Over the past couple of months we’ve had a chance to put some miles on the new Toyo Open Country A/T III. Here is our review.
Toyo Tires have been among the premier brands in off-road (and on-road) rubber for your truck, SUV and trail rigs for some time. The company built legendary performance into its Open Country A/T, R/T and M/T tires that drivers have been relying on for years. A short while ago, Toyo asked if I’d like to try an all-new tire it was adding to the lineup. Of course, I said yes. I was very happy when the delivery truck dropped off a set of the Toyo Open Country A/T III tires, which we previewed when they first dropped. Now, after a little COVID delay, I’ve had them on my truck for a while. Let’s take a look at what I really think of them.
Toyo set out to design a new tire that offered more traction for off-road driving. It wanted a tire that fit into the lineup between the popular Open Country A/T II and the popular Open Country M/T tire that is highly favored among off-road purists. The new tire had to meet some serious goals, though. Toyo wanted better off-road traction, sure, but it also wanted better wet condition traction. Better braking control and resistance to chipping and punctures were also targets. The list of requirements wasn’t done, though. Toyo also wanted a quiet tire on the road, but it also had to be self cleaning, meaning it would eject rocks and other road debris. Sounds like a tall order, doesn’t it? How’d they do? Read on.
My truck is a Toyota Tacoma that I’ve had for years. It came with 245/75/16R tires that I replaced with BFG AT2s pretty much as soon as I got it. The BFGs were tires I had a lot of familiarity with on other vehicles, and by the time I replaced them with the Toyos, they had gone about 30,000 miles past the mileage rating. I got every dime’s worth of my money out of them, too. They are a hard act to follow.
I’m not what you could call “easy” on my truck either. I tend to drive faster on dirt than I do on pavement, and I drive on dirt as much as I can. I decided to go up a size in tires with the Toyos to a 265/75/16. The wheels came with the truck when I bought it as a thank you from the dealership. The wheels are Ultra Motorsports Rogue wheels with a black center and a “polished” edge. Now, as you may have guessed, the wheels have had a lot of miles on them, and the clear-coat on the polished edge didn’t exactly hold up. Don’t judge the wheels too harshly. I do live in a rather harsh environment and as you may have gathered, I’m not easy on the truck. I’m either going to see if it’ll buff out some, or maybe I’ll either paint over it with a matching black. Might just put on new wheels. Who knows? Bronze wheels would look sweet, though…
I went to my local tire guy to get the Toyo Open Country A/T III tires mounted. Rolling out of his garage and down the road made one thing extremely clear – They’re smooth. Driving down the road, the tires showed no added vibration to the truck. There is a tiny bit of road noise, but nowhere near as much as I’ve had with other tires on other vehicles. I headed for the highway and rolled along at 75 mph. Road noise was minimal and the ride was still smooth as could be.
The gray skies looming overhead told me that I’d soon be testing out the wet-pavement traction ability of the Toyo Open Country A/T III tires. When the skies opened up, well, let’s just say I’m pretty pleased. The rain was serious – like animals going two-by-two onto the Ark kind of serious. Toyo uses what it calls 3D Multi-Wave siping on the tread for added wet and slippery traction. Between that and the open spacing in the tread that cleared water to the sides of the tire, the wet traction was pretty dang good. As much rain as was coming down, it could have gotten sketchy very fast, but the truck never hydroplaned and wet braking was comparable as on dry pavement. I had to get on the brakes hard to stop and ask a guy who spun into the ditch if he was ok.
Dirt & Mud
I am proud to say that directions to my house include the phrase, “turn off the paved road.” The aforementioned downpour turned my road into a pretty nice mud pit, especially to get up my driveway. The tires hooked up well, and traction was not an issue. Tread is a little more open spaced than my previous tires, so I found that I made the truck a little dirtier than usual. Oh well. It’s a truck, not a show car.
Heading off-road is easy since I live near a major trail system. I punched a location into my Magellan TRX7 and selected ‘Most Off-Road” in the nav bar. Our trails are a mix of sand – a lot of sand – and hardpack. It’s not uncommon to be cruising down a hardpack trail and come to a wide, sandy washout corner. There are lots of tree roots and rocks, and ruts are extremely common.
The larger size of the tires added some flotation in the sand, which I noticed right away. Traction was not an issue at any point on the ride, including when I decided to check out an unlisted trail along a creek that ended in a stupid-tight uphill curve with major ruts and a really nasty tree root. From the looks of the area, others had had issues here, especially from what looked like winch marks on the oak tree nearby. I didn’t have an issue.
So far, I have been extremely satisfied with the Open Country A/T III tires after around 1,000 miles of on and off-road driving. The tires come with up to 65,000 miles of warranty, depending on the model, and an extremely wide range of size options. Would I hesitate to drive anywhere with them? No. I haven’t taken a read yet on how they impacted my fuel economy, but I suspect that took a little bit of a hit, especially going up a size. Pricing is reasonable and if you’re looking for a solid all-terrain tire that is well made, I can highly recommend the Toyos.
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