Kelly Safari ATR Tire Review

Published: January 29, 2017

The Safari ATRs came on a Ford E-350 van I bought. I primarily use this vehicle for highway towing. The size I evaluated was LT275/75R16.

Dry Grip

Dry grip of Safari ATRs seems good, I would say above average for an all-season pickup/SUV tire.

Wet Grip

Grip on wet pavement seems very good, again I would say above average for an all-season pickup/SUV tire. Braking grip in particular seems to be outstanding.

Stability

One issue I have had with Safari ATRs in the beginning of my ownership of the van is the tendency of the vehicle to move sideways at speed. This was annoying in the dry and very troubling in the wet.

Somehow I have these stability issues with LT rated tires which to me is counterintuitive. I expect LT rated tires to have stiffer sidewalls than P rated tires, but perhaps I am mistaken or there is something else at play.

I think it took me about 5,000 and 10,000 miles to stop worrying about the van moving sideways. I have 20,000 miles on it now and thinking about this, the van still moves but I am used to it moving to where I now correct the course automatically and not worry about it. I think the sideways movement may be oscillative in nature such that applying minimal corrections tends to keep the vehicle roughly centered.

Snow Traction

Snow traction of Safari ATRs is acceptable. They do fine in a light snow film but not so well when the road becomes snow covered. Even so, at reduced speeds I felt good confidence in the tires' ability to keep the rig on the road. The tires were predictable in snow which is very important, and in street driving predictability is a decent substitute for outright grip.

Ice Traction

I have not had the tires on glare ice yet.

Longevity

Too early to tell at this point but I have about 20,000 miles on the set so far and they are looking very good. I expect the tires to reach 80,000-100,000 miles of highway driving.

My front tires do have some inside cupping but this generally indicates a dead shock absorber rather than a tire issue.