Cooper Evolution Winter Tire Review and Rating (Updated)

Last Updated July 8, 2022

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Dry
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Wet
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Snow
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Comfort
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Noise
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Pros

  • Excellent ice performance with the studs
  • Short braking distances
  • Plenty of grip and traction for daily driving
  • Excellent aquaplaning resistance

Cons

  • Pricy for a mid-range tire
  • Handling in dry conditions is slightly above average

In most cases, when it comes to tires, a large portion of the car community will be fine with a set of all-season tires. They provide usable performance in lighter conditions, which covers the needs just fine. What about driving in harsher conditions? Well, there’s a solution for that.

Winter tires are a must for situations where the winters are more severe, and the snow is deeper. While this sounds fine and dandy, there are some limitations to these tires as well, which is where the studs come into play.

Studdable winter tires are a step up over the studless ones. Inserting the studs means you’ll be getting much better traction, especially on ice. Not as good as what Pierce Brosnan got with the Vanquish in Die Another Day, but close enough.

This type of tire isn’t as common as the regular one, so there aren’t many options. From the mid-range segment, we have the Evolution Winter from Cooper, so we should see an excellent performance at a non-premium price. With that said, is the tire worth it?

Several aspects make a winter tire good, and Cooper aimed to cover them as best as possible. Despite being a mid-range option, the tire is packed full of features that should result in excellent performance.

Cooper Evolution Winter Tire Review

The main aspect of any winter tire is the rating, and in this case, the Evolution Winter covers that aspect. Having the 3PMSF rating means that the tire is designed to tackle harsher conditions, which is more or less what Cooper claims the tire is capable of.

Studs are an essential part of the tire, so it’s a feature that should be mentioned. The Evolution Winter is designed to work with #12 studs, and they are positioned in crucial parts of the pattern. This is crucial as the tire should be able to deliver the performance claimed by the manufacturer.

One thing that makes a winter tire different than summer or all-season one is the rubber compound. Cooper used a compound focused towards providing improved performance in colder temperatures. Thanks to that, the Evolution Winter should deliver pretty good performance even when the roads are clear.

On the other side of the spectrum, you have snow-covered roads, which is where the tread pattern plays a role. Cooper’s Snow Groove technology features multiple sipes designed to help the Evolution Winter with performance on damp roads, as well as snow and ice.

How does it behave on dry tarmac?

Considering that it’s a mid-range tire, the Evolution Winter does reasonably well on dry roads. Sure, it may not be on the same levels as the premium options in this class, but it will suffice for most drivers.

For normal driving conditions, the Evolution Winter is a tire that will get the job done. There is a decent amount of grip and traction, meaning you can rely on it to keep you safe. It manages to remain pliable even in the coldest temperatures, so you’ll know that there’s enough performance to satisfy your needs.

While the Evolution Winter is good enough for daily driving, it’s not a tire that can handle overly aggressive driving. Keep in mind that it isn’t a performance winter tire like the Pilot Alpin 5, so don’t expect it to do wonders. Once you start to push it, you’ll notice that it’s not quite on the same level as its premium rivals. The grip and traction levels are slightly lower, and the braking distances are slightly longer.

Dry Rating: 4/5

4/5

How does it behave over wet and slippery roads?

The difference between the Evolution Winter and the premium options like the WinterCommand isn’t as pronounced as in dry performance.

Performance on damp roads is pretty good, and the Evolution Winter won’t struggle too much. In normal acceleration, the tire doesn’t struggle too much with traction and won’t slip too much. Like with most tires, a slip is possible if you give it the beans.

The cornering performance is also pretty good as the sipes and compound are doing their job properly. As long as you’re not going in too fast, the tire won’t be struggling to grip, and the understeer will be eliminated. Again, since it’s not a performance tire, it won’t be a good option for the fastest times on the track.

Cooper’s tread pattern with larger grooves does an excellent job at evacuating water. As a result, the Evolution Winter has excellent aquaplaning resistance and remains stable at higher speeds. While I’m on the subject of safety, I have to credit the braking distances, which are among the shorter ones in the mid-range category.

Wet Rating: 4/5

4/5

How is it over snow?

As a winter tire, the Evolution Winter does things as advertised and surprises with the performance levels it can offer. Similar to the wet performance, it won’t outperform the premium models, but it’s almost as good in some regards.

Without the studs, the Evolution Winter delivers very good performance and will be plenty for most people. In lighter conditions, the tire delivers high levels of traction and grip, making it easy to handle and very predictable.

For the harsher stuff, the Evolution Winter doesn’t disappoint as well. Regardless of whether we’re talking about deep snow or slush, the tire will perform very well, almost as good as some of the premium models.

Ice performance is a bit tricky, but the Evolution Winter seems to handle it very good. It’s not quite on the same levels as something like the Blizzak WE960.

The Evolution Winter may not win any awards as a winter tire without the studs, but once you fit them, it transforms. With them installed, you are looking at a tire that can easily outperform any other studless winter tire, even when driving over ice. It’s controllable and delivers short braking distances, making it a very impressive option.

Snow Rating: 4/5

4/5

Is it comfortable and refined?

Technically speaking, the Evolution Winter can be categorized as a touring tire, and as such, it seems to do a decent job.

Cooper managed to tweak the tread pattern, enabling the tire to provide a quieter ride. As good as this may sound, it’s still a bit noisy when compared to summer touring tires. In this class, I’d say that’s near the top. The most you’d hear from the tire is at higher speeds, something that winter tires are notorious for.

The comfort levels are also pretty good, but it’s still not perfect. Around town, the tire does a pretty good job at softening up road imperfections. I’d categorize it as decently comfortable, which should be fine for most people. The only thing I can criticize is the bounciness you may notice offer some bad roads. I have experienced much worse tires, so this isn’t a massive drawback.

Comfort Rating: 4/5

4/5

Is the Cooper Evolution Winter ideal for sporty driving?

The Evolution Winter may do a lot of things good, but one thing it’s not good at is sporty driving. It literally lacks everything you’d need from that type of tire.

On the performance side of things, the Evolution Winter may be fine for daily driving, but once you start to push it, you’ll notice that it isn’t designed for that. The grip and traction levels aren’t the highest in the industry, so you should expect it to underperform in this regard.

Then there’s the way it handles, which, again, will be fine for most people on their daily commutes. The Evolution Winter is a bit softer, so going into a corner will flex the sidewall more than the Alpin Sport 5. Another area where it won’t satisfy enthusiasts is in the driving dynamics. The tire is not the most responsive, and you won’t be getting much feedback through the steering wheel.

Noise Rating: 4/5

4/5

Cooper Evolution Winter Warranty

Studdable tires are known for not having any treadwear warranty, so the Evolution Winter is no exception. This shouldn’t be considered a drawback because even the Ice Zero or WinterCommand follow a similar trend.

Cooper Evolution Winter Pricing: Is it worth the money?

We reach a point where the Evolution Winter starts to disappoint. Cooper is known for making affordable tires, and with this in mind, this tire misses the point. When compared with the WinterCommand, the Goodyear tire is cheaper. In the mid-range class, this tire is also pricier than the Winterforce 2.

Value Rating: 3/5

3/5

Should I buy the Cooper Evolution Winter?

From a performance standpoint, I can recommend the Evolution Winter as it is a pretty good tire. With that said, as an overall package, it’s not the best choice.

The first issue is how often you’d need the studs. If you’re living in an area with long and harsh winters, then the Evolution Winter isn’t a terrible choice. On the other hand, if you need the studs once a year, then you should probably reconsider getting studded tires.

Regardless of your choices, the Evolution Winter is a tire that’s a bit more expensive than it should be. A mid-range tire that’s more expensive than its premium rivals isn’t the best bargain.

If you manage to find the Evolution Winter at a discount, go for it. It’s a solid performer that should cover your needs pretty well.

Overall Rating: 4/5

4/5

What Vehicles Will the Cooper Evolution Winter Fit?

Here’s a sample list of cars that the Michelin Defender T+H will fit:

  • Audi A1, A3, A4, A6
  • BMW 1, 3, 5, 7 Series
  • Ford Focus, Mondeo, Ka, Puma
  • Honda Civic, legend, Accord
  • Hyundai Elantra, Sonata, Lantra
  • Kia Optima, Rio, Stinger
  • Lexus IS, ES, LS, GS
  • Mazda 2, 3, 6
  • Mitsubishi Lancer, Galant
  • Subaru Legacy, Impreza
  • Toyota Corolla, Camry, Yaris
  • Volkswagen Golf, Passat, Jetta

Tire Sizes for Cooper Evolution Winter

14″

  • 175/65R14 82T
  • 175/70R14 84T
  • 185/65R14 86T
  • 195/70R14 91T

15″

  • 175/65R15 84T
  • 185/60R15 88T
  • 185/65R15 88T
  • 195/60R15 88T
  • 195/65R15 95T
  • 205/60R15 91T
  • 205/65R15 94T
  • 205/70R15 96T
  • 215/60R15 94T
  • 215/70R15 98T
  • 235/75R15 109T

16″

  • 205/50R16 87T
  • 205/55R16 94H
  • 205/60R16 92T
  • 205/65R16 95T
  • 215/55R16 97T
  • 215/60R16 95H
  • 215/65R16 98T
  • 215/70R16 100T
  • 225/60R16 98H
  • 225/65R16 100T
  • 225/70R16 103T
  • 225/75R16 104T
  • 235/60R16 100T
  • 235/65R16 103T
  • 235/70R16 106T

17″

  • 205/50R17 93H
  • 215/45R17 91H
  • 215/50R17 95H
  • 215/55R17 94H
  • 215/60R17 96T
  • 215/65R17 99T
  • 225/45R17 94T
  • 225/50R17 94H
  • 225/55R17 97T
  • 225/60R17 99T
  • 225/65R17 102T
  • 235/45R17 94H
  • 235/55R17 99H
  • 235/60R17 102T
  • 235/65R17 104T

18″

  • 215/55R18 95T
  • 225/45R18 95H
  • 225/50R18 95T
  • 225/55R18 98T
  • 225/60R18 100H
  • 235/50R18 97T
  • 235/55R18 100H
  • 235/60R18 103T
  • 235/65R18 106T
  • 245/45R18 100T
  • 245/60R18 105T
  • 255/55R18 109T
  • 255/65R18 111T
  • 265/60R18 110T
  • 265/65R18 114T

19″

  • 235/55R19 105T
  • 245/55R19 103T
  • 255/50R19 107H

20″

  • 245/50R20 102T
  • 255/50R20 109H
  • 255/55R20 110T
  • 265/50R20 107H

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