Pirelli Scorpion ATR Tyre review and comparisons

pirelli-scorpion-atrWelcome to the initial review for the Pirelli Scorpion ATR and comparison to the Bridgestone D694 for the Toyoyta Land Cruiser Prado. This is essentially part 3 of  our tyre comparison series and original comparison written so many years ago. Admittedly it should be part 4 as we’ve omitted to add the Michelin Latitude Cross on Brad’s Prado for various reasons (who happens to have Bridgestone D697 now). Note that we’ve used press images until we do our own.

It’s time again for new tyres for the Prado. Not that the Bridgestone D694 where worn out by tread depth but because they had simply deteriorated to a point which we determined that they were unsafe. The Bridgestone D694 seemed like great choices for the 1st year but both despite showing plenty of thread to go after 40,000km each. However tyre noise after 12 months was pretty bad and that they had gone out of round after 24 months, more so than the seemingly aggressive Cooper Discoverer ATR. Very little off road driving has been done, probably >1000km, hence the choice to replace them with more road orientated tyres. Petrol costs have made weekly trips impossible.

The last 12 months with the Bridgestone D694 have been quite bad with plenty of road noise and they actually stopped being round and made wobbly noises, lumpy ride and other harmonics especially at speeds greater than 80kph. Under brakes the steering wobbled more even after numerous balances and alignment done out of interest! Some may incorrectly think that the car has a problem and except for hard core 4WD tyres we don’t think this deterioration after less than 3 years and less than 50,000km is any good. In fact the Cooper ATRs lasted 4 years with more kilometers and didn’t have any of those problems.

For the initial 1000 kilometers the Pirelli Scorpion ATR are a complete contrast to the any of the prior tyres including the Dunlop AT20 and Grandtreks. The Scorpion ATR are quieter than the original Dunlop AT20 and AT22, needless to say the Michelins and Coopers. The ride comfort of the Scorpion ATRs are also better the any of the prior tyres we’ve collectively tried.

In terms of handling characteristics of the Socpion ATR: they are neutral, in that cornering was ‘flowing’ rather than oversteering compared to the Bridgestones. Until the few hundred kilometers wore past the initial thread they did lack steering feel but improved over the next few hundred. They appear to roll easily so we predict improved fuel consumption. The Toyota is not a sports car and these are not sports tyres but that said they do feel planted in the dry and just as planted in the wet.

The Pirelli Scorpion ATR are the best road tyres for the Prado we’ve tried so far but are not perfect (more on this later) but it is more than compensated for by quietness and very smooth ride. So far we are very pleased with the Pirelli’s. We’ll keep you updated – as always.