Tires...D or E rated?

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate
links, including eBay, Amazon, Skimlinks, and others.

Aug 12, 2009
I am in the process of buying some 285s for my 200 series. Any thoughts on the ride quality of D rated vs. E rated tires on the 200 series? On my 100 series, I stuck with D rated tires...Great ride quality. I really didn't have an issue off-road with D rated tires. Any thoughts? Thanks.
I've really liked the D-rated KO2s (stock size) on our 200. Very smooth ride on and off road with limited reduction in gas mileage. Went with the D-rated because we do a lot of highway towing (3000 lb travel trailer) and dirt BLM/USFS roads, with very limited terrain that could be described as "wheeling." For these purposes I didn't see the benefits of going E-rated.
It depends on your uses, but if not towing and/or wheeling heavily a D rated is probably better if it’s available in the size you want. I went with E because I wanted the strongest tire possible in the size, and I have an LX which means I can put it in comfort mode to negate most of the tires’ stiffness.
Unfortunately, it's not much of a choice anymore. Most everything is E rated in the end user market, as that's what the consumer has voted for. If you happen to find a tire model and size that you like, AND it offers a D or E, than D will be the better balanced choice. It's rare to have a choice, as tire model and size are the more important decisions, that often lock you into what's available.

IIRC, in the development of the original Ford Raptor, K02's were only available in Load Range D in the particular size. Ford engineers wanted a Load Range C, for the better balance of ride, unsprung weight, and other qualities. Being a big enough customer, BFG made it so with the creation of a K02 Load Range C in LT315/70R17.
Last edited:
I'll echo what Matt said. Depends on your use. Not all offroad is the same. Nor is all towing the same. We tow a 6K# trailer with 800# of tongue weight. We don't do challenging off road BUT a lot of our trails here in CO are rocky. I had D-rated on my Land Rover LR4 a couple years ago and had 2 flats on the same weekend of "green trail" driving because of sharp rocks hitting the sidewalls. I also do a LOT of freeway driving and the E-rated are not a comfort issue at all - for us. E-rated are definitely heavier. My snow tires are P-rated Nokians but I don't do any off roading with those.
based on tire size I'd assume you're close to stock... D's if avail will be a bit smoother but are rare these days .... E's provide more options down the line as you build or tow...

I’ve looked but have not been able to find a site that tells how BFG KO2’s. Are made and the difference between a C D E rated tire in the building process. Any one know of a site?
It use to be the C, D, E load ratings would correspond to the number of layers and plies. This is no longer the case today.

I was interested in this as well. What I found is there might not necessarily be distinct composition or construction differences between them. It comes down to the specific brand, size, and load rating, etc. Sometimes it simply varies by thickness of a certain layer. Or by cord diameter, sequencing, or pitch. Varying whatever design parameter they need to meet requirements.
D rated for sure. E rated tires are super heavy and don't give that much more benefits over rougher ride. E rated tires are for 2500/3500/HD pickup trucks with their huge diesels pushing out 1k ft tq towing 10 tons. Even fully armored and hauling, D rated is the way to go.
Great responses everyone! We have a 2010 Land Cruiser and our son has a 2004 4Runner Sport V8 running BF Goodrich KO2 tires and loves them. Been considering replacing the tires on our rig for a little more spirited off-roading. As a former factory rep for American Honda Motor Company and a former Fleet Director with Toyota I always enjoy reading how people actually use their vehicles.
Looks like the 285 KO2s are $60 more for the D over the E. Is it that much of a difference to justify 250 dollars?
I have always bought Load Range E for the sidewall protection. I drive a lot of sharp gravel and rocks and seems to have prevented flats due to sidewall damage.
I have always bought Load Range E for the sidewall protection. I drive a lot of sharp gravel and rocks and seems to have prevented flats due to sidewall damage.

I think that the big difference with load ranges is in the tread reinforcement rather than sidewall. All KO2 D and E ranges have triple ply sidewall. Just some C range has 2-ply sidewall.

Personally I find my stock sized Load Range D to be pretty darn nice so far after 20k miles.
I am running e rated on my 2014lc. Also ran them on my 4Runner that I had before this. They wear like iron and have no complaints about them. I do tow with the lc so e rated was a must. Ride is smooth with them and not sure I would notice much difference in feel with a d rated tire. You will have a thicker tire with the e rating and it should last you a long while. I have 70k on my 4 runner tires and I still had a lot of life left on them and they ran over very rough rocky terrain in far southwest Texas for three years. Never had a puncture or any issue with them.

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom