Touring tires are becoming more popular every single day, which is understandable given their selection of qualities. They aren’t overly expensive, they offer very good performance in a wide range of conditions, they are supremely comfortable, and last seemingly forever.
With that said, the popularity of touring tires also opened the door for many budget manufacturers. Some of those companies just entered the market by offering super-cheap tires that often don’t reach the promised performance. This makes a big confusion among buyers, especially those seeking budget-friendly products.
If you want to be sure that you buy safe and reliable tires, though, we recommend going for a reputable and well-known manufacturer. Cooper Tire is a company that fits that description. They produce cheaper tires than premium companies like Michelin and Bridgestone, but still offer cutting-edge technologies and safety measures.
The CS5 Grand Touring is their most popular tire, simply because it competes in the touring category. This segment covers a variety of vehicles, including sub-compact cars, compact cars, mid-size sedans, compact crossovers, and minivans. In other words, if you use your vehicle to transport your family, chances are you need touring tires.
Cooper’s offering in this segment isn’t cheap, but it’s still more budget-friendly than the premium offerings. The CS5 Grand Touring is also one of the newest tires in the touring category and comes with several technologies that the direct competitors lack.
That doesn’t always mean that the tires will perform well in real-life conditions, which is why we prepared this detailed Cooper CS5 Grand Touring review. In this article, we will cover every category that means something to drivers of passenger cars, such as dry, wet, and snow performance, as well as durability and comfort.
Before we jump to our conclusions, though, let’s see what Cooper has to say about their most popular tire.
What are the features of the Cooper CS5 Grand Touring?
The CS5 Grand Touring is an all-season touring tire made for a comfortable ride and confident traction in all weather conditions, including light snow. A big focus was also put into durability and treadlife, where the tire favorably compares to other budget alternatives.
To achieve all those qualities, Cooper made the CS5 Grand Touring from Coupled Silica tread compound, which a very high-end solution for such a budget-oriented tire. The tread compound is molded into an asymmetric tread pattern that allows for easy side-to-side rotation. That’s very important for minimizing uneven wear, but also keeping the tires perform greatly for longer periods of time.
More importantly, the tread features outboard shoulder blocks with larger tread blocks and fewer void areas. This design makes the tires much more responsive and allows for safer high-speed stability. The larger contact patch from the tread blocks additionally improves traction and grip on dry surfaces, furthermore aiding in safety.
Cooper took measures to make the CS5 Grand Touring usable in wet conditions as well. The tire is equipped with ribs and inboard shoulders with higher sipe density, which are used to channel water outside from the contact patch.
Moreover, the lateral grooves with more open space help with hydroplaning resistance, while the 3D Micro-Gauge siping on the entire tread depth create biting edges for better grip and traction in low-friction surfaces, such as light snow.
Inside, the CS5 Grand Touring consists of a high-turnup, single ply polyester casing, with two steel belts that serve as additional support. The strength of the tire is further enhanced by the spirally wound nylon reinforcement, which further helps with handling and stability.
Cooper Tire offers the CS5 Grand Touring in sizes ranging from 15-inches to 18-inches, which should cover most drivers of compact cars, sedans, crossovers, and SUVs.
What are the maintenance indicators?
Unlike many budget touring tires, the C5 Grand Touring is equipped with maintenance indicators. These indicators are very important for safety simply because they show how much tread there is left on the tire. The tread depth of any tire is used to improve wet traction and braking – without any tread, your vehicle will slide around on every corner. Like most tires, the minimum tread on this tire is 2/32 inch.
The maintenance indicators on the CS5 Grand Touring are called Wear Square Indicators. These indicators can be easily seen under the tread, more precisely in the circumferential grooves. When the tire is new, the indicators will be recessed in the tire, but they will become more visible throughout the years. As soon as they are flush with the tread of the tire, it’s time to replace them with new ones. Otherwise, you risk driving with severely limited wet and snow traction.
Fortunately, that won’t happen very fast. The CS5 Grand Touring comes with an 80,000-mile treadwear warranty, which is better than almost any other budget touring offering, and comparable to premium tires. Owners of these tires also report that they last very long, especially if rotated properly. The excellent durability, paired with the low starting price of the CS5 Grand Touring, means that you will pay less for tires than with other products.
How does it behave on dry tarmac?
Dry grip and traction are often overlooked when someone buys new tires. Most people think that performance in dry conditions is guaranteed, which is very far from the truth. Some cheap touring tires are so bad in dry conditions that we often deem them not useful.
Fortunately, the CS5 Grand Touring doesn’t fall into that category. Cooper managed to design a tire that performs very well across the range, even when driving more aggressively. Of course, like with most budget tires, you won’t get the same performance as some premium offerings.
However, in the case of the CS5 Grand Touring, the difference is only noticeable in controlled scenarios, such as driving on the track. For everyday street driving, the driver will be hard-pressed to notice any difference between this and more expensive tires.
Thanks to the advanced tread compound, the CS5 Grand Touring provides the driver with excellent traction, even during hard acceleration. We wouldn’t go as far as to recommend this tire for drivers of sporty coupes, but for everyone else, the traction is sufficient.
Furthermore, we were pleasantly surprised by how much grip there is in the corners. Again, you shouldn’t expect sporty performance, but for normal driving, the CS5 Grand Touring will suffice. More importantly, the tire also allows for very short braking distances.
In our Cooper CS5 Grand Touring review, we also found that the tires perform admirably at higher speeds. Straight-line stability is among the best in the touring category, which is impressive given the price.
The only area where we think Cooper can’t touch the premium alternatives is responsiveness. The CS5 Grand Touring doesn’t feel as precise in the corners, nor it reacts to the steering input quickly. Still, that is something that most drivers won’t notice on the street, and it only shows during more spirited driving.
How is it over wet and slippery roads?
The story on wet pavement is almost the same as on dry tarmac. The CS5 Grand Touring punches above its weight when it comes to overall performance, but it still doesn’t do anything to upset the best in the category.
What you need to know is that the CS5 Grand Touring resists hydroplaning very well, which means that it’s completely safe in very heavy rain. Moreover, the tire also performs well on damp tarmac – it accelerates without any issue and brakes admirably.
Overall, the CS5 Grand Touring is better for wet conditions than many of its budget competitors, including tires from Hankook and Kumho.
With that being said, how is it on snowy roads?
Like many all-season tires, the CS5 Grand Touring promises winter and snow traction. However, that is only true in very shallow snow – this tire won’t give you great performance in very harsh wintry conditions.
Traction in deeper snow is only marginal, while braking is not sufficient to recommend this tire for vehicle owners that live in colder areas. On top of that, the tire doesn’t perform very well over ice, which further limits its usability in the winter.
For serious wintry conditions, we always recommend going for a proper set of winter tires.
Is it comfortable and refined?
You bet it is! Cooper managed to design a supremely quiet and comfortable tire here. Despite the sturdy construction, the CS5 Grand Touring offers a plush ride quality, even when driving over uneven and broken surfaces. Moreover, there is almost no tire noise at highway speeds – great news for families that often go on long road trips.
You can see more tire review here: Video created by Alex on Autos
Should I buy the Cooper CS5 Grand Touring?
If you are in the market for budget-oriented tires that have great performance across the range, we think that you should consider the CS5 Grand Touring. This is one of the best tires in its price range when it comes to performance on dry and wet tarmac. It is also very quiet and comfortable and comes with an outstanding 80,000-mile treadwear warranty. In our eyes, one of the best values on the market right now.
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