Today, most SUVs and crossovers are based on passenger car architectures. That makes them much better to drive on the road, but also much worse for off-roading. Luckily, there are still some manufacturers that produce SUVs designed specifically for off-road driving. Toyota is perhaps the company with the most off-road ready vehicles in its portfolio, other than the SUV specialists, Jeep.
The 4Runner is their bread and butter off-road model, loved by owners in North America thanks to the rugged design and outstanding off-road abilities. That said, to get the most out of your 4Runner, especially when you go off-roading, you will need a good set of tires. The best tires for 4Runner must be able to deliver outstanding off-road traction, but also to be completely safe and reliable on the road and in most weather conditions.
That’s a tall order for any type of 4Runner tires, even the mightiest ones. As you will learn here, some Toyota 4Runner tires are better for some type of terrain but worse for other types of terrains. There is no single tire that works tremendously well on every type of terrain, let alone one that will give you the best on-road handling combined with outstanding off-road abilities.
Then, there is the problem choosing the right set of 4Runner tires for your needs. The 4Runnner can accept many different types of tires, and choosing the right ones can be a nightmare, especially if you are a newbie in off-roading. The market today is also flooded with many different tire types and makes, which doesn’t make things any easier.
Luckily, we are here to help. In this detailed article for the best tires for Toyota 4Runner, we will give you our Top 10 list of the best products you can purchase online. And not just that – the list is divided into several different categories so everyone can find a product that suits their needs. For those that don’t understand the various 4Runner tire types, you can read onto the “buying guide” section, where we will dissect every type of tire that the average 4Runner owner might want.
Top 10 List of The Best Tires for Toyota 4Runner Recommended
Best Touring Tires for Toyota 4Runner
1. Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza Plus
If you just drive your 4Runner on the road, despite its outstanding off-road abilities, then there is no better choice than the Dueler H/L Alenza Plus. This all-season touring tire is supremely quiet, even at very high speeds, making the whole driving experience much better. The Dueler also offers a very plush and smooth ride quality for an even more comfortable experience.
On the road, grip, traction, and braking are among the best in the touring category, albeit not as responsive as some. The Dueler also works in every weather condition, including light and heavy rain, and light snow. Finally, the 80,000-mile treadwear warranty is class-leading right now.
Best Highway Tires for Toyota 4Runner
2. Michelin Defender LTX M/S
If you tow or haul heavy cargo with your 4Runner, then the Michelin Defender LTX is the best tire for you. Thanks to the MaxTouch construction, this tire offers class-leading stability, even with a large trailer attached behind. Grip, traction, and braking are also outstanding, both in dry and wet conditions. The Defender LTX even works on gravel roads, thanks to the chip-resistant EverTread compound.
Like most Michelin tires, this 4Runner tires also offers excellent comfort. The ride quality is as plush as it goes in a highway tire, and there is almost no noise on the highway. Finally, the Defender LTX comes with a 70,000-mile treadwear warranty for T- H- & V-Speed Rated and 50,000-miles for W-Speed rated models, one of the best results in the highway category.
3. General Grabber HTS60
The General Grabber HTS60 is a more budget-oriented option than the Defender LTX. As expected, the performance it offers is not on par with the French rival, but still very good considering the price. On the road, the Grabber offers high levels of grip, traction, and braking, both in dry and wet conditions. The 65,000-mile treadwear warranty is also very good considering the price, especially when you compare it to other budget rivals.
The Grabber HTS60 is also very comfortable and quiet on the road, almost on the level of the Defender LTX. The only real downside that we can think of is the slightly worse wet performance of heavy-duty models, but they are mostly meant for full-size trucks and not for the 4Runner.
Best All Terrain Tires for Toyota 4Runner
4. Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure with Kevlar
The Wrangler All-Terrain is right now the best all terrain tires on the market. There are numerous reasons for that, and the most obvious one is the 60,000-mile treadwear warranty, which is the best result in the category. The Durawall Technology makes the Goodyear very tough as well, so you don’t have to worry when driving over sharp rocks.
For off-roading, the Wrangler provides the driver with outstanding traction on rocks, dirt, and mud, and only really suffers in the sand. On the road, grip, traction, and braking are excellent, as is high-speed stability, both in dry and wet conditions. The Wrangler even works in light snow and has the 3PMSF rating to cover that claim, making this model one of the top choices for best 4Runner tires.
5. BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2
The BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 is the most popular all-terrain tire on the market almost entirely thanks to the outstanding off-road abilities. The T/A KO2 provides the driver with very high levels of traction on almost every surface, including gravel, rocks, sand, and mud. The Sidewall Armor adds the layer of durability required in all-terrain tires, so you don’t need to worry about cuts and punctures.
On the road, the KO2 offers excellent high-speed stability and pretty responsive handling. Wet traction and braking are also among the best, while the 3PMSF rating promises excellent light-snow traction. The 50,000-mile treadwear warranty only adds to the appeal of the BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2.
6. Mickey Thompson Baja ATZ P3
Mickey Thompson tires are known for their outstanding off-road performance. The Baja is their most well-rounded tire – it offers excellent traction on rocks, mud, and dirt thanks to the Deep aggressive shoulder SideBiters and scalloped shoulder lugs. It is also exceptional in the sand, unlike most all-terrain tires.
The Baja ATZ P3 is also very tough thanks to the Silica-reinforced compound with cut-chip resistance and Powerply 3-Ply sidewall construction. On the road, this 4Runner tires provides the driver with excellent high-speed stability and overall safe and reliable driving experience in dry and wet conditions. That said, the Baja isn’t the best choice for snow driving.
On the positive side, the 45,000-mile treadwear warranty is very competitive in the best all terrain tires category.
7. Falken Wildpeak AT3W
Another top option for best 4Runner tires is Falken WildpeakAT3W All Terrain tires. The Falken Wildpeak AT3W is the best all terrain tires with the deepest grooves on the market, which helps tremendously for driving in mud. Rock crawling is another of its advantages, as well as driving on dirt and sand. If you want a real off-road-focused all-terrain tire, this is the best choice.
The performance on the street is also very good – handling is responsive, and the tires feel stable on the highway. The Falken Wildpeak AT3W even works on wet pavement and light snow, thanks to the 3PMSF rating. Finally, this tire is also very durable and tough, covered by a stunning 55,000-mile treadwear warranty.
Best Mud-Terrain Tires for Toyota 4Runner
8. BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM3 – best mud tire for Jeep Wrangler
If you can forgive the added noise on the highway, the BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM3 is the best mud-terrain tire right now – it provides the best traction in mud, but it also provides outstanding traction on rocks, dirt, and gravel.
The racing-derived Krawl-Tek compound gives this tire exceptional toughness and also good on-road dynamics – high-speed stability is surprisingly good. The BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM3 even works in wet conditions, unlike most mud-terrain tires.
Best Maximum Traction Off-Road Tires for Toyota 4Runner
9. Goodyear Wrangler MT/R with Kevlar
The Wrangler MT/R with Kevlar is the most consistent off-road tire on the market right now, achieving excellent traction on every type of surface, including rocks, mud, dirt, and sand. The Kevlar sidewall reinforcement gives this product outstanding toughness and durability, and better puncture resistance, making it a tire that you can rely on when going into the wilderness 100%.
On the road, the Wrangler MT/R works very well in dry conditions. However, it suffers in the wet and doesn’t work in the snow at all – it only comes with the M+S rating.
Best Winter Tires for Toyota 4Runner
10. Michelin Latitude X-Ice Xi2
While most all-terrain and mud-terrain tires promise snow traction, they can’t come close to a proper winter tire. The Latitude X-Ice Xi2 not only has much better traction on snow, slush, or ice, but it also stops much better than all-terrain tires. Wet and dry traction and grip are also outstanding, especially in freezing conditions. The Latitude even comes with 40,000-mile treadwear warranty, something that you won’t find in other winter tires. As expected from a Michelin tire, the X-Ice Xi2 is also very expensive, but we think that it is worth the money.
Best Tires for Toyota 4Runner: Buying Guide
Touring Tires are the Best Choice for the Street
As their name suggests, touring tires are specifically designed to offer drivers high levels of performance and comfort on long road trips. These tires offer the most balanced driving experience of any other tire. In other words, they don’t excel in any area when it comes to driving, but they are also not bad.
On the road, touring tires will give you a safe and reliable driving experience. By that, we mean that the tires are responsive enough for everyday driving, and provide the driver with ample traction, grip, and braking power, even in panic situations. Touring tires also have outstanding hydroplaning resistance, which means that they are one of the best tires for 4runner driving in very wet conditions. Overall, these tires aren’t designed to light your heart on fire, but to keep you safe in every condition imaginable. That said, touring tires aren’t designed for off-road driving – you should only use them on the street and highway.
Continuing with their excellent street performance, touring tires are also supremely comfortable. The best touring tires for Toyota 4Runner have smooth and plush ride quality that can’t be rivaled by any other type of tire. Thanks to the noise-optimized patterns on the most popular models, they are also very quiet, even at very high speeds. The 4Runner isn’t exactly known for the good sound insulation, and having quiet tires will help tremendously in making the cabin quieter.
Finally, touring tires are also the cheapest and most durable tires for 4Runner. Some tires in this category today come with an 80,000-mile treadwear warranty, which is simply unbeatable. In other words, if you want a set of tires that will last very long and be cost-effective, touring tires are the way to go.
Highway Tires are the Best Choice for Towing
In most ways, highway tires are similar to touring tires. They are designed to offer a balanced driving experience in most weather conditions, high levels of comfort, and durable tread compound. However, they differ in the load ratings. While touring tires can only be used for towing smaller and lighter trailers, highway tires can be used for towing the heaviest trailers around.
These tires are also an excellent choice if you use your 4Runner on gravel roads – they have cut- and -chip resistant casings and stiffer sidewalls. That said, these tires still aren’t a replacement for a proper off-road tire for driving on other surfaces, such as rocks, mud, and sand.
On the road, highway tires are a tad less responsive than touring tires and have slightly worse overall traction, grip, and braking. However, they give the driver much better high-speed stability when the 4Runner is loaded. Comfort levels are very good, but not as exceptional as on touring tires. Highway tires are quiet, but the ride quality suffers a bit.
Finally, highway tires have a slightly shorter tread life than touring tires, but not by much. Some premium models come with 70,000-mile treadwear warranty on light-duty models, which is amazing for a tire that will be used with a lot of weight on it.
All-Terrain Tires are the Best Choice for a Combination of Off-Road Traction and On-Road Dynamics
The majority of 4Runner owners use their vehicles for off-roading. However, most of them that do that don’t go on extremely demanding and rough terrain. For those people, all-terrain tires are the best choice right now. Newest additions in this category are so good for off-roading that even some enthusiasts use them when exploring the wilderness.
The best thing about all-terrain tires, when compared to other off road tires, is that they offer a relatively good on-road driving experience. Responsiveness is not on the level of touring or highway tires, but still very good considering the higher weight of these tires. Grip and traction are also not exceptional, but only if you drive them too hard. For everyday driving, you’d be hard-pressed to notice any loss of traction and grip with a set of all-terrain tires. The same can be said for braking – it is safe and reliable.
All-terrain tires suffer a bit more in rainy conditions, especially in heavy rain, due to the worse hydroplaning resistance than touring or highway tires. Again, this is not something that you will notice every day, but it is good to know and be prepared for it. Just drive a bit slower in the rain, and you’ll be fine.
What you lose on the road with all-terrain tires, you gain for off-roading. The best all terrain tires for Toyota 4Runner work tremendously well on every type of terrain, including gravel, mud, rocks, and sand. These tires also have stiffer sidewalls, puncture resistance, and cut- and -chip resistant casings, and tougher overall construction. That said, the tread life is shorter on these tires, albeit not by much – the best models come with 50,000 to 60,000-mile treadwear warranty.
The biggest negative of installing all-terrain tires is the added noise on the highway and the slightly choppier ride. That said, mud-terrain or maximum traction off-road tires are even worse in that regard.
Mud-Terrain and Maximum Traction Off-Road Tires are the Best Choices for Off-Roaders
For off-road enthusiasts that don’t care about on-road dynamics, mud-terrain and maximum traction off-road tires are the best choices on the market. These tires have very aggressive and deep tread patterns that help them retain traction on the most demanding terrain.
Mud-terrain tires are especially good for driving in mud, but they are also capable of attacking rocks and gravel. Maximum traction off-road tires tend to offer a more balanced output, but they are still very closely matched to mud-terrain tires.
On the road, these tires are loud and choppy over bumps. Responsiveness is also not their forte – your 4Runner will immediately feel heavier and less dynamically sound. On top of that, grip, traction, and braking are worse than what you’ll find on all-terrain tires, both on dry and wet surfaces.
Lastly, these tires are designed to be very tough – even the sharpest objects can’t get through them. However, that doesn’t reflect into the tread life, which is slightly lower than that of all-terrain tires.
What About the Weather?
That plays a very important role when choosing the next set of 4Runner tires, as well. Most tires for the Toyota 4Runner, including touring, highway, all-terrain, mud-terrain, and maximum traction tires, come in the all-season variety.
All-season tires are designed to operate in a larger temperature window than normal tires. Thanks to that, all-season tires can give you reliable traction throughout the year, both in dry and wet conditions. That said, not all tires in this category work in snow. Touring and highway all-season tires are only adequate at tackling snow and ice, which is why we always recommend winter tires for people that live in areas with harsh winters. All-terrain, mud-terrain, and maximum traction tires, on the other hand, offer improved traction on unpacked snow, but they still suck on packed snow and ice.
Suffice to say, if you live in areas with very cold and harsh wintry conditions, winter tires are the best choice. These 4Runner tires offer the best combination of grip, traction, and braking in cold weather, both in dry and wet conditions. They also offer much, much better traction and braking performance on snow and ice compared to any other type of tire. Nonetheless, winter tires become unresponsive in warm conditions and lose the ability to properly grip the road.
Summer tires, as their name suggests, are designed to work only in the summer. In warmer conditions, they will give you absolutely the best dry grip, traction, and braking performance. Interestingly, summer tires also offer a better experience in wet conditions, even when compared to all-season tires. That said, summer tires become almost unusable in very cold conditions. More importantly, though, today not a lot of summer tires for the 4Runner are available.
As you can see from the list of the Best Tires for 4Runner above, we included models from well-known manufacturers with years of experience in manufacturing tires. Cheap tires from manufacturers that you first heard a few months ago don’t properly test their tires and use very cheap materials. Most of the time, these tires are dangerous, especially in wet conditions. That’s why we always recommend choosing Toyota 4Runner tires from reputable manufacturers that you fully trust, even if they aren’t in the list above. You and your 4Runner deserve that.