Owning a 4Runner can be equal parts exhilarating and exasperating. With endless accessories and offerings, it can be frustrating to figure out what’s the best solution for any given scenario. When it comes to tires, you need to know what to look for before shelling out for tires which claim to offer perks but then don’t deliver.
Looks are a priority for some drivers, while rugged function is tops for others. Here we’ll cover the different types of 4Runner tires for every type of driver (and vehicle), what to look for when shopping, and the best tires available for every 4Runner—and every driver.
Bottom Line Up Front
Heat, snow, mud, highway driving, and more—it’s tough to know what you’ll encounter during a daily drive in your 4Runner. When off-roading exploits beckon, after all, how can you say no? Thanks to the expansive tire selection for 4Runners, you’ll be prepared no matter what happens.
To take care of every what-if scenario, we’ve settled on Falken Wildpeak AT3W All Terrain Radial Tires as the ideal fit for a range of applications. You won’t notice excess noise while cruising down the highway, but should you decide to take a detour onto dirt roads or into the mud, performance won’t suffer there, either.
Heat diffusing technology, performance siping, and an aggressive upper sidewall mean the WIldpeaks can take you almost anywhere. Not convinced? Read on for more recommendations on the best tires for 4Runners.
Different Types of Tires for 4Runners
Not every 4Runner uses the same style or size of tire, so it’s essential to double check the specs before purchasing a new set. Thanks to Toyota’s lack of overall updates since the 4Runner rolled out, however, there hasn’t been a whole lot of changes in newer versions.
For most 4Runner years, the stock tires are either 265/70 R17 or 245/60 R20. Your vehicle’s tires will depend on the year, other equipment, and whether you special order it or purchase something off the lot. R20s are harder to find (and are less common), so we’ll concentrate on easily swappable 265/70 R17s here.
2019 4Runners come with mud-and-snow tires (with a full-size spare on the underbody mount), but there are plenty of good reasons to upgrade. For other model years, it might be time for a replacement anyway. Different types of tires are available for all types of driving conditions and habits.
All-terrain tires are a one-size-fits-all type of tire which run best on the pavement but can handle other scenarios, too. You may not equip your rock crawling 4Runner with all-terrain tires, as you’re likely not doing much freeway driving, but all-terrain tires will get you wherever you’re going before the four-wheeling starts.
Snow tires are, of course, most useful in snowy and icy conditions, and depending on where you live, you might need them for more than one season. Snow tires generally help provide traction in frigid temperatures, but they aren’t necessary for warmer climates.
Off-road tires are often the grippiest and most puncture-resistant of the bunch, making them ideal for driving over rocks, water, and more. Highway performance may be a bit lower than with all-terrain or standard road tires, but the tradeoff is exceptional durability and a rugged driving experience.
Mudding is a uniquely demanding 4Runner activity so having tires to suit is a smart idea. Mud can be messy, sure, but it’s also sticky, slippery, and potentially dangerous as it can hide sharp rocks and obstacles.
Having mud tires on your vehicle means you can tackle any puddle—no matter how deep it winds up being—but it also means you might have a bit of excess noise when driving home on the freeway afterward.
How to Find the Best Tires for 4Runners
4Runners are versatile vehicles, so it makes sense you’ll want tires to match. Depending on where you plan to go and what you want to do once you get there, shopping for new tires can either be simple or a complete headache. Here’s what to look for and consider when you start shopping.
Look at Sizing
Tire sizes can seem confusing, especially when you’re trying to upgrade to something other than what was stock on your 4Runner. Size is the most critical factor to ensure your new tires will fit, so here’s how to decipher what the tire labels mean.
Any letters at the front of the tire’s size indicate whether it’s for a Passenger vehicle or a light truck (LT). Tires without a character at the beginning of the measurement are Euro-metric, and those have a separate set of specifications.
Width is the next part of the measurement (in the 4Runner’s case, it’s a 265 or 245 for a 2019 model) in the sequence. The three-digit number is the tire width measurement in millimeters. After the slash (/) comes a two-digit number which refers to the aspect ratio of the tire. For example, a 265/70 tire is as high as 70 percent of its width.
Wheel diameter is the measurement which comes after the R (which means radial), and it’s a crucial measurement unless you plan to buy new wheels before swapping the tires on your vehicle.
Other specifications for tires include:
- DOT Symbol (indicates the tires meet all the federal motor vehicle standards in the US)
- Load index (tells what the maximum load is for each tire)
- Speed rating (indicates the maximum safe operating speed of the tire)
- Traction grades (AA through C, suggesting how high the traction is of each tire in wet conditions)
- Temperature grades (A through C, indicates maximum heat a tire can handle)
Consider Driving Conditions
If you plan to go off-roading in your 4Runner, you’ll require a different set of tires than someone who mostly commutes with their Toyota. Weather conditions are another crucial consideration for the right tire fit, since you may lose traction in wetter environments.
Snow is another variable which can affect how well your tires will perform. You don’t necessarily need snow tires every time a few snowflakes flutter down, but depending on your local weather patterns, a more versatile tire than one for city driving might be the best choice.
Think About Alternate Wheels
For a lot of 4Runner drivers, going off-roading is one of the perks of ownership and almost a requirement in many cases! You can opt for a range of tire sizes without much concern over general performance, but in some cases, lifting or otherwise modifying your vehicle is the only way to achieve the look you want.
You should be “safe” with installing any tire which measures 265/70 R17. You could go a bit bigger if you’re willing to investigate a lift kit and other measures to ensure no rubbing or other damage is happening underneath your truck.
Check Out Extra Features
Traction-enhancing features like siping, which involves small performance slits in the tire tread, may not be necessary for every scenario, but many consumers swear by them. If you plan to drive in snowy or icy conditions, siping might be the performance enhancer you need. In other scenarios, deep tread might be a priority over siping for some consumers.
Extra additions such as tread wear indicators or run-flat capabilities might also make your list of must-haves. Check our recommendations for additional features and best-case operating scenarios for each type.
Mastercraft’s Courser AXT tires will take you from the freeway to the back roads and beyond without looking too bulky for street driving.
- All terrain
- Tread wear indicator
- Trim despite high traction function
- 13 tread depth
If your 4Runner is a daily driver, but you occasionally travel off the beaten path, the Courser AXT tires might be the perfect fit. With excellent traction on the pavement and enough grip for minor obstacles on dirt and more, these tires are an all-season option for daily driving and beyond.
Unlike other nubby tires, the AXTs aren’t too bulky, so they don’t look much different from typical on-road tires. Performance is a highlight, though, especially for drivers who don’t off-road or go mudding often enough to warrant heavier-duty tires for those purposes.
- Versatile for highway and light off-roading
- Grip without bulk
- A bit noisy on pavement
Falken claims their Wildpeak AT3W tires are “engineered for adventure” in all seasons and weather conditions, and we can’t argue with them.
- All-terrain any-weather
- Heat diffuser technology
- 3D Canyon sipe technology
- Rigid tread blocks
- Aggressive upper sidewall
- 6 tread depth
Wildpeak AT3W tires have tons of performance features ideal for rugged off-road driving and mudding, including heat diffuser technology to dissipate heat, siping to provide handling stability, rigid tread blocks for resistance and avoiding stone blockage, and an upper sidewall which protects the tire from sharp objects.
Enhanced tread helps the AT3Ws excel in wet and wintry conditions, including snow, and you can expect these tires to look good for the duration of your adventures, too. Even with the deep tread and aggressive traction features, the AT3Ws keep a pretty trim profile, making them ideal for a range of driver styles.
- Rugged features for handling and stability
- All-seasons functionality
- Low noise
- Challenges with balancing on some types of vehicles
Hankook offers up its DynaPro ATM RF10 tires as an all-terrain solution for SUVs and light pickups, offering both grip and acceleration.
- Wraparound tread
- Two-step sipes
- Tiered side grooves
- Wide footprint
- 13 tread depth
DynaPro ATM RF10 tires offer exceptional on-pavement traction and performance with enhanced puncture resistance and tiered side grooves. Wraparound tread gives excellent cornering power, making the DynaPros ideal for pavement driving.
When it comes to rain and snow, you’ll enjoy a relatively quiet ride with the reassurance of two-step sipes and excellent gripping on all surfaces. For snow and ice, Hankook’s all-terrain tires are one of our top picks.
Mudding and off-roading are somewhat of an afterthought, but for everyday driving in severe conditions, Hankook’s all-terrain option packs plenty of handling and traction features.
- Very little road noise
- Aggressive in icy/snowy conditions
- Lack of mudding/off-road features
Cooper’s Discoverer tires do it all: tackle smooth and winding roads, bumpy surfaces with jagged rocks, and keep stones from sticking in your tread with the Discoverer A/T3s.
- Silica-based tread compound for traction
- Cut and chip resistance in gravel/rocks
- Broken center rib for soft surface traction
- Dual draft tread to keep stones out
- Tread wear indicator
- 14 tread depth
A “sticky” tread compound enhances traction without building up the resistance on the road, but you’ll like the off-roading features of the Cooper Discoverer, too. An aggressive tread design keeps stones from sticking to your tires, and the materials offer cut and chip resistance even on the toughest trails.
If you typically drive in temperate climates—or those without snow—you’ll likely find the Cooper Discoverers to be an excellent option. Plenty of traction and grippy tread help keep you on your way, and the only drawback is average performance in snowy conditions—which is understandable given the tires’ high performance across all other terrains.
- Low road noise
- Versatile for off-road and on-road applications
- Not ideal in snow
If mudding is your go-to activity in your 4Runner, Thunderer’s mud tires might be the best option both for getting you to the mud and getting you through it.
- Harsh terrain
- Soft and grippy
- Chip resistant
- Aggressive styling
A bit of noise on the highway is the one pitfall of the Thunderer mud tires, but it’s a slight inconvenience given everything you can do with them off-road. You’ll notice the tires are soft and grippy—AKA chip resistant—and grab onto the road even in wet and slippery conditions.
Aggressive styling fits the off-road look for your 4Runner, so if looks are high on your list, Thunderer’s mud tires might meet your needs. From sand to dirt to mud to water, you can go anywhere off the highway without worrying about punctures and chips.
- Smooth ride on and off road
- Chip resistant
- Noisy on the highway
An all-around light duty tire which can rise to meet most occasions, Nitto Terra Grappler tires lend themselves to a range of jobs without sacrificing ride comfort.
- Light duty
- Run flat feature
- 1 tread depth
Reasonably aggressive all-terrain tires with a light duty label, the Nitto Terra Grappler radials can handle highway driving, puddles, towing, and more with ease. You may not want to go rock crawling with them, but for daily drivers who often run into more substantial obstacles, the all-around offerings are ideal.
Versatility is a highlight, with the Grapplers offering high grip in a non-showy or bulky package. Some noise may disrupt your drive (particularly over standard highway speeds), but the cushy ride more than makes up for it.
- Run flat
- Great grip
- A bit noisy
If you only do a bit of highway driving and prefer to tackle mud, the Mastercraft Courser MXT tires might be the right fit for your 4Runner.
- Mud terrain
- Run-flat tech
- Wide and deep tread grooves
- Siping for increased wet traction
- 5 tread depth
Aggressive off-road traction and excellent highway handling combine in Mastercraft’s Courser MXT tires. It’s all about the deep grooves here: scalloped tread helps “scoop” mud out of the way, traction edges help with lateral grip, and wide grooves give better traction as they slough off the dirt.
Siping is a trend which is often debatable, but the practice of cutting extra slits in tire treads does help improve snow traction and ice braking performance in measurable amounts. If you need some extra “grab” with your tires when navigating off the road and in sticky situations, the MXT mud terrain option might be the best fit.
- Long life
- Wide grooves to clean out mud
- Louder than average when driving on pavement
Comparing the Options
|Mastercraft Courser AXT Radial||All terrain||Tread wear indicator|
|Falken Wildpeak AT3W||All terrain||All seasons, snow tire|
|Hankook DynaPro ATM RF10||All terrain||Quiet traction for on-road|
|Cooper Discover A/T3 Radial||Off-road||Chip/puncture resistant, tread wear indicator|
|Thunderer Trac Grip Mud||Mud||Chip resistant, exceptional traction in mud|
|Nitto Terra Grappler G2||All-terrain||Light truck, Run-flat feature|
|Mastercraft Courser MXT||Mud||Traction siping|
FAQ’s About Toyota 4Runner Tires
Toyota 4Runner tires are 32” and if you are not sure whether a selected tire will perfectly fit your car, you can go to Toyotires.comand find the perfect tire according to year.
Yes, they allow better handling of corners, increase acceleration, and decrease braking distances on dry pavement.
Definitely yes. Wrong tire size can be very dangerous because it can cause serious hazards to the vehicle and it can also be life-threatening, so always consult with a mechanic if you are not sure what type of tires to purchase for your vehicle.
From do-it-all tires with perks like run flat or tread wear indicators to those super-squishy options with a willingness to tackle even the most jagged rocks and outcroppings, there’s a perfect tire out there for every 4Runner owner. Narrowing down the choices is part of the challenge, and fortunately, we’ve provided a range of options to suit every need, from daily highway driving to 24/7 mudding.
Just take note of make and model fit before ordering, and then enjoy high-performance driving no matter where your 4Runner takes you.