Goodyear’s new Duratrac, not the usual suspect.

It was finally time to get our Toyota FJ Cruiser some new shoes. Having decided on a more all-terrain tire over a mud terrain,  I considered all the usual suspects from BF Goodrich, Toyo, Nitto, Cooper, and Goodyear.  While researching, I ran across a new offering from Goodyear that is a cross between an AT and a MT… Meet the Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac.  I went in search of any and all reviews of this new tire, and was surprised when I found out truly little about it. I did find a few forums reviews from real users of the tires, and one in particular with a FJ Cruiser. Most of the real users of the tire agreed it was an excellent tire. So I ordered up a full set of 5 from my favorite tire center and waited for their arrival.

At 9:30am Saturday morning, the FJ was in the bay, getting it’s new shoes. I watched as the technicians stripped of the old rubber, and mounted the new. “Wow, those are aggressive tires.” said a guy standing next to me in the waiting room. To be fair, before these new tires, we had the OEM ATs on… which are closer to sedan tires than mudders. So the difference tread patterns was dramatic. That said, the Duratracs are very aggressive tires! I was a tad worried as the tech drove the FJ out of the bay and into the parking space. I half expected to hear the tires roaring at that slow speed, from the quite, music filled waiting area. Not so much. As I entered the freeway, via a clover leaf, I turned down the Sirius radio, and listened for the expected roar… hrm… I heard a low hum, but nothing else. As I speed up to 65 MPH, the hum increases ever so slightly, but only noticeable because I’m trying to notice it. Impressive!

I make the entire 8 mile drive home with the radio off. Listening and feeling the tires. The Duratracs are more lively at speed, but it’s not unsteady. It gives a more responsive feeling than the prior tires did. At lower street speed, the tires are quite and stable, and the ride quality is just as smooth as before.

Here’s what Goodyear says about them:

“The new Wrangler DuraTrac features TractiveGroove Technology to help get the job done when the roads get tough. Offering enhanced traction in deep mud and snow, the Wrangler DuraTrac is a hardworking tire for drivers who don’t know the meaning of the word quit.”

Features Benefits
TractiveGroove Technology™ Offers enhanced traction in deep mud and snow
Self-cleaning shoulder blocks Help provide enhanced dirt, gravel and mud traction
Highly angled center tread blocks Help provide enhanced traction and lateral stability while reducing road noise
Rim protector Helps protect wheels from accidental curb damage
Pinned for #16 metal studs* Enhanced traction in winter driving conditions

The Duratracs I chose are C weight rated and 265, 70R17 in size. They are all M+S rated, and are branded with the mountain/snowflake symbol to identify they meet industry severe snow service standards.

Coming up next will be a full off-road review of the Goodyear Duratrac…

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