Nitto Tire 130,000 Mile Review: Across the Country in a Lexus LX570
Choosing tires for a luxury off-road capable SUV like the Lexus LX570 can be a bit of a conundrum for enthusiasts. From a luxury perspective, a set of street oriented tires work with the vehicle’s engineering towards comfort, smoothness and longevity. On the other hand, sacrificing on-road poise in exchange for off-road functionality is a big ask.
Finding the right tire that can easily transition between on-road manners and off-road capability is key to maintaining what the Lexus was built for.
When my dad purchased this 2011 LX570, it replaced a 2012 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. While the jeep was certainly great off-road, he wanted something that was more comfortable on-road, too, and found this used Lexus with 100k miles. Knowing that it was a near mechanical twin to the venerable Land Cruiser, he was certain it would be both reliable and capable. Although my dad recognized that he would sacrifice some off-road prowess when compared to the Rubicon, he had never really pushed the Jeep beyond some medium duty trail riding, so the extreme end of off-road functionality wouldn’t be missed.
Terra Grappler G2 130,000 - 218,000 miles
When the tires that came on the Lexus were at the end of their life, we began to search around for an all-terrain replacement. Dad wanted something that was available in the factory size, that wouldn’t ruin the on-road experience, but would be capable enough for some off-road exploration. He selected the Nitto Terra Grappler G2 all-terrain tire in 285/50/20 sizing.
The Terra Grappler G2s were exactly what he was looking for at the time. The LX functioned as a daily driver, and also became a tow rig for their 8,000lb Oliver camper. Compared to the comfort-focused street tires, there was no perceivable concessions that had to be made. They were an ideal match to the LX570.
Freedom to Explore
Although he didn’t do a lot of off-roading during this time with the LX, the functionality wasn’t lost. The Lexus was no stranger to occasional trail rides in the mountains of Georgia and North Carolina. The tire’s alternating shoulder lugs worked with the LX’s incredible AWD system to provide grip in muddy or sandy terrain, a must for the southeast’s unpredictable weather.
At the 50k mark with the Terra Grappler G2s, Dad took the Lexus and camper on a nearly 4,000-mile round trip to South Dakota. Even with that amount of miles on the tires, the Lexus still rode in nearly bank-vault levels of silence and poise.
There was none of the annoying on-road hum of other all-terrain tires, and the ride was vibration free. Although 20-inch wheels have long become commonplace on trucks and SUVs, the Terra Grappler G2s provided a quiet, supple ride on what would traditionally be a lower profile tire for off-road performance.
Long Lasting Performance
Ultimately, the Terra Grappler G2s were on the LX570 for a total of 88,000 miles, well past Nitto’s advertised 55k mile warranty. With regular rotation, as well as the competence of Lexus’s full time AWD system, the wear was completely even and consistent front to rear. While the majority of the tire’s life were spent on highways, knowing that there wasn’t a sacrifice needed for endurance and confidence off-road was a huge advantage of the Terra Grappler G2.
Enter the Ridge Grappler Hybrid Terrain: 218,000 - 260,000
Around this time, Dad purchased an F250 to take over most daily driving and towing needs. Using that opportunity to give the Lexus a little more freedom for off-road adventures, we replaced the Terra Grappler G2s with a set of Ridge Grappler hybrid terrain tires for a step up in off-road performance.
Increased Confidence Off-Road
The Ridge Grappler is a hybrid terrain tire that combines the capability of Nitto’s all-terrain and mud terrain offerings, inspiring more confidence off-road. This was an opportunity to explore more, take trails we previously would have skipped, and attempt new obstacles that would have been avoided.
One of the first of those adventures was a two day journey on the Georgia Adventure Trail. This excursion winds through the entirety of the state of Georgia, from south to north. Obstacles included sand, clay, rocks, and ultimately a lot of mud as the trip concluded on a rainy Sunday evening. The Lexus never faltered, even when we knowingly took the more difficult route.
On the road, the difference between the more aggressive Ridge Grapplers and the previous Terra Grappler G2s, in our experience, was marginal. That is to say, Nitto engineers certainly took their knowledge in making a well rounded all-terrain and applied those same lessons to the hybrid terrain tire. The tire’s variable pitch pattern was designed with advanced sound equipment and results in a quiet and smooth highway ride.
Although the Ridge Grappler doesn’t share the same treadwear warranty as the Terra Grappler G2, Dad had racked up an amazing 42,000 miles on the hybrid terrain tires by the time he sold the LX570.
Dad enjoys exploring more than “wheeling” when it comes to his time off the pavement, but the confidence he had in both sets of tires led him to some truly incredible places both on- and off-road. Not having to worry about longevity, traction, or reliability because you trust the equipment you’ve installed on your rig allows for more freedom to enjoy the time with your family.
That trust led him to replace the LX570 with, well, another LX570. Last month, we located a final year 2021 Inspiration Series in Baton Rouge and flew out to drive it back to Georgia without a second thought. There’s no doubt that a set of Nittos are in its future.
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