SUVs and CUVs already conquered the world with their robustness, go-everywhere capability, adventurous image, and excellent practicality. Drivers around the world love these vehicles, and nothing will change that in the near future.
With that said, SUVs and CUVs are larger than standard vehicles, such as sedans, coupes, and minivans. Consequently, they ride on much larger wheels, which in turn requires larger tires. SUV tires also have bigger sidewalls and a wider footprint. Simply put, a lot more rubber is used to produce SUV tires than mid-size sedan tires.
And, the last time we checked, a set of large tires cost much more than a set of smaller tires. The price of these tires puts a lot of strain on the budget of the owner, especially in the long run. That’s why the interest in value-oriented rubber peaked in recent years. Today, the market is flooded with tires from new manufacturers that severely undercut the competition in terms of pricing.
However, most of the cheap tires you find today are pretty bad in terms of performance. That’s especially true if you purchase tires from manufacturers that you never heard of. Fortunately, you can opt for tires from reputable companies, such as Cooper Tire, for example. These guys make excellent tires at lower prices than the premium competition.
The newest addition in the family of the company is the Cooper Discoverer SRX, an all-season touring tire designed specifically for drivers of SUVs, CUVs, and crossovers. With this product, Cooper Tire competes directly with similar products from General Tire, Hankook, and Kumho, all of which have a significant presence on the market.
So, how does the SRX compare to its direct rivals? We put the tire through our paces in a detailed Cooper Discoverer SRX review to answer that question. In this article, you will learn how the Discoverer SRX handles dry and wet roads, how it drives in snow, how comfortable and quiet it is, and how long it lasts. As always, we will put the price into consideration and give you a final verdict.
Before doing that, though, let’s see how the Discoverer SRX is designed and what technologies Cooper Tire implemented in it.
What are the features of the Cooper Discoverer SRX?
According to Cooper Tire, the Discoverer SRX is designed to provide a long tread life and maximize ride comfort for a wide range of CUVs and SUVs. Additionally, the company focused on reliable all-season traction and performance, something that we tested in detail in the Cooper Discoverer SRX review.
To achieve that, the company implemented several new technologies that weren’t available in the predecessor. The most obvious one is Stabiledge Technology, which greatly improves stability at higher speeds, and enhanced dry handling and traction.
Furthermore, the high-silica tread compound is made from a competition-grade resin, which, according to the company, enhances wet traction and gives an advantage you can feel on the road. The tread compound is molded into a symmetric tread design. This means that you can easily rotate the tires from side-to-side to minimize wear and make them last longer.
Like most products from Cooper, the Discoverer SRX is equipped with 3D Micro-Gauge sipes. These sipes help greatly in wet conditions, reducing hydroplaning, and improving traction. Moreover, Cooper managed to put more sipes inside the tread blocks than the main competition, which should result in better wet performance.
Additionally, the Discoverer SRX has a center and intermediate ribs that consist of independent tread blocks. This design increases the number of biting edges when compared to the previous versions, which should further help with wet traction, but also with snow traction. On that note, the Discoverer SRX is M+S rated, which means that it is not designed for very harsh wintry conditions.
Finally, the internal construction of the tire is usual for the category. Inside, the Discoverer SRX consists of a two-ply polyester casing, which improves stability and responsiveness, but also the ride comfort. Moreover, the two high-strength steel belts are reinforced by a single nylon cap ply to further stabilize the tread and give the driver better highway stability.
Interestingly, Cooper offers the Discoverer SRX with white letters on the sidewalls on some models, which can make your vehicle stand out from the crowd.
What are the maintenance indicators?
Like every new tire from Cooper, the Discoverer SRX is equipped with maintenance indicators that show the driver when the tires need to be replaced. Without indicators, the driver might continue to use the tires, even if there is not enough tread left.
Without enough tread on the tire, wet traction and grip will be severely worsened. The problem is even worse in heavy rain – the tires won’t have any hydroplaning resistance. Moreover, without enough tread, the tire will have zero traction in light snow. Like most tires, the minimum tread on this tire is 2/32 inch.
Cooper calls its technology Wear Square Indicators. Essentially, the tire has small rubber inserts into the circumferential grooves on the tread pattern. When the tire is new, the rubber inserts are deep into the circumferential grooves and can only be seen upon close inspection.
As the tread of the tire wears down, though, the Wear Square Indicators will become more visible. When the tread wears down to 2/32-inch depth, the wear indicators will be completely flush with the tread of the tire.
When this happens, you should immediately replace the tires. Nonetheless, for maximum safety, we recommend doing that a bit sooner – never wait for the tread to completely wear down!
Fortunately, the tread on this tire doesn’t wear very fast. Sure, we couldn’t test that in our Cooper Discoverer SRX review, but people that owned them for a while seem to be satisfied with the durability of their SRX’s.
Moreover, Cooper offers excellent warranties, which is an assurance that the Discoverer SRX lasts long. Cooper offers a manufacturer treadwear warranty of 75,000-miles for T-Speed rated models, 70,000-miles for H-Speed rated models, and 65,000-miles for V-Speed rated models. The warranty lasts for an unlimited time.
The numbers are excellent, considering the price of the tire. Some premium manufacturers offer up to an 80,000-miles treadwear warranty, but their products cost much more. If we put the price into consideration, this is one of the most durable SUV and CUV tires around.
How does it behave on dry tarmac?
In the past few years, we have seen some amazing SUV tires in terms of dry handling. However, each one of them costs a fortune, something that most buyers certainly don’t appreciate.
The Cooper Discoverer SRX managed to surprise us positively, yet it costs a fraction of the price of premium models. Sure, it’s not the best touring tire around, but we have seen much worse.
The first impressions were that the Discoverer SRX is reasonably responsive for a touring tire. However, when pushed through the corners, the tire doesn’t communicate with the driver as the best out there. Not that this should be worrisome for potential buyers, but it’s there.
On a more positive note, the cornering grip is excellent, while highway stability is among the best we’ve tried. Traction is also very good, even when tested on more powerful SUVs. Moreover, the braking distances we achieved with the Discoverer SRX were among the shortest of any tire in its category.
Overall, the Cooper Discoverer SRX performs admirably for the price – it is completely safe to drive on dry pavement.
How is it over wet and slippery roads?
The increased number of sipes compared to the previous model (185%) fortunately shows into the real world. The Discoverer SRX is one of the safest tires for driving on wet and slippery roads, and especially good given the price point.
The tire performs very well on damp tarmac, with good traction and strong braking. Moreover, handling in very wet conditions is also very good, while braking is among the best in the category. The hydroplaning resistance is top-notch as well.
Overall, again, we were impressed with how this tire handled rainy conditions.
With that being said, how is it on snowy roads?
Even though the Discoverer SRX is an all-season tire, we don’t recommend it for harsh wintry weather. The tire lacks ultimate traction for driving on snow, and it’s completely unusable on ice. Braking is also severely worsened in these conditions, and handling struggles as well.
Sure, you can use these tires over light snow, but even then, the premium competition offers better performance. In other words, if you live in areas with severe wintry conditions, you should consider all-weather or winter tires.
Is it comfortable and refined?
The Cooper Discoverer SRX is outstandingly quiet and refined on the street, providing its passengers with serene driving experience. Moreover, the tire also absorbs the bumps on the road very well, transmitting very little vibrations into the cabin.
You can see more tire review here: Video created by Alex on Autos
Should I buy the Cooper Discoverer SRX?
Right now, the Discoverer SRX is one of our favorite touring tires for SUVs, CUVs, and crossovers. Performance-wise, it’s one of the safest tires in its category on dry and wet pavement, and also a very comfortable one. The excellent durability record is only the cherry on the top of an excellent cake.
LIST OF COOPER TIRE REVIEWS