Tires are an expensive investment we all need to make every few years. Many people, including me try the find ways to cut this cost. Some ways include buying on special sales or buying older models of tires. One good way though is picking an affordable brand.
Cooper and Falken tires are two such brands that can dramatically reduce the up-front costs of buying tires. While Cooper tires focus more on giving you the cheapest tires possible while also delivering on safety, Falken aspires to designed high-performance and all-terrain tire at affordable prices.
In 1914 John F. Schaefer and Claude E. Hart Founded the company M and M Manufacturing Company which would eventually become Cooper Tires. With 108 years in the industry, the Akron, Ohio company has a long and trusted history.
By the early 1920s, the company headquarters moved to Finlay, Ohio, which remained the headquarters up until 2021. At the time of the move, the M and M Manufacturing had a neighboring company called the Cooper Corporation which they merged with in 1930 along with The Falls Rubber company to become Master Tire and Rubber Company.
The name held for a total of 16 years and after World War two the company rebranded itself to become the Cooper Tire & Rubber Company. The company sported the patriotic red, white, and blue as they were awarded the Army-Navy ‘E’ Award for excellence due to their services during the war.
Their war efforts included the manufacturing of pontoons, landing boats, waterproof bags and camouflage items, inflatable barges, life jackets, and tank decoys, as well as tires, all of which were provided to the Allied forces.
Cooper Tires saw two main periods of growth during the company’s lifetime. These can be classed as an internal growth and an external growth. The first came in the form of the Brewer family which started in 1946 and ended in 1982.
The Brewers encouraged hands-on leadership, management mingling with workers, and genuine care for workers and their families. These values lead to a high degree of trust and loyalty from the workers which propelled the company to new heights.
In 1983 the company was listed as one of the fortune 500 companies and was recognized as an industrial titan. The second period of growth for cooper began in 1997 and took the form of foreign expansion, both in the construction of new manufacturing plants and acquisitions of existing companies.
The company’s rapid expansion between 1997 and 2013 however, left the company vulnerable to outside attack. In 2021 Cooper was acquired by Goodyear. Though the takeover wasn’t as hostile as some other company takeovers have been in the past, it’s not exactly a preferred outcome.
Today Goodyear is working hard with Cooper to make sure no jobs are lost and production carries on smoothly. For the moment Cooper still makes their own tires, however, over time tire compounds and qualities are sure to blend.
Cooper’s Tire Families
With thirty-three tires, Cooper has a decent total amount. However, with over half of their tires aimed at SUVs and light trucks, the options for passenger vehicles are somewhat limited. That being said, if you are looking for a safe and cheap tire, Cooper will have what you need, no matter the shape or size of your vehicle.
There are only three tires in the evolution line, and they are primarily made for commercial vehicles. The one exception is the Evolution MTT P.O.R. as it is a Mud tire designed for rugged use on SUVs and light trucks.
The Discoverer line is Cooper’s largest tire line sitting at fifteen tires. With such a large variety in this line, it comes as no surprise that you can find a tire here for just about any application. From all-season to winter, to mudding tires, you will find just about anything you would need for your truck or SUV.
The two Zeon tires are designed to extract the maximum performance from your vehicle. Both these tires have good wet weather performance and the main difference between the two tires is the type of vehicle they are designed for (SUV or passenger).
The CS5s are Cooper’s two touring tires, one ultra, and one grand. While the grand will fit just about any vehicle and will last a long time, the Ultra will provide better handling and a high degree of comfort.
Cooper’s CS series tires are both designed for compact and modern cars. The CS7 is the better of the two tires, not only in performance and noise reduction but also tire size availability.
The singular Cobra Radial tire is an aggressive-looking tire designed for American muscle cars.
The trendsetter also only has one tire in the line and similarly to the Cobra Radial, it has a specific niche. The tire is designed for older vehicles and is also available with a white sidewall.
Weathermasters as the name suggests are designed for severe weather conditions. All four tires have the three peaks symbol and two of the four tires are stub pin compatible.
These three tires are similar to the Weathermaster tires as they are winter tires. They do have less performance than the Weathermasters, however, two of the three tires are designed for vans which provide companies the option of a commercial winter tire.
Falken’s Tire Families
Falken’s main focus is on high-performance tires and all-terrain tires. Their day-to-day tire options are somewhat limited as they do not have a heavy focus on said market. If you want to burn some rubber Falken is a good choice that won’t completely break the bank.
All three Azenis tires are high-performance summer tires, which is no surprise coming from Falken. With the DOP approval stamp, these high-performance tires are both track and road ready. Depending on which of the three tires you pick, the tire will be pretty close to a slick tire, so be careful on wet roads.
Espia tires are designed for winter weather exploration. There are only two tires in this line, one for passenger vehicles and one for SUVs. Along with being designed for winter conditions, these tires are designed to last you a long time, as long as they are not used during warmer weather.
The standalone Eurowinter HS01is designed for European winter conditions and fits both cars and SUVs/CUVs. It has better performance than the Espia sporting and an aggressive tread pattern.
There are five PRO tires from Falken which are all designed to give you what you need all year round. These all-season tires are generally affordable and most definitely dependable. The main difference between the tires in this line is the level of performance, which will also correlate with the price.
Sincera tires are designed for passenger vehicles as all-season touring tires. What these two tires lack in luxury and comfort they make up for in affordability and longevity.
The winterpeak is Falken’s most aggressive winter tire as it is designed to handle any level of ice. Along with the three peaks symbol, the tire also comes with legalized stud connection points with optimal placement.
The Wildpeak is one of Falken’s most popular lines. These tires are designed for light trucks and SUVs with three of the four tires designed for varying off-road conditions. The WILDPEAK M/T TIRE is the most aggressive of the four and is built for maximum off-road traction built for the toughest terrain.
The Runitrek is another standalone tire from Falken. This tire is designed as an all-terrain tire for light trucks and SUVs. What makes this tire stand alone is its extreme versatility. What makes it so versatile is its variety of qualities such as an aggressive tread, rugged sidewall, three peaks symbol, and more.
The Ziex is yet another all-season tire from Falken. This one however is aimed at higher performance and luxury vehicles. The four tires in the line cover a wide range of vehicles and will meet any of your needs.
Differences Between Cooper and Falken Tires
At first glance, both Cooper and Falken seem to target the affordable tire market, however, upon close inspection some clear differences can be seen. Though both companies do cater to customers looking to save some money, they both have different main focuses.
As mentioned above, Cooper’s main focus is affordability, however, their secondary focus is on every day, all-season tires all the while keeping safety at the forefront of their designs. This may come as a surprise as their largest tire line is aimed at all-terrain applications.
Though Cooper has many all-terrain tire options, they are often outclassed by other brands, which probably means that they do not invest too much into research and development for their all-terrain tires, as opposed to their all-season tires.
Falken on the other hand has a very specific aim toward high-performance tires and all-terrain tires. Falken has some of the best, cheaper aftermarket tires available, however, they have a very limited selection when it comes to basic passenger car and truck tires.
Advantages of Cooper
- The most affordable tires in most areas
- High degree of focus on safety
- Decent treadwear warranties
Advantages of Falken Tires
- Affordable tires, including high-performance
- Good high-performance and all-terrain tires
- Decent treadwear warranties
Which Brand to Choose
The best tire for you is going to come down to what you need from your tires. If you are looking for a cheap and safe tire for your everyday needs, then Cooper will have what you are looking for. If, however, you need a tire that is track-ready, or just has a huge amount of grip for its price, Falken is a good bet.
Falken also sells some killer all-terrain tires which can get you up and over any obstacle and safely to your destination. Both tire brands do also sell winter tires, however, you are better going to a different brand if you want some really good quality winter tires.
Either way, you go, for whichever application you need, you should always do a little research and read a few reviews because the tire industry is constantly evolving, and tire qualities can change quickly.