white honda crv 2014 with bfg ko2 offroad tires and a lift kit

Yes, You Can Put Off-Road Tires On Your CRV

(And it actually looks pretty cool)

The Honda CRV has established itself as a reliable and stylish option for people who need a car that can do it all. Beach trips, forest roads, city driving, and snow are all a cake walk for the Japanese crossover SUV. With all wheel drive and plenty of cargo space, people find themselves taking their CRV on camping trips and other outings that require mild off-road driving. The best thing a person can do to upgrade their CRV is to add a good set of all-terrain tires. The added grip gives drivers the ability to fully utilize Honda’s fantastic AWD system.

Since most off-road tires are purchased by people installing them on trucks and 4×4’s it can be daunting to find the right set for your CRV. However, we’ve found a few really good options that come in sizes that will fit most Honda CRV’s.

Selecting The Right Tire Size

If you plan on keeping your stock wheels, you will need to choose a tire that will fit on your 17, 18, or 19 inch wheels. We usually recommend sizing down to a smaller wheel so that you can gain more sidewall. Having more meat on your tire helps minimize bumps and gives room for sidewall flex. It also allows you to air down your tires without risking a blowout. It’s important to note that older CRV’s may have wheels as small as 15 or 16 inches. If this is the case, sticking with your stock wheel size is most likely just fine.

When sizing down, we suggest using a “rally style” wheel. They are strong, have plenty of barrel clearance, and typically offer ample protection against debris going into your brake components. Brands like Motegi, Method, and Black Rhino are just a few of the reputable options available.

One additional advantage to sizing down wheels is the price. Even though there is physically more tire, smaller rim size tires usually cost less than a tire of the same overall diameter.

The most common stock sizes for current CRV’s are 235/65R17, 235/60R18, and 235/55R19. Each of these stock tires have an overall diameter of about 29.1 inches. If you plan to install a slightly bigger tire, staying under 30 inches is the safest bet. Unless you take specific measurements or have the ability to test fit a specific set of wheels, we also don’t recommend going smaller than 17 inch wheels on newer CRV’s. This will help avoid any brake caliper contact. On 2016 CRV’s and older, there should be no issue fitting a 16 and possibly even a 15 inch rally wheel but please take measurements before doing so.

Common larger off-road tire sizes for Honda CRV’s:

  • For 17 inch wheels, the most hassle-free size to upgrade to is 245/65R17. From most brands, this tire has an overall diameter about 29.6 inches. The 245/65R17 is what we would run on a CRV for off-road use. It gives enough sidewall for trail usage without being too heavy.
  • If you plan to run 18 inch wheels and want to gain a little size, the 235/65R18 is a great option. It measures out right at around 30 inches and maintains stock width.
  • When running 19 inch wheels and looking for a small increase in size, 245/55R19 comes in at 29.7 inches and will provide a little extra capability on forest roads.

How To Choose Between All-Terrain and Mud-Terrain Tires For Your CRV

Mud-terrain (MT) and All-terrain (AT) are the two most common types of off-road tires that you may want to choose from. While both are capable of handling many types of terrain, the former is more aggressive and can provide better grip in certain situations. Situations like thick mud and slippery rocks are easily tackled with an MT. On the other hand, MT’s are louder and wear out faster on the pavement. We recommend MT’s only for people who plan to do significantly more trail hours than pavement hours.

On the other hand, we have AT tires. Although all-terrain tires can handle mild off-road obstacles, they’re more capable of providing a smooth ride and are quieter than mud tires. This is the most commonly used off-road tire for CRV owners. It allows for great trail performance without sacrificing too much pavement comfort.

One important thing to note is that not all AT’s are built the same. Their aggressiveness can vary depending on the brand and model. For instance, the General Grabber ATX and BFGoodrich KO2 are both referred to as all-terrains, but they’r both far more aggressive than the Falken Wildpeak AT Trail which is also a common all-terrain. Researching each tire prior to purchasing will help ensure that you get exactly what you need.

We have used a simple formula when choosing between all-terrain and mud-terrain tires. If you plan to use your CRV 20-40% of the time off-road, we suggest an all-terrain tire. If you are planning anything below 20%, feel free to use your own preference to decide between sticking to an all-season or jumping into an all-terrain tire. If you’re going to drive it 50% or more on trails, then we recommend a mud-terrain. This is an arbitrary formula that we’ve used for ourselves and it can be altered to best fit your personal preference. But it’s a great place to start. If you spend more than 50% of your time off-road but the trails are mild, you can get away with an AT no problem. Again, it’s just a formula that we use for a starting point. You can use your best judgement as you select your off-road tires.

Avoid Heavy Tires

When it comes to choosing the right tires for your vehicle, one of the most important factors that you should consider is the unsprung weight. This refers to the weight that’s not supported by the vehicle’s suspension (things such as wheels and tires.) If your vehicle’s wheels and tires overall weight go up even a little, the effects of the weight will be felt at a higher rate than just a 1 to 1 ratio. According to some people, the extra weight that comes from installing a heavier wheel or tire is equivalent to 4 pounds of static weight in the vehicle. This means that by doing so, you could potentially reduce your acceleration and MPG by up to 20%. If you’re planning on upgrading tires for the trails, it’s best to consider the lightest options that will still get the job done.

When it comes to choosing a new set of tires for your CRV, we also recommend sticking with P-metric options instead of LT when possible. Light truck (LT) tires are typically heavier duty and can handle towing and other heavy loads. However, with our cars they aren’t necessary and can bog down your drivetrain. Also, sticking with a P-metric tire will usually allow you to save money.

Some tires may only be available in either P or LT ratings in certain sizes. But some will be available in both. The Falken Wildpeak AT3W is a great example of an all-terrain tire that is available in both LT and P-metric ratings. When compared side by side in 265/65R18, this tire weighs 56lbs in the LT version but only 44lbs in the P-metric option. Not only is it lighter, but it costs roughly $144 less per set. If you’re upgrading your Crosstrek’s tires, we recommend finding the lightest option that will still get the job done. This will help reduce any power and fuel economy losses that you may experience.

Top Picks For Honda CRV Off-Road Tires

Here is a list of some great off-road tire options that are available in many of the most commonly used sizes on CRV’s. Keep in mind that these tires are not listed in any particular order. Instead, they are each listed out with benefits that may make them the right tire for you. You can’t make a bad choice between any of these tires. But we hope you can find one that suits your needs and budget perfectly.

 

Falken Wildpeak– Due to its aggressive styling and heavy-tread pattern, this tire has gained popularity among small SUV owners. It’s comparable in performance to the BFGoodrich KO2 but without the higher price and weight that smaller cars find hard to handle. This tire should be added to your shopping list as you shop for an upgrade.

The AT3W is a great all-around tire that can handle a wide range of terrain. I’ve seen guys hit some pretty aggressive trails with these, especially in Subarus and Hondas. It’s very well-equipped for pavement and is quiet on the freeway, unlike most AT tires. Also, they’re 3 peak mountain snowflake rated, which means that they won’t get freeze up in cold weather.

If you’re planning to get this tire for your CRV, it’s available in these popular sizes: 245/65R17, 235/65R18, 245/55R19 and a wide range of 15 and 16 inch tires for those who want to size down substantially. Considering everything this tire offers, it’s extremely affordable and can be delivered pretty quick to almost any zip code in the US through Tire Rack or Discount Tire Direct (I’ve had great luck with both of these retailers.)

Important note: The Wildpeak AT3W is a different model from the Wildpeak AT Trail. The former is a heavier duty all-terrain tire that’s ideal for those who run trails regularly. The latter, on the other hand, is lighter duty all-terrain that’s ideal for those who prefer to travel on paved surfaces regularly with only mild trail use.

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After having run the Toyo Open Country AT2 for years, I’ve been growing to love the AT3 more and more as I continue to hear positive feedback. The more I see other people hitting the trails with them, the more I want to invest in a set.

Before the AT3 came out, I had the Open Country AT2 and really appreciated the grip and durability. The AT3 has only improved as Toyo has continued to upgrade the tread pattern and overall construction. The styling is great and just like the AT2, they are 3MPSF rated for mild winter use. The sidewall design on the AT3 looks good as is up for the task of light off-roading. It also adds extra grip in deep snow and helps against sidewall punctures. In fact, I was out on a trail run with a Subaru friend that got tangled up in some sharp rocks that cut into the sidewall and somehow didn’t pop the tire.

In 225/60R17 the Open Country only weighs about 29lbs which is pretty impressive. The bigger alternating tread blocks that provide extra grip and allow it to be slightly quieter on the pavement than other options. Toyo also put deep siping on the AT3 that won’t fade within the first 1000 miles like some tires out there.

This AT3 is great for the following uses:

  • Mild off-road use
  • Light winter trails
  • Getting out to hiking and camping spots
  • A balanced mix of pavement and mild off-road driving
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The Wild Peak AT Trail is a good choice if you’re looking for a solid off-road tire that’s also comfortable to drive. It’s not the same as the Wild Peak AT3W, but it has a wide range of sizes and is ideal for those who want to tackle challenging dirt trails or gravel roads. Its aggressive siping and wet pavement grip make it an ideal choice for those who want to go off-road without sacrificing on-road manners.

As mentioned, the AT Trail can handle various types of trails, including gravel, dirt, and mild mud. The AT Trail is made to be a well-rounded tire with a proclivity for pavement driving that can still be taken off-road if needed. However, If you’re looking for something to navigate more advanced trails, the sidewall of this tire might not be strong enough to endure the abuse that comes with sharp rocks.

One other thing to consider about the AT Trail is that it does not have very large voids or overly aggressive tread blocks. This makes for comfortable pavement use, but they will not perform very well in deep mud as it cannot clear the treads easily.

This tire is a great option for the CRV owner who wants to swap their tires for something that still feels like stock, but wants aggressive looks and basic off-road capability without stepping up to a heavy duty AT tire.

falken wildpeak at trail offroad tire perfect for honda crv or subaru
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The Geolandar AT is a versatile tire that can be used for different applications. Whether you’re looking for a more aggressive looking tire to complete your car’s appearance, or you’re planning on hitting trails every weekend, the Geolandar can handle it. This tire is aggressive but doesn’t sacrifice ride quality. It is very popular among folks who love hiking and camping on the weekends. In fact, Subaru selected this tire as the stock option for the Wilderness trim packages. So it’s definitely ready to help you take your CRV out into the backcountry.

Yokohama has developed their Enduro compound that has proven to last a long time without sacrificing comfort. They also offer a 50k mile limited warranty against premature wear. Due to Yokohama’s Enduro compound, the G015 is a great choice for those who are looking for a capable AT tire that also performs well in snow. I had them on one of my older vehicles and plowed through over a foot of fresh snow without issue.

The Geolandar is available in a very wide range of sizes to fit your CRV regardless of what wheel you ultimately decide to use. Whether you’re planning to stick with a stock size, or go with a larger option, Yokohama has truly delivered a fantastic option for off-road enthusiast road warriors.

Again, we’d recommend this tire for anyone who needs something comfortable on the freeway that can still handle pretty substantial off-road abuse. It’s become a crowd favorite among CRV owners who love hitting trails and road tripping. We cannot say enough good things about how comfortable this tire was for us.

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The K02 is an iconic American made off-road tire by BFGoodrich. There are varying opinions about this tire online, and the discussions about it can get heated. Some people claim that it’s too heavy and overpriced, while others say it’s the best tire they’ve ever used. We think it can be a great option for the right person. With a history spanning decades, BFGoodrich has been one of the leading tire brands in the hardcore off-road market. Many people, such as Toyota enthusiasts, Jeep drivers, and truck lovers, have used the K02 on their vehicles and love them. We have no doubt that they can help you take your CRV anywhere you could possibly want.

The K02 is a great all-terrain tire. It’s a revamped version of their legendary TA that they upgraded in 2014-2015. This new version features a ton of biting edges and siping for better grip on the trails. Its aggressive sidewall also provides excellent protection and looks great. If you’re looking for a tire that’s more rugged, the KO2 is a must-have.

Most crossover owners have a bone to pick with this tire’s weight. For what it is, this tire isn’t necessarily heavy. However, in many sizes it is only available in LT versions which are significantly more expensive and weigh a lot more. The LT stands for light truck, and this means that a tire will have a sturdier overall structure than a P-metric tire but may be overkill for many CRV owners.

One of the most popular sizes of this tire among smaller SUV owners (wildly popular in the Subaru community) is the LT235/75R15, and it weighs in at around 36 pounds. The Toyo Open Country AT3 is 32 pounds lighter, and it costs $166 in the same size but in a P-metric version. Before you buy this tire, make sure that you thoroughly analyze its specs and capabilities to see if it’s worth the extra money for what you’re planning to do.

If you’re a person who enjoys exploring off-road trails often and doesn’t spend a lot of time driving on pavement, then this tire might be right for you. It’s one of the more heavy duty AT’s available. Also, If you’re a fan of American-made products, then this could be a good choice for you. We’ve run many BFGoodrich tires and have really enjoyed them.

 
white honda crv 2014 with bfg ko2 offroad tires and a lift kit front end
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The Discoverer is a mild-mannered all-around tire that can easily handle light trail use and daily driving. It’s similar to the Yokohama G015 but with a slightly less aggressive feel and look. The Discoverer comes in a wide range of sizes and is a great option for CRV’s.

The Coopers are popular for their mild off-road capabilities and solid pavement handling. Also, they’re made in the U.S. and at this price point, are a great option if buying domestic is important to you.

Most of the people that we’ve talked to about these have stated that they’re very comfortable in the rain. Cooper has done a great job with these. Finding an all-terrain that can handle various pavement situations is not easy, but it’s something that they’ve been able to do. If you’re looking for a very mild all-terrain and don’t want to exceed your budget or sacrifice quality, check out the Discoverer.

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Bonus Picks: Best Mud Tires For CRV's

When it comes to mud terrain tires, there are not many options available for the CRV unless you want to size down to a 15 or 16 inch wheel or do substantial trimming and cutting on your vehicle. That may not be an option for everyone, but we found a couple of great 16 inch mud terrains that should be able to be fitted on just about any CRV. We found a 235/70R16 mud terrain and then a slightly taller LT225/75R16 option as well.

 

The new RT05 version of the MT2 from Hankook is a more aggressive version of the MT R03. They have changed the tread pattern to provide better grip and reduce road noise. The Dynapro line is trusted by many Subaru enthusiasts. The MT2 should be checked out by anyone who is looking for something a bit more aggressive than the average all-terrain without sacrificing too much on-road handling.

Our first experience with the MT2 was on a snow trip with our friend Caleb who owns a 4 inch lifted Subaru. I was impressed how well they did even in deep snow and we thought the aggressive looks were pretty cool. The mildly spaced tread blocks and sipes on each lug provide a ton of grip regardless of the conditions.

In the LT225/75R16 size, this tire weighs in at about 43 lbs and has an overall diameter of 29.4 inches which makes it a great option for CRV owners. Keep in mind that most mud terrains come in LT ratings and are much heavier duty than the average AT tire. So you will feel the difference in weight, but they will hold up to a LOT more abuse.

Here’s a close up look at the RT05 in use out in deep snow:

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The KM3 is an almost legendary mud tire that’s used by some of the most famous wheelers and rock crawlers. It’s a proven and durable tire that can handle any type of mud pit or rock pit. I own an old Jeep that I run these tires on. They perform very well and have held up to a lot of hardcore wheeling. However, running these on a CRV is not something I would recommend doing if you need to maintain comfortable highway driving. They are heavy compared to many other options. In the LT235/70R16 size they weigh 48 lbs despite only being 29 inches.

This is a fantastic tire and a great option for someone wanting to stick close to the stock diameter using a 16 inch wheel. However, this mud terrain should be reserved for people planning to take on advanced trails and might be best paired with the newer 1.5 liter turbocharged CRV’s.

 

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We hope this basic guide has been helpful as you explore the idea of purchasing an aggressive off-road tire for your CRV. If you’ve installed an all-terrain or mud-terrain on your CRV that you like, let us know about it! We love hearing feedback.

 Always Keep Safety In Mind When Purchasing Tires:

Regardless of the type of tire that you choose, it’s important that you put safety first. 

Here are a few key things that you should consider:
  • Buy tires from an authorized dealer. This will allow you to get the best possible quality and warranty.
  • Make sure that the tires are installed by a professional and that the torque specs are correct. 
  • Ask your dealer about their air pressure recommendations for your specific tire set up.
  • Always purchase tires new or from a very reputable used dealer to avoid any issues.

Lifted Imports is not responsible for any modifications someone chooses to make to their vehicle. We ask that customers speak with a professional before installing any parts.

 

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