Tires are HUGELY important.
After all, no other part of your car or truck should touch the road. They impact everything from vehicle acceleration and handling to comfort and safety. Running the appropriate tire for a given application is critical. You’d never put knobby, off-road rubber on a sports car or run racing slicks in snow and ice. But what if you want the best of both worlds, to have your proverbial cake and eat it too? Well, the folks at Yokohama think they’ve come up with a solution.
This is the Japanese firm’s new Geolandar X-AT tire. It’s intended for use on pickup trucks and SUVs. For testing purposes, we had a fresh set attached to a 2019 Ram 1500.
An all-terrain design, this tire should provide serious off-road capability along with plenty of civility when used on pavement. This is a seemingly unlikely combination, but you might be surprised.
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How do They Work?
Just looking at these things, they’re obviously pretty aggressive, with a chunky tread pattern and deep grooves. You know they’re going to perform well out on the trail.
Providing loads of grip, the generously portioned shoulder blocks are varied in length to create more biting edges. This design element also helps eject mud, snow, and stones.
Yokohama’s Geo-Shield Technology includes three sidewall plies and a full nylon cap for enhanced puncture resistance. The last thing you want out on the trail – or during your morning commute for that matter – is a flat tire.
Dual sidewall protectors further reduce the risk of getting a puncture, while aggressive center blocks provide additional strength and traction.
Geolandar X-AT tires are made of a triple-polymer compound for long life and greater resistance to cuts and chips.
Now, all that is great for off-roading, but how livable are these things in everyday driving?
Driving on pavement I’m seriously impressed by how quiet these tires are. They produce just a tiny, barely noticeable bit of noise, at least in a brand new Ram 1500 truck. Given their aggressive design, I half expected them to howl like a pack of hungry dogs, but that’s not the case at all.
Staggered tread-blocks and zig-zag grooves supposedly reduce road noise, the latter by interrupting airflow around the tire. These features likely pay major dividends toward the Geolandar X-AT’s impressive civility.
According to Yokohama, these tires also feature an elliptically shaped contact patch for improved traction and longer life. More grip and longevity are never a bad thing when it comes to tires.
On road, I have to say there don’t appear to be any significant handling tradeoffs with these tires. The truck’s steering is fairly rubbery, which I would expect with any vehicle this large and heavy, also for any set of tires with such large tread blocks and tall sidewalls. Ride quality is also decent, probably thanks to the Ram 1500’s four-corner coil springs, however, impact harshness from potholes, expansion joints and other surface imperfections is slightly greater than expected for a tire this meaty, making the truck feel like it’s clopping over certain surfaces. It’s funny, larger impacts seem to be absorbed and digested better than smaller bumps or dips.
For you truck and SUV owners out there, the new Yokohama Geolandar X-AT seems like a fine choice if you want a tire that’s refined on pavement but still plenty capable off road. For extra versatility, these tires should be available in 27 different sizes for wheels anywhere between 15 and 22 inches in diameter. They come with a limited treadwear warranty up to 45,000 miles, plus they’re backed by a 30-day satisfaction guarantee.
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