The 4Runner begs for a replacement, with the current fifth-gen model being on sale from 2009. Despite that, though, sales are very strong, and Toyota can't make enough of them. Blame the legendary reliability, bullet-proof mechanics, and exceptional off-road ability for that. Rivals might be more modern and sexier, but the 4Runner remains the main choice for people that want a dependable solution.
While your Toyota 4Runner is a very capable machine, it will go nowhere without appropriate rubber. Tires are important on any vehicle, but even more so on the 4Runner, simply because of all the options on offer. You could put anything from touring all-season to mud-terrain tires on Toyota's venerable SUV, but only one set will suit your particular needs. Moreover, all the brands available in today's market make life even harder for 4Runner owners.
But you shouldn't worry about that, as you have arrived at the best place to find the best tires for Toyota 4Runner. In my list, I'll include all tires that I deem viable for the SUV, divided into categories to make life easier for you, my readers.
The only thing you need to do is read the reviews, find a tire that suits your driving needs, and click on the link to purchase it. You will get the best price, but we will earn a small commission that will help us keep going.
With that said, here is my list of the best Toyota 4Runner tires! Oh, and don't forget to read the FAQ section, as you might find quite a few valuable tips on how to extract the most of your 4Runner tires. So, buckle up, and let's go!
- Best Highway All-Season Tires for Toyota 4Runner
- Best All-Terrain Tires for Toyota 4Runner
- Best Mud-Terrain Off-Road Tires for Toyota 4Runner
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Best Highway All-Season Tires for Toyota 4Runner
1. Continental TerrainContact H/T
The Continental TerrainContact H/T is the best highway all-season tire currently on sale, and in most categories, it's not even close. This tire impressed me in many aspects, but the biggest one is certainly wet traction and handling.
You see, the 4Runner isn't a particularly stable vehicle on paved roads, and that is especially evident in rainy conditions. However, the TerrainContact H/T will help you greatly mitigate that issue. With a set of these tires on your 4Runner, it will become a very planted and secure SUV in rainy conditions, with high lateral grip and balanced handling.
Furthermore, the TerrainContact H/T will provide you with the shortest stopping distances possible of any highway all-season tire, and it won't struggle with acceleration traction when you only have 2WD engaged.
I could say the same for this tire's dry performance, which is also among the best in the category. The lateral grip is exceptional for an all-season tire, and the stopping distances are very short for the category.
One area where I would like to see improvement is the steering, which feels vague and inaccurate, but I guess that is something most 4Runner drivers won't notice, as Toyota's SUV isn't particularly good to steer in the first place.
You must think that the TerrainContact H/T sacrifices snow traction, but nope – it also beats its competitors in that category. The longitudinal traction, i.e., braking and acceleration, are among the best of any highway all-season tire. Thus, you won't get stuck in the snow with these tires, except if you really overestimate their abilities and attack deep, unpacked snow.
The TerrainContact H/T also handles well in the corners on snow-covered roads. The handling is balanced, and the traction breakaway isn't sudden, giving you enough time to react. Unlike most highway all-season tires, the TerrainContact H/T even handles ice. Of course, it has less traction than dedicated winter tires, but it's still better than most highway tires.
As for comfort, the TerrainContact H/T is one of the quietest highway all-season tires you can get for your 4Runner. The sound is low-pitched and quieter than the wind noise on the 4Runner, meaning it's never an issue, even at very high speeds. Meanwhile, the ride is firm but never harsh. The fact that the ride is firmer actually makes for a more refined experience, as the TerrainContact H/T produces less secondary motion when it deals with broken asphalt.
Unfortunately, the TerrainContact H/T isn't the best choice for off-roading. Due to the less aggressive tread pattern, the tire lacks traction on anything more challenging than dirt and gravel, and its casing isn't built to endure the abrasive nature of sharp rocks and can be easily punctured.
With that said, Continental offers a 70,000-mile treadwear warranty on P-metric sizes and 60,000 miles on LT-metric sizes, both excellent for the category. Owners also report excellent real-world treadlife with this tire.
- Unparalleled wet pavement braking performance
- Remarkable lateral grip in rainy conditions
- Outstanding dry road grip and traction
- Top-tier braking and acceleration on light snow
- Well-rounded light-snow handling with impressive lateral hold
- Decent ice traction for an all-season tire
- Minimal noise, even on uneven surfaces
- Firm yet comfortable ride quality
- Extensive treadwear warranty
- Steering may seem imprecise and unclear
- Not the ideal choice for off-road adventures
- Potentially costly for some budgets
2. Michelin Defender LTX M/S
The Defender LTX M/S was and still is one of the best highway all-season tires, with durability being its main attraction. Namely, Michelin offers a 70,000-mile warranty on T-speed and H-speed rated sizes and a 50,000-mile treadwear warranty on R-speed rated sizes.
Both are very competitive in the category, but the real-world treadlife seems to be even more impressive. Owners of this tire report excellent treadlife but also that the casing is very tough and can withstand abrasive surfaces.
Moreover, Michelin designed the Defender LTX M/S with towing and hauling in mind. Thanks to the stiff casing, the tire remains stable on the highway, providing you with ample grip and traction to steer your 4Runner while towing.
Michelin's highway all-season tire is also very capable in terms of overall traction. On dry roads, it competes directly with its Continental rival in overall grip while also providing very balanced handling and predictable behavior at the limit. The steering is also pretty responsive for a highway tire.
Still, while the Defender LTX M/S is very good in rainy conditions, it lags behind the TerrainContact H/T. Notably, Michelin's tire needs a few feet more to stop on wet tarmac, and it can't achieve the same speeds in the corners. Overall, it is still better than most highway all-season tires, but I guess Michelin has a job to do for the next generation.
I found that the same story goes for snowy conditions. The Defender LTX M/S is completely usable thanks to the solid traction and well-mannered handling, but the TerrainContact H/T still takes the cake. This probably shouldn't be an issue for most buyers, but if snow traction is important for you, go for the Continental.
The Defender LTX M/S doesn't lag in terms of comfort, though. Despite its stiff and durable casing, Michelin's highway tire goes smoothly over bumps and remains quiet on the highway. It makes any SUV, including the 4Runner, a more refined vehicle that you'll want to use on longer distances.
- Excellent wet traction and responsive handling
- Outstanding longitudinal traction and cornering grip on dry roads
- Effective traction on light snow
- Stable on the highway, even when loaded for towing or hauling
- Comfortable and smooth ride for a highway tire
- Remarkable tread life and a generous treadwear warranty
- Higher price point than competitors
- Slightly underperforms TerrainContact H/T in rainy and snowy conditions
3. Firestone Destination LE3
The Destination LE3 is a low-cost alternative to the Defender LTX M/S and TerrainContact H/T. Despite costing less than the competition, the Destination LE3 is a tire that you shouldn't overlook, especially if you frequently tow with your 4Runner.
I found that this tire performs excellently when towing, thanks to the solid construction. Your SUV will feel stable in the corners without wandering around like on some cheaper tires.
Moreover, the Destination LE3 performs very well when your 4Runner is unloaded, with excellent lateral grip and strong braking in dry conditions. I also liked how the tire felt – the steering was quick and precise, and the handling felt very balanced and natural. The Destination LE3 isn't a sporty tire, but it's the closest you can get from a highway all-season tire.
I was also surprised by the wet traction on offer. The longitudinal traction, i.e., braking and acceleration, were excellent for the category, almost matching the more expensive Defender LTX M/S. The way the Destination LE3 felt in the corners was also positive, as it lacked the nervous handling of some other budget-oriented highway all-season tires.
That said, while I had no issues steering the SUV on snow, the Destination LE3 didn't offer the expected traction. In other words, the handling is predictable, which makes things easier for the driver, but the tire simply lacks the bite of its more expensive rivals. This is especially evident in braking/acceleration, where the Destination LE3 lags behind its rivals.
With that said, the Destination LE3 is a very durable tire. Apart from the stiff casing that can resist punctures better than most highway all-season tires, Firestone's highway tire also comes with a class-leading 70,000-mile warranty on all sizes, which is excellent for the price. Owners are also very satisfied with the treadlife, which matches that of its costlier rivals.
As a cherry on top, the Destination LE3 is very comfortable over bumps, even on some broken roads. It is also very quiet – surprisingly so, given it is primarily designed for SUVs like the 4Runner.
Still, unlike the predecessor, Firestone doesn't offer the Destination LE3 in LT-metric sizes for 4Runner owners that want to tow very large trailers, which is an oversight, in my opinion.
- Well-balanced handling and robust traction in dry conditions
- Admirable traction in wet conditions, especially considering the price
- Responsive and linear steering performance
- Ideal for towing due to its sturdy construction
- Competent performance on light snow
- Comfortable and quiet ride over various surfaces
- An impressive treadwear warranty for its price range
- Less refined when handling repetitive impacts or rough asphalt
- Could improve acceleration and braking on snow
- LT-metric sizes not available
Best All-Terrain Tires for Toyota 4Runner
4. Yokohama Geolandar A/T G015
Yokohama's latest all-terrain tire combines everything that is good about an off-road tire with the on-road qualities of a highway tire. Currently, it is my favorite all-terrain tire on the market and one that I think fits the 4Runner like a glove.
The reason I like the Geolandar A/T G015 is that it handles daily duties supremely well. Apart from the somewhat harsh ride on broken roads, this tire will give you a safe and comfortable ride on the street, even at higher speeds.
Namely, unlike most of its rivals, the Geolandar A/T G015 isn't a noisy tire. You can still hear the low-pitched noise, but it is never intrusive or bothersome. I would rather have these tires on my SUV and travel long distances than any other all-terrain tire.
The Geolandar A/T G015 doesn't suffer from the wet traction issues like most of its rivals as well. I found that it bites well when braking and that it has enough traction to accelerate swiftly on wet tarmac. Moreover, it felt balanced in the corners, with enough grip for a more spirited drive. Overall, the Geolandar A/T G015 won't replace a highway all-season tire in the rain, but it comes damn close.
It is the same story on dry roads – the Geolandar A/T G015 feels responsive and grippy, almost like a highway tire. Thanks to the stiff casing, your 4Runner also won't suffer from wandering around when towing a large trailer, and overall the highway stability is excellent.
Furthermore, the Geolandar A/T G015 is pretty good on light snow, with strong braking and balanced behavior in the corners. Thanks to the aggressive tread pattern, it even gives some traction on unpacked snow, though it is not usable on ice.
As for off-roading, the Geolandar A/T G015 is as good as you can get from an all-terrain tire. It works remarkably well on gravel and dirt while also providing excellent traction on turf and sand. You will also have a good time in shallow mud, though the Geolandar A/T G015 isn't the best tire for deep mud or large rocks.
Yokohama gives a 60,000-mile warranty on P-metric sizes and 50,000 miles on LT-metric and flotation sizes, both class-leading.
- Reliable traction on dirt and gravel surfaces
- Excellent on-road performance
- Effective handling and braking in wet conditions
- Solid light-snow traction and handling
- Quiet operation for an all-terrain tire
- Long treadwear warranty for its category
- May feel harsh over repetitive impacts
5. BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2
The BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 is the gold standard in the all-terrain category, mainly thanks to its off-road prowess. The American tiremaker designed its off-road tires in racing series like Baja and Dakar Rally, and many of the technologies used there were implemented in the All-Terrain T/A KO2.
The All-Terrain T/A KO2 is super-capable on dirt and gravel, where it beats almost any other tire on the market. Thanks to the stiff construction and aggressive tread compound, BFGoodrich's all-terrain tire felt very agile on gravel roads, letting you push the SUV through the corners like it's a rally vehicle. Not to mention, the casing is very durable and can withstand cuts and punctures, which is important in those conditions.
But the All-Terrain T/A KO2 is so much more than just a gravel/dirt tire. It also performs well on the sand when deflated and can do some work on the turf. And unlike most of its rivals, it can even provide digging action in shallower mud and give you traction over large rocks – of course, when deflated and paired with beaded wheels.
On the road, the All-Terrain T/A KO2 suffers a bit when compared to its newer rivals, but it's not too bad, honestly. On dry roads, it drives very well, offering responsive steering, good lateral grip, and solid braking. The highway stability is also excellent, even if you tow a heavier trailer.
That said, I wasn't too impressed with the wet traction, which was pretty low for modern all-terrain tire standards. You will experience longer stopping distances and less lateral grip, though I think most 4Runner owners that seek the ultimate off-road tire are prepared for these shortcomings.
On the other hand, the All-Terrain T/A KO2 works quite well on packed and unpacked snow. Thus, it will be usable in the winter, both on public roads (packed snow) and for off-roading (unpacked snow). Beware of ice, though, as the All-Terrain T/A KO2 lacks the biting edges to create traction on icy roads.
As for comfort, BFGoodrich did a good job with the ride, which doesn't feel too stiff. However, there is no going around the fact that the All-Terrain T/A KO2 is noisy, especially on the highway.
Lastly, BFGoodrich offers a 50,000-mile treadwear warranty on the All-Terrain T/A KO2, which is excellent for an off-road-focused all-terrain tire.
- Superior traction and durability on hardpacked surfaces
- Admirable mud traction for its category
- Flotation-sized models excel off-road, particularly on sand
- Good dry traction and handling
- Responsive steering and reliable traction on dry roads
- Performs well on packed and unpacked snow
- Extensive treadwear warranty
- Wet traction lags behind newer competitors
- Produces more noise at high speeds compared to newer rivals
6. Falken Wildpeak A/T3W
Falken's answer to the all-terrain competition is a tire with almost no disadvantages, apart from the fact that it feels unresponsive and truck-ish on the road. I guess that won't be a big issue for most drivers, but it will exaggerate the numb steering of your 4Runner.
Other than that, though, I don't have much to complain about the Wildpeak A/T3W. Despite its aggressive tread pattern with deep grooves, the tire performs very well on dry roads, with high lateral grip and good braking performance. The highway stability is also excellent, even when you tow with your 4Runner.
I was particularly impressed with how this tire handles rainy conditions, though. The stopping distances are among the shortest of any aggressive all-terrain tire, and the lateral grip is excellent. The handling is also balanced, and the Wildpeak A/T3W behaves naturally at the limit with a gradual loss of traction.
Falken's all-terrain tire is even more impressive on snow. Thanks to the multiple sipes across the tread blocks and the Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake symbol, the Wildpeak A/T3W provides some of the shortest stopping distances and best acceleration traction in the category, both on packed and unpacked snow. It also steers well and feels balanced in the corners.
Thanks to the deep and aggressive pattern, the Wildpeak A/T3W is one of the best off-road performers among all-terrain tires. This model will give you ample traction on dirt and gravel, but it also works in mud and over very large rocks. It also comes in flotation sizes, which you can deflate for even better traction over rocks or sand.
As for comfort, Falken did a great job with the ride, which feels smooth over most surfaces. Noise is also not an issue, though the Wildpeak A/T3W is louder than some road-focused all-terrain tires like the Continental TerrainContact A/T.
Falken provides a 55,000-mile treadwear warranty on the Wildpeak A/T3W, which is outstanding for an aggressive all-terrain tire.
- Exceptional performance on sandy surfaces, particularly in flotation sizes
- Excellent traction on hardpacked surfaces, such as dirt and gravel
- Good traction in mud and over rocks, though not best-in-class
- Strong dry pavement performance, particularly lateral grip
- Reliable handling and braking in wet conditions
- Effective braking and well-balanced handling on snow-covered roads
- Well-damped ride with minimal cabin disturbance
- Robust construction and impressive tread life
- Feels unresponsive on paved roads, reminiscent of off-road tires
7. Vredestein Pinza AT
Vredestein might not be a brand that drivers in North America know about, but the Dutch company has been very popular in Europe for decades, producing high-quality tires that often beat other premium rivals.
And the Pinza AT is no exception. For starters, it comes with an exceptional 70,000-mile treadwear warranty on P-metric and 50,000-mile on LT-metric sizes, beating most of its rivals. It also employs Vredestein's Jointless Hexabead Technology for severe duty endurance, i.e., higher puncture resistance.
On the road, this is one of the best cheap all-terrain tires that I've tried. It steers almost like a highway tire, with linear and natural steering. Moreover, it offers excellent lateral grip, even when loaded to the teeth, and provides some of the shortest stopping distances in the category. And even when you overcome the traction limit, the Pinza AT is easy to control at the limit.
Furthermore, the Pinza AT is a great rain tire with higher traction than most of its competitors can muster. As a result, the stopping distances are very short, and the lateral grip is excellent. On top of that, the Pinza AT feels agile in the corners while also giving you absolute control.
That said, while the Pinza AT is equipped with many sipes and carries the Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake symbol, it lacks the snow traction of most of its rivals. It is still easy to drive on snow and stops well, but it can't carry a lot of speed in the corners.
With that said, I had no issues with comfort – the Pinza AT is a very smooth tire, even when you drive over bad roads, and it is one of the quietest all-terrain tires out there.
But unlike some more aggressive all-terrain tires, the Pinza AT isn't at its best in deep mud and over large rocks. It is very good on dirt and gravel, though, where I actually preferred its handling and overall behavior to some more aggressive all-terrain models.
- Exceptional traction and durability on hard-packed surfaces like dirt and gravel
- Outstanding traction and cornering grip on dry roads for an all-terrain tire
- Confident handling in dry conditions, even when surpassing the traction limit
- Excellent performance in rainy conditions with reliable traction
- Linear and responsive steering for its category
- Minimal noise, even at highway speeds
- Smooth ride for an all-terrain tire
- Generous 70,000-mile treadwear warranty on P-metric and 50,000-mile on LT-metric sizes
- Light-snow traction falls short compared to class leaders
- Not ideal for highly demanding off-road applications
Best Mud-Terrain Off-Road Tires for Toyota 4Runner
8. General Grabber X3
The Grabber X3 is a mud-terrain tire designed to give your 4Runner the best possible traction and durability on the most challenging trails. Thanks to its unapologetically aggressive tread pattern with huge blocks and deep grooves, the Grabber X3 is one of the best mud tires I've ever driven. With a set of these tires on your 4Runner, you can traverse deep mud tracks that you thought were previously impossible.
But the Grabber X3 is more than just a mud tire. Thanks to its stiff casing, it can be deflated to very low psi for driving over some very large rocks and also sand. Not to mention, it also works excellently when driving over turf and has enough traction for dirt and gravel.
The best thing about the Grabber X3 is that it is built like a tank. The casing is super-tough and durable and can withstand punctures and cuts from large and sharp rocks, but also smaller debris. Owners are also very satisfied with the treadlife, which is not surprising given it utilizes General's DURAGEN technology.
On the road, the Grabber X3 performs as well as you could expect from a mud tire. The steering is very numb and unresponsive, which is not surprising, but there is actually a lot of grip on offer, both on dry and wet roads. I was actually surprised with how this tire stops on wet tarmac and how it handles cornering duties.
Unlike most mud tires, the Grabber X3 also works well on packed snow, providing solid traction and good drivability. Still, I won't call it excellent, as it trails behind most highway and all-terrain tires on packed snow. On the other hand, thanks to the deep grooves and large void area, the Grabber X3 is a beast on unpacked snow – the type you encounter when off-roading.
As for comfort, I was again surprised with how quiet the Grabber X3 is, given its aggressive design. There is tread noise, of course, but it's quieter than most of its rivals. The ride is also pretty smooth for the category, which also impressed me on the test drive.
- Very good rock-crawling capabilities
- Excellent traction on dirt, gravel, and turf
- Exceptional traction in deep mud
- Remarkably stable and balanced on dry tarmac
- Wet traction and handling excel within its category
- Minimal noise on the street for a tire of its kind
- Smooth ride over a wide range of surfaces, including challenging off-road terrains
- Solid traction on packed snow and exceptional on unpacked snow
- The steering feels unresponsive and lifeless
9. Firestone Destination M/T2
The predecessor of this tire was already an off-road beast, but the Destination M/T2 takes things even further. Thanks to the high void area, large blocks, and deep grooves, this is one of the best tires for overcoming terrains with deep mud. The digging action this tire provides is surreal – you need to see it to believe it.
Furthermore, Firestone's mud tire performs excellently over large rocks, of course, at low psi. And you can drive it at low pressures because the casing is very tough and durable. This also helps with a puncture and cut resistance, which are among the best of any tire I've ever driven. Your 4Runner will also handle dirt and gravel easily with these tires on, and you can also trust the Destination M/T2 when driving on turf or sand.
The Destination M/T2 feels surprisingly at home on the road. It provides ample grip for a safe drive on the highway, with solid braking and good stability. It is also very comfortable over bumps, even when you drive over some very bad roads.
That said, I wasn't too impressed with how noisy the Destination M/T2 was – this is a tire you will hear in the cabin. Also, you should be more careful in the rain – I had a hard time driving faster on wet tarmac, and the stopping distances were longer than I anticipated. The traction deficiency was particularly apparent when accelerating without 4WD engaged.
Still, the Destination M/T2 actually performs very well on packed and unpacked snow, making it a solid choice for people that encounter harsh wintry conditions. Owners also report excellent treadlife, which isn't something you often see in a mud tire.
- Excellent traction in mud and over large rocks
- Strong performance on hardpacked surfaces
- Responsive steering for a mud-terrain tire
- Good traction and drivability on dry roads
- Outstanding traction on packed and unpacked snow
- Comfortable ride quality for a mud-terrain tire
- Very tough construction and impressive tread life
- Produces significant noise, even at lower speeds
- Acceleration traction on wet pavement lags behind the best-in-class mud tires
10. BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM3
Much like its all-terrain counterpart, the BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM3 employs racing-derived technologies to give your 4Runner the ultimate off-road traction.
Indeed, the Mud-Terrain T/A KM3 is one of the best tires in the desert, thanks to the tread pattern that won't dig into deep sand. Regardless of that, this tire will give you all the traction you need in deep mud and then even more. This is the only off-road tire I've tried that truly works on sand and mud, and thus it deserves a special place in the category.
But you can also drive over some very large rocks with a set of Mud-Terrain T/A KM3s on your 4Runner. I also found that the tire offers enough traction on turf and works excellently on dirt and gravel. Overall, BFGoodrich's off-road tire doesn't excel in any category but offers a combination of off-road abilities that no other off-road tire can match.
On the road, the Mud-Terrain T/A KM3 feels surprisingly responsive and grippy, both on dry and wet roads. I was also impressed with the ride, which felt buttery smooth, though the noise was an issue at higher speeds.
In the winter, you can trust the Mud-Terrain T/A KM3 when traversing terrains that few SUVs/trucks visited before, as it has excellent traction on unpacked snow. Still, it won't be as capable on packed snow – the type you usually encounter on public roads.
Owners of the Mud-Terrain T/A KM3 are very happy with the tire, especially for its durability. Thus, treadlife shouldn't be an issue, but more importantly, the Mud-Terrain T/A KM3 is one of the toughest tires currently on sale. Thanks to the Traction-Armor Sidewall Sculpture, it is very hard to slice or puncture this tire, giving 4Runner off-roaders peace of mind.
- Incredible grip in thick mud
- Impressive handling and control on rocky landscapes, making it perfect for rock crawling
- High performance on firm surfaces
- Superior grip on loose snow
- Comfortable ride considering the tire's durability
- Poor grip on compacted snow
- Generates considerable noise during highway drives
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- How often should I replace the tires on my Toyota 4Runner?
The frequency of tire replacement on your Toyota 4Runner depends on many factors. For starters, your driving style can greatly impact how fast the tread wears, i.e., if you drive more aggressively or use the tires more often for off-roading, the treadlife will be lower.
Furthermore, the type of tires you choose also has an impact on longevity. On average, highway all-season tires will be the most durable tires for Toyota 4Runner, since they have hard-wearing tread compounds that can withstand abrasive surfaces better than other types of tires. All-terrain tires come close second, while off-road tires, also called mud-terrain tires, come third.
You could also put touring tires for crossovers and SUVs on your 4Runner, which have an excellent treadlife, but they are not usually designed for high load ratings.
Maintaining your tires will also ensure they last longer. Thus, regularly inspect your tires for signs of wear, damage, or aging. Check the tread depth using the penny test or a tread depth gauge. If the tread is worn down to the wear bars or if you notice any cracks, bulges, or uneven wear, it's time to replace your tires.
- Can I fit larger tires on my Toyota 4Runner without modifications?
The Toyota 4Runner will allow you to put on larger tires without worrying about rubbing the fenders. According to online forums, the highest you can go is 285/65R18. Still, you will definitely need to adjust the suspension and maybe do some fender roll.
If you are serious about putting larger flotation tires on your 4Runner to make it a serious off-road machine, I suggest going for a suspension lifting kit. The suspension lift will allow for much larger wheels, but it will also make your 4Runner much better on off-road trails.
With that said, there are some things you need to have in mind. For instance, tires with larger sidewalls will impact the handling and overall stability of your SUV and also lead to longer braking distances. Moreover, they will increase the stress on the drivetrain components, such as axles, differentials, and the transmission.
Furthermore, putting larger tires will result in speedometer inaccuracies, which will be especially noticeable at higher speeds. Finally, larger tires equal worse fuel economy on the already thirsty 4Runner.
- What is the impact of tire load capacity and speed ratings on my Toyota 4Runner's safety and performance?
Tire load capacity and speed ratings are essential factors to consider for your Toyota 4Runner's safety and performance. The load capacity indicates the maximum weight each tire can carry while providing you with a safe ride. Thus, it is crucial to always get the minimum load index recommended by Toyota – only go higher, but never lower.
Meanwhile, the speed rating shows you the maximum speed at which a tire can operate safely. Choosing a tire with a lower speed rating than recommended by the manufacturer can lead to tire failure, loss of control, and reduced handling, particularly at higher speeds. Therefore, it's essential to choose tires with a speed rating that meets or exceeds your Toyota 4Runner's capabilities to ensure safety and optimal performance.
- How do I maintain proper tire alignment and balance for my Toyota 4Runner?
Maintaining proper wheel alignment and balance will ensure that your 4Runner always performs at the highest level, but it will also prolong the lifespan of your tires and keep the suspension components from being damaged.
Thus, it is crucial to regularly inspect your tires and look for irregular wear patterns, which could indicate misalignment. Moreover, you should check the tire pressure at least once every month, as that can also lead to misalignment.
It is also recommended to avoid overloading the tires, as excessive weight can stress the suspension and tires, potentially causing alignment and balance issues.
Also, make sure that you address the suspension problems on time. If you notice any issues with your vehicle's suspension, such as unusual noises, bouncing, or poor handling, have it inspected and repaired as soon as possible. Damaged suspension components can negatively impact tire alignment and balance.
- How does tire rotation affect the lifespan and performance of my Toyota 4Runner tires?
Tire rotation is crucial in extending the lifespan and maintaining the performance of your Toyota 4Runner's tires. By rotating your tires, you ensure even wear across the tread, consistent performance and high traction, improved fuel efficiency, a smoother and quiet ride, and lower running costs.
For convenience, you can do that at every oil change or at 5,000-8,000-mile intervals. Toyota recommends an oil change every 7,500 miles for synthetic oil and 5,000 miles for mineral oil. Regardless, I recommend rotating the tires with the oil change, as it will be cheaper and quicker.
Since the 4Runner is a 4x4 SUV, I recommend the "X" rotation pattern, where you put right front to the left rear, left front to the right rear, right rear to left front, and left rear to the right front.
You can also ask your tire technician to re-balance the tires at every rotation, as that will help with alignment and ensure your 4Runner runs smoothly.
- How do I choose the right tire for off-roading with my Toyota 4Runner?
You really need to think about the terrain type you'll be driving your 4Runner on. If you intend to drive mostly on dirt and gravel roads, with some occasional light mud and rocky terrain, you should go for all-terrain tires.
Modern all-terrain tires are very capable on challenging trails yet also offer very good on-road traction and comfort. Still, not all of these tires are created equal – some all-terrain tires have milder tread patterns focused more on on-road driving, while others have more aggressive designs that work better off-road. Read my reviews on all-terrain tires to find a model that best suits your scenario – I carefully explain each of the tire's positives and negatives in my in-depth reviews.
However, if you want to conquer challenging trails with deep mud or large-rock sections, your best bet is maximum traction off-road tires, also called mud-terrain tires. These tires have aggressive tread patterns that will give you the best possible traction in deep mud and over large rocks but also have stiffer casings that work at lower pressures and are resistant to punctures.
With all that said, tire size also plays an important role in how your Toyota 4Runner performs on challenging terrains. For instance, larger tires can increase your 4Runner's ground clearance, which is the distance between the lowest point of the vehicle and the ground. Higher ground clearance enables your vehicle to traverse rocks, ruts, and other obstacles more easily, reducing the risk of damaging the undercarriage.
Besides, larger tires also improve your 4Runner's approach, departure, and breakover angles, which determine the vehicle's ability to navigate steep inclines, declines, and obstacles without scraping the bumper or undercarriage. Furthermore, larger tires with higher sidewalls have a larger contact patch, which increases traction on loose surfaces.
That said, the width of the tread also plays a crucial role in how your 4Runner performs when off-roading. Notably, wide tires are better for driving over sand because they enhance flotation and might also work better on loose soil due to the larger contact patch.
However, narrower tires are actually better in deep mud because they create more pressure that helps them dig into the mud. This behavior also helps in the snow – narrower tires are better during the winter. Not to mention, narrower tires will also suffer less from hydroplaning on paved roads, while a wider tire would float over the surface.
- How do I know when it's time to replace my Toyota 4Runner's tires?
There are a few indicators that it's time to replace your Toyota 4Runner tires, and the main one is tread depth. The minimum legal tread depth on tires in most places in the world is 2/32 of an inch (1.6mm). The reason is that tires with less tread depth than 2/32 inches suffer badly from hydroplaning and become unstable in heavy rain.
You can use a tread depth gauge, a coin (e.g., the penny test), or built-in tread wear indicators (small raised bars in the tire grooves) to assess tread depth.
However, if you plan on using the tires during the winter on snow-covered roads, you should have at least 5/32 inches (4 mm) of tread depth left. Also, since the 4Runner is an off-road-capable SUV, I would replace all-terrain or mud-terrain tires sooner, particularly if you plan on driving on challenging terrains. Off-road tires with insufficient tread depth won't provide you with enough traction on the trail.
Furthermore, you should also be aware of the age of your 4Runner tires. It is generally recommended to replace them after 6-10 years, regardless of their tread depth. Check the manufacturing date on the tire sidewall to determine the tire's age.
You should also replace or at least rotate your tires if you notice uneven wear. For this, it's best to consult a professional technician to determine if a tire replacement is necessary.
Other indications that your tires need replacement are cracks, cuts, or bulges on the tread or sidewall. These are very dangerous occurrences that could lead to a potential blowout, which can be very dangerous – even lethal – if it happens at higher speeds.
In addition, excessive vibrations while driving might indicate internal damage or unbalanced tires. It is important to diagnose this issue sooner, as internal damage could lead to tread separation, which is a dangerous occurrence if it happens at very high speeds.
Finally, if your tire has been punctured, assess whether it can be repaired or if it needs replacement. Some punctures (e.g., large cuts, punctures in the sidewall, or extensive damage) require tire replacement.
- Can I use studded tires on my Toyota 4Runner, and what are the pros and cons?
Studded winter tires are an excellent option for the 4Runner, but only if they are allowed in your region. These tires can cause damage to road infrastructure, which is why they are forbidden in many states and countries worldwide.
That said, your 4Runner will be a different snow animal with a set of studded winter tires attached. These tires will give you much better traction on packed snow and ice but will also improve traction on unpacked snow.
I hope that my list of the ten best tires for Toyota 4Runner helped you find a set that suits your driving style. And if you didn't find what you wanted, I suggest keeping your choice to tires made by manufacturers that you know and trust.
Buying cheap tires from companies that just emerged on the market is not worth it. Not only you'll make your 4Runner less safe and potentially dangerous to drive, but cheap tires also don't last as long, meaning they might even be more expensive in the long run!
Although these companies will tell you great things about their products, be assured that they weren't tested well before hitting the market. Meanwhile, large tire companies thoroughly test their tires before putting them on the market, ensuring they are safe and durable.
I’m Ivo Gievski, the content writer for Tireer. We built our website with over 15 years of experience and extensive research in the automotive and technology sectors. My dedication to delivering high-quality content is unwavering, and I strive to continuously hone my skills to stay ahead of industry trends and provide readers with informative, engaging, and valuable insights.