- 3 Peak Mountain Snowflake symbol
- Excellent off-road grip and traction
- Backed with a 65,000-mile treadlife warranty
- Aren’t whisper-quiet
- Sizes aren’t available for larger models
The Cooper Discoverer AT3 4S is an all-terrain tire. It is designed to be driven on-road and light-duty off-road conditions. This tire also has a winter tire designation, meaning you can count on it to safely carry you from point A to point B on snow- and ice-laden roads, too.
All of this helps this tire stand-out in the over-crowded segment that is all-terrain tires. Its brand name – Cooper has a history of churning out reliable AT tires – also distinguishes the Discoverer AT3 4S from the competition. All in all, on paper, it has multiple things going in its favor.
What about its performance on the road? To find the answer to this question, I put the AT3 4S to every test you could imagine. I drove this tire in summer conditions, through water-logged streets and on roads buried under layers of snow. I also tested this tire’s mettle in off-road conditions.
How did this tire fare in my testing? That’s what you’d find in this article. In the following paragraphs, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about this pricey off-road tire. We’ll look at this tire’s performance in all sorts of road conditions. I’d also tell you about the number of sizes it is available in.
What are the features of Cooper Discoverer AT3 4S?
Cooper seems to have pulled out all the stops when it comes to the Discoverer AT3 4S. It has provided this tire with its proprietary Advanced-Traction Technology, which helps it offer exceptional performance on any surface or any terrain. Or at least that is what Cooper wants you to believe.
A combination of true winter technologies – silica tread compound, Cooper’s patented Saw Tooth Technology, and zigzag sipes – help this tire offer excellent wintertime traction. The Saw Tooth Technology works by trapping snow in the tread, offering a better bond with snow-laden roads.
Since it’s a successor of the Discoverer AT3, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that this tire has retained its predecessor’s legitimate off-road performance. The credit for this goes to its aggressive tread design. Or, at the cost of sounding technical, to its Secure-Grip five-rib all-terrain pattern.
Together with the zigzag sipes – which prevent snow retention in the tread – the unique tread pattern helps this tire feel at home in dirt, sand, mud, rock, or gravel. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons Cooper backs it with a 65,000 miles warranty, something you don’t get with many AT tires.
You could notice indicators marking the minimum 2/32-inch tread depth within this tire’s tread. Once the tread has worn down to that point, the markers will become flush with the tread area, telling you it’s time to order a new set of tires. The tire’s performance will nosedive from that point.
How does it behave on dry tarmac?
Keeping in mind that it’s an all-terrain tire, the Cooper Discoverer AT3 4S surprised me with its excellent performance on dry tarmac.
During the testing, it gripped really well in the corners. Even when I pushed this tire to its limits, it didn’t prevent my vehicle’s steering from changing direction pretty quickly. Sure, its steering responsiveness cannot compete with that of a high-performance tire, but it’s nonetheless impressive.
One thing worth mentioning is its sidewall flex. Being an all-terrain tire means the Discoverer AT3 4S has a higher sidewall than your average all-season tire. Every time you corner a little too sharply, you can’t help but notice this tire flexing, something that is non-existent with ‘on-road’ tires.
Braking is another part of this tire that surprised me. The stopping distance was much shorter than what I had initially expected, and you could compare it with a few standard off-road tires. Again, I should point out that this isn’t a car tire, but its braking power still managed to catch my eye.
All in all, the Discoverer AT3 4S’s dry performance impressed me.
How does it behave on wet and slippery roads?
The Copper Discoverer AT3 4S manages to do pretty well in the rain.
Part of the credit for that goes to its Aqua Vac channels and the unique center grooves. Both help this tire resist hydroplaning by effectively dispersing water (and slush) from beneath its footprint. The enhanced hydroplaning resistance help this tire offer a safer driving experience in wet conditions.
What did surprise me the most was this tire’s handling on waterlogged roads. It provided predictable handling regardless of how much water was there on the road, meaning I knew in advance when this tire would break traction. This gave me all the time I needed to correct it.
Braking distance was once again impressive, though I was already expecting it, having seen its Aqua Van Channels and sipes in action. As both of them push water to the sides, there’s very little if any chance of the Discoverer AT3 4S losing contact with the surface.
Overall, this tire’s wet performance gave me no reason to complain.
How is it over snow?
Here is an area where the Discoverer AT3 4S exceeds expectations.
Despite being an all-terrain tire, it comes with the 3 Peaks Mountain Snowflake symbol, something you only usually see on dedicated winter tires. Sure, the logo doesn’t make this tire a substitute for genuine winter tires. But it does make it a reliable option in light snow conditions.
However, like dedicated snow tires, it has deeper grooves that tend to dig in the snow and provide above-average traction. The Snow Groove Technology enhances the tire’s wintertime traction by trapping snow in its sawtooth black edges, ensuring it doesn’t slip over ice-laden roads.
Then come the Micro-Gauge zigzag sipes. They provide the AT3 4S with biting edges to help it offer better traction in slippery conditions. A silica tread compound, which softens as the temperatures proceed toward freezing, also supports this tire’s winter handling and performance.
Is it comfortable and refined?
Start with comfort. This tire’s double-ply polyester casing, as well as two inner steel belts (reinforced with a single-ply nylon cord), help it deal with bumps on the road better than my expectations. The vibrations in the cabin, although noticeable, never felt too extreme to the vehicle’s passengers.
Unfortunately, I cannot say the same about the noise this all-terrain tire produces, an issue almost every off-road tire suffers from. Sure, it isn’t a dedicated off-road tire, but the road noise that the Discoverer AT3 4S produces would force you to guess otherwise. So don’t expect it to be whisper-quiet.
Is it good for off-roading?
The Discoverer AT3 4S is more than capable of handling some light off-roading.
Don’t expect it to trade blows with dedicated off-road tires, though. The decent on-road performance which I have praised above means this tire has made some trade-offs when it comes to its off-road performance. Without them, it wouldn’t have been possible for it to be ‘decent’ in multiple conditions.
That is to say that while it can withstand a weekend trip to the woods, relying on the Discoverer AT3 4S for an off-roading trip every few days isn’t something I advocate.
Is it good for sporty conditions?
The Discoverer AT3 4S isn’t designed for sporty conditions.
It is an all-terrain, all-season tire manufactured for SUVs, crossover vehicles, and trucks. You can make sure of that by going through the list of compatible vehicles (mentioned below). It isn’t designed for and won’t help you beat records on the lap.
Cooper Discoverer AT3 4S Warranty
Cooper backs the Discoverer AT3 4S with a standard uniformity warranty (first 2/32-inches of wear) and an impressive 65,000-mile treadwear warranty (on euro-metric sizes). This warranty is extremely impressive, to put it mildly. You also get a 43-day road test guarantee.
Cooper Discoverer AT3 4S: Is it worth the money?
Despite performing as well as any all-terrain tire you can think of, the AT3 4S is available at a budget asking price. At the time of writing, its smallest (15-inch) size is retailing for approximately $111, making it a must-have for drivers who don’t want to spend over the odds on a premium AT tire.
Should I buy the Cooper Discoverer AT3 4S?
At the cost of sounding biased, yes, absolutely.
Cooper might not be as famous as Continental or Michelin, but its truck and SUV tires are second to none. The Discoverer brand, in particular, has earned praise from friends and foes alike for its reliable all-terrain performance and excellent traction in colder climates.
What Vehicles Will the Cooper Discoverer AT3 4S fit?
Here’s a sample of models that the Discoverer AT3 4S will fit:
- Chevrolet Tahoe, Blazer, Silverado, Trailblazer, Suburban
- Dodge Durango, Dakota, Ram
- Ford F-Series, Expedition, Ranger
- GMC Sierra, Envoy,
- Jeep Wrangler, Grand Cherokee, Commander, Liberty
- Nissan Titan, Frontier
- Ram 1500
- Toyota 4-Runner, Tundra, Tacoma
Tire Sizes for Cooper Discoverer AT3 4S
List of Cooper Tire Reviews