Toyo Open Country AT3 vs Goodyear Wrangler Ultraterrain AT

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Toyo Open Country AT3 and the Goodyear Wrangler Ultraterrain AT are aggressive all-terrain tires that have caught my attention with their promising tread designs. But which one gets the nod for better on-road manners, and which one comes out on top, off-road? Well let’s find out!

Toyo Open Country AT3
Toyo Open Country A/T3 has a lot different sizes, covering nearly all vehicles from light SUVs to 1 ton pickup trucks.

As a tire engineer, I believe that the Toyo Open Country AT3 provides you with a superior dry grip, tread life, fuel economy and comfort (especially in terms of tread noise). And Goodyear Wrangler Ultraterrain AT is better with wet traction, and almost all sorts of rugged terrains, including mud and rocks.

Tire Sizes

The Goodyear UltraTerrain has limited sizes in comparison, with 16 to 20 inches. They have the following specs.

  • Speed Ratings: S and Q.
  • Load Ratings: SL and E.
  • Weight Range: 40 to 70 lbs.
  • Tread Depth: Either 16/32″ or 18/32″.
  • 3PMSF and M+S ratings available.
  • Doesn’t offer any treadwear warranty.

On the other side, the Toyo AT3 comes with 15 to 22 inches, having following specs.

  • Speed ratings: Q, R, S, T and H.
  • Load ratings of SL, XL, and C to F.
  • Weight range of 30 lbs to 72 lbs.
  • Tread depth ranging from 12.7/32″ to 17/32″.
  • 3PMSF and M+S ratings on all.
  • 65k miles warranty.

Tread Design

The Toyo Open Country A/T3 offers a straight forward symmetric pattern. Let’s start form it’s middle.

Toyo Open Country AT3
The Toyo AT3 may seem to have interlocking sipes on top, they aren’t like that all they way deep.

It’s tread pattern consists of central “S-shaped blocks” surrounded by “C and F-shaped ones”. And all of them are designed with notches that face outward in all directions, providing superior grip from all angles.

And since these lugs have reinforced foundations as well, you also get on-road stability at the same time. As this basically adds a secondary layer underneath, and lugs while maneuvering don’t get to flex or bend as much (which wastes energy).

Similarly if I consider shoulder lugs, they are also packed up together with ridge place in between. They not only help dampening the noise but also improve lateral gripping capabilities.

And although this tire does not offer any notches here, you still get staggered outer edges, and thick enough sidewall lugs which promotes an enhanced footprint, with lowered air pressure.

On the other side, the Goodyear Wrangler Ultraterrain AT features a slightly more aggressive look

Goodyear Wrangler Ultraterrain AT
Goodyear Wrangler Ultraterrain AT features sharp triangular biters, though they are connected with each other.

It’s tread yields a lot of biters with 2 ribs in the middle, having randomly placed lugs in all directions.

These lugs have sharp edges, full depth interlocking sipes, and their placement make a web of grooves, which connect the outer longitudinal channels (of wave-like shape).

With that the tire get to be pretty self cleaning, and helping that are the mini biters, which are hidden inside the groove, (Goodyear calls it Tractive Grooves).

So basically where you get off-road traction, you also get to have on-road stability with the closeness of these lugs.

Same goes for the shoulders, they have minimal tread features with rectilinear sipes (different pattern compared to middle), and small notches facing the central lugs. And so with that they provide ample rubber to road contact enhancing lateral traction.

Moreover, as these lugs have connector in between, they also allow for lateral stability.

And for off-road rugged trails, the tire give out sharp edges and numerous sidewall biters, both of them really help under lowered air pressure.

Tire Toughness

The durability of an all-terrain tire is largely determined by its internal construction, specifically the build of the sidewalls.

And i case of Toyo AT3, the tire consists of a two-ply polyester casing engineered to reliability and twin steel belts on top, which are then wrapped with a single nylon reinforcement ply.

Goodyear Wrangler Ultraterrain on the other side, although have the similar construction, it features bulkier sidewall lugs which adds to the overall durability a little bit.

For Your Info: Most durable A/T tires are Mickey Baja Boss A/T, and BFG KO2, you can find them both in my list of top all-terrain tires.

Ride Quality

To provide a smooth driving experience, a tire must be able to absorb the effects of road bumps and vibrations. This can be achieved through features such as a soft internal construction and pliable top rubber with malleable lugs.

And so it makes sense why out of the two, the Goodyear Wrangler Ultraterrain AT with it’s softer compound is able to settle down the vibrations of the road in a better way.

Toyo Open Country AT3 on the other hand, does better with other half of the ride quality equation, the tread noise.

Noise is just air, and when that air hits around the tread, it creates unwanted sound waves. And as most of that air comes in through the shoulder grooves, the Toyo AT3 deals with it at the source by providing ridges there, restricting the flow of air.

Moreover, it’s S and F shaped lugs vary in geometry throughout the tread, and this provides superb pitch sequencing, dampening the rest of the groove resonance.

You can read all about it in: Are are terrain tires noisy?

Dry Traction

In order to get a good understanding of the dry performance of an all-terrain tire, we should consider traction, steering, and cornering ability. Let’s take a closer look at each of these.

Directional Grip

The dry grip depends on the central area of the tread while rolling straight, that’s why its measured with braking distances.

And out of both tires, the Toyo AT3 stops quicker in comparison.

This is because the Goodyear UltraTerrain does not provide a good enough rubber to road contact for the middle. The tire although has solid foundational supports, as each lug is connected with each other longitudinally, it’s still not enough.

That’s why Toyo AT3 provides you with higher speed ratings.

Dry Handling

Handling, similar to grip, refers specifically to a tire’s performance during turns. The weight is actually shifted towards the shoulders on corners, and tire’s sides get to be more responsible for maintaining contact with the road.

That’s why the Toyo Open Country AT3 with it’s more packed up shoulder lugs with ridges/connectors in between provides a more consistent and stable connection with the road.

Goodyear Wrangler Ultraterrain AT on the other side, has more gasps between the shoulder lugs, and although they are elongated, they have notches on both inner and outer edges, taking away the rubber that could have been in contact with the road.

Steering Response

The consistency of the rubber-to-road connection and the presence of grooves are important factors in judging the steering communication or sensitivity.

Though it’s a performance metric that is often overlooked, yet it greatly impacts the handling of a vehicle.

And comparing both tires it can be seen why Toyo Open Country AT3 having less tread depth, a stiffer compound and lighter weight provides quicker steering feedback in comparison.

Basically all these factors contribute to how much lugs want to flex during turns. If they would bend more, it would cause a gap between steering input and wheel’s feedback.

That’s why Goodyear Wrangler Ultraterrain AT is not able to offer quicker response times, with it’s heavier weight and softer tread composition.

Wet Traction

A tire’s ability to clear water quickly from the surface is crucial in maintaining good grip and avoiding hydroplaning on wet roads. These are the two main factors judged when it comes to wet traction. So let’s look at the separately.

Wet Grip

Toyo Open Country AT3 although provides you with a lot of rubber, it’s sipes are not effective at all. And these sipes do most of the water cleaning (as they literally suck water particles in them, and spray them back out, later). So the overall wet grip gets compromised.

On the other side, the Goodyear Wrangler Ultraterrain AT although features similar siping, they still provide better traction as the overall tread is softer, and so sipes are more flexible to squeeze/expand, providing effective water cleaning.

Though most of it’s wet traction is credited to its hydroplaning resistance.


Aquaplaning happens when a tire is unable to evacuate water from its tread quickly enough, causing floating and a decrease in traction.

And this happens primarily due to the grooves not allowing water to leave out fast, leaving the sipes and lugs with an excessive amount of water to handle behind.

That’s why Toyo Open Country AT3 with it’s closed up shoulder lugs (with connectors in between), don’t allow water to escape sideways, and this decreases the overall traction.

On the other side, the Goodyear Wrangler Ultraterrain AT, because of it’s wider tread voids and a more open structure produces much better water cleaning abilities, providing superior hydroplaning resistance in comparison.

Snow Traction

The effectiveness of a tire in snowy conditions is measured by its ability to provide stability during stops, handle turns with control, and accelerate on various snow and ice surfaces.

And both tires here are very efficient in all these performance areas, that’s why they get to have 3 peak mountain snowflake and M+S ratings.

Though still out of them, the overall performance is seen better on Wrangler UltraTerrain, because of it’s superior snow grabbing abilities. Let me explain.

So basically on snow, you need to have a narrower tire, a tread with a lot of biters, and a softer composition. All of these features basically help in holding on to the snow particles, so that they can make contact with the ground snow (as that provides better friction).

Toyo AT3 is also good at that, but it’s harder compound is not as thermal adaptive. Moreover, it’s grooves aren’t as capable of holding on to the snowflakes as the UltraTerrain, with its Tractive groove technology.

Fuel Economy

The amount of fuel a tire uses can be impacted by its rolling resistance, which is determined by factors like the tire’s weight and its ability to move on the surface (or in other words, how much friction gets generated).

That’s why being a lighter tire, the Toyo AT3 pushes it’s lugs (against the road) with less force. Moreover, as I’ve already explained, it’s tread is not that silica dense, the blocks on top don’t flex too much, and so because of that they save up more energy, enhancing fuel economy.

On the other side, Goodyear Wrangler Ultraterrain AT has more flexible lugs (as they are deeper), and the tire also weighs more. And so it takes more energy to carry a heavier weight.

Tread Life

Tread wear is not solely determined by rolling resistance; tread depth and composition also play a vital role. Let me explain how.

So basically there are two main things, wear rate, and wear time. If the tire has more tread depth to it, it would take longer to wear. And if it’s tread is softer for example, it would have a faster wearing rate.

Toyo Open Country AT3 has a harder tread compound, so it does not wear too much in the first place. And it’s tread depth reaching up to 17/32″ is also good enough, and takes a lot time to reach the legal 2/32″ limit.

Goodyear Wrangler Ultraterrain AT on the other side, although has slightly more tread depth, it’s softer rubber and heavier weight still account for faster wear, overall. That’s why you don’t see any mileage warranty with it, whereas Toyo AT3 gives you 65k miles.

Also Read:
How to Increase tread life?:
Do A/T tires wear faster?:

Off Road Traction

The off-road world offers terrains like mud that can get seriously tough, while others such as gravel and dirt roads may be more suited to less aggressive tires.

But how much these tires here can take? Lets find out.

On Rocks

To drive on rocky surfaces with confidence, you need a tire that has a soft tread for flexible blocks/lugs, a strong grip in all directions for stability, and robust sidewalls to defend against sharp encounters.

And Goodyear Wrangler Ultraterrain AT provides you with all of them.

The tire has more biters and a pliable tread which provide better gripping on the rocky surface. Moreover, on the outer edges, you get to have each shoulder lugs staggered upon itself, and numerous biters on sidewalls. Both of these provide greater biting efficacy especially with lowered air pressure.

Toyo Open Country AT3 on the other side, is a weaker tire in comparison, and although it grips plenty from the middle yielding similar climbing abilities, its less aggressive shoulder lugs and skinnier sidewall lugs don’t get to provide ample lateral traction.

Note: Both these tires are not suitable for aggressive rocky terrains, though in case of lighter tracks, these all terrain tires are worth it.

On Mud

Out of both tires, since you get a more voided design on Goodyear Wrangler Ultraterrain AT, its better able to evacuate more mud out in a given time.

The tire also features with in-groove biters pasted on the base of the tread voids, and these help in ejecting the mud particles that try to lodge in.

The Toyo AT3 on the other side also has a better web of channels in the middle, it’s connected shoulder blocks still leads to faster mud packing. Though its outer staggered edges, with bigger mud scoops provide better scooping abilities.

Sandy Dunes

When it comes to sand, you need to make sure your tires is not prone to digging. As that’s the worst for the traction. And here tire’s weight and tread structure contribute to that a lot.

That’s why Goodyear UltraTerrain with it’s heavier weight and sharper outer edges, is not able to provide as much traction, as the Toyo AT3, which provides you with smoother shoulder lugs, and sidewall lugs pasting on a larger surface area, so with lowered air pressure, they get to spread out more, providing floating.

To Close Up

Let me close this up by explaining both on and off-road performance.

So on roads, the Toyo AT3 does better on dry roads, provides you with better tread life, and is quieter off the two, whereas the Goodyear UltraTerrain provides better fuel economy, and wet + winter grip.

Off-road besides sand traction, where Toyo AT3 has an upper hand, the Ultraterrain takes care of the rest in a better way.

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