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Nitto Terra Grappler G2: Long-Term Review (Part 2)

So, instead of reporting back after the first 5,000 miles, our test set of Nitto Terra Grappler G2’s are being reviewed and analyzed at 10,000 miles. Trust us, not holding true to our initial 5K check-up plan was anything but intentional. In our defense, we use the ’16 Toyota RAV4 they’re mounted to for literally everything. In fact, we spent the remainder of summer and nearly all of the fall months racking up miles. Since September, the G2’s have taken us to more than half a dozen industry events and various light off-roading excursions on the weekends. So here we are, with some 10,600 miles on them, ready for our first in-service review and analysis.

Over the course of their short, 4-month tenure aboard the Toyota, the G2’s have seen rain, snow, tacky dirt and considerable highway use. In each condition, they’ve performed as flawlessly as one would expect a new set of all terrain tires to. Incredibly, not only is the Terra Grappler G2’s tread predictably more effective off the beaten path than the all season tires they replaced, but they’re more comfortable on the highway. Traction in wet weather is sure-footed and a brief November snowstorm even allowed us to discover how well they perform in the snow.

Already subtly impressed with Nitto’s work on the G2’s, we were legitimately surprised at the gas pump, where our hand-calculated fuel economy numbers indicated that almost no trade-off had occurred by switching from all seasons to all terrains. For that and more, check out our 10,000-mile recap below.

Nitto Terra Grappler G2 Specs

Size 245/65R17
Inflated Diameter 29.53 inches
Inflated Width 9.76 inches
Approved Rim Width 7.0-8.5 inches
Maximum Air Pressure 50 psi
Load Index 111
Carrying Capacity 2,403 lbs/tire at 50 psi
Factory Tread Depth 13/32”
Current Tread Depth 11.8/32”
Limited Treadwear Warranty 65,000 miles
Miles Tested 10,603

66K to 76K Almost Overnight

2016 Toyota RAV4 Odometer

Any time you grab a new set of tires at the height of event season you’re bound to rack up a few miles. In what seems like the blink of an eye, our Illinois-based RAV4 test mule has made multiple trips to Indiana and gone to Tennessee, Kentucky and Missouri over the past four months, in addition to its 1,700 miles’ worth of monthly commuting. Along the way, exactly 10,603 miles have been tacked onto the odometer.

26.1 MPG

One of the biggest things to report is that, despite switching to a larger, heavier tire—not to mention going to an all-terrain from an all-season—we’ve only paid a fuel economy penalty of 0.3-mpg to date.

Fuel Economy Nitto Terra Grappler G2

Hand-calculated, the all-wheel drive crossover gets 26.1-mpg on highway trips (don’t mind the in-dash readout shown above, it’s a bit pessimistic!), down from 26.4-mpg highway throughout the RAV4’s first 66,000 miles. Our long-haul trips usually consist of setting the cruise control between 78-82 mph.

They Still Look New

At first glance it appeared as if we’d put 10,000 miles on the G2’s free of charge, as they still look brand-new. They’ve been rotated twice and we plan to continue to do so, religiously, every 5,000 miles.

Nitto Terra Grappler G2 Tread

Just as advertised, the full depth siping is still visible and will be throughout the life of each tire. The only drawback thus far has been a minimal increase in road noise, which was anticipated having made the transition to the more aggressive all terrains from all seasons. However, pound-for-pound, the Terra Grappler G2 is one of the quieter all terrains we’ve tested, thanks in large part to its variable pitch tread blocks.

No Wonder They Have a 65,0000-mile Treadwear Warranty

According to our color-coded Godeson tread depth gauge, we didn’t go 10,000 miles wear-free, but the G2’s are holding up well.

Tire Tread Depth Gauge

Tread depth checks in at 11.8/32”. If you recall, we started with a smidge less than 13/32” of depth when the tires were new (although they were specified to have 12.6/32” from the factory). Taking that into account, we’ve lost roughly 1/32” of tread depth over the course of the first 10,600 miles—a very reasonable wear rate.

In the Snow

For the second year in a row, the winter festivities arrived early for us and other Illinoisans. Back in November, we were graced with the first snow of the 2019/2020 season.

Terra Grappler G2 Snow Testing

Thanks to the Terra Grappler G2 tread, we were able to make the most of it. Though the snowfall didn’t amount to much, we spent an entire day testing the G2’s ability to find traction, as well as experimenting with how effectively they could bring things to a halt in a panic stop situation.

Coupling Joints & Shoulder Lugs

Nitto Tire Terra Grappler G2 All Terrain

Even though we thought wet snow would pack the coupling joints, they managed to stay relatively clean, allowing the leading edge of the tread blocks to remain exposed enough to keep digging. It was also evident that the staggered shoulder lugs were performing as advertised, providing additional biting edges.

Right in Their Element

All Terrain Nitto Terra Grappler G2

Based on what we experienced during our snow testing, the Terra Grappler G2 is right at home aboard vehicles that live in climates that see moderate snowfall. We only received a couple inches, but the G2’s performed flawlessly. In conjunction with the RAV4’s AWD system, traction was rarely lost during spirited acceleration, and handling and steering feel was unimpeded by the presence of snow.

Wet Performance

Wet Performance Nitto Terra Grappler G2

Once the warmup that followed the snow came through, the G2’s performed above average in a week’s worth of slush and then rain. In all of our traversing through wet weather (there was plenty of it), the all terrains never relinquished their grip on the road, nor did they offer the slightest tendency to want to hydroplane (even when we tried to force the issue).

In Good Company on Nittos

Chevrolet C10 Duramax Nitto Trail Grappler

One thing the G2’s allowed us to do as travel to half a dozen late-summer, early fall events in a safe, quiet and comfortable manner. One sizeable gathering included the Blackout in the Country event hosted by Bean’s Diesel Performance. It was here that we took note of how big the Nitto name has become among truck enthusiasts. Approximately a quarter of all the show trucks on hand, most of which were ¾-ton or larger pickups, were sitting on Nittos.

For a look back at the initiation of our long-term Terra Grappler G2 test, check out Part 1, here.

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