Nitto Motivo Review & Rating
- Dry and wet traction
- Responsive steering and stability
- Smooth and comfortable ride
- Winter performance in deep snow
The high performance tire category is one of the most competitive segments in the tire industry, and also the one that shows the most innovation. Features that first appear on performance rubber tend to trickle down to the all-season market after a couple of years, so it’s the place to look if you’re interested in future trends. With their Motivo all-season tire, Nitto looks like it’s starting a trend that’s definitely worth keeping an eye on – a tire that will plow through bad weather without compromising comfort and performance handling.
The Motivo has large outer tread blocks, which really grip all types of road surfaces and give excellent traction. Large blocks like these are a good compromise between the dry weather grip of a slick and the more balanced performance of a standard tire, and we like to see them on any high-performance design as long as the rest of the pattern complements them. In this case it does.
The second and fourth ribs of the tire display dynamically shaped sipes which channel water away from the gripping surfaces. The circumferential grooves are also slightly wider than normal to handle a higher volume of displaced water when driving on wet roads.
Overall it adds up to a very effective system. The Motivos we tested handled dry roads as well as most summer-only rated tires, which is a real achievement for an all season design. It’s even more impressive considering that they do this without compromising their wet-weather performance. In fact they were exceptionally resistant to hydroplaning and felt stable and secure even when pushed to their limits in the rain.
Cornering – Steering
The continuous center rib around the Motivo gives excellent steering response in dry conditions. You’ll find it quickens response and provides added stability when driving at higher speeds. We like the confident feeling you get behind the wheel on this tire.
These are all-season rather than dedicated winter tires, so they’re not going to handle deep snow as well as a purpose made design. They do perform at least as well as you would expect though. The sipes give biting edges that maximize grip in slush or snow; the tread compound also seems to adhere well to ice. These tires probably won’t be your first choice if you routinely drive in deep snow, but for normal winter weather conditions they’re more than good enough to get you where you need to be.
Ride Comfort – Road Noise
When we received the Motivos we were skeptical about how comfortable they were going to be. Tires with a high wear rating and all-season performance don’t always give the most comfortable ride and tend to be a bit noisy too. Every aspect of tire performance is a trade-off, because it’s almost impossible to improve one without harming another.
Once we got on the road, though, we were very pleasantly surprised. Not only are the Motivos very quiet for an all-season design; they’re very quiet for any tire with a high performance tread pattern. There are two factors we think might contribute to this. The twin steel belts in the tire are spirally wrapped with nylon, and the tread pattern is asymmetric; Nitto say this asymmetry helps minimize road noise, and based on how the Motivos perform we think they are right on the money.
Ride comfort is also very good. These tires provide plenty of feedback without being in any way harsh or unpleasant. If you want a high-performing tire you can rely on all year, without sacrificing comfort, you should move the Motivo to the top of your list.
With a UTQG rating of 560 the Motivo has a predicted life of about 60,000 miles, which is good for an all-season tire. The tread compound is silica-enhanced, a feature that’s appearing on an increasing number of high-end tires and one that really seems to help out.
The Nitto Motivo comes with a 60,000 mile limited tread wear warranty, which also covers it for five years. Nitto say this is the longest warranty available in this class. It’s even more attractive considering the affordable price on this model.