Goodyear Wrangler UltraTerrain AT vs Goodyear DuraTrac

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When it’s time for off-roading, picking the right tire is super important. Imagine this: you’re off on an adventure, but you’ve got tires meant for a city car like a Toyota Corolla. Not the best idea, right? Those tires might just give up on you when the going gets tough.

Now, in the world of off-road tires, you’ve got quite a few choices depending on what you’re up against. There are mud-terrain tires, made for the really rough stuff, and then there are all-terrain tires. These all-terrain tires are the jack-of-all-trades, good for both cruising on the highway and tackling the unbeaten path.

When we talk about hitting those unpaved trails, Goodyear’s Wrangler tire lineup is among the top contenders. They’ve got a bunch of different models to suit various needs. Today, we’re zeroing in on two all-terrain tires from this family to see how they stack up against each other.

I took the Wrangler UltraTerrain and the Wrangler DuraTrac out for a spin. Both of these are pitched as top-notch all-terrain options. If you’re scratching your head wondering why Goodyear would have two similar tires, you’re not alone.

But don’t worry, let’s dive into what makes each of these tires unique.

Goodyear Wrangler UltraTerrain

According to the manufacturer, the UltraTerrain tire is a powerhouse when it comes to off-roading, yet it doesn’t let you down on the road either. When we dive into its specs, it’s clear that this tire is set up for success.

The UltraTerrain boasts a rubber mix made for all seasons. This means you can rely on it across many temperatures. Plus, it’s built tough to withstand the rough and tumble of off-road adventures, resisting chips and cuts with ease.

The star of the show is its tread design. This design keeps the tire stable and effective on regular roads, thanks to a computer-calculated contact area. Goodyear also suggests that this tire should offer some pretty solid handling.

Comfort hasn’t been overlooked, either. Even with its off-road chops, Goodyear says this tire doesn’t skimp on making your ride smooth.

For those times when you’re off the beaten path, its void ratio steps up. This feature helps the tire self-clean, shedding mud or sand to maintain steady traction. The shoulder blocks aren’t just there for protection in wild conditions; they boost traction, too.

With its bold tread and design features, the UltraTerrain is rated 3PMSF. This means it’s up to the challenge of tougher winter conditions, more so than your average M+S-rated tire.

Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac

In many ways, the DuraTrac is quite like the tire we talked about before. It’s marketed as an all-terrain, all-season tire. This means you can look forward to a good mix of driving smoothly on roads and handling rough paths well.

Goodyear chose a similar path with this tire’s material, making it suitable for use all year round. Just like the tire we discussed earlier, the DuraTrac is built with off-roading in mind. This makes it stronger and more resilient when you’re driving on unpaved surfaces.

The company has put to use its TractiveGroove Technology, aiming for better performance in two main areas. Tires with deeper gaps excel in off-road settings because they can grip into the earth for better traction. This is true for snow as well, earning the DuraTrac a 3PMSF rating. Remember, some sizes might only have an M+S rating.

Talking about winter, Goodyear has another ace up its sleeve to boost performance. The bigger LT-sized versions of the tire can also be equipped with studs, placing the DuraTrac as a top choice in icy conditions.

Since the DuraTrac will also spend a lot of time on roads, Goodyear adjusted the tread pattern to make less noise than typical off-road tires. By setting the central blocks at a steeper angle, they aimed for a quieter ride. Besides that, you’re likely to notice better grip and traction.

Off-roading is definitely still in the game, and thanks to its tread design and extra strengthening, the DuraTrac is up for some tough challenges. The edge blocks use a self-cleaning technology, allowing them to always be ready to provide excellent traction.

Performance Comparison

Both tires are in the same league, so I anticipated their performance to be quite similar. And truly, they didn’t disappoint. Their performance isn’t an exact match, but the outcomes are closely aligned. In certain areas, I’ll talk about how both tires perform together because the differences seemed minimal.

How do they perform in dry conditions?

All-terrain tires are built for the road too, and both the UltraTerrain and DuraTrac stand out with impressive results.

When it comes to accelerating, the traction is top-notch, preventing excessive slip. Sure, if you push hard, you might see some tire spin, but with normal acceleration, slipping isn’t an issue.

Taking corners, the UltraTerrain and DuraTrac hold up well. They might not be the go-to for pushing limits, but the grip they offer is solid. Under everyday driving scenarios, both tires shine, though it’s worth noting that they won’t match the grip of a tire made specifically for performance.

In terms of stopping power, these tires are neck and neck, offering commendably short braking distances. They might not set industry records, but they’re definitely in the upper echelon.

When dry conditions come into play, the UltraTerrain and DuraTrac are nearly identical. Any minor differences that do pop up seem situational and are likely only noticeable when pushing the tires to their limits.

How They Perform on Wet Roads

All-terrain tires might not be the champions of wet roads, but let’s talk about how models like the UltraTerrain and DuraTrac stack up. It turns out, they’re pretty competent.

When the roads are just a bit wet, these tires step up with solid performance. They’re reliable for your day-to-day drives, offering decent traction that cuts down on wheel spin and corner grip that’s pretty impressive. Here’s where things get interesting, though. Push them, and you’ll notice the UltraTerrain gives in a tad earlier than the DuraTrac. It’s not a huge gap, mind you. Both manage admirably, but the DuraTrac has a slight edge in holding its ground.

Talking about braking distances, they’re not exactly the main highlight. Safe and short, yes, but there are others out there beating them at this game.

Now, onto resisting aquaplaning. Both tires excel at getting rid of water, yet the UltraTerrain has a bit of an edge, thanks to its tread design. Those straighter channels seem to ease the water flow, allowing the tire to keep its composure at higher speeds than the DuraTrac.

Can they be used on snow?

All-terrain tires, with their mix of rubber and tread designs, do a pretty good job in winter weather. They work well, but there are some differences to keep in mind.

The UltraTerrain tire stands out for its snow capabilities. It’s got a 3PMSF rating, which means it can handle light and even heavier snow. It might find packed snow challenging, yet it still manages to stop in short distances.

Then there’s the DuraTrac. Its tread pattern is a bit more rugged, giving it an edge in snow. We’re not talking huge differences, but it’s better, particularly in tougher snow.

Both tires perform confidently in snow, as long as you don’t push them beyond their limits.

When it comes to ice, that’s where things really change. Since these tires are all-season, their ice grip isn’t their strongest point. However, the DuraTrac, especially the LT model, does better thanks to the option for studs. This makes it more reliable on ice compared to the UltraTerrain.

Will They Deliver Good Off-Road Performance?

All-terrain tires are built for off-road adventures, and I’ve found that both models we’re looking at excel in this area. While their performance on dry roads was neck and neck, off-road terrain tells a different story.

On hardpacked surfaces, both the UltraTerrain and DuraTrac shine as top performers. They latch onto the ground, letting you move forward smoothly and with confidence. They offer solid grip around corners and stay manageable, even when pushed to their limits.

The construction of these tires means they’re also ready for rock crawling. You can lower their pressure without the fear of damage, and they’ll still perform well, unless you’re facing extreme conditions.

But, there’s a twist when it comes to mud and sand. Both tires keep their tread clear effectively, but the DuraTrac’s design gives it an extra advantage. It handles these challenging conditions better, offering a slight edge in traction when things get sticky.

Are They Good in the Handling Department?

When it comes to all-terrain tires like the UltraTerrain and DuraTrac, keep your expectations in check. They’re fine for your daily drive, but if you’re thinking about racing around a track, think again.

Digging into how they handle, it’s clear that the UltraTerrain edges out just a bit over the DuraTrac. Both are solid choices for regular driving, yet there’s a slight edge that nudges the UltraTerrain ahead.

You’ll notice the UltraTerrain turns in a tad sharper, offering a decent level of responsiveness you might not expect from an all-terrain tire. The DuraTrac, while not too far behind, feels just a bit slower to react. However, don’t expect either tire to give you a lot of feedback.

Taking corners aggressively with these tires isn’t the best move. It’s not just the grip or traction that’s the issue, but also the sidewalls. They tend to flex as you push the limits, making the driving experience less than ideal.

How well-refined are the tires for everyday driving?

Choosing tires that handle both on and off-road adventures means you’re trading off a bit. With the UltraTerrain and DuraTrac tires, one trade-off is how quiet they are. These tires, because of their design, aren’t as whisper-quiet as your regular highway tires. But, when you stack them up against their competitors, they hold their own pretty well. Yes, you’ll hear them, even when you’re not speeding, but the noise isn’t going to drown out your playlist.

On the comfort front, Goodyear has done a commendable job. These tires won’t give you the plush ride of touring tires, and you’ll feel some bumps along the way. But between the two, the DuraTrac edges out slightly better, dampening vibrations a bit more effectively than the UltraTerrain.

Do any of them offer a warranty?

The UltraTerrain finds itself at a notable disadvantage in the warranty arena. Goodyear equips the DuraTrac with a 50,000-mile treadwear warranty, a benefit the UltraTerrain does not share.

However, putting warranty considerations aside, there’s little to worry about regarding the longevity of either tire. Both the UltraTerrain and the DuraTrac are engineered for durability, showing resilience against quick wear.

How do they compare in terms of price?

The UltraTerrain grabs attention with its competitive pricing. Though a Goodyear product, it’s exclusively available through Discount Tire, positioned at a slightly lower price point than the DuraTrac.

When comparing models of the same size, the price difference hovers around $50, marking a significant factor for consideration.

Goodyear Wrangler UltraTerrain Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • More budget-friendly
  • Improved resistance to water planning
  • Enhanced handling

Cons:

  • Doesn’t perform as well in mud and sand compared to the DuraTrac
  • Lacks a treadwear warranty

Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Can be fitted with studs
  • Excels in tougher off-road conditions
  • Offers a smoother ride by minimizing road vibrations more effectively than the UltraTerrain

Cons:

  • Pricier option
  • Limited steering feedback

Which of the Two is a Better Option?

Both tires shine in their roles, but some scenarios tip the scale.

For those on the hunt for an all-terrain tire that’s both top-notch and wallet-friendly, the UltraTerrain stands out. With its lower price, you do give up a bit on the treadwear warranty and some off-road capabilities.

Meanwhile, if a solid warranty and stellar performance in mud and snow matter most to you, the DuraTrac is the way to go. It not only excels in rough conditions but also supports studs for an extra edge on ice.

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Lucas Liam

Hi, I'm Liam, the enthusiast behind Off Road Genius. With more than 10 years of conquering diverse terrains, my experience with Jeeps extends beyond the ordinary. I've mastered the intricate details of these off-road champions, pushing their capabilities to the limit. Through this platform, I share my profound knowledge and lessons learned from countless miles on the trail. I'm here to inspire, educate, and guide you through the thrilling world of Jeeps. So, buckle up for this adventure-filled ride!

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