We Test Yokohama’s New Geolandar X-AT


We traveled to the Mojave Desert for a Mint 400-style meet and greet with Yokohama’s newest addition to the Geolandar lineup—the Geolandar X-AT. The tire fills the gap between the company’s current all-terrain tire, the Geolandar A/T G015, and its mud-terrain, the Geolandar M/T G003. Instead of spending all day hearing about the tires, we saddled up in a fleet of Ford Raptors and headed to the desert to play with the new rubber in the real world.

Curb appeal of the X-AT is twofold, meaning Yokohama gives you the choice between two sidewall patterns called “Summit” and “Mesa.” The time we spent getting the trucks to the trails gave us a peek into the tire’s performance on the street. Even though we didn’t expect any road noise, we still kept our ears pointed toward the pavement—and heard nothing but a whisper. Thankfully, that whisper quickly turned into the whine of sand and the sounds of softball-sized rocks clonking together as we detoured from the blacktop.

Our parade of Raptors was promptly aimed at a steep hillclimb littered with loose gravel, finishing on a jagged outcropping of solid rock at the rim. We were instructed to shift into 4-Lo and put the X-AT rubber to work. After piloting one truck up the climb, the Four Wheeler Tire Analysts exited the vehicle and observed as another truck navigated the rocky obstacle, looking for sidewall flex and chunking. We found none of the latter, and even at street pressure, the X-ATs appeared to have no issues digging into the substrate.

Even though the Geolandar X-ATs on our Raptor were inflated to 38 psi, we were impressed with the compliance of the sidewalls during the rocky crawling portion of the test.

As the desert trail traded gravel and rocks for undulating waves of sandy whoops, we watched to see if the tires lost traction and spun themselves downward without forward momentum, and we saw nothing of the sort. Instead, sand was flung from between the tread blocks and the trucks kept plowing through wet-packed and powder-dry sand.

Before heading back to the tarmac, we visited a site known to racers of the Mint 400 desert race and moviegoers alike—Jean Dry Lake. The lakebed has been home to scenes from some notable films such as The Hangover and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and it gave us an opportunity to throw the tires into some turns on the floury silt. Even when the lakebed surface was loose and uneven, the X-AT was predictable when changing direction with some momentum.

We inspected the tires after a day on the trails, looking for missing tread chunks, lingering punctures, and sidewall tears. The treads were now broken in but undamaged, and even though some of the sidewalls had kissed trailside obstacles, the three-ply design fended off any injuries to the tire. Our test was confined to desert conditions, but we look forward to fitting one of our test mules with the Yokohama Geolandar X-AT for some punishingly sludgy mud ruts, boulder-crawling extravaganzas, and jaunts through the snow.

Sidewalls are the real gem of the X-AT. Not only does each tire sport dual sidewall patterns (Summit on the left, Mesa on the right), the addition of Geo-Shield Technology means three sidewall plies, a high turn-up carcass, and a full nylon cap. This gets you thicker rubber farther up the tire, reducing chances of that sharpened spear of a branch or arrowhead of a trailside boulder breaching the X-AT’s sidewall.

Yokohama designed the shoulder blocks on the X-AT with variable lengths to eject mud and stones while creating more edges to chomp into the dirt. In the center of the tread pattern there are angular and offset blocks.

We tested the tires on a JL Wrangler and a Ford Raptor, but the Geolandar X-AT will be offered in 27 sizes, for 15- to 22-inch rim diameters, and it will be compatible with many popular Nissan, Ram, Toyota, GMC, Chevy, and Ford platforms. As of print time, three Geolandar X-AT sizes (37×12.50R22 LT, 35×12.50R22 LT, and 35×12.50R18 LT) will be offered in load range F.

Building an off-road tire is a balancing act between tread life, noise, and traction, and Yokohama is quite confident that its recipe will satisfy you in all three categories. The company’s 30-day trial and 45,000-mile limited treadwear warranty should inspire confidence in most enthusiasts.

 

Specifications (as tested)
Tire: Yokohama Geolandar X-AT
Size: LT285/70R17
Type: Radial all-terrain
Load range: E
Max load (lb. ): 3,195
Approved rim width (in): 7.5-9.0
Tread depth (in): 18/32
Overall width (in): 11.7
Tread width (in): 9.1
Overall diameter (in): 33.1
Maximum psi: 80
Weight (lb. ): 61.1
Warranty: 45,000-mile limited treadwear



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