Disclaimer: Canadian Tire gave me these tires for free to test out. This is still a 100% honest review of my experience with them.
I have been preaching for years that the Goodyear Duratrac is the best off-road tire for winter driving. Then, the folks at Canadian Tire told me about the new Motomaster Eliminator X-Trail A/T. They were specifically proud of its winter performance.
In order to compare them during real-world situations, I kept the Duratracs on our 4runner and had these mounted on our 2006 Tacoma. These are very comparable vehicles and they live side by side in our driveway.
It’s worth noting that there are some differences – the size of the Duratracs is 285/70/17 while the Eliminator X-Trails are a narrower 265/75/17. The 4runner is also full-time 4WD and has a torquey-er V8 while the Tacoma has the ability to drive in 2WD with a smaller V6 engine.
Motomaster Eliminator X-Trail Overview
The Eliminator X-Trail is the latest off-road tire to come from Canadian Tire’s in-house brand, Motomaster. Its intended use is for daily driven trucks that also hit the dirt from time to time. It’s also a tire that you can leave on year-round – even in the winter.
I’ve read people’s opinions online and it seems like some of them aren’t willing to give these tires a chance because of the Motomaster name. While I don’t see this as a problem myself, I can understand why they might believe that an in-house tire brand might be of lesser quality.
Who makes the Motomaster Eliminator X-Trail?
Allow me to set your mind at ease here – the Eliminator X-Trail is designed and manufactured by Cooper Tire. Canadian Tire had their hand in some of the aesthetic design, but aside from that, these are essentially made by Cooper.
Many all-terrain tires will boast about their off-road ability but in reality, the tread design is pretty mild. The X-Trail A/T features a fairly aggressive tread pattern, although it’s not as rugged as a mud tire or even an “in-between” tire like the Duratrac.
These Motomasters are Severe Snow Service rated with the 3 Peak Mountain Snow symbol displayed proudly on the sidewall. I’m going to assume that a big reason they received that rating is due to the generous amounts of siping on every tread lug.
They’re made with a compound (Adapt Trail Technology) that balances off-road and winter performance with great on-road manners. They also have decent sized side lugs that make them stand out from those less aggressive A/T tires.
So how does the Motomaster Eliminator X-Trail A/T drive?
Street driving with the Eliminator X-Trail is one of this tire’s biggest strengths. I know that seems silly since this is meant to be an off-road tire. But when you consider the fact that it’s intended for off-road use, the on-road performance is shockingly good.
I’ve tried street tires that are worse on the street than these off-road tires. That’s seriously impressive. Let’s break down the road manners of the Eliminator X-Trail into a few categories:
This was my biggest surprise, and also my biggest complaint with my aged Goodyear Duratracs. One look at the beefy tread design of these tires and you’ll automatically assume that they’re going to howl on the highway. That couldn’t be more incorrect.
In my experience, the Eliminator X-Trail is quieter on the highway than a dedicated winter tire on a passenger car. Even on a truck like the Tacoma (let’s face it, it doesn’t exactly have the sound deadening, door seals, windows, and audio system that a Platinum Tundra might have) these tires are whisper quiet at highways speeds.
I know I said the same about the Goodyear Duratracs years ago. The truth is, they were pretty quiet back then. Now that they’ve aged (roughly 45,000 km), the sound has certainly changed. I believe the Eliminator X-Trail is quieter with 3,000 km on it than the Duratrac was back then. But time will tell as these tires wear. I’m very interested to see how the noise changes.
This is another common issue with off-road tires. They can be difficult to balance and often, they’ll vibrate quite a bit at higher speeds. This is not an issue here. While both the Duratrac and Eliminator X-Trail required quite a few weights to balance, neither have a problem with vibrating at speed.
At least, not until over 100 km/h. At that point, you can notice that you have aggressive tires on the 4runner. The Tacoma with the Motomaster tires, however, continues to be smooth at 120, 130, and 140+ km/h. Now, with that said, there’s probably no good reason to be driving that fast in a 4runner or Tacoma.
Driving in rain
This is a very popular question when it comes to off-road tires – how bad are they in the rain? You see, over the years, off-road tires have been known to hydroplane in standing water. This was more of an issue with old-style mud tires that didn’t have any siping.
The Eliminator X-Trail has been fantastic in the rain so far. That’s due to the generous amount of siping the tire was given in an effort to boost winter performance. Standing water hasn’t been a problem at all.
I have a confession to make. We haven’t had a chance to do any hardcore off-roading with these tires yet. There are a couple of reasons:
- This is my wife’s daily driver and its main purpose is street driving
- The 4WD actuator is acting up on the Tacoma and whether it’ll engage or not is unpredictable
So I haven’t done any mudding or rock crawling with these tires yet. Hopefully, I’ll be able to sort out the 4WD actuator and we’ll be able to take it out on an adventure soon.
Hardcore wheeling aside, the Tacoma has seen plenty of rough dirt roads. That’s more than likely the type of driving someone will be doing if they’re looking for a set of tires like these.
Dirt road performance has been great. The separation of the tread lugs is tight enough that picking up and throwing rocks is not much of an issue. On the other hand, I would assume that these tires might have trouble shedding mud for that same reason. That’s the trade-off, unfortunately.
The design of these tires is very much that of an all-terrain tire and not an aggressive mud tire. So don’t expect them to be able to go mudding like a Super Swamper or do some really heavy rock crawling. That isn’t the intended purpose of the Eliminator X-Trail.
This tire is meant to be mounted to a daily driven truck that needs to behave on the street while being able to explore forest service roads and backcountry trails on the weekend.
Winter driving was a big focus for Canadian Tire when they came up with the idea for their newest Motomaster truck tire. They understood that performance in snow and ice conditions is typically a downfall of a traditional all-terrain or mud tire.
I think they were pretty smart in making winter driving a priority here. How many 4×4 truck owners do you know that replace their beefy off-road tires with a winter tire? Everyone I know just assumes that off-road tires are meant for adventure regardless of the season or conditions, and leaves them on year-round.
You can absolutely do that with the Eliminator X-trail if you want to. Their healthy amount of siping, rubber compound, and tread design make them great for daily driving in the wintertime.
I had the chance to compare the Duratracs on the 4runner with the Motomasters on the Tacoma back to back in the worst blizzard of the year here in Ontario. You can check that out in the video below:
My findings were pretty interesting. In deep snow, the Motomasters tend to dig through and cause the truck to sink down. They eventually find traction and bite in though. The Duratracs on the other hand, tend to float on top of the snow.
Hardpacked snow and icy conditions were a different story. I can honestly say that the Eliminator X-Trail blew the Duratracs out of the water in this situation. Braking and steering were much better. The truck was more stable when things were slippery. Overall, I had much more confidence when driving the Tacoma in typical winter driving in the city.
The best way to sum up the winter driving performance is that I spent most of the time in 2WD. Arguably, sometimes that was because 4WD refused to engage, but for the most part, I just didn’t feel like I needed 4WD most of the time.
Treadwear and longevity
I’ve only logged about 3,000 km on these tires so far so it’s no surprise that they still look like new with very little wear. Canadian Tire claims the lifespan for these is 90,000 km which is seriously impressive for an off-road tire.
I’m not sure if I’ll be able to get there to see if this claim checks out myself, but I will be keeping these tires on for the rest of the time we own this truck. Make sure to follow along on YouTube and Instagram for any updates on how these tires wear.
Eliminator X-Trail pricing
This is another big plus for these Motomaster tires. Not only do they list for a considerable amount less than other big-name tires, but they also often go on sale at Canadian Tire. It’s definitely worth paying attention to what sales are on if you’re shopping for a new set of tires. It might make an already inexpensive set of tires turn into a total bargain!
The Motomaster Eliminator X-Trail feels a lot like a dedicated winter tire in snowy conditions. It just so happens that you can leave it on year-round, take it on off-road adventures, and cruise home on the highway in silent comfort. In my opinion, Cooper did an excellent job in developing these tires.
My hope is that people will actually get to experience them and that they won’t become a “best-kept secret” among people that have tried them. I feel like this tire would become hugely popular and give some much more expensive tires a run for their money if they were sold under the Cooper name.
Will they be able to get enough attention for people to look past the Motomaster brand? I’m not so sure. Hopefully, people will be open-minded enough to read or watch some reviews on these before making their decision because it seems as though everyone that tries them, likes them.
Tim is the creator of Canadian Gearhead. His experience with auto detailing and working for Toyota shows through all of the articles posted here. He runs the Canadian Gearhead site and YouTube channel full-time now and currently owns a 2007 4runner, 2006 Tacoma, and 1991 MR2. Read more about Tim: