I need help deciding between three tires for my Land Rover Discovery. I've been mulling over this for days now, and still can't decide. The anticipated use philosophy, to be summed up in one concept, is "Swiss Army Knife." I would like the tires to provide the highest degree of safety and reliability in the widest range of conditions. This may mean 90% of the time in dry pavement, and 10% of the time in mountain snow or fire roads for hiking.
The OEM Tire is a 255/55/R20 Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymetrical AT 4X4. 38lbs. 8.8" tread width--clearly dry pavement biased and is rated a 1 out of 10 for wet or snow conditions. This, in my opinion, is unacceptable. This tire must run at 50 PSI to achieve recommended load rating (i.e., 50 psi is the pressure called for on the door label).
I am upgrading to an All Terrain type tire with the 3 Peak Mountain Snowflake rating to allow safer travel through the mountains in the winter (I do, on occassion, go snowboarding and camping in the mountains during the winter).
My 3 tire choices, are narrowed as follows:
1) Toyo Open Country AT3 in 255/55/R20, 37 lbs. 110H XL. 8.5" tread width. maintaining my OEM wheel size. One lb lighter at each wheel than OEM, but will give me an aggressive AT tire pattern, increased damage resistance, and the Severe Snow Service rating. This tire is new, so it has no substantive reviews to base my opinion on. Lightest weight of the three choices. Because the load rating is exactly the same as OEM, I will still be running 50psi (bouncy much?). The claims are otherwise good though. USA made.
2) Toyo Open Country AT3 in 275/55/R20, 42lbs, 117T XL. 9.1" tread width. Going up a size by nearly 1" in diameter and .3" in tread width from OEM. This will mess up my speedometer by 3%. This will add 5 lbs. at each tire over the same Toyo tire in OEM sizing. This will give me an extra .5" in rubber in the sidewalls for further reliability. Higher load rating means I can run these tires at 33psi (better comfort?) and still have overhead to inflate the tire to a higher level for heavier loads. This will require that I add a 1" lift to the vehicle ($80, using some magic with the air suspension). Overall height gain will be about 1.5" with the taller tire and the 1" lift. Gear ratio changes from 3.45:1 at the tires to 3.65:1. The higher gearing may help with highway efficiency--my vehicle is a diesel and produces 440ft/lbs of torque right off of idle, so the taller ratio may help offset the efficiency decrease going to an AT tire. USA Made.
3) Pirelli Scorpion AT Plus in 275/55/R20. 43lbs. 113T SL. 9.5" tread width. This tire only comes in the bigger 275 width. It is 1 lb heavier than the Toyo in this size at each wheel. All of the same lift and diameter benefits/concerns as above (ie, will still need a 1" lift to clear the spindle). This has a .4" wider tread width than the Toyo above, which may help with dry pavement traction (but reduce efficiency?). This tire has a lower load rating than the Toyo above, but will also run at 33 psi for the recommended load. Less overhead for higher pressure/higher load though. This is on the list because it has really good reviews (released in 2018, so more miles and reviews available), and appears to be slightly more road biased than the Toyo (better dry pavement traction, quieter as well?). Without recent reviews on the Toyo, hard to tell if the tread compound used by Toyo can meet the same dry pavement and quietness expectations using a newer compound formulation. Made in Brazil.
This is what goes through my head when buying things guys. Don't be me.
|Perfection is impossible,|
Trying is not…
This is what I have on my '16 LR4 and it rides great and I got great traction in the snow and ice and in dry payment is fantastic.
"Isn't it weird that in AMERICA, our flag & our culture offend so many people - but our benefits do not"
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Narrower is better in snow.
Awesome. First hand experience. How do you feel about the road noise? Not too aggressive?
Between Option 1 and Option 2, would you prefer the narrower tire for better snow traction, or the wider tire for better dry traction? Also, option 2 will allow me to run 33 psi vs 50psi, which might make a difference in comfort?
|Honor and Integrity|
|Savor the limelight|
I suspect the 50psi relates to the ZRW speed rating of the tires rather than the load rating. That size tire in an XL carries it's max load, 2,337lbs, at 42psi.
As far as ride goes between option 1 and 2, option 2 increases your unsprung weight. The higher the unsprung weight, the slower the wheel and tire are to react to changes in direction such as bumps. I don't know if an 13% increase in unsprung weight will make a noticeable difference the ride.
Certainly 33psi vs 50psi will make a noticeable difference. One that you may or may not like. How does the vehicle ride and handle now?
Yes, I would give up the extra dry traction the 1 inch wider tire might gain, for the added snow capabilities that the 1 inch narrower tire might have. Not counting accelerating from a stop, I believe I've only run out of dry traction once on the street. I was 18 and navigating a decreasing radius on ramp in my 1969 Corvair. The back end came around pointing me directly at the guardrail while traveling 60mph. Fortunately, I was the only one on the road at the time and I got it back under control.
Compare that to the number of times I've run out of traction on wet, slushy, snowy, or iced roads. Well, let's just say I'm probably lucky to have survived my first 20 or so years driving unscathed.
Vehicle feels pretty sporty now--far too sporty for its size really. The tires feel hard and "thin"--like I'm riding on not enough rubber. My initial reaction was this vehicle, with it's supposed off-road capabilities, really should have come from the factory with 18" or 19" wheels, not 20".
I can't justify new wheels for this vehicle--many 19" wheels don't even fit because of the size of the brake rotors and calipers, so I was attracted to the idea of going up a tire size (275/55) just to get a little more rubber between the wheel and the ground. The tire selection for the 275/55/R20 size is significantly better too.
Based on everyone's feedback, the Toyo's in OEM 255/55/R20 seem like the smart bet. The fact that the speedo/ABS/traction control will be within OEM spec is probably a significant plus, and probably in the grand scheme of things, I will never need the extra .5" of rubber sidewall.
I bought a set of Toyo Open Country A/T IIIs for my Jeep about a month ago. Almost nobody makes 225/75 R15 any more so other than some Goodyears with poor ratings, these were what was available. So far so good.
I bought them because of the severe snow service / three peak mountain snowflake symbol. Obviously I haven't driven them in snow yet. I am glad to hear that many here voted for option 1.
... stirred anti-clockwise.
|Green grass and |
Pirelli is another one of the hundreds of old Italian companies bought in recent years by the chicom. Do your analysis but no way I would support them now. The Italians sealed their own fate.
"Practice like you want to play in the game"
How's the road noise?
I have Pirelli Scorpions on my old 79 Chevy truck. They have been good tires.
.....never marry a woman who is mean to your waitress.
As you may know, Jeeps are fairly noisy under any conditions. If the tires do make much noise, I haven't noticed. Next time I drive it I will pay close attention and report back.
I really don't care about noise if they give me the performance in snow I am hoping for. My Tacoma has DuraTracs on it, and those ARE noisy on pavement. It doesn't bother me much since they give me the winter traction that is so important here in western Michigan.
... stirred anti-clockwise.
I have 10k on my AT3's. They have not seen snow or ice yet but they have been fantastic in everything else including heavy downpours and on sand. I have them on a 2015 GX460 with a lift kit. I am using LT 275 65 18's. There is more noise than a stock tire but nothing crazy. They track straight on the highway. They are pricey but worth it as far as I am concerned. Plus, the grandson thinks they look cool!!
Escape is not always the safest path.
|Victim of Life's|
I have the Toyo’s on my F-350 diesel pick up and they have been great but for a sporty suv let me suggest another alternative...
The Michelin LTX A/T 2..
It’s available in the 275/55 R 20 size and in fact this is what I put on my wife’s SUV. It has the wider footprint which improved handling but is very quiet and balanced nicely. A big plus is the expected mileage will be North of 50,000 miles easily.
We take this SUV when going to NH in the winter time where snow is a certainty and have never had an issue...
Our Founding Fathers were men who understood that the right thing is not necessarily the written thing. -kkina
I'm afraid I can only add a small bit of humor to this tire tread.
|Was that you |
or the dog?
I was getting ready to type something similar. I have driven Toyota 4Runners since 2000 and have run an assortment of rubber over the years. With a 90 minute round trip daily commute including Pennsylvania winters, The Michelin line has never disappointed. The LTX which I have been running are delivering 45,000 mile tread life and great manners in wet, dry and snow with little noise.
Under pressure, you don’t rise to the occasion, you sink to the level of your training.
While I appreciate the input regarding the Michelin LTX AT2, and am myself a fan of Michelin tires, that tire design is from 2007.
Tire technology has progressed some since 2007, and the ratings have pushed that tire down to #16 in the category on Tire Rack.
For example, the Pirelli Scorpion AT Plus and the Toyo Open Country AT3 both have a better UTOG treadwear rating (640 and 600, respectively, versus the Michelin's 500) while at the same time the Pirelli and Toyo both have Severe Snow Service ratings. I don't think tire compounds from 13 years ago were able to maintain low temp grip while still keep a high treadwear rating. It appears that has changed in recent years, as many AT tires now sport the Severe Snow Service rating.
At the moment, I'm only considering tires with the Severe Snow Service rating (stamped with the 3 Peak Mountain Snowflake) symbol.
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