Today, there is no shortage of SUVs, crossovers, and trucks on the market. Seemingly every car manufacturer has one such vehicle in its lineup to keep up with the accelerating demand.
This opened the door for many tire manufacturers to launch new products. Take Nitto, a subsidiary of Toyo, as an example. The Japanese tire company was mostly known for its cheap performance tires, but right now, they are investing big into SUV, crossover, and truck tires.
Like with their other products, Nitto follows the mantra “offering more performance for less money,” which served them well by now. The Nitto Crosstek 2, the company’s highway all-season tire, competes with the likes from General Tire, Cooper Tire, Kumho, and Hankook.
In other words, Nitto doesn’t want you to think that its products are cheap. The Crosstek 2 is a budget-friendly option, but you can still find some cheaper options on the market. The more important question is – is it any good?
To be viable for buyers, the Nitto Crosstek 2 needs to achieve good performance across the board. Each competitor of this tire provides a safe and reliable driving experience over dry and wet surfaces, a comfortable ride, and a long treadlife.
Now, sure, there are differences between each highway all-season tire, but they are not as significant as some people might think. And, honestly, in 2020, every tire should be completely safe to drive on in sunny and rainy weather.
I will try to answer all of these things in my detailed Nitto Crosstek 2 reviews. In this article, you can find about all the features of the tire, but also about its real-life performance. Also, I researched what other people say about the Crosstek 2, mainly for durability and treadlife.
One great thing about the Nitto Crosstek 2 is that it comes in many different sizes. The Japanese manufacturer offers its highway all-season tire in 16-inch to 22-inch wheel diameters, which covers a significant portion of the SUV, crossover, and truck market.
That said, the Crosstek 2 is a highway tire, which means that it is better suited to larger vehicles. Nitto even offers LT-metric sizes (Light Truck), which can be great for towing large trailers and hauling heavy cargo onboard.
So, at least in my opinion, the Crosstek 2 is better suited to mid-sizes and large SUVs, as well as Class 1 and Class 2a light pickup trucks. Owners of lighter crossovers should look for touring tires, which don’t have the carrying capacity of highway tires but tend to provide better overall handling on dry and wet roads.
After clarifying that, let’s move on to the features that Nitto utilized in the Crosstek 2 to make it a viable solution for light-truck drivers across North America.
What are the features of the Nitto Crosstek 2?
The Nitto Crosstek 2 is a highway all-season tire designed for owners of SUVs, light trucks, and crossovers.
According to Nitto, the main focus when designing this tire was to provide safe and reliable handling on dry and wet pavement, increase wintertime traction, minimize noise, and improve the ride quality over uneven surfaces.
To achieve these things, the company utilized an all-season tread compound designed to work in hot temperatures, as well as freezing weather. The advanced tread compound should be able to provide drivers with year-round traction, safe handling, and strong braking.
The compound is molded into an asymmetric tread pattern with many features taken from Toyo’s tires. The main goal when designing the tread pattern was obviously improving wet performance.
The Crosstek 2 features three wide circumferential grooves that channel the water away from the tire. This should help with hydroplaning resistance, especially in heavy rain. However, I must note here that some competitors have four circumferential grooves on their highway all-season tires.
In its defense, Nitto says that simulation tests proved that the tread block and pattern design help to provide a contact patch and enhanced hydroplaning resistance during heavy braking, which is something I’ll surely focus on the wet-pavement review.
Furthermore, the tread blocks feature 3D Multi-Wave sipes, which provide additional biting edges. This is a feature that you won’t see on many tires, and it will be interesting to see if it helps during the winter. Fortunately, the sipes are interlocking, which should improve stability at higher speeds.
Nitto paid a lot of attention to comfort as well. The Crosstek 2’s tread pattern is specifically designed to reduce noise at highway speeds – the circumferential grooves with dense serrations on its walls reduce “pipe resonance noise.”
Essentially, the circumferential grooves become pipes when the tire rolls on the surface and produce noise – that’s the case with each tire. Here, though, the serrations disturb the air and minimize the resonance noise.
What are maintenance indicators?
Nitto uses the usual visual treadwear indicators on the Crosstek 2. However, their solution is more advanced than the competition because it offers a view into the tread depth, but also to monitor alignment.
The Visible Treadwear Indicators, as the company calls them, are set into six positions across the tread pattern, including the shoulder ribs. As a result of that, the driver can monitor how much tread there is left on the tire, but also if one side of the tire wears faster, which points to problems with alignment.
By doing this, the company makes sure that the drivers rotate the tires often, which is very important for safety. The minimum tread depth for safe wet traction and braking on the Crosstek 2 is 2/32 inch, just like with every other highway all-season tire.
Obviously, I recommend replacing the tires before it comes to that point, as hydroplaning resistance gets worse as the tire wears down. In other words, don’t wait for the tread to become flush with the Visible Treadwear Indicators.
Fortunately, the Crosstek 2 comes with a 60,000-mile treadwear warranty for S- and -T-Speed rated models, and 50,000-mile treadwear warranty for H- and -V-Speed models, and LT-metric models. For the price, the warranty seems just right.
Moreover, I found that owners are generally satisfied with the treadlife of this tire, especially given the price.
How does it behave on a dry tarmac?
The Nitto Crosstek 2 does a fine job of delivering high levels of traction on dry pavement. Moreover, highway stability is very good, a quality that might be important to many truck owners.
Cornering grip is also good, albeit not exceptional, while braking is above average. Still, for everyday driving, the tire is responsive to the driver’s input and performs safely and reliably.
Overall, the Crosstek 2 won’t blow your mind with dynamics, but it’s still a capable highway tire.
How is it over wet and slippery roads?
To be honest, I expected more from the Crosstek 2 on wet roads. Despite the features Nitto implemented into the tire, wet performance is below average for the category.
The Crosstek 2 already shows weaknesses on a damp tarmac, where it trails similarly-priced competitors in terms of grip and traction.
Moreover, the hydroplaning resistance isn’t very good, either. Expect your vehicle to wander around in rainy conditions, especially when driving over puddles of water.
With that being said, how is it on snowy roads?
There is no single all-season tire that I can firmly state is great for snowy conditions. Even with that in mind, the Crosstek 2 largely disappoints.
Traction over light snow is only average, but more importantly, the braking distances are very long. Also, the tires don’t handle safely over snow – the driver needs to constantly pay attention.
Is it suitable for off-road driving?
Nitto redeems itself with the off-road qualities of the Crosstek 2. Now, sure, this isn’t an off-road tire, but you’d be surprised at how much grip you will get on hardpacked surfaces (dirt and gravel).
Also, the tread compound seems sturdy enough, especially on LT-metric models, so you won’t need to care about destroying the tire. That said, the Crosstek 2 won’t be usable for driving in mud, or over very large rocks.
Is it comfortable and refined?
I was positively surprised by the comfort levels of the Crosstek 2. The ride quality is very plush on the highway, and the tire even fares well when it hits larger potholes. Moreover, noise isn’t an issue at highway speeds, even on larger sizes.
You can see more Nitto Crosstek 2 Reviews here: videos created by NittoCROSSTEK
Should I buy the Nitto Crosstek 2?
I wouldn’t give my recommendation to the Crosstek 2, unfortunately. It’s not that the tire doesn’t have its merits – it handles dry pavement very well, and it can be useful for light off-roading.
However, the below-average wet performance and snow traction and braking make it really hard to recommend it, especially given the excellent performance of the competition.
Additionally, the Nitto Crosstek 2 is more expensive than it should’ve been given its disadvantages.
LIST OF NITTO TIRE REVIEWS