With winter fast approaching, drivers everywhere need to become more and more cautious as they are on the road, or even off of it. Safe driving will be even more of a priority than at any other time of the year. Do Cooper’s new Discoverer A/T3 tires fit the bill as a top rated choice for the winter tire market?
What is so “A/T3” about the A/T3?
AT3 is an ambitious name: All-Traction, All-Terrain, All-the-Time. It promises to deliver on consistent and reliable performance on any kind of environment. It’s an all-around tire that can be used with SUVs, jeeps, light trucks and ATVs. Rim sizes range from 15 to 20 inches.
The A/T3 has no problems when it comes to traction on basic, dry roads under normal weather conditions. There are tires out there that are advertised as all-around wheels, but end up sacrificing on road performance for off road traction. Fortunately, that isn’t the case with the Discoverer A/T3.
For wet surfaces in the rain, the grip is noticeable and feels very firm and safe. Even at higher speeds, the AT3 maintains its traction well. That gives a driver the confidence necessary to rely on a tire to keep them as safe as possible regardless of the dry or wet factor of the road. And like any high quality and well performing AT tire, it drives fairly smoothly in muddy and murky paths too.
Not much can be said for its steering and turning capabilities, other than that it works well. On roads that are dry, wet or muddy, the results were positive. This is especially noteworthy as sometimes, tires that do well in muddy situations have some failings when it comes to turning on sharper corners, but the AT3 still managed to deliver in yet another situation.
How about Winter and Ice settings?
This is where the AT3 doesn’t impress. Similarly to mud, it performed fine in the snow. The grip and indentation patterns of this wheel allows it to plow through inches of sludgy mud as well as mushy snow. On slippery ice, it performed not poorly, but just like an average AT wheel is expected to. Keep this in mind if you’re shopping for tires, but live in an area that sees heavy winters or unusually icy winter road conditions. It’s not a deal breaker, but it does impose a little bit of disappointment for a tire that claims to be able to handle literally any situations and driving conditions so well.
So, is it a good winter tire? As long as there’s a lot more snow than ice, then yes it definitely is. But if you’re mainly looking for traction results on slippery surfaces, you might have to look elsewhere.
Some mixed results are in this category. As far as off terrain situations go, these wheels are more quiet than average. In mud, sand and snow, these wheels offer less noise than expected, which is great if you’re mainly using these in those kinds of situations. On the road, particularly on highways and going at faster speeds, the noise started to become noticeably louder than average. They’re not annoying or distracting, but simply noticeable.
Big points go in this category. After several weeks and several thousand miles of testing, very little wear and tear was detected. No cracks or defects, small or large, were spotted. On top of that, these wheels require very little cleaning. Their zigzag design allows for easier repelling of mud and snow, which is a big pro for anyone looking to use them in alternate terrains often.