Tires are one of the most important parts of your vehicle. It doesn’t matter how highly rated your vehicle is, if you put the wrong tires on none of the performance will be available to you. Additionally, bad tires can create an unsafe situation.
Cooper Rating: 4.5/5
Pirelli Rating: 4.7/5
With that in mind, is it safe for you to buy cheap tires like Cooper tires? Or should you go for a tire brand which is well known for providing excellent performance, a company such as Pirelli? At the end of the day, it is up to you and what you need from your tires.
Founded in 1914, Cooper has a long history in the tire industry. The 108-year-old company was founded by John F. Schaefer and Claude E. Hart in Akron, Ohio, and was originally named the M and M Manufacturing Company.
In the early 1920s, the company moved to Finlay, Ohio, right next door to a company called The Cooper Corporation. In 1930 the two companies, along with a third called The Falls Rubber company merged to form the 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.
Throughout the company’s lifetime, it saw two golden ages of expansion and growth, firstly inward and then outward. 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 golden age 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 tire families
Though Cooper Tires has a fair amount of total tires options, sitting currently at thirty-three, options for passenger vehicles are somewhat limited as over half the Cooper tires are aimed at SUVs and light trucks. Nevertheless, if you are looking for a cheap tire, you will find it no matter the vehicle you need it for.
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 used 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 provides companies the option of a commercial winter tire.
Pirelli Tires History
Having been founded in 1872, Pirelli is the second oldest tire company in the world, and it holds a studious background. Formed by Giovanni Battista Pirelli in Milan, Italy, the 150-year-old company is only second in age by one year to the Continental Tire company.
Today Pirelli is the sixth-largest tire company in the world, bringing in a net income of 42.7 million euros in 2020. One of the testaments to Pirelli’s success is the Pirelli tower which is a skyscraper that Alberto Pirelli commissioned in the 1950s.
Though a skyscraper is impressive, and it is a modicum of success, one actual tire-related triumph Pirelli has the bragging rights to is the “wide radial tire.” The design was created at the request of the Lancia rally racing team as there were no racing tires on the market which could fulfill their needs.
Currently, Pirelli carries on its success in the motorsports world as they are the exclusive tire supplier for not only the FIM World Superbike Championship but also the pinacol of motorsports, the Formula One World Championship.
Though some question whether Pirelli should hold the F1 contract, it cannot be denied that they have yet to have an incident like Goodyear did in the 2006 US Grand Prix debacle.
There are however some concerns on the horizon for Pirelli. In 2015 the China National Chemical Corp. Ltd. (ChemChina) became the majority shareholder of the Pirelli company. Though the ChemChina did not change the company’s ownership structure right away, they only promised not to change it until 2023.
As the ChemChina is a Chinese state-owned company, there are many concerns as to the future of Pirelli as a whole. For the moment, however, Pirelli is a trusted brand that delivers some excellent high-performance tires.
Pirelli Tire Families
With 150 years of experience, Pirelli offers many tire choices which can be quite overwhelming. Even when searching for tires with your vehicle’s make and model it can be tricky to understand which tires are the ones you need at first glance. Fortunately, with the defined tire families below, that part of picking your next tires is that much easier.
The P Zero is Probably Pirelli’s most well-known line and has a total of eleven different tires. It is Pirelli’s high-performance tire line designed for both passenger vehicles and SUVs. Only five of the tires will fit SUVs whereas all eleven tires will fit on cars.
Just about all the tires have the common rating from Pirelli’s of “sport” or “performance,” apart from the P Zero Nero M+S. Though all these tires are classed as high-performance, there is a wide variety to pick from. For the majority, the differences come in the form of manageable conditions such as winter, all-season, and summer conditions.
All nine Cinturato tires are high-performance tires designed to give your passenger vehicle the best fuel economy possible from Pirelli. The majority of these tires are designed for all seasons while giving you a touring tire style quality. Some of these tires will also help you save fuel during the winter and in urban environments.
In recent years the explosion in popularity of SUVs and crossovers has been felt throughout the world, and Pirelli has responded. All fifteen tires in the Scorpion line are designed for SUVs and crossovers and as is custom for Pirelli, they are all classed as High-performance tires, no matter the application they are built for.
As one would expect for fifteen tires in one line, there is a huge variety of applications for which the tires are designed. From touring tires to all-terrain tires, to full winter tires with the three peaks symbol, you will find what you need for your SUV in this tire line.
The Sottozero is Pirelli’s high-performance winter tire line designed for cars. All three tires have around the same price and are different from each other in the severity of the winter condition they can handle.
With currently only one tire in this line it is Pirelli’s smallest tire line along with the stand-alone P4™ Four Seasons Plus. As you can probably tell by the name, this is also a winter tire, though it is in a much higher class than the Sottozero tire line. The Ice Zero FR is built to handle extreme weather conditions such as the Nordic winters and as the name suggests, it provides maximum stability on ice.
P4™ Four Seasons Plus
The P4™ Four Seasons Plus is less a tire family and more like a stand-alone tire. The reason for this is that it takes a step back from what the norm is when it comes to Pirelli. The P4™ Four Seasons Plus is designed as a longer-lasting tire with fuel-saving performance, all the while fulfilling the budget tire category as the cheapest tire from Pirelli.
Differences Between Cooper and Pirelli Tires
Comparing these two tire brands is like comparing day and night. While Pirelli makes some of the best high-performance tires in the world, they can take quite a chunk out of our pocket, be it not as much as Michelin or Goodyear.
Cooper on the other hand makes some of the cheapest tires on the market. Their low prices do not mean they are necessarily bad. Though Coopers tires do lack in performance, especially when compared to Pirelli, they do have a strong focus on safety, ensuring that you will get to your destination safely.
Advantages of Cooper
- Some of the most affordable tires on the market
- Dedicated to safety
- Decent treadwear warranties
Advantages of Pirelli Tires
- Excellent high-performance tires
- Good winter tires
- Decent treadwear warranties
- Provides a good budget tire
Which Brand to Choose
With two brands that focus on different markets like Pirelli and Cooper, your choice is going to come down to what you need from your tire. If you are looking for a high-performance tire that can handle well at all speeds, then Pirelli is the brand for you.
If you are looking for the cheapest tire on the market, yet one that provides you with reliability and safety, then your pick will probably be Cooper Tires. Keep in mind that the cheaper tire will more than likely not last as long. Either way, before you buy your car’s new boots, you should look into current reviews as the tire market is constantly changing.