Can silent and all terrain really go together in one sentence?
Late last year, Goodyear released a new all-terrain tire offering to the Philippines – the Wrangler AT SilentTrac.
Ironic, isn't it? The idea of marketing an all-terrain tire as silent is quite uncommon, if not dumbfounding. Goodyear further claims that their new tire was developed to meet three hallmarks in tire design and engineering: quiet ride, improved mileage, and all-terrain performance.
The Wranger A/T SilentTrac is positioned as an upgrade for your OEM highway tires (H/T). It has been designed for 70% on road and 30% off road use. This applies to most urban dwelling pickup or SUV users who use their vehicles mainly to get from home to work and maybe go on the occasional trip outdoors on weekends or holidays.
To make the tires smooth and quiet, it was designed with an Angled Traction Block and Continuous Shoulder Ribs to lower impact noise on the road. A thicker under tread absorbs vibrations from uneven and rough road surfaces.
To give it better mileage, a special silica tread compound provides better resistance against road abrasions. Less friction, means better efficiency. To improve load distribution and tire wear, Goodyear says the Wrangler A/T SilentTrac tires were designed with an tread pattern with an optimized cavity. Designers also increased the tire's wearable volume; meaning, you can use your tires for more kilometers until the time they need to be changed.
Goodyear has constructed this tire with what it calls a Durawall, a tougher sidewall that aims to resist cuts and punctures in off-road conditions. To provide it will optimum all-terrain traction, these solid centerline blocks should get you through moderately rough terrain. Finally, Goodyear says its robust tread compound made of a proprietary mix of silica and polymer was aimed to resist cuts and chipping when going through sharp rocks without compromising wet driving performance.
Let's put them to the test then.
We only started our evaluation after breaking-in the tires. Yes, you do need to break-in new tires through smooth and easy driving for a few hundred kilometers. This is done to wear off the lubricants and other substances used in manufacturing the tires.
Our initial impression on the road was that the SilentTrac was definitely true to its name. These tires are surprisingly silent. There’s also a lot less vibration on road imperfections, bumps, and even rumble strips. It’s almost as comfortable as a full-on H/T road tire.
During periods of heavy downpour during my evaluation, I was able to sample its wet performance. Aquaplaning was kept to a minimum for shallow puddles on the road. They still feel confident on the road even at speed. Do note, that you still need to drive with extra care when the road is wet.
The tires didn't feel heavy to drive with as well. Not that they lacked traction, either. I was still able to manuever the vehicle with ease even at a spirited pace.
Overall, they feel smoother to drive with than conventional all-terrain tires which have chunkier tread blocks. Sure, you lose the macho-look from the tires, but sometimes you're just looking forward to a smooth and quiet drive after a long day of work.
For the "all-terrain" part, we chose a slightly different trail from our usual route. We drove north east hoping to reach Mount Balagbag for a breath of clean and fresh air. Unfortunately, quarantine restrictions prevented such and we had to resort to the rocky and unpaved trails along the way to try out the toughness of these tires.
We were curious if it would also be quiet on dirt roads. On relatively even parts we tried to pick up the pace and it still drove through with tire noise subdued. Vibration was still kept to a minimum. I heard more noises from my suspension calling me to give it some TLC.
Out of the city, when roads are scarce, you can make your own roads. We tried to go through varying conditions we could drive on. The tires did not let us down; the set managed to take on the obstacles with ease and the tougher build gives you that extra layer of assurance that it can take you to your destination and back.
So that’s our take on the new Goodyear Wrangler A/T SilentTrac tires. They really deliver on their quiet all-terrain tire promise: smooth on road and confident enough off-road. For those who spend most of the week in the city and go out for quick adventures on a whim or on weekends, a set of these is definitely a good choice.
The Goodyear Wrangler A/T SilentTac comes in nine applications which will fit most original replacement sizes, or even aftermarket rims. They're available at Goodyear Autocare, Servitek, and TyrePro workshops nationwide.