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Don’t upgrade to all terrain tyres without expert advice

All Terrain Tyres: The Ultimate Upgrade for Your SUV or 4x4

Over the last decade, the rise in popularity of SUVs and 4x4 vehicles has been seen worldwide, even manufacturers such as Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche and more have SUVs in their vehicle lineup.

While SUVs were originally primarily associated with off-road or utility purposes, they have become a favorite among a wide range of drivers due to their versatility, increased safety features, spacious interiors and higher ground clearance.

Whether for aesthetic enhancements, performance upgrades, or adapting them for specific off-road adventures, these vehicles provide a solid and adaptable foundation for adapting them to your specific needs.

Many SUVs come from the factory with highway terrain, or touring, tyres. These tyres work great for on-road use, but if you’re a fan of getting off the beaten path and you're considering upgrading from the standard tyres your vehicle came with, then you're in the right place. Let's explore why all-terrain tyres could be the perfect fit for your vehicle.

What tyres do I have now?

Most new SUVs and 4x4s are equipped from the factory with either highway terrain (H/T) tyres or touring tyres. These are designed for comfort and efficiency on paved roads, and offer a smooth and quiet ride that makes a great impression when you take the car for a test drive.

Highway and touring tyres are fantastic for city driving but may fall short in off-road or challenging weather conditions. There are several reasons why some cars, even those designed for off-road use, come with highway and touring tyres from the factory:

  • Despite being capable of off-road use, an overwhelming majority of these vehicles are primarily used on paved roads. Manufacturers often equip vehicles with tyres that cater to the larger percentage of consumers' daily driving needs, which typically involve highway and urban driving.
  • Highway and touring tyres are designed for a smoother and quieter ride on paved surfaces, which enhances overall comfort. This is a key selling point for everyday drivers who may not frequently engage in off-road activities.
  • Tyres with less aggressive tread patterns usually offer lower rolling resistance compared to all-terrain or off-road tyres. This contributes to better fuel efficiency, which is an important factor for most consumers.
  • Equipping vehicles with highway and touring tyres are a more cost-effective choice for vehicle manufacturers.

While your vehicle is - in theory - equipped to handle challenging terrains, vehicle manufacturers often prioritise the everyday, on-road use of these vehicles when choosing factory tyres. This approach caters to a wider range of consumers while leaving options open for those who wish to customise their vehicle for more specialised use.

Why Should You Upgrade Your Tyres?

Upgrading your tyres can transform your driving experience. Whether you’re looking for improved safety, better performance, lower lap times, less road noise, or more grip for tackling off-road adventures, the right tyres make a huge difference.

For most SUVs sticking with your OE (original equipment) tyre is generally going to be the most comfortable and quietest tyre. And if you’re only occasionally driving on gravel or sand, your current tyres are going to be more than enough to handle the more mild terrain.

What’s an All Terrain Tyre?

Speaking to enthusiasts about the tyres they use, you’ll see a lot of people recommend you just slap some all-terrain tyres on your vehicle and call it a day. But what is an all terrain tyre? Why didn’t your vehicle come with them from the factory if they’re so good?

All-terrain (A/T) tyres are the multitaskers of the tyre world. They're designed to perform well on both on-road and off-road conditions. Featuring a more aggressive tread pattern than H/T or touring tyres, they offer improved traction on loose surfaces like gravel, mud, and sand, while still providing a comfortable ride on paved roads.

Close up detail of tyre tread pattern on all terrain tyre.

Pros and Cons of All Terrain Tyres

All terrain tyres aren’t a magic silver bullet and they’re not the perfect tyre in every situation. So what are the main benefits and drawbacks? Why should you consider all terrain tyres? What compromises would stop you from having a set fitted?


  • All terrain tyres are perfect for drivers who split their time between standard roads and off-road conditions and aren’t able to have two sets of tyres.
  • Typically, all terrain tyres withstand rougher conditions, meaning they often last longer in challenging environments, they have deeper tread and are more damage resistant.
  • They offer enhanced grip and stability in a variety of terrains, including wet and uneven surfaces when compared to highway tyres.
  • The deeper tread patterns last longer before reaching the minimum legal tread depth.

Of course, a heavier duty, more rugged tyre design will have some compromises. With the latest generation tyre technology, the difference in on-road manners is lessened, compared to tyres even a few years ago, but here’s what the watch out for


  • Thanks to their heavier duty sidewalls and more rugged construction, they can be noisier and offer a slightly less smooth ride on highways compared to H/T tyres.
  • The aggressive tread pattern will lead to slightly lower fuel efficiency.
  • On greasy tarmac, the larger tread voids means that less rubber is in contact with the road, potentially resulting in less grip than highway and touring tyres

Many drivers who fit all terrain tyres to their vehicles are more than happy to trade some on road grip for a more generalised performance, deeper tread depth, durability and puncture resistance.

All terrain equipped 4wd on a dirt road

Why Choose Tyrepower Kogarah for Your All Terrain Tyre Needs?

As Sydney's largest Pirelli Tyre dealer, our business specialises in tyres to suit most makes and models. We pride ourselves on our expert advice, fantastic customer service, and fast turnaround times. When you visit us, you're not just buying tyres; you're getting a partner to help you navigate the best tyre choices for your SUV or 4x4.

Visit us today to explore how we can help you upgrade to the perfect all-terrain tyres for your 4x4 or SUV!

You can find us at 7 Lindsay Street, Rockdale, or call us on (02) 9587 3366 for advice or to book your vehicle in!

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The best prices, the largest range. Your choice for Pirelli tyres is Kogarah Tyrepower