Anyone who is on the market for a set of replacement tires for your vehicle is bound to have specific needs and requirements for the tires you purchase. But, common factors that all car owners look for include safe handling, reliable traction and grip, solid performance on dry and wet (or even snowy) surfaces, ride quality and comfort, and finally, a long tread life.
One of the more popular options you’ll come across is the Nitto Crosstek 2, which is an all-season highway tire that promises good performance, decent read life, and overall quality and durability.
In this article, we’ll see if this tire model delivers on its promise when it comes to real-life situations.
A short review of the brand
This is one of Nitto Tires’ best-selling models. But, what do we really know about this brand?
Nitto Tires is a Japanese tire company that’s a subsidiary of Toyo. It began as a manufacturer of cheap performance tires, which is still what the brand is largely known for, but in the recent years, there seems to be a shift into tires for SUVs, crossovers, and trucks.
This is likely due to the fact that these types of vehicles have been constantly growing in popularity and demand, and as a by-product, the need for suitable replacement tires has been ever-increasing as well.
Nitto answered this call with the Nitto Crosstek 2, along with a few other tire models. This tire strives to be a performance tire, but for a cheap price. It manages to compete, too, seeing as it performs well alongside models from Cooper Tire, General Tire, Hankook, and Kumho.
Nitto Crosstek 2 key features
This highway all-season tire for SUVs and crossovers comes packed with must-have features to provide a safe and reliable driving experience with excellent handling on wet and dry surfaces. It also promises an improved ride quality with less noise and more winter traction.
The question is, does it deliver?
Among the many good things about this tire is its use of an advanced all-season tread compound to shape the tire for year-round use, meaning, it works in hot temperatures just as well as it does in freezing weather.
This compound is molded into asymmetrical tread patterns with a few familiar features, and with a goal of enhancing performance in wet conditions. So, you get excellent traction, strong braking, and safe handling all year round.
It’s quite surprising how comfortable this tire to drive. It feels plush on the road even when you go over potholes. It’s also not noisy at all at highway speeds, even with the bigger tire sizes.
This is all thanks to the tire’s tread pattern with circumferential grooves and dense wall serrations. This design allows for a significant reduction of pipe resonance noise, which means the Crosstek 2 is a lot quieter than many of its counterparts at the same price point.
It also performs exceedingly well for off-road driving, which is a unique capability seeing as it’s primarily a highway tire. It offers superb grip levels on hard packed surfaces such as gravel and dirt. It’s just not as usable with large rocks and muddy terrain.
That said, its tread compound is sturdy and durable, especially with its LT-metric models, so you don’t really have to worry about tread life.
We mentioned the wide grooves on the tire’s tread pattern earlier. These three circumferential grooves help increase hydroplaning resistance by effectively channeling water away from underneath the tire, which is especially important in heavy rain.
Now, while some other tire brands feature four grooves, the reason why this tire only has three is that it arguably works better in providing a contact patch and ensuring stronger power when it comes to heavy braking.
The Crosstek 2 may use usual visual indicators for treadwear, but it also implements a more advanced solution by enabling you to view into the tire’s tread depth and monitor alignment. These visible treadwear indicators are set across the tire’s tread pattern in six different positions, with a few in the shoulder ribs.
What this means is that you don’t only get to quickly notice how much tread you have left on each tire, but you’ll also be able to tell whether there are alignment issues in the case that the tire wears faster on one side. It also ensures that you rotate the tires regularly, which is important for road safety.
Keep in mind that the minimum tread depth on the Nitto Crosstek 2 for safe traction and braking on wet conditions is 2/32 inches, similar to other highway all-season tires.
Having said all that, the tire does come with a 50,000 to 60,000 mile treadwear warranty for H and V-Speed and S and T-Speed models, respectively. The LT-metric models also have a 50,000 mile warranty, which is great for the price.
As is typical of all-season tires, it offers great traction levels on dry pavement. It also offers superb highway stability, which is important for truck driving. Moreover, it’s also great when it comes to braking and cornering grip. It’s a responsive tire that works seamlessly with driver input while performing reliably and safely.
When it comes to wet traction, Nitto did try to implement various features to aid with the tire’s performance, and while the tire does do fairly well, it falls a bit short as compared to others in its category. Its traction, grip, and hydroplaning resistance show some weaknesses when driving on the tarmac, especially over water puddles.
Finally, on the subject of snow traction, the reality is that for most all-season tires, snow traction is nowhere near exceptional. The same goes for this tire. Traction is average in light snow, you have to deal with very long braking distances, and handling isn’t great either, so you need to pay constant attention.
Nitto Crosstek 2 overall performance
To sum things up, this tire is a highway all-season tire that is designed for larger vehicles such as mid-size SUVs, crossovers, and Class 1 or 2 light trucks. This Japanese manufactured tire comes in a variety of sizes with 16 to 22 inch tire diameters, with the bigger ones suitable for use on hauling on-board cargo and towing large trailers.
That said, if you own a light crossover and you don’t need to haul heavy cargo, you’ll likely be better off with a good quality touring tire that offers better handling on both dry and wet roads.
If you want a good budget option for an SUV or light truck replacement tire, the Nitto Crosstek 2 provides many advantageous features such as reliable control, enhanced traction, road noise reduction, and great overall ride quality.
It works best on dry roads, including bumpy surfaces, but it also does fine on wet pavement, and is usable on light snow and ice. It’s a great all-rounder that works well in both high and low temperatures of the summer and winter season.