How to Choose the Right Tyres for Your 4×4 or SUV?

When it comes to the tyres on your 4×4 or SUV, the choices made by manufacturers are no mere coincidence. Extensive testing goes into determining the optimal rubber for each vehicle, ensuring that the tyres complement the vehicle’s performance. Whether you’re driving a high-performance Porsche, Toyota, Ford or Nissan, the tyres play a significant role in bringing out the best in your vehicle.

Guide on Choosing Tyres for Your 4×4 or SUV

In Australia, the popularity of off-road, adventure, and lifestyle vehicles underscores the significance of selecting the right tyres. Original equipment tyres (OE) meet emissions and fuel economy targets, but adventurous drivers may find them limiting. Explore below different tyre types for off-road and on-road adventures.

Highway Terrain (H/T) Tyres

Usage: 90% Road, 10% Off-Road

Highway Terrain tyres are ok for 4WDs that predominantly stick to paved roads but might occasionally venture onto milder off-road terrains. Despite their road-oriented design, these tyres are not to underestimate when it comes to off-road situations like fire trails or light bushwalking tracks. The benefits of H/T tyres include good ride comfort, highway speed durability, and lower noise levels due to shallower tread depth.

Most new 4×4 vehicles come fitted with Highway Terrain (H/T) tyres because they have to meet emissions and fuel economy targets before going on sale. So, if your off-road adventures are more scenic than extreme, H/T tyres might be the way to go.

All Terrain (A/T) Tyres

Usage: 60% Road, 40% Off-Road

All Terrain (A/T) tyres strike a balance between on-road and off-road capabilities, making them a popular choice for 4WD owners seeking versatility. These tyres can handle a variety of surfaces, from dry sealed roads to muddy tracks. Offering robust construction and an extra void in the tread pattern for improved grip on unsealed surfaces, A/T tyres are considered a good all-rounder.

If you’re looking to upgrade from the factory-fitted Highway Terrain tyres, A/T tyres provide a more aggressive tread pattern without compromising too much on on-road performance. They sit somewhere in the middle of the off-road tyre spectrum, offering adequate grip for off-road adventures while maintaining on-road manners.

Mud Terrain (M/T) Tyres

Usage: 15% Road, 85% Off-Road

Mud Terrain (M/T) tyres are designed for the off-road enthusiast, often referred to as ‘Weekend Warriors.’ Characterized by large, chunky tread patterns, M/T tyres excel in serious off-road conditions, including mud, loose gravel, and steep terrains. The benefits of M/T tyres include easy passage of mud and dirt, excellent grip, and the ability to handle extreme off-road driving conditions.

However, it’s important to note that Mud Terrain tyres are not ideal for highway use due to their noise and limited traction on paved roads. The distinction of M/T tyres on the highway is a testament to their off-road focus. Enthusiasts often take this by having a separate set of wheels with Highway Terrain tyres for on-road commuting.

Hybrid Terrain: Striking a Balance

As off-road tyre technology evolves, manufacturers have introduced Hybrid Terrain tyres, offering a compromise between the aggressive off-road performance of Mud Terrain and the on-road manners of All Terrain.

One such example is Yokohama’s X-AT G016, combining the aesthetics of M/T with the on-road performance of A/T. This segment continues to expand as market demands for versatility increase.

What Factors To Consider When Choosing Tires For SUV Or 4×4?

Choosing the right tyres for your SUV or 4×4 is a time-taking decision that can significantly impact your vehicle’s performance, safety, and overall driving experience.

Here are some essential considerations by Wangara Auto Tyre to guide you in making a wise choice:


To ensure optimal driving conditions, consider the mix of on-road and off-road driving. For highway usage, Highway Terrain (H/T) tires are suitable, while All Terrain (A/T) tires are versatile, and Mud Terrain (M/T) tires may be necessary for serious off-roading.

Tread Pattern

The tread pattern of a tire influences its grip on various surfaces, with smoother (H/T) offering better on-road comfort and more aggressive (A/T or M/T) providing better off-road traction.

Terrain Type

Consider the specific terrains you’ll be traversing. If you frequently encounter mud, loose gravel, or steep terrains, M/T tyres are designed for such conditions. A/T tyres strike a balance for a variety of terrains.


Some off-road tyres can be noisy on highways. If a quieter ride is a priority, opt for tyres with a shallower tread depth, like H/T or less aggressive A/T tyres.


Off-road tyres can affect ride comfort. If you prioritize a smooth and comfortable ride, consider H/T or less aggressive A/T tyres. More aggressive off-road tyres may provide better traction but might compromise comfort.


Assess the tyre’s durability, especially if you plan on off-road adventures. A/T and M/T tyres are generally more robust than H/T tyres, making them better suited for off-road conditions.

Vehicle Load and Size

Consider your vehicle’s load-carrying capacity and tyre size. Ensure that the selected tyres can handle the weight of your SUV or 4×4. Pay attention to the recommended tyre size for your vehicle.


Different tyres perform differently in various weather conditions. If you experience diverse weather, choose tyres with good wet and dry traction. Some tyres are designed specifically for snow or hot, dry conditions.


To make an informed tire purchase, set a realistic budget and consider your vehicle’s driving habits and usage. Dealers can provide valuable advice to ensure the best tire choice for your needs.

Passenger vs. Light Truck (L/T) Construction

Also, consider whether off-road tires have ‘Passenger’ or ‘Light Truck’ (L/T) construction. L/T tires boast superior load-carrying capacity, increased sidewall puncture resistance, and suitability for prolonged low-pressure operation (common in sand driving). On the flip side, Passenger construction tires are lighter, provide enhanced on-road comfort, and contribute to improved fuel economy.


4WDs are a rapidly growing segment of new vehicle purchases in Australia, with various sizes and uses. When choosing the right tyre for your 4WD, consider the time you plan to use it off-road. There are three types of 4×4 tyres: Highway Terrain (HT), All Terrain (AT), and Mud Terrain (MT).

Highway Terrain focuses on comfortable, quiet driving and good road handling in dry and wet conditions.

All Terrain tyres provide traction and durability for daily drivers and weekend explorers, catering to everyday needs and overcoming off-road conditions.

Off-road tyres are suitable for four by four lovers seeking off-road adventures, capable of handling different terrains like mud, gravel, rock, and snow. These tyres offer durability, strength, and traction while driving through challenging and uneven surfaces.

For further details and guidance, feel free to visit Wangara Auto Tyre and get benefitted.

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