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Testing Toyo’s Open Country ATII All-Terrain Tire

Tough on the Trails, Tame on the Streets

LC Janus
May 3, 2017
Photographers: LC Janus
After owning a 4x4 of some sort for 25 years, we recently purchased a ’10 Chevrolet Suburban, with no real intention of ever taking it off road, and quickly upgraded the rolling stock with 20-inch Fuel Octane wheels wrapped in Toyo Proxes ST II highway tires. We wanted a street look, and for an incredible 70,000 miles (which is well beyond its tread wear rating), those tires did the trick until a light shimmy developed at higher speeds, telling us it was time to swap them out.
With the kids getting older, more camping trips on the horizon, and hiking adventures occurring on a more frequent basis, it was time to switch back to an off-road tire, and we were eager to test Toyo’s Open Country AT II. Coming off of the ultra grippy and smooth-riding Proxes would also allow us to evaluate their on-road feel when compared to their sport-inspired sibling.
The Open Country AT II is strikingly aggressive in design, especially when compared to the street-intended Proxes. The Open Country AT II has a pronounced open tread-block design that screams “take me off-road,” with deep grooves accented by tie bars that stabilize the tread blocks for more even wear and better braking. The design also allows enough compliance to eject debris and snow that makes its way into the deep valleys in between the tire’s blocks.
Photo 2/6   |   Testing Toyos Open Country ATII All Terrain Tire
Once they were mounted, balanced, and back on the hubs, we were ready for a first impression. To be honest, we expected a completely different feel going from a sport tire to an off road tire, but the Open Country AT II delivered a very smooth on-road ride, similar to the Proxes. Highway cruising was blissfully uneventful, and we detected only a slight audible rumble upon initial acceleration that disappeared at about 15 mph, detectable only because we had the window down and were listening for tire noise. With the windows up it was totally uneventful, and after a few hundred miles it disappeared completely. We chalked it up to fresh rubber and the tires simply requiring a light scrubbing that only friction can provide.
An impromptu test of load rating was performed with a trip to the building supply store for a little over 2,000 pounds of sand and gravel to complete a “honey-do” project in an ongoing effort to maintain domestic bliss. While loading and unloading 41 50-pound bags of earth took its toll on our shoulders, there was no noticeable stress in the sidewalls of the Open Country AT II and no lack of confidence braking or turning on the freeway drive home. Aside from the noticeable change in damping from the weight in the rear, the tires exhibited excellent handling characteristics under load.
Photo 3/6   |   Testing Toyos Open Country ATII All Terrain Tire Treadwear
The final exercise was performed on a trip to Las Vegas via a pit stop in Primm. Off-highway, the Open Country ATIIs are in their element, eagerly soaking up ruts and washboard and aggressively clawing at the sand and gravel. We simply pointed the truck and it went there, regardless of what was beneath the rubber.
With an excellent tread wear rating of 50,000 miles on LT versions (65,000 on P-metric sizes) and the penchant for Toyos to safely extend well beyond their tread wear rating, we’re planning to have these on for a long time. It’s been about 4,200 miles since the Open Country ATIIs were installed, and they still look brand new.
Size Tested: 305/50R20
Type: Radial
Load Range: XL
Maximum Load (lbs @ psi): 3,086 @ 50
Sidewall Plies: 2 polyester
Section Width (in): 12.4
Overall Diameter (in): 32.0
Revolutions Per Mile: 648
Weight (lbs): 51
Test Vehicle: ’10 Chevrolet Suburban

Sources

Toyo Tires
www.toyotires.com

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