In the world of off-roading, many factors play a role in successfully venturing off the pavement and into the wild.
Talk to any seasoned off-road veteran, though, and they’ll tell you the most critical factor is your off road tires.
This article will review the top picks for off-road tires, specifically for the Toyota Tacoma.
Comparison of the Best Off-Road Tires for Tacoma
What Makes a Great Off-Road Tire For Tacomas?
There are a few attributes to consider when choosing an off-road tire, especially for a Tacoma. The specifics may vary from other vehicles due to the size of the Tacoma and its particular axle.
First, you want to pick an off-road tire that isn’t too heavy. If the tire is too heavy, it will put added strain on the axel, creating more wear on the pumpkin’s gears (that’s a differential for anyone not privvy).
Choose an off-road tire that is suited for the conditions you’ll be driving in most. The wrong tread will lead to reduced performance.
Off-road tires are at their best when they have large groove treads. Look for wide gaps in the tread; this will keep mud from sticking inside, which cuts down on traction.
Photo credit: extremeterrain.com
What Size Tires Do I Need For My Tacoma?
The size of tires needed for a Toyota Tacoma depends mostly on the model year and the type of Tacoma you have. Below we list the tire sizes for the different 2020 Toyota Tacoma models:
- 2020 Toyota Tacoma Limited V6: you need P265/60R16
- 2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport V6: you need P265/65R17
- 2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro V6: you need P255/70 R16
- 2020 Toyota Tacoma SR; SR5; SR V6; or SR5 V6: you need P245/75R16
The main thing is to look at the size tires you currently have and go with that same size, only in an off-road model. The most important number to pay attention to is the last number. For instance, in R17, the 17 is for the size wheel that you have. If you have an R17, it means you have a 17-inch wheel.
Review of the Best Off-Road Tires for Tacoma
Now it’s time to get into the weeds. What are the best off-road tires for a Toyota Tacoma? If you were to ask fifteen different people, you’d likely get twenty answers. However, there are four big name tire companies with a long history of quality products, and those are the ones we’ll be looking at today.
For now, we’ll be comparing the tire for a TRD Pro Tacoma. It should only affect the tire’s price as all the other attributes should be equal.
Best Overall & Best Tires For Tacoma TRD Off Road:Mickey Thompson Baja MTZ P3
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- Aggressive look adds WOW factor to vehicle
- Self-cleaning tread pattern provides added off-road traction
- Radial design makes tires quieter and smoother on paved surfaces
- Silica-reinforced tread compound enhances performance in wet conditions and extends tire life
- Four-pitch sidebiter pattern and 3-ply sidewall construction increases sidewall protection and sidewall traction
- Slightly heavier than other tires
- Can be challenging to find in stock
What Recent Buyers Report
We had to dig deep to find negative things to say about this product. Overall, people who purchased this product were thrilled with the Mickey Thompson Baja MTZP3 Mud-Terrain Radial. The primary reason is that it checks almost all the boxes for a multi-purpose tire.
Why it Stands Out to Us
Mickey Thompson is probably one of the best off-road tire manufacturers. Mickey Thompson is an American based company that started just specializing in off-road tires. The Baja MTZP3 Mud-Terrain Radial is a premier off-road tire that bridges the gap between off-road and urban driving conditions.
These tires are also some of the best looking mud-terrain radials currently on the market. They will do well in off-road conditions and won’t be too overly aggressive for pavement either.
The Baja MTZP3 Mud-Terrain Radial stands out to us as the best off-road tire for Toyota Tacoma because it checks the most boxes for all-around tires. Keep in mind though we say it’s a quiet off-road tire, there is still going to be more road noise than from a true radial or all-terrain tire. In the end, if you do decide to go with this brand of tire, we don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
The Mickey Thompson Baja MTZP3 Mud-Terrain Radial does very well in off-road environments, poor climate conditions, and still drives well on paved roads. Most who own a set of these tires are hard-pressed to find anything negative to say about the tires. When pressed to come up with one bad thing, the only thing we heard is they can be hard to find in stock.
Runner-up:BFGoodrich Terrain T/A KO2
- Great looking
- Good all-season tire
- Does well in snowy environments
- Excellent tread pattern for better traction
- Great next step up between all-terrain tires and pure off-road tires
- The lifespan of tires seem to vary
- Pretty noisy for moderate off-road tire
What Recent Buyers Report
While consumers that purchase the BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM3 are typically happy with the tires, the main complaint is they don’t seem to have a consistent lifespan.
Why it Stands Out to Us
The BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM3 is probably the most trusted and sought after by most American light off-roaders. Many who have owned these tires admitted they bought them because they were the best-looking tire sitting on the showroom floor when they went shopping for new tires. However, these tires do have some great qualities other than looks that make them hit our list.
The BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM3 off-road tire stands out to us for the Tacoma because it’s one of the more popular tires on the market. This good looking tire also offers good off-road capabilities and also does well in inclement weather. We do advise you to watch the warranty on the tires, though, due to tire wear.
When it comes to off-road tires for a Toyota Tacoma, few tires are researched and purchased more than the BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM3. These tires are so sought after because BFGoodrich is such a well-known name in tires. If you have an all-terrain tire and are looking for a more aggressive but not quite a full-on off-road tire, this might be the best off-road tire for your Toyota Tacoma.
Best for the Money:Cooper Discoverer STT Pro
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- Strong 3-ply sidewall
- Surprisingly quiet on paved roads
- Rock ejector design helps to prevent small sharp rock punctures
- Self-cleaning tread dies in aids in better traction in muddy situations
- Great lifespan due to robust chip and tear-resistant rubber compound
- Off-brand tire company
- No great in snowy conditions
What Recent Buyers Report
We have talked to the individuals that have given the Cooper Discoverer STT PRO a shot, and almost all remarked how shocked they were by this tire’s performance. The most significant surprise factors seemed to be how quiet the tires were and how long they lasted.
Why it Stands Out to Us
The Cooper Discoverer STT PRO tires are the best for the price. We know many who have owned a pair of these tires, and there are few complaints. It’s an off-brand as far as tire companies, but they make exceptional tires.
It’s again a tire designed for light off-road but still maintains an excellent paved road feel. The only complaint by many people is they haven’t ever heard about them because they are an off-brand tire. These are good alternative tires to the BFGoodrich mentioned above.
The Cooper Discoverer STT PRO stands out to us because everyone who seems to give these tires a try ends up so happy with them they continue to purchase new sets. These tires might not look as cool or be as well known as other tires, but they lack in style; they make up for practicality.
If you are looking for a tire that is a bit more aggressive than an all-terrain but don’t want to spend a small fortune and need something that will last, the Discoverer STT PRO is an excellent pick for an off-road tire for a Tacoma.
The Discoverer STT PRO is a great off-road tire for a reasonable price. It boasts a design that is excellent off-road and has a lengthy lifespan for the daily urban commute. If you need a more meaty tire than an all-terrain but don’t want to sacrifice your firstborn to acquire a set, then these tires might meet the requirements for your Tacoma’s off-road needs.
Editor’s Pick:Goodyear Wrangler MT/R with Kevlar
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- Internal construction has twin steel belts
- Excellent paved road handling and quiet
- Developed for light trucks like the Tacoma
- Extra tough sidewall with Kevlar Reinforcement
- Features DuPont Kevlar a material five times stronger than steel
- Not great in winter conditions
- Pretty heavy due to steel and Kevlar construction
What Recent Buyers Report
Pretty much everyone that owns a set of the Goodyear Wrangler MT/R with Kevlar tires is profoundly happy with them. One look at these tires, and it isn’t hard to understand why.
Why it Stands Out to Us
In our opinion, Goodyear Wranglers are just a good tire, both all-terrain, and mud-terrain. The Goodyear Wrangler MT/R with Kevlar tires are meaner looking, and we have heard very few complaints about them.
These off-road tires throw mud from the tread well and are great for rock climbing also. Still closer to an all-terrain than a pure off-road tire, but more aggressive than the BFG without sacrificing paved road handling for comfort.
The Goodyear Wrangler MT/R with Kevlar stands out to us as the best off-road tire for a Tacoma because the tire itself is designed specifically for light trucks. Also, it has an overall extraordinary construction making the tire practically indestructible. The tire construction also makes it one of the longest-lasting off-road tires as well.
The Goodyear Wrangler MT/R with Kevlar is an outstanding choice for an intermediate level off-road tire for the Toyota Tacoma. If Goodyear keeps on this path with off-road tire construction, pretty soon, they will be outpacing Mickey Thompson.
After looking at these tires’ statistics, then looking at how incredibly awesome they look, you’ll understand why the Goodyear Wrangler MT/R with Kevlar is the Editor’s Pick for the best off-road tire for the Toyota Tacoma.
How Do Off-Road Tires Work?
The main feature of an off-road tire that makes it explicitly suited for leaving pavement is the tread. The off-road tread has deeper and wider grooves, allowing the tires to better grip the ground.
When spun at a high rate of speed, they fling mud out of the tread to facilitate more efficient movement in difficult terrain. The rubber of an off-road tire is often softer as well. This also allows for better traction while off road.
When Would Off-Road Tires Come In Handy?
Standard off-road tires, or those that don’t require any modifications to your truck to make them fit, are used for three primary reasons. One, some particular jobs are out in remote places. Two, a person might live in an area where they’re beneficial to navigate the landscape. Three, recreational activities sometimes call for tires with a little more meat.
Like construction, land surveying, scientific research, or medical aid to developing countries, many jobs worldwide take place where there aren’t any paved roads. Due to this, you may find it necessary to invest in tires better suited for the task.
Photo credit: rokblokz.com
Some people live in spots where Mother Nature likes to test our will with harsh weather. For instance, if you’re in the northern United States, you’ll get heavy snowfall for prolonged periods. In the southern states, you might battle with hurricanes and severe thunderstorms. Both of these situations will make you glad you have off-road tires.
Probably for most of us, the main reason off-road tires come in handy is for recreational purposes. If you’re a hunter, fisherman, or avid outdoors person, having a good set of off-road tires is necessary for getting to those secluded spots with the best views.
Perks for Getting Off-Road Tires for Tacoma
The main reason for getting off-road tires for a Tacoma is because life demands it. Either you have a job that’s frequently taking you away from the civilized world, or your recreational activities do. If this sounds like your life, there are some major perks to getting off-road tires.
Most importantly, you won’t get stuck as often. Anyone who’s ever been forced to dig a vehicle out of the mud or snow instantly realizes it isn’t something they ever want to do again. So, buying off-road tires will drastically lower the chances of you getting stuck.
Not to mention, they look cool. Let’s face it, if you’re interested in off-road tires, part of the reason is that you like the aggressive look they give off. Throw on a pair of mean-looking tires, and you’ll have something to brag about to your friends.
Lastly, they offer a little peace of mind. Anytime you head home from work or need to go to the store, you can rest assured that your tires are better suited for precarious conditions when you have a fierce storm front coming.
Photo credit: offroadxtreme.com
Off-Road Tires vs All-Terrain Tires
Off-road tires are more aggressive than all-terrain tires. All-terrain tires are designed to drive primarily on paved roads with the occasional off-road experience or lousy weather. In contrast, off-road tires are made for cruising through the mud and dirt.
Due to this sharp difference, your off-road tires will typically have softer rubber and wider groove patterns than an all-terrain tire. So, if you drive more on softer roads than on paved roads, off-road tires should be your choice. If the opposite is true, you’ll want to go with an all-terrain tire as they’ll have a longer lifespan.
In the end, picking the best off-road tire for your Tacoma boils down to knowing what type of conditions you’re most likely to find yourself in. Once you have determined that, you can use this guide to find a few great options to consider.
Photo credit: garagechief.com
People Also Ask
The following are a few answers to questions people often ask about off-road tires. Hopefully, this will cover anything we might have missed.
Can I Use Off-Road Tires on the Highway?
The short answer is yes. However, be advised that most off-road tires will have a maximum speed limit. The information regarding this is on the sidewall of the tire.
Do Off-Road Tires Ride Rough?
Again, the short answer is yes. How rough depends mostly on the aggressiveness of the tire.
Are Off-Road Tires Noisy?
Yes, they are noisier than your standard radial tire. Again, the aggressiveness of the tread will determine how loud they are.
Photo credit: tacomaworld.com
Are Wider Tires Better for Off-Road?
There’s a bit of a debate on this. It depends on the surface you are driving on. If it’s snow or thick mud, then yes, a wider tire is better because it distributes the truck’s weight more efficiently.
How Often Do I Need to Change My Off-Road Tires?
There’s a debate about this, too. The best method amongst veteran off-road drivers is the quarter rule. Hold up a U.S. $0.25 quarter and if the tread is below George Washington’s nose, it’s time to start thinking about new tires. Since all tires wear at different rates, this is a better method than counting down the days.
How Much Does it Cost to Install Off-Road Tires on a Tacoma?
Many places offer free installment if you buy the tires through them. If purchased online and then installed, prices might range between $20-$40 per tire.
How Much are Off-Road Tires For a Tacoma?
Off-road tires can cost between $120.00 to $350.00 each, depending on what brand you choose.
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