Nitto NT421Q Review: Ultra-High Performance All-Season Tire for Crossover & SUV

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  • Superb all-season traction
  • Performs admirably in wet, slippery, or snowy roads
  • Aggressive tread design
  • Comfortable and quiet ride


  • It’s a pricier alternative

The Nitto NT421Q is the newest breed of tire for CUVs, crossovers, and compact SUVs. But not unlike rugged SUV tires that come with a bouncy ride and louder noise, the NT421Q is refined to a fault. However, it doesn’t skimp on sporty handling and aggressive style.

It sounds like the Nitto NT421Q has all the bases covered, and rightfully so. But what are the drawbacks? Is it good for snow or winter driving? In this review, we’ll discuss the many features of the Nitto NT421Q along with the possible drawbacks, which are few in this case.

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What are the features of the Nitto NT421Q?

This is Nitto’s latest generation CUV tire, so it naturally comes with a barrage of clever features. Let’s start with the gorgeous and sporty asymmetric tread design in the Nitto NT421Q. If you look closely, the face of the tire is divided into two sections. The outer shoulder contains larger tread blocks while the inner is equipped with smaller blocks with larger open grooves.

Besides giving the tire a more aggressive and racing-inspired look, the unique tread design serves a purpose. The outer side with the larger blocks are designed to improve stability, traction, handling, and cornering in dry tarmac. In the meantime, the inner blocks are designed to improve wet and winter performance.

The Nitto NT421Q is constructed with additional shoulder inserts. The tire comes with an added circumferential layer of rubber to add strength and cushioning. This enables the tire to deliver maximum rigidity while absorbing a lot of bumps. Of course, this naturally leads to a safer and more comfortable driving experience.

This tire is also equipped with Nitto’s exclusive 3D multi-wave and 3D interlocking sipe design. This feature allows the numerous sipes to lock together as you apply the brakes or accelerate from a full stop. As the sipes lock together, the tire creates a larger contact patch to improve traction. This also ensures solid handling and powerful cornering in all-weather driving.

Nitto NT421Q Review

What are maintenance indicators?

Not all tires are fitted with maintenance or wear indicators. But the Nitto NT421Q comes fitted with intelligent maintenance indicators to visually show the condition of the treads. This also acts as an early warning indicator against suspension and alignment problems before the problem gets worse. If the indicators are wearing unevenly, this signifies a problem with the camber or suspension alignment. This is a nice and easy way to check the condition of the tires and your vehicle in general.

Is it good for off-road driving?

The Nitto NT421Q is by no means an off-road tire. But tires that perform well in snow are generally good in loose dirt as well, and this holds true for the Nitto NT421Q. But this tire is primarily meant for the street. Think of it as a touring tire or H/T (highway terrain) tire with sportier performance and you won’t be too far off. If your crossover or SUV is modified for off-road driving, you are barking at the wrong tree.

How does it behave in dry tarmac?

The drip levels in the dry are superb! It offers sportier performance than ordinary touring tires without upsetting the ride comfort and vehicle stability. The Nitto NT421Q will happily oblige to your ham-fisted steering inputs without skipping a beat.

But things are different at higher speeds. The Nitto NT421Q offers more dry grip than the Nitto 420S, but it’s not designed for precise high-speed driving. Granted you shouldn’t be driving a crossover like a sports car, but there are high-performance CUVs that require ultra-high performance tires to deliver excellent handling. If this is the case, the Nitto NT421Q falls short.

How is it over wet and slippery roads?

True to the all-season nature of the Nitto NT421Q, it performs rather well in wet or slippery surfaces. The unique asymmetric tread design means the NT421Q is only equipped with three circumferential grooves to dissipate water. But with a higher sipe density along with larger open grooves, it can find massive amounts of grip even when rolling over icy or slushy surfaces.

With that being said, how is it in snowy roads?

The Nitto NT421Q is a revelation in snowy or cold weather. Due to the smaller inner blocks with larger open grooves and 3D locking sipes, this tire is more than capable of motivating your CUV or SUV over light snow. But if the roads are covered with 3 or more inches of snow, the tires will begin to suffer in terms of traction and stability. In order to be on the safe side, you should consider switching to snow tires if you live in places with prolonged heavy snowfall.

Is it comfortable and refined?

Yes! This is the type of CUV/SUV tire that begs to be driven all day long. It offers exceptional comfort and lower road noise even at higher than average speeds. The ride quality, in particular, is superb as the tire is able to absorb shocks and bumps without affecting the composure of the vehicle. This is a welcome insight into the future of CUV tires. If touring tires for sedans can be comfortable as riding on a cloud, the Nitto NT421Q can do the same for your crossover SUV.

You can see more Nitto NT421Q Review here: videos created by 4 Wheel Online

Should I buy the Nitto NT421Q?

The answer is a resounding yes! But again, there’s a catch. The Nitto NT421Q is not exactly the most affordable option out there. You can easily fork out $550 or $650 for a set of Nitto NT421Q tires. But it’s not as if you don’t get your money’s worth in terms of features and benefits. This tire belongs to the top hierarchy of the best crossover/SUV tires that money can buy.

2 thoughts on “Nitto NT421Q Review: Ultra-High Performance All-Season Tire for Crossover & SUV”

  1. I drove almost 71000 miles on set of 4 nitto 421 q on my Range Rover ( more then 6 ton truck ) and bought today june 12 2020 ,set of 4 nitto 421q again , I have the same tires on my Volvo Xv90 I don’t need to tell any more , buy !

  2. I purchased 4 nitro 421q tires in a 275/50/20 size. Two of the tires had high spots on them and wouldn’t balance. The tire seller has ordered two new ones. Will be here next week. I love the look of this tire but so far not impressed. We will see with the replacement tires.


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