Review: Nitto Motivo UHP All Season Tires, Tire Novices Welcome!

Motivo Tires

Motivo Tires

Not a tire expert?  Great, neither are we!  Don’t go anywhere, you are in the right place if you want to learn how the Nitto Motivo UHP (that is Ultra High Performance) All Season tires perform.   This is not going to be your typical car enthusiasts review, filled with specs and complicated terminology.  This is a review for people want to find good tires for their car, but are not interested in becoming tire and car experts.

Are We Qualified To Review the Nitto Motivo Tires?

Fair enough question as we just stated we are not tire experts.  Here at DadDoes.Com we do hands-on product reviews geared toward parents.   As we discussed in our Do Tires Matter post, we recently got the opportunity to test drive the Nitto Motivo tires on wet and dry tracks.  In addition, we drove the same car with stock tires, so we had a point of reference.   We were then able to get hands-on experience with the Nitto Motivo tires, so we can now offer our honest feedback on how the tires performed.

Please Read Our Basic Tire Terminology Article First… We Will Wait

This review can be considered part two to our experience at the Nitto Ride and Drive event.  In part one, we go over basic tire terminology and the features on the Nitto Motivo that make it stand out from the competition,  if you have not already done so, please take a moment now to read our Basic Tire Terminology post, we will wait…

All set, okay, let’s jump in and we promise not to make it too technical or boring.

The Basics – What Is The Nitto Motivio UHP All Season Tire

Motivo Tire

The Nitto Motivo is an All Season tire, which means it is made to perform well in all weather – dry, wet and moderate snow.   If you live in an area that gets heavy snow, you might need to go with snow tires, but for everyone else All Season tires have great appeal because you don’t need to change tires come the winter.

We are not going to bore you with all the specs on the Motivo, just jump over to the Nitto site if you want all the specs.  The highlights are this – the tire gets an A rating in both Temperature and Traction, which is exactly what you want in an all season tire.  In addition, the Motivo has W and Y rated tires, meaning you can go up to 168 MPH and 186 MPH respectively.  If you are driving 168 MPH plus with the kids in the minivan – we have to talk!

What Makes the Nitto Motivo Different Than Any Other All Season Tire?

Now we get into some of the cool features of the Motivo.  We did cover much of this in the Tire Terminology post, but here is a quick recap.

The Motivo has four circumferential grooves to help push water out from under the tire and minimize the chance of hydroplaning –

Tire Grooves

In addition, the Nitto Motivo has a large number of  sipes


Sipes aid in increasing traction in snow, ice, mud, and wet road surfaces.  The Motivo takes sipes to the next level by using fin shaped sipes and 3D multiwave sipes.   It is not too important to get into the science behind this, but these sipes help with traction in wet weather.

The other thing you notice when you look at the Nitto Motive tire is the asymmetrical pattern design -

Motivo Tire

The outside of the tire has features like larger sized blocks for better handling and cornering and an “open shoulder” that helps evacuate water.  On the inside, you have smaller angled tread blocks to provide better traction in wet conditions.  Overall, this design provides excellent handling and a quieter ride.

Another element that we love on the Motivo tire is the three dot system to show tire wear.  Take a look –

Nitto Tires

Rather than having to do things like sticking a penny in the treads and seeing if Lincoln’s head is still visible, you simply look at the dots.  If you see two dots instead of three, you know the tread has been warn down.  As busy parents, we are all for anything that makes tire maintenance more idiot proof.

The Motivo Features Unique Tire Compounds and Construction

The Motive may look like a rubber tire, but there is a lot more to the Motivo than meets the eyes.  The Motivo is actually made of an all new compound that combines rubber, silica, carbon black and additional polymers.  Nitto wanted to make a tire that performs well in both hot and cold temperatures, so they tested and developed a new all season compound for the Motivo tires.

The Motivo is unique in that it is the only passenger tire that is 100% made in the USA without any human interaction.  Of course humans do inspect the tires, but the assembly is automated.  Nitto uses an automated  factory in Georgia that can fully assemble the Motivo tires in a jointless construction.  Joints can cause heavy spots in a tire, so the jointless construction means the Motivo will have a more uniformed weight.

We Saved the Best For Last – 60,000 Mile Treadwear Warranty

I know, when you read all the features and specs above you start to wonder if this is all marketing hype.  Every tire company has a list of features that they claim makes their tires better.  What is unique about Nitto is they put their money where their mouth is with the Motivo!

The Nitto Motivo tires come with a 60,000 mile treadwear warranty – this is the longest in the industry for this type of tire.  Other tires may have only a 30K warranty, so this seems to prove that the features listed above are not just marketing claims, they are real advances which allow the Motivo tires to last longer than other all season tires.  The 60K warranty is the most impressive feature of the Motivo tires!

Fine, But How Do The Tires Drive?

A product can sound great on paper, but the real question is always, how does it work in the real world.  To test out the Motivo tires we did a number of test drives .  Here is how it worked –


We had four Jaguars, each with a different set of tires.  One Jaguar has the Continental tires that came with it.  A second Jaguar had Nitto Motivo tires.  The third and fourth Jaguars had Nitto Invo and NT05 tires.  The Invo and NT05 tires are not all season tires, but were used to provide some reference points for comparison.

There were two courses, one wet and one dry.  The wet course featured a 350 foot straight away, then two turns at the end.  The dry course was a figure eight.  We went with a professional driver who explained how to drive the course to properly feel the tires and fairly compare them.  For the purpose of this review we will just focus on how the Nitto Motivo tires compared to the Continental tires that come with the Jaguar.

On the Wet Course, Faster, Faster, Faster…Brake!

The above is what my instructor said as I gunned it down the wet course with the Continental tires.  350 feet of pure acceleration and then you slam on the brakes.  With the Continental tires I could feel some slipping and did not feel like I had complete control of the car.  When I slammed on the brakes and the ABS kicked in I could feel the bumping and it did take a little while to come to a complete stop.

I then did the exact same drive with the Nitto Motivo tires and let just say – WOW!  I felt in complete control and the braking was precise and quick.  There was no question that the Motivo tires provided better traction, control and braking on the wet course.  If I was on the highway on a rainy night and a deer jumped out in front of me, I would feel much more confident with the Motivo tires.

Driving Around Turns Like We Just Stole The Jaguar

On the dry course we did a figure eight through a series of cones, with as much speed as we could handle.  On this course, the Continental tires definitely had better traction than on the wet course.  I was doing a ton of steering with the Continental tires, but I assumed that was because I was doing a figure 8 course at high speed.

It was only after I did the same course with the Nitto Motivo tires that I realized the shortcomings of the Continental tires.  When driving with the Motivo tires, I had to turn the steering wheel to much lesser degree and therefore felt more in control and much safer.  Again, had I never tried the Motivo tires, I would have just assumed turning the steering wheel a great amount was just how you had to navigate a figure eight at high speed.  All I know is once I felt the difference with the Motivo tires, I had no desire to go back to the Continental tires.

Nitto Motivo

Overall Impressions On The Nitto Motivo All Season Tires

As we learned about all the features of the Motivo tires, we were impressed by the design, technology and 60K treadwear warranty.  The thing is, we are not really interested in the technical merits of a product, we are most concerned with how it performs in the real world.  The test drive was a real eye opener and really allowed us to see the full benefits of the Motivo tires.

The Motivo tires provided a quite, smooth and very responsive ride.  As an overall day to day tire for any season, the Movito is an excellent choice.  You may not need to drive full speed in the rain and then slam on the brakes.  You may not try to drive as fast as you can in a number of turns and then slam on the brakes.  What I do know is that strange and scary situations pop up in the real world, and when they do I would want to be driving on tires that gave me the absolute best chance of avoiding an accident.   Hopefully you will never be in a situation where you need to push the Motivo to the limit, but if you do, you can feel confident the Motivo will not let you down.

More Information:

Pricing varies based on size.  Motivo will be available in 50 sizes.

Read About Tire Terminology and the Motivo Ride and Drive Event

Visit the Nitto Tire Website

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