III Range Rover Tire & Wheel Choices
Standard Fitment Street Tires and Alternatives
Winter Ice & Snow Tires (Stock Sizes)
All-Terrain Tires (Stock & Near-Stock size)
Mud Tires (Stock Size)
"Almost Stock Size" Alternatives
Cooper STT 275/65/18 mud radials on Michael Quinn's Australian
Range Rover III
The Mk III model continued the eccentric Land Rover tradition of specifying odd-sized tires that are hard to find and do not come in many patterns. The new tires were about 30 inches in diameter, an inch (2.5 cm) larger than previous Range Rovers, but were still on the small side for the vehicle (eg compare them with the 31 inch size that has been standard on a Toyota 4-Runner for years). The tires specified by the manufacturer were very street-oriented and, as usual, rated for a far higher speed than a Range Rover can actually go, so any owner who is a serious off-highway enthusiast can be excused for being tempted to try and improve on the stock rubber. Note that some of the alternatives below may have different load and speed ratings than the OEM tires; if you try any of them be sure to follow the manufacturer's recommendations.
News Flash: In August 2008 the Goodyear Wrangler MTR mud terrain tires used in the G4 Challenge and long available in the UK were finally made available in the US in the official 19 inch Range Rover size. Yeah!!! More details will appear shortly.
In 2003-2005, the stock wheels in the US were19x9 inch 6 spoke wheels, with a 20x9.5 inch option. In other markets more practical 18x7.5 inch wheels were used on the base models. (According to Alldata, the 19 inch rims were 1/2 inch narrower than this spec). 20 inch wheels were optional.
In 2006, The trend towards larger wheels and lower proofile tires continued, even though this was obviously to the detriment of off road practicality and on road ride comfort. New 7 spoke 19 inch wheels became standard on most Range Rovers around the world, although new 18x8 accessory wheels were also available. On the new Supercharged model, 20 inch wheels became standard.
Wheel Options: The following table summarizes the factory
wheels and part numbers, with pictures where available. The table is
not exhaustive when it comes to the 20 inch wheels, of which other
special variants were available at different times and which are the
least practical for off road use.
2006 & up Models
Between Model Years and with LR3/Disco3/RR Sport Wheels:
Officially, 2003-05 Range Rover wheels are incompatible with later models and vice versa, and all RR III wheels are incompatible with LR3 and RR Sport wheels. RR III wheels have a 57 mm offset, whereas 53 mm is used on the LR3 and RR Sport. Also, the earlier Range Rover lug nuts had square ends and the D3/LR3/Sport ones have tapered ends (see photo at right). In 2006, Range Rover wheels were redesigned to accept the RR Sport and LR3 lug nuts. However the 57 mm offset was retained.
Photo at right adapted from TSB # LM-204-001 (July 2005) on wheel compatibility.
So, officially you are not supposed to mix early and late wheels, or
use wheels from the inferior models. Unofficially, the later RR III
wheels are fine on the earlier models if you buy the later lug nuts
(about $400 for a complete set from the dealer, or less than half that
from the Rover Connection). I know at least one 2003 RR owner who uses
2006 wheels with the old lug nuts and has reported no problems, but do
so at your own risk!! Similarly, it is probably feasible to use
DiscoIII/LR3/Sport wheels on the Range Rover (with the appropriate lug
nuts), but the slightly different wheel offset may
adversely affect steering and wheel bearing wear. If the 17 inch
D3 wheels will fit (which I doubt, see above), they would be useful for
short term use such as extreme off road expeditions,
due to the much larger range of aggressive tires available for them.
BMW X5 Compatibility and Aftermarket Wheels: The 5x120mm bolt pattern on the new Mk III Range Rover is shared with the BMW X5, but the offset is about 10mm different off. If you don't care about this, an enthusiast source for part numbers for BMW X5 wheels is X5world. In terms of aftermarket options, The Tire Rack advertizes 19 and 20 inch wheels for the X5, as well as a range of 19, 20 and 22 inch wheels for the Range Rover. When ordering any aftermarket wheels, be careful to specify the desired offset and make sure they are compatible wit your lug nuts.
18 Versus 19 inch Wheels: The smaller wheels are preferable if you wish to try different tire sizes and treads, as more tires are available for 18 than for 19 inch wheels. Simon Davies found a very noticeable difference in ride comfort between the 18 inch wheels (standard on his UK spec RR Mk III) and the 19 inch ones (standard in the US) when he drove a dealer vehicle with the latter: "As soon as I drove off in the dealer car I could tell that the suspension was firmer and the steering response slightly lighter. I assumed this was the 'old' Landrover build inconsistency coming into play, but it turned out their car was riding on 19" wheels, instead of my standard 18". If you are pondering over such an upgrade, it has the implications you'd expect. Tighter handling, at the expense of a harsher ride. They look the business, though. Not for hemorrhoids sufferers!"
for TD6 Models: The 19 inch wheels
and OEM Goodyear tires had widespread vibration problems (see the
common problems and fixes page), and I have heard that they were not
recommended on TD6 models due to the greater likelihood of such
vibrations. For example, 2003 TD6 owner Tim
Oliver was told Land Rover does not recommend
using anything larger than the 18 inch wheels on the diesel models, due
to the diesel lump producing weird vibrations. Curiously, however, 19 inch
wheels are offered as stock on 2006 TD6 Range Rovers. Maybe the vibration
problem has been fixed?? .
Availability: At the
time of writing (April 2007) a wide selection of wheels is available
from any dealer, satisfying the demand not only from from owners
wanting more fancy looking rims, but off roaders who may want a set of
18 inch wheels for their expeditions. In the US, for example, 18, 19
and 20 inch wheels can be ordered from any dealer for any Mk III Range
Rover made from 2002 onwards. I recently ordered a set of 18 inch twin
spoke alloys (RRC001230MNH) for
my 2004 model at a very reasonable price; I could have picked them up
the next day but since I was not in a hurry I let the dealer include
them in his usual weekly stock order and they arrived in a week or so.
Photo at left:
20 inch rims on 2006 Supercharged Range Rover III. Note the new chrome
lug nuts, and a special 255/50R20 Continental tire (a variant of the Cross
developed for Range Rovers, with alternating
lug pattern on outer edges of tread. From official
Standard Fitment Street-Oriented Tires and Equivalents
The most common tire seen on the Range Rover III is the Goodyear
Wrangler HP (see photo below). According to Goodyear's
website, this tire has "Excellent on- and
off-road traction in any weather. Improved responsiveness and
handling. Quick handling and agility. Efficient water evacuation at
highway speeds. Enhanced all-weather traction and a comfortable ride".
(However its off road rating in Goodyear's own system is only 5 out of
10). This is an expensive tire, costing at least $230 even at discount
outlets. In the early years of RRIII production,
owners reported vibration and cupping problems with
these tires on the 19 inch rims --
for a summary of maladies they have experienced see this link on the RR III Common Problems and Fixes
page. Balancing and rotation seem to be critical, and switching to
the Michelins or Pirellis (see below) seems to help.
Nowadays, there are several other non-OEM options available for all the wheel and tire sizes used on the Range Rover III, so owners are not necessarily stuck with paying dealer prices for new tires. For example, I found the following stock fitment options for the Range Rover 18, 19 and 20 inch wheels at The Tire Rack:
Goodyear Eagle LS (Very street oriented pattern)
Michelin Cross Terrain SUV (In spite of name, very mild tread)
Dunlop Grandtrek ST8000 (Directional. Photo below; these are slightly more aggressive than the stock Goodyears)
Goodyear Wrangler HP (Wimpy OEM tire -- Photo below)
Pirelli Scorpion Zero (Photo below).
Goodyear Wrangler HP (Original Equipment)(Photo below)
Goodyear Wrangler MT/R (Mud terrain, available in UK but not US)
Michelin 4X4 Synchrone (Even more wimpy tread than Goodyear HP)(Photo below)
Pirelli Scorpion Zero (highway tread but least expensive at about $200 each). (Photo below)
Continental Cross Contact UHP
Dunlop Grandtrek ST8000 (moderately aggressive for a stock tire -- see photo below right)
Dunlop Grandtrek PT9000
Michelin 4X4 Diamaris
Michelin 4X4 Synchrone
Pirelli Scorpion Zero
From Left: Goodyear Wrangler HP; Pirelli Scorpion
Zero; Michelin Synchrome; Dunlop
Grand Trek ST8000. The first three are the main stock
choices for the 19
inch rims, while the ST8000 is another option for the 18 inch rims. (Photos
courtesy of The
Winter Ice and Snow Tires (Stock
For the 18 inch wheels, a good choice for winter tires is the narrower (but same OD) stock size of 235/65R18, since narrower tires are often considered better for slicing through the slushchoices for ice and snow conditions. Choices include the Dunlop Grand Trek WT M3 (pictured below, courtesy of The Tire Rack). This was developed for the Nissan Murano and comes with an "H" speed rating (130 mph) in 235/65R18. Another possibility is the Dunlop Grand Trek SJ5 (picture below center) in the same size. These slightly more aggressive, but only have a "Q" speed rating (99 mph/160 kph). In the wider 255/60R18 size, the Nokian Hakkapeliitta SUV pattern is also now available. The Toyo Open Country G-02 is another option -- see picture below courtesy of tireseasy.com, who have them for $160 (I also found them for $244 at Tires 1010).
Dunlop Grand Trek WT M3
Dunlop Grand Trek SJ5
Pirelli Scorpion Ice & Snow
For the 19
inch rims, more winter tire choices are slowly becoming
Toyo Open Country G-02
(above left) is available for $202 from tireseasy.com,
which seems to be an excellent low cost source for the widest variety
of tire patterns in the "odd" Range Rover sizes. They also have the
Goodyear Ultra Grip, which recently became available in the 255/55R19
size. There is also the
Pirelli Scorpion Ice & Snow (photo above right), about which I have
heard several positive reports -- including its use as a beach and sand
tire. I found it for $185 at The
2007 has seen the introduction of the Goodyear UltraGrip SUV -- another
winter tire. Alert members of the Range Rover Forum found a new winter
and off road
tire available in all the stock Range Rover 18, 19 and 20 inch sizes --
4Xtreme. (photo above right).
For the 20
inch rims, the only options I have found so far in the stock RR
size is the Vredestein as mentioned above.
GrandTrek SJ5 in the 265/50R20 size, slightly larger than stock
(see "Almost Stock" section below)
All-Terrain Tires (Stock Size)
18 inch rims: The General Grabber AT2 (photo at right, courtesy of The Tire Rack) is a true all terrain design which was scheduled to be arriving in the Range Rover 255/60R18 size in the Fall of 2006, but as I found out when my 18 inch wheels arrived in April 2007, it is not yet available. I was told by General Tire that they introduce new sizes according to market demand; please write in to them via the General Tire Website to request them to expedite the production of the AT2 in the 255/60R18 size.
The absence of other stock AT choices forces owners to resort to the alternatives in the "Almost Stock" and "Oversize" sections section below. Or, you could try the various winter tires -- the Nokian SUV, Dunlop Grand Trek SJ5 and Dunlop WT M3 -- these are at least more aggressive than the standard street tires but will wear very fast in the summer!
Tires (Stock Size)
During the G4 Challenge, the Range Rover III 4.4 V8 models used in the Australian desert sported specially manufactured Goodyear MT/R mud tires in the stock Range Rover 255/55R19 size. Until recently July (2008) these tires were readily available in the UK, but for North American RR owners the only recourse was to try and find British dealers who would ship them (Bronco 4x4 or BlackCircles.com were two such suppliers -- Mike Heaivilin of Nevada used the latter source to get them for his RR Sport.
In August 2008 the 255/55R19 size of the MT/R was FINALLY made available in the US. Yeah!!! Frederic Dawson alerted me to the fact that they are now available at discount prices from The Tire Rack, making ordering easy from anywhere in the US. They are only "Q" speed rated so you should be careful not to cruise over 100MPH!
Photo at right:
Official press photo of Goodyear MTR mud tires on G4 Challenge Range
"Almost Stock Size" Alternatives
18 inch wheels
265/60R18: At about
30.5 inches this is only about 0.5 inches larger in diameter and 0.4
inches wider than stock, and should barely cause any noticeable effect
on gearing or speedometer calibration. This size opens up a wider array
including a lot of street-oriented "Sport Truck" types such as the
Avon Tech ST; BF Goodrich Long Trail T/A; Bridgestone Blizzak DM-Z3,
Potenza RE92A, Dueler H/P; Goodyear Wrangler SR-A; Yokohama AVS-ST,
Geolandar H/T-S, H/T G038. Some
of these are considerably cheaper
than the stock sizes, with prices as low as $111 at the The
are even some genuine all-terrain tires becoming available in this size,
such as the Goodyear Wrangler Silent Armor and the Yokohama AT-S
Goodyear Wrangler Silent Armor
Yokohama Geolandar AT-S
275/55R18: (30.1 inches
diameter and 0.8 inches wider than stock). A very few tires such as the
Michelin Cross-Terrain SUV are
available in this size.
275/60R18: The Yokohama Geolandar ATS, among others, is available in this size.
20 inch wheels
265/50R20 is only a barely noticeable half an inch larger than stock diameter and 0.4 inches wider. This size opens up a few more options such as the Bridgestone Blizzak DM-Z3, Dunlop GrandTrek SJ5 (aggressive winter tire mentioned above), BF Goodrich G-Force T/A, Fuzion ZRi, Toyo Proxes S/T, and Yokohama Advan ST and AVS S/T. FOr those wanting something more aggressive, the Nitto Dune Grapplers are available in this size.
This size has an OD of 31.4 inches (1.4 inches more than stock), and is
about an inch wider than stock. A number of RR III, Disco3/LR3 and
Sport owners have used it without any significant rubbing problems (for
a Disco3/LR3 owner experience see this link).
Some genuine all-terrain treads are available in this size, including
the Nitto Terra Grappler (see photo
at right showing these tires on Roger's 2006 RR III), Pro
Comp AT, Fuzion XTi, Toyo Open Country
A/T, and Sumitomo HTR Sport A/T (an unusual H speed rated AT design).
With a 31.7 inch outside diameter, this size should fit in the
wheelwells and has the advantage of availablity of the BFG All-Terrain
This is 32+ inches in diameter,
more than 2 inches
over stock, and is pushing the limits of what will fit without vehicle
modifications. Choices such as the Goodyear Wrangler
AT/S and the Cooper STT (mud terrain) are available in this size. Michael Quinn of
Australia is one of the
pioneers in trying bigger tires on the Range Rover III, and he
successfully uses 275/65
R18 Cooper STTs on his RR (see photo). These32.32 inch diameter
tires are especially nice because the new design incorporates sipes in
the tread, improving the traditionlly poor mud tire performance in wet,
snowy and icy conditions. Michael reports: "This tyre
has a diameter 63mm larger than
standard and 30mm wider. Yes they do fit
under the guards but there are a few mods required to the inner plastic liners of the guards. These
tyres outperform any mud terrain pattern
that I have used before and coupled to the TD6 Rangie this car becomes unstoppable." Cooper also
makes its slightly less aggressive S/T in this size.
Photo at right
and at top of page:
Mike Quinn's new 275/65R18 mud tires on his Range Rover III.
19 inch Rims
275/55R19 is about 31 inches in diameter and is available in a number of mild street-oriented designs. The 285/55R19 is about 31.4 inches in diameter, and is also available in a couple of street-oriented patterns, including Pirelli Scorpion Zero and Yokohama AVS S/T.
20 inch Rims
305/45R20: The Yokohama Geolandar AT-S is available in this size which is about 2 inches wider than stock but only 0.8 inches taller.
285/50R20: This is 31.26 inches in diameter and 11.6 inches wide, and should fit quite well. The Nitto Terra Grappler A/T is available in this size.
285/55R20: This size is about 32.5 inches in diameter and would be at the upper limit of fitting without vehicle modification. The BFG All-Terrain K/O is available to fit.
The Tire Rack direct link for user reviews, prices, technical specs etc.