Cooper Discoverer AT3 XLT Review [2023 Updated]

By Tire Expert, Joe Steffen
By Tire Expert, Joe Steffen

Do you want to learn all the best that the Cooper Discoverer AT3 XLT/4S offers? You have come to the right place, and I will cover everything this tire excels in and even some of its opportunities.

The Cooper Discover classifies as an All-Terrain, which means that it is designed to perform on and off-road. An All-Terrain tire covers traction across wet, dry, and snowy road conditions. They also are designed for light off-road conditions such as dirt, gravel, and light mud.

The Cooper Discoverer AT3 comes in two variations the XLT, which is designed for heavier load capacities having more sidewall plies; The 4S is for standard load vehicles, something you would put on a Toyota Rav4 or Subaru CrossTrek. Both utilize the same tread design and rubber compounds, so performance is similar.

Let’s jump to performance reviews now that we know what it is for.

Wet Traction:
Dry Traction:
Snow Traction:
Ride Comfort:
Ride Handling:
Ride Noise:
Tread Life:
Value For $$$:

Traction - Cooper Discoverer AT3 XLT

While the Cooper Discover AT3 XLT/4S offers more traction capability than an all-season tire, you will lose some performance in wet and dry road conditions when it comes to stopping ability. Due to the larger tread blocks and open tread design, which is something you sacrifice going with an all-terrain tire over an all-season.

This tire offers better light snow traction when compared to its off-road tire competitors like the BF-Goodrich KO2 or the Nitto Ridge Grappler. Cooper tire designed this tire with Snow-Groove™ Technology, allowing snow to pack inside the tread channels providing better snow condition driving.

These are not snow tires but come with a severe winter weather rating, meaning the rubber compound does not stiffen in sub-forty-degree weather. I would recommend studded snow tires for deep snow conditions for maximum safety.

When it comes to wet weather traction, it will be tough to find an all-terrain tire that comes close; using Aqua Vac™ Channels allows the tire to evacuate water from the tread blocks, meaning less water between the rubber and road. When driving on wet roads, it won‘t feel like riding down a slipe-n-slide.

Dry road conditions are the easiest to maintain vehicle control in; However, it does take longer to come to a stop and accelerate with an all-terrain tire due to the larger tread blocks. Cooper uses Micro-Gauge™ Zigzag Sipes, which provide maximum dry road grip, making this tire safer.

Traction Rating: 4.0/5

Ride Comfort - Cooper Discoverer AT3 XLT

Driving on the Cooper Discoverer AT3 XLT/4S will be one of its class’s smoothest and quiet ride options. Utilizing exclusive Even Wear Arc™ Technology by Cooper allows this tire to get even tread wear throughout its life, which is a big deal because a common issue with all-terrain tires is they are prone to cupping.

If you haven‘t ever driven on cupped tires, it is not comfortable. They can shake the vehicle so bad that it feels like the wheels will shimmy right off.

Tire cupping can result from a number of things, such as worn-out suspension components, lack of tire rotations, and not being properly balanced. These tires are so prone to cupping because of the overly sized tread blocks.

If you go with these tires and want to keep that same smooth ride they offer when brand new, you need to maintain them properly, as with any tires. After getting these tires installed, when driving down the road and feeling any vibrations, take the vehicle back to the service center and make sure they are correctly balanced.

This tire comes in two variations the XLT, which is designated with a light truck rating, and the 4S, the SL (standard load) option. It is the same design and technology, but the XLT has a thicker construction making it more suitable for towing; It is more prone to vibrations than the 4S, being that it‘s a heavier tire.

Ride Comfort Rating: 3.5/5

Ride Handling - Cooper Discoverer AT3 XLT

Every tire will have its setbacks, and when it comes to quick maneuvers and corning, it won‘t be as responsive as most would like. I like to think of this category as the spirited driver‘s section; if you enjoy driving like a bat out of hell, you should probably consider a different tire option.

Having sharp edge shoulder tread blocks decreases your traction while making sharp and quick turns. Finding a tire that provides round shoulder tread blocks will increase your road performance in the ride handling category.

The Cooper Discoverer AT3 XLT/4S does, however, provide a good sense of control and confidence for everyday drivers when behind the wheel of your vehicle. It can achieve this by having a five-rib tread design; providing more tread blocks on the road makes the driver feel that grip.

Ride Handling Rating: 3.0/5

Ride Noise - Cooper Discoverer AT3 XLT

Driving on these tires fresh out of the shop, you won‘t believe you are riding on all-terrain tires. They are that quiet and achieve such a quiet ride by using Whisper Grooves™, making a barrier in the tread blocks preventing road noise from traveling through the tires.

Tires are these perfectly engineered products, and so much technology goes into fine-tuning the harmonics of a tire. From rubber density to tread block sequencing, every part of a tire construction equates to how much noise it will produce.

Some all-terrain tires are quieter than others, and the Cooper Discoverer AT3 XLT/4S is definitely on the quieter side, if not one of the quietest on the market. When you finally get some miles on them, they will become a little noisier, as with all tires.

As that tread compound wears, the rubber becomes stiffer, making it easier for road noise to transfer through the tires into the vehicle. Unfortunately, all tires are designed that way, and that perfectly quiet ride won’t last forever.

Ride Noise Rating: 3.5/5

Hydroplaning - Cooper Discoverer AT3 XLT

It can be a terrifying ride for anyone who has ever been in a car that has hydroplaned. The scariest part of hydroplaning is that it could happen at any time while it’s heavily raining, you could be driving straight down the highway, and suddenly your vehicle starts to go sideways.

This Cooper tire has Aqua Vac™ channels, so when water starts to accumulate on the road, this tire passes through while maintaining control. If you ever see a large puddle of water in the street, always let off the gas; don‘t accelerate through it, as this could result in hydroplaning.

Just because this tire has good hydroplaning resistance doesn‘t mean to try and have some fun in the rain, as that could result in an accident. While this tire offers superior wet traction if you live in an area where you get a lot of rain, I recommend going with an all-season tire.

Hydroplaning Rating: 3.5/5

Tread Life - Cooper Discoverer AT3 XLT

The Cooper Discoverer XLT/4S comes with pretty excellent tread life, with the XLT coming with a sixty-thousand-mile treadwear warranty; depending on driving habits and maintenance, one could expect between forty-five and sixty-thousand miles.

The 4S, however, outperforms the XLT in tread life; being that it would go on lighter vehicles, one can expect between fifty-five and sixty-five thousand miles. Comparing that to the manufacturer-backed sixty-five thousand mile treadwear warranty, you can’t complain when some tires don’t even come close to their warranty.

As far as rubber silica compound goes, it holds up very well, and you typically won‘t start to see cracks in the rubber until between four and six years. If you park your car outside where the sun is constantly beating down on your tires, you may see cracking sooner than that four to six years.

Tread Life Rating: 4.5/5

Value For Money - Cooper Discoverer AT3 XLT

Considering the traction, ride comfort, ride handling, ride noise, tread life, and overall durability, I believe you are getting a good value for the money. When comparing this tire with its competition, it is typically less expensive (depending on where you are buying and tire size), and you are getting more miles for your dollar.

I compared this product to some of the best tires on the market, the Toyo Open Country AT3, Falken Wildpeak AT3W, and the Nitto Terra Grappler G2. Comparing these options, I also looked at tread patterns and warranties; while they all offered similar ratings, the Cooper Discoverer AT3 XLT/4S had the best value in dollars.

Value For Money Rating: 4.0/5

Final Verdict - Cooper Discoverer AT3 XLT

Looking for the best set of tires to meet your needs can be challenging, and this tire stands up to the rest of the market; it is a good choice. I rated it highly because of its quiet ride, affordability, longevity when maintained properly, and wet traction capability.

The Cooper Discover AT3 XLT will come in ten-ply options best suited for three-quarter-ton or one-ton trucks/SUVs, i.e., Ford F-250s/350s. In contrast, the Cooper Discoverer AT3 4S will come in standard load options, which is a better fitment for the Chevrolet Tahoe/GMC Yukon.

If you do more off-road road driving, I would look for a tire with a more aggressive tread pattern and a better sidewall biting edge. This Cooper tire is better for the daily driver with some off-road driving.

Fuel economy could be a concern for you, especially with high gas prices; this tire will decrease it slightly, being all-terrain and heavier than your typical all-season options. I wouldn‘t recommend this tire to you.

However, this tire is an excellent option for anyone looking to get great longevity, ride comfort, or even beef up the way their vehicles look and make them look ready to go up to the mountains or any adventure where the road cant take you.

Not sure if this tire is the right one for you? Check out some of our my reviews here.

Meet Your Tire Expert

Cooper Discoverer AT3 XLT
OVERALL rating:
Updated June 14, 2024
Quick Facts
  • Warranty 60000 Miles
  • Typical Price $205.00 - $483.00
  • Treadwear Rating N/A

Tire Recall Information

I did find that Cooper Tires did have a recall on the Cooper Discoverer AT3 4S; it seemed that tires in the sizes 275/65R18 and 275/55R20 manufactured between Feb. 1, 2018, through Dec. 1, 2019; would develop bubbles in the sidewall that could lead to blow-outs.

Cooper Tires has since rectified this issue and offered to replace any tires within those sizes and dates at no cost to customers.

Warranty & Tire Sizes

Frequently Asked Questions

The 4S stands for the four seasons dry, wet, snow, and ice. However, while it is rated for snow and ice, it is not a winter tire and will only provide traction in light winter conditions.

Yes, the Cooper Discoverer XLT rides slightly rougher than the 4S; its heavy-duty construction weighs more and runs at a higher air pressure, resulting in stiffer ride quality.

Cooper tires are manufactured in the United States and are one of the oldest tire manufacturers in the US, manufacturing for over one hundred years, since 1914.

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