- Long treadwear warranty
- Quiet and comfortable
- Dry condition is superb
- Unusable even in light snow conditions
- Unpredictable wet handling
As a US tire manufacturer, Cooper gets a lot of attention because it’s domestic and due to what it offers. The latest and greatest technology at an affordable price is just what most people are after.
The Evolution Tour is the perfect example of this. A feature-rich all-season touring tire at an affordable price. Manufacturers usually have a lot to say about their tires, so let’s see what Cooper says about this one.
What are the features of the Cooper Evolution Tour?
There are 3 things that Cooper claims about this tire: it’s quiet, efficient, and durable. Despite not mentioning the rest of the performance, the company didn’t spare any expenses in that regard.
The Stabiledge Performance technology found in many other Cooper products can be found in the Evolution Tour. It reduces the flex of the blocks and provides more grip, better stability, and more responsiveness.
Touring tires are, by definition, the ones that should last the longest and be the most comfortable. The Evolution Tour is built with Cooper’s rubber compound made to reduce wear without sacrificing comfort. Also, as an all-season tire, the company made the compound usable in warmer and colder climates.
The symmetric tread pattern is another aspect that helps with tire wear but also with wet performance. Thanks to the grooves and sipes, the Evolution Tour can channel water away from the tire.
As for the sipes, they don’t help just with wet performance. Cooper’s 3D Micro-Gauge sipes also help in snow, enabling the tire to find traction.
When it comes to construction, there isn’t anything specific. The Evolution Tour is designed with dual steel belts in a polyester casing which is wrapped in nylon. This should help with drivability and stability while maintaining comfort and durability.
How does it behave on dry tarmac?
The Evolution Tour is good on dry tarmac – good enough for the needs of most people. The tire has plenty of cornering grip when you consider that it’s a budget-friendly option. It seems to offer a bit more than its competitors in this price range. As for the traction, it’s more or less, as you’d expect, decent. The overall performance is safe enough if you don’t overdo it.
A spirited driver won’t be too happy with how the tire behaves. The responsiveness is nowhere near what a performance tire can offer. In terms of that, I may even compare it to a winter tire. Responsiveness is also not a very strong suit, and you should expect almost no feedback through the steering wheel.
How does it behave over wet and slippery roads?
In wet conditions, the Evolution Tour is quite disappointing, maybe because I had some high expectations. Having driven the touring variant of the CS5 from Cooper, I hoped that the impressive wet performance would be carried over. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to experience that.
Instead, I experienced relatively unpredictable behavior, even when I wasn’t near the limit. The grip was below average, and the tire was losing it without warning. This is due to the lack of feedback, which makes it unpredictable. I have to say that the aquaplaning resistance was good, and the tire Evolution Tour remained relatively stable.
Braking distances were safe enough, and the car didn’t spiral out of control. The main issue with this is that they are longer than most other tires in this class.
One area where the Evolution Tour showed some decent performance was in light rain. Even though things can get a lot more slippery in those conditions, the tire managed to hold on reasonably well.
How is it over snow?
The snow performance is equally unimpressive as the wet one. The Evolution Tour is M+S rated, so technically, mud and snow shouldn’t be a problem.
Even in light snow conditions, the tire struggled quite a lot to find traction. Stopping the car felt like mission impossible due to the long braking distances. Grip in the corners is good as long as you drive less than a few miles per hour, and even then, you can feel the car sliding.
Is it comfortable and refined?
Despite all the negative sides of driving performance, the Evolution Tour is exceptionally comfortable and quiet. It may cost half of what the premium models go for these days, but the comfort and noises seem to be almost as good.
Bumps and smaller holes are absorbed excellently, and for the larger ones, you may feel slight vibrations. In my book, this is classified as a very comfortable mid-range tire.
The noise levels are also impressive, and the Evolution Tour will remain relatively quiet. Don’t expect something like the Bridgestone Turanze QuietTrack, but also don’t expect something obnoxious. On various surfaces, the tire is nicely refined even if you are driving at higher speeds.
Is it good for off-roading?
The Evolution Tour is not an off-roading tire, so the performance in those conditions is not very good. In general, an all-season tire will underperform, so it’s not a downside to this tire.
A short field trip on some dirt road could be okay, and that’s about it. In muddy situations, the tire doesn’t have nearly enough traction to get you out of it, so try to avoid it as much as possible.
Is the Cooper Evolution Tour ideal for sporty driving?
I’ll give it to you straight – no, the Evolution Tour is not ideal for sporty driving.
Even though the dry performance wasn’t as bad as some of the other aspects of the tire, the driving dynamics will ruin the fun. Delayed response and muted steering wheel are not my idea of a tire that can deliver a sporty feel, so I’d avoid any spirited driving with this tire.
Cooper Evolution Tour Warranty
As a budget-oriented option, I was pretty surprised to find that the Cooper Evolution Tour has a decent warranty. The V and R-rated tires come with a 60,000-mile treadwear warranty, while the T-rated ones have 65,000.
As a comparison, Michelin’s CrossClimate 2 has a 60,000-mile warranty and costs twice as much. Based on this, I believe that Cooper managed to make the Evolution Tour durable and long-lasting.
Cooper Evolution Tour Pricing: Is it worth the money?
Technically the Evolution Tour is worth the money, but the answer needs some explaining. The starting price is around $75, which is half of what the premium tires cost.
With that in mind, you should be aware that you will be making a good amount of compromises, especially wet and snow performance.
On the other hand, you will be getting excellent comfort and low noise levels, combined with a long warranty.
Should I buy the Cooper Evolution Tour?
The Evolution Tour is not a tire that I can easily recommend, which is disappointing. The CS5 is technically a model in the same class, and Cooper somehow managed to make the Evolution Tour the underdog.
The dry performance was surprisingly good. Grip and traction won’t be an issue, and the braking distances are not too long. Driving the Evolution Tour may not be the most fun experience, but it will be safe. The lack of fun comes from the slow responsive nature and that it doesn’t provide feedback through the steering wheel
Wet performance of the tire is not very good; I’d even say that it’s terrible. In light rain conditions, the Evolution Tour is decent-ish and will offer a relatively safe driving experience. As soon as it starts raining harder, the becomes almost undrivable. The lack of traction or grip combined with the unpredictable nature of the tire makes it unsuitable for those driving conditions.
The same story goes for the snow. I know that all-season tires are not designed specifically for snow, but most of them are at least drivable in lighter conditions. The Evolution Tour is not a very safe tire to be driven on snow, regardless of how slow you’re going. First, the tire barely has any traction to get the car moving, and it will struggle to come to a complete stop at a safe distance.
One area where Cooper delivered on its promise is the comfort and noise department. For a mid-range tire, the Evolution Tour offers excellent levels of comfort in all conditions. It will smooth out most of the road imperfections and won’t shock the entire cire with those that can’t iron out. You can drive it at any speed you want and over any kind of surface, and it will remain relatively quiet.
Warranty-wise, you can get either 60,000-mile or 65,000-mile treadwear warranty, depending on the tire’s rating. The numbers are not bad at all, especially when you consider the price range.
The main reason why I said that the Evolution Tour is not a tire that I can recommend is due to how limited it is. Despite being a touring all-season tire, technically, only the wet performance and refinement are good sides to it. Wet is passable only on damp roads, while the rest is not something that I can classify as good enough.
In my opinion, I wouldn’t keep the Evolution Tour at the top of the purchase list – it would probably be near the bottom.
What Vehicles Will the Cooper Evolution Tour Fit?
- Audi A3, A4
- BMW 1, 3, series
- Ford Focus, Mondeo, C-MAX, Fusion, Fiesta
- Honda Civic, Accord, HR-V
- Kia Soul, Stinger
- Mazda 2, 3, 6
- Toyota Yaris, Corolla, Camry, CH-R
- Volkswagen Golf, Polo, Passat
Due to the 14 to 18-inch size options, the Evolution Tour can be fitted even to sub-compact cars. The list above is just an example of some of the models to fit the tire.
Tire Sizes for Cooper Evolution Tour
List of Cooper Tire Reviews