- 55,000-mile treadwear warranty
- Surprisingly low noise levels for an all-terrain tire
- Good aquaplaning resistance
- Can deliver performance in light and mid-off-road conditions
- Snow performance is below average
- Road performance isn’t as good as some of its competitors
The increase in popularity of off-road capable cars such as SUVs and trucks led to the moment where the activity became more popular. It’s not that people didn’t do off-roading before, but now with more variety in terms of models, things are a bit better.
Off-road capable vehicles range in size, shape and price, making the option a lot more flexible. Some may be better in one area, while others may be better in another. Regardless of that, one area that you should pay close attention to are the tires.
Having a set of tires capable of off-roading means that you will need to make a few compromises. These tires may be excellent for driving in the wilderness, but on paved roads, things aren’t so great. Lucky for us, tire manufacturers have found a solution.
All-terrain tires are an off-road version of touring tires, up to a point. Essentially they combine on and off-road performance, but with some compromises in the most extreme situations. It’s not as good as touring tire, and in the off-road department it lacks the grunt for the most demanding conditions.
If you’re looking for an American-made all-terrain tire, then the Mastercraft Courser AXT2 could be a solid choice. The brand is part of the Cooper family, so you should expect a decent tire that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
What are the features of the Mastercraft Courser AXT2?
Looking at the features, it’s clear that Mastercraft tried to improve the performance of the tire in both scenarios.
On the road side of things, the Courser AXT2 has a feature that should enable it to be quieter. Mastercraft molded the tread with special Noise Barrier Walls which are special walls withing the grooves. The goal is to restrict the air that passes through the tread and provide quieter ride. Despite the barriers, this shouldn’t affect the aquaplaning resistance, meaning that like most off-road capable tires, it
The Courser AXT2 is an all-season tire with M+S rating, meaning that snow performance should be acceptable. To achieve that, the tire is designed with biting edges around the blocks which should give it its performance in those conditions. Plus, these edges should help with traction on damp roads.
An off-road tire should be durable and Mastercraft though of that as well. The Courser AXT2 features Stone Armor Ribs between the blocks with the goal of protecting the tire from rocks and punctures.
For performance in off-road situations, the Courser AXT2 is designed with jagger cleats. Their task is to provide improved traction and grip over lose surfaces, as well as mud and even sand.
How does it behave on dry tarmac?
The performance on dry roads is as good as you can expect it to be. All-terrain tires are decently good in these conditions and won’t excel in any area.
Traction levels are good enough and tire slip shouldn’t be a big issue. With that said, if you are accelerating more aggressively, things may not be as smooth as you’d like. The levels of grip are also quite decent and should get you around a corner without too many problems. With that said, avoid pushing the tire too much as it won’t be able to handle that.
In the handling department the Courser AXT2 does all right. The responsiveness isn’t as high as a touring tire, but gets the job done. Feedback isn’t on the most pronounced side and won’t surprise you. To be fair, it’s not something that you’d be looking for in a tire of this category.
How does it behave over wet and slippery roads?
Wet performance takes a slight hit and even though the tire is very usable and safe, I would have liked to see better results.
The biting edges around the blocks provide a decent amount of grip so the Courser AXT2 won’t struggle too much in the corners. Traction is also usable and you won’t notice too much slip unless you floor it.
As for safety, I have to say that the braking distances are surprisingly good. They won’t win any awards, but are among the better in this class.
Aquaplaning resistance also deserves praise. It’s not the best at it and even though it will evacuate water pretty good, in deeper puddles it may start to struggle a bit.
How is it over snow?
As an M+S rated tire, I have to say that I was a bit disappointed with the performance in snow conditions. The Courser AXT2 is usable, but there are plenty of competitors that seem to perform better.
The Courser AXT2 is good enough mainly for light conditions over unpacked snow. You’ll get great levels of traction combined with a controllable handling and short braking distances.
Going for anything more than this will result in poor performance, especially on ice.
Is it comfortable and refined?
As an all-terrain tire, I was surprised by how refined the Courser AXT2 is. It won’t be a as good as touring tire, but it won’t be as bad as some of the mud-terrain options I’ve looked at in the past.
Comfort levels are acceptable and the Courser AXT2 can smooth out some of the harsher bumps. It will soften the initial blow, but won’t isolate you entirely from it. Vibrations are not completely eliminated, but despite that, they are acceptable.
The noise levels are on the lower side, making this a big plus for the Courser AXT2. The barriers are doing a good job at not allowing too much air to go through the voids in the tread.
Is it good for off-roading?
All-terrain tires aren’t the ultimate performers when it comes to off-roading and the same goes for the Courser AXT2. It’s a decent tire for light to moderate conditions, but falls short in the most extreme ones.
Hard packed surfaces like gravel won’t be a problem for the Courser AXT2. The tire will provide plenty of grip and traction, along with a well-controlled manners. The M+S rating means that the tire should perform well in muddy conditions, which is true up to a point. Deeper mud patches can be a problem as the tire will struggle to find traction.
Going for something more extreme means that the Courser AXT2 will disappoint. Rock crawling or driving in the sand aren’t this tire’s forte.
Is the Mastercraft Courser AXT2 ideal for sporty driving?
As you know, off-road capable tires aren’t good for sporty driving, so the Courser AXT2 is no different.
The grip and traction may be fine for most people on their daily commute, but are far from ideal for enthusiast that want to push their cars. In addition to that, the steering isn’t as sharp or responsive as you’d like.
Mastercraft Courser AXT2 Warranty
Budget-oriented tires often come with compromises, sometimes in the warranty department. Good news is that the Courser AXT2 comes with 55,000-mile treadwear warranty. It puts it a tad below the premium tires like the Continental TerrainContact A/T.
Mastercraft Courser AXT2 Pricing: Is it worth the money?
Looking at the price alone, the Courser AXT2 comes at an affordable package. The prices start from around $130 which is around $30 less for what you’d pay for the Hankook Dynapro AT2.
Should I buy the Mastercraft Courser AXT2?
I won’t say that you shouldn’t buy it, but I will advise you to look at some of the other options.
Performance on paved roads is decent and the tire Courser AXT2 is good enough as a daily driver. It provides a reliable traction and grip in normal driving conditions, regardless of it’s dry or wet.
Snow performance is not a good side of the Courser AXT2 and I wouldn’t recommend it if you live in an area with harsher winters. The performance is acceptable in light and unpacked snow, but degrades as the depth increases or becomes packed.
In terms of refinement, the Courser AXT2 isn’t too bad. The comfort levels aren’t something to write home about, but it isn’t the harshest tire in the world. Noise is surprisingly acceptable, thanks to the barriers that Mastercraft put in the tread grooves.
Off-roading with the Courser AXT2 is pretty good, as long as you don’t expect it to do miracles. It will cope with lighter conditions and should be usable in mid-range ones. Dirt roads and mud patches won’t be any problem for the tire and you may even get away with a bit of sand driving. Going for anything more than that won’t give you the performance you may want.
As a balanced on and off-road tire, the Courser AXT2 is not a bad choice. With that said, for a bit more you can have the Hankook Dynapro AT2, which can deliver better performance in all conditions.
What Vehicles Will the Mastercraft Courser AXT2 Fit?
Here’s a sample list of cars that the Mastercraft Courser AXT2 will fit:
- Chevrolet Colorado, Silverado, Tahoe, Avalanche
- Ford F-150, Bronco, Ranger, Expedition
- Honda Ridgeline, Passport
- GMC Envoy, Canyon, Sierra
- Jeep Cherokee, Wrangler, Gladiator
- Mercedes G Class
- Mitsubishi L200, Pajero
- Nissan Pathfinder, Titan
- Toyota 4Runner, Hilux, Highlander, FJ Cruiser, Sequoia
Tire Sizes for Mastercraft Courser AXT2
List of Mastercraft Tire Reviews
I agree with the review. I’m not satisfied with performance in snow. I plow my personal Driveway in NW Pa, even with ballast and only 5000mi ,this tire has very poor traction. I’ve always had good luck with the Mastercraft Coursers but the AXT2 is not good .