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BF Goodrich KO2 vs Toyo AT2 – Was Older Variant Better?

BF Goodrich KO2 vs Toyo AT2 – Was Older Variant Better?: The BF Goodrich KO2 and Toyo Open Country AT2 are two highly regarded tires in the all-terrain category, each boasting unique features and technologies tailored for off-road enthusiasts and everyday drivers alike.

Must Read Overview

The aggressive tread design of the KO2 allows a lower contact area of tread in contact with the ground due to its higher void ratio which reduces the tire’s grip.


Therefore, resulting in poor on-road dry traction. Water can easily pass through its broad grooves and deep sipes, allowing excellent wet traction, hence preventing hydroplaning.

Wider grooves are also responsible for removing the dirt and soft snow through the tread efficiently. The ‘Serrated Shoulder Design’ makes it easier to handle mud, sand, or even snowy terrain.

But, when it comes to ice, the KO2 lacks in providing decent grip due to lower contact patch and shallow sipes. The stone ejectors are embedded to keep stones/pebbles out of the grooves.

The ‘CoreGard’ technology has been installed on the sidewalls of the tires for additional protection. In addition to shoulder protection, this technology also protects the sidewall from excessive pressure. Any sharp items, pebbles, or trash may readily be deflected by the walls.

The KO2 tire’s unique footprint design allows the vehicle’s entire weight to be distributed evenly.

The AT2 also has an aggressive interlocking tread block design with a lower void ratio, allowing for a higher contact patch with the road and improved on-road traction. It is designed with narrow tread grooves and zig-zag sipes which provides average traction on wet surfaces.

Toyo Open Country AT2 vs AT3 shoulder design

Because of the narrow grooves, it has limited mud, soft snow, and gravel traction. The large stone ejectors ensure safe travel on rocky terrain by preventing stones from being caught in the grooves.

Due to its larger contact patch and zig-zag sipes, the particular tire’s grip on icy roads is also impressive. It has an excellent build quality and a long tread life.

The major benefit of this tire is that it is extremely quiet on the road while moving at high speeds. So, if you’re driving on-road, the Toyo Open Country AT2 would provide a great experience.

The Toyo AT2 was replaced by Toyo AT3, compare both here.

Brand Overview

BF Goodrich: A subsidiary of Michelin, BF Goodrich has a storied history dating back to 1870. This American brand has built a reputation for producing high-quality, durable tires, especially for off-road and performance applications. BF Goodrich is well-known for its participation in motorsports, particularly in off-road racing, where its tires have been proven in some of the most demanding conditions.

Toyo Tires: Established in 1945 in Japan, Toyo Tires has grown into a globally recognized brand known for its innovative approach to tire technology. They offer a wide range of tires for various vehicle types, including passenger cars, trucks, and SUVs. Toyo is celebrated for its commitment to quality, performance, and safety, with a strong presence in both everyday driving and motorsports.

On-Road Traction Comparison

When it comes to the KO2, think of it as the off-road enthusiast that’s somewhat out of its element on smooth pavements. Its higher void ratio, which is great for rugged terrain, means that the contact area between the tire tread and the road is reduced.

This translates to a lower grip on the asphalt. But it’s not all about compromises; those wide grooves and an abundance of deep sipes come into play in wet conditions. They’re like efficient channels, directing water away from the tire, enhancing wet traction, and reducing the risk of hydroplaning.

The AT2, in contrast, is like the urban dweller with a flair for handling city streets with ease. Its lower void ratio results in more tread touching the ground, giving it a better grip and improved dry on-road traction.

This tire is at home on dry pavement, but when the rains come, it’s a different story. The narrow grooves and shallower sipes struggle to evacuate water effectively, increasing the likelihood of hydroplaning in wet conditions.

Mud Terrain

In muddy conditions, the KO2 shows its true colors. Thanks to its higher void ratio, it digs into the mud with ease, flinging it away efficiently with its wide grooves.

The open shoulder design is another bonus, allowing mud to pass through without clogging, maintaining optimal traction. This design makes the KO2 a go-to choice for muddy adventures, ensuring that you won’t find yourself stuck in the sludge.

On the flip side, the AT2’s design is less favorable for serious mudding. Its narrower grooves struggle to expel mud effectively.

When dealing with thick, viscous mud, these grooves can get packed with mud, reducing the tire’s ability to grip. Essentially, in deep mud scenarios, the AT2’s performance might be compromised, making it less ideal for aggressive off-road mud terrains.

Snow Terrain

With snow, the KO2’s design is a mixed bag. Its large grooves are adept at handling soft snow, efficiently moving it out of the way. However, when it comes to icy conditions or hard-packed snow, the KO2’s lower contact patch makes it less reliable.

It’s worth noting that it holds the 3PMSF (three-peak mountain snowflake) rating, but this doesn’t entirely compensate for its shortcomings on hard, icy surfaces.

The AT2 takes a different approach in snowy conditions. Its narrow grooves aren’t as efficient at clearing soft snow, which can impact its performance. But, the tire shines on icy roads thanks to its large contact patch and a higher number of sipes.

These features provide better grip and traction on ice, making it a reliable option for icy winter roads. Like the KO2, the AT2 also boasts the 3PMSF rating, reinforcing its capabilities in winter conditions.

Rock Terrain

When it comes to navigating rocky terrains, the KO2 is in its element. The tire’s higher void ratio allows for better grip, especially at challenging angles commonly encountered on rocky trails.

Additionally, the larger and more prominent stone ejectors in the KO2 design are effective at preventing stones from lodging in the grooves, a crucial feature when traversing rocky paths.

These characteristics collectively make the KO2 a more suitable option for rocky terrain, providing confidence and stability.

In contrast, the AT2’s narrower grooves can be a hindrance in rocky conditions. This design doesn’t facilitate as effective a grip on uneven rock surfaces, particularly when cornering.

The smaller stone ejectors in the AT2 are less efficient at keeping stones from getting trapped, which can lead to compromised performance and potential damage in harsh rocky environments.

Comfort and Noise Levels

The KO2, with its wider grooves, tends to trap more air, leading to more noise, especially at higher speeds.

This can detract from the overall comfort of the drive, as the trapped air creates a resonating effect within the grooves, producing noticeable road noise.

The AT2, in comparison, offers a quieter and more comfortable ride. Its narrow grooves trap less air, resulting in lower noise levels.

This makes the AT2 a more appealing option for drivers who prioritize a quieter, more serene driving experience, especially during long journeys on highways.

Durability and Treadwear Differences

Durability is a strong suit of the KO2. The design, featuring wider grooves and a high void ratio, means there’s less rubber in contact with the road. This reduces rolling resistance, which in turn minimizes treadwear, enhancing the tire’s longevity.

Additionally, the KO2’s tread blocks are crafted from a high-wear-resistant compound and are part of an interconnected tread block pattern optimized for durability, ensuring the tire can withstand both on and off-road stresses.

The AT2, with its narrower grooves and lower void ratio, experiences a higher rolling resistance due to a larger contact patch with the ground. Higher rolling resistance can accelerate tread wear, potentially reducing the tire’s lifespan and impacting its mileage.

While the AT2 is designed to be durable, its tread pattern might not be as long-lasting as the KO2 under the same conditions.

Price Differences

Reflecting on their capabilities and build quality, the KO2 generally commands a higher price. Its superior off-road performance and durability make it a worthwhile investment for enthusiasts who demand robustness and versatility from their tires.

The AT2, offering a balanced on-road experience at a more affordable price point, caters to a different market segment. It’s designed for drivers who seek reliability and comfort on paved roads but still want some degree of off-road capability without breaking the bank.


In conclusion, both the BF Goodrich KO2 and Toyo Open Country AT2 have their distinct strengths and appeal to different driving preferences.

The KO2 excels in rugged off-road conditions, offering superior mud and rock terrain handling, along with commendable snow performance, but it compromises a bit on road noise and comfort. In contrast, the AT2 is more road-oriented, providing a quieter, more comfortable ride with better on-road traction and ice handling, though it falls short in challenging off-road conditions like deep mud and rocky terrains.

The choice between these two depends on your primary driving environment and what you value most in a tire – whether it’s the off-road resilience of the KO2 or the on-road finesse of the AT2. Both tires, however, assure quality and performance, aligning with the reputations of their respective brands.

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