Mickey Thompson Baja MTZ: 15,000-Mile Review, Thoughts & Impressions

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Last Updated on November 27, 2023

Mickey Thompson Baja MTZ P3 Premium Mud-Terrain Tire – Overview and Initial Thoughts

I was recently in need of new tires for my rig. Mickey Thompson was not initially on my radar because I always viewed them as being a street racing tire brand. After doing some research on their brand following a friend’s constant high praise, I came across the Mickey Thompson Baja MTZ.

I was surprised when I started researching their tires because we knew we wanted something with some sidewall flex, good sidewall lugs, and low weight – and these seemed to check many of the boxes. When we were getting ready to bump up to 35″ tires on our 4Runner, I knew that weight and load rating was a big factor.

The Toyo’s we ran for years was a 10ply tire which is super durable. However, when airing down, they didn’t have much initial give when aired down to 15 to 20psi but did still have a good cushion on rocks and debris. They would also be super heavy in a 35″ size.

A friend of mine mentioned going with a D-rated or even a C-rated tire. So I made sure to include the former in my search. I felt the C-rated tires might have too much give when air downed with the extra weight.

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Who Is Mickey Thompson?

Extreme Sidebiters®

Mickey Thompson tires started in the early 1960s then founded in 1963. In 1977, they began producing off-road tires. When you hear the name Mickey Thompson, the first thing that usually comes to mind is drag racing. I am in fact guilty of this exact assumption.

In fact, they have quite the list of first accolades with far too many to list on here, many including the off-road capabilities of their tires. You may have heard of their recently released Mickey Thompson Baja Boss A/T tire.

Upon doing a lot of research on tires I was very surprised by what I found on each of the different brands of tires.

Personally, I think the Mickey Thompson Baja MTZ checked each of the boxes for what we were looking for. I composed a list of some of the top brands for mud-terrain tires.  Showing the common sizes people of 285/70R17 and the 35×12.5R17 (315/70R17) that I was looking at.

Initial Impressions Of The Mickey Thompson Baja MTZ

Toyota 4Runner Mickey Thompson Baja Tires Front View

Initial impressions were above and beyond expected. I was concerned about on-road driving manners from the taller tread depths and there was very little drama with these.  Being brand new, they did not have as much road walk or wobble as some mud-terrain and even hybrid tires have when you start getting near the 21/32 mark for tread depth.

The tires grip the road so well in all weather conditions including dry, dusty, and wet. At times, it was hard to believe they were mud-terrain tires.  

When I was looking at the tires I was really concerned about their weight and the Mickey Thompsons were among the lightest in the category. These are mud-terrains so as expected, there is a bit of road noise but nothing too bad. At highway speeds, these tires are very smooth with a hum that does get louder with speed.

Mickey Thompson On-Road And Off-Road Performance

4Runner Mickey Thompson Baja Tires Offroad

In wet conditions, the tires manage to grip much better than I expected for a mud-terrain tire as they tend to be in the mid to low rating for rain.

In snow and ice, mud-terrains tend to have an even lower rating.  After driving in several different snowstorms and rainstorms in the Texas panhandle, however, I have been extremely pleased with the grip.

Mud and dirt is the strong suit for these tires, of course. The tire compound has a nice give when you’re aired down. This allows the sidewalls to aid in traction and allows for the extra flex when going over objects. We have aired down to around 15psi for doing several trails at Merus Adventure Park and the tires grip really well in the loose dirt, gravel, and rock.

The tires also have excellent side lugs for grip when climbing rocks and playing in the mud.  Additionally, the tread pattern has nice spacing that allows for rock ejection and the center is close enough to keep the tires from being overly loud on pavement all though some noise is only expected.

With these tires having a D-load rating, the sidewalls have a bit more give and allow you to utilize the sidewalls more. That being said, you’ll need to be more observant of tire placement. Otherwise, sidewall puncture can be more possible compared to the E-rated tires. The D-rating still maintains a fair amount of sidewall lift though, helping keep the rim up and clear.


Mickey Thompson Baja Mtz P3 Premium Mud Terrain Tire

Rotating the tires is key with any mud-terrain and these are, of course, no different. As the tires begin to reach that 5k mile mark, you will notice they become louder on-road. If you hear this increase in noise, you will know when the time is getting near.

Now, if you are one of those that love to jam out,  then just ensure you try to get them rotated regularly. Else, you will suffer the consequences of irregular wear and decreased handling performance later.  Also, proper tire inflation makes a huge difference in ride quality and longevity. Like any tire, just keep an eye on these maintenance items and you will enjoy them for many miles and smiles per gallon.

Final Thoughts

4Runner with Mickey Thompson Baja Tires

The Mickey Thompson Baja MTZ is hands down, worth your money.

After driving and wheeling with them, I honestly don’t know how they are not more popular. I can say with certainty that I would buy these tires again. I highly recommend that anyone in the market should look at these tires as a good mud-terrain tire option that doesn’t weigh too much. Plus, they have amazing traction for any situation, both on and off-road.  After over 15,000 miles on the tires I can honestly say that these tires have not only met but far exceeded my expectations for a good solid M/T tire.  After over a year these tires have well more than half of the tread life left and that is as a daily driver with lots of pavement time and plenty of mud, dirt, wet and snow time.  

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