I HAVE a confession to make. Despite owning many 4x4s over the last 19 years, I’ve never had a set of all-terrain tyres. Sure, I’ve driven on them, but never on my own vehicle. I’ve owned Boggers, ’Pedes, Swampers and Claws. I’ve always gone silly with off-road rubber, and I think it’s time to start acting my age.
Where I live, in the NSW Blue Mountains, we have plenty of different terrain to experience, but with just a few millimetres of rain everything turns to clay. So, in my head I’ve always needed mud-terrain tyres. Well, maybe I’m getting soft, or just wanted to prove myself wrong, but I’ve decided I wanted a quieter ride on my old Hilux. Enter the relatively new-to-market Yokohama X-AT G016 tyres.
AFTER rolling around on a very worn set of muddies, I found myself literally laughing out loud within the first 10 metres of driving on the new rubber. They are dead silent on road. Naturally a new tyre will be quiet, but these are next-level quiet and haven’t gotten any noisier.
Grip is next level too – before, I couldn’t drive up the infamous Old Bathurst Road in the wet without single-pegging like a P-plater in a busted-ass Commodore. Now, even when pushing in the wrong gear, these Yokohamas remain confident. Solid 10/10 here, and considering this is where the majority of time will be spent in our vehicles, I don’t regret the decision to switch from mud-terrains ... yet.
ON THE DIRT
THOSE familiar with the Turon River area in NSW will know it’s famous for two things: being insanely beautiful and incredibly dusty. The roads are dirt, from Capertee to Sofala, and are chopped out. I’ve just returned from a trip there and have to say I’ve never used a tyre with more grip in the dirt than these Yokohamas. I could safely cruise around in 2WD in most cases, whereas with my old (albeit worn-out) muddies, I’d need to use four-wheel drive high-range to take corners with confidence.
When things turned to clay, the tread surface did fill with mud, as I’d expect any all-terrain tyre to do. In saying that, the X-ATs were able to eject this evil stuff quickly, and dug for traction well thanks to the square shoulder lugs on the edge of the tyres.
THE advantage these tyres have over some other all-terrains is that the tread compound is relatively soft. This, in my opinion, is a good trait in an off-road tyre. They actually grip. On rock and high-traction surfaces, I’ve had no issues. While I avoid mud like COVID-19, we’ve had lots of rain lately and have been forced to get dirty.
I haven’t been stuck … yet. Sure, they won’t perform in really sloppy stuff as well as a full-blown mud terrain (there are other options if that’s your scene) but they have performed better than expected.
I THINK I’m a convert to all-terrain tyres on a daily driver. Being able to clearly hear passengers or chatter over the UHF is a new sensation for me. The ride is buttery smooth, and I’m yet to find traction to be a limiting factor when off-road. Sure, it’s early days, but I’ll report back in six months to show you how they are holding up.
RRP: $319 each (265x75R16)
WHAT WE SAY: Compared to some other all-terrains, the tread compound is relatively soft and provides good grip for an off-road tyre.