Toyota RAV4 Original Tires Experience: Should You Replace or Keep Them?

If we talk about the TOYOTA RAV4 ORIGINAL TIRES, my experience as a first-time new car owner with a 2021 Toyota RAV4 LE FWD (purchased in October 2021) was a learning curve. I paid little attention to the factory-fitted Michelin tires, assuming they would perform well.

After a few days of driving, I noticed issues with proper traction, exacerbated by the front-wheel-drive configuration. Realizing the importance of having the right tires, I decided to swap out the originals for a new set. In this article, I’ll delve into the performance of the factory tires and share my experience with the replacement tires I chose, which, spoiler alert, were around the same price but delivered much better performance.

WHAT TIRES COME STANDARD

Toyota RAV4 Original Tires

When you drive off the lot with a brand-new Toyota RAV4, one of the first things you might notice is the tires hugging the road. But what kind of tires will your RAV4 be riding on? The answer may surprise you.

As a new RAV4 owner myself, I was curious about the stock tires on my 2021 LE FWD model. To my surprise, they were Michelin Primacy A/S tires. After contacting fellow RAV4 enthusiasts, I quickly realized that the tire options can vary widely, even during the same model year.

Based on the responses from RAV4 owners, here’s a breakdown of some of the different tires you might find on a new Toyota RAV4:

  • BF Goodrich K02
  • Dunlop Grandtrek
  • Falken WildPeak (typically on TRD and Woodland trims)
  • Firestone Destination
  • Goodyear Assurance
  • Kumho Road Venture
  • Michelin Defenders
  • Michelin Primacy A/S
  • Toyo Geolander
  • Toyo Open Country

This diverse range of tire options highlights the fact that the specific set of rubber your RAV4 will roll on can depend on factors like the dealership, trim level, and even regional preferences. While you can only pinpoint the exact tires once you take delivery, you can rest assured that your new RAV4 will likely come equipped with one of these reputable brands or a similar option suitable for the vehicle.

OVERALL PERFORMANCE OF RAV4 Original Tires

Even when the weather was nice and dry, the original tires on my Toyota RAV4 didn’t give me a strong sense of confidence while driving. Sure, they worked okay during good conditions, but there were still some concerning issues.

One problem I noticed was that the tires sometimes slip and lose traction starting from a complete stop on an uphill road. Even with no rain or snow, the tires struggled to grip the road properly when trying to get the car moving again on an incline.

Another issue was that driving at higher speeds sometimes felt like it could be more safe and stable, especially when going around turns or curves. The tires didn’t have enough grip, making the RAV4 feel wobbly or unsteady when spinning at higher velocities.

While these factory tires might have been good enough if I lived somewhere with hardly any bad weather, they still left me underwhelmed with their performance across all driving situations. Even in perfect, dry conditions, they didn’t inspire full confidence or make me feel in control and secure behind the wheel.

BAD WEATHER PERFORMANCE

Many tires can handle optimal conditions well; their true test lies in how they grip the road during inclement weather. The stock tires on my Toyota RAV4 failed to perform satisfactorily when the weather took a turn.

Being a front-wheel-drive vehicle, my RAV4 struggled with traction issues during rain. The tires often spin and lose grip when accelerating from a stop, especially on uphill roads. Despite not having all-wheel drive, the slippage was excessive and concerning.

The real challenge came with snow. Living in Pennsylvania, where heavy snowfall is not uncommon, I quickly realized the limitations of my factory tires. Shortly after purchasing my RAV4, a significant snowstorm hit the area, and there were multiple instances where I nearly slid off the road, even at very slow speeds. The tires couldn’t maintain a secure grip on the snow-covered roads, risking my safety.

HOW I GET RID OF MY ORIGINAL TIRES

Toyota RAV4 Original Tires

Deciding to upgrade from the original tires on your Toyota RAV4 is a smart move, but figuring out how to responsibly get rid of the old set can be a hassle. An easy solution can even put some cash back in your pocket: selling them on Facebook Marketplace.

After researching, listing my used tires on this popular online marketplace was the most convenient and efficient way. The process was straightforward – first, I installed my new tires, and then I created a listing for the old set on Facebook Marketplace.

Since the RAV4’s tire size is quite common, it took little time for potential buyers to express interest. The key was to include plenty of clear, detailed photos showcasing the tire tread and sidewalls so buyers could assess their condition accurately.

I periodically lowered the asking price to expedite the sale until someone finally took the bait. Before you knew it, those old tires were out of my garage, and some extra money was in my pocket – a win-win situation!

With the old tires out of the way, I could then focus on selecting the perfect new set to enhance my RAV4’s performance and handling.

REPLACEMENT TIRES

Toyota RAV4 Original Tires

After extensively researching replacement options for my Toyota RAV4’s original tires, I settled on the Falken Wildpeak A/T Trail tires. These more aggressive all-terrain tires, which Toyota equips on the RAV4’s TRD Off-Road and Woodland trims, offered a noticeable improvement in performance without compromising road noise or fuel economy.

The difference in grip and handling was evident right away, both in fair weather and inclement conditions. The RAV4 felt more confident and stable, especially when navigating turns. Throughout my testing in various challenging weather situations, from heavy rain to snow, these tires have repeatedly proven their mettle, providing reliable traction and peace of mind.

Conclusion

Upgrading the tires on your RAV4 can significantly enhance its performance and safety on the road. Although it is advisable to swap out the original tires for better ones, it may be more cost-effective to wait if you live in a climate with mild weather conditions. All-wheel drive (AWD) can further enhance traction and overall driving experience.

Investing in high-quality tires tailored to your specific driving needs will ensure a smoother and safer ride. Make the decision that best suits your driving habits and environment to optimize your vehicle’s capabilities.