BY ALL-TERRAIN standards the Dunlop Grandtreks are as tame as they come, in looks at least.
At a quick glance the ballooning tyre is wrapped in a tread pattern that looks like it would be at home on a Toyota Camry, and it’s clear the Grandtreks are more focused on the city and suburbs than the bush – in design at least. So expectations were high that the on-road bias would translate to excellent performance in the conditions most people will use them. They didn’t disappoint, at least initially.
The Grandtrek trounced its rivals for braking performance, both in the wet and dry. Its 42.4m stopping distance was almost four metres better than the next best; that’s about the length of a small hatchback, something that could mean the difference between filling out insurance forms and stopping just in time.
That dominance was repeated in the wet, the 25.1 metres required at least 1.6m better than the nearest rivals. Stokell felt it from the driver’s seat, too, describing the stopping power as awesome and noticeably better than the rest of the field.
Curiously, that dominance didn’t flow through to all the cornering exercises; while the Dunlops performed very well during one of our wet corners, it was mid-pack in the other. Perhaps more pertinently the Grandtreks maintained excellent consistency throughout the corners, especially in the wet, with Stokell able to maintain an above-average speed throughout the corner. His seat-of-the-pants comments listed it as the best in overall wet cornering feel, with the on-road focus again shining through.
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During dry cornering the Dunlops maintained that predictability and consistency, but lacked outright pace. Good, but not as convincing as the stopping performance.
Where the Dunlops’ fairy tale performance started to unravel was with our final two assessments. At $319 they’re the third most expensive tyre here. Plus, the off-road performance is lacking against the rivals – Walker noted they were more inclined to spin over slippery surfaces, with the lack of tread bite likely to blame. This is a shame, because before they got dirty the Grandtreks were among the best performers.
Seven 4x4 tyres, one winner on 4x4 Tyre Test 2019