- 45,000-mile treadwear warranty
- Superb dry and wet traction
- Excellent aquaplaning resistance
- Dynamic handling characteristics
- Average performance in winter conditions
- No option for smaller sizes
Considering the wide the variety of cars is today, you can expect that each one will be good at some things. On the one hand, you have big SUVs capable of off-roading, while on the other hand, you have small hatchbacks designed to be effective. Today I’ll talk about neither of them.
There is a category of cars with a lot to offer in terms of power and driving characteristics. As good as a tire can be, the main area that can limit that performance are the tires. To ensure that you get the performance that the car can deliver, you’ll need “stickier” tires.
The absolute best in the business in terms of delivering supreme performance is UHP or ultra-high-performance tires. Even though you can find them in all-season flavors or with a decent warranty and well refined, the main area that most manufacturers focus on is performance.
For this review, I’ve chosen a tire from a US manufacturer. Cooper has proven to be a strong mid-range contender, delivering excellent tires at an affordable price. One of the many options the company offers is the Zeon RS3-G1, an all-season UHP tire designed for people looking to get the most out of their cars.
What are the features of the Cooper Zeon RS3-G1?
Cooper designed the Zeon RS3-G1 to be an all-season tire, meaning it can be usable in the winter. To achieve that, the manufacturer utilized a rubber compound enriched with silica whose goal is to enable the tire to perform in colder temperatures.
Another area where the rubber compound helps is with wet performance. Thanks to the silica, the Zeon RS3-G1 should provide excellent levels of traction. In this case, the tread pattern should also help. Cooper designed 3D micro sipes down the central ribs, which should enable the tire to improve the levels of grip.
The micro sipes, along with the 4 circumferential grooves, enable the Zeon RS3-G1 to evacuate water more efficiently. As a result, the aquaplaning resistance should be excellent.
Most all-season tires come with the M+S rating, meaning they can be used in snow and mud. The Zeon RS3-G1 also has this rating, meaning that it should be usable in lighter conditions.
How does it behave on dry tarmac?
The Zeon RS3-G1 is advertised as a UHP tire, and it delivers on the performance. It’s not as good as the sport-oriented options, but it still delivers superior performance when compared with a touring tire.
The Zeon RS3-G1 offers very high lelves of grip and traction in dry conditions, making it a true UHP tire. The tread design and large contact patch are responsible for this, resulting in a tire that won’t break away too easily. Even under very aggressive acceleration, the slip is very minimal, while the braking distances are very good for an all-season UHP tire.
Cornering grip is also excellent, enabling you to chug the tire into a corner much harder. The Zeon RS3-G1 features slightly wider shoulder blocks which, combined with the flat design, provide very high levels of stability.
Handling is another area where the Zeon RS3-G1 delivers a very dynamic driving experience. You will get a very responsive tire with plenty of feedback through the steering wheel.
How does it behave over wet and slippery roads?
Wet performance is another area where the Zeon RS3-G1 is excellent. Even though you won’t get the same level of performance as in dry conditions, the tire still surpassed my expectations.
The tread design with the 3D micro sipes is doing their job and enable the Zeon RS3-G1 to produce plenty of traction. You can also rely on the lateral grip and ensure that the tire will keep you in check when cornering hard. With that said, the tire will let go when you push it too much, but it’s pretty progressive, and you’ll feel it.
Despite the high traction levels, the braking distances are slightly disappointing. The Zeon RS3-G1 stops in very short distances, but something like the Continental ExtremeContact DWS 06 will perform better.
The tread design features grooves and sipes to keep water away from beneath the tire. As a result, the Zeon RS3-G1 remains stable even at higher speeds.
How is it over snow?
As an all-season tire, the Zeon RS3-G1 performs acceptably well. Despite the M+S rating, it’s not a replacement for a proper winter tire.
The tire will perform acceptably well in lighter conditions, which is more or less what you’d get with tires from this similar class. It’s drivable over unpacked snow, and you can rely on a decent amount of grip and traction. In terms of safety, the Zeon RS3-G1 proves to be well mannered and delivers acceptably short braking distances.
Is it comfortable and refined?
The Zeon RS3-G1 isn’t made primarily to provide comfort and low noise levels. Despite that, the tire seems to be decently well refined.
Comfort isn’t as good as touring tires, but for a UHP, it’s not too bad. Despite the stiffer sidewall, which doesn’t flex too much, it does a decent job at absorbing bumps and minimizing vibrations.
As for the noise levels, they are pretty low, considering that the Zeon RS3-G1 isn’t a touring tire. You will hear some noise from it, but it won’t drone out the cabin.
Is it good for off-roading?
Tires designed for the road make for a poor off-roader, and the same can be said about the Zeon RS3-G1. There are some cases where it’s usable, but it’s not a replacement for off-road tires.
The M+S rating means that the tire can handle some mud, as long as we’re talking about lighter conditions. In shallow patches of mud, the Zeon RS3-G1 delivers usable performance, and you shouldn’t expect any more out of it.
Going for the more extreme situations isn’t recommended, mainly because the tire isn’t designed to withstand that kind of torture. Sharper rocks can damage the tread or get stuck in the grooves, resulting in uneven wear.
Is the Cooper Zeon RS3-G1 ideal for sporty driving?
It absolutely is, and I wouldn’t cross it off the list even though it’s not on the same level as a dedicated sports tire like the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2.
In wet and dry conditions, the Zeon RS3-G1 can deliver marvelous levels of grip and traction, more than what you’d need on public roads. You can even take it on a track and get some pretty good times.
Along with the performance, the Zeon RS3-G1 has very good handling characteristics. The golden combo of an excellently responsive tire with good feedback is present here. Thanks to the stiffer sidewall, there is almost no sidewall flex when pushing the tire hard into a corner.
Cooper Zeon RS3-G1 Warranty
As a mid-range option, the Zeon RS3-G1 comes with a pretty good warranty. Cooper offers the tire with a 45,000-mile treadwear warranty, as much as you’d get with the Michelin Pilot Sport All-Season 4. With that said, the Continental ExtremeContact DWS 06 has a slightly longer 50,000-mile warranty.
Cooper Zeon RS3-G1 Pricing: Is it worth the money?
Considering all that Cooper offers, the Zeon RS3-G1 is a very well-priced tire. It starts from a tad below the $120 mark, which is pretty affordable when you compare it with something like the Bridgestone Potenza RE980AS.
Should I buy the Cooper Zeon RS3-G1?
The Zeon RS3-G1 is an excellent tire, and you should definitely consider it, but there are a few caveats.
On the dry and wet performance side of things, there are hardly any complaints. The Zeon RS3-G1 manages to deliver superb levels of performance, putting it near the top in this class. Combined with that, you get a very dynamically oriented tire, meaning that you can have quite a lot of fun with it without compromising safety.
All-season tires aren’t known for being excellent on snow, but the Zeon RS3-G1 is a bit disappointing in this regard. Yes, it’s usable in lighter conditions over unpacked snow, but some of its competitors will offer more.
Considering that the Zeon RS3-G1 isn’t a touring tire, I have to admit that the refinement levels are pretty high. The decently comfortable ride, combined with pretty low noise levels, make the tire almost feel like a touring one.
Last but not least is the warranty and price combo, which works in favor of the Zeon RS3-G1. The performance you get comes baked with a 45,000-mile warranty in a slightly cheaper package than the premium options.
Overall, the Zeon RS3-G1 is an excellent tire for the price, capable of offering a lot more than what most drivers would need. With that said, if you’re looking for something more competent in the winter or a tire that can offer even more performance in dry and wet, then you’ll need to look elsewhere.
What Vehicles Will the Cooper Zeon RS3-G1 Fit?
- Audi TT, A6
- BMW 5 Series
- Chevrolet Camaro
- Ford Mustang
- Honda Accord
- Lexus IS
- Mazda 6
- Nissan 350Z, 370Z, GT-R
- Subaru Impreza
- Toyota Camry
- Volkswagen Passat
Tire Sizes for Cooper Zeon RS3-G1
List of Cooper Tire Reviews