Falken Wildpeak AT3W and the Firestone Destination X/T are both excellent choices for those in need of E or F-load range tires. However, it’s important to note that they are designed for different purposes. In our testing and through the hands-on experiences of our drivers, we’ve gathered some insightful observations about these tires. Let’s delve into these results and experiences to better understand how each tire performs under various conditions and which might be the best fit for your specific needs.
Drawing from my experience as a former Bridgestone engineer, I believe the Falken Wildpeak AT3W is a superior choice for winter conditions. The differences in noise and riding comfort between the Falken Wildpeak AT3W and the Firestone Destination X/T are quite negligible. However, each tire has its own strengths. The Firestone Destination X/T excels in fuel efficiency and longevity, making it a great option for those who prioritize these features. Meanwhile, the Falken Wildpeak AT3W stands out for its wet performance and visual appeal.
When it comes to off-roading, both tires perform commendably in light conditions. But for more challenging off-road scenarios, I tend to lean towards the Firestone Destination X/T for its enhanced capabilities in severe environments.
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In our tests using LT285/60R20 tires, both the Falken Wildpeak AT3W and Firestone Destination X/T presented well. Personally, I found the Falken Wildpeak AT3W to appear much more aggressive in person than in pictures. While the Firestone Destination X/T also looks good, its slightly less aggressive pattern, particularly in the shoulder blocks, is noticeable.
Focusing on the shoulder blocks, the Falken Wildpeak AT3W’s wider blocks might not be an issue for smaller sizes, but for our test size, it contributed to a somewhat rough and noisy ride. That said, I’m not implying that the Firestone Destination XT is quiet – I’ll delve into that more in the noise section.
Looking at the center section, the Firestone Destination X/T has 3-3 similarly shaped center lugs that not only look good but also contribute to a smoother riding experience. In contrast, the Falken Wildpeak AT3W’s 3-2 lug design has less void area, which, in my experience, provides better on-road traction.
As for the sidewalls, the Firestone Destination XT boasts deeper sidewall biters that perform excellently in air-down conditions. However, aesthetically, it’s not my favorite. The Falken Wildpeak AT3W, on the other hand, has a more appealing look to me.
In this section, I’ll delve into our on-road riding experience with these tires, breaking down the analysis into two distinct parts for a more detailed examination. This approach will allow us to explore different aspects of their performance on the road, providing a comprehensive understanding of how each tire behaves under various on-road conditions. Let’s begin with the first part.
Many reviews praise the quietness and comfort of the Falken Wildpeak AT3W, often attributed to its availability in p-metric sizes, which are favored for superior on-road performance. However, in my experience, I found the Firestone Destination X/T to be slightly quieter, which I attribute to two main factors.
Firstly, the wider shoulder blocks of the Falken Wildpeak AT3W tend to produce more noise. Also, the deeper tread depth (18/32” for Falken versus 16/32” for Firestone) makes it more challenging to mitigate airborne noise within the tread. While the difference isn’t drastic, the Falken is a bit noisier.
On the other hand, the Firestone Destination X/T, with its wide void area in the center section, isn’t silent either and does produce some tread noise.
Overall, despite both tires generating some level of noise or hum, which is expected given their aggressive design and size, they still stand out as decent options in this category.
In this scenario, both the Falken Wildpeak AT3W and the Firestone Destination X/T feature designs that contribute to a reasonably comfortable ride. Given that these are high-profile tires, ride comfort is generally not a major concern.
However, if I had to choose, I’d give a slight edge to the Firestone Destination X/T, mainly due to its tread depth. But honestly, the difference in comfort between the two tires is so subtle that it’s unlikely to be noticeable in everyday driving.
Overall, I consider both the Falken Wildpeak AT3W and the Firestone Destination X/T to be decent options in terms of ride comfort and design.
In determining the better tire between these two, my focus is on steering response and cornering stability.
In terms of steering responsiveness, the Firestone Destination X/T has an advantage due to its lighter weight and lower tread depth, which contribute to a quicker response. However, the difference is not substantial.
When it comes to cornering stability, both the Falken Wildpeak AT3W and the Firestone Destination X/T impress with their strong sidewalls. This feature makes both tires quite reliable for high-speed cornering, offering a stable and secure driving experience.
As anticipated, the wet performance of the Falken Wildpeak AT3W and Firestone Destination X/T doesn’t quite meet high expectations.
When assessing hydroplaning resistance, I found the Falken Wildpeak AT3W to be marginally better, likely due to its higher tread depth and angled shoulder blocks, which seem more effective at water evacuation.
In terms of wet traction, the Falken Wildpeak AT3W also edges out slightly ahead. Its zigzag shoulder sipes, which enhance lateral traction, are a key factor here. The Firestone Destination X/T is certainly capable, with its zigzag siping on the center section, but doesn’t quite match up to the Wildpeak AT3W.
The crucial factor for me in this category is wet stopping ability. In this regard, the Falken Wildpeak AT3W outperforms the Firestone Destination X/T. The harder compound of the Destination X/T does provide grip, but it doesn’t offer the same level of friction as the Wildpeak AT3W, resulting in longer stopping distances.
Overall, for those who prioritize wet performance, the Falken Wildpeak AT3W is the preferable choice.
Both the Falken Wildpeak AT3W and the Firestone Destination X/T are marked with the 3PMSF (Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake) symbol, which is a positive indication for their performance in light snow conditions.
In light snow, there isn’t a significant difference between the two, but I give a slight edge to the Falken Wildpeak AT3W due to its softer compound, which tends to perform better in these conditions.
When it comes to deep snow, both tires are quite capable. However, the Firestone Destination X/T, with its more straightforward tread design, seems to be a bit more effective.
On ice, neither tire is exceptional, but they perform adequately. The Falken Wildpeak AT3W, with its more compact tread pattern, provides reasonable traction on ice. Its shoulder blocks also perform well in slushy conditions.
In summary, for overall winter performance, including light snow, deep snow, and icy conditions, I would recommend the Falken Wildpeak AT3W as the preferable choice.
Although we haven’t had the opportunity for a long-term test, I’ve drawn some conclusions from various reports regarding these tires.
Firstly, the Falken Wildpeak AT3W is nearly 20% heavier than its counterpart. This increased weight leads to higher rolling resistance, which typically results in lower fuel efficiency.
Additionally, the Falken’s deeper tread depth and softer compound are not conducive to fuel economy. These factors tend to exacerbate fuel consumption.
Therefore, if fuel efficiency is a key consideration for you, the Firestone Destination XT emerges as the more suitable choice based on these attributes.
While I can’t provide a definitive statement on longevity, I can offer my expectations based on the design and features of these tires.
The Falken Wildpeak AT3W’s step-down feature does help to mitigate uneven wear to an extent. However, to truly maximize its lifespan, regular tire rotations are crucial. Proper maintenance is key to getting the most out of the Falken Wildpeak AT3W.
In contrast, the design of the Firestone Destination X/T seems more oriented towards longevity. Its 3-3 center section design promotes even wear, and the lower tread depth means less motion within the tread, reducing wear. Additionally, the stiffer compound of the Firestone Destination X/T also contributes to its durability.
So, while longevity can vary depending on specific usage conditions, my expectation is that the Firestone Destination X/T is likely to last longer under comparable circumstances.
Indeed, the Falken Wildpeak AT3W comes with a 55,000-mile treadwear warranty, which is a testament to its expected durability. On the other hand, the Firestone Destination X/T offers a slightly lower treadwear warranty at 50,000 miles. These warranties reflect the manufacturers’ confidence in the longevity of their tires and can be a significant factor for consumers when deciding between these two options.
I’ll be segmenting this section into two distinct parts: severe off-road and light off-road scenarios. The light off-road analysis will cover conditions like gravel and dirt, where standard tire setups are typically sufficient. On the other hand, the severe off-road portion will focus on more challenging terrains like rock and mud, where airing down your tires is often necessary for optimal performance. This approach will allow for a more detailed and specific evaluation of the tires’ capabilities in varied off-road conditions.
Light Off-Road Performance
In light off-road conditions, both the Falken Wildpeak AT3W and the Firestone Destination X/T deliver quite satisfying performance.
On dirt, they both perform exceptionally well. Given their high quality, there’s not much to differentiate them in this terrain.
Gravel can be challenging for some tires, but I’ve found that most all-terrain tires, including these two, handle it competently. The real factor to consider here is stone retention. With the Firestone Destination XT, I’ve noticed that its shoulder notches sometimes trap small stones. However, these stones are typically ejected over time without causing harm to the vehicle or other tires. The Falken Wildpeak AT3W doesn’t seem to have this issue.
In summary, for light off-road activities such as driving on dirt and gravel, both tires perform admirably.
Severe Off-Road Performance
When it comes to rock crawling, I would lean towards the Firestone Destination XT as the better option. Its sidewall biters and lower tread depth play a crucial role here. The lower tread depth reduces the bending of the tire, which in turn provides better traction when navigating over rocks.
However, when it comes to mud, neither tire excels exceptionally. But, based on their design, the Firestone Destination X/T has a slight advantage in terms of mud evacuation. Its tread pattern seems to handle the challenging task of shedding mud a bit more effectively than the Falken Wildpeak AT3W.
Value for Money
In my evaluation, both the Falken Wildpeak AT3W and the Firestone Destination X/T justify their price tags, but they excel in different areas. For example, if fuel efficiency is a top priority, the Falken Wildpeak AT3W may not be the most sensible choice. Its design and construction, particularly factors like weight and tread design, can impact fuel consumption. In such cases, it’s crucial to weigh the specific advantages of each tire against your primary needs and preferences to make the best decision
Falken Wildpeak AT3W and Firestone Destination X/T are decent options. While Falken is better for winter, Firestone is better for efficiency.
I hope the article was helpful. Let me know if you have any further questions. Safe travel folks!