Off-road driving has had a resurrection in recent years, despite the onslaught of SUVs that are primarily aimed for the street. Vehicles such as the Jeep Wrangler and Toyota 4Runner become increasingly popular with enthusiasts, and honestly, I can understand why – driving in the wilderness is a lot of fun! That said, in order to get the most out of your truck or SUV in harsh conditions, you’ll need a set of off-road focused tires.
Such product is the Atturo Trail Blade XT, which the manufacturer classifies as multi-terrain tire. This means that it’s better than all-terrain tires in harsh off-road conditions but worse than hardcore off-road or mud-terrain tires. With that said, the Trail Blade XT already has competitors in this category, namely the Kumho Road Venture MT KL71, which gets very positive reviews. So, how does the Atturo stand up to the fierce competition? You can find out in this detailed Atturo Trail Blade XT review.
Before you dig deep into the qualities of this tire, let me remind you that the Atturo is primarily made for vehicles that have outstanding off-road abilities. Those that first come to mind are Jeep Wrangler and Cherokee, Toyota 4Runner, Land Cruiser, Tacoma, Tundra and FJ Cruiser, Ford F-150, Ranger and Bronco, Hummer H3, Chevrolet Silverado, Dodge Ram, Land Rover Discovery, Range Rover and so on. That said, owners of premium vehicles might think twice about installing these tires on their vehicles – they aren’t the most comfortable tires for driving on the highway.
Nevertheless, that’s an attribute to almost all multi-terrain tires, and more importantly, most mud-terrain tires are even worse in that regard. If you want outstanding traction on off-road trails, you must be prepared to have slightly worse driving experience on the road.
What are the features of the Atturo Trail Blade XT?
The Trail Blade XT is made in collaboration with Quartermaster Knives, a manufacturer of folding knives that are very popular within the off-road community. Chance is, if you drive in the wilderness, you will need some of their products. Atturo is hopeful that the respect people have for this brand will convince them to try these tires, which seems like a very good marketing stunt.
Marketing aside, the Trail Blade XT cuts into the segment between all-terrain and mud-terrain tires. According to Atturo, thanks to the open shoulder design and sidewall tread lugs, this tire has the traction of a mud-terrain tire, off-road ability of an all-terrain tire, and the road feel of a highway tire. If you ask me, this also seems like a marketing speech – I’ve never seen a set of tires that achieves all of this.
Nevertheless, the sidewall of the Trail Blade XT is the same as the one of the Trail Blade MT (mud-terrain tire), combined with a tread that’s optimized for both performance on the trail and the road. The former is achieved with the large shoulder blocks, while the latter with the small center tread blocks. Atturo even thought about snow and rain performance – the Trail Blade XT is equipped with multiple sipes across the tread. Like most tires in its category, the Atturo is also equipped with rim guard that protects your wheels against damage. The manufacturer also designed the tread with alternating horizontal and vertical sipes, which should control road noise and additionally improve snow traction.
The Trail Blade XT is available in LT and Metric sizes, which means that it fits a large variety of SUVs and trucks. LT-rated models have a 3-ply sidewall that adds strength and durability.
What are maintenance indicators?
Atturo doesn’t specify maintenance indicators on the Trail Blade XT which means that you’re left with a visual inspection of the tread. As for the warranty, Atturo offers 45,000-mile limited treadwear warranty, which is good for the sector (the Kumho Road Venture MT KL71 doesn’t have any warranty), but not the best around. Nonetheless, owners around the world report that the Trail Blade XT is very durable, even when driven on rocky roads. Still, if you want a set of tires that will last you longer, BF Goodrich tires might be a better bet.
Is it good for off-road driving?
You bet it is! Let’s be honest – the reason you’re buying the Atturo Trail Blade XT is the added traction on slippery surfaces. The aggressive tread design really pays dividends here, offering stunning levels of traction in mud and sand. Even though not really focused on that surface, the Atturo is perfectly fine with rocky surfaces and gravel. With a set of these tires, it will be really hard to get stuck in the wilderness, no matter the surface.
Thanks to the stiff sidewalls, the Trail Blade XT can be even driven hard and fast on some off-road surfaces. Stability is very good, and the side-to-side movement is very limited. In some conditions (rally-like driving for example) the Atturo seems like an even better option than a set of mud-terrain tires, which is high praise indeed.
Overall, I am impressed with how Atturo handles off-road driving. Sure, you may find even more hardcore tires, but for most drivers, the Trail Blade XT seems like it really hits the right spot.
How does it behave on the dry tarmac?
Most multi-terrain tires don’t transfer the same abilities onto the road, but the Trail Blade is positively different. Traction is surprisingly good, even on larger and more powerful SUVs. The grip is also excellent, at least for a tire that’s focused on off-road driving first and foremost. Most importantly, the Trail Blade offers high levels of stability at higher speeds. Overall, the XT is one of the best off-road tires when it comes to driving on pavement, better than even some all-terrain tires. On top of that, the Atturo might work better on surfaces covered partially with sand or debris, which is an advantage these tires normally have over highway tires.
How is it over wet and slippery roads?
The Trail Blade XT is also very good in the rain, but in this regard, some tires are better. Thanks to the aggressive tread pattern with multiple sipes, the tire resists hydroplaning like a champ, making your drive much safer in the process. However, I think that some competitors are better in light rain or damp conditions. Not that the Atturo is not usable, mind you – it is still a supremely safe tire to drive in rainy conditions.
With that being said, how is it in snowy roads?
That’s always a good question with multi-terrain tires, and the answer is very mixed. Thanks to the aggressive tread pattern and big lugs, the Trail Blade XT provides ample traction in deep and unpacked snow. This not only makes the driver more comfortable to push more but also makes the whole experience more fun. The Atturo is also pretty good on slush, at least as much as multi-terrain tires go.
That said, it completely loses traction on packed snow. That’s what you mostly encounter on the road, mind you. In other words, if you live in areas with heavy snow during the winter, proper winter tires will still be the safest bet. They not only bring added traction on packed snow but also much better performance in colder conditions overall. The Trail Blade XT is usable in the winter but still limited for very harsh conditions.
Is it comfortable and refined?
Some off-road enthusiasts are okay with noisy and uncomfortable tires, especially if they give them outstanding traction on slippery surfaces. However, most of the drivers want a set of tires that will also be usable on the road in terms of comfort, and the Atturo Trail Blade XT is not one of those tires.
The biggest reason why I don’t recommend the Atturo for long journeys is the noise. On the highway, the Trail Blade XT is louder than some mud-terrain tires, which is certainly unexpected. There’s a constant hum while driving that can give headache if you travel on the highway for prolonged periods of time. Ride quality is somewhat better, but still not like the best in the category.
On top of that, the Atturo is very hard to balance. In my experience, it had too much vibration at 70mph for comfortable and safe driving, and the same is reported numerous times by owners of this tire on forums.
You can see more Atturo Trail Blade XT Review here: videos created by JOHN WARGO
Should I buy the Atturo Trail Blade XT?
If you mostly care about off-road traction and safe handling on the road, then the Trail Blade XT might be the best tire for you. However, this Atturo is very hard to balance, which is felt as vibrations while driving. On top of that, it becomes very noisy on the highway. In other words, if you care about comfort, this is not the tire for you.
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