After the pandemic confined us to the close spaces of our homes, we reconnected with nature – camping and overlanding are increasing in popularity. As a result, people are buying more and more SUVs, and trucks, and also the interest in all-terrain tires continues to grow.
And the growing popularity of all-terrain tires is quite understandable – they still provide a safe on-road ride while giving you that extra traction when you explore the wilderness, so what’s not to like? Well, there is one obstacle that deters buyers – the price. A set of really good premium all-terrain tires will cost you, especially on some newer SUVs/trucks with large wheels.
Fortunately, there are some lower-cost options that offer almost equal performance as the premium tires, to the point where you won’t tell the difference. These cheap all terrain tires still come from reputable manufacturers, meaning they are carefully engineered to be safe and durable.
As a matter of fact, most of the companies on this list spend a lot of time and money developing new tire compounds and designing better tread patterns. Hence, all of the tires down below will work well in most conditions. Sure, every tire has a disadvantage, but in this case, they aren’t that glaring.
The thing is, though, you’ll need to choose an all-terrain tire that suits your driving style. For most people, a mild all-terrain tire will be more than good enough for light off-roading while providing excellent on-road dynamics.
However, since most people identify all-terrain tires as the more aggressive type, I decided to put them at the beginning. These tires will sacrifice some on-road refinement and performance for added off-road traction, but not by much. Besides, I took care to only include tires that are safe, so the slightly lower traction shouldn’t be an issue for most people.
After clearing that out, let’s jump right to the matter and find a set of all-terrain tires that will suit your budget and driving style. Let’s go!
- Top 10 Best Cheap All Terrain Tires Available in 2022
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Top 10 Best Cheap All Terrain Tires Available in 2022
1. Yokohama Geolandar A/T G015
Best Cheap Aggressive All-Terrain Tires for Quiet Ride
The Yokohama Geolandar A/T G015 isn’t the most aggressive all-terrain tire out there, but it isn’t the mildest, either. I think it finds a good balance between on-road and off-road traction – it’s very capable on hardpacked surfaces and turf, and with the right load rating, you can even attack some sand dunes. It’s not as good in deep mud, but that’s normal for the category.
Crucially, this is one of the best tires in its category on paved roads, regardless of the weather conditions. There is ample traction on dry and wet tarmac, and the tire feels very balanced during cornering, even when you overcome the limits. Moreover, you’ll get excellent light-snow traction in the winter, accompanied by surefooted handling.
Meanwhile, the Geolandar A/T G015 is also impressively quiet, even when you drive on the highway. The ride is also soft, though that means repetitive impacts can unsettle the ride. Overall, though, there is not a lot to complain about – this is a very accomplished all-terrain tire and one that lasts for quite a long time.
2. Vredestein Pinza AT
Best Cheap Aggressive All-Terrain Tires for On-road and Light-duty Off-road Driving
The Vredestein Pinza AT is a relative newcomer to the category, and it immediately launches itself into the upper echelon. This came as a surprise to me, as Vredestein isn’t known for its all-terrain tire offerings, but the Dutch company still spends significantly on R&D, and that’s evident here.
This tire provides excellent traction on dirt and gravel and also works well on turf. Deep-mud traction is somewhat lacking, but that’s to be expected from the category. Also, the light-snow traction is only average for an all-terrain all-season tire but still completely usable.
But this is where the praising starts – the Pinza AT is a very capable road tire, with excellent traction on dry and wet surfaces. Moreover, it is very easy to drive, with balanced behavior at the limit and very linear and responsive steering.
The Pinza AT is also very smooth over bumps and quiet on the highway – both very welcome. If I nitpick, the tire is slightly louder over impacts, but this is a non-issue on 99% of the surfaces you’ll encounter, really.
Crucially, Vredestein offers the best-in-class treadwear warranty for P-metric sizes at 70,000 miles, which is quite extraordinary.
3. General Grabber A/TX
Best Cheap Aggressive All-Terrain Tires for long off-road sessions
The General Grabber A/TX is an excellent all-terrain tire for drivers that want more off-road traction, as it also works in shallow mud and over larger rocks. You’ll still get better results from a full-blown off-road tire, but as far as all-terrain tires go, the Grabber A/TX is one of the best.
What I really like about this tire is that it combines its above-average off-road traction with very solid on-road performance. Notably, your truck won’t lack traction in dry and wet conditions, and you’ll also be very comfortable, both in terms of ride quality and noise. Meanwhile, the steering is vague, though it still provides a good on-center feel and solid straight-line tracking.
The only area where I’d like to see improvement is the traction on packed snow, which is lower than the class-leading tires.
4. Sumitomo Encounter AT
Best Cheap Aggressive All-Terrain Tires
The Sumitomo Encounter AT is one of the most affordable options on this list, yet it would be hard to notice that while driving. Sumitomo did a great job with the on-road/off-road balance – this is a tire with excellent traction on dirt and gravel, and it also works on turf.
Meanwhile, the on-road dynamics are similar to a premium all-terrain tire. The dry/wet handling feels very balanced, with only slight understeer and predictable behavior at the limit. Moreover, there is ample traction for spirited driving, and the steering is precise and linear.
You do lose some refinement here, though – the ride can feel harsh on broken pavement, and you can clearly hear the tread growl on the highway. Still, it’s not too bad for the price, especially considering the exceptional 60,000-mile treadwear warranty.
5. Kumho Road Venture AT51
Best Cheap Aggressive All-Terrain Tires for Smooth Ride
The Kumho Road Venture AT51 is an older model, but one that can still compete. With this tire, you’ll get some serious off-road traction, even in shallow mud and over medium rocks.
However, while the tire performs excellently in dry conditions, the wet traction isn’t as impressive. It’s still safe, mind you, but there is no denying the fact that the newer competition is better in the rain.
You won’t have any issues with snow, though – the traction is there, and the tire feels planted through the corners. Also, the ride is reasonably smooth, and the noise is suppressed on the highway – this is one seriously refined tire.
It’s a shame that Kumho doesn’t offer any treadwear warranty on LT-metric sizes, though.
6. Firestone Destination X/T
Best Cheap Aggressive All-Terrain Tires for Light Trucks and SUVs
The Destination X/T isn’t as accomplished as the previous models on this list, but it’s not without its strengths. Notably, this tire is very capable on off-road terrains, with excellent traction and tough casing that’s hard to puncture.
Furthermore, the Destination X/T provides a very refined driving experience, with a very smooth and quiet ride – not something you’d expect from a tire that’s only available in LT-metric and flotation sizes (bummer). The tire is also capable of providing stable cornering on dry roads, though ultimately, it lags behind in overall traction and steering response.
Still, I had no issues with how it handles wet conditions – there is ample traction on offer, and the tire feels balanced through the corners. The light-snow traction is also pretty good for the price, though perhaps a step behind the class leaders.
Firestone offers a 50,000-mile treadwear warranty, which is excellent for an LT-metric tire.
7. General Grabber APT
Best Cheap Mild All-Terrain Tires for Quiet and Smooth Ride
The General Grabber APT won’t be the best option for driving on demanding off-road terrains, but that’s fine for most people. Crucially, you’ll get some very good traction on dirt and gravel and even usable traction on turf.
You do get better on-road dynamics here, though – the handling feels very balanced, with a strong grip and excellent braking. It’s also very capable in the rain, where it steers, brakes, and accelerates like the best out there. The light-snow traction could’ve been better, though, particularly in terms of overall traction.
You won’t have issues with refinement, though, as the tire is very smooth over any surface and remains quiet on the highway. It also comes with a 60,000-mile treadwear warranty – excellent for the price and category!
8. Cooper Discoverer AT3 4S
Best Cheap Mild All-Terrain Tires for Soft Ride
The Discoverer AT3 4S is a solid option for campers that want dependable traction on dirt and gravel, combined with good on-road performance. Indeed, this tire works admirably in dry conditions, with good grip and predictable behavior in the corners.
Furthermore, there is enough traction in rainy conditions, although you’ll need to get used to the understeer on corner entry – not easy considering the vague steering. Still, you won’t have issues in the winter, as there is ample traction and the handling is balanced.
As for comfort, the ride is very soft, which you might prefer, but that means there will be a secondary motion on repetitive impacts. You won’t have issues with noise, though.
Finally, the 65,000-mile treadwear warranty is among the longest in the category.
9. Firestone Destination A/T2
Best Cheap Mild All-Terrain Tires
The Firestone Destination A/T2 can’t compete with the best mild all-terrain tires in terms of refinement, as the soft sidewalls produce secondary motion over repetitive impacts, and the tread growl is easily noticeable at higher speeds.
But apart from that, the Destination A/T2 is a very capable tire, providing you with good on-road and off-road manners. Notably, it’s more than good enough on hardpacked surfaces, like dirt and gravel, and it even works on turf.
Meanwhile, the handling is balanced in dry and wet conditions, and there is ample traction on offer. Winter weather also won’t make you leave your truck in the driveway, as the traction on light snow is among the best in the category.
Finally, the Destination A/T2 comes with a good 55,000-mile treadwear warranty.
10. Laufenn X FIT AT
Best Cheap Mild All-Terrain Tires
The Laufenn X FIT AT is a clear step behind every tire on this list in overall performance, but that’s understandable considering the price. What you need to know here is that the dry traction is still okay for the price, and the performance in rainy conditions is good if you don’t drive too fast. Heck, you’ll even get some light-snow drivability and pretty good traction on hardpacked surfaces.
Still, the more expensive options on this list will give you significantly better rain traction, less noise, and a longer treadwear warranty. Still, if you are really on a budget and you can live with the limitations, the X FIT AT will serve you well.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- What’s the difference between all-terrain and off-road tires?
“All-terrain” is used to describe any tire that’s suitable for driving on public roads and for off-roading. In that sense, even some very aggressive off-road (mud-terrain) tires belong to that category.
However, it’s generally accepted that all-terrain tires strike a balance between on-road and off-road traction but almost always work better on paved roads. Now, even in the all-terrain category, there are different types of tires – some have milder tread designs, while others are more aggressive. Naturally, the latter will be better for off-roading, while the former will be better on public roads.
Meanwhile, off-road or mud-terrain tires sacrifice on-road dynamics and grip to provide you with the best possible traction on some demanding terrains, like deep mud, large rocks, and sand. These tires have very aggressive tread patterns with large void areas but also tougher casings that let you drive at low pressures for some serious off-road traction.
- Should I put flotation all-terrain tires on my truck?
It all depends on your needs. For most people, regular P-metric and LT-metric sizes will be more than capable enough on most off-road terrains. However, if you are into visiting some very remote places and driving over very demanding off-road terrains, it might be a good idea to invest in flotation sizes. These tires allow you to drive at very low pressures, which can significantly improve the traction for rock crawling and when driving over sand dunes.
- What is the correct load rating for an all-terrain tire?
It really depends on your truck and what you’ll be doing with it. For mid-size trucks, I recommend going for P-metric tires with XL load ratings, even if you are towing or hauling heavy cargo. Just make sure that the load rating of four tires exceeds the weight of your vehicle and the cargo, and you’ll be fine.
Meanwhile, owners of full-size pickup trucks can choose between P-metric and LT-metric sizes, depending on the needs. For towing very large trailers, I’d recommend going for LT-metric tires, but for everyone else, an XL tire will do just fine.
Nonetheless, if you have a heavy-duty truck or a commercial vehicle, an LT-metric all-terrain tire is the way to go. These vehicles are very heavy even when unloaded and can carry very heavy loads in the bed, making LT-metric tires the only option.
- What’s the difference between all-terrain and all-season tires?
Those are two different classifications of tires – one is about the climate, and the other one is about the surface you are driving on. Interestingly, every all-terrain tire currently available to buy in North America is also an all-season tire, meaning it’s designed to work all climate conditions and also on most terrains.
Naturally, an all-season tire isn’t the answer to everything and can’t work in harsh wintry conditions. Likewise, an all-terrain tire will be good for light off-roading but not for some very demanding terrains.
Purchasing cheap all terrain tires has become quite a chore lately with all those options available on the market. Not only do you need to choose between different manufacturers, but also between mild and aggressive all-terrain tires – some tiremakers even have three different options in the category!
With that said, I hope that this article clarified some things for you and helped you find a set of all-terrain tires that fit your budget.
You probably noticed that I didn’t include some really cheap Chinese all-terrain tires, though, and that’s for a reason. These tires are simply not worth it – they always suffer significantly in one category and won’t last nearly as long as models from reputable manufacturers. In my experience, they are even more expensive in the long run. So, why pay more for something you won’t enjoy?