Cooper Discoverer AT3 4S Tire Review

Cooper Discoverer AT3 4S Tire Review: A Solid, Fully Four-Season Tire for 5th Gen 4Runner

Cooper Discoverer AT3 4S Tire Review: A Solid, Fully Four-Season All-Terrain Tire for 5th Gen 4Runner

When it comes to tires, there’s plenty of differing opinions of which tire is best.

We all have our own preferences and if you’re like me, with the cost outlay, I often find myself returning to what I know and trust.

When I first starting driving four-wheel-drive vehicles, I swore by the popular BF Goodrich All-Terrain TA KO2s.

However, at one point, it appeared the quality seemed to have dropped and a one thousand dollar outlay burned up pretty quickly with premature tire wear.

At this point, I started looking seriously at other options.

Why Choose Cooper Tires Discoverer AT3s?

The Cooper line of Discoverer AT3’s has good reviews. So, I bit the bullet and ordered a set for my 1997 Land Rover Discovery.

The tires were great!  When I moved on to an LR3, as soon as I needed new tires, I ordered a set of Cooper Discoverer AT3’s.

Fast forward to today and to my current 2014 4Runner.

The truck came with factory tires from Bridgestone Duelers. After purchasing the 4Runner last April, I knew this would be one of my first changes.

However, an issue with the tires had the dealer put two new Bridgestone Duelers on the front within a couple of weeks of my ownership so I decided to leave them for the summer.

Typically, I run two sets of wheels and tires, one set for summer and the other for winter.

With climate change, we are seeing quite a bit more freezing rain during the winter and the extra security of winter tires here in Ontario does make a difference.

When I first saw the Discoverer AT3 4S, I wondered if this might be an ideal compromise, allowing the ability to run one set of tires year-round in all weather conditions.

The reviews from others looked good so this fall, with winter already showing its head in Western Canada, I ordered a set of factory size, 265-70 R17 Cooper tires.

Anatomy of Copper Discoverer AT3 4S Tires

Cooper Discoverer AT3 4S Tire Review: A Solid, Fully Four-Season Tire for 5th Gen 4Runner: Anatomy of a Tire

The tires appear to be a well-thought-out design.

Tire Performance Features Include:

  • Saw-Tooth Technology (1)
  • Aqua Vac Channels (2)
  • Micro-Gauge Zig-Zag Sipes (4)
  • Secure-Grip All-Terrain Tire Design (3)

Purchase these tires:

Prices vary slightly from vendor to vendor and cost is also determined by your selected size. For example, the 285/70R17 is going to cost about $40 more per tire than our factory tire size 265/70R17.

Saw-tooth technology (1) traps the snow in the tread for great snow-on-snow traction, special Aqua Vac channels (2) featuring deep center grooves improve hydroplaning and micro-gauge zig-zag sipes (4) improve stability and assist with reducing stone retention. All these additional features are added to the already great Secure-Grip (3) all-terrain tire design.

It seemed like a win-win situation. And while they are not a full-on winter tire, they stop on average twenty feet shorter in snow than a standard All-Terrain tire. Off-road grip with on-road manners sounds like a great combination.

Severe Weather Rated + Adaptive-Traction Technology

Additionally, the tires are severe weather rated and feature adaptive-traction technology and Cooper offers a 65,000-mile/105,000 KM tread life warranty and a free 45-day road test.

Well, all the jargon aside, how does the tire perform when the rubber hits the road so to speak? So far, they feel great. They are definitely heavier than the stock Bridgestone’s and this means the 4Runner feels much more solid on the highway.

Where it felt like the Bridgestone’s floated a bit, I now feel fully anchored to the pavement.

I’m sure the extra weight will have fuel consumption ramifications but the solid feel is well-worth the added miles per gallon required.

Lots of meat on this tire for any application

Cooper Discoverer AT3 4S Tire Review: A Solid, Fully Four-Season Tire for 5th Gen 4Runner

For a chunky tire, they are surprisingly quiet.

I hear the wind in my roof-rack more than the tires growling beneath me.

When the snow starts flying here in the next few weeks, my feeling is the extra winter-tire type technology will have me feeling even more comfortable and in control, than I did with the Discoverer AT3, which were actually pretty good on their own!

Cooper Tires’ Discoverer Lineup

Cooper Discoverer AT3 4S Tire Review: A Solid, Fully Four-Season Tire for 5th Gen 4Runner: Cooper Tires' Discoverer Lineup

Cooper has overhauled the entire Discoverer line over the past year.

The line-up includes the Discoverer AT3 4S, the Discoverer AT3 LT and the Discoverer AT3 XLT.

While the Discoverer 4S is designed for winter/snow use, the Discoverer LT is designed to carry heavy loads with less wear while being able to withstand the ongoing assault from dirt and gravel.

The Discoverer XLT goes even further while having all the features of the LT, it is designed to prevent shedding on rocky and gravel terrain and the rugged, biting edges on the shoulder of the tire add extra grip and help make the tire more resistant to punctures.

You can see Max’s initial impressions of the AT3 XLT here, and then another 11K mile follow-up review after some real use.

Final Thoughts

With the three tires, Cooper has most off-road enthusiasts covered for their preferred recreation activities, a relatively stock vehicle can run the AT3 4S tires while modified vehicles with added weight can move to the LT or XLT versions.

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3 years ago

I agree with your report on Cooper tires. I am going to swith to the same tire you mentioned for my 2013 Ford explorer in Wyoming. Keep up the great articles

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