Wrangler MTR Review: Love it or Hate it!

Ever wonder why the Wrangler MTR produces such broad disagreement in user reviews?

If you read 100 reviews, about half will state that they love their Goodyear MT/R (Maximum Traction/Reinforced) tires, while the other half, say just the opposite!

Could this tire really be that good and that bad at the same time? Probably not, but there has to be some reasoning as to why the disagreement.

Wrangler Mtr

Below we’ll examine some of the possible reasons for such a wide swing in opinions.

Reviewing the Wrong Tire!

It appears that at least some of the disagreement is spawned by the fact that there are several different styles of wrangler tires. Some of the user reviews are talking about other Wrangler models and not the wrangler MTR, but mistakenly posting on an MT/R review site. This confuses the issue somewhat.

Improper tire management

That is not properly adjusting tire pressure for the current on/off road conditions or rotating and balancing on a regular basis. This could explain why some users get very high tire life and good off/on road performance, while others don’t.

Unreasonable expectations

The MT/R was designed to perform multiple tasks reasonably well, but not all of them perfectly, so it’s not sensible to expect one tire to be the best at everything.

Degree and type of Use

Let’s face it, if you live where there’s lots of ice, snow and wet pavement in the winter, this isn’t the best choice for a tire! Or say you live in the desert and mostly off road on sand dunes, probably not the best choice either.

If you mostly run the mud, there are better choices. Running common off road trails and rock crawling is another story, while not the absolute best, the Wrangler MT/R is close. Sure they’re a little noisy on the highway, but for all-around use, this tire is hard to beat!

Some Background on the Wrangler MT/R

The MT/R was designed in the 90’s to replace the then popular Wrangler MT. The Wrangler MT/R forms Goodyear's Durawall rubber into an aggressive symmetric tread design built to resist punctures.

The advanced tread design produces a wide foot print and longer life, more even wear and lower noise levels than the previous Wrangler MT. The tread design features independent lugs that reach well over the tire's shoulder and down the sidewall, giving this tire added traction from the side when needed.

The wrangler mtr internal structure includes twin steel belts on top of Goodyear's patented Durawall construction (the three body plies of high modulus polyester cord where the individual plies are laid so the cords cross each other instead of all running in the in the same direction.

Goodyear incorporates an advanced silica compound) that provides cut, tear and puncture resistance. The original wrangler MT/R was known to be a little weak in sticky mud, sharp rocks and ice.

Wrangler MTR Features

  • Tread Guards, to help resist cuts from stones.
  • Advanced Mud-Flow Geometry, to help provide self-cleaning and traction in mud.
  • Traction Blocks, to help provide additional biting edges on rocks, mud, dirt and sand.
  • A Three-Ply Sidewall, with opposing cord angles for enhanced side wall cut- and puncture-resistance.
  • Ramped Tread Blocks, for toughness in off-road driving.
  • Staggered Sidewall Shoulder Blocks, to help provide enhanced traction on rocks and in deep mud.
  • Durawall Rubber, a Goodyear exclusive, which offers rugged toughness and helps resist cuts and punctures in the sidewall.
  • Rim Protector, to help protect wheels from accidental curb-like damage.
  • Rim Lock, to help prevent wheel slip for minimal balancing throughout the life of the tire.

The New Wrangler MT/R Kevlar

The popular MT/R has been totally redesigned using advanced computer technology from Sandia Labs. It appears that the goal was to improve upon some of the original Wrangler MT/R’s weaknesses, while enhancing its strengths.

Goodyear states ™ Kevlar® reinforced sidewalls Provides at least 35%* more puncture resistance while wraparound tread Offers enhanced sidewall traction in deep mud, sand and rocks.

The wrangler MTR Kevlar has a Silica rubber tread compound molded into an imbalanced looking tread design that produces one side or half of the tread with one pattern while the other side has another. Both sides have shoulder blocks that are stepped in and out alternately which enhances self-cleaning in mud, snow and sand.


I’ve driven a lot on the original wrangler MTR and a just a little on the new Kevlar models.

Here’s my take, the standard wrangler MTR did fine during rock crawling and while running dry off road trails. They worked ok (not great) in the snow and weak in sand and mud and not too good on wet or icy pavement. I never had an off road flat, many people do though. Highway driving produces reasonable performance and some noise.

If you keep them rotated, balanced and drive reasonably, expect pretty good tire life and and on/off road performance.

What limited experience I’ve had with the Wrangler MTR. with Kevlar, has me convinced me to purchase a set for all-around use next time around. I do believe that Goodyear reached their goal in making and already good tire better. Final thought, they’re way too expensive!

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Featured Image Credit: www.whichcar.com.au

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