The difference between mud-terrain and all-terrain tires is a slight superiority of the former in off-road scenarios, and slight inferiority on-road. So, the ideal MT tire would be one that offers relentless off-road performance while still providing ample grip and stable handling on the road. The Achilles Desert Hawk XMT aims to achieve just that — and it wears a pretty humble price tag.
This review looks at its performance in different real-world scenarios to see if it has what it takes to be your next upgrade. Let’s get into it!
Achilles Desert Hawk XMT — Overview
The Achilles Desert Hawk XMT is a mud terrain summer tire made for light trucks and SUVs. It’s chunky, ragged, and looks awesome — but all mud tires are pleasing to the eye. Many people buy mud tires just because they look great on their trucks, and the Desert Hawk XMT also makes for one heck of an aesthetic upgrade.
It’s mainly designed for relentless off-road performance. However, it’s got just enough on-road practicality for an enjoyable highway experience behind the wheel. It’s also built extremely well, and everything about it looks and feels durable. The tread compound is chip/cut resistant. It’s made to be sturdy enough to withstand deep ruts, rocks, or gravel. It can also easily handle dirt, soft sand, and even clay.
The X-Protection sidewall from Achilles (represented by the ‘X’ in XMT) keeps the tire safe from tears and cuts caused by sharp objects on off-road tracks. Its 3-step tread block design provides enhanced stability, improved handling, and an aggressive bite for added traction on different off-road terrains.
Overall, the Achilles Desert Hawk XMT is an attractive package with solid off-road performance, sufficient practicality, and stunning looks. Pair that with its humble price tag and you’re in for a great deal.
With that said, let’s see how the tire performs in different real-world scenarios.
Mud-terrain tires used to be pretty useless for highway use in the past. That’s because they were primarily made to be used on muddy off-road tracks. However, that norm has changed drastically as the market dynamics shift over time. Most trucks and SUVs rarely see an off-road track these days, so on-road practicality is a priority for most truck and SUV drivers — even if they’re off-roading enthusiasts.
Keeping that in mind, Achilles has tried their best to make this mud-terrain tire somewhat practical on the pavement. In comparison to similarly priced competitors within the mud-terrain market segment, the Achilles Desert Hawk XMT isn’t too bad on the road.
It provides sufficient stability and traction on dry roads. Directional stability could be better at highway speeds, but it can be countered with minor steering corrections by the driver. Overall, the tire is good enough for casual daily driving needs in the city.
As you might guess, the Achilles Desert Hawk XMT has nothing extraordinary to offer in the rain. Wet conditions certainly expose the tire’s weakest areas, but that’s to be expected from an MT off-roading tire.
With that said, the wide grooves on the tread still provide acceptable levels of hydroplaning resistance. The tire is practical enough for driving in the rain as long as you stay within safe speeds and slow down in the corners. Braking distances could be better, but they’re still reliable enough. Overall, the tire is usable in wet conditions and offers just enough reliability to get you home safely on a rainy day.
When it comes to off-road tracks, the Achilles Desert Hawk XMT makes up for all its on-road mediocrity. In any off-road surface, be it dirt, clay, grass, rocks, or gravel — the Desert Hawk XMT rocks — no pun intended. The tire even plows through thick mud as if it’s nothing, and that’s what a genuine muddy-terrain tire should be all about.
The X-protection sidewall keeps the tire safe from chip damage, punctures, holes, and cuts. The tire also does a good job at absorbing shocks and bumps on the roughest off-road tracks. Overall, the Achilles Desert Hawk XMT provides quite a dreamy off-roading experience in any condition you throw at it.
Sure, the Achilles Desert Hawk XMT has some noticeable weaknesses as we’ve discussed in this review. However, they’re all exposed on the road. And they should! The tire is simply not made to be used as a daily driver for your highway cruises and city tours. It’s meant for getting its hands dirty in the rough, muddy terrain of the off-road world.
In its natural element, the tire doesn’t fall short on anything.
So, if you’re in the market for a true muddy-terrain tire that doesn’t break the bank, the Achilles Desert Hawk XMT is one of the most promising offerings out there. You get durability, reliability, and uncompromised off-road performance no matter what conditions you use this tire in. It might be just the upgrade your SUV or truck needs. All the best!