Leave it to the manufacturers and their creativity to make hybrid tires that are claimed to be capable of tackling all kinds of terrain. Nitto has joined the trend, now coming up with Nitto Ridge Grappler and Nitto Terra Grappler G2. Confused between these tires? Read the comparison between Nitto Ridge Grappler vs Terra Grappler G2 below to decide!
Continue reading below to learn further about:
- The terrain types that each tire is designed for
- The design and construction quality of each tire
- The driving comfort of Nitto Ridge Grappler vs Terra Grappler G2
- The performance comparison on different terrains
- Which Nitto all-terrain tire that is generally more recommended
Nitto Ridge Grappler: Overview
Nitto Ridge Grappler is one of the latest products from the company, designed for off-road trucks and SUVs. It has joined the company’s range of Grappler tires, alongside the Mud Grappler, Trail Grappler, Dune Grappler, Terra Grappler, and Exo Grappler (also take a look: BFG AT KO2 vs Nitto Terra Grappler G2). So, what does Nitto Ridge Grappler offer to make it different from its siblings?
The claim that this tire puts forward is definitely a bold one. Nitto Ridge Grappler. promises a hybrid tire with the best qualities of an all-terrain and a mud tire. It is said to be able to provide excellent traction when running on the trail, yet still quiet and comfortable on the road. Drivers who spend some time on the highway but still need to do off-road rides quite frequently may find this tire very attractive.
Offering the best qualities of all-terrain and mud-terrain is a very smart and innovative move. This is further supported by what the company calls as a revolutionary dynamic hybrid tread pattern, aggressive sidewall lugs, and deep voids. But, is Nitto Ridge Grappler actually as great as it sounds? Let’s inspect the construction and put it to the test.
Nitto Ridge Grappler: Design and Construction
Put Nitto Ridge Grappler vs Terra Grappler G2 side by side, and you will see how they somehow look similar to each other. They both have big tread elements, deep voids, and lots of siping. That said, they are still two different tires, with Nitto Ridge Grappler having a more aggressive design than Nitto Terra Grappler G2.
Traditionally, an all-terrain tire is your jack of all trades to perform in various conditions, though it won’t be the best in any. Meanwhile, mud-terrain tires are tougher and more aggressive, designed for difficult off-road areas such as mud, sand, and rocks.
Clearly, this is a hybrid between all-terrain and mud-terrain. Nitto Ridge Grappler is more aggressive than all-terrain, but not as blocky and rugged as mud-terrain.
This tire features a tread pattern with deep voids in order to provide the necessary traction in off-road terrains. However, the company has also implemented a variable pitch design with alternating shoulder grooves in a zig-zag pattern to reduce road noise. You can also find alternating tapered edges here which will be beneficial for increasing the grip on the trail. Stone ejectors are put between the deep voids to prevent rocks from sticking.
An optional F-load rated version of the tire is available, suitable for trucks that need to carry heavy loads. For this, the tread blocks are reinforced at the foundation to increase rigidity and reduce unwanted flex.
Sidewall protection is essential for tackling real off-road terrains. So, Nitto Ridge Grappler comes with a wrap-around sidewall design, which features extended side blocks that reach deep into the sidewall. Besides for increasing traction, the extended side blocks also help shield the sidewall from sharp rocks.
Nitto Ridge Grappler: In Use
In terms of performance, there are considerable differences between Nitto Ridge Grappler vs Terra Grappler G2. Generally speaking, Nitto Ridge Grappler is indeed a little bit louder when running on the highway, which is totally understandable. That said, the overall performance is still considered quiet and comfortable – it is worth saying that Nitto Ridge Grappler is still quieter than many all-terrain tires.
Without doubt, on-road driving with Nitto Ridge Grappler is more enjoyable than with traditional mud-terrain tires. Some road noise still exists, but still within a civilized range. In dry and wet road conditions, the tire consistently delivers smooth and confident ride. Never the tire feels lacking or unsafe on the pavement.
Still, Nitto Ridge Grappler mainly belongs to the off-road world. It totally feels great on sand, dirt, and rocks. When driving through the desert, the tire feels confident. Softer terrains like sand and mud won’t pose a problem, as the deep voids will allow the tire to dig in and deliver great traction. Scaling over hard-packed trails is almost a breeze, as the tire always has the needed traction without ever spinning to get a good grip.
Nitto Terra Grappler G2: Overview
As mentioned above, many new products now fall in the broad all-terrain category. However, there are now several different sub-categories. There are real all-terrain tires, and there are mud-terrain tires. Then, there are those hybrid tires like Nitto Ridge Grappler vs Terra Grappler G2 that blur the distinction between the types.
But the all-terrain classification of Nitto Terra Grappler G2 is certainly a fitting one. It is actually closer to a traditional all-terrain tire, designed to be able to perform on many different surfaces. It doesn’t specifically master a particular type of terrain, but the performance is good enough as long as the terrain is not too extreme. All while having great on-road performance.
Nitto Terra Grappler G2 is actually the second generation of the company’s first product in the category: Nitto Terra Grappler. The predecessor was a huge success. It made its way to a wide range of trucks and SUVs, and even set a standard for other all-terrain tires to follow. However, it’s been several years. Aptly, Nitto Terra Grappler G2 comes with new features and technologies in order to be relevant in today’s competition.
Nitto Terra Grappler G2 is aimed to trucks and SUVs that drive mostly on the highway, but still need decent off-road performance. The company has clearly stated that this is not their most aggressive tire. So, if you need intensive off-road performance, this tire is not for you. But, if you don’t need to go over very harsh terrains, this tire can still do the job.
Nitto Terra Grappler G2: Design and Construction
Nitto Terra Grappler G2 comes with a new tread compound that offers great versatility and at the same time increasing the tread life itself. The new tread compound supposedly has great traction to perform on wet roads, light mud, and snow.
You can find full-depth siping on the tread. Since the siping slits fully into the tread blocks, the tire can have increased traction, improved tread flex, and better wear resistance. Furthermore, the coupling joints are reinforced to promote the overall rigidity and shape integrity. The tire also has staggered shoulder lugs for more biting edges for off-road driving. The sidewall is relatively more aggressive than its predecessor.
That said, the rubber that extends from the lugs to the sidewall isn’t much. While the Ridge Grappler comes with thick sidewall protection, the Terra Grappler G2 is kind of lacking. This difference shows that the Terra Grappler G2 is not meant for very harsh terrains.
Nevertheless, the tread pattern of Nitto Terra Grappler G2 has been computer-analyzed to determine the best arrangement for the lowest road noise possible. Apparently, the engineers ran a painstaking number of simulations with different designs while gradually changing the metrics to perfect the tread pattern. As a result, you get an all-terrain tire that is truly smooth and quiet on the highway.
Nitto Terra Grappler G2: In Use
If you mostly drive on the road, you will fall in love with Nitto Terra Grappler G2. This tire performs impressively well on the road at any speed. When starting your vehicle and getting it to move, the tire rolls easily without resistance. At high speeds, the tire remains stable, quiet, and very comfortable.
The road noise is really, really low for an all-terrain tire. Compared to the Ridge Grappler, the Terra Grappler G2 is definitely more silent and more comfortable. Although not completely silent, you won’t be constantly reminded that you are driving on all-terrain tires.
The steering is consistent and predictable. You can hit sharp turns comfortably, even under rain. The tire seems to resist hydroplaning very well. It always feels safe on wet roads. The performance on snow and ice is pretty good and usable, though some other tires perform better in such conditions.
For off-road driving, Nitto Terra Grappler G2 is quite limited. It is mostly for driving through forest roads that are reasonably maintained. Light mud won’t be an issue. However, this tire is not for serious trails. It won’t be able to withstand sharp rocks and heavy impacts.
Nitto Ridge Grappler vs Terra Grappler G2
|Nitto Ridge Grappler||Terra Grappler G2|
|- More aggressive tread pattern||- Pretty aggressive tread pattern|
|- Thick sidewall protection||- Thin sidewall protection|
|- Relatively louder road noise||- Very low road noise, great on-road performance|
|- Excellent off-road performance||- Pretty good off-road performance|
|- Recommended for on-road and frequent off-road driving||- Recommended for paved roads and maintained forest roads|
Indeed, these tires are designed for different needs. But Nitto Ridge Grappler is generally more recommended. It is tougher, and it can handle real off-road terrains really well. The on-road performance is still good. On the other hand, Nitto Terra Grappler G2 is mostly for paved roads and maintained forest roads.