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The Toyota Tacoma is one the most popular trucks on the market. Most notable for being reliable, versatile, and customizable. There aren’t many other trucks out there that have this significant of a track record nor have the number of modifications and after-market parts readily available.
With that said, all Tacoma’s need four important things, a solid set of tires to move it from point A to point B. Like we always say on The Vehicle Lab, the goal when buying tires online is to save money.
The Best Tires for the Toyota Tacoma
Rather than visiting your Toyota dealership or tire shop, consider pricing estimates and whether or not these options will save you money:
1. Milestar All-Season Radial Tire
First up is a tire from Milestar. If you aren’t familiar with them, you might know of Nankang who manufactures high-quality performance tires. Milestar tires are made by Nankang, so these aren’t low quality “china pops.”
The tire has a load index rating of 91, so it can carry a weight of 1356 pounds. It’s also got the highest speed rating of all the tires listed, being able to safely travel at 149 mph (V rating).
One tire weighs almost 20 pounds, which some reviewers found to be a bit much, as it may be difficult to balance. However, balancing the tires during installation should be left to a professional.
The manufacturer emphasizes this tire’s use in sport driving, and comfort and stability in all seasons. The main stand-out is the tire’s price. The tires are rated and under warranty for up to 50,000 miles, however, customers noted noticeable tread wear after 30-35,000 miles.
For the price to quality ratio, these tires have a hard time being beat.
- Pros: All-weather and affordable. Smooth and quiet ride.
- Cons: Some noted they are hard to balance. Rubber/tread may be a bit thin for some.
2. Sumic All-Season Radial Tire
Next up are tires from Sumic. These tires have a 88 load index rating, meaning that it can carry a weight of 1235 pounds.
Their speed rating is H, which means it can safely travel at 130 miles per hour. This Sumic tire has a 4-rib symmetrical tread pattern that offers increased stability in various weather conditions. The tread design is supposed to be especially good at performing in wet terrains, and the grooves are specifically made to provide water evacuation.
These tires are fairly affordable. Some users report them showing signs of wear after driving on them for only about 40,000 miles. With that said, the warranty is rated at 45,000 miles.
- Pros: Durable even in rough terrain. Fairly affordable. Quiet ride.
- Cons: Lower speed and index ratings. May wear quickly depending on how you drive.
3. Westlake Touring Radial Tire
Westlake’s Touring Radial Tire is the most budget-friendly tire on our list. Their wheel diameter is 14 inches, and they weigh in at 18.3 pounds. Typically, this means the tire may be made of less durable materials or thinner rubber.
This product also has a 91 load index rating, meaning it can carry about 1356 pounds of weight. It has a lower speed rating than the previous tires. It can travel at about 118 mph, which is why it holds a T rating.
The specifications of these tires show why they’re the most affordable option on our list. It’s just a case of “getting what you pay for.” However, user reviews are mostly positive, as customers seem to be aware of the quality they’re buying.
The product description doesn’t mention the way these tires perform in different terrains. The manufacturer does at least mark this as a tire for all seasons, though.
- Pros: Most affordable tire. Relatively smooth and quiet ride.
- Cons: Not the most durable tire. Questionable terrain performance.
4. Hankook Optimo All-Season Tire
The Hankook Optimo All-season Tire is our best mid-range tire. It has a load index rating of 108, so it can carry 2205 pounds. The Hankook Optimo tire also has an S speed rating, meaning it can safely achieve up to 112 mph.
This tire claims to have improved handling while changing direction, as well as braking ability. While you might think the narrow design would lead to lackluster handling, several noted a smooth ride and responsive tires.
The tire weighs 26 pounds, and, as we’ve seen, it can withstand a lot of additional weight. It also has a white wall stripe on one side of the tire, so they can be installed to showcase that detail.
Reviewers noted improved gas mileage and easy balancing. These tires also offer improved durability for longer mileage and noise control.
- Pros: Good traction and handling. Quiet and stable ride. Handles well in most weather conditions.
- Cons: Second most expensive. Tread pattern might be a bit narrow. White walls on one side (some prefer this).
5. Goodyear Wrangler Radial Tire
Our best all-terrain choice of tire is also the priciest choice: the Goodyear Wrangler Radial Tire.
The 13 millimeter deep treads, the deepest on this list, offer easy transitioning between different terrains and weather. The singular block tread design also enables drivers to have a great handle on their vehicle.
The load index rating of this tire is 105, meaning that it can carry a weight of 2039 pounds. It also features an S speed rating, which means it can handle speeds of up to 112 mph. Goodyear tires come with a limited warranty for replacements as well.
Most users are satisfied with the tires’ price to quality ratio. They have confirmed the all-terrain and all-weather traction claims. Some have said that the tires will show wear quickly, but this seems to be due to individual tire vulnerabilities. We would advise buyers to always check each tire within the 30-day money back return window.
- Pros: All-terrain capabilities. Year-round traction. Smooth and quiet ride. Replacement limited warranty.
- Cons: Costs the most. Some noted individual tires prone to vulnerabilities.
What to Look for in Toyota Tacoma Tires
Ideally, you should replace your tires as soon as the tread shows significant wear. Most places have laws in place that tell us the minimum depth of tire treads. Some manufacturers also put marks on their tires that show when the tire is ready to be replaced.
But, there are so many choices out there! How can we deal with sizing, tread patterns, speed and load index ratings, and the other details we need to keep track of? Let’s take a look at these features and which are most important for your Toyota Tacoma.
Like we said at the beginning of this article – reading tire sizing can feel like we’re deciphering an ancient language. Tough, but not impossible. We’re here to help.
Tire sizing is actually very easy to understand, once you realize what all those numbers mean. Since the product names of all of the tires we reviewed contained metric sizing, let’s explain those.
For example, let’s use the last tire on our list, the Goodyear Wrangler Radial Tire – 235/75R15 105S. What do all those numbers mean?
Well, for starters, since all of the products we reviewed were passenger tires, they don’t have letters in front of the “235.” Passenger tires are the norm, but if we were distinguishing between different types, we’d have put a “P” in front of those numbers. Light trucks get an “LT,” “ST” is for special trailers, and “T” is for temporary tires. The load index rating is what tells us these passenger tires are capable of carrying a truck, though.
The first number in the metric sizing, in this case, 235, is the width of the tire in millimeters. The number after the slash, 75, is the aspect ratio that tells us the width of the sidewall in comparison to the width of the tire. So, here, the sidewall is 75% of 235 millimeters.
The letter R stands for radial ply. Finally, the last number is the wheel size in inches. This system doesn’t show us the total height, or diameter, of the wheel, so we’re left to calculate that. Many sites offer tire size conversion calculators, though.
Some truck owners might already have a wheel they like. In this case, they ought to look for tires with the same or slightly smaller wheel. So, while shopping for tires, buyers should take into account their truck’s fitment, which is the wheel’s width and offset.
The diameter of the wheel isn’t as important unless the tire is far too small to be stretched over the wheel. This may determine whether the wheels will stick out and make maneuvering difficult. However, many people prefer to have oversized tires on their trucks as an aesthetic choice – and that’s perfectly fine too.
Speed and load index ratings
The last number and letter in the tire’s size is the speed and load index ratings. The load index ratings are numbers. Smaller numbers, like 70, mean that the tires can only handle 739 pounds of weight. Larger numbers, 126, for example, mean that the tires can handle up to 3748 pounds of weight.
The speed rating is noted in letters, so an S on our Goodyear tire means the tires can travel safely at a 112 mph speed, or 180 km/h.
Tread pattern and depth
Better rubber is worth paying for, because it’ll be thicker, and last longer. Tires with thick rubber will be able to have deeper tread, which helps with traction in wet conditions. So, if the truck is going to be treading difficult terrain, we advise buyers to go for tires with thicker rubber and deeper tread.
Tread helps water move along. It can be symmetrical, for general purpose tires – like most of the tires we mentioned here. These are the most basic option. There are also asymmetric and directional tread patterns.
Asymmetric treads have a clear inside and outside difference in the tread, and the outside of the tire will be labeled as such. The softer inner tread serves to push water inwards. The more rigid outer tread provides more grip on the outside edge of the tire. Straight lines run through the middle of the tires to provide stability.
The directional tread is recognizable by its V pattern. It also has straight lines for stability, but the V directional lines help with water ejection. They’re also louder than tires with an asymmetric tread.
The depth and type of the tread will usually be a factor in how well the tires handle different terrains and weather conditions. Usually, it’s okay to trust the manufacturer’s claims, though. So, if a tire has an all-seasons or all-terrain label, it’s good to go.
Picking new tires for your Toyota Tacoma doesn’t have to be difficult. All of the options listed are great in terms of tread wear, and price. Remember, the goal when tire shopping online is to save money. Considering the cost of the tires and installation/balancing costs, you will likely save money with any of the options listed.
After taking into consideration features like sizing, load and speed ratings, and tread style, you can safely choose new tires for your Tacoma.
- Tacoma footer image from diamondbackcovers
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