Nitto Tires Review and Buyer’s Guide

Nitto Tires Review and Buyer’s Guide

Nitto Tire is a company that’s woven its way into the hearts of people around the world. Nitto tires are commonly seen on sports cars, light trucks, luxury vehicles, and crossovers. Not all tires are made the way that Nitto tires are made, and it’s essential to understand how and why these tires are special. Through a long history of innovation and customer feedback, Nitto Tire has become one of the most well-known premium tire brands you can find. Today, we show you why.

The engineers at Nitto Tire are at the forefront of the company, and they’ve come a long way through innovation. Nitto tires are high-quality, efficient, safe, and provide superior durability and mileage at the track or on the way to work. The engineers at Nitto Tire value ingenuity, creativity, and, most of all, customer satisfaction. These are tires that are made by people who care about your driving experience, and it shows.

While other tire companies craft tires that simply do the job, Nitto Tire has a history of listening to automotive enthusiasts of all kinds. From high-performance racing vehicles to rally cars, Nitto has become a name that people know and respect. Regardless of where you’re going, Nitto tires can get you there.

If you’re curious about whether or not Nitto Tires are the right fit for you, read this review. We’ll be going over all of the design features and qualities that make Nitto Tires special. From the company’s rubber to its history, we’re going to go through how Nitto Tires became a brand that has earned recognition among the car community.

The History of Nitto Tires

To truly understand what makes Nitto tires special, we need to take a step back and peer into the company’s history. Unlike larger brands including Sumitomo, Bridgestone, and Goodyear, the story of Nitto Tires is an underdog story.

Back in 1949, the company was founded as a truck tire company in Japan. At its core, Nitto Tire produced tires for trucks and crossover vehicles within the Japanese market. Up until the 1970s, Nitto Tire saw success within this market and grew complacent.

The Japanese market was a strong automotive market, but the downside was that Nitto Tire was only manufacturing light truck tires. While the company maintained a strong footing in this market for decades, towards the end of the 1970’s Nitto Tire fell into financial turmoil.

Their failure to expand into western markets, along with their lack of diversity, led to financial decline. Nitto’s financial situation became so poor that by 1979, Nitto Tire was on the verge of bankruptcy. Nitto Tire was then acquired by Toyo Tires and began to branch out to other markets. Instead of placing their sole focus on trucks, tires were being produced for a wide array of cars, trucks, crossovers, and off-road vehicles.

Nitto Tires enjoyed prosperity during this era, thanks to support by its new parent company, and began to expand into western markets by 1993. The focus of Nitto Tires changed, as did the quality and performance of their product. Instead of making simple tires for everyday cars, Nitto Tire began to build high-performance tires for Japanese import cars within the United States.

The support of Toyo Tires’ manufacturing plants helped Nitto Tires thrive where they once failed. Better rubber and manufacturing capabilities allowed the company to refine the design of its product, enabling them to produce a broader range of tires. The freedom from financial burdens the company previously faced gave Nitto Tires time to develop its brand and become a staple in the eyes of car enthusiasts.

The move to western markets proved to be a great one, and Nitto tires quickly became a staple of the import car scene. Even popular United States movie franchises, like the Fast and the Furious, began to feature their tires. Things came together for Nitto Tires in the United States, and since the early 2000’s the company has been producing premium tires for most makes and models. Nitto tires have become so successful in the United States that they moved their headquarters to California and became recognized by Toyo Tires as an American company.

Nitto tires have come a long way since their creation, and the changes that the company has gone through have given their product character. When a company has to adapt to new markets, the consumer gets a better product. Nitto Tire doesn’t have a perfect past, but it’s their past that makes them great.

What Sets Nitto Tires Apart

When you think of car tires, at face value, it doesn’t seem like some brands are different. While all tires are made of rubber, different design choices help tires go from adequate to excellent. Not every brand can make a great premium tire, but Nitto tires are certainly one of them who can. Let’s take a look at what makes Nitto tires stand out from the competition.

Support from Toyo Tires

Nitto tires struggled, but once Toyo Tires acquired them, it breathed new life into the company. Toyo Tires is a successful Japanese company that builds high-quality performance tires within the Japanese market. Much like Nitto tires, Toyo tires are known for both quality and performance. So, when you buy Nitto tires, you’re getting years of research and innovation by two companies instead of one. Overall, Toyo Tires gave Nitto Tires the quality and trust they needed to build a relationship with their new American customer base.

Customer feedback

Nitto Tire began its life as a small company focused on responding to their customers, and they understand how important it is to have a relationship with the community. Even though the company was acquired by Toyo Tires, they remain this way. Compared to larger tire companies, Nitto Tire has been able to communicate and change their product based on the needs of consumers. With supply chain help from Japan, Nitto Tire had more time to focus on what people wanted. The final result is a high-quality tire shaped by the needs of car enthusiasts, rally-racers, luxury touring drivers, and off-road enthusiasts.

In fact, since Toyo Tires is their parent company, Nitto Tire has had plenty of time to remain focused on the niche markets that they thrive on. While larger companies can’t be bothered with customer feedback or appealing to specific niches, Nitto Tire has a unique advantage, thanks to being a smaller company. Nitto Tire now has six manufacturing plants around the world to fit their high demands, but while they’ve grown, they maintain the same level of focus on the individual.

Versatility

Nitto tires come in plenty of different shapes and sizes because the company knows how unique every individual’s driving experience is. Regardless of what vehicle you own, there is a good chance that you can find a set of Nitto tires that will get the job done. Nitto Tire knows that the needs of each vehicle on the road are different, which is why the company designs and builds specific tires for different cars and drivers. When it comes to sizes, Nitto tires are also diverse. While other tires companies focus on 17″ to 20″ tires, Nitto tires range from 15″ to well over 30″ depending on the tire.

Exceptional durability

The durability of a tire is one of the key factors in a tire’s success. Premature bruising or blowouts can lead to safety problems and frequent tire replacement that can quickly become expensive. Nitto Tire knows this and focuses on making tires that mitigate normal wear and tear to extend the lifespan of their tires.

Nitto tires are built with a powerful blend of performance and efficiency. Regardless of whether you’re looking at casual tires, off-road tires, or even high-performing tires, Nitto tires are built tough. The key element of their design is Nitto’s ability to harness rubber and polymer effectively to create well-rounded tires for all applications.

The reason that Nitto tires maintain strong durability is based on the fundamentals of their tire design. For example, Nitto tires are built with a spiral construction that helps the rubber stay strong while providing optimal levels of comfort. Nitto tires also have durable sidewalls that can stand up to the toughest terrain. Even when driving through rocks and gravel, the debris can be staved off, which increases the lifespan of your tires. With Nitto tires, there is no need to worry about premature bruising.

Warranty

Nitto tires have an extensive warranty. Nitto Tire knows that things can happen out on the road, and sometimes that’s not always your fault. For this reason, most Nitto tires are backed by a 50,000-mile warranty. Keep in mind that this warranty is their average tread warranty, and for select models, the mileage may vary. For most of their tires, if workmanship faults occur after 1/32″ of tread usage, Nitto will cover replacement free of charge, including installation. For others, if they at less than 25% worn, they will be covered up to 60 months from the purchase date.

Identity

Nitto Tire puts a lot of energy into creating high-performance tires in every niche. Other companies may attempt to please everyone, but this can lead to producing tires that fail in a few categories to please everyone.

Nitto Tire understands their identity, which is what allows them to produce high-quality tires within the racing and rally industries. The benefit of this approach is that the innovations in performance trickle down to their line of passenger tires. The impact of this is huge because it makes their passenger tires safe and durable.

Nitto Tires’ Design Features

Nitto Tire does right by its customers, and their company has an established vision molded by decades of research. Here is a look at how Nitto Tires are designed.

Premium rubber and polymer design

Nitto tires are crafted with the finest blend of rubber and polymer. The engineers at Nitto Tire have achieved this perfect blend through strict testing parameters along with trial and error. At each phase of tire creation, Nitto tires must meet the guidelines of their stringent testing parameters and metrics.

Every tire from Nitto Tire is quality tested against the elements, and each line of Nitto tires is tested for noise levels, traction ability, and cornering ability. These metrics are measured by computer systems designed to analyze each tire before it hits the shelves.

3D multi-waved sipes

The way a sipe helps a tire is simple. Sipes increase the surface area of the tread-block, which gives your car better traction when dealing with ice, snow, rain, and mud. Nitto tires have unique grooves and sipes in their tire tread, which helps you stick to the road. 3D multi-waved sipes keep your car from hydroplaning if you end up driving on slick pavement. The sipes also “lock” as your vehicle is coming to a stop, which adds additional stopping power to your car in harsh conditions.

These sipes can be found within Nitto Tire’s all-season tires, summer tires, and grappler tires. The sipes are created using 3D computer imaging to find the perfect places in tire tread to incorporate this gap.

Heat resistant racing compounds

If you’re looking to race on the street or at the track, you need your tires to hook. Failure to do so will cause your car to struggle off the line and may lead to injuries. Nitto Tire’s competition line of tires incorporates a signature racing compound that acts as a coating on the tire. The coating helps your car stick to the road when it’s time to launch, corner, or even drift.

While having a racing coating is standard for a lot of competitive tires, Nitto tires use a heat resistant compound. The heat resistant compound means that the coating will last longer on the car, giving the life of your tire a lifespan boost if you plan on burning some rubber.

Handling

Nitto tires are designed with racing in mind, and there are a few benefits to this. For competition usage, tires designed with racing sensibilities provide the handling that high-speed drivers need. The racing design then trickles down to passenger tires, as everyday drivers experience the same benefits. When you have tires engineered for racing at high-speed, it makes driving safer for everyone.

Nitto tires are designed with superior handling thanks to their asymmetric tread style. By using this style of tread, Nitto tires can stick to the road while making sharp turns. The strong center ribs provide enough tread and rubber to stand up to sessions of drifting, which also benefits drivers that may accidentally lose control of their vehicle. Knowing that your tires can hook again after sliding gives excellent peace of mind for competition drivers and passenger drivers.

The Types of Nitto Tires

What goes into producing Nitto tires is worth it because the result is four different lines of tires made specifically for each consumer. Here, we’ll show the four different types of Nitto tires and who they’re for.

Grappler tires

Nitto Tire creates a particular tire for light trucks and off-road vehicles. These tires are known as their “grappler” line of tires, and they come in sizes ranging from 17 inches to 24 inches. The grappler design is unique in that it utilizes a tread pattern that helps the driver transition from pavement to dirt with ease. Not only do the grappler style tires perform well off-road, but they make the experience as comfortable as possible regardless of the terrain you’re driving on. For anyone considering off-road driving, grappler tires will keep you safe and comfortable on your way to work and when you’re having fun in the mud.

Passenger tires

Passenger tires at Nitto Tire offer a wide range of different design features. You can find all-season tires, summer tires, and tires with stylish tread patterns that enhance the appearance of any car. Nitto Tire’s passenger tires range from 15 inches to 24 inches, and they can be found on both cars and SUVs. Nitto Tire’s passenger tires are suitable for the everyday consumer’s needs.

Passenger tires from Nitto Tire incorporate many of the design features seen in their off-road and competition lines. Nitto’s line of summer tires incorporates tread designed to hook properly on warm pavement, making them an excellent fit for high-performance sports cars. Passenger tires from Nitto Tire also have all-season options that incorporate structure designs from their off-road tire line. The benefit here is increased safety and grip in harsh conditions.

Competition tires

Nitto Tire excels with their competition line of tires. Their competition line of tires ranges from 14 inches to 20 inches, and specialize in creating a safe and efficient racing experience. At the track, competition Nitto tires benefit from well-engineered tread patterns that maximize traction. Regardless of whether you’re rounding corners or trying to best the quarter-mile, Nitto tires provide exceptional traction to help you do so. Not only are their competitive tires great for keeping your car glued to the road, but they also offer a comfortable ride. For casual track goers and competitive racers alike, Nitto’s competition tires are a great choice.

SXS

Nitto Tire’s SXS line of tires is a particular variation of their standard grappler tires. SXS tires are larger and designed to compensate for heavy off-road or rally usage. For example, SXS tires can be fitted on rim sizes well over 30 inches. For consumers with special off-road needs or wheel sizes, the SXS line of tires is what you need.

Recognition Within the Tire Industry

We’ve gone over a lot of what goes into making a Nitto tire special, but that’s only half of the story. The brand recognition in the automotive industry that Nitto Tires has achieved is in a league of its own, and they have the awards and ratings to back it up.

Off-road recognition

A team Nitto driver, Wayland Campbell, finished 3rd in the 2017 Ultra4 National Championship event. The Ultra4 National Championship event is an off-road rally race where drivers must test their vehicles against each other and the elements. Campbell won this championship with a set of Nitto Trail Grapplers that displayed superior grip and control on the off-road course. While Nitto Tire has been known as a competition brand, this win proved that Nitto tires have what it takes to compete in off-road markets.

International Citizens Award

The president of Nitto Tire, Tomo Mizutani, is a man that helped the company leap forward in the early 2000s. Profits for the company grew tripled, and through social media efforts, millions of people became fans of the popular tire company. Mizutani was able to increase the company while staying true to loyal car enthusiast supporters that the brand was built on, but he also gave back to the community.

Mizutani received the International Citizens Award through his award-winning video campaign that displayed the impressive work of Japanese-Americans from senators to former NFL athletes. Mizutani also supported popular Japanese organizations like the JASSC and Japanese American National Museum. For the museum, Mizutani went to great lengths to show his support by helping them create a multi-language docent app to guide people around. The impact that Mizunati had on the community helped Nitto Tire become a brand that people can trust and believe in.

Top-Selling Nitto Tires

While Nitto Tires are produced for a lot of different purposes, there are a few select tires that standout. Let’s take a look at some of the bestselling Nitto Tires:

Nitto Ridge Grappler

The Nitto Ridge Grappler is a tire that acts as a hybrid between off-road and all-season tires. The tread and grooves are deep, yet subtle, and they boast plenty of traction on the street or in the dirt. What makes the Nitto Ridge Grappler special is how smooth the transition is from pavement to off-road driving. The Nitto Ridge Grappler tire is comfortable and efficient for drivers looking for a little extra safety.

Nitto Dura Grappler

The Nitto Dura Grappler tire is an impressive tire that appeals to light truck owners that need to haul low to medium weights in their truck beds. For pickup trucks, these tires offer an increased load-bearing capacity that doesn’t sacrifice ride quality. For pickup trucks, Nitto Dura Grappler tires are ideal.

Nitto NT555 G2

The NT555 G2 tire appeals to car enthusiasts behind the wheel of sports coupes and sedans. These tires are crafted with a unique asymmetrical tread pattern that improves cornering, general handling, and hooking on the street or at the track. Regardless of the conditions, these tires are designed to keep your vehicle glued to the road, thanks to the high block rigidity that ensures your car puts its power to the ground without losing traction.

Nitto NT555 G2 tires also provide a race compound that’s not sensitive to wear from heat, meaning you can do a burnout before a race without having to worry about your tire losing efficiency if you decide to take a pass at the quarter-mile. The overall durability of these tires is impressive, and for people looking to push their car’s performance to the max, these tires are an excellent choice.

Nitto Motivo

The Motivo tire is an all-season tire that can work for most passenger drivers. The tire is made with a solid sidewall that boasts impressive resistance to debris that may come into contact with your vehicle during highway driving. For commuters, these tires are a great choice that displays how testing and quality assurance leads to a well-rounded tire suitable for any driving conditions. The Nitto Motivo tire also comes with a 60,000-mile warranty that covers all general wear and tear. For anyone who will be putting a lot of miles on their vehicle each year, Nitto Motivo tires are a great option.

A List of Nitto Tire Models

Nitto Tires has come a long way from producing simple truck tires. No matter what you drive, if you need a high-performance tire, Nitto Tires has you covered. There is a wide range of different tires for many different vehicles. Here is a list of what Nitto Tire has to offer:

High-Performance Summer

Nitto Invo
Nitto NT 555 Extreme Performance
Nitto NT 555 G2
Nitto NT05

High-Performance All-Season

Nitto Motivo
Nitto NT850 Plus
Nitto NT NeoGen ZR

Light Truck / SUV / Crossover

Nitto Dune Grappler DT
Nitto Dura Grappler
Nitto Exo Grappler AWT
Nitto Mud Grappler
Nitto NT 420S
Nitto NT 421Q
Nitto NT555 Extreme ZR
Nitto NT850 Plus CUV
Nitto Ridge Grappler
Nitto Terra Grappler AT
Nitto Terra Grappler G2
Nitto Trail Grappler M/T