Most people shop for tires by size and model. Yet there is a sizeable minority that is brand-conscious. For them, the name on top of the tire matters as much as its size and type. Such people make it a habit to always shop at the same manufacturer for their vehicle’s tires.
Their market caps show that Cooper and Bridgestone enjoy similar loyal customers. Cooper is the 14th largest tire brand worldwide, with its market cap in 2022 crossing the $3 billion mark. Bridgestone, the 2nd biggest tire manufacturer, is worth just over $25 billion.
Such sheer success has given rise to a Cooper Vs Bridgestone rivalry, even though these brands aren’t perched at the same end of the pricing spectrum. While Bridgestone tires rarely, if ever, come cheap. Cooper’s models are always aimed at budget-minded drivers.
To settle the Cooper Vs Bridgestone tires debate once and for all, we’ve come up with this article. This comparison will look at these tires’ families while also discussing their respective histories. We’ll also look at areas where one of them performs better than the other.
Cooper Tires History
Cooper is the older company of the two by 2 decades. The US tire giant was founded in 1914 in Akron, Ohio, which is also the birthplace of BFGoodrich tires. What most people don’t know about the Cooper Tire Company is that it was initially referred to as M and M Manufacturing.
What is more, the company’s first-ever product lineup didn’t include tires. It was only after its founders brought Giant Tire & Rubber Company that the company began taking the shape we currently see it in. The acquisition was followed by the shifting of headquarters from Akron to Findlay.
It was at the new location that the Cooper Tire & Rubber Company was born. Right from day one, Cooper’s mission was to produce tires that the majority could afford. This was a difficult balance to strike, as price and quality often come in packages. But Cooper was up for the challenge.
The fact that the company is currently worth at over $3 billion indicates that it has successfully defied the myth that you can choose low price or high quality, but not both. Cooper’s tires are currently known for providing their customers with quality features at an affordable price point.
Cooper’s Tire Families
Seven families complete Cooper’s tire lineup. They range from all-season touring and ultra-touring (Endeavor, CS) to performance tires (Zeon and Discoverer), and from winter (WeatherMaster and WM) to summer models (Evolution). Let’s discuss all Cooper tire families in detail.
As stated above, Cooper’s Endeavor family is populated by all-season touring and ultra-touring tires. There are only three tires in this family, including the Cooper Endeavor, Endeavor Tour, and the Endeavor Plus. The first two are designed for passenger cars; the Endeavor Plus for SUVs and CUVs.
All three models have multiple features in common. They are backed with long treadlife warranties, offer excellent road manners and are quiet at high speeds. These models also have decent dry/wet traction. Plus, they can hold their own in mild wintry conditions.
The Cooper CS family also comprises all-season touring and ultra-touring tires. The CS5 Ultra Touring is the face of this family, boasting excellent aquaplaning resistance, long treadwear warranty, and an optimum balance between price and performance.
Among the remaining members, of which there are many, the CS5 Grand Touring catches the eye. This model impresses with an awesome 80,000-mile treadwear warranty, the highest backing received by any grand-touring tire from any brand. This tire is also competitively priced.
Who says budget-friendly tires cannot be affordable? The Cooper Zeon series offers plenty of models that weigh light on the pocket yet won’t let anyone guess their price with their performance. These tires therefore strike an optimum balance between price and performance.
Need proof? Then you must check out the Zeon RS3-G1. Backed with a 45,000-mile treadwear warranty, which is excellent for a performance tire, this tire provides superb dry and wet traction. Its dynamic handling characteristics and aggressive cornering performance impress even more.
WM and Weather Master
Both the WM and Weather Master families are designed for harsh wintry conditions. Their flexible tread compounds, gripping tread patterns and circumferential grooves enable members of both families to safely carry you from point A to point B on snow-laden roads.
There is however one difference between the two families. While most of the WM tires are designed for passenger cars, the WeatherMaster family is for SUVs and light trucks only. Having said that, a WM tire with a van-fitting model is on offer too.
The Cooper Evolution is one of the most diverse tire families. It includes all-season, all-weather, touring, summer, winter and even off-road tires. The diversity of tires is matched by the diversity of vehicles they can fit – almost every member of this family can be installed on passenger cars, SUVs and light trucks.
Bridgestone Tires History
Bridgestone’s history is a tale of inspiring resilience. Unlike Cooper, which was formed in the calmer neighborhoods of Akron, Ohio, Bridgestone’s birth place was under attack right from the moment the first brick was laid. The situation was so bad that some of its facilities were literally bombed.
If all of this sounds like hearsay, it’s probably because you don’t know that Bridgestone was founded in pre-war Japan in 1931. Or the fact that, for the first 15 years of its existence, many of the company’s offices faced repeated onslaught from the allied forces.
Still, while the circumstances were unfavorable, Bridgestone’s response to them was anything but. A single event in 1946 exemplifies this. Just a year after Michelin had developed the world’s first radial tire, Bridgestone came up with one of its own, despite being based in a war zone.
Fast forward 40 years, and Bridgestone was busy acquiring the Firestone Tire & Rubber Company in the US, underlining its ability to succeed in the face of seemingly insurmountable difficulties. In 2021, the last year for which data is available, the company announced an operating profit of £2.5billion.
Bridgestone Tire Families
Bridgestone has divided its tire catalog into eight lineups or families. These include the Bridgestone Potenza, Alenza, Turanza, Dueler, Driveguard, Ecopia, Blizzak and WeatherPeak. Each of these families contain tires meant for different weather conditions.
Every member of the Bridgestone Potenza family targets high-performance and sports cars. Yet, despite this major similarity, each of them is different in its own ways. The RE-71R, for instance, is a premium extreme performance summer tire for passenger cars.
That isn’t the case with the Potenza RE92. Although designed for passenger cars, this tire costs less than the RE-71R and offers a similarly excellent dry performance. Then there is the RE 980 AS, a tire that strikes an optimum balance between dry/wet traction and high-performance.
Bridgestone’s Alenza family is populated by grand-touring tires for summer and mild winter conditions. There are several members in this lineup, including the Alenza A/S, Alenza Sport, Alenza Plus, and Dueler HL Alenza, among others. All the tires are made for different driving styles.
For instance, if everyday driving is all you use your vehicle for, the Alenza A/S might be worth a shot. The Alenza Plus deserves your attention if you want sporty performance at a budget. Conversely, if you own a light truck or any other light-duty commercial vehicle, go for the Dueler H/L Alenza.
The Bridgestone Turanza QuietTrack highlights what this family is all about. The QuietTrack is the quietest tire in the industry and comes with a class-leading 80,000-mile treadwear warranty. Its dry and wet performance is equally phenomenal. Plus, this model is useful in light snow conditions.
Yet, like almost every member of the Turanza family, the QuietTrack struggles in wet conditions. Its wet braking distances are bang average, a flaw you don’t often see in grand touring tires. Furthermore, when compared with Cooper’s GT tires, this tire rightly seems super-expensive.
Want to go off-road but have no intention to sacrifice riding comfort and refinement? If so, then the Bridgestone Dueler series deserves your attention. A combination of stiff sidewalls, flexible rubber compounds and high-density sipes help members of this family offer the best of both worlds.
Take the examples of the Dueler H/L 400 and A/T Revo 3 to understand this point. The former delivers marvelous off-road performance for a highway terrain tire, with noise levels kept under wraps. The AT Revo 3, meanwhile, is quiet on the highway, though its off-road performance is average.
Ever heard about run-flat tires? These tires are capable of being driven for up to 50 – 100 miles even when they’re fully flat. The logic behind them is pretty simple: when you have run-flat tires on your vehicle, there’s a reduced likelihood of being stranded in the middle of nowhere.
The Bridgestone DriveGuard and DriveGuard Plus tires put this theory to action. Here is a couple of tires that you can drive for up to 50 miles with zero air pressure. A combination of innovative tread compound and unique cooling fin technology will minimize the risk of bust ups in the process.
Bridgestone’s Ecopia tires do not come as cheap as their rivals from Cooper. Yet they are easy on the pocket and light on the environment.
These tires achieve this balance with a single feature: reduced rolling resistance. This helps them keep their fuel consumption down and emissions low.
Bridgestone Blizzak tires (LM 001, WS90, etc.) are designed for harsh wintry conditions. Some of these tires are studdable; others studless.
Yet all of them have the capability to safely carry your vehicle from Point A to point B through a snowstorm. What more can you ask for!
The WeatherPeak family is populated by touring and all-season tires.
Generous treadwear warranties, reliable year-round performance and excellent road manners – these are some of the features you can expect from this family’s tires. However, take note that they struggle in wintry conditions.
Cooper Vs Bridgestone Tires: Differences
Here are the major differences between Cooper and Bridgestone tires:
Bridgestone tires perform better on the comfort department.
Whether you’re talking about the RE-71R, the RE92 or even the RE 980 AS, once installed on sports or muscle cars, Bridgestone’s performance tires are much better than their Cooper counterparts.
Which shouldn’t come as a surprise given the difference in pricing. Give the entire set of Zeon RS3 GR1, Cooper’s flagship performance tire, in exchange, and you’d still have to pay money out of pocket to purchase one [yes, one] RE-71R, Bridgestone’s best performance tire.
Availability of Options
Bridgestone tires eke it out on this front too.
Both these tires are available for various conditions. But there is one area where Bridgestone tires stand alone – off-roading. While Bridgestone offers multiple tires for harsh terrains, we’re yet to see Cooper offering any model for rock crawling, muddy conditions, or similar terrains.
Price and Warranty
Cooper tires cost less and are still backed with generous warranties.
Take the example of the CS5 Ultra Touring. Despite costing much less than its touring counterparts from Bridgestone, this model is backed to last 80,000 miles. The same story repeats itself in other categories too, including winter, summer, and all-season.
Advantages of Cooper
- Offers budget-friendly models
- Backs its tires with best in-class warranties
- Has tires for almost every condition
Advantages of Bridgestone
- Offers tire in multiple categories
- Equips tires with latest technologies
- Backs its models with generous warranties
Cooper Vs Bridgestone Tires: Which One to Choose?
If you’re on a budget, Cooper tires are a better bet. Tires from this brand don’t use their low initial price as an excuse to cut corners. Instead, as we have stated time and again, Cooper has for the past century demonstrated that low price doesn’t necessarily mean low quality.
However, if money is no issue, Bridgestone tires are a no-brainer.