Why Did Toyota Just Pick This Tire For 2016 Tacoma?
Last winter during New England’s Snowpocalypse I had the pleasure of testing a crossover on which all-season Firestone Destination LE2 tires had been installed. During my week with the vehicle, four feet (yes 4’) fell and went nowhere because the temperature never went above 30 degrees. The Jeep Cherokee I was testing was amazing in the snow on these tires. By comparison, I also had my own all-wheel drive Toyota Highlander wearing Bridgestone Blizzak snow tires. The Cherokee on all-season Firestones was better in the snow. Now many Toyota Tacoma owners will also have these tires on their 2016 model.
The Firestone Destination LE2 tires will be on Tacomas with tire size P245/70R16 (SR/SR5) and P265/65R17(TRD Sport). The TRD models will not have these tires, but rather the Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure with Kevlar. The Tacoma limited’s tires will be the Michelin LTX M/S in 265/60/18. Each trim gets tires that Toyota’s engineers find best suits the role of the truck.
What makes the Firestone Destination LE2 so good in snow? Two things mainly. First, the silica-enhanced compound. Second, the sipes. Sipes are the small zig-zag slices that you see in the image. Unlike most all-season tires, the Destination LE2 uses sipes on all the tread blocks. Many all-season designs use them only on the inner tread blocks. By using them across the tire’s footprint, Firestone gives the Destination LE2 an edge when turning in the white stuff. Sipes work two ways. They provide more surface area for snow to enter the tread. That gives the tire a way to dig in on each rotation. Also, snow-on-snow is a more grippy surface than rubber on snow. The idea is that the tire picks up and carries the snow making the tire adhere better to the snowy road.
Mike Martini, president, original equipment, U.S. and Canada Consumer Tire Sales Divisions, Bridgestone (Firestone) Americas Tire Operations commented on Toyota’s choice, saying "The all-new Toyota Tacoma is an adventure-seeking vehicle ready to work, making it the perfect vehicle to highlight the all-season performance of the Firestone Destination LE2 tire." Based on our testing, we can say that at last in snow the tire choice will be a good one for the Tacoma.