Are All-Terrain Tires Good For Daily Driving?


All-terrain tires are designed for a lot of different surfaces, and with these tires its always been a big fight between on-road comfort and off-road traction, though the good thing is there are many kinds of all-terrain tires, and you can choose a few according your driving needs.

All-Terrain Tires For Daily Driving
For a durable option, BF Goodrich KO2 makes a good daily driver.

So, are all-terrain tires good for daily driving? Well in a word, yes, but that also highly depends on what are you looking for when it comes to daily driving.

Do you want a tire which is great at fuel and noise, or do you just need traction out of them? Do you need superior tread life or can compromise on it with enhanced comfort? Depending on your choice you can pick the best tire accordingly.

Let’s get to that.

All-Terrain For Daily Driving – What To Consider

Before going forward, I’d recommend considering, are these tires worth it for you? Meaning, if you are someone who doesn’t need the durability and off road traction, maybe you are better off getting an all-season tire instead, which would give you a better efficacy in nearly all performance areas including traction, comfort, fuel economy and so on.

Though if you need to go on both on and off-road consider the following to see which is a well-suited tire for you.

Comfort and noise

All-terrain tires are although not so comfortable in general, with their voided design making inconsistent design with the road and promoting vibrations, there are a few tires that have a good enough capability to flex more when meeting with the rougher surface.

This flexing basically allows energy to get consumed in to deforming the tire and that way bumps of the roads are soaked up.

Out of all the tires, I reviewed, the Yokohama Geolandar G015 (review) is the top one for comfort. This tire although limits its dry performance and fuel economy, in the comfort department it all pays off.

The tire has a very elastic tread, and just a single nylon cap ply in its internal construction, so all the imperfections of the roads are soaked up in a very nice way.

Moreover, this tire also handle noise well, as it offers amazing pitch sequencing and it’s lugs are designed in a way to not let good enough amount of air to come in and hit around the tread (which produces noise in the first place).

(Pitch sequencing happens when air particles hit the tread and produce different tones which try to dampen out each other).

Moreover, the Geolandar has a better ability to dissolve inner groove resonance, where the sound waves don’t get to reflect off the surface of the tread as much, (thick of it as echo), so overall noise pollution is minimized.

I discussed all of it in detail here: Are all-terrain tires noisy?

Traction on roads

On roads, typically all-terrain tires aren’t able to provide ample lateral and directional traction in both wet and dry conditions, that’s why the overall steering response gets compromised and they are not able to have as much speed ratings.

So you can say all-terrain tires slow you down, generally.

Basically on dry roads, the most considerable thing, providing grip, is contact patch and with wider grooves, most of these tires aren’t able to do so.

Similarly on wet asphalts, where sipes are very much needed (for water clearing), these tires again aren’t given a lot, in order to give them more durability off-road.

Though some tires like the Continental Terrain Contact A/T is able to make considerable exposure with pavements with it’s continuous running ribs and packed up shoulder lugs (which aid in lateral traction).

This tire basically has very little gaps in between the tread, and even those gaps are filled with ridges adding to overall stability on roads while turning, braking and acceleration.

Moreover, with the numerous siping all over, the tire is one of the best you’d find for wet traction.

That’s why these tires are rated with speed rating up to V (fastest you’d ever see in all-terrain tires).

Though keep in mind, that with it’s on-road oriented design, it would not be able to offer you with good enough performance on rugged terrains such as mud.

Fuel economy

For daily driving you need to save as much as you can on expensive fuel, as you just can’t use a tire and go to gas station with it after every couple of days.

And when it comes to fuel, rolling resistance is the first thing that has to be considered. And that factors indirectly depends on the tire’s weight, and structure (including composition/design of the tread).

Usually all-terrain tires have softer rubber on top, with larger tread depth. And from inside they can go up to 3 ply polyester in construction. Both of these promote tread lugs to bend more while braking, and cornering.

And so energy is wasted into deforming the tread, rather than moving the tire as a whole. That’s why all-terrain tires don’t give out as much gas mileage typically.

Though again, there are a few tires that are actually pretty great with fuel, and according to my years of research, I am going to rate Firestone Destination AT2 here.

This tire basically has a very nice rubber composition, where it does not want to stick in too much, and so with less generation of frictional forces, the tire gets to overall amazing fuel economy, which further gets aided by its lighter weight.

For your info: Make sure you get P rated tires, instead of LT, if you don’t need to carry heavier loads. Moreover, make sure your tire’s inflation pressure is optimal.

Tread life

If you need a tire for daily driver, you also need a great tread life, and when it comes to tread wear, all-terrain tires, as they have higher rolling resistance, get to burn off faster, generally speaking (and if you compare the tire with on-road tires).

Basically these A/T tires have thicker rubber, and heavier cords in their internal plies. Basically more overall stuff in their construction. And on top (of the tread), they have wider grooves.

So if I do the math, a heavier weight get divided upon smaller amount of lugs, so each blocks carries more weight and is rubbed off the road with more force.

And sure tread depth is helping here as it allows for larger time for burn, the wearing rate is just very fast.

That’s why typically all-terrain tires aren’t’ considered good for tread life. Though again as all-terrain tires aren’t created equally, you’d find that some tires are able to give you above 50k mileage.

And General Grabber A/TX is included in that list.

With strong Kevlar and aramid composition, this tire gets to have a very robust cut resistant rubber, which gives out a lot of elasticity. Moreover, it’s lugs are also very uniformly arranged and that creates less overall bite on smooth surfaces, allowing greater longevity.

Though still, no matter what tire you have you can always improve the tread life my doing these things.

All season capability

When it comes to daily driving, a tire gets to be used a lot and in a various types of weather conditions.

And all-terrain tires are all pretty great when it comes to all season traction. That’s why most of them have sever winter symbols.

Though some off-road tires that don’t have that basically have stiffer compound and that makes them intolerable on snow because they become a brick with freezing temperatures. Moreover, these tires also are wider and are not able to create enough snow biters.

I explained all these factors here: Are A/T tires good in snow?

And considering all, I have rated Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T for it, as this tire basically offers powerful biting edges towards shoulders which act as snow scoopers. And in the middle tread area, there are numerous teeth shaped triangular ridges, along with full depth sipes and multiple notches.

All these basically trap the snow particles within and then make a snow to snow contact with it.

The tire also comes with very low section width, and so with a skinnier design it slashes through the snow like a champ. (Being skinnier is highly crucial on snow, that’s why Baja Boss does not give 3PMSF ratings with tread width above 12.5 inches).

Review this tire here:

Though if you need something less aggressive, you can also consider Sumitomo Encounter A/T:

What if your daily driving includes off-road use?

Well off road there are rocks, sand, mud, and gravely roads, to name a few important terrains. And all-terrain tires are pretty capable in all of them.

Well except for mud. A/T tires are notoriously bad on mud. Though some like the Goodyear Duratrac provide wider enough grooves to escape the mud out in time (which is the key factor here).

Traction on mud:

If I talk about rocks where you need bites and durability, all-terrain tires simply “rock” with their up to 3 ply sidewalls and thicker lugs which offer amazing traction with lowered PSI.

And the smaller ribs in the middle equipped with strong biters such as full depth notches, sipes (that open up all the way), chamfered edges, off-set sides, and so on, provide amazing lateral and longitudinal traction, making these tires great climbers.

Read More: Are all-terrain tires good on rocks?

Similarly on sand where you need flotation, these tires are capable of enduring very low air pressure, with stronger bead areas. And so they yield amazing footprint and with it a great crawling abilities even on deeper terrains.

Lear more here: All-Terrain tires on sand.


So basically all-terrain tires can be really great when it comes to daily driving. As these give you with all season traction having 3 Peak Mountain Snowflake ratings, and they also don’t disappoint on roads with their good enough comfort, traction and steering response.

And off-road you get all the durability and crawling capability, if your daily driving needs it.

2 thoughts on “Are All-Terrain Tires Good For Daily Driving?”

  1. Ozmen, Thank you for this wonderful site! Tire shopping can be overwhelming when you start getting into the details. I have a 2022 Expedition Timberline. While it’s the “offroad” version it will likely never see more than forest roads and grass. 99% on road and my family road trip vehicle. Ride comfort and safety in dry and wet conditions are my top priorities. i only see light snow as I’m in the South. That being said, I want the look of aggressive tires to match the vehicle. I’m considering the Falken Wildpeak’s but am curious if you recommend any other options based on my usage. If only they made an all-season with an aggressive looking sidewall!

    • Hey, thanks. Sure there are some options you can consider. Check for the list of “top All-Terrain tires”, you’d be able to find the article from the search bar.


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