Hankook Dynapro ATM vs Cooper Discoverer AT3 XLT

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The Hankook Dynapro ATM and the Cooper Discoverer AT3 XLT are all-terrain tires perfect tire for enthusiasts looking to get the most out of their trucks and full sized SUVs, as they offer a great balance between off-road traction and highway comfort. Yet, comparing both it can take a lot time to pick one. Let me save you some of that.

Cooper Discoverer AT3
Cooper Discoverer AT3 sidewall lugs are much better, comparatively.

In my expert opinion as a tire engineer, the Hankook ATM is a superior tire for on road grip, tread life and comfort performance (though that only goes for dry roads). The Cooper AT3 does much better in wet conditions, and gives amazing fuel economy and off-road traction, in comparison as well.

Side Note: Make sure you check out my list of top A/T tires, if you haven’t yet. It would help with your decision a lot. You can also reach out to me directly, just like both tire’s steering, I am also pretty responsive. Wink.

Tire Sizes

Cooper Discoverer AT3 XLT shows up with 15 to 20 inches rims, having following specs.

  • They have speed ratings of either R or S.
  • Load range: C to F.
  • Weight range: 44 lbs to 70 lbs.
  • Tread depth is seen to be either 16.5 or 17/32″ in all sizes.
  • All sizes have 60k miles warranty.

Whereas, the Hankook Dynapro ATM also provides you with 15 to 20 inches rim diameters, though with slightly different specs.

  • Speed ratings: R, S and T.
  • Load ratings: SL, XL, C, D and E.
  • Weight range: 32 to 78 lbs.
  • Tread depth: 12.5 to 16.5/32″.
  • Ratings: 3PMSF and M+S rated.
  • Warranty: 50K miles (for non LT sizes).

Side Note: Don’t confuse yourself with load range and load rating. I simplified these terms.

Tread Design

Starting with Cooper Discoverer AT3, the tire is very well oriented for roads. Let me explain how.

Cooper Discoverer AT3
Cooper Discoverer AT3 has larger longitudinal grooves in comparison.

It features 5 rib design containing 4 longitudinal channels in the middle. And these have compactly placed lugs which run in pairs.

By pairs, I mean, every two consecutive lugs are attached to each other from underneath (this enhances directional grip on pavements).

And since they are tightly packed up and have interlocking full depth sipes, they supply decent rubber to road contact, and wipe water off effectively, as you’d see in their respective sections.

All these lugs including shoulders, carry similar features, except for snow vices, they are seen on all, except for the middle most rib.

The shoulder lugs are staggered and make thicker sidewall lugs (this point also separates this tire from its other variants, the Discoverer AT3 4S and the Discoverer AT3 LT).

On the other side, the Hankook Dynapro ATM although yields a similar 5 column structure of blocks, there are few things to keep in mind about them.

Hankook Dynapro ATM
Hankook Dynapro ATM features much closed up Z shaped lugs in the very middle, providing most of the highway grip.

Let me start form the middle.

Here there are 3 ribs, making 4 tough passing zigzag longitudinal grooves. Though still out of them, only the outer two (grooves) interconnect with each other.

That’s because the central most rib is not properly divided laterally.

Basically there are Z shaped lugs there, and they have very small gaps in between, and even those gaps have connectors placed in between, this is for on-road grip.

But what about off-road traction?

Well most of it comes form the surrounding lugs, they are smaller in sizes, and carry more biters in the form of offset edges. And with a more open design they provide better mud and dirt evacuation.

Though the missing staggered shoulder lugs do compromise on rugged terrain performance, still. And yes, that goes for missing sidewall lugs as well.

Internal Construction

Durability is a vital requirement for off-road tires, that’s why they are given with powerful internal plies.

Though both tires here are almost same, as they both have similar 2 high-strength steel belts reinforced with a spirally wrapped nylon cap ply, and they sit on 2 ply polyester casing.

Nonetheless, overall, speaking form personal experience, I think the Cooper AT3 XLT is better here, mainly because of it’s sidewall lugs.

As sidewalls are the most prone to punctures, the thicker lugs of this tire still provides somewhat better protection in comparison.

For Your Info: In my list of top A/T tires, BF Goodrich KO2 (review) is the most durable.

On-Road Performance

When evaluating the dry performance of an all-terrain tire, it’s necessary to take into account factors like traction, steering, and cornering ability. Let’s explore these critical components in more detail.

Highway Grip

The traction of a tire when driving straight is referred to as dry grip or directional grip, and it gets calculated by a lot of things, including the tire’s footprint with the ground, weight, tread depth, and tread composition (to name the most important ones).

And considering all it makes sense why both tires are equal here.

Hankook Dynapro ATM on one hand, provides greater rubber to road contact, and a harder compound, that keeps it’s lugs stable while braking.

Whereas, the Cooper Discoverer AT3 XLT has longitudinally arranged lugs, and a lighter structure, providing similar baking distances (a measure of directional grip).

Handling Abilities

The overall lateral traction of a tire depends on its steering response and footprint connection + stability with the road.

And considering both, it makes sense why the Hankook Dynapro ATM is faster on laps (during handling tests). It’s outer shoulder lugs make firmer contact with the ground, as it’s overall tread is harder (in composition), and shallower in tread depth. And with less bending of the lugs, you get a faster steering response.

Cooper Discoverer AT3 XLT on the other side, has its outer lugs more pliable, and they bend/flex more causing a greater different (of time) between under and over steering, and so it’s handling efficacy gets reduced more, comparatively.

In other words, this tire slows you down more, compared to Hankook’s boy here.

Wet Traction

The attainment of optimal wet traction is governed by two crucial parameters: wet grip and hydroplaning resistance. Let’s start with the later, which has to do with grooves.


The tire’s inability to clear water from its tread quickly is the root cause of aquaplaning, leading to reduced traction and floating on the water.

In other words, if water is not escaped out of the tire in time, a thin layer would come between it and the ground, and it would not be able to girp.

And although that’s not a problem with both of these tires, having voided enough tread structure, the Cooper Discoverer AT3 XLT still offers superior float speeds (a measure of hydroplaning resistance), due to it’s better interconnected lateral and longitudinal tread voids.

Hankook Dynapro ATM on the other side, with thicker lugs in the middle most (connected longitudinally with each other) does not provide as much clearing of the water through grooves comparatively.

Though the difference is marginal. But can’t say the same about the grip.

Wet Grip

With stiffer compound composition, the Hankook Dynapro ATM is not able to provide its sipes the needed flexibility. So these siping slits, don’t get to contract and expand over water, to create enough suction (which sucks water, clearing water off).

On the other hand, the Cooper Discoverer AT3 XLT not only offers a pliable compound, but there are more sipes on it’s tread.

Moreover, these sipes also have a superior design of interlocking pattern (wave-like structure of sipes do better, as they are less susceptible to getting stiffer, with tire’s maneuverability).

On-Road Noise

Hankook Dynapro ATM provides you with a quieter ride in comparison, that’s mainly because of the following

  • It’s stiffer compound produces less in groove resonance, meaning, noise would not bounce off against it’s walls as much, in comparison.
  • It’s tread voids are shallower, so there’s less area for the air particles to hit, and create noise.
  • And its shoulders voids are angled and have ridges, in between. With the angled grooves, it provides a more streamlined design for the noise coming in, and the ridges ensure, only a restricted amount of air could get inside in the first place.

Cooper Discoverer AT3 XLT on the other side, has wider grooves, softer compound and greater tread depth, so following the explanation above, it makes sense why this tire is louder in comparison.

Fuel Consumption

There are a lot of factors at play when it comes to fuel economy, and considering all it can be explained why both tires have similar fuel consumption values.

The Hankook ATM harder composition don’t allow lugs to flex too much, (which wastes the energy created by fuel).

Whereas the Cooper AT3 gets to be lighter in weight, so even though it’s softer compound allows blocks to bend a lot more, it’s overall rolling resistance is on par to its competitor.

So I rate both of these tires 4/5 here.

Snowy Terrains

The tire’s winter traction capability is assessed based on its ability to provide stability and traction while maneuvering on different types of terrains including packed, deep and shallower terrains.

And considering all, you get a better traction on Cooper, even though both tires are 3 peak mountain snowflake rated.

Hankook Dynapro ATM basically lacks with its harder compound which further gets stiffer with freezing temperatures. Moreover, the tire although features better in-groove biters, it’s rectilinear sipes still can not provide as much traction abilities as its counterpart.

Cooper Discoverer AT3 XLT on the other side, keeps its lugs malleable, as it’s tread is having higher silica density, and with interlocking structure of sipes, combined with snow vices on the outer circumferential grooves, you get better results on this tire. Though is traction on ice can still be improved.

Tread Wear

Tread life of a tire depends on it’s composition, weight and tread depth.

The Hankook Dynapro ATM having a heavier structure, puts more pressure over its lugs, as they burn off the surface with a greater force. And even though it’s stiffer compound composition works against that, considering it’s shallower tread depth, it can be explained why the tire shows up with shorter tread life.

Cooper Discoverer AT3 XLT on the other side, weighs less, and where it’s burning rate is faster with it’s softer compound, the tire still takes longer to come down to 2/32″ with it’s greater tread depth on average.

That’s why it gives you 60k miles warranty whereas the Dynapro ATM only gives 50k, and even that’s only for non LT sizes.

Performance Off-Road

Rugged paths presents unique obstacles for tires, which is why I analyzed these both boys in following terrains.

Rocky Terrain

Although the Hankook Dynapro ATM has better biting abilities from the middle part of the tread, it still lacks to its counterpart mainly because of missing sidewall lugs, and less aggressive shoulders.

Whereas on Cooper Discoverer AT3, these biters on the sides, provide extra footprint with the rocks, and traction (when you lower the tire’s air pressure). So, you get better results here.

On Mud

On mud, you need two things, faster escaping of the thick clay, and paddling effect.

That’s why the Cooper AT3 with sidewall lugs and mud scoops on staggered shoulders, provide better paddling, throwing mud backwards, generating forward momentum, And it’s central area of the tread, which isn’t as closed up as it competitor, account for superior mud evacuation capabilities.

Hankook Dynapro ATM on the other side, lacks in comparison, as it’s missing sidewall lugs don’t provide any kind of scooping, and it’s continuous running central (most) rib, restricts mud’s sideways movement.

Good Read –
Are A/T tires good in mud? : https://tiredriver.com/are-all-terrain-tires-good-on-mud/

On Sand

Optimal performance on sand can only be achieved with softer tread pattern, sidewall lugs, and lighter construction of the tire, both of these features provide traction which is then amplified by lowering the air pressure.

That’s why out of both, Hankook Dynapro ATM lacks with its stiffer rubber composition, heavier built and missing sidewall lugs.

Cooper Discoverer AT3 XLT on the other side, features thick enough sidewall lugs which spread out more easily with lowered air pressure thanks to its pliable tread compound, providing ample floating abilities.

I covered this more on my post on all-terrain tires and sand performance.

Leave With This

So overall, it comes down to this.

The Hankook AT2 is a better tire when you consider, dry on-road traction, tread life, and overall comfort (in terms of noise).

And on the other side, the Cooper Discoverer AT3 is superior on wet roads, fuel efficiency and provides better off-road traction especially on softer terrains.

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