Choose the right tyres for your 4WD
On-road, off-road or a bit of both: Why choosing the right 4WD tyres matters.
From the daily commute to serious off-road adventures - 4WD use varies greatly. Tyres play a major role in how a 4WD performs in different driving conditions, and you should give careful consideration to your intended use before deciding on a 4WD tyre.
Here, we look at the different 4WD tyres available, discuss their intended use and weigh up their perceived benefits.
Highway Terrain (HT)
Highway Terrain (HT) tyres are the most similar to a standard passenger car tyre. They’re intended primarily for use on sealed roads and are built to provide a smooth, quiet and comfortable drive.
HT tyres are quieter on sealed roads than other 4WD tyres, and are generally more likely to handle better on wet bitumen than All Terrain (AT) or Mud Terrain (MT) tyres.
Typically, a HT tyre has a higher speed rating and lower load index.
HT tyres aren’t intended for off-road performance. Rather, the tread pattern is typically designed to deliver a smooth, comfortable ride and good on-road performance. HT tyres aren’t specifically designed for puncture resistance across the sidewall and tread area. This makes them more susceptible to staking and deflation when driving over less predictable, off-road terrain. Unsealed tracks and trails can be slippery, which makes AT or MT tyres a better choice in this instance.
If fitting your 4WD with HT tyres, it’s important to drive to the conditions. HT tyres are a good option for those with a 4WD that will have limited off-road exposure. With minimal noise, and good on-road comfort, HT tyres are well suited to long-term, long-distance bitumen driving.
At BestDrive, we offer a range of top rating HT tyres, which include:
Continental CONTI4X4CONTACT is suited to SUVs and off-road vehicles.
The wide longitudinal and lateral tread grooves provide excellent protection against aquaplaning. The offset tread blocks and wide centre grooves ensure quiet running and rapid steering response. Thanks to the numerous sipes the tyre is ideal for use on roads and light terrain.
- Excellent noise levels and comfort in on-road use
- Good protection against aquaplaning
- Superb traction both on- and off-road
General's Grabber® HT5 is developed for high-powered SUV's and 4x4 vehicles, operating mostly on sealed roads.
The asymmetric tread design ensures outstanding handling characteristics on dry and wet surfaces, and a high level of safety thanks to excellent braking performance in the wet. The harmonious tread structure provides high levels of driving comfort by significantly reducing noise.
- Provides excellent wet braking performance.
- Provides strong steering response and low noise levels.
- RTM (Replacement Tyre Monitor) - Provides improved safety.
- VAI (Visual Alignment Indicators) - Provides improved tyre life.
All Terrain (AT) Tyres.
All Terrain (AT) tyres offer 4WD owners a compromise between off-road capabilities and everyday sealed road use. Although they’re noisier than a HT tyre, AT tyres are considered to have relatively low noise on bitumen roads with added off-road grip.
AT tyres have a deeper and more aggressive tread than HT tyres. This provides greater grip in off-road conditions. Generally speaking, the stronger, thicker sidewalls of an AT tyre make them less likely to suffer damage caused by common hazards encountered off-road, such as rocks, ruts and tree roots.
AT tyres have a moderate speed rating and load index. It’s important to be aware that the strength, quality and pattern styles of AT tyres differ amongst tyre manufacturers. A top quality, heavier-duty AT tyre is a better option for off-road driving. These are often marked as light truck tyres, and are considered to be better suited to heavier-duty, off-roading conditions than their counterparts.
AT tyres provide a compromise between the benefits of a HT tyre and a MT tyre. Invest in a quality set of AT tyres to best suit your driving demands.
The knowledgeable staff at your local BestDrive can discuss with you, our range of AT tyres to find the right tyre to suit your driving needs. Our top range includes:
Continental CONTICROSSCONTACT AT is a high performance tyre for heavy terrain, for off-road vehicles.
- Especially good directional stability and smooth running performance
- Exceptional braking and traction performance on wet and dry road surfaces
- Especially good directional stability and smooth running performance
General Tire Grabber AT3 is the all-terrain tyre developed to meet the needs of SUV, pick-up truck and off-road vehicle drivers who want a combination of exceptional off-road capabilities and confident on-road manners.
These tyres are a good option for those planning to use their SUV or 4WD equally on- and off-road.
- Experience exceptional grip
- Go off-road with confidence
- Enjoy maximum comfort
Mud Terrain (MT) Tyres.
Mud Terrain (MT) tyres are for the 4WD owner whose intended purpose is to spend more time off- than on-road. As their name suggests, MT tyres are designed for muddy conditions and feature an aggressive, self-cleaning tread pattern.
MT tyres aren’t as efficient on sealed roads as HT or AT tyres. The tread pattern of an MT has a higher rolling resistance than HT and AT tyres, which leads to increased fuel consumption and road noise.
The aggressive tread pattern of a MT tyre makes them ideal for heavy off-roading duties. The bulkier tread and thicker all-round construction of a MT tyre is designed to resist staking, punctures and impact damage.
MT tyres have a tendency to wear unevenly, in a classic ‘heel and toe’ manner. This uneven wear can create an annoying noise. If you’re a 4WD off-road enthusiast, with MT tyres, it’s highly recommended that you have your tyres regularly rotated at your local BestDrive store to maintain even wear.
If you intend to regularly drive in muddy and rocky terrain, then the aggressive pattern of a MT tyre makes them a well-suited option for your 4WD. MT tyres typically have a lower speed rating and a higher load index than HT and AT tyres. Where they lack in sealed road performance, they certainly make up for in off-road capabilities.
Head into your local BestDrive store and take a look at our range of Mud Terrain tyres, which includes:
General Tire’s new Grabber X3 Mud Terrain tyre delivers outstanding off-road performance, coupled with good street manners. The Grabber X3 offers aggressive styling and is engineered for durability, with innovative tread features.
These tyres are a good option for those planning to use their 4WD predominantly off-road, around 80% of the time.
- Extreme performance in mud with engineered tread features
- Extreme performance in dirt with superior grip
- Extreme performance on rock with breakthrough cut resistance
Falken WILDPEAK M/T (MT01) is trusted by the pros to take on the harshest conditions. It’s built to get you there and back whether you’re on the pavement, mud, snow or rocks.
The M/T features Falken’s proprietary three-ply DURASPEC™ Sidewall Technology developed to sustain the most punishing off-road conditions. DURASPEC™ also features two high ply turn-ups that provide an additional layer of protection and durability.
An aggressive upper sidewall provides additional traction at low air pressures on rugged terrain. The Falken WILDPEAK M/T also features exceptional road manners thanks to an optimised variable three-pitch tread pattern and precision manufacturing technology.
BestDrive is your local tyre expert. We offer a range of Highway Terrain, All Terrain and Mud Terrain tyres from leading brands such as Continental, General Tire and Falken. Let us provide you with exceptional customer service, competitive prices and the right advice to find the perfect 4WD tyres to suit your driving needs.
BestDrive. You drive, we care.