While Firestone Destination AT2 tires still hold the crown as the brand’s best off-road AT model, fans still have high expectations for the Destination X/T model thanks to its streamlined designs and intricate groove placement. After strict performance testing, we will report our main findings in the detailed review below.
In this article:
Firestone Destination X/T Specifications & Features
|Tire Type||Off-Road All-Terrain|
|Tire Size||15″ – 20″|
|Weight||36.0 LBS – 62.0 LBS|
|Load Index||104 – 127|
|Load Range||C1 – E2|
|Speed Rating||– R: up to 106 mph|
– T: up to 118 mph
Firestone Destination X/T is tailored for Jeeps, SUVs, and pickup trucks (3/4-ton or above) who wish for utter confidence on every terrain regardless of weather conditions. The tire model aims to combine off-road civility, on-road manner, and excellent snow handling (3PMSF-labeled) through the following features:
- Formulated rubber compounds (symmetrically molded) feature interlocking sipes and deep elements for excellent longevity and stability in the tread design.
- Generous void ratio, open shoulders, and deep depths reduce hydroplaning while fostering good off-road grip.
- The strong off-shoulder design offers more edges on loose surfaces.
- Interlocking lugs and high lateral density strengthen the tire’s snow composure, aided by outboard wall ridges.
- 2-ply polyester casings and double steel belts (nylon reinforced) aid high-speed capability and durability.
Firestone Destination X/T Review & Performance Test Results
As part of the 2023 COR Wheels Tire Test, our team used the 265/70R17 tire size version of Firestone Destination X/T on the 2019 Ford F150 model across on- and off-road conditions.
1. Dry Performance: 8.8/10
Dry Traction: 9/10
Firestone Destination X/T was a star on regular roads. Its sturdy, stable 3D sipes and shoulders intertwined with each other so well that there was barely any room left for stuttering – hence the absolutely confident contact points just seconds into the ride.
We started straight at 50 MPH and experienced little to no drag, and the way Destination X/T veered around roadblocks with clean, decisive cuts also strengthened our Ford’s momentum to the highest level.
As such, our transitions to highways went on just as breezily, if not even better thanks to the excellent chemistry between the premium compound rubber and smooth asphalt. Destination X/T did not lose its footing even once (if it did, the temporary hiccups were barely noticeable), pulling to lane merge/departure entries breezily while still leaving enough margin for adventurous leans.
You will also have quite a blast through extended, tight-spaced crooks, judging by how our car retained almost unchanged composure after 20 minutes of navigating back-to-back toll plaza curves.
There was hardly any noticeable drawback, though we did wish this all-terrain tire recovered faster after our attempt to speed up straight to 80 MPH mid-way.
Corner Stability: 8.6/10
Although experienced drivers could have probably sensed some sharp edges missing, that did not stop Destination X/T from delivering a strong, reliable performance at tight hairpins and corner crooks. Thanks to the well-distributed support, the on-center rib hardly wavered despite our abrupt entries, remaining in a light, almost breezy manner while diving through the last exit points.
The tire’s performance through esses and zigzag switchbacks admittedly resulted in faster burnouts than expected. But you can rest assured: basic push-pull techniques should gear your car back into safe territories just fine.
Steering Response: 8.7/10
We loved that Firestone Destination X/T did not lose its constant communication with the road patterns, even with our most daring correction skids and J-turns.
Indeed, the grooves and contact patches stayed active and extremely aligned with our driving inputs, rarely getting delayed except for critical moments during hard downshifts. Burnouts could be spotted through long esses and zigzag curves (as mentioned above) but were not significant enough to damper the steering response; hence, you could be confident in a smooth, non-dangerous trip all through.
Higher speed ratings beyond 60 MPH did send the steering feedback into slightly shorter-interval stalls. Still, that was to be expected for almost any Firestone tire we tested – and could be mitigated to a certain extent using gentle pulls and punctual gear changes.
2. Wet Performance: 8.2/10
Wet Traction: 8.2/10
To our disappointment, the open shoulders did not retain as much confidence on wet surfaces as expected; right from the first few 40 MPH bites, stutters around the flanks already struck us very sharp. Deep water beyond 5 inches and thick puddles were clearly not meant for Destination X/T, evident in the violent shakes during slightly rougher roads and extreme panic around corners.
But on a much brighter note, this AT tire still suffices for excellent composure on lightly slippery surfaces, moderately flowing water, and thin drying puddles. Given consistent palm-to-palm veering, you should be able to inspire almost the same traction maintenance as regular driving situations, save for some faint protests through long chicanes and carousels.
Hydroplaning Resistance: 8.2/10
Again, Destination X/T reached its peak in shallow puddles and water. Hydroplaning was not completely off the bay but seemed to be rather well-controlled, maintaining quite a decent bond with the pavements to ensure our sipes and grooves could still punch through the thin water layers underneath.
Deepwater was where aquaplaning was in its full swing, forcing us to rev down to below 35 MPH. Reducing our passengers to 2-3 adults did not help much with the tire drag, so your best bet is to travel alone (or with only one partner at maximum) on flooded roads during heavy rainfalls.
3. Off-road Performance: 8.4/10
Dirt Traction: 8.8/10
Firestone Destination X/T handled off-road dirt with excellent composure, with its strong shoulders providing ample clawing actions to push our car through deep, sticky gravel roads. At slightly lower driving rates (35 to 40 MPH), we could feel an even sharper and more consistent road contact than on regular streets, which carried on through the last points of our ride instead of dwindling like some other rival off-road AT tires.
Hard-packed dirt did choke the tire a little, but the recovery speed was so impressive that we could easily let it slide. Even extremely tight corners are not that hard to carry out if you have the required physique to pull through the entry evenly; in fact, we had even managed to drive through several esses continuously while raising the bar to 65 MPH.
On another note, it seemed wet dirt was the tire’s weakest point; the combination of both hydroplaning and slippage made us struggle a bit through steep slopes.
Rock Traction: 8.5/10
Firestone included no stone-ejecting features for its Destination X/T model, so the slight stutters across thick rock terrains were only to be expected. Thankfully, the shoulders and grooves did a decent job compensating for that drawback, gripping the tire well through our abrupt directional changes and regaining its footing fast once we managed to push-pull the car through rougher textured patches.
On another note, you still have to exert caution around scree slopes; the mixture of gravel, dirt, and debris puts quite pressure on the tire’s rubber compounds.
Mud Traction: 8.3/10
Destination X/T definitely performed much better than some other Firestone off-road AT tires on muddy terrains. Aquaplaning and stutters were still present but kept within acceptable margins, leaving enough contact points for the tire to navigate and claw its way through deeper puddles. Understeering/oversteering recovery also took surprisingly little time, allowing you to breeze undramatically through wide corners and gentle curves at 40 to 45 MPH.
Deep pits seemed to be where this mud-terrain tire drew the line, though: our car literally had to wrestle to free the sidewalls off the sticky particles.
Sand Traction: 8.2/10
We experienced more or less the same upsides and downsides as with our mud tests – except that the soft, small sand particles were sometimes very difficult to redistribute due to the limited off-shoulder biting edges.
Fortunately, given that passengers and cargo are kept at an absolute minimum, the grooves will likely settle/familiarize themselves with the dune textures the longer you ride, resulting in more predictable/preventable hiccups.
4. Winter/Snow Performance: 7.9/10
Light Snow Traction: 8.7/10
We were pleased with how Destination X/T controlled itself on light snow. Its excellent clawing actions on off-road dirt repeated themselves here, boosted even stronger by the wall ridges and staggered shoulder lugs. Highway speeds still pushed our Ford into frequent lags, but you can trust the tire to deliver well at any rate below 55 MPH – even better when assisted by snow chains on melted snow.
Deep Snow Traction: 8.4/10
Traction reduction was clear on deeper snow compared to light snow – but again, so did most other tires. In fact, Destination X/T still managed to find its way to the market’s top ranks due to composed strong sidewalls, decent clawing, and impressively minimal slippage around tight corners.
And while extended esses and mountain passes were not exactly the tire’s best friends, you could help minimize the risks of panic chokes using snow chains (even just on two tires is enough).
Ice Traction: 6.7/10
Unfortunately, this strong off-road AT tire fell flat on ice roads: all the jostles and coughs seen in our snow tests were repeated here but ten times worse, unable to resolve themselves despite our gentle yet consistent steering pull.
Nevertheless, you can still manage short or moderate traveling distances (below 6 miles) with this tire, regardless of your driving habits. Indeed, thanks to the good lateral density, Destination X/T could still cope with cold temperatures for 15 to 30 minutes at a time (with rests/breaks in between).
5. Comfort: 8.2/10
Ride Quality: 8.3/10
The tire was impressively stable on regular streets and light gravel/mud. We rarely encountered significant bumps and jostles, save for tough, off-beaten paths with extremely inconsistent road depths.
Nevertheless, you should still brace yourself for a rather bumpy ride during wet and winter conditions – not to mention, its impact handling on icy roads was downright disastrous.
Some of our members were not entirely pleased with the continuous hums that carried into the rest of the ride (instead of dying down like other tires). But on a brighter note, they were usually pretty low-key, sometimes unhearable amidst the strong engine and wind noises. So if you are not too noise-sensitive, Destination X/T would do.
6. Treadwear and Durability: 8.5/10
The tire worked well in both cold and hot temperature extremes, trampling over sharp debris with absolute, intact confidence; thus, we were unsurprised it remained in shape after the conclusion of the test ride. Better yet, the competitive 50,000-mile warranty should settle all your worries for the first 4-5 years.
Firestone Destination X/T Pros & Cons
Excellent performance and tire traction on dry surfaces
Good cornering and steering response
Massive traction ability off-road (no metrics below 8)
Confident tires in snow/great snow vices
A comfortable tire with fairly smooth rides and only slight noises
Good treadwear rates
Great warranty (50,000 miles treadwear warranty)
Biting edge density on wet roads could have been better
Horrible level of performance and longitudinal traction on ice
Firestone Destination X/T Competitors & Alternatives
Firestone Destination X/T, Cooper Discoverer AT3 LT, General Grabber A/TX, and Toyo Open Country A/T III were put together in the same group in our test:
- Firestone Destination XT led the group with an excellent light snow grip. Unfortunately, its wet and ice traction did not quite live up to expectations.
- Cooper Discoverer AT3 produced much fewer tread noises than its competitors across all road terrains, but steering responses could have definitely received more refinement.
- General Grabber A/TX was wonderful in wet weather but fell a bit lackluster in snow.
- Toyo Open Country III delivered sharp yet very natural steering feels, though this is an unfortunate trade-off for loud road noises.
As seen in this Firestone Destination X/T tire review, it might not be an exceptional performer when each criterion is evaluated independently.
But when all metrics are put together, this road tire still impresses with confident traction that remains persistent across most on- and off-road applications/driving conditions (except for ice), totally deserving its title as one of the best off-road AT tires at an affordable price.
|Firestone Destination XT|
President & Automotive Expert at COR Wheels
Robert Herrera has been with COR Wheels for 17 years and has a great passion for the automotive industry. During his time at COR Wheels, he has driven and test-driven a variety of vehicles.