Toyo Open Country AT3, with a brand new tread compound and design updates, its overall better All terrain tire this time. Seems like they really learned from their past mistakes, they did in Toyo Open Country AT2.
The Toyo AT2 was more focused on just off road traction, with AT3, Toyo took a totally different approach.
With these new tires you really get the best of both worlds. But there are still some areas where Toyo AT2 is surprisingly better. Is it intentional? Who knows…
Let’s check them out.
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Key Differences in Their Design:
In the image below, the upper part shows the Toyo AT3 and lower, AT2.
And Right off from the top, you’ll notice that with AT3, Toyo introduced lateral grooves, which makes the tire look like it’s from the hybrid terrain family (like the Nitto Ridge Grappler).
Where the predecessor had 4 circumferential grooves running parallel to each other, with AT3, there’s now just 2. This allows it to have a better lateral traction now.
Other big change to the tire is the prominent Superman’s logo in the middle. With Toyo AT3, now its not split up anymore.
Besides that, all blocks are also smaller and more compact overall.
In Toyo AT2, there is more tread void/gaps between tread blocks and they are not evenly distributed. On the other hand,with the newer tire, they are now all uniform.
Shoulders blocks also used to have notches in them were removed with the new tire. Instead, Toyo made the shoulders more aggressive overall. They are clearly more serrated now and have stepped blocks at the edges.
They also did a very nice placement with the stone ejectors on these shoulders. Giving it more space.
The Toyo AT2 had this issue with stones getting stuck in them all the time. That’s not the case with the newer tires anymore.
The Toyo AT3 is also 3 Peak Mountain Snow Flake Rated where the AT2 was just 2 snow flake rated. This make things even better on snow.
The newer tire also get to have improved sidewall design (colored with blue in the image above) which presents bulkier shoulder lugs in them.
Both tires still have 2 ply sidewalls and Toyo should have changed this. They should have implemented another layer for its protection like the Falken Wildpeak AT3w did.
Watch our video if you don’t want to read the whole thing:
Off Road Mud Traction Comparison of Both:
Now that Toyo packed their tread blocks a little together in AT3, you might think that it must have lost its mud evacuation abilities, but that’s not the case.
Since they also added staggered shoulder blocks which in fact have more gaps in between, the tire is pretty solid when it comes to muddy terrains.
Compared to Toyo AT2, the AT3 is also better able to get out when aired down deep in mud. This is because of the aggressive sidewalls you get with this tire as we mentioned in the design section.
Both tires however, have equal overall mud performances. Besides the sharp edges, both tires also have stepped blocks which are able to easily slash through the soft mud.
Where AT3 has optimized shoulder design now, the AT2 with its larger tread block valleys is able to collect more mud in them.
(The Toyo AT3 is however now more prone to get packed with mud in the middle).
Rocky Terrain Traction Comparison:
Both tires have a great traction on rocks. But they do it very differently.
The middle area of both tires have the same process of traction going on for them. Here, their stepped blocks give the necessary biting to the rocks maintaining traction.
But in case of Toyo AT3, they enhanced this traction even further, by removing the 2 circumferential grooves in the middle. And this allowed the tire to have a better lateral traction as well.
Now the newer tire has interconnected web of both lateral and circumferential grooves and this gives the tire the extra friction on rocks.
However, they also removed the notches you see from the shoulder blocks.
In case of Toyo AT2, these notches helped the tire to firmly latch on to the rocks.
But now in Toyo AT3, instead of those notches, the serrated shoulders (with stepped blocks) with more groove voids now do the very same thing.
(Plus the extra gaps in between those shoulder blocks allowed the tire to have better stone ejection capabilities than AT2).
These stone ejectors also make the tire more capable of reaching higher speeds on gravel.
Another key difference between the two tires is the sidewall.
The Toyo AT3s are more aggressive so they protect the the tire from unwanted sharp rocks in a better way. In comparison to AT2, the sidewall lugs are not too prominent and they are not able to protect the tire in a preferable way.
But speaking of protection. The Toyo AT3 still has the same 2 ply sidewall construction. And this was to be honest, disappointing.
We have gone through some complaints regarding this as well, where especially the P metric sizes had their sidewalls punctured.
Snow Terrain – Traction comparison
On snow-covered surfaces, the Toyo AT3 takes the lead over its competitor because it shows better evacuation capacities.
The tire deals with soft snow with broader shoulder grooves which proficiently throws it backwards, automatically clearing its tread and the driving track as it moves forward.
And since the tire has better braking distance on snow, the tire is now rated with 3PMSF (where AT2 was not). This is because of the enhanced lateral traction the tire has now. This combined with 3D siping which is deeper in comparison, the Toyo AT3 has overall better traction when it comes to snow.
On the other side, things are also looking good for the Toyo AT2 as well. This tire is also seen with siping everywhere and the deep notches which cut through the snow are also common here.
Moreover, the tire has more groove gaps in comparison as well. So this also allows the tire to have good snow expulsion capabilities.
What about On Road Traction for these tires?
Uptil now, we have seen how well Toyo AT3 performed in all those off road terrains.
Now, the best thing about it is that, the Toyo did not compromise on-road traction for this tire at all.
With more uniform tread design in the middle, (than the Toyo AT2), the tire efficiently increased its contact with the road, enhancing the overall on road grip. And the lateral traction we talked about, gives this tire better handling as well.
Now the Toyo AT3s have the lowest braking distances and great g forces compared to its direct competitors.
Toyo AT2 also has a pretty good on road traction as well. But the main issue with this tire is the wet traction. The tire does not go well with moisture.
And for some reason Toyo continue to keep its tires that way.
They still improved this a lot in Toyo AT3, but the tire still shows high braking distances and less g forces on wet roads compared to its direct competitors. This is the exact opposite of what we saw in dry testing of these tires.
So this means both tires are not good enough when it comes to overall wet road traction but are fine on road.
What about cost and Warranty?
Toyo AT3 is priced higher in comparison but it comes with the benefit of better winter performance, equal off road traction and better on road comfort and grip.
AT2 stands comparatively budget-friendly. The tire is still a great pick for off roaders.
Speaking of their tread wear warranty both tires:
|Treadwear warranty (Metric sizes)||65,000 miles/ 5 years||65,000 miles/ 5 years|
|Treadwear warranty (LT sizes)||50,000 miles/ 5 years||50,000 miles/ 5 years|
|Uniformity warranty||First 1/32’’||First 1/32’’|
|Workmanship warranty||5 years||5 years|
In the end:
If you can spend a little more on your new set of tires, then definitely go with the newer Toyo AT3 here.
Otherwise you can still get the AT2 and enjoy the same off road capabilities of this tire the AT3 provides.
But note that, with Toyo Open Country AT3, you get a better siping and 3 peak mountain snowflake rating.
With improved siping its also a safer choice to get as well.