts. After which, we will reveal the winner of this little comparison.
Toyo Tire Company was born in August 1945 in Osaka, Japan. Its birth month coincided with the dropping of the atom bombs on Hiroshima (330 km to the east) and Nagasaki (750 km to the east), with the war and subsequent reconstruction hamstringing demand for the company’s products.
As a shining example of the resilience of the Japanese, Toyo didn’t take long to get back to its feet. Post-war years saw the boom of the automobile market in the country, and the demand for tires skyrocketed. Toyo capitalized on the growing demand by opening its tire manufacturing facility in 1953.
Fast forward two years, the company was listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Another decade of breakneck growth saw Toyo set up its first R&D Laboratory in Hyogo. At the end of this decade, in 1966, Toyo became the first Japanese tire company to set up shop in the United States.
The rest, as they say, is history. Over the previous 6 decades, Toyo’s name has been everywhere, from billboards in downtown Manhattan to the fenders of one of the cars used in the first installment of the hit series, The Fast and the Furious. It’s thus safe to say that Toyo is a recognizable brand.
Toyo Tire Families
Toyo categorizes its tires into 8 lines. These include Proxes, Celsius, Open Country, Nano Energy, Observe, Snowprox, Toyo and Tranpath. The range of options means Toyo has something to offer to enthusiasts, off-roaders and everyday drivers.
Toyo Proxes tires offer the ultimate performance for driving enthusiasts. Excellent high-speed stability, enhanced cornering performance and road grip, and an engaging steering response – these are the defining features of every member of the Proxes lineup.
Twenty three tires complete the Proxes lineup. Among which the Proxes R1R and ST III are our favorites. The R1R is an extreme performance tire that offers exceptional sporty handling and brilliant dry tarmac traction to passenger cars. The ST III, meanwhile, brings the same to SUVs and trucks.
Toyo Celsius tires offer high-performance in multiple weather conditions. Toyo Celsius, the founding member of this lineup, features variable sipe density and snow claws to plough through snow and ice. Slush grooves and multi-wave sipes help keep hydroplaning at bay.
Then there is the Celsius AS2, a tire which claims to unite safety with mobility. The AS2 is available in 31 sizes from 15- to 20-inch, meaning you can install it on passenger cars, SUVs, and crossovers. For light trucks and commercial vans, the Celsius Cargo is on offer.
Their name leaves no doubt what the Open Country tires are all about. Every member of this group comes with a puncture-resistant sidewall, stubborn tread compound and self-cleaning characteristics – features that make Open Country tires one of the most rugged on the market.
While there are nearly a dozen members in the Open Country family, none of them can beat the Open Country AT3 in the fame department. This tire combines an aggressive tread pattern with a high-void tread compound for an impressive off-road performance. Plus, it carries the 3PMSF rating.
The Nano Energy is Toyo’s response to growing demands that tire manufacturers do something for the environment. Which is a valid demand once you consider that almost 2000 times more particle pollution is produced by tire wear than by the exhausts of modern cars.
There are five members in the Nano Energy lineup, including Nano Energy 3, J64, J61, R38, and R41. Three of these five tires (J64, J61, R41) are made for the latest or older versions of Toyota Prius. Only the Nano Energy 3 can be installed on multiple vehicles.
Toyo’s Observe tires are for mild-to-harsh wintry conditions. How much snow you can safely drive on depends on the model of the Observe lineup you have fitted. The Observe S44, for instance, can carry you from point A to point B in light snow and ice.
That isn’t what the Observe GSI5 settles for. It is an extreme-performance winter tire that can safely carry you home through a snowstorm. Whether it’s snow, ice, slush or simply slippery roads, the GSI5 has what it takes to keep your vehicle stable.
Similar to the Open Country family, this lineup’s name betrays its intentions. All the Snowprox tires are designed to keep you safe (and your vehicle stable) in harsh wintry conditions. But that is the only similarity you can find between the three tires in this lineup.
While the Snowprox S954 SUV is a dependable winter-time companion for SUVs, the S954 has been designed to meet the requirements of medium and high-class cars. The S943, the third and final member of this family, is ideal for small and mid-sized family cars.
Toyo Tranpath are high-performance, OEM tires for different models. The A11 can be installed on multiple trims of Toyota and Lexus vehicles. The A14 can meet the demands of Nissan and Toyota cars, while the R23 has what it takes to keep your Mazda Premacy stable on the road.
BFGoodrich is one of the oldest tire companies. The company was founded in 1870 in Akron, Ohio, a year after its founder had purchased the Hudson River Rubber Company. However, for the first few years of its existence, the company was only making rubber products, and not tires.
That changes when with the boom of automobile market in the US. A little over 30 years since its founding, BFGoodrich got the contract for supplying the OEM tires for the Ford Model A. The year proved to be an excellent one for the manufacturer as a car traveling on its tires crossed the US.
Over the subsequent years, BFGoodrich continued to innovate and invest in new technologies that had made it one of the most recognizable tire brands in the US. Uber success for the company followed, and it became the first tire maker to supply its models for the aeronautics industry.
Racing is another area where BFG has made its name. The company has a section on its website telling readers how it produced tires for the car that won the 1914 Indianapolis. The success convinced BFG to enter into prominent racing competitions like WRC, Paris Dakar, Baja, and many others.
BFGoodrich Tire Families
Similar to Toyo, BFGoodrich groups tires based on the conditions they are most useful in. Almost all the BFG tire families cover a wide range of vehicles. However, while some focus more on the comfort side of things, others lean toward agile handling.
BFGoodrich g-Force tires are designed to offer extreme performance on the road. These tires provide enhanced steering response and high-speed handling. But they struggle a bit in the comfort and refinement departments. For this reason, g-Force tires are better for enthusiasts.
Keep in mind that g-Force tires can only be fitted to passenger cars. That means that SUV and CUV owners have to look elsewhere. Which shouldn’t come as a surprise once you consider than most brands’ performance and high-performance tires are made for similar vehicles.
Although the g-Force tires make no compromises when it comes to performance, their inflated asking prices means you’d have to blow your budget to afford them. Radial tires offer a better alternative if you’re looking for a sporty performance tire from the same manufacturer.
Toyo Radial tires strike the perfect balance between cost and performance. Like their g-Force cousins, these tires can only be installed on passenger cars too. So, once again, the SUV and CUV owners are out of luck.
BFGoodrich all-terrain tires are built to power through mud and loose soil. In fact, it wouldn’t be wrong to claim that all-terrain tires supply most of the fame and revenue that comes BFG’s way. And nothing justifies this claim better than the BFG T/A KO2 tire.
Compared with its previous versions, the new T/A KO2 offers 19% more traction on snow and 10% added traction on mud. Side-biter lugs increase this model’s rock traction when aired down, while the “mud-buster” bars keep it usable in soft soil and muddy terrains.
Mud-Terrain and Winter
Mud-terrain tires are made for extreme off-road conditions. Every member of this family features self-cleaning characteristics to offer improved traction on loose surfaces. Bear in mind, though, that these tires will be unbearably loud when driven on highway.
In terms of winter tires, BFG gives you only one option – the T/A KSI. This tire is available in multiple sizes and can cover passenger cars, SUVs, CUVs and even some light trucks. But we don’t think this tire has what it takes to be the best for snow.
BFG Commercial tires aren’t appropriately named. Anyone who reads the name might go home thinking that these tires can only cover vans. The reality however is different. The Commercial group can also be fitted to SUVs, CUVs and some light trucks.
Toyo Vs BFGoodrich tires: Differences
Here are the major differences between Toyo and BFGoodrich tires:
Toyo tires are clear winners in the performance department.
The Japanese tire brand has over years perfected the technologies and tread compounds that have made its models faster, grippier and agile on the road. Throw into the mix their competitive asking prices, and you have only one winner.
Availability of Options
Here’s an area where BFGoodrich tires excel.
Perhaps it is because of the fact that BFG has been making tires in America since eternity and have a better knowledge of the market. Or maybe it’s because of some other reason. Regardless, whether you own a passenger car or a light truck, there’s a BFG tire out there for your vehicle.
Price and Warranty
Toyo tires are the more budget-friendly of the two.
Yet BFGoodrich carries the day when it comes to warranty. The highest warranty on any BFG tire is 65,000 miles, which translate to 4-5 years of treadlife. However, the maximum backing any Toyo tire has received from its manufacturer is for 60,000 miles.
Advantages of Toyo
- Weigh less heavy on the pocket
- Are more performance oriented
- Slicker and more flexible tread compounds
Advantages of BFGoodrich
- Better performers in off-road conditions
- Winter tires can perform well in harsh conditions
- Can do rock crawling on BFG tires
Toyo Vs BF Goodrich Tires: Which One to Choose?
Toyo tires are a better bet if you’re on a budget. These tires don’t cost so much as to blow a hole in your pocket. Yet you cannot guess their asking prices from their performance on the track and street, an area where Toyo tires leave no stone unturned to excel.
Having said that, if money is no issue, BFGoodrich tires are your best bet. That is especially the case if you’re a frequent off-roader.