Tire Review: Nitto’s All Season Motivo

Picking a tire for your vehicle is as personal as buying an outfit. A lot of factors can easily sway decisions from one manufacture to another. Are you looking for something that is going to get you around the turns as fast as possible? How about wet or snowy climates that require a completely different tire than a summer performance tire? If both answers are yes, then Nitto Tire might have the answer you have been looking for via their relatively new Motivo. We recently were invited out to Miller Motorsports Park in Utah to experience the diversity of the Motivo on a fleet of G37x sedans.

Our test vehicles were G37x sedans with the OEM all season tire, NT90W snow tire, and Motivo all season tire.

Nitto showcased three tires at the Winter Arrive and Drive – their Motivo, NT90W snow tire, and the OEM all season tire that comes equipped on the G37xs. All tests were performed in snow, including two steep graded hill climbs, collision avoidance, handling course, skid pad, and acceleration/braking. We will cut straight to the chase – the NT90W dominated every exercise during the day, but we were still most impressed with the diversity of the Motivo, which is the tire we decided to formally review.

A Tire For All Weather

Not everyone has the luxury of living in SoCal where rain is minimal and the temperatures are mild. Here we can afford to run a summer performance tire year around. For those of you living in the other 49 states (and around the world) have snow, rain and sleet to deal with. This is where the Motivo shines. Nitto describes the Motivo as, “…the evolution of Nitto’s Ultra High Performance street tires engineered to perform in all weather conditions while providing ride comfort, minimal road noise, and increased mileage. Motivo’s all-season capability fulfills the demands of your active lifestyle by navigating you safely through challenging road and weather conditions.”

The Motivo comes with a WY performance rating, A for traction and temperature, along with a 560 UTQG treadwear rating. An added bonus is the available 60,000-mile limited treadwear warranty, which Nitto claims is the industry’s highest mileage warranty for W and Y speed rated tires. A myriad of sizes are available, ranging from 17 to 20-inch diameters.

Smooth Driving

• Made in the USA using proprietary advanced tire manufacturing technology, Motivo delivers consistent tire uniformity for a smooth and enjoyable driving experience.

Balanced Performance

• Combined with an all-new silica rubber compound, the Motivo aims for more driving miles while maintaining traction and handling in winter, wet, and dry conditions.

Unique Design

• The distinct pattern attracts the eye while the tread block arrangement is designed to minimize road noise.

Taking the Motivo to the Test

Hill Climb

The Motivo performed nearly-perfect on the hill climb. A moderately aggressive start is required to build the needed momentum heading up the hill, followed up by constant 20-30% of throttle input. The Motivo was more forgiving than it's OEM cohort, while the NT90W had stuck like glue to the slippery slope.

Road Course/Collision Avoidance

The collision avoidance test was converted into the back portion of the road course after lunch, which provided a medley of exercises. We were able to do acceleration and braking tests along with a slalom and a few offset gates. We were impressed how well the Motivo dug into the snow on near full throttle launches, culminating with a foot-to-the-floor smash on the brakes. The slalom was the place to have some fun and regardless how aggressively we drove through them, at most, a mild amount of counter steer was required to keep the G37x on course.

Skid Pad

The skid pad was the place to test out the oversteer and understeer characteristics of each tire. With the steering wheel set at a predetermined position (around 90 degrees of input) we were tasked to keep the car traveling at the same distance around the skid pad by simply modulating the throttle. While it’s very easy to push the limits during this exercise, the feedback from the Motivo was smooth and consistent throughout.

In Conclusion

While the Nitto Motivo might not be the most hardcore dry performance tire on the market, it captures a delicate blend of all aspects of driving – both wet and dry. You would think an OEM tire manufacture would be a shoe-in for the best possible all season tire after decades of development and testing, though we can say without hesitation that during our tests, the Motivo out performed it in all aspects. So if you are looking for a tire that is quiet, lasts a long time, while providing excellent dry and wet performance, the Motivo might be your match.

About the author

Mark Gearhart

In 1995 Mark started photographing drag races at his once local track, Bradenton Motorsports Park. He became hooked and shot virtually every series at the track until 2007 until he moved to California and began working as a writer for Power Automedia. He was the founding editor for its first online magazines, and transitioned into the role of editorial director role in 2014. Retiring from the company in 2016, Mark continues to expand his career as a car builder, automotive enthusiast, and freelance journalist to provide featured content and technical expertise.
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