Cooper Discoverer AT3 XLT Long-Term Review

Cooper Discoverer AT3 XLT Long-Term Review

A bit over a year, many adventures, and nearly 12,000 miles later, I’ve had the chance to test the Cooper Discoverer AT3 XLT in a wide variety of conditions.

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They’ve been tested through deserts, mountains, the highways to get there, a snowy winter, and of course, the daily commute. 

It’s nice to have a tire that can do some of everything, and I’ve found the AT3 XLT to fit that description well. While I find myself pushing my truck off-road from time to time, I also spend a lot of time exploring fire roads, looking for an interesting campsite or fishing hole, or just racking up pavement miles. Choosing a tire often seems to be a game of trade-offs, but I’ve found that the AT3 XLT is an excellent, well-rounded option to meet a wide variety of needs and uses. 

Off-Road Performance

The AT3 XLT really surprised me in their off-road performance. I would consider them a bit of an unassuming tire, and you shouldn’t underestimate their abilities. Sure, they won’t clear mud like a mud terrain, but aside from that, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by them. Sand, dirt, loose rock, and slickrock were all handled with ease. 

I pushed these tires on some very difficult trails, aired down to as low as 12psi, and they were always up to the test. I put them (and myself) to the limit on trails like Behind the Rocks in Moab, and also spent a lot of time on rocky trails here in the Colorado mountains. I don’t feel like I was ever held back though, as they rarely struggled to find traction.

On-Road Performance

I have not been surprised that the on-road performance of the AT3 XLT is very good. I have zero complaints with them on stopping, pushing a tight canyon corner, or handling wet conditions, and they also have very minimal road noise. Let’s be honest - we all spend a lot of time on the highway, and the XLT is very composed on the pavement, and handles those miles in comfort and confidence.

Winter Performance

The AT3 XLT has been impressive on packed snow and ice as well. While they are not severe weather rated like the AT3 4S, they are mud and snow rated, and maintained traction very well on the snowiest of roads. Packed snow as well as fresh powder were handled with ease, and it took quite a bit to get them to break traction. When it came to snow bashing and deep snow off-road, they didn’t do quite as good as a more aggressive tire, but pulled through reasonably well all things considered.

Tread, Wear & Durability 

As mentioned previously, I have just about 12,000 miles on my set of AT3 XLT. The tires have been rotated regularly and do not show any unusual wear. I measured an average of just under 15/32” of tread remaining, with 17/32” being the factory tread depth measurement. Based on that rate of wear the tires should have no issues getting close to the 60,000 miles treadwear protection offered by Cooper.

One minor complaint about these tires is they really like to pick up small stones and hold onto them. Cooper added stone ejector ledges in the large voids on this tire, but I often find rocks in the smaller voids on the sides. I have also seen very minor chunking around some of the siping in the tires, and some wear on the shoulder lugs. Higher speed gravel roads seemed to have contributed to this the most. 

The XLT has a 2-ply sidewall, which I found the limit of on a very narrow section of Radical Hill here in Colorado. A sharp rock on the uphill side made a small cut in the sidewall, and required replacing the tire. While that very well could be attributed to my driving, and trying a little too hard to stay away from the edge, I would prefer to see a 3-ply sidewall. It would be nice if the XLT version of the AT3 was offered with the same Armor-Tek3 sidewall featured on the S/T MAXX and STT Pros. That being said, I’ve had no other sidewall issues, and have no noticeable cuts or issues on any of the other tires.

In Conclusion

The Cooper Discoverer AT3 XLT is a well-mannered tire built to handle a variety of situations. They may not look like the most aggressive of off-road tires, but more than make up for that in how they perform. They are a long-lasting, dependable, and capable all terrain that I would recommend as an excellent option for a do-it-all rig. 

For more information on the Cooper Discoverer AT3 XLT and the Cooper tire lineup, visit their website, “Cooper Tires” 

Vehicle and Tire Specs:

  • Tested on - 2001 Toyota Tacoma
  • Size as tested - LT285/75R17
  • Wheel size as tested - 17x8.5
  • Approved Rim Width - 7.5-9.5”
  • Load Range - E
  • Overall Diameter - 33.82”
  • Tire Weight - 58lbs
  • Tread Depth - 17/32”


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