Cooper Cobra Radial G/T Review

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The Cooper Cobra Radial GT is your go-to all-season tire, (especially if you are a mustang user), as that’s where these tires got the polarity from, mostly form their added flair of raised white lettering for a stylish look. Stick around as we delve into the unique aspects of this tire.

Cooper Cobra Radial GT
For this car, I had Cooper Cobra Radial GT sidewalls painted. The white lettering isn’t my style.

The Cooper Cobra Radial G/T excels in dry conditions and offers impressive fuel efficiency, but faces challenges in wet grip and winter traction. While it possesses great steering feedback, its tread life is shorter due to design choices. Noise comfort is another area where it underperforms, given its unique sound. And yes its impact comfort has the same story.

Tire Sizes

The Cooper Cobra Radial G/T are currently available in just 14 and 15 inches. And those sizes have following specs.

  • Speed ratings: S and T, (where only the P295/50R size gets to have S rating).
  • Load ratings: SL and XL.
  • Tread depth: 10.5/32″ on all.
  • Weight range: 22 to 32 lbs.
  • Treadwear warranty: 50k miles.
  • UTQG rating: 440 A B.

Feeling lost in the world of all-season tires? Don’t fret! Dive into my detailed guide on all-season categories right here.


The Cooper Cobra Radial GT features a symmetric tread design, having a 5 rib structure.

Cooper Cobra Radial GT
Cooper Cobra Radial GT’s central rib is the most biting.

Here the central most rib is the most interesting. Not only it features notches facing both side, and lateral siping slits. It’s also continuous running so it makes consistent contact with the ground, providing directional grip.

The ribs on each side of this one are similar. Though they are much more voided up, and have thick lateral (curved) siping slits.

Though to give them stability, you can see from the picture, that all lugs there are sitting on a continuous running secondary layer.

Same goes for shoulder, which have similar wide lateral (curved) grooves.

They have similar thick siping too, but in addition to that, they also feature small notches facing outward.

Internally, the tire consists of two low-stretch polyester casing plies, with 2 steel belts, and a single nylon cap ply.

Dry Performance

Dry performance involves a lot of variables. So its best if I separate this section in to 3 main (most significant) parts.

Lateral and longitudinal grip, and steering.

Dry Grip

Directional grip pivots around the tire’s central area (of the tread, I mean). And this is because that area gets the most weight on it, as the tire rolls. In other words, it meets the most with the road, if that makes sense.

Now here, the Cobra Radial G/T offers above-average results, stopping only a feet shorter compared to the highest ranking competitor here.

And looking at its tread, it makes sense, since it has this continuous running central most rib, with slanted notches facing outwards (on each side).

So with unbroken design, there’s a consistent contact with the road, while notches increase that longitudinal traction further, as they bite in to the ground, (as the tire tire’s to stop or accelerate).

Though the tire’s grip would have been even better, if it weren’t for the adjacent ribs having such voided up structure. I mean with such wide lateral grooves, they aren’t able to provide this tire with extra rubber to road contact.

Lateral Grip

Lateral traction is highly dependent on the tire’s shoulders due to the influence of centripetal force.

As the tire turns, this force basically comes in to action, causing the weight of the tire to concentrate on the edges of the tread, (so basically on sidewalls/shoulder lugs).

So how well these lugs meet with the road are very significant here.

Now coming to the tire, the Cooper Cobra Radial G/T, as it features such minimalist, and compact shoulder design, manages to offer satisfactory rubber-to-road contact, ensuring decent lateral grip.

And so you get superb handling times with this tire, where its outranking all its direct competitors.

Though this is not only because of the tire’s lateral grip. Here the overall steering characteristics have a bigger role to play.

Steering Feedback

Now, let me tell you, the main highlighting feature of Cooper Cobra Radial G/T is its steering.

I mean, it responds quickly and directly, and there’s no delay or any area where it misses the feedback (no dead spot).

And yes, I should add, that its steering also feels very natural, where one has to put minimal efforts around corners.

So how is this tire doing that?

Well this is because of its stiffer rubber compound, combined with reinforced foundations underneath all its lugs.

So all its (tread) lugs undergo minimal lug flexing, (which basically lowers the steering response).

Wet Performance

Wet performance of a tire is dependent upon two pivotal elements:

  • Overall lateral and longitudinal traction.
  • Resistance to hydroplaning.

Let’s start with later.

Hydroplaning Resistance

Hydroplaning resistance is crucial as it constitutes the tire’s ability to expel water from its tread primarily via the grooves.

This basically prevents water to form a barrier between the tread and the road, which causes tire to float or should I say, hydroplane.

Now, here, the Cooper Cobra Radial G/T featuring 4 aqua channels (as Cooper likes to call them) doesn’t have any problems.

Moreover, with the outer ribs voided up, having lateral grooves, and interconnecting those circumferential channels, water is able to get out in all directions.

So you get above average, lateral and longitudinal float speeds with this tire.

Wet Grip

Wet performance of a tire is crucial, and it’s mainly about getting rid of water from the tread (as water is not compressible).

Now this is achieved by the tire’s grooves and sipes. Grooves help resistance to hydroplaning (already discussed above), and they remove out the bulk of the water.

While sipes come in for the left over water particles, and they deal with them by sucking them in their slits (and later spraying them out, as the tire rolls over).

Now, here, the Cooper Cobra Radial G/T doesn’t really stand, (when you compare it with other tires in its category). I mean, even though it has good enough siping, they are not very effective because of two main reasons:

  • Their linear design makes them prone to getting stiffen up, (especially when the tire corners).
  • The tire has less silica, making the tread stiffer and less effective at absorbing and releasing water through the sipes.

And so needless to say, you get below average results, in all areas, wet braking, handling and steering responsiveness (where the tire is prone to under-steering).

Tread Life

The tread life of Cooper Cobra Radial G/T is one of its weakest point, and it makes sense why the tire comes with the treadwear rating of only 440.

I mean although the tire comes with a pretty stable and stiff rubber composition, it still lacks with its shallower tread depth of 10.5/32″.

In other words, its tread design is more aggressive, where its tread depth is not.

So it comes down to 2/32″ replacement levels faster.

Though the good thing is you still get a 50k miles warranty.

Noise Comfort

In terms of noise comfort, Cooper Cobra Radial needs some help.

The tire emits a unique, higher-pitched sound that changes based on the road surface.

But what’s causing it?

Well, air is the main cause here. Unlike its competitors which have a compact tread design, this tire features more voided up structure, so air particles easily flow around (in the tread, from place to place), hitting the tread walls (the impact of which generates noise).

Winter Traction

All-season tires are valued for their proficient performance in snowy conditions, where they exhibit superior handling, braking, acceleration, and overall traction.

Though this does not go for Cooper Cobra Radial G/T. And it makes sense since the tire is missing with most of the needed features here.

  • It features a harder compound.
  • It’s missing with biters.
  • It’s grooves are wider, and so is its section width on average, I mean.

Let me break down all of these, to help you understand how each is contributing here.

So with the tire having a harder compound, all its tread features tend to get stiffen up with freezing temperatures, lowering down their efficacy to bite snow.

Moreover, speaking of which, there aren’t any biters to begin with, so most of the snow traction is from snow scooping (where throwing snow backwards propellers tire forward).

And since the tire comes with greater section width it makes greater rubber to snow contact which is not what you want, since that contact generates less friction (as snow likes to stick on each other more).

Though on a positive note, the tire does offers appreciable snow braking, and that makes sense since its central most rib is the only area with notches.

Road Vibrations

The Cooper Cobra GT, although offers a stable ride, its not able to absorb road bumps efficiently.

The tire basically comes with a harder tread pattern that is also more aggressive for its category. So its not very absorbent of the road imperfections.

Moreover, it’s smaller tread depth also gives bumps/vibrations less room to settle down.

This sluggish response in its bump damping properties and slight tread vibrato even on smoother tracks render it with a below average score in subjective comfort performance.

Fuel Consumption

Fuel consumption is directly linked to the tire’s rolling resistance.

This resistance is influenced by multiple factors, including the tire’s tread structure and design, the composition of its rubber, and the overall construction weight.

And there are no complaints here with Cooper Cobra Radial G/T. This is mainly because of the following reasons.

  • The tire is basically composed of a rigid rubber composition.
  • It’s tread depth is shallower compared to other tires in the category.
  • And its construction is also lighter.

All these basically prevent the tread’s lugs from bending.

Bending of the lugs is basically directly proportional to rolling resistance. As with increased deformation and contact patch the tire requires more energy to maintain motion.

Take Home Points

The Cooper Cobra Radial G/T is a tire with distinct strengths and weaknesses. In terms of dry performance, it offers commendable grip and superior steering feedback, with a clear emphasis on consistency and quick response.

When it comes to wet conditions, the tire showcases excellent hydroplaning resistance but falls short in wet grip due to issues related to siping design and tread composition.

And yes, winter traction isn’t one of the tire’s strong suits either, and that’s mainly due to its harder compound, lack of biters, and wider grooves.

Tread life is another area where the tire doesn’t shine as brightly, though its fuel economy is ok.

Sound comfort, is just barely okay, where its bumps comfort needs improvement.

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