Falken WildPeak AT4W vs AT3W – An Expert Comparison


Took the new Falken WildPeak AT4W for a spin, and it’s definitely stepping up the game with its improved “dry” grip and durability across all kinds of terrain. As for the WildPeak AT3W? It’s still holding its ground, delivering top-notch wet traction like always. But is the newer tire a step up overall? Well, I’ve gathered some solid insights after testing both for 10k miles. I’ll keep you in the loop if anything shifts by the 15k mark, but between us, I’m pretty confident in my current take.

Falken Wildpeak AT4w
The Falken WildPeak AT4W mounted on a Sierra, showcasing its rugged design suited for varied terrains.

As a tire engineer, my overall evaluations indicate that the WildPeak AT4W undoubtedly excels in dry and varied off-road conditions, offering superior handling, traction, and durability, especially effective in powdery snow. But wait, there are some areas where the predecessor, the WildPeak AT3W still takes the lead. The tire performs better in wet and “icy” conditions. Plus its softer/smoother to drive on. But yes, its the louder one of the two (on roads).

To be honest, I think when it comes to all terrain tires, wet performance is a big one to keep, but looks like Falken has other priorities here. And its confirmed, the older model is going away for good.

But here’s the silver lining:

  • First up, the new tire is stepping up its game with advanced heat diffusers, which are great for minimizing heat buildup.
  • The tire also maintains the very needed 3-peak mountain snowflake rating.
  • You now get superior tread longevity.
  • Plus you also get that protection flange around the bead (to avoid curb damage).

Info on Sizes

The Falken Wildpeak AT4w comes in 15 to 22 inches wheels, with following specs.

  • Total sizes: 96.
  • Speed ratings: T, R, and S only.
  • Load Range: SL, XL, C to F.
  • Tread depth: 13 to 19.7/32″.
  • Weight Range: 35.1 to 80 lbs.
  • UTQG: 660 A B (on most, and 660 B B on a few sizes).
  • Warranty: 60k for LT, and 65k for P metric sizes.
  • All sizes have 3PMSF ratings only with M+S.
  • Some sizes have DuraSpec Technology (its a high turn-up construction of polyester plies, which increases durability further).

Detailed Discussion on WildPeak AT4w: https://tiredriver.com/falken-wildpeak-at4w-review/

Moving towards the good old Falken WildPeak AT3w you get a lot of similar specs (off the 88 sizes available right now).

  • Rims: 15 to 22″.
  • Speed ratings: Q, R, S, T, and H.
  • Load Range: SL, XL, and C to F.
  • Tread depth: 12 to 19/32″.
  • Weight Range: 35.1 to 79.4 lbs.
  • UTQG: 660 A B.
  • Warranty: 55k miles on all.
  • All sizes have 3PMSF ratings only with M+S.

Detailed Discussion on WildPeak AT3w: https://tiredriver.com/falken-wildpeak-at3w-review/

Tread Structure

Let’s start with the old Falken Wildpeak AT3w, which would make noting down tread differences easier on the newer model.

Falken Wildpeak AT3w
Falken Wildpeak A/T3W are missing with staggered shoulders, but each lug is serrated on itself.

So the AT3w features a central tread area with a unique blend of Z and C-shaped blocks, forming a complex network of both lateral and longitudinal tread voids.

This design includes lugs with stepped edges, reinforced bases, notches, and rectilinear sipes, which all contribute to tire’s durability and robustness.

Additionally, these middle lugs are distinctly separated from the shoulder blocks by zigzag interconnected circumferential grooves.

The shoulder lugs themselves are notably wider and incorporate a more aggressive, wave-like siping pattern.

Though they also share the stepped edge and notch design, with the central lugs.

Moreover, each of these shoulder lugs is staggered, and joined up with the sidewall U-shaped lugs.

Now let’s take a look at the newer tire here.

Falken Wildpeak AT4w
Falken Wildpeak A/T4W clearly features a lot more notches on its tread blocks.

So the new Falken Wildpeak AT4w although comes with a very similar symmetrical tread pattern like the AT3w, there are still a lot of tiny things and differences to note here.

Now of course the main change is the tread edges design which now is a little more aggressive.

I mean the lugs are scalloped, and sidewalls are better optimized for flexing, which means better off-road performance (with lowered air pressure).

But talking about “aggressiveness”, the tire is still missing with stone ejectors. Go figure.

The next big change is the siping. The newer AT4w comes with less aggressive siping pattern particularly on shoulders, where there isn’t any wave-like pattern anymore.

So yes, with missing 3D interlocking sipes like seen on AT3w, the tire does lag a little in terms of wet performance, but more on that in its section.

Though the AT4W does offer more biting edges. Consider the shoulder lugs along with Z and C shaped blocks in the middle. Though they are missing with stepped edges now, they come with a lot more notches pointing at multiple directions.

Wet Performance

While most (AT) tires struggle with wet traction, it’s not really the case for both of these Falken boys here. I mean the “W” in their name, symbolizing “WET” traction capabilities is justified.

Though interestingly, the older WildPeak AT3w still slightly outperforms its successor overall here, particularly in lap tests for wet handling.

The AT3W’s edge lies in its unique tire tread design, featuring a mix of dual siping patterns, where you get interlocking sipes on the shoulders and straight sipes on the central blocks.

This design enhances steering responsiveness and provides a more precise on-center feel.

In other words, it offers a more reliable sense of the traction available, reducing the likelihood of slipping during and after cornering, compared to the newer AT4W.

Though both tires still exhibit similar performance, when it comes to wet braking and resistance to hydroplaning, which are also very valuable performance metrics here.

Side Note: Falken Wildpeak AT3w (predecessor) is still holding its spot in my list of best A/T tires (and this is because of its superior wet performance). See the list here: https://tiredriver.com/best-all-terrain-tires/

Straight-line Traction

Tire traction on a straight road, often referred to as dry grip or, more accurately, directional grip, is primarily evaluated through measuring stopping distances.

This approach is effective because the central part of a tire’s tread, which bears the maximum weight while rolling straight, is the primary point of contact with the road, leading to significant performance in both tires.

But yes, overall the newer WildPeak AT4w comes out a little better here, providing relatively superior dry baking and overall on-center feel in comparison.

This enhanced performance is attributed to its overall design, which basically includes a greater number of biting edges (as discussed in the tread pattern section).

Plus the tire also features a more robust construction of the lugs, further adding to the tire’s overall increased traction.

Dry Cornering

The effectiveness of tire handling in dry cornering largely hinges on the performance of the tire’s shoulders and sidewalls.

This is because these parts endure the most pressure during cornering, which means they connect with the road more, affecting two main performance metrics, lateral grip and steering response. Let’s take a look at both one by one.

Lateral Grip

This cornering traction is actually measured by the tire’s lateral g-force it exerts while it’s right in the (apex or) middle of the turn. That’s why its also called mid-cornering grip.

Now among the both Falken tires, the WildPeak A/T4W is taking the lead here again.

This is because its shoulder lugs offer a relatively “better” surface area for road contact. I mean, its bulkier shoulder design doesn’t just provide the necessary contact with the road; its numerous biting edges deliver (slightly) greater g forces as well.

Along with more biting notches, its shoulders also feature a more dry-road-oriented siping design as well, allowing for comparatively superior traction.

Steering Feedback

Steering feedback is all about the sensitivity of the wheels’ response to the driver’s inputs.

And here a lot of thing come in to play, including the tire’s weight, design, and composition. All of these basically determine how well the tire stays between understeering or oversteering.

Having said that, despite both Falken WildPeak tires aren’t particularly impressive here, the newer AT4W still stands out for its superior performance, as demonstrated in my (comparative) slalom time tests.

Why does it perform better? Let me explain.

Consider the scenario of high-speed highway driving. Those who have driven heavy-duty, high-torque vehicles may be familiar with a “floating” feeling during rapid turns.

This sensation is especially noticeable with the older WildPeak AT3w. And in comparison, the WildPeak AT4w, with its stiffer sidewalls, delivers enhanced stability and dependability in turns.

In other words, the newer tire comes out with less of that floating sensation, offering a more controlled driving experience (despite being relatively heavier especially in LT sizes).

Winter Performance

Both Falken tires, coming with the 3-peak mountain snowflake rating and a superior all-season rubber compound, offer appreciable winter performance. However, there are still distinct differences between them to note.

To simplify, the WildPeak AT3w excels on “icier” surfaces, while the newer AT4w is more adept at handling powdery snow conditions.

The Falken AT4w’s design, featuring deeper, scalloped outer edges and more aggressive sidewall lugs, gives it an advantage in softer, powdery snow, enhancing its ability to effectively throw snow backwards, generating superior acceleration.

Conversely, the WildPeak AT3w’s softer compound and dual siping design make it more effective on slick surfaces. So yes, you can say, the same features that provides this tire with better wet traction are helping it on ice too.

Comfort Performance

Ride quality is determined mainly by two factors: the noise produced by the tire tread and the tire’s ability to absorb road imperfections.

Regarding noise, which is essentially air turbulence around the tread creating sound waves, both tires are just okay.

But yes, there is a good amount of improvement in the newer tire. I mean the cavity noise is almost gone. And although the AT4w still gives that two-tone sounds like AT3w, its relatively quieter as seen by my decibel reading tests.

Though in terms of impact comfort, the WildPeak AT3w takes the lead. This is especially notable in comparison with the AT4W sizes featuring DuraSpec sidewalls, which have a stiffer construction.

So why AT3w is better here? Well simply put, its softer rubber cushions the bumps better, providing better settling of vibrations, before they reach the driver’s seat.

Internal Construction

The durability of off-road tires is crucial for handling challenging terrains. And both WildPeak tires discussed here are designed with cut-resistant rubber and deep tread voids to meet these demands.

However, as the internal construction, particularly under sidewalls plays a more significant role in overall tire durability, it makes sense why the Falken AT4W comes out better.

This tire basically provides you with up to 3-ply polyester, 2 steel belts, and an added 2-ply nylon reinforcement, where some sizes also feature DuraSpec Technology.

This tech strengthens the sidewall by extending the tire’s body plies up and around it, providing superior toughness.

On the other side the older WildPeak A/T3w although comes with 2 extra polyamide plies on the sidewalls (besides 2 ply polyester, 2 steel belts and 2 ply nylon), it still can’t quite reach the robustness level of the A/T4W.

Off-Road Performance

When venturing off-road, different terrains present unique challenges. So let me cover them all separately.


Two things are crucial for rocky terrains, durability (as most punctures occur here, mostly on sidewalls), and decent grip in both lateral and longitudinal angles, (needed for effective rock climbing).

And here, the newer Falken WildPeak AT4w has the upper hand.

Its enhanced tread design includes additional notches on the central Z and C shaped blocks and shoulders.

And the tire’s staggered shoulder blocks and improved sidewall lugs provide superior grip on rocky surfaces from various angles (especially with lowered air pressure).

Gravely Roads

On gravel roads, you need an open tread design that could repel sharp stones. This is because trapped stones in the tread is the main cause of damage and reduced grip and traction.

The WildPeak AT4w again surpasses its counterpart in this environment.

Sure, it lacks dedicated stone ejectors like its sibling, but its still more voided up. And that helps prevent stone trapping.

Additionally, the tire features more biters and a tougher rubber skin, which is although primarily intended to enhance towing capabilities, also benefits its performance on gravel roads.

On Mud

Handling mud like a pro, tires need to pack some serious features. Think wide grooves and the ability to self-clean. These traits are key for slinging mud away fast, boosting both traction and stability.

And here the Falken WildPeak AT4W is taking the lead. This is because its tread isn’t too crowded, especially in the middle (meaning it’s better at getting rid of mud efficiently).

In other words, its lugs are designed to create wider, deeper grooves that fling mud and dirt every which way.

And yes it also comes with greater tread depth, further helping its mud evacuation process.

But let’s not forget about its older sibling, the Falken AT3w. It’s alright with its very similar interconnected tread voids, but when it comes to mud, it’s not quite as slick.

I mean, AT3w’s voids aren’t as optimal for mud evacuation. But yes the major reason is still it’s missing those handy mud scoops on the sidewall lugs.

They basically provide better kicking of the dirt and mud particles on AT4W.

On Sand

When you’re cruising over sandy terrain, you want a tire that’s light but still offers enough surface area to play nice with the soft sand.

And here, the older WildPeak AT3w doesn’t quite cut it. And part of the issue is its less aggressive sidewall design.

I mean those more aggressive sidewall lugs on WildPeak AT4W provide it with relatively greater contact patch with lowered air pressure, enhancing its performance.

Tread Life & Fuel Usage

Heavier tires are harder to roll so they mostly end up consuming more fuel. But what if the weight difference isn’t so significant like both tire here? Well then other other elements must be considered, such as tread design and material composition.

Having said that, it makes sense why both tires here displayed nearly the same miles per gallon (mpg) performance (on my comparative tests). And this goes especially for LT sizes.

Though if we talk about tread longevity there’s a little difference there, with WildPeak A/T4w performing better, with its more durable rubber composition.

That’s why it makes sense why the tire comes out with 5k greater miles warranty on LT while 10k greater for P metric sizes.


So overall it can be seen how AT4w has improved some of the main performance aspects. I mean the tire offers improved straight-line and cornering grip.

Plus it rocks off-road in almost all kinds of terrains, thanks to its greater durability and improved biting edges, along with sidewalls.

And yes, it also offers superior tread life too, due to its stiffer rubber composition. Though it still lacks to AT3w in terms of wet traction, ice performance and impact comfort.

Overall, there are some improvements for sure. But TBH Falken shouldn’t have messed with an already great, good old AT3w.

Looks like I have to declare a new winner in my list of best all-terrain tires. Back to square one.

Reach out to me if you have any questions.

11 thoughts on “Falken WildPeak AT4W vs AT3W – An Expert Comparison”

  1. Hey, it’s kind of wild that Falken didn’t lighten up the AT4w, especially since it’s already on the heavier side compared to others in its category. You’d think they’d want to trim it down a bit. My Baja Boss with std 285s are pretty sleek at just 49lbs. Looks like they might be my go-to for my next swap replacing the AT3w I have now.

    Anyways thanks for everything. You helped things a lot for me. I hope I can give something back in return.

    • Thanks for the kind words! All I ask is that you pay it forward. Feel free to share this info with others who might find it just as beneficial. Your support in spreading the word is greatly appreciated!

  2. Wow, great comparison. Everything AT4 screams winner except for the ride comfort. We use my King Ranch for longer rides but how much of a (discomfort?) difference is there and how noticeable? I’m looking at the 275/60r20 with a higher sidewall, does that make a difference?

  3. I have had AT threes for probably the last six tire changes on previous trucks. My new F-350 single rear wheel still has at 12,000 miles the original road tires. I got stuck several days ago I may purchase tires sooner. Either one will satisfy my need. Ice is not a concern so the 4’s make more sense, although either will satisfy. Thanks for your thorough research and explanation!

  4. Thanks for the extremely informative and helpful reviews. My 2001 Tacoma currently has Cooper Discoverer AT3 4Ss which are ready to be replaced. I am no longer confident in Coopers as the set on our campervan started failing (one tire started delaminating). I know Cooper recalled about 430,000 AT3 4Ss but the size on our van was not part of the recall, so maybe the recall was not broad enough.

    I was just getting ready to switch to the WildPeak AT3s but I missed the boat – I can’t find them anywhere. We live in Northern California and also go off roading in very rocky terrain down by Death Valley. So looking for a tire with reasonable wet performance for the rainy reason and can also handle the off roading. Would you recommend the AT4s? How will their wet performance compare to the Cooper AT3 4S? Thanks

    • The Cooper AT3 4s has been replaced by Discoverer Road+Trail and I would recommend that tire over AT4w if you’re mostly staying on roads/highways.

  5. In this article you seem to suggest that the AT4Ws outperform the AT3Ws. However in your Best All-Terrain Tires guide, you say you like the AT3Ws more than the AT4Ws, which seem in conflict with this article comparing the two. What are your thoughts on this?
    Thank you for the write up Ozmen.


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