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.
On Road:See AlsoCooper Discoverer AT3 LT All-Terrain Tire Review of 2022: Is it Worth it?Cooper Tires Review: Ratings, Costs And Types (2022)Cooper Discoverer AT3 XLT Tire ReviewCooper Discoverer A/T3 Tire: rating, overview, videos, reviews, available sizes and specifications
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.
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.
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.See AlsoCooper Tires Review: Brand GuidePriority Tire - Buy Top Quality TiresCooper Tires Review - Car TalkCooper Discoverer S/T Tires - All Terrain Tire Reviews
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:
Compared to 15,000 miles on the C Load tires:
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.
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.
Sand Dog, Rick's 2012, doublethebass and 16 others like this.