Kumho Road Venture AT52 vs Toyo Open Country AT3

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Both the Kumho Road Venture AT52 and the Toyo Open Country AT3 are marketed as all-terrain tires, so they are great for enthusiasts looking to get the most of their compact, 1/2 – and 1-ton trucks and full sized SUVs. Though there are still a few things to consider here on both. Let me make things easier for you.

Toyo Open Country AT3
Toyo Open Country AT3 may look very rugged, but it’s very quiet on roads.

In my professional opinion as a tire engineer, the Kumho AT52 is a a great tire on both wet and dry roads, as it yields amazing steering response with it’s lighter construction and tightly packed up lugs. Though off-road it only gets to be better on sand, whereas Toyo AT3 conquers rests of the terrains, including a little bit of mud.

Tire Facts

On the other side, the Kumho Road Venture AT52 provides you with 15 to 20 inches rim diameters with following specs:

  • Speed ratings: Q, R, S and T.
  • Load ratings: SL, XL, C, D, E and F.
  • Weight range: 30 to 63 lbs.
  • Tread depth: 13 to 16/32″ (mostly seen with 16/32″).
  • Ratings: 3PMSF and M+S rated.
  • Warranty: 50k miles for LT, and 55k for P metric sizes.

Check out detailed review of Kumho here: https://tiredriver.com/kumho-road-venture-at52-review/

The Toyo AT3 comes in 15 to 22 inches, having following specs.

  • Speed ratings: Q, R, S, T and H.
  • Load ratings of C to F.
  • Weight range of 30 lbs to 72 lbs.
  • Tread depth ranging from 12.7/32″ to 17/32″.
  • 65k miles warranty.

Check out detailed review of Toyo AT3: https://tiredriver.com/toyo-open-country-at3-review/

Also just in case if you don’t know:
What is load rating?
What is speed rating?

Internal Construction

Off-road tires must be sturdy enough to navigate rough terrain and handle sharp objects, making durability a vital factor. And so to make sure they are solid, they are given cut resistant rubber and deep tread voids. Though still most of the toughness comes form internal construction

But both tires here are same. They both provide you similar 2 ply polyester casing, reinforced with 2 steel belts, which then gets layered with a single ply of nylon covering.

Moreover, both tires also features similar sidewall lugs as well, providing further protection to the 2 ply sidewalls.

Read more: Are A/T tires durable enough?

Outer Construction

The Toyo AT3 features offers a clear-cut design on it’s symmetric tread. Let me explain.

Toyo AT3 Tread 1
With reinforced foundations underneath all lugs, the Toyo AT3 is able to provide a very stable experience on smooth pavements.

In the middle, you get S shaped lugs providing the directional grip on roads, the surrounding F or C shaped lugs offering biters in all angles, so off-road traction is also achieved.

And as these lugs make a web of grooves, the self cleaning of the tread makes them efficient in other minor off-road tracks as well.

Though that only goes for dry, as the tire does not offer effective sipes for wet pavements. They are although full depth, they don’t yield an interlocking structure. I’d discuss this further in its section below.

The shoulder lugs of the tire are also made very on-road oriented. They are even more compacted together, as each lug has connector in between joining it with the next block (and that’s why there aren’t any stone ejectors seen in between them).

Though since the outer edges are staggered, and the tread renders good enough sidewall lugs, the off-road traction is not compromised by a lot, especially with lowered air pressure.

Moving on to the other, the Kumho AT52 gives you very competing design.

Kumho Road Venture AT52
Kumho AT52 has central blocks connected with each other forming a S shape.

Let me start things off form the center. Here the symmetric tread actually makes 3 main ribs, forming 5 tough passing longitudinal channels.

The central most rib is made out of U shaped lugs, which are actually joined up with each other (from underneath), forming S shaped design overall.

With longitudinal orientation of these lugs, and wider structure, they get to provide great directional traction on roads.

The surrounding ribs are designed in a similar way, the lateral (straight) grooves, they make, are actually not full depth, as these lugs are also sitting on secondary rubber layers, (yielding further on-road traction).

Whereas the multiple biters, in the form of sharp edges, and offsets, give you ample performance on rugged tracks.

Though shoulder lugs are less aggressive, comparatively speaking. They carry rectilinear sipes, are missing with notches and staggered outer margins. But they do get to have stepped edges there, and since they make N shaped sidewall lugs, they can produce a decent off-road traction with lowered tire’s air pressure.

On-Road Traction

The dry performance of an all-terrain tire is determined by its traction, steering, and cornering abilities, and it’s crucial to know each of these key components in order to understand the overall traction capability.

So let’s explore these important elements separately.

Dry Grip

Dry grip or directional grip measures a tire’s traction on straight roads in dry weather. And since here the central part of the tread plays a major role, it gets evaluated based on stopping distances.

Basically when a tire rolls straight, the central area of the tread gets to bear a majority of weight concentration. That’s why how much rubber is able to meet up with the road there, really matters.

That’s why out of both tires, you get to see shorter braking distances on Kumho Road Venture AT52 (during testing).

Unlike the Toyo AT3, the tire provides a continuous running central rib, where lugs are connected to each other longitudinally. And so because of this the contact with the ground stays firm and consistent.

Dry Handling

During cornering, the whole weight of the tire gets shifted towards the shoulders. So how much contact these outer shoulder lugs connect with the ground provides the overall lateral traction.

And so here both tires show up with similar handling (averaged lap) times.

But you can say that the quality of handling is seen better on Kumho and that can be explained with it’s faster steering response.

Steering Response

Steering response, often overlooked, is a crucial factor in overall handling performance, and is influenced by the tire’s weight and tread structure.

That’s why Kumho Road Venture AT52 with a lighter construction, and less tread depth does not force its lugs to bend too much when the tire turns.

(Basically as the tire corners, the lugs wants to flex/bend in the opposite direction, and here tire’s weight and tread depth act as catalysts).

Toyo Open Country AT3 on the other side, although has a very firm rubber compound, it’s deeper tread voids, and heavier construction is not able to provide as much under and over steer balance.

Wet Traction

Wet performance can be divided into grip on wet, and hydroplaning resistance.

And here although all-terrain tires generally perform well in terms of hydroplaning, wet grip is slightly more challenging to achieve. So let me discuss that first.

Wet Grip

Wet roads require tires with sipes, that are able to flex and channel water away from the tire surface.

Now here, although the Kumho AT52 features a lot more siping in comparison, they are not that effective, that’s because they are better optimized for snow.

The tire basically features sipes which are thicker and interconnecting with the in-groove notches, so although they don’t effectively suck water particles in them, they do provide superior snow gripping.

The Toyo AT3, on the other hand, renders better wet gripping values, (comparatively), though it’s performance is not so great when compared to other tires.


Hydroplaning can be prevented by ensuring tire has sufficient tread voids to effectively evacuate water from its tread. These grooves basically don’t allow a water layer to come in between the tire’s tread and the ground (which causes hydroplaning/floating in the first place, losing all traction).

But there is still a limit to how fast a water can get evacuated, and that’s why it gets measured with float speeds.

And that is seen better on Kumho Road Venture AT52, as the tire offers better network of channels interconnected with each other.

Toyo Open Country AT3 on the other side, although has more tread depth and has a lot of connecting tread voids as well, it’s packed up shoulder voids (with connectors in between), don’t allow water to leave out as quickly, comparatively.

Fuel Economy

The fuel usage of a tire is influenced by its rolling resistance, which is affected by factors such as the tire’s weight and tread composition.

And out of both tires, with a lighter design, and longitudinal orientation of lugs, the Kumho AT52 uses less fuel to roll.

Whereas on Toyo Open Country AT3, the lugs get to flex more, as they are carrying more weight on them, and so energy gets wasted in to bending of these lugs, rather than rolling the tire.

Ride Quality

The comfort and noise level of a tire, along with its impact absorption capabilities, play a role in determining its ride quality. So let me divide this part in to the following.


The comfort of a tire is influenced by its ability to handle road imperfections, with a tire featuring a soft inner build and flexible top rubber with malleable lugs providing the best results.

That’s why with a softer internal built and a spongier compound on top, the Kumho Road Venture AT52 gets to soak up the bumps on road in a better way.

Whereas the stiffer composition on Toyo AT3 is not able to provide you with the same results.

Read further about it in –
Do A/T tires cause vibrations: https://tiredriver.com/do-all-terrain-tires-cause-vibrations/

Tread Noise

A tire’s baldness directly affects the level of noise it produces. That’s because with larger tread voids, there’s more area for air particles to hit around, and as a result generate noise.

But since the Toyo AT3 features whisper grooves technology (although a term which is used by Cooper), it gets to cut off the noise at the source.

Basically, the tire’s shoulder voids have ridges placed in them, as I explained in the tread section. These restrict the air particles to move in the tread, (as most of the air comes through there). So overall you get a quieter ride.

The Kumho Road Venture AT52 on the other side, although is pretty packed up, it’s open shoulder lugs, don’t provide the similar noise dampening abilities.

Off Road Traction

Off-road terrains can vary greatly, with some being easily navigable and others being a nightmare. Let’s examine them all, starting from the toughest.

On Rocks

On rocky terrains, the main thing you need is a well balanced combination of lateral and circumferential traction. This is because while climbing on rocks, a tire has to grip at multiple angles.

And so with Toyo AT3 providing multiple F shaped lugs with notches facing in all directions, you get a better climbing grip.

Kumho Road Venture AT52 on the other side, lacks a little, though its not too far off, as the in groove notches in the middle and thicker N shaped sidewall lugs provide good enough traction abilities especially with lowered air pressure.

Sandy Dunes

Lowering the air pressure of your tire is a crucial step when driving on sand. This makes the tire “float” and perform better. (I’ve explained this better in my air pressure guide on all-terrain tires).

Though there are other factors affecting that as well, and that includes tire’s weight and tread structure.

And considering them it makes sense why Kumho Road Venture AT52 with it’s lighter weight and thicker sidewall lugs gets to provide you with better floating abilities.

The Toyo AT3 on the other side, has a stiffer compound and so it’s staggered outer edges (on shoulders) create sharper contact with the sand, that tires to dig in.

Muddy Terrains

The grooves on all-terrain tires can be too narrow to effectively handle mud, leading to reduced traction and packed up tread. That’s why you need a balder tire here.

And so although both tires are not good enough here, you can still go wrong picking Kumho AT52 over the other, as this tire does not offer a web of interlinked grooves like the Toyo AT3, and its continuous running central ribs comes in a way of mud leaving out the tread laterally.

Leave With This

Kumho Venture AT52 has made some really great technical advancements over AT51, as now the tire offers faster steering response and both wet and dry grip. Moreover, it also yields superior comfort and greater fuel economy compared to Open Country.

Toyo AT3 on the other side, is also very great on dry roads, though it’s wet traction is kind of disappointing. Other than that, you get a great tread life on this tire, and off-road it deals with mud and rocks better, though when it comes to sand it lacks to Kumho with a little bit of margin.

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