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Cooper Discoverer A/T3, The Ranger's Review

Discussion in 'Wheels & Tires' started by Maticuno, Feb 22, 2016.

  1. Feb 22, 2016 at 7:52 PM
    #1
    Maticuno

    Maticuno [OP] Resident Pine Swine

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    Gibson stainless headers, custom free-flow Y-pipe, Magnaflow muffler, 285/75R16 KBro2's, Pioner AVH-2300NEX w/backup camera, SCT X4 Tuner.
    After a long time running the Goodyear Wrangler Authority (what I consider to be the best A/T on the market), it finally came time to replace. There are two major reasons I decided against buying the Authority again: 1) tight budget, and 2) my Tacoma has turned into my daily driver on a 60 mile round trip commute and I was looking for something a touch more highway oriented. To help save weight and subsequently fuel economy, I wanted a standard load (not LT "C" or "E") American made tire that looked to have a good balance of highway and off-road design. In my $150 or under budget, there were two standouts, the Hercules Terra Trac A/T II and the Cooper Discoverer A/T3. The Cooper's won out, mostly because they were immediately available and in stock.

    I purchased the Cooper Discoverer A/T3 in P265/70R17 with the "Standard" load rating of 115T. I purchased through OnlineTires.com, which is the online discount portal for American Tire Depot. You can have them shipped straight to your house, or, if you live in Southern California, you can pick your order up directly at their corporate office / warehouse in La Mirada. As I was also buying a set of tires for the wife's SUV, it made sense to go down and grab them myself and save on the shipping. $123 per tire not including tax, installation, and fees is a pretty good deal in my opinion.

    cdat3-1.jpg


    cdat3-2.jpg

    cdat3-3.jpg

    cdat3-4.jpg

    cdat3-5.jpg

    cdat3-6.jpg

    cdat3-7.jpg

    On Road:

    These tires may end up costing me more money. They are so unbelievably quiet that I can now hear squeaks and rattles in my truck that I couldn't hear before, so now I know I have things to fix. Seriously, the A/T3's are nearly silent. At freeway speeds the wind noise of the truck completely drowns out any sound the tires are producing. Before, my typical music listening volume on the stereo was 13. Now I can get away with 10.

    Handling is great. Once the best air pressure was sorted out, they felt solid and planted with no drifting. When travelling in a straight line, there is a slight yet deliberate effort required in steering input in order to change direction. Once this initial "push" is over, they follow happily along with the steering wheel and regain the desire to travel straight line easily. Going from a heavier LT down to a lighter standard load tire, I can actually feel the tires acting as part of the suspension, absorbing some of the road harshness that the previous tires translated directly to the truck. I can also feel the truck not having to work as hard to accelerate which I hope translates to better fuel economy.

    Wet Roads:

    El Niño finally panned out here in SoCal, at least for a couple of weeks. I had the chance to drive home from work in rain conditions that had me sweating due to lack of visibility and water washing across the road. The Discoverers handled amazingly. Even when deliberately turning into an intersection with more throttle than necessary the tires held their ground with maybe the slightest hint of some hopping. There was no noticeable hydroplaning in light puddles, even the long ones that develop in the depressed center sections of roads where heavy trucks and hot temperatures have sagged the asphalt. Accidentally hitting deeper puddles at speed yielded only slight tugs on the steering wheel and the truck continued on through without additional yaw. To summarize, even driving in rain that strained my eyes to see through, I didn't have to adjust driving style much to maintain safe handling.

    Off-Road:

    While I didn't have a chance to go play in the desert like I had originally planned, I did manage to play around on a couple of trails near my house. On hard packed sand, the Discoverers don't want to let go, even when trying to drift corners with a boot load of throttle input. Soft sand traction is impressive as they bit in and pulled through, making their own line regardless of the other tire tracks. Once in 4 wheel drive I was not able to get the tires to break loose, even on tight and twisty up-hill climbs. They seem to resist gathering up gravel and then flinging it loose at highway speeds, always a plus.

    cdat3-or1.jpg

    cdat3-or2.jpg

    cdat3-or3.jpg

    cdat3-or4.jpg

    cdat3-or5.jpg



    It may be a while before I have a chance to run these in mud or snow. Until then, I can say with confidence that I'm happy with this purchase so far.

    15,000 Mile Update:
    This review is going to diverge a little from my previous reviews. Because I was so happy with the initial performance of these tires on my personal truck, I ordered a set in C Load for my work Tacoma. Whether it's related to the C Load having a harder rubber or not, I can't say. What I do know is that they are two completely different animals. The overall performance of the Standard Load tires on my personal truck is unchanged from the original post. However, they are wearing terribly. Measured after today's rotation, the worst two tires are down to 9/32's of tread depth. At this rate I don't know if they will even make it to 30,000 miles.

    The C Load version on my work Tacoma is another story. After about the same amount of mileage under absolutely abusive 100+ MPH code 3 responses on pavement and only slightly slower responses on dirt, they would still pass for new if it weren't for a few light cuts and rock rash. I'm absolutely loving them and they may be the best A/T I've used on an emergency response and patrol vehicle.

    15,000 miles on the Standard Load Tires:

    IMG_20161128_1630475.jpg

    Compared to 15,000 miles on the C Load tires:

    IMG_20161124_0809035.jpg


    Time will tell how long the Standard Load tires last on my personal truck, but I'm already considering going back to the Goodyear Wrangler Authority once they bite the dust. Either that or upgrade to the C Load Discoverer A/T3.


    30,000 Mile Update:


    I ended up having to sell my personal Tacoma with the arrival of kid # 4, so I can no longer comment on the Standard Load tires. However, the work Tacoma now has a touch over 30,000 miles on the C Load tires and they are still performing great! They see constant daily off-road abuse and high-speed highway runs. Rotated every oil change. I would guess at least another 10 - 15,000 miles before they become unsuitable for law enforcement use. I am very impressed with the Discoverer A/T3 and can confidently recommend them in C or E load for anyone wanting a tamer all-terrain with excellent on road manners and surprisingly good off-road performance.

    IMG_20170624_1105272.jpg


    End of Life Update at 46,000 Miles:

    While the average person could probably get another 10k miles out of these, they have reached a point where they are no longer serviceable for off-road law enforcement use. To that end, they have been nothing short of spectacular with no punctures, no failures, no "stucks", and no problems whatsoever. A brand new set is being installed currently, and will likely last until the vehicle is retired from fleet service at 150k miles. I would not hesitate to recommend these tires to anyone and they will always remain as a top two choice for my personal and fleet trucks.

    IMG_20180201_095307800_HDR[1].jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2018
  2. Feb 22, 2016 at 8:10 PM
    #2
    ajm

    ajm The liquor wins

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    I look forward to the review. Incidentally, those are the two tires I was looking at last fall. I went with the Hercules Terra Trac AT ll because there was a $75 rebate.

    I have been happy with them so far. They have performed admirably in deep snow and give a smooth, quiet ride on the highway.
     
  3. Feb 22, 2016 at 8:18 PM
    #3
    Maticuno

    Maticuno [OP] Resident Pine Swine

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    Gibson stainless headers, custom free-flow Y-pipe, Magnaflow muffler, 285/75R16 KBro2's, Pioner AVH-2300NEX w/backup camera, SCT X4 Tuner.
    This will be the first set of Coopers I have run on any of my vehicles. I've had good luck with Hercules tires in the past, they should work out great for you.
     
  4. Feb 22, 2016 at 8:38 PM
    #4
    GHOST SHIP

    GHOST SHIP hates you.

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  5. Feb 23, 2016 at 3:48 PM
    #5
    Maticuno

    Maticuno [OP] Resident Pine Swine

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    OP updated.
     
  6. Feb 23, 2016 at 8:06 PM
    #6
    ajm

    ajm The liquor wins

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    Sounds like you got some good tires at a decent price. As for the squeaks and rattles, that's how you know stuff is working! I swear I can hear my frame slurping as it indulges itself shamelessly in copious helpings of road salt and brine...
     
  7. Feb 23, 2016 at 8:13 PM
    #7
    adrenalnjunky

    adrenalnjunky Well-Known Member

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    I just did the same tires on my truck last week. 265/75/16 they're 116T in that size for the standard sidewall. I've noticed virtually all of the same things. Quiet, smooth, and we had rain yesterday/today and they were great in the wet. Confidence inspiring in situations that my old Destination AT's were sketchy. I had enough tread left on the Firestones that it wasn't a wear issue - they just sucked in the rain.

    I also was looking at the Hercules Terra Trac AT2, and a Hankook ATm. The Hercules is made by Cooper, and I figured if I was going to buy a tire for virtually the same money I was going to buy the USA made Cooper over the Hankooks. I also thought the Discovere was a slightly better looking tire. I really wanted the Discoverer ATP but that is only available thru Discount Tire, and I was limited on where I could get these.
     
  8. Feb 23, 2016 at 8:19 PM
    #8
    95 taco

    95 taco Battle Born

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    :popcorn:
    Just because your tire reviews are very thorough.
     
    Maticuno [OP] and GHOST SHIP like this.
  9. Feb 24, 2016 at 1:22 AM
    #9
    BrettBretterson

    BrettBretterson Wild Ginger

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    While my Goodyear Duratrac's on my Tacoma are my favorite all-around tire that I have owned, Cooper is by far my favorite tire manufacturer. Michelin would be my #1, as they make amazing tires that perform incredibly well, but they are expensive. Cooper just cannot be beat for the price.

    I have personally run several Cooper's: Zeon LTZ, A/T3, ATP, Radial STT, and currently have a set of HTP's on my wife's Highlander. I've even had a set of their "lower-level" Mastercraft series tires, and was happy with their performance as well.

    I chose the HTP's on the Highlander as a replacement for a set of Michelin LTX M/S2's after almost 100k miles. I used to work at Discount Tire, and frequently saw M/S2's come in with 70k+ miles on them before needing replacement, usually on full-size trucks. I felt that I could get a comparably-performing tire at a much lower cost in a Cooper, so I decided to try the HTP. The last time I measured them a few months ago at 20k miles, they were still at 80%+ tread-life remaining. They perform incredibly well in dry and wet weather, which is important here in the NW. I couldn't be happier with them for the price I paid for them.

    The only thing I liked better about the M/S2 is the deeper tread-depth, but I knew I was going away from that with the HTP, as it's a street-oriented radial. What I didn't realize is that now that we have kids, we like to take the Highlander on Sunday drives to the mountains on gravel forest-service roads, when we don't need the Tacoma for trail-capability or camping gear. I would like to replace the HTP's with A/T3's, but so far that hasn't been a need, so that most likely won't happen until they wear out.

    That was long-winded, but the point of it is to say, I don't think you'll be disappointed with your purchase. You always provide well-detailed tire reviews, so I felt mine appropriate, for you as well as anybody else that may be considering Cooper's but are unfamiliar.
     
    asuchemist and Maticuno [OP] like this.
  10. Mar 6, 2016 at 3:11 PM
    #10
    Naveronski

    Naveronski Well-Known Member

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    @Maticuno How have the been thus far? Anything you don't like about them?

    I drive 85% paved, but want good performance through dirt/rock/whatever else. Don't really ever play in the mud, so not concerned there.
     
  11. Mar 6, 2016 at 4:59 PM
    #11
    shr133

    shr133 Well-Known Member

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    K & N filter, 275 70 17 Cooper AT3, OME Nitrocharger shocks, 884 Springs, Dakar leafs.
    I have the 275 70 17s and love them....
    I think everyone likes the AT3, it's the new std in an AT tire...
    Great in wet, dry, deep water, sand mud, snow, towing just about everything....
    In snow you may need to let some air out they have stiff side walls.....
    I can go on the dunes with 28 psi and still run down the road if I have to....
    Off road just get them spinning and you are out of trouble quick...
    I love them for all around use, the ST maxx is better off road so I may be getting the ST maxx when I get my 285s...
     
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  12. Mar 6, 2016 at 7:54 PM
    #12
    GHOST SHIP

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    Thanks for the info about the website OP, and for the thorough review. I'll be picking my Coops this week or next from La Mirada.:thumbsup:
     
  13. Mar 7, 2016 at 8:07 AM
    #13
    Maticuno

    Maticuno [OP] Resident Pine Swine

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    I'll update with rain experience when I get home this evening.
     
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  14. Mar 14, 2016 at 8:43 PM
    #14
    TacoSeattle

    TacoSeattle Well-Known Member

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    Cooper AT3s have proven super so far in rain, mud, sand...are different and independent...look great...

    _DRH7765 copy.jpg
     
  15. Mar 16, 2016 at 11:43 AM
    #15
    Maticuno

    Maticuno [OP] Resident Pine Swine

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    OP updated with rain experience.
     
  16. Apr 29, 2016 at 8:37 PM
    #16
    Maticuno

    Maticuno [OP] Resident Pine Swine

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    I had a chance to take my truck on the most hardcore off-roading I've ever done with it, finally making use of my rear diff skid and wishing I had more armor as rocks dinged cross members as I crept over them. The Discoverers performed flawlessly. At no point was I wishing I had more traction. I didn't even have to air down as I charged up steep hills, plotted courses through boulders, and avoided tipping over the side of narrow blind curves.

    The Coopers performed so admirably that they became the obvious choice for the next set of tires on my work truck. Now I will really have a chance to put them to the test, this time with 100+ MPH highway driving and brutal off-road conditions. Had to stick with stock tire size, so LT 245/75R16 Load C.

    cdat3-worktaco.jpg
     
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  17. Apr 30, 2016 at 5:41 AM
    #17
    P2W

    P2W Whut?

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    Interested to hear your feedback on the work truck.
     
  18. Apr 30, 2016 at 8:07 AM
    #18
    jasonct

    jasonct Well-Known Member

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    Loving my AT3's! If anyone is near the Bristol CT area, I am arranging a good deal with a very well known independent tire shop for TW affiliates!
     
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  19. Apr 30, 2016 at 9:37 AM
    #19
    TacoSeattle

    TacoSeattle Well-Known Member

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    AT3's at Moab...Arches...I prefer the white letters on the outside...looks good...

    _DRH8658.jpg_DRH8914-1.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2016
  20. Apr 30, 2016 at 9:43 AM
    #20
    Simon's Mom

    Simon's Mom Wag More Bark Less

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    I have these in my garage waiting to be installed! Can't wait! Thanks for the review!
     
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