New Rubber for a Muscle SUV: Nitto NT420V Tire Review on the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT
On paper, a high-performance street SUV might not make a ton of sense. After all, when it comes to cars, weight and size are usually seen as the enemies of performance. Yet there is something great about the vehicles that seem to bend these laws of physics.
Vehicles like the modern Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT, which packs a 475hp 6.4L Hemi V8, big brakes and a retuned suspension and AWD grip—all with the practicality of a full-sized sport utility vehicle.
It was those things and more that lead a good friend of mine named John to buy a lightly used 2015 Grand Cherokee SRT as his new daily driver a little over two years ago. Prior to getting into Jeeps, his daily driver was 2007 Subaru WRX STI which he'd progressively modified over the years up to the point where it no longer made a lot of sense as a daily.
Wanting something that was comfortable, roomy and easier to live with everyday an SUV like the Grand Cherokee was a smart choice, and the speed-loving gearhead side of him was naturally drawn to the SRT version.
In the two plus year he's owned it, the Jeep has served as a daily commuter, road trip machine, weekend hauler and even as a tow vehicle for the aforementioned Subaru STI for track day events.
When it came time to replace the tires on the Jeep, John wanted something that was perfectly suited to the SRT Jeep's blend of SUV underpinning and performance car aspirations. Enter the NT420V, a newly-released tire from Nitto aimed specifically at vehicles like the Grand Cherokee SRT.
Designed as a luxury truck and SUV tire, the NT420V seemed like a match made in heaven for an SUV that happens to have power and handling capability that go far beyond the average family hauler.
After ordering up a set of NT420Vs in the factory size of 295/45/20, John was anxious to get the old rubber off and see how the new tires compared. As soon as they showed up, one of the first things noticed was the NT420V's unique, aggressive tread pattern which stood out even when paired with the Jeep's factory five-spoke alloy wheels.
The eye-catching pattern isn’t just for looks, though, the asymmetrical tread makes it possible to handle both dry and wet conditions in two distinct zones on the face of the tire. Plus, it allows for cross-rotation of tires—which means these babies will last longer when rotated on their intended maintenance schedule versus other tires.
Even with that aggressive-looking tread pattern, John quickly found the NT420Vs far surpassed the old, boring tires in terms of ride quality and low road noise—both of which are quite important on long highway trips. Months later, the tires have a few thousand miles on them, and John couldn't be happier with their performance.
We've had a lot of rain over the last month here in California, and anyone who has driven here know our roads aren't the best in the wet, but the new tires handled the watery weather with ease. These new tires combined with the SRT's all-wheel-drive, make for a completely sure-footed driving experience.
John has his heavily modified stripped out Subaru for the track, so the Jeep doesn't see a whole lot of extra-hard driving. But even when giving into temptation to unleash the Hemi V8’s power or to take a corner at speeds that would scare off all other SUVs, the NT420Vs have been a more-than-willing partner.
With a fast, modern high-performance SUV and the NT420V’s innovative tire technology the laws of physics don't stand a chance. Check back with driving Line in a few months for a 5,000-mile review of Nitto’s luxury SUV tire.
For more on the Nitto NT420V, you can see here how they handled 1,000 miles on a GMC Yukon XL.