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How are 4x4 / Off-Road tyres measured and Classified?

4x4 and Off-Road-tyres must meet the same standards as a normal tyre.

Tips & advice for car and suv tyres
4x4 tread in page

Therefore, the tread cannot fall below 1.6mm, otherwise they are not road legal. But how do you calculate the tyre diameter to ensure it is the right choice for your SUV?

To understand the rolling diameter of a tyre is relatively simple. Firstly, to get the sidewall, you simply take 75% of the width. This will give you the distance from the rim to the road. To find out the full tyre diameter, include the rim size. To make this easier for you, simply use our Michelin Tyre selector to receive a quick recommendation on the best tyre for your vehicle, in the correct size variant for your SUV in this case.

For design, you’ll have the choice of three different varieties:

  • Highway Terrain: This tyre is generally designed for 90% use on-road, with 10% off-road usage. You may think that these would be the most popular, but they’re in fact the second most popular, behind the All-Terrain tyre. They have a close tread design and compacted side wall which minimises the road noise and offers best traction on bitumen.

  • All-Terrain: This tyre, as mentioned above, is the most popular choice of 4x4 tyres. It’s generally designed as a 60% road and 40% off-road tyre. It’s a relatively strong tyre with aggressive tread patterns and rounded shoulders.

  • Mud Terrain: As you’d expect, this tyre is best suited to the special forces, electricity and water companies, farmers, and service vehicles, thanks to it being generally used 85% of the time off-road. Although these tyres are perfect for the toughest terrain, as they effectively dig in and help you propel forward, they do come at a higher cost to your fuel consumption.


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