- Super snow performance
- Excellent aquaplaning resistance
- Stable at higher speeds
- Dry and wet performance needs improvement
- Slightly higher noise over rougher surfaces
I often talk about tires that can perform well in multiple conditions for people that want to avoid getting different sets of tires. Take all-season tires – designed to be used in the summer and in the winter, up to a point. But what if you need a tire that can handle harsher winter conditions?
In those cases, you’d need a tire that is capable of delivering excellent performance in freezing temperatures. Winter tires are generally designed to work below a certain temperature, and the industry-standard is 7 degrees Celsius or around 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
Another area where winter tires help is snow and ice performance. The goal is to have improved traction in those conditions so that you can have a good experience. Naturally, that experience won’t be as good as on dry tarmac, but a winter tire will be a better option than any other.
The tire industry has plenty of manufacturers that vary in price, and today I’ll be covering a tire from the mid-range sector.
Cooper is a brand known for making excellent tires at a lower price point when compared with the premium models, and the Discoverer M+S is one such option. It’s a winter studdable tire designed for SUVs and light trucks.
With that said, is the tire any good?
What are the features of the Cooper Discoverer M+S?
When designing a winter tire, one of the most important aspects is the rubber compound. The Discoverer M+S is rich with silica so that the tire can remain soft in cold temperatures and deliver optimal performance.
Next is the tread design, which has several areas optimized for different conditions. The tire features deeper and wider grooves that work in combination with the squared D-shaped blocks to improve snow performance. When you drive, the grooves get packed with snow, which should help improve the snow to snow traction. As for the rest of the design, it’s made so that it can bet down and provide traction in slushy situations.
The center rib features a sawtooth design, made for clear roads in dry and wet conditions. Its task is to keep the tire stable when driving at higher speeds or in the corners without compromising comfort.
As I mentioned, the Discoverer M+S which can be crucial when driving on ice. Regardless of how good a tire may be on the ice, the traction will still be limited, and studs are a good way of improving that.
How does it behave on dry tarmac?
The performance with the Discoverer M+S on dry roads is acceptable enough as a daily driver.
I didn’t have high expectations, and the tire performed more or less as expected. The grip and traction levels are average for its class, and you should be fine as long as you don’t reach the limit. Braking distances are also acceptable, and the tire is safe, but keep in mind that the premium options are better.
In the handling department, the Discoverer M+S won’t win any prizes, which is to be expected from a winter tire. The tire isn’t the most responsive one on the market and doesn’t like getting tossed too much into a corner. With that said, the central rib seems to be doing a decent job of keeping the tire stable at higher speeds.
How does it behave over wet and slippery roads?
Surprisingly, the Discoverer M+S seems to fair better in wet conditions than in dry, which is not a common occurrence.
Even though the tire does offer slightly better performance, it’s far from the best winter tire for wet roads. Like in dry conditions, the traction and grip are good enough for regular driving, as long as you don’t push it too much. In those cases, the tire will let go, but it will still remain predictable, and you can react to that.
Braking distances aren’t the shortest I’ve seen but are decently good for the category. As for the aquaplaning resistance, thanks to the deeper grooves, the Discoverer M+S remains stable when driving in deeper water patches.
How is it over snow?
The Discoverer M+S is designed for snow, and this is where it performs the best. As a mid-range option, the tire is surprisingly good on snowy surfaces.
In lighter snow conditions, the tire has absolutely no problem putting the power down. The tread pattern of the Discoverer M+S enables it to dig in to find traction, even when you’re driving over unpacked snow. In harsher conditions, the technology used to improve traction by snow to snow contact also works, and the tire performs excellently.
The handling is decent, and the tire can cope with normal driving conditions. You can push it a bit, but keep in mind that the traction is limited, and the tire will let go.
Performance on ice is not particularly good, which is no surprise. The good news is that the Discoverer M+S is studdable, so you can
Is it comfortable and refined?
In the refinement department, the Discoverer M+S is decent, as long as your expectations aren’t too high.
The comfort of the tire isn’t too bad. As a winter tire with a higher sidewall, you can expect it to soften up bumps or holes. Combining that with the softer suspension of an SUV and you have a decently comfortable tire.
As for the noise levels, things aren’t too impressive but far from terrible. Winter tires are known to be louder, and that’s the case with the Discoverer M+S. The noise is about average for a tire in this category, so don’t expect it to be the quietest tire on the market.
Is it good for off-roading?
In general, the Discoverer M+S is a poor off-roader, but there are some cases where it may be usable.
For the most part, shallow mud or dirt roads may be fine but with limited performance. Don’t expect too much of it, and it won’t be too disappointing.
On the other hand, there is something to keep in mind. Road tires aren’t designed as tough as off-road ones, meaning that sharper rocks may damage the tread, leading to uneven wear.
Is the Cooper Discoverer M+S ideal for sporty driving?
The Discoverer M+S may be good enough for everyday driving, but it’s not a tire that will satisfy the enthusiasts’ needs.
On the one hand, you have the limited traction and grip that prevent the tire from being driven aggressively. On the other hand, you have a tire with handling that isn’t ideal for sporty driving.
Cooper Discoverer M+S Warranty
In terms of warranty, the Discoverer M+S has no advantage or disadvantage. Like most of its rivals, a treadwear warranty isn’t available. There is the Copper Standard Limited Warranty which will cover a free replacement under several conditions.
Cooper Discoverer M+S Pricing: Is it worth the money?
In terms of pricing, the Discoverer M+S is an affordable option for people that look for an affordable winter tire for the light truck or SUV. The prices start from around $100, which is more or less a similar price that you’d pay for tires like the General Grabber Arctic or the Firestone Winterforce 2. With that said, it is a cheaper option than the Michelin Wintercommand.
Should I buy the Cooper Discoverer M+S?
The Discoverer M+S isn’t a tire that you should avoid, but you should keep in mind a few limitations.
In terms of the road performance, there are some excellent and some non-excellent aspects. On the positive side, you have a great snow tire that will deliver its performance in almost any condition. The traction on ice is a bit limited, but luckily, you can add studs to improve that.
Dry and wet performance is a slightly negative aspect of the Discoverer M+S. The performance is average and should be enough for the average driver. With that said, some of the premium candidates may be able to offer more. As a bonus, even though it’s not designed for off-roading, it may deal acceptably okay in some light off-road scenarios.
Comfort and noise levels are acceptable, bearing in mind that we are talking about a winter tire. Thanks to the softer compound, the Discoverer M+S is quite comfortable, but it suffers from slightly higher noise levels like most winter tires.
All of this performance comes in a package that is quite similar to its rivals, which is why the Discoverer M+S is a strong competitor in the mid-range market.
As an overall package, the Discoverer M+S isn’t a bad tire. Even though it lacks a bit in certain areas, you won’t feel like you are missing out too much. If you’re looking for an affordable snow tire, the Discoverer M+S is not a bad choice.
What Vehicles Will the Cooper Discoverer M+S Fit?
Here’s a sample list of cars that the Cooper Discoverer M+S will fit:
- Acura RDX, MDX
- Audi Q5, Q7
- BMW X5
- Ford Bronco, Explorer, F-150
- Honda Passport, Pilot
- Kia Sorento, Telluride
- Hyundai Tucson, Santa Fe
- Mitsubishi L200
- Toyota Rav4, Hilux
- Volkswagen Amaroc, Tuareg
Tire Sizes for Cooper Discoverer M+S
List of Cooper Tire Reviews