Many people don’t know that Toyo and Nitto are sister tire companies. That these brands are run by the same people and manufactured in the same facilities worldwide. Or the fact that their affordable prices enable Toyo and Nitto to target the same end-user.
Another similarity can be found in these brands’ best-sellers. Anyone who knows anything about tires will tell you that Toyo is the go-to option for all-terrain and mud-terrain tires. Similar is the case with Nitto, with the Ridge Grappler being Nitto’s most popular tire.
That isn’t to say that these brands have no differences. For instance, while Toyo offers multiple winter tire options, Nitto’s winter lineup is limited. Also, while most Toyo tires come with an average warranty of 40,000 miles, Nitto tires are backed for 60,000 miles on average.
These aren’t the only areas where these tire makers differ. In this Toyo Vs Nitto tires comparison, we’ll highlight the key factors that distinguish these tire manufacturers. So that when you have to choose between the two, you can easily pick the one meeting your requirements.
What's In This Guide?
Toyo Tires History
Saying that Toyo Tires was founded under difficult circumstances would be the understatement of the 20th century. The company’s foundations were laid in Osaka in August 1945. In the same month, two atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, less than 500 miles from Osaka.
However, like the Japanese economy that it was a part of, Toyo emerged from under the rubble of World War 2 with a smile on its face. In fact, it did more than that – within 8 months of its inauspicious beginnings, Toyo had built and opened its first large-scale manufacturing facility.
The next decade saw Toyo being listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. This was followed by the tire brand setting up their own Research & Development Lab in Hyogo. Fast forward six months, and Toyo became the first Japanese tire manufacturer to launch its product in the United States.
Today, Toyo is the 8th largest tire manufacturer in the world. The company enjoys a market cap of $1.94 billion, $32 billion more than the next brand on the list. However, for moviegoers, Toyo’s brand reached its epogee when it became the face of the first ‘Fast and Furious’ movie.
Toyo Tire Families
The Toyo family tree includes 8 branches. They are Proxes, Celsius, Open Country, Nano Energy, Observe, Snowprox, and Transpath. Let us discuss all the Toyo tire families.
The Toyo Proxes family demolishes the myth that this brand’s tires are all about handling difficult terrains. Every member of this lineup delivers excellent cornering performance, enhanced steering response, and superb high-speed stability – hallmarks of performance and extreme performance tires.
There are ten tires in this family, including the Proxes Sport A/S, R1R, RR, RA1, and R888R. The other three members are the Proxes TQ, RS1, and ST III. All of these tires are budget-friendly options for an extreme performance tire, with some retailers selling them for even less to those with discount codes.
The Toyo Open Country AT2 and AT3 signify what this lineup is all about. Both these tires have the tread design needed to conquer difficult terrains. Each features a sturdy puncture-resistant tread compound to keep forced mid-journey hiatuses to a minimum.
Yet, as stated in our AT2 Vs AT3 comparison, the latter features a few upgrades over its predecessor. The 3D sipes are deeper on the AT3 to offer better road grip. There are more aggressive blocks on the sidewall for enhanced protection. And the S-shaped tread blocks are more tightly packed.
Every member of the Celsius family has been designed to compete in harsh wintry conditions. The Toyo Celsius, made to fit passenger cars and SUVs, features high-density sipes to improve extreme weather performance. Multi-wave sipes are also on offer to reduce the risk of hydroplaning.
Plus, as we have highlighted in our Toyo Celsius Vs Michelin Defender review, this model is much less expensive than its competitors. The same could be said about the Celsius 2, the successor and competitor of the original Celsius, as well as the Celsius Cargo, built for trucks and commercial vans.
The Nano Energy lineup is Toyo’s response to global warming. Every tire in this family has been designed to reduce fuel emissions and protect the environment. However, in contrast to eco-friendly tires from other manufacturers, the Nano Energy tires can’t be universally fited.
Instead, all the tires belonging to this family are designed to be installed on the latest or older versions of Toyota Prius, one of the world’s first and most popular EV cars. So, if you’re looking to install eco-friendly tires on your ‘normal’ vehicle, look elsewhere.
Two tires complete Toyo’s Observe family. They are the Observe GSI-6, a studless performance winter tire which you can use on public roads without requiring permission from anyone. The other is the G3-Ice, which is a studdable option for passenger cars, SUVs, CUVs, and light trucks.
Similar to the Toyo Observe family, the Snowprox tires too are made for inclement weather. Three tires complete this family, including the S953, S954, and S954 SUV. All three are premium studless winter tires with an asymmetric tread pattern and flexible rubber compound for snow and ice.
The Toyo Transpath family comprises OEM tires. This means there are specific vehicles on which these tires can be installed. For example, the A11 can be installed on multiple trims of Toyota Lexus; the A14 can be fitted on Nissan cars; the R23 on Mazda Premacy.
Nitto Tires History
Nitto is another tire brand that had its origins in Japan. The Japanese tire brand was founded in 1949, making it 4-years younger than Toyo. Its headquarters are based in Itami, a city located a mere 20km from Osaka, which as stated above is the birthplace of Toyo Tires.
Throughout its history, Nitto Tires has flirted with disaster. The company was on the brink of being wiped off the face of the earth when it was rescued by Toyo Tires, which acquired the company in 1979, a few years before Nitto tires’ manufacturing kicked off in the US.
Social media has galvanized popular support for this tire brand. The company enjoys a fanbase of around 11 million on Facebook, with hundreds of thousands of social media users following Nitto on other platforms.
At the time of writing, Nitto tires are placed in six different locations around the world, in the US, China, Malaysia, and Japan. The company currently sells performance, high-performance, extreme-performance, off-road and luxury tires globally.
Nitto Tire Families
Unlike Toyo, which categorizes its tires based on conditions which they’re designed for, Nitto pigeonholes its tires based on target vehicles. As a result, you’d see us talking about Nitto light truck tires, passenger tires and competition tires.
Nitto classifies its light truck tires in three categories:
- Mud-Terrain: Three tires complete Nitto’s mud-terrain family, including the Trail Grappler, Ridge Grappler, and Mud Grappler. As their names imply, all three tires are made for extreme off-road conditions.
- All-Terrain: While the Nitto Recon Grappler AT tire combines off-road versatility with a distinctive design, the Terra Grappler G2 has been designed to handle every day adventures, regardless of whether they’re on dirt or pavement.
- Highway Terrain: The Dura Grappler is the solo member of Toyo’s highway terrain family. This HT tire was engineered to deliver commercial grade performance and longevity for your SUVs and trucks.
There are three sub-branches of Nitto’s passenger tires:
- All-Season: Nitto’s all-season lineup – which comprises Motivo and Neo Gen tires – is designed to deliver comfortable all-season ultra-high road performance at a budget-friendly asking price.
- Summer High-Performance: While the NT555 G2 has been designed to provide everyday vehicles with ultra-high performance, the INVO is capable of taking the performance of high-performance cars to the next level.
- Max Performance: If you are not an everyday driver and aren’t satisfied with the performance of Nitto’s summer high-performance tires either, the NT05 max-performance tire will meet your expectations.
Nitto has divided its competition-ready tires into two categories:
- D.O.T.-Compliant Competition Drag Radial: The NT555 RII’s high-grip sticky rubber compound, enhanced wet and dry traction and large circumferential grooves provide this tire with everything a weekend drag racer needs.
- D.O.T.-Compliant Competition Road Course: NT01, the only member of this family, has all the attributes to excel in road racing. It is thus a perfect fit for the track-day enthusiast as well as the professional road racer.
Toyo Vs Nitto Tires: Differences
Here are the major differences between Toyo and Nitto tires:
Nitto Tires are a much better option in the performance department.
In the NT555 RII and the NT01, Nitto covers the needs of the entire racing community. Whether you’re a racer who proves their mettle on the weekend drag races, or you’re a professional road racer, preferring Nitto tires over their Toyo counterparts is a no-brainer.
It isn’t only their stick tread compounds and other features that help elevate Nitto’s performance tires over their rivals from Toyo. The sheer size availability also distinguishes them – both the NT555 RII and NT01 are available in almost all the standard sizes.
Availability of Options
Toyo is a clear winner as far as the availability of options is concerned.
Sure, Nitto offers everything from all-season to mud-terrain tires. But we’re yet to see a dedicated winter tire with this brand’s logo. Toyo, by contrast, offers three lineups of tires for harsh wintry conditions, thus coming across a better option for those living up north.
What is more, while Toyo offers fuel-efficient/eco-friendly tires, Nitto doesn’t.
Price and Warranty
There is no clear winner as far as the price is concerned.
Performance and high-performance tires aside, Toyo and Nitto tires are equally light on the pocket. You can purchase an entire set of tires of either brand for the price of one Michelin, Bridgestone, Continental or any other premium brand’s tire. As for warranty, Nitto tires are backed for a longer period.
Advantages of Toyo
- Offers dedicated tires for harsh wintry conditions
- Has an entire lineup of eco-friendly tires
- Boasts some of the best all-terrain tires on the market
Advantages of Nitto
- Offers budget-friendly tires
- Backs its models with generous treadwear warranties
- Has relatively better performance tires
Toyo Vs Nitto Tires: Which Brand to Choose?
Toyo tires are a better option for everyday driving, harsh wintry conditions and off-roading. Nitto tires, meanwhile, deserve your attention if you’re looking for performance tires on a budget.