Goodyear Duratrac Review
These tires are a great all round aggressive AT that can hold its own off-road but still drive you to work every day in comfort.
I had wanted to try these tires and had always wondered if I should have put them on our old JK Unlimited Rubicon instead of the MTZ tires we had. (http://www.jeeping.net/?p=79) I like the MTZ tires ok but really for daily driving and snow performance they were not a good selection for a family vehicle.
Everyone recently has been recommending Duratracs so I decided to jump on the bandwagon and try them out on our 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland (Hemi). On the flip-side there is a subset of people who believe the sidewalls on Duratracs are weak. This may be true from a few years ago or that some people select the P rated tires over the C,D or E rated tires which have a much thicker sidewall.
If you are in Canada then the best price on Duratracs is Canadian Tire. Every 4-6 weeks they go on sale normally either 20-25% off or buy 3 get 1 free.
Opted for LT E rated tires since I tow in excess of 6000 pounds so this review is based on my experience with that rating series. Something else worth noting is these are considered a “commercial tires” what does that mean I’m not actually sure… but almost all the utility/forestry companies in my area run these on their truck. They obviously hold up well if huge industries are buying them by the hundreds and continue to rebuy.
The Grand came with a set of P265/50R20 (31.5×10.4) Goodyear Fortera HL BSW All-Season and I was surprised how little impact the larger 275/65r18 (32.1 x 10.8) made. However I assume that has a lot to do with the 5.7L Hemi.
The tires compared to the worn tires that were on the Jeep felt much more planted and smooth. I did notice some lane change delay which is common when you combine softer tires, tall sidewalls, wide tires and taller thread depth. Totally unnoticeable at speed under 110km/h.
With one year and 20,000 KM on the tires they look fairly untouched. I am somewhat surprised because they are a soft tire but I do live in a cold climate so they barely saw hot pavement. I did run them frequently on gravel and unpaved roads. I’ve heard on heavier trucks these tires will destroy themselves on gravel roads but that certainly isn’t my experience. I wonder if these people are running P rated tires and not the the LT E rated.
Because of the large lugs they do hold gravel and throw it later when you hit higher speeds.
A couple of years ago I would not be recommending these for off-road but that was before I owned them.. I must say I’m impressed.. The WK2 was never in any serious off-road conditions but I did poke my nose down a few trails and it never once slipped a tire.
They wouldn’t hold up to a mud tire in mud but they did do a good job and I think would beat most AT tire in the mud category and maybe some MTs. I’m certain I was in situations that my old MTZs would have slipped in and the Duratracs still had grip due to the tire sipping and soft rubber.
Next daily drive trail rig I own will have these for sure. (and it did I now run these on our 07 Grand)
As an AT tire these rate a 5 for off-road performance but this is an off-road site so I’m going to rate them as if they were a MT tire so they get a 3.5.
On-road Snow Performance
Let’s be clear these are not a snow tire. They are snowflake rated but that isn’t the same as a dedicated snow tire.
I am the first person to tell someone they are stupid for not owning a separate set of snow tires but I ran these all winter and loved them. I’m selling my snow tire!
Being a softer compound than most AT tires they stay pliable at lower temperatures. Not as pliable as a true snow tire but still pretty good.
Ice is where these tires don’t do as good as a true snow/ice tire. But in hard backed or loose snow they did just as good. We have another SUV with dedicated snow tires so we use it when the roads are icy and use the Grand when they are snow covered. These tires just did so amazing in 1+ inches of snow.
Off-road Snow Performance
My wife works at the hospital and got a call at 3:30am in the middle of a blizzard drifts were 5 feet and snow on the road was 2.5 feet! She got in the Jeep started it up.. and drove… I couldn’t believe it. She made it the whole way to the hospital only car on the road with nothing plowed. Front bumper did take some damage to all the force but that just tells you how much force these tires pushed with. (Quad-Drive2 in these Grands is pretty impressive as well)
I never winter trail rode with these because I was in a 5000 pound Grand Cherokee. I didn’t have the ground clearance to keep up with the guys on 37 inch tires.
Noisy for an AT & Quiet for a MT
It isn’t loud.. my wife noticed them the first week and then never noticed it again. The noise isn’t enough to annoy you but it is always there and gets slightly louder after the first rotation (like most tires).
Now I really don’t consider these tires an AT tire. I think they are much more a MT tire so that taken into consideration they are very quiet.
I struggle with this star rating.. On sale they are about the price of premium tire at full cost they are costly.
However for an off-road tire, road tire and snow tire all in one I think they are a great value! I will certainly put these on my next daily Jeep.
WK2 on 275/65r18 Duratracs