The world of car tires is more competitive than ever which means that it has become almost impossible to weigh in all of your options and go for a tire brand that suits your needs the best. Cooper and Pathfinder are both situated in the more affordable end of the market which means that these aim to offer the very best value for money.
However, in today’s installment of our regular tire brands comparisons, we are going to compare Cooper vs Pathfinder tires in a wide variety of categories which also include performance, warranty, availability of options, and of course, price.
Cooper Tires History
Cooper Tire & Rubber Company traces its roots back to 1914 in Ohio, USA. The name of the city is Akron, a place where Goodyear was also founded. The very beginnings of the company weren’t even associated with tires and the name Cooper Tires only came around in 1921 when the founders of the company acquired a company named Giant Tire & Rubber Company.
This is why you will often see that the Cooper Tire & Rubber Company was actually founded in Findlay which is also in Ohio. When the company dug deep into manufacturing tires, the owners had a vision of making affordable tires that can rival the likes of more expensive premium brands which did come to fruition, to a degree of course.
Be that as it may, it pushed the company to become one of the largest tire companies today and was acquired by Goodyear itself back in 2021 for an eye-watering deal of $2.8 billion. Nowadays, Cooper follows in the same footsteps as back in the day which means that Cooper tires belong in the affordable part of the market.
This does not mean that Cooper tires are not on-par with more premium brands as far as quality is concerned, quite the contrary as Cooper tires are renowned for impressive manufacturing precision and finishing.
Cooper Tire Families
Currently, Cooper offers seven different tire families within its lineup. These include performance tires, touring tires, regular all-season tires, winter tires, off-roading tires, mud tires, and a few models which aim to combine various benefits from different types of tires.
The first tire family we are going to mention today is the Cooper Endeavor family of tires which is the all-season touring tire family from Cooper. The Cooper Endeavor was the first tire model from this family while the Endeavor Tour was the second. These tires are renowned for an impressive 65,000-mile treadwear warranty because they are quiet and fairly refined.
You can also go for the Endeavor Tour SUV model which, as the name might suggest, is offered for SUVs, trucks, and crossovers. The Endeavor Tour is a bit on the pricey end as far as Cooper tires are concerned, but are still relatively affordable when it comes to anything with a premium badge stamped on it.
The Cooper CS family of tires is remarkably similar to the Endeavor family which means that these are also mostly all-season touring tires, but the CS family is indeed a bit more populated and a bit more affordable in comparison. Models like the Cooper CS5 Ultra Touring and the Cooper CS5 Grand Touring are similar, but the Ultra Touring is better in the snow while the Grand Touring is more refined and better in the dry.
The CS family of tires can be had on all types of cars which includes passenger cars, SUVs, trucks, CUVs, and anything in between. These are backed with a 70,000-mile warranty, but only for the V/H speed-rated models.
When it comes to ultra-performance tires, you need to focus your attention on the Cooper Zeon family of tires. Every model within this family has performance as the main focus which means that they aren’t as comfortable as some Coopers touring tire families. Moreover, the Zeon family is backed with a 25,000-40,000-mile treadwear warranty at best which comes as no surprise for a performance tire.
The most popular passenger tire from this lineup is the Cooper Zeon RS3-G1 which offers some of the best dry traction in its class while also being decently refined. The RS3-S and the RS3-R are also designed for passenger cars while the Zeon LTZ is reserved for SUVs and crossovers.
Cooper WM and WeatherMaster
The Cooper WM and the Cooper WeatherMaster are the two Cooper winter tire families which are why we are going to mention these together. The WM family consists of two models, the WM SA+ and the regular WM. The former is only available for passenger cars while the latter is available for SUVs, trucks, and crossovers. No treadwear warranty is included with these.
The WeatherMaster family is also packed with just two models, but these are only available for trucks and SUVs. Moreover, these can also be equipped with studs which makes these the most capable ice tires Cooper makes.
The Discoverer family offers everything but is mostly known for its off-road tires. For example, the Cooper Discoverer M+S is amazingly capable in the snow while being as refined as some normal all-season touring tires from a similar price bracket. It is also a really capable SUV/truck off-road tire which makes the M+S a popular choice for many SUV/truck owners around the country.
If you want something that can tackle off-roading in a more serious manner, the Cooper Discoverer AT3 4S is the tire for you. It is backed by a 3PMSF rating which means that it also deals with snow amazingly well while also being docile and capable in the dry. The SRX Discoverer is a more touring-oriented option backed by a 75,000-mile warranty which is the most you get from the Disco family.
The last family of Cooper tires we are going to mention today is the Cooper Evolution family which consists of mostly all-season tires which can also be used in a wide variety of environments without falling apart. Models like the Cooper Evolution Winter Tire are, as the name might suggest, designed for winter while the Cooper Evolution Tour, as the name might suggest, is designed for touring purposes.
These are more affordable than the Discoverer family of tires which also makes sense because these offer a warranty coverage of up to 65,000-mile max for the T-Speed rated Tour model. We also need to mention the Evolution M/T which is one of the most capable, if not the most capable Cooper mud tire.
Pathfinder Tire History
The Pathfinder tire brand was founded back in 2005 and is owned by the Kumho Tire Company. The idea behind Pathfinder tires was to create an affordable tire brand with outsourced production that is going to focus mostly on mass-market tires in order to earn as much money as possible. This is why the very bedrock of Pathfinder tires are light truck tires because light trucks are incredibly popular in the US.
Pathfinder tires are almost exclusively sold through Discount Tire with the exception of a few pop-up stores here and there. Kumho made sure to equip Pathfinder tires with impressive technological solutions such as a try-polymer thread compound, solid center ribs, wide circumferential grooves, and multiple sipes.
The company does not offer any fancy state-of-the-art stuff which makes a lot of sense as these are affordable tires after all. Pathfinder deals only with SUV and truck tires and it seems like the company is growing at quite an impressive pace which means that many US buyers do believe that they are worth the asking price.
Be that as it may, there aren’t really too many models to choose from which is a bit of a shame. This is likely to change soon if the company continues growing at the current rate.
Pathfinder Tire Families
There are only three tire families (all of which offer a single model) within the Pathfinder lineup as of now which includes the Pathfinder HT, the Pathfinder AT, and the Pathfinder HSR. All of these are only available for SUVs and trucks and are on the lower end of the price scale which is why they are as popular as they are.
The Pathfinder HT family of tires is as Pathfinder likes to say a “customer favorite” because it is an all-season touring tire designed to withstand all types of weather. With a 60,000-mile treadwear warranty, the HT is fairly impressive for its price group. Pathfinder also likes to say that the HT tire looks amazing because of its special outline lettering that is sure to attract some attention.
The tire comes with a maximum 11-14/32” tread depth which is intended to maximize the lifespan, responsiveness, and overall all-terrain performance of the tire. It comes in five different sizes ranging from 15-inch to 20-inch tires which is what you’d expect from a true SUV/light truck tire.
The Pathfinder AT tire is an all-terrain tire tasked with managing off-roading with a decent on-road performance which sure is enticing for drivers who live in the countryside but also tend to drive their SUVs/trucks on the highway. This tire is backed by a 55,000-mile warranty at a maximum which is a decent number for what is essentially an off-road tire.
These are also available in five different sizes ranging from 15 inches to 20 inches. Moreover, these are backed by the important 3PMSF-rating which will give you adamant performance in the snow as well. All in all, the Pathfinder AT is also a really popular tire which makes quite a bit of sense since it comes with a decent warranty package at a price most drivers can afford.
The Pathfinder HSR is a commercial-grade all-season tire designed to offer a confident all-season performance that does not sacrifice comfort or longevity. These can withstand a maximum of 83PSI which means that they can carry quite a bit of weight. This is the commercial part of the equation and is the reason why you will see many fleet truck vehicles equipped with Pathfinder HSR tires.
These are available in either 15-inch, 16-inch, or 17-inch sizes which makes these true workhorse tires. They are backed by a fairly generous 50,000-mile warranty which is indeed a good thing as many commercial-grade tires aren’t backed by a warranty at all.
Differences Between Cooper and Pathfinder Tires
As far as overall performance is concerned, well it’s difficult to compare a brand that does not offer ultra-performance tires at all which means that Cooper wins here from the get-go. The reality is that Cooper wins when it comes to performance tires, touring tires, winter tires, and even off-road tires. This means that Cooper beats Pathfinder tires in almost every aspect of performance.
This is nothing but pure logic as Pathfinder is somewhat of a tool more than a piece of precise engineering. This does not mean that Pathfinder does not make good tires, it’s more about the fact that Pathfinder tires make a tire model which is good at various things, but does not excel in anything in particular.
Availability Of Options
This is also a clear win for Cooper due to it offering more tire families, more models within each tire family, and more sizes to choose from. Furthermore, you can buy Cooper tires from pretty much any tire retailer in your vicinity while Pathfinder tires are exclusively available through Discount Tire.
Price and Warranty
Price-wise, these two brands are similar, but Pathfinder does seem to undercut Cooper by a little bit which is enough for Pathfinder to take a win here. Warranty is better with Cooper as some Cooper tire models (SRX Discoverer) are backed by a 75,000-mile warranty while the most you are ever going to get from a Pathfinder tire is 60,000 miles (Pathfinder HT) which is also good.
Advantages Of Cooper
- Better Performance Tires
- Better Touring Tires
- Better Winter Tires
- Better Off-road Tires
- More Options
- Better Warranty
Advantages Of Pathfinder
Which Brand To Choose?
At the end of our Cooper vs Pathfinder tires comparison, it is clear that Cooper is the brand with more prowess, but Pathfinder is not here to compete, the company was founded in order to satisfy a small part of the market by offering good tires at a class-leading price.
Given the fact that the Pathfinder brand is more than 8 decades younger than the Cooper brand, it makes all the sense in the world for Cooper to triumph in this comparison.