Sampling Bridgestone’s next-gen Mud Terrain on a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
It’s been 15 years since Bridgestone launched its last entry in the Mud Terrain category, the Firestone Destination M/T, and although the product has served off-road enthusiasts well, it’s long overdue for a replacement. Enter the Destination M/T2, the company’s next-generation tire designed for maximum traction in challenging terrain.
With the substantial generation gap between the Destination M/T and its successor, the M/T2 features many improvements over the tire it replaces. An all-new tread compound is used, and the tread pattern features 20 percent more biting edges than its predecessor. The tread blocks still use Firestone’s “23-degree attack angles,” which the company says offer ideal traction—a discovery it made many years ago when designing tractor tires. The blocks now feature sipes for better wet performance and are studdable for use in the snow. The shoulder features stone and mud rejecters intended to keep out rocks and shed caked-on mud from the tread. The M/T2 also receives new tread lugs on the upper sidewall, giving the tire better grip in mud and a more aggressive look. Three-ply sidewalls make up the M/T2’s structure, which helps it to resist punctures and tears.
We were invited to Orange, Virginia, to test the Destination M/T2, and we came away impressed. Mounted on the provided Jeep Wrangler Rubicon test vehicle, the new tire enhanced that truck’s already rugged looks. The tires naturally improved off-road performance, as well. Even at the OEM-recommended tire pressures, the M/T2s showed good rock-crawling ability on a dry, boulder-strewn trail. Grip was just as good in a watery mud pit composed of different terrain types, including rocks and sticky Virginia clay. On a muddy slope, you could feel the lugs digging in and clawing their way up. An identical Jeep fitted with a competitor tire, the BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM2, needed more effort to get up that hill, and the tires didn’t seem as sure-footed on slippery rocks compared to the Firestones.
There was no on-road driving portion, so we didn’t get to evaluate road noise. Bridgestone product manager Justin Hayes says he expects noise level to be about the same as the old tire, but the tone should be different due to the different tread pattern. The Destination M/T2 is available in 29 sizes, including three 37-inch sizes, in fitments for 15- to 22-inch wheels. Firestone offers a 30-Day Buy & Try Guarantee, which allows buyers to purchase a set of tires and return them within 30 days if they’re not satisfied. The tires also come backed by Firestone’s Gold Pledge limited warranty, which covers U.S. buyers for up to three years from date of purchase.
Whether you’re a truck owner who wants extreme off-road performance or just want an extreme off-road look, the Firestone Destination M/T2 fits the bill. The M/T2 goes on sale beginning in July, though some sizes won’t be available at launch.