Nitto Tire Launches Terra Grappler G2 and Exo Grappler AWT

Sep. 18, 2014 By Josh Burns
 

Nitto Unveils Terra Grappler G2 & Exo Grappler AWT Cont.

First Impressions: Road and Dirt
Nitto invited us out to a ranch in the hills above Malibu to check out these two new all-terrains. After a technical presentation on both of the tires and a breakdown of Nittoís production facilities, specifically its plant in Georgia where both tires will be constructed, we had the chance to check out both tires on the street and the dirt.

Our first impression of the G2 is itís a nice looking tire Ė itís certainly not the most aggressive all-terrain on the market, though Nitto isnít looking to take that title with this tire. Backed with a solid warranty (50K or 65K), the G2 will be a good tire for the truck or SUV owner who plans on getting off the pavement on the weekends but still spends a good amount of time on the road. We hopped into a Ford F-150 to take a short trip down the highway on the G2. While we didnít get a true sense of the road performance of the tire, we did have plenty of time to hear any road noise the tire generates Ė or the lackthereof. On the highway, the G2 was pretty quiet overall.

The G2's tread provide good all-terrain traction but isn't so aggressive that it's loud on the highway.

We then had the chance to hop in a two-door JK Wrangler to traverse some tight trails that weaved through the ranch property. There was the typical hard-packed sections, rocky roads, hill climbs with a loose-dirt base, and we even found a small mud hole and subsequent stepped hill climb afterward Ė just the thing to test the wet performance of the tire.

Overall, the G2 performed well. We didnít tackle the trails aired down (we were at a standard 35 PSI) so we would have an honest impression of the tire. There were a few spots where the G2 took a few spins before grabbing traction, but for the most part it provided good traction on steep hill climbs and still had plenty of traction to complete a short climb once we got the tires wet. Like most all-terrains, the G2 would perform even better in the dirt if air downed a bit, but we still came away feeling the G2 would get most weekend warriors from place to place just fine.

Nitto had a well-rounded course for us to test the tires on, including hills, rocky slopes and even a mud hole.

We hopped in another F-150 for a road impression of the Exo Grappler AWT. Being a more aggressive tire, we expected a little more road noise from the tire. It certainly is a little more noticeable than the G2, though itís still not a loud tire and is nothing like a mud-terrain. We still carried on our conversations about the tire technology, design, and the fact that the ABC show the Bachelor is apparently shot at a ranch we passed on the road Ė you know, usual guy conversation. The AWT is certainly not a loud tire on the highway and is probably an acceptable amount of noise for most.

Once back at the ranch, we took another Jeep JK out on the trail fitted with the AWT. We immediately noticed a difference with the tire compared to the G2, as the AWT definitely felt stiffer and sturdier over the rocks. The three-ply sidewall design of the AWT gave our Wrangler a little more of a confident feel going over bumps and rocks Ė a little less movement of the vehicle and a little more traction. The G2 performed fine on our dirt test loop, but the AWT was clearly the more impressive one on the trail. It seemed to grab better in loose dirt, took the hill climbs with a little more confidence (and didnít slip in the few tough spots the G2 did), and it seemed less affected by the water and mud as we took the hill climb just following our quick dip in the mud hole.

Climbing up a steep slope after getting the tires wet isn't ideal, but the Exo Grappler AWT performed well under the conditions.

Although we didnít get a complete impression of both tires, we did get enough for a first impression. The G2 is a good all-around tire and one that would be best served for the traditional outdoor enthusiast who spends some time off the pavement but doesnít plan to tackle anything extremely difficult. The Exo AWT is more ideal for the off-road enthusiast who will tackle some trails on the weekends and needs that additional toughness and traction in an all-terrain but doesnít want to make the jump to a mud tire. The G2 is extremely quiet on the road, and for a more aggressive all-terrain in the AWT it is pretty quiet as well. The AWT is going to be good for daily drivers who want something aggressive for the trails but donít want something very loud on the highway. The G2 certainly isnít timid in the dirt, but the AWT proved that more aggressive tread makes a big difference.

Nitto tells us that both tires will be fully constructed in the U.S. at its plant in White, Georgia. No suggested MSRP was announced for either tire, as Nitto prefers to let its dealers set pricing. Be sure to check back for full reviews on the tires soon on Off-Road.com. For more information on the Terra Grappler G2 or the Exo Grappler AWT, visit NittoTire.com.


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