OZ Racing Wheels Australia

All Terrain vs. Mud Terrain Tyres (AT vs MT)

AT vs MT tyres

I don’t know why, but we get a 4X4 and believe we need a set of muddies (MT tyres) to get the best off-road performance, and also the most manly look.

But are mud terrain tyres our best choice?

Not always, and in many cases MT tyres won’t give you the best performance off road either.

So without further ado, this guide will help you choose between AT and MT tyres for your Aussie 4X4:

Why it’s crucial to choose the right 4X4 tyre for your needs

Most of us use our 4X4s for work and play, which means a lot of road driving and off-roading whenever we get the chance. Usually we want the best performance off-road, but at what cost to our daily drives? Choosing the wrong type of tyre can be a painful and costly mistake.

Take a pen and paper and write down what percentage of time you use your car on-road, and how much you use it off-road. If in doubt, give it a few weeks consideration.

90% on-road, 10% off-road?

The choice between all-terrain and mud-terrain tyres is one of the biggest decisions we make for our 4WD cars in Australia, and no tyre can meet all our needs.

We wrote at length about 4X4 tyres in general, but for the sake of quick decisions, lets take a look at pros and cons for AT vs MT:

All-Terrain Tyres (AT)


  • Versatility – All-terrain tyres, as the name suggests, are designed to work in a variety of environments on-road and off-road. A jack of all trades if you will. ATs offer a balance of performance both on bitumen and most off-road trails. This makes ATs suitable for most conditions you’ll want to put your car through, which is really useful when it comes to diverse Aussie lifestyles.
  • Tread Life – AT tyres usually have a longer tread life compared to mud-terrain tyres, which makes them more cost-effective in the long run.
  • Quieter Ride – All-terrain tyres produce less noise on the road. Usually much less noise. You may not care about a quiet ride, but your girlfriend might. ATs compared to MTs provide a much quieter and more comfortable driving experience in pretty much every case.
  • Fuel Efficiency – Because of the smoother tread of ATs vs MTs, they will be more fuel-efficient on highways and most urban roads.


  • Limited Traction – While all-terrain tyres perform well in most situations, they may struggle in extremely muddy or rocky terrains due to their less aggressive tread patterns.
  • Less Aggressive Appearance – If you’re looking for a rugged, aggressive look for your vehicle, all-terrain tyres may not provide the same manly look as mud-terrain tyres. If you want to look cool (or like to think you look cool), then muddies will be for you.

Mud-Terrain Tyres (MT or Muddies)


  • Much Better Traction on Mud – MT tyres are specifically designed for challenging off-road conditions, providing exceptional traction in mud and rocky terrains. You may assume they’re better on sand as well, but this isn’t always the case. Better traction in mud is a significant off-road advantage, especially if you’re more serious about your off-road driving than the usability of your car on Melbourne streets.
  • Aggressive Appearance – If you want your 4×4 to have a bold and rugged appearance, mud-terrain tyres are definitely the way to go. Their bad-ass aggressive tread patterns and sidewall design give any 4WD a look that means business.
  • Self-Cleaning – Mud-terrain tyres are designed to self-clean, which means they shed mud and debris easily. This is a practical benefit to make sure you have continuous traction in muddy conditions.


  • Road Noise – You probably know the sound already – what Aussie doesn’t? Whenever a 4X4 with muddies drive past there’s a definitive drone. MTs tend to be much noisier on paved roads due to their aggressive tread patterns, and this can lead to a less comfortable and louder ride during regular driving.
  • Reduced Tread Life – Mud-terrain tyres wear out much faster on regular roads compared to ATs. That means you’ll pay more for tyres over the long run, and have to replace your MTs more frequently.
  • Lower Fuel Efficiency – The aggressive tread design and increased rolling resistance make mud-terrain tyres less fuel-efficient on highways and urban roads. Especially if you don’t inflate them back up.

Still undecided? Final thoughts about AT vs MT tyres

Choosing between AT and MT tyres for your 4×4 is a dilemma we all face as Aussie off-road nuts.

If you do most of your driving on-road then ATs will be your best bet. A set of MTs may make your 4WD look bitchin’, but may make it a PITA to drive (especially with your girlfriend in tow).

AT vs MT tyres depend mostly on your intended use and personal preferences. All-terrain tyres offer versatility and a quieter ride for everyday driving, making them suitable for those who occasionally venture off-road. On the other hand, mud-terrain tyres are ideal for serious off-roaders who need superior traction in challenging terrains – assuming you don’t care about the trade-offs in road noise and tread life.

Before making a decision, consider your typical driving conditions and the level of off-roading you plan to do in the Australian outback.

Consider your priorities, whether it’s a comfortable daily drive or conquering the toughest terrains.

Whichever option you choose, make sure to invest in high-quality, well-maintained tyres to ensure safety and performance during your off-road adventures in this beautiful and rugged region. Enjoy!

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