Feature Friday: 11 Tire Options For The 5th Gen 4Runner in 2021

Top 11 Tire Options For The 5th Generation 4Runner in 2021

Pictured: Steve Kpa (@Anchr3d) Cooper

Feature Friday: 11 Tire Options For The 5th Generation 4Runner in 2021 – Off-Road Tire Inspiration Guide

This Weeks Topic: Tires

For this week’s Feature Friday, we’re getting you ready for the trail with some very functional tire options to help conquer any terrain with your 5th Gen 4Runner. Aside from a set of headlights, new tires are probably the first upgrade that 90% of new 4Runner owners purchase for their vehicle when starting their off-road build. The only trouble is, what tire to go with? There are many companies out there, along with multiple tread types from those companies as well. Should you go with a Mud Terrain, All Terrain, or a Hybrid Tire tread pattern? In no particular order, and with some repeat tire choices, each rig owner featured below has shared their own experiences to hopefully help you in your future tire purchase. In my honest opinion, I think tires are one of the most important upgrades you can make. Take your time and read through these unique owner experiences and hopefully, that will get you closer to making a choice on what tire is best for your 4Runner.

Enjoy and have a great weekend!

If you want to be featured on Feature Friday next week, submit your build through Trail4R.com/feature. We will be featuring Nautical Blue 5th Gen 4Runners next week. If this is you, send in your rig because we want to see it!

1. Alex Kessinger (@Themagrunner) Falken

Alex Kessinger (@Themagrunner) Falken

  • Tire: Falken Wildpeak AT3 285/70/R17
  • Weight: 59lbs
  • Load Range: E
  • Price Per Tire: $280
  • Terrain: All Terrain

We’ve been running the Falken Wildpeak AT3 tire for some time and they’ve taken everything we’ve thrown at them. While there are debates on running a load range E tire on a 4runner, we’ve enjoyed the added durability that comes with a heavier tire. When airing down offroad, the Wildpeaks offer great traction in the Colorado backcountry. We’ve used these tires on some crazy rocky trails in which the side walls took a heavy beating but kept on climbing. As the Wildpeaks are popular among the 4runner community, we’ve met owners with 30,000 miles on their Wildpeaks with lots of tread remaining. Wet handling is comparable to other all-terrain tires on the market. We’ve seen no issues in heavy rain or muddy trails. Ride comfort is related to the quietness of these tires which is due to the less aggressive tread design. Fuel efficiency will be reduced when running a load range E tire as they are 59lbs apiece. (Estimated 1-2mpg drop) We noticed a small reduction in acceleration as well. Overall the Wildpeaks are a great tire for the price.

2. Jonathan Hong (@_jonny_04) Nitto

Jonathan Hong (@_jonny_04) Nitto

  • Tire: Nitto Ridge Grapplers LT305/70/R17
  • Weight: 68.57lbs
  • Load Range: E
  • Price Per Tire: $321 (America Tire)
  • Terrain: All Terrain/ Mud Terrain Hybrid

Off-road Traction- Performance on dirt, gravel, rock, sand, and desert is very good. The tire compound is soft and not too hard, so it grips well. Performance on wet, snow, ice is good. Tire sipes are designed all the way down into the tread which is very helpful during wet terrain. Driven in a foot of fresh powdery snow, Ridge Grapplers had no problem maintaining traction and just digs along with ease, no lack in braking power or stopping distance; let’s say they’re always biting. As for wet, icy terrain be cautious. I think with any tire driven in these types of conditions; it’s best to be aware and cautious of the terrain.

Performance in dry conditions is very good. Not bouncy, balance good, and road noise is as quiet as most ATs, don’t let these large tread blocks have you thinking it will be excessively loud. At speeds of 70+ mph, it tracks very well. Depending on driving habits and with regular routine tire rotation, tread life will last and wear evenly (rotated 5k-10k). As for wet road conditions, excess speed when cornering or driving through puddles of water is something to be cautious of.

Fuel Efficiency – When I was running 285/70/17 I did not see a significant change in fuel economy and was averaging about 18-16mpg. Currently running 305/70/17 and averaging 16-13mpg (re-geared on nitro 4.88).

3. Ryan Lau (@4runnersaurus) Yokohama

Ryan Lau (@4runnersaurus) Yokohama

  • Tire: Yokohama Geolandar MT G003 285/70/R17
  • Weight: 58lbs
  • Load Range: E
  • Price Per Tire: $258
  • Terrain: Mud Terrain

Off-road traction is excellent, scenarios where I needed 4HI on the stock tires I can do with 2WD. Tread life is excellent so far, with no noticeable wear. Dry handling is great, partially attributed to the wider tire size – steering is very grippy. Wet handling is just fine at normal driving speeds, I won’t be trying anything at speed in a 4runner anyways, lol. Ride comfort is a bit stiff due to them being load E, but not a deal-breaker for me. They have performed great overall, very quiet for an MT tire (my first set). Fuel efficiency has only taken a minimal hit, I would say only 1-2 mpg overall – well worth it in my opinion!

4. Mitchell Bartz (@trdhulk) Yokohama & BF Goodrich

Mitchell Bartz (@trdhulk) Yokohama & BF Goodrich

  • Tire: Yokohama Geolandar MT G003 285/75/R17 / BF Goodrich KM3 315/70R17
  • Weight: 63lbs / 75lbs
  • Load Range: E
  • Price Per Tire: $250 / $343 (Discount Tire)
  • Terrain: Mud Terrain

I initially chose the Yokohama Geolandar G003 285/75r17s for 2 reasons; the best-looking mud tire for the price and the only mud terrain tire that offered a 30-day money-back guarantee from Yokohama, no matter where you purchased it from. This gave me peace of mind in choosing a mud terrain for my daily driver. I kept these on my 4Runner for about 25k miles. I really liked these tires, at first for just the looks, but found they performed very well in all aspects of driving. You could say it’s a well-rounded tire.

Off-road traction was excellent! I literally could not get my truck stuck, and I give these tires most of the credit.

I feel like the tread life wasn’t the best, but I’m sure there are worse performers out there. After 25k mikes, there was about 7/32-8/32 tread left. I like having fresh rubber and was still able to recoup almost half of my money spent by reselling the used tires.

Normal, dry pavement performance was as expected for me. You can feel the lugs at low speeds, but they are smooth at normal and highway speeds. The mud terrain noise was there, but not as bad as most mud terrains. No annoying hum or drone, just slightly louder than your typical all-terrain. They did get quite a bit noisier as they became more worn.

Wet traction was excellent. They did not slip and slide on wet pavement and most importantly, no hydroplaning at highway speeds on wet roads. This was important to me because I do a lot of highway driving and Texas can get some crazy downpours.

Surprisingly, I got to experience the tires in snow during our crazy Texas winter storm Snowmageddon. I don’t have a ton of experience in the snow, these seemed to do great. Normal driving was easy snd I even got to do some spirited driving and mild off-roading. I was able to maintain control easily snd even had to deal with some ice without issues.

My only complaint would be the tires are a little bit hard, causing somewhat of a firm ride. They also required balancing more often as they wore over time. Most people may not have noticed, but since I do a lot of 65+ mph driving, to avoid vibrations I got them rebalanced every 5k miles or so.

I replaced the Geolandars recently with BF Goodrich KM3 315/70/17. I only have about 1k mikes on them so far, and I love them.

So far, they seem to be a much softer tire, offering a noticeably smoother ride. Some of that may be contributed to the extra width and sidewall.

I have not yet had the opportunity to test the tires off-road, or even in the rain, but I have high expectations for their performance.

So far I think they are excellent-looking tires, moderately quiet for a mud terrain, and give the impression of being really tough. I’ll be putting them through the paces soon, so time will tell how they measure up to the Geolandars.

5. Chris Skiles (@trd.jackalope) Nitto

Chris Skiles (@trd.jackalope) Nitto

  • Tire: Nitto Ridge Grapplers 285/70/R17
  • Weight: 57.9lbs
  • Load Range: E
  • Price Per Tire: $220
  • Terrain: All Terrain/ Mud Terrain Hybrid

One of the first questions I receive from new 4Runner owners is “What mod or upgrade should I do first?” And while that’s a pretty vague and usage-dependent question, I almost always tell them “Get new tires.” It’s probably the easiest and most needed upgrade from a from-the-factory ride. And after wrestling with options for my specific needs, I landed on the Nitto Ridge Grapplers.

The Ridge Grapplers are pretty hard to beat as an all-around tire in my opinion. They have great traction off-road, and I’ve rarely encountered a situation off-road where they didn’t do the job. Here in Colorado, we get it all — mud, snow, ice, rain, even sand — and the Ridge Grapplers have done their job remarkably. I’ve pulled an off-road trailer (without brakes!) over mountain passes in the pouring rain and hail, and never for a second worried about the tire handling. The same goes for snow and ice in the winter (minus the trailer). Nearly every “all-terrain” tire should be able to do its job in any sort of environment, but anyone who has run different tires and brands will tell you — not every tire is made the same. And in this arena, the Ridge Grappler really does its job well.

But where the Ridge Grappler really shines is on the ride. It has to be one of the quietest tires on the road for how aggressive it looks and for how well it performs off the road. When I first put these tires on, I was amazed at just how little I DIDN’T notice them while driving. Even at highway speeds, there is little to no noticeable noise. And that is not an easy feat for a tire that looks this aggressive. And not only is the noise minimal, but the gas mileage didn’t take a plunge because of them either. In fact, when testing my fully-stock ride before and after installing the Ridge Grapplers, my miles per gallon didn’t change at all. Or if it did, it was so slight that I didn’t even notice. My heavy foot has more to blame than these tires.

But the area that we don’t talk enough about with tires is the LOOK. And these tires just simply can’t be beaten on look. I’m aware it’s super “in vogue” right now to talk about Falken Wildpeaks, but seeing these on a vehicle side-by-side with mine, there’s just no comparison. They’re too square. The Ridge Grapplers have such a great shape to them. They’re rounded out enough to mimic a true mud tire. They have sidewall styling that gives you a super aggressive look (plus each side of the tire is different — so options!). And the tread pattern is so unmistakable. They just look GOOOOOOD. There’s no denying it.

But with lots of good, there’s always a sliver of bad. And so far, tread life has been the culprit. I’m roughly around the 25k mile mark on usage, and it’s been a mix of everything. But mostly daily driving and highway. And I hate to admit, that while they still have some life, there’s no way in the world they’re going to hit anywhere NEAR that 60k -mile mark that I was hoping for. And that’s with regular tire rotations. And while Nitto has one of the best Warranties in the industry, actually being able to use it sounds like a real nightmare. So tread life I’m still on the fence about. But my best guess is that I’ve got another 10k to 15k miles left at best. But that might even be pushing it.

So overall, I’m a big Ridge Grappler fan. Mostly good. A little bad. But overall a really tough tire to beat.

5. Steve Kpa (@Anchr3d) Cooper

Steve Kpa (@Anchr3d) Cooper

  • Cooper STT Pro 295/70/R17
  • Weight: 59lbs
  • Load Range: E
  • Price Per Tire: $305
  • Terrain: All Season

So far these tires have been great minus the road noise.

Off-Road Traction: These tires are meant for off-road. Though I don’t wheel them too hard, I’ve been through moderate rocky trails that require crawling, snow, mud, and your basic fire road trails. These tires handle anything you throw at them and inspire a ton of confidence doing so.

Tread life: So far I have 35k miles on these and they are still going strong with about 50% tread life left. They do require some more frequent rotation though.

Dry and Wet Handling: No issues at all on and off-road in dry conditions. I live in CA where the rainfall isn’t too crazy, but I’ve commuted in what is considered heavy rainfall here, and these tires have never lost traction even cornering.

Ride Comfort and Noise: You will not be able to escape road noise going with an M/T tire. These aggressive tread blocks are definitely noisy on the road and get even noisier as they break-in. Being a 10-ply also makes it a stiff ride for our smaller 4Runners. Running 30PSI on-road really helps this. But the noise is relative. Some people can handle it. But I’d say if you commute with your rig, these will get annoying.

Fuel Efficiency: Gas mileage didn’t drop a whole lot going to these. But it’s hard to tell as I also added more weight to the rig when I upgraded to these!

6. Torn Saetern (@torndown4what) Nitto

Torn Saetern (@torndown4what) Nitto

  • Nitto Ridge Grappler 35×12.50R17LT
  • Weight: 75lbs
  • Load Range: E
  • Price Per Tire: $342
  • Terrain: All Terrain/ Mud Terrain Hybrid

First thing first, I absolutely love these tires. I’ve been to every off-road terrain with them, from mud, snow, sand, and rock. They’ve gotten me through it all with no issues. Living in the Pacific Northwest means a lot of rain throughout the year, so wet was a big factor for me and I can say that I’m impressed with how they perform in the rain. I live in the city and to get to a trail you would have to drive a couple of hours to get there. The mpg and road noise is the next factor for me, I never notice any humming or rumble noise inside, I’m very happy with how little noise the tires make while going long distances. The average I’m getting is about 12 mpg on the highway, it’s not bad since I’m fully armored with a drawer system in the trunk. If you drive your car on a daily basis and is a weekend warrior, I would recommend Nitto Ridge Grapplers, you wouldn’t be disappointed.

7. Nick Rizzo (@cool4runnerbro) BFGoodrich 

Nick Rizzo (@cool4runnerbro) BFGoodrich 

  • BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM3 295/70/R17
  • Weight: 68.85lbs
  • Load Range: E
  • Price Per Tire: $321
  • Terrain: Mud Terrain

The BFG KM3s has been an excellent upgrade to my 4Runner. They have performed exceptionally well on multiple different conditions including sand, mud, water, snow, and much more. I have had no issues in terms of handling on both dry and wet surfaces. The ride comfort is great while still maintaining a moderate road noise when driving. The fuel efficiency averages around 13-15 mpg.

8. Eric Keller (@evergreen_rnr) Nitto

Eric Keller (@evergreen_rnr) Nitto

  • Nitto Trail Grappler M/T 285/75/R17
  • Weight: 66.4lbs
  • Load Range: E
  • Price Per Tire: $372 (Discount Tire)
  • Terrain: Mud Terrain

Off-Road Traction: Tons of traction on every type of terrain from slick rock in Moab to the Mud in the PNW. I have noticed that I do not need to air down as far when offroad to gain the same traction as previous tires. This helps with keeping the body slightly higher for better clearance. Even aired down less the Trail Grapplers have as much if not more traction than previous tires.

Tread Life: As long as they are properly inflated, the tread is wearing good. I have ~10,000 miles on them with most being highway and they are wearing well for an MT.

Dry Handling: Dry handling both on pavement and dirt has been excellent so far. The larger tire size (34-35″ size) is apparent in wanting to understeer in higher corner speeds.

Wet Handling: Wet handling seems good. The large lugs have a center sipe in them which allows water to evacuate water well.

Winter Handling: Unknown about snow traction as I have not had them in snow yet. They are not 3 peak rated but should do well in powder snow but may struggle some in packed snow where an A/T does better due to smaller gaps between lugs.

Ride Comfort: Both on-road and off these tires are very comfortable. I run them at 35psi and this seems to be the best pressure for comfort and mpg.

Quiet Ride: The Trail Grapplers are super quiet on the road for an MT. It is a low volume hum and not the loud droning of other MTs.

Fuel Efficiency: I noticed a small hit when moving to these MTs. I am not sure if it was caused by moving to a larger size or just being an MT. At 35psi, I am getting still able to get 15mpg (full armor, loaded drawers, RTT, Bumper/winch, and 4.56 gears).

9. Enrique (@midnight_trd) Kumho

Enrique (@midnight_trd) Kumho

  • Kumho MT71 35×12.5×17
  • Weight: 78lbs
  • Load Range: E2
  • Price Per Tire: $327
  • Terrain: Mud Terrain

I’ve had these tires for a few months now, and I can’t find anything to complain about. They handle great off-road and experience no traction loss. For MTs I can’t really notice much difference in sound when compared to ATs, they are not too loud on the road and look much better than most tires. I haven’t had the opportunity to test them on snow, but I know it can handle desert runs just fine. Since upgrading to 35s, I’ve only noticed 0.1mpg loss, and I’ve been doing long road trips with them. If I had to choose something that I don’t like about them, it’s how heavy they are. I am not looking forward to having to change a tire during a trail since I’m looking at close to 100lbs once the wheel is installed. Overall, I highly recommend this tire to anyone looking for a solid MT on and off-road.

10. Jeff Ragasa (@NorCalRunner17) Nitto

Jeff Ragasa (@NorCalRunner17) Nitto

  • Nitto Ridge Grapplers 305/70/R17
  • Weight: 68.57lbs
  • Load Range: E
  • Price Per Tire: $321 (America’s Tire)
  • Terrain: All Terrain/ Mud Terrain Hybrid

Best for on and off-road in my opinion. It is a Hybrid Terrain tire. Performs well in dirt and mud without the loud noise of an MT. Sidewalls are aggressive and don’t look like a highway tires.

11. Josh Marks (@Shadow.t4runner) Cooper

Josh Marks (@Shadow.t4runner) Cooper

  • Cooper Evolution M/T 285/70/R17
  • Weight: 57lbs
  • Load Range: E1
  • Price Per Tire: $198
  • Terrain: Mud Terrain

I’ve put 5,000 miles on them so far. So far they have been able to go anywhere I’ve pointed them off-road in clay, mud, sand and smooth wet river rock they have been great! On-road manners are great as well. I just finished a 2,100-mile road trip through multiple national parks. They are decently quiet for an MT. They don’t wander or vibrate. They feel secure and planted on wet roads. Haven’t had a chance to test them in snow yet. My gas mileage did drop from 18mpg to 15mpg.

Final Thoughts

What an awesome Feature Friday to get you hyped up for the weekend! As you just saw, there are plenty of tire terrain options, sizes, and brands to consider when upgrading your tire setup for your 4Runner. There were a few of the same brands and also some of the same trie, *cough* *cough* Nitto Ridge Grapplers…BUT, we hope that hearing multiple users’ takes on their tire choice has given you some clarity into what tire would be best suited for your rig.

If you would like to be considered for next week’s Feature Friday, we will be showcasing Nautical Blue 5th Gen 4Runners. We want to get inspired by some AWESOME Nautical Blue builds, submit your build for Feature Friday and you might get featured. If you would like to submit your build for next week, include your setup details and an awesome photo that shows it off. Have a great weekend guys!!

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2 years ago

I went from BFG KO2 LT265/70/17 Load C tires on stock suspension to Falken Wildpeak AT3W LT255/80/17 Load E tires on a 2″ Bilstien 5100 lift. Love the new tires so far. Took some fiddling on finding the right tire pressures but starting to get that dialed in.

No complaints about the tires or the size so far. The truck has a bit of a “stealth” look to it. The mods to it are not overly obvious but you can tell something isn’t quite “stock” about it.

Looking forward to winter coming here in northern Canada.

2 years ago

#9 only a .1 MPG loss on almost 80 lb tires? Come on now…

Brenan Greene
2 years ago
Reply to  Trey

If you go to his Instagram, I think he was running bigger (285/295 KO2s) so maybe he was referencing an upgrade from those. But yeah, a little more context would have been helpful.

2 years ago

:/ no Toyo AT3’s?

2 years ago
Reply to  Ariel

Most commonly underrated and slept on set of tires IMO. I got a set with the OWL’s and it looks sick mated to trd rims.

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