Toyo Open Country AT III is among the few off-road models from this brand that could truly compete with higher-end products. While it is not aggressive enough to outperform a max traction tire, the well-built sidewalls and advances in tread design have earned it a solid reputation as one of the most quality models in the class.
This off-road AT tire has been chosen as part of our collective COR Wheels tire test, whose findings will be revealed in the review below.
In this article:
Toyo Open Country A/T III Specifications & Features
- Specialized cut-resistant compound molded into symmetric tread patterns; these modeling technologies aim to distribute the tread void area evenly and boost block rigidity
- 3D multi-wave sipes (three dimensions) and lateral, horizontal grooves that increase hydroplaning resistance and wet/snow traction (granted a 3PMSF symbol)
- Two sidewall designs on two sides for all flotation sizes, one with wraparound shoulder designs and the other with accent lines that divide the block areas; both enhance exceptional stability and aesthetic charms
- 2-ply sidewall polyester casings with nylon reinforcement and capable steel belts, improving higher-speed handling and durability
Toyo Open Country A/T III Review & Performance Test Result
1. Dry Performance: 9/10
Dry Traction Capability: 9.2/10
The grip on dry pavements was instant and felt pronounced the very moment our Ford started turning, delivering a self-assured, confident foothold that kept us on track from beginning to end.
After 30 minutes of uneventful 30 MPH travels with barely-there stutters and jostles, we decided to rev up our Ford to 60 MPH. Things remained smooth and composed, with only a bit of jittering at the very edges of the tires that neither felt threatened nor disruptive.
Handling highway curves was surprisingly even smoother than straight-line driving; we liked how the brief traction loss was quickly refilled at entries and carried on undisturbed.
If there was truly one thing to complain about, it was the slightly over-aggressive feedback when merging lanes. While this bold confidence seemed fitting for highway endeavors, it landed oddly off-note for daily driving and threw some of us off-guard.
Corner Stability: 8.9/10
Thanks to the symmetric, special rubber compound and center section lugs, our Ford enjoyed decent cornering stability. Toyo’s block rigidity proved practical at narrow-angled corners and kept the car neatly on track with its unwavering interlocked center.
The vague, unsettling feel whenever the tire tipped over new turns was barely presented here, giving us significantly more riding confidence.
Still, a few experiments with off-camber bends and blind curves did showcase a minor lack of tire flexibility. Some sidewall parts admittedly buffed out more rigidly than needed, causing a slight drag at the back. The more we accelerated, the more obvious it grew, hence our decision to stay in the middle area of 40-45 MPH.
Steering Response: 8.9/10
Below 50 MPH, the reliable steering response was great. It acted promptly and immediately upon new handling inputs, seemingly adapting fast to road pavements and even the way the steering wheel turned at predictable strikes. We could even experiment with constant push-and-pull steering during back-to-back switchbacks and did not observe any fatigue signal.
From 50 MPH onwards, we could not help but feel like sometimes it wandered, even on straight-line driving. There seemed like an extra margin sticking out in the time gap between input and response – and while that was not dangerous, our team felt discouraged to try wilder twists at higher speeds.
2. Wet Performance: 8.7/10
Wet Traction: 8.7/10
Our experiments with water below 6 inches rarely saw the Open Country III lose its composure. Jostles and hiccups were only to be expected in wet conditions, but that did not throw Toyo tires into panic reactions or stalls like the way it treated some other models. The Ford F150 marched forward surely and confidently at 40-55 MPH (with gradual accelerations) and could even tolerate 60 MPH when the traffic was less intense.
Struggles became a bit more worrying when we entered deep, 8-inches stagnant water. The 3D multi-wave sipes worked well with less liquid volume but seemed to let the water get the upper hand here, going down with temporary stalls more than once in just 2-3 miles.
The stopping distance from 50 MPH was not impressive but still superior than most of our contenders, requiring about 180 feet.
Hydroplaning Resistance: 8.7/10
Hydroplaning was not an issue most of the time. At regular driving speed (40 to 55 MPH, sometimes grazing 60), the lateral grooves and sipes did a great combined job to channel and redirect water and thin mud off the compact tread blocks.
Except for slight shudders that occurred mostly due to cold temperatures rather than actual water invasion, Toyo Open Country AT3 did not suffer from the common weighted drag often seen in tires with lower hydroplaning-resistance design.
There was admittedly room for improvement at hairpin corners or water from 11 inches onwards. The high-wall angles were sufficient for more favorable conditions or wider steering arcs. As such, our car felt quite heavy navigating around curves and resulted in lackluster speed changes.
3. Off Road Performance: 8.7/10
Dirt Traction: 9.1/10
Toyo’s performance on off-road dirt was definitely among the best of its kind, plowing surprisingly well with its robust shoulder lugs. A bit of steering force ground down the tires better than they already were – a perfect cue for us to accelerate fast from the 40-MPH starting point.
And the experiment did not disappoint: even at 65 MPH, the worst we observed was just side-to-side jostles, which annoyed our members from the passenger seats but did not really hurt the ride.
However, like how the sipes had been struggling with thick rainwater, the same problem reoccurred with dense and sharp debris.
Sand Traction: 8.7/10
Given the ample void area tailored for loose ground traction, we were not surprised by Open Country’s capability to handle sand terrains. Hot, sticky sand could hardly linger due to the lack of anchoring points, sliding off just as fast as how they entered the grooves. We traveled at 55 MPH with a peace of mind and could even go down to 30 MPH within short notice when facing sudden roadblocks.
Thick, wet sand was a slightly different story, by the way. They were compact and much more stubborn, managing to trick their way into deeper sipes despite our best effort in push-and-pull steering. Constant changes back and forth between 40 and 45 MPH did choke the sand out faster, but doing that for 2+ hours was very exhausting.
Rock Traction: 8.7/10
The tire rolled over imperfections and rough patches with surprising subtlety rarely seen on off-road terrains, and could remove stones from grooves as conveniently at 40 MPH as at 65.
Curves and corners, however, were their biggest weaknesses. The same composure on straight-line driving lost most of its edges here, causing the Ford to hesitate more often than we would have liked.
To keep unwanted surprises at bay, we had to pay attention all the time on the road to spot corners before actually getting there, giving the tire more prep time.
Mud Traction: 8.5/10
While Toyo’s performance as a mud-terrain tire was decent enough to even graze the “good” area, it was far from delivering a truly comfortable experience. Even at driving speed as low as 30 MPH, breezing through thick soil and water without coughs and hiccups already seemed like a challenge, and the sticky feel we had experienced on sand terrains seemed to get even worse here.
In compensation, despite constant jitters, our mud tire remained within safe territories most of the time. Given consistent hand-on-hand steering, we rarely had to worry about it going out of line or sending us into serious slippage.
4. Snow/Winter Performance: 8.6/10
Light Snow Traction: 8.9/10
The snow’s cold temperature caused the tire edges to freeze, but other than that, our rides were smooth and breezy as if traveling on winter-rated tires.
Back-and-forth accelerations and decelerations did not pose any real issues, allowing us to take more experimental turns, change lanes, or even sweep 180 degrees with boosted confidence. The only major downside was the significantly muted drawback during long-hour rides – though that could be easily fixed with a quick pull-over every 45 minutes.
Deep Snow Traction: 8.7/10
More than 12 inches of powdery snow and 4 inches of a hard-packed blanket caused more delays than light snow, but that was to be expected. In compensation, the grip did not seem to change much on more texture-consistent patches, delivering the same confidence and breezy feel we had observed in our light-snow test earlier.
Revving to 60 MPH or down to 40 MPH was a non-issue, though we did have to control our steering arcs when diving into corners. The steering response grew slightly less immediate here due to higher speeds and cold temperatures combined, causing brief stutters of 3-4 seconds.
Ice Performance: 8.1/10
It was a significant yet understandable decrease from snow traction, considering the ice’s slippery nature. We tried to rev up to 45 MPH, but the back-to-back skids sent us back to 30-35 MPH almost immediately. The lack of decent traction and steering connection also felt more obvious here, which could have caused serious collisions if we did not pay attention.
Still, compared to a wide range of competitors in the tire industry, Toyo ranked second in terms of traction on ice thanks to the improved stability on straight-line driving. Though accidents were not completely off the hook, we felt much safer driving on Toyo’s sturdy, wrapped sidewalls than on other average tires.
5. Comfort: 8.4/10
Ride Quality: 8.6/10
None of our team members had any serious complaints about Open Country’s ride quality. Sure, its off-road qualities delivered occasional overreactions on regular streets, but that was a small trade-off for the tire’s decent handlings of imperfections and thicker patches. Guaranteed no serious roadblocks, we could travel uneventfully on most regular speed ratings, even 60 MPH.
Noise level: 8.1/10
Unfortunately, the way this vocal tire tackled noises was not as smooth as how it ground over road bumps. The deep tread only stayed quiet on wet or light snow terrains, and screeched horribly in most others. Worse, due to its frustrating unpredictability, neither acceleration nor deceleration could truly help us with this noisy tire.
6. Treadwear Life and Durability: 8.6/10
Maximum wear life seemed not half-bad on this durable tire. Freezes and stalls did happen during wet or harsh winter conditions, but in compensation, this versatile tire seemed to do well with summer temperatures. Overreactions under extreme heat rarely occurred, keeping the reliable tire mostly intact from irregular wear by the conclusion of our test.
7. Toyo Open Country AT3 Test Result Highlights
- 2023 All-Terrain Tires Test: Ranked 4th out of 10 tires
- 2023 Off Road Tires Test: Ranked 4th out of 10 tires
- 2023 All Terrain Tires for Snow Test: Ranked 4th out of 10 tires
- 2023 Mud Terrain Tires Test: Ranked 6th out of 10 tires
- Top All Terrain Tires Choice For Chevy Silverado 1500, Toyota 4Runner, Jeep Grand Cherokee…
Toyo Open Country AT3 Pros and Cons
Advanced tread design with multi-wave sipes and aggressive sidewalls (with diverse options)
Excellent traction and dry on-road grip with smooth cornering
Good wet-road grip ability, ensuring a safe ride in severe conditions
Handle off-road traction and tire pressure on snowy conditions well
Fairly comfortable ride/smooth ride
Satisfying tread life with good miles treadwear warranty
Still lacking for icy grounds and hard-packed snow
Occasional hydroplaning in wet-road conditions
Not a quiet ride; lots of unpredictable road noises
Slower steering response at speed higher than 65 MPH
Competitors and Alternative
- Toyo Open Country AT3 offered the sportiest steering (in this group) that retained its biting edges well in winter conditions. Still, hydroplaning resistance could have received more support.
- Falken A/T3W produced very little noise, even on snow. However, the lateral traction on a wide range of terrains felt a bit below expectations.
- Mickey Thompson delivered a smooth riding quality and better snow performance, but its tread noise could get borderline annoying.
There was little doubt about the off-road capability during our Toyo Open Country A/T III tire review. Their excellent performance always stayed safely within our top 4, and even one of the weakest points (ice traction) still fared miles better than most competitors on the tire market.
Drivers of full-size vehicles could consider Toyo Open Country AT3 a trustable option on most off-road and on-road paths but will sacrifice some road noise as well as ice and snow traction. It is within a reasonable price range, too.
Be more cautious at tight corners or beyond-65-MPH accelerations, though. Despite how it looked, this heavy all-terrain tire was still not aggressive enough to tackle such driving habits without pronounced stumbles.
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.