Cooper Discoverer Road+Trail AT Review

22 Comments

Cooper Discoverer Road+Trail AT comes with an aggressive sidewall design with some advanced technologies. And this all-terrain tire promises versatility and reliability for a wide range of vehicles. Let’s see if this tire’s made for you.

Cooper Discoverer Road+Trail AT
Cooper Discoverer Road+Trail AT comes with impressive sidewall lugs, missing in its predecessor, the Discoverer AT3 4S.

Key Takeaway

Overall, the Cooper Discoverer Road+Trail AT excels in:

  • Dry traction with strong directional and lateral grip.
  • Wet performance, offering excellent water dispersal and hydroplaning resistance.
  • Winter conditions, thanks to its silica-rich compound and effective snow-vices/biters.
  • Impact comfort, due to its well-engineered internal and external build.

However, it needs improvements in:

  • Steering responsiveness, affected by its substantial weight.
  • Consistency in road noise comfort, especially on smoother surfaces.
  • Fuel efficiency, as its structure/design increase rolling resistance.
  • Handling extreme off-road conditions, particularly in deep mud or sand.

Tire Structure

The Discoverer Cooper Road+Trail offers a very on-road oriented, yet biting symmetrical tread design.

Cooper Road+Trail
Testing out contact patch on Cooper Road+Trail.

Its tread is characterized by 5 ribs, where the 3 in the middle showcase unique sets of blocks.

The middle most rib features countless off-set edges, along with snow-vices (sharp saw toothed edges), longitudinally aligned.

And yes, they also feature curved linear sipes, as well.

The adjacent ribs have similar features, though here sipes and snow vices are more laterally oriented.

Moreover, all these lugs (on middle 3 ribs), have reinforced foundations, meaning, all blocks sit on a secondary rubber, beneath, providing on-road stability.

The shoulder lugs are slightly different though. They come with wave-like sipes, chamfered edges, and various kinds of notches. Moreover, they’re also attached to each other with, what Cooper calls “whisper grooves”.

Moving towards the edges, you also see, these lugs are staggered, and they also come with good enough sidewalls too, I mean considering its an “on-road focused” tire. (You can find more tires like it on my main all-terrain tire page).

Info on Sizes

The Road+Trail AT comes in 36 sizes, ranging from 15 to 22 inches, making it suitable for a variety of SUVs, mid-size, and light-duty pickup trucks. Its sizes have following specs.

  • Speed ratings: T, H and V.
  • Load ratings: SL and XL only, (LT sizes not available as of now).
  • Tread depth: 11, 12 and 13/32″.
  • UTQG: 620 A B.
  • Treadwear warranty: 65k miles.
  • All sizes have 3 Peak ratings, along with M+S.

Side Note: This tire also replaced the Cooper AT3 in my list of top all-terrain tires.

Dry Performance

On road performance is reliant on 2 main components, overall dry traction, and handling. Let’s take a look at both.

Dry Traction

Dry traction can be divided into two key aspects: directional grip and lateral traction.

Starting with directional grip, it is primarily assessed by measuring braking distances. And here, the amount of rubber contacting the surface, along with the tread composition, weight, and rolling resistance, are critical factors determining this grip.

Lateral grip, on the other hand, relies on the tire’s shoulder areas.

Now, the Cooper Discoverer Road+Trail AT excels in both respects.

Its central rib is pretty compact and is enhanced with a more reinforced foundational supports (compared to its predecessor), ensuring the rubber remains intact with the road in a better way. Plus the tire’s relatively stickier composition, complemented by notches, also helps its straight line traction further.

Similarly, the shoulder blocks are interconnected with tie bars, limiting their movement and providing stable lateral traction. This integrated design approach ensures the Cooper Discoverer Road+Trail AT delivers reliable performance in both directional and lateral aspects of dry traction.

For Your Info: The tire offers 2 feet shorter braking distances compared to Kumho Road Venture AT52. Review this tire here: https://tiredriver.com/kumho-road-venture-at52-review/

Overall Handling

Dry handling is a combination of a tire’s lateral grip and steering responsiveness. The Cooper Discoverer Road+Trail AT performs adequately in providing sufficient lateral traction, as previously discussed.

However, the tire’s steering responsiveness could benefit from some improvements. In my assessment, it exhibits a slight delay in feedback and tends to understeer.

This issue primarily stems from the tire’s substantial weight, which exerts additional pressure on the lugs, causing them to bend.

Such bending leads to a lack of clarity in steering, particularly noticeable during mid-cornering feedback (at the apex of a turn). In simpler terms, the tire struggles to communicate the available traction, resulting in subpar handling times during lap tests.

This aspect, if enhanced, could significantly improve this A/T tire’s overall handling performance.

Wet Performance

Wet performance is defined by the tire’s hydroplaning resistance, and overall wet traction. Let’s take a look at them, both.

Wet traction and Handling

For a tire to maintain adequate grip on wet surfaces, it is essential to efficiently clear water from the tread. This task is primarily accomplished through the tire’s grooves and sipes.

Grooves are responsible for displacing the majority of water and providing hydroplaning resistance. You can say in this case, water is removed out of the tread at a major level, and Cooper Road+Trail AT is equipped with an ample amount of grooves for this purpose, just like its competitors.

However, the real challenge is removing water at a micro level, and that’s where most all-terrain tires struggle the most.

But the Discoverer Road+Trail brakes this norm, by providing you one of the best performance values (i.e. wet braking, handling and steering responsiveness).

This is all thanks to its mixture of linear and wave-like sipes, along with numerous biting edges.

These sipes might appear as simple slits, but they act as water reservoirs.

Water is forced into these slits by the pressure of the tire against the road, and then sprayed out as the tire rolls over.

Having said that, the Cooper Road+Trail, with its ample and well-engineered sipes of varying shapes and angles, demonstrates excellent water dispersing abilities in all directions, offering better wet traction compared to its predecessor, the Cooper AT3 4S (review), a known all-terrain tire for wet performance.

But yes, there’s still a tiny area for improvement, if you ask me, where the tire is somewhat prone to over-steering, when pushed to the limits.

So, refining its feedback could really do wonders for its overall wet performance.

For Your Info: In my tests with on-road all-terrain tires, the Road+Trail outperformed the General Grabber APT (review), by over 10 feet on braking distance tests (on average).

Hydroplaning Resistance

Hydroplaning occurs when a tire is unable to remove water quickly enough from its grooves, leading to the tire floating or aquaplaning on the surface.

This phenomenon is essentially a measure of the effectiveness of a tire’s grooves in water evacuation.

Having said that, the Cooper Road+Trail excels here. In-fact its one of the main reason, why the tire is good on wet roads overall, traction wise.

I mean, its grooves removing a significant amount of water, reduces the burden on the sipes, to begin with, enhancing all components of wet performance.

The tire features four circumferential grooves that are wide and interconnected, boosting the overall water evacuation capability.

Additionally, the tire’s substantial tread depth, reaching up to 13/32 inches, further aids in water clearance from all directions, contributing to its strong performance in wet conditions.

Winter Performance

To enhance winter traction, all-terrain tires often incorporate certain features found in winter tires.

These features include:

  • Softer Compound: All-terrain tires use a rubber compound that remains flexible and resistant to the cold temperatures typical of winter environments.
  • Abundance of Sipes: These small slits in the tread provide better grip on icy and snowy surfaces by creating additional biting edges.
  • Snow Biting Elements: The design includes grooves, and notches that can trap and hold snow. The concept of “snow-on-snow traction” suggests that snow packed within the tire treads adheres better to the snow on the road, enhancing grip.

And all of these features are provided by the Cooper Road+Trail, thanks to its “Winter Grip Technology”, allowing to earn both the 3 Peak Mountain Snowflake and the M+S (Mud and Snow) ratings on all its sizes.

In addition to its silica rich, softer rubber and numerous sipes, similar to those in dedicated winter tires, the Cooper Road+Trail also offers several snow vices.

These design elements are effective at grip both snowy and icy terrains.

Off Road Traction

When venturing off-road, different terrains pose unique challenges for tires. So its best we look at them all, one by one.

On Mud

Muddy terrains demand tires with wide (enough) grooves and self-cleaning capabilities. This design is crucial to prevent the treads from getting packed up, which loses all traction.

Having said that, the Cooper Road+Trail, while not ideally suited for deep mud tracks, performs okay on lighter, less challenging muddy surfaces.

This is because for one, it offers good enough staggered shoulders and sidewalls, structured to assist in mud traction. They basically predominately, help in scooping and displacing backwards, generating acceleration against it.

Moreover, the tire although has closed up lug design, it still offers interconnected grooves, running in all directions. And this adds to the tire’s self clearing properties, enhancing grip on light mud.

On Rocks

Rocky terrain demands tires that can grip effectively in various directions.

And the Cooper Road+Trail coming with its interconnected groove structure, provides exactly that.

It’s independent lugs with off-set edges, actually make very tough passing grooves, providing the tire with the needed bite form all angles.

Additionally, the EnduraGuard technology of the tire enhances its durability, another crucial factor when it comes to rocky terrain performance.

However, it’s important to note that this tire is more suited to lighter rocky trails. And in comparison to more aggressive options like the BF Goodrich KO3 (review), it may lack the necessary durability and biting edges for more challenging environments.

On Sand

Sand is a notoriously a difficult terrain for tires, yet the Cooper Road+Trail again shows a moderate effectiveness here as well.

Its softer silica-rich tread composition allows for a significant amount of rubber to come into contact with the sand, which is especially effective when air pressure is lowered.

This feature, along with the tire’s reasonably good sidewalls that flex to increase the contact patch, helps to distribute the weight of the vehicle more evenly.

This distribution reduces the tire’s pressure on the ground, minimizing digging and increasing traction on sandy surfaces.

However, despite these features, the tire’s slightly heavier weight can make it more prone to sinking in deeper sandy terrains, though its design does attempt to distribute its weight evenly across its lugs.

Noise Comfort

Road noise significantly impacts the overall quality of a ride. And sure, here a vehicle’s cabin insulation is a factor too, it can’t do much against louder tires.

Having said that, let me tell you, you’re not going to be impressed with what Cooper Road+Trail has to offer here.

Although it does well on rougher surfaces, it needs improvement on smoother pavements. Let me explain.

The exhibits acceptable noise levels on surfaces like cross-cut concrete, where the tire’s noise is not overly intrusive.

However, when transitioning to smoother road surfaces, the Discoverer tire here, tends to produce a more noticeable, cyclical noise with each rotation.

This type of noise often results from the tire’s tread pattern making contact with the road.

For Your Info: Such type of noise is actually a common occurrence with many tires and can vary depending on the tread design and road surface.

Fortunately, the Road+Trail benefits from pitch sequencing technology, which helps to keep its in-groove resonance generation at a minimum.

This technology involves varying the angles of the tire lugs, allowing them to create different sound frequencies as air hits them from various directions (which is actually the main source of noise).

By doing so, it reduces the overall noise level, making the ride quieter and more pleasant, especially on smoother surfaces where tire noise can be more pronounced.

Fuel Economy

The fuel efficiency in tires is directly linked to the rolling resistance, they produce. And here, the Cooper Discoverer can use some improvements.

So why is that? Let me explain.

The tire basically features the EnduraGuard Design, which is aimed at providing durable internal construction.

However, this design also has a downside: it increases the tire’s overall weight. And heavier tires can negatively impact fuel efficiency, as they require more energy to rotate.

Moreover, the tire’s composition, designed for enhanced winter and wet performance, includes a pliant rubber compound, which lead to the tire lugs bending more easily under load.

And with lugs bending, they dissipate energy, primarily in the form of heat, and don’t conserve it for the rolling of the tire (as intended), increasing fuel consumption.

Therefore, while the tire’s design elements contribute positively to durability and performance in specific conditions, they can have the side effect of slightly reducing fuel efficiency.

Road Vibrations Comfort

The overall impact comfort performance of a tire is crucial, encompassing both its ability to absorb road bumps and provide necessary stability.

Having said that, the Discoverer Road+Trail excels in these aspects, despite its aggressive tread design, thanks to a combination of advanced technologies and material composition:

  • Internal Construction: The tire incorporates a layer of sound-absorbing foam into the inner liner. This foam layer acts as a barrier, isolating the driver from road imperfections and vibrations, thus enhancing the overall ride comfort.
  • Rubber Composition: The inclusion of more silica in the tire’s rubber composition not only enhances its winter traction capabilities but also plays a key role in absorbing road bumps. This silica-enriched rubber compounds are generally more flexible, allowing the tire to conform better to road irregularities, adding to road smoothness.

Additionally, the Cooper Road+Trail benefits from softer cap plies and a substantial tread depth.

These features provide the tire with more “room/area” to absorb bumps and vibrations, contributing to its decent impact comfort performance.

Take Home Points

Overall, the Cooper Road+Trail AT provides solid performance across different terrains with some areas for improvement.

It excels in dry traction with effective traction, but its steering responsiveness is hindered by its weight. Though that does not go for wet conditions, where the tire offers excellent water dispersal, and with it traction, and steering feedback.

Same is the case when it comes to winter performance where the tire’s ample sipes and biters come in to action.

Other than that, the tire although needs help regarding road noise, it offers decent road smoothness, thanks to its Comfort-Balance tech.

Though it hampers the tire’s fuel economy as well.

Off-road, the tire is okay. I mean, you can’t expect too much from this tire, but it still does great, for its category.

22 thoughts on “Cooper Discoverer Road+Trail AT Review”

  1. So is this tire just as noisy as the Discoverer AT3s4? I would love to see you compare this to the Destination AT2 and Geolander G015

    Reply
    • Hey.
      Road+Trail is slightly noisier compared to AT3 4s, its predecessor.

      Also I read your detailed comment on my other post (here). And like I mentioned there, I think its best you check out Wildpeak AT Trail. And yes, also check out my list of best A/T tires. Both of these would help you out a lot. If you still have any questions, I’m here.

      Reply
  2. You noted some fuel economy loss here, are you saying more than the typical all terrain or just compared to a highway or all season tire? For instance similar to KO2 or better than that?

    Reply
      • That would make sense, with the LTX MS being more an on road tire. From the looks of your overall AT tire rankings and many of your reviews it seems like this would be the best ‘mild’ all terrain option for some off roading but most of the time on the road (for my purpose in an ’18 4Runner). Looking to replace my OE tires with something better off road but that maintains on-road ability and fuel/mpg as best as possible. Anything else you’d consider against the Cooper Road+Trail?

        Thanks for the feedback and articles, your website is great!

        Reply
        • Hi, well, LTX MS is actually an all-season tire. To be more specific, a highway AS tire. But yes, I think Road+Trail would make it to the top (I’m working on the list of mild A/T tires by the way, and so far it is).
          Anyways other tires in comparison here are the Wildpeak AT Trail, Nitto Nomad Grappler, Kumho Road Venture AT52, Sumitomo AT (Encounter)… Although the list goes on, do check these out meanwhile.
          Also thanks for the positive feedback.

          Reply
          • Thanks for the in depth response and feedback. I definitely want the aggressive look with the road performance as well. Ultimately I was between Road+Trail, Ko2 and Wildpeak AT3w. While I prefer the look of the Ko2 best, the performance of the other two on road seem superior and that R+T may carry the slight edge with fuel usage (my original largest concern as it seemed poor based on the review) and road comfort. It sounds like this cooper has hit the perfect niche of aggressive looks with road performance while still being sufficient off road. I plan to move forward with installing these on my 4Runner this week. Thanks so much for the help and all you do with your reviews. I’ll recommend to others looking for tires.

        • Did you end up buying the Coopers? I am thinking about the same route but want to hear more about the reviews. I am between these and the defender ltx ms2

          Reply
  3. Hello Oz,
    is my assumption correct that these tires are relatively new on the market, considering only few reviews on the official Cooper website and the fact that I cannot find them in the EU yet? Also, would you agree that these should perform a bit better on snowy/icy roads compared to the 3PMSF-rated Pirelli Scorpion All Terrain Plus?

    Reply
  4. Hello there,
    First love all your tire reviews. Keep up the good work
    Currently driving a GX460 and it will soon need new tires. I am more of highway driver with little off-road in between. Currently the tires I have are the OEM HT Bridgestone 684II tires (awful tire by the way but quiet) perhaps the only plus and getting good MPG 21/22 Highway (I’m light foot)
    I am looking for a similar quiet tire but with more aggressive looks but also doesn’t hit me that much on MPG . Also thinking about going one number extra 265/65R18 instead of OEM size 265/60R18. I am torn between the Defender LTX MS2 (since LTX MS is being faced out and the Cooper Discoverer Road+Trail, but the coopers do not have a lot of reviews ( besides yours). So far these 2 are checking all the boxes except the Michelin looks a little boring on the side walls, I guess my main question is by going to the Cooper tire would I be sacrificing a lot of noise and mpg comparing to the Michelin? . I would appreciate your thoughts.

    Thanks in advance

    Reply
  5. Ozmen,

    Love the site and your reviews. I’m a fellow engineer but work on marine vessels instead of wheeled land vehicles.

    I’m considering this new Cooper tire for my Ranger 4×4. The stock tire is the Hankook Dynapro ATM LT. It’s a C rated tire. I use the truck for towing small boats(~3000lbs) and occasionally dirt/muddy roads.

    The Cooper is only available as an SL rating in my size (265/65/17). It has a higher max load of 2400 lbs vs 2200 lbs. Am I giving up anything by going with the Cooper?

    These Coopers are only available as an SL rated

    Reply
    • Well yes… and actually its a little complicated to explain all of “why” here. I suggest you read my detailed article on XL vs SL load range.

      Reply
  6. I’m considering these and the Nexen Roadian atx. I believe both are similar in performance from what research I’ve done. Nexen has quieter report from consumer reports.. but do these coopers brake better in the wet ? Wet is important performance for my decision. And are these coopers noisy like more than most and not good, or pretty average as compare to most at tires like continental terraincontact, or the goodyear adventure or over the duelers revo3 ? I don’t want a noisy tire, since my wife has sensitive ears and when she’s in the truck (p/t only) will complain.

    Reply
  7. I bought the Road and Trail AT’s in December ‘23. They were great, until early May ‘24. Started to notice a shake at 50 miles an hour and above. Went to have them balanced again and the problem persisted. Took them back to the shop and had them balanced again. The problem got worse above 50 through 80 miles an hour. Took them back To the shop to further investigate for a third time. The problem was not resolved in the feeling of the tire shop was that there is a ply defect that developed and I’m getting a warranty swop with another tire. My truck is a 2016 Takoma double cab. I’m extremely disappointed as I really liked the Coopers up until this problem. Maybe they haven’t worked out the kinks with this new model. There is only one review out there on this tire. I can’t find any others.

    Reply
    • Hey man, sorry to hear about your bad exp. I believe it must be a manufacturing fault.
      Let me know if things work out for you, otherwise we can discuss other options for your truck.

      Reply

Leave a Comment