Cooper Discoverer AT3 XLT Vs BF Goodrich KO2

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No matter where your adventure leads you—off the beaten path or through the daily grind—both the Cooper Discoverer AT3 and BF Goodrich KO2 all-terrain tires are crafted to deliver top-notch performance and comfort.

The BF Goodrich KO2’s sidewall lugs pack a serious punch, offering exceptional grip. While the BF Goodrich KO2 shines on highways with low noise levels and strong traction on dry surfaces, it doesn’t surpass the Cooper AT3. The Cooper’s tread design is more suited for pavement, and its interlocking sipes excel in water displacement. However, it falls short off-road, particularly when facing muddy conditions.

Where BF Goodrich KO2 Excels:

  • Offers superior durability. The BF Goodrich KO2 is built to last. Its tough build makes it highly durable, and ideal for rough terrains.
  • Interlocking lugs for comprehensive grip. The design features interlocking lugs, ensuring grip from all angles. This makes it excellent for rock traction.
  • Self-cleaning tread for better mud grip. Its tread design aids in self-cleaning, enhancing its grip in muddy conditions.

Where Cooper Discoverer AT3 Outshines:

  • Smooth on roads. Transitioning from passenger tires to the Cooper Discoverer AT3, you’ll notice minimal difference. It’s designed for a smooth ride.
  • Better fuel efficiency. It’s engineered for efficiency, helping to save on fuel.
  • Quieter and more comfortable on highways. The tire is noticeably quieter and offers a comfortable ride, making it ideal for long highway journeys.

Tread Appearance

When you take a close look at the tread designs of both tires, you can easily see that one tire looks more rugged than the other.

The Cooper Discoverer AT3 XLT stands out because it has special edges called snow biters on its blocks. These biters are great for moving through snow.

This tire, the Cooper AT3 XLT, is the toughest version in the Discoverer family. It has siblings named 4S and LT. While they share a similar pattern on the tread, their blocks are closer together and they don’t have sidewall lugs that are as thick.

It also boasts staggered blocks on the shoulders and has special scoops for traction on the outer edges. Plus, it comes with sidewall lugs (though not as hefty as those on the BFG KO2).

In the center, you’ll find three ribs separated by four channels that run the length of the tire. The channels on the outside are wider and rougher because the blocks there act as snow vices/biters.

Every block is equipped with 3D siping that looks like waves and has support structures underneath for better stability on roads. This cool feature is also on the shoulder blocks, connecting each ridge to the next.

Cooper uses a cool name for this: Whisper Groove Technology.

The BF Goodrich KO2’s design is symmetric, which means it can grip well from every direction.

On the flip side, the BF Goodrich KO2 shows off a tougher design with shoulder blocks that look ready for a fight.

Though these blocks are staggered like the Cooper AT3’s, they come with deep notches and more space between them for kicking out stones.

Interestingly, this tire has two kinds of stone ejectors. Besides the usual ones, it has triangular ejectors tucked into the tread gaps.

The sidewall lugs on the KO2 are thicker and come with embedded biters for extra grip.

Looking at the center, the BFG KO2 has three ribs with deep siping that links up across the tire.

These center blocks are packed tight, making the tire handle well on smooth roads too.

Fuel Efficiency

Fuel efficiency is all about how much a tire sticks to the road and its weight. The heavier and stickier the tire, the more gas your car guzzles.

Take the BF Goodrich KO2, for example. It’s a heavyweight champion in the tire world, making your car work harder to move. Plus, its aggressive tread pattern clings to the road, making it even thirstier for fuel.

On the flip side, the Cooper AT3 has a firm grip but doesn’t cling too tightly, thanks to being lighter. This means it’s easier on your fuel tank.

That’s the secret behind why regular car tires are so fuel-efficient—they’re lighter than their all-terrain cousins.

Dry Performance

When it comes to sticking to the road, both the BF Goodrich KO2 and the Cooper Discoverer AT3 don’t disappoint. However, for those looking for top-notch performance on dry roads, the Cooper Discoverer takes the lead.

The BF Goodrich KO2 falls a bit short in dry grip due to its wide grooves, especially around the edges. This means less rubber hits the road, affecting grip.

Meanwhile, the Cooper AT3 gets cozy with the pavement, thanks to smaller tread gaps that are bolstered by strategically placed ridges. These ridges not only cut down on noise but also keep the tread blocks stable, enhancing grip during turns and quick stops.

Wet Performance

The BF Goodrich KO2 shines on dry roads but struggles in the rain. When it’s wet, this tire doesn’t grip as well. Especially on twisty roads, it tends to under-steer and slip. Always keep traction control on if you’re using these tires in wet conditions.

The KO2 has two layers of rubber: the top one is somewhat flexible, while the one underneath is stiffer. While the top layer helps with sipe flexibility, it’s still firmer than what you find in the Cooper AT3. As the KO2 wears down, the stiffer bottom layer affects wet traction even more.

On the other hand, the Cooper AT3’s design allows its tread to flex better, thanks to interlocking sipes on all its blocks. These sipes help the tire maintain grip under wet conditions much better.

Durability Difference

Among all-terrain tires, the BF Goodrich KO2 stands out for its durability. It’s built with a two-ply polyester core, reinforced by two steel belts on top of the casing. These belts are then encased in two layers of nylon, which also extend over the sidewalls. This results in three-ply sidewalls, further strengthened by two additional nylon layers, making it one of the most robust tires available.

The Cooper Discoverer AT3, however, doesn’t match up in this regard. It has a two-ply polyester casing with steel belts, but only one layer of nylon reinforcement. Plus, the nylon doesn’t extend over the sidewalls, leaving them at just two-ply.

Off-Road Capabilities: Exploring Various Terrains

Off-roading introduces us to a wide array of terrains, each with its unique challenges. Here, we’ll dive into the specifics of how different tires perform on varied landscapes.

Sand

When driving on sand, the aim is to maximize the contact area between your tire’s tread and the ground. This is typically achieved by reducing tire pressure, which in turn increases the tire’s footprint.

Considering the two tires we’re discussing, they approach sand traction in distinct ways.

The Cooper Discoverer stands out due to its efficient contact patch, facilitated by the closer spacing of its ribs. This feature, combined with the tire’s lighter weight, results in superior traction, particularly on sloping sand dunes.

Conversely, the BF Goodrich KO2 might fall slightly short because of its heft. However, its side biters compensate by adding significant extra footprint to the tire. These sidewall lugs also function akin to paddles in sandy conditions, ensuring the KO2 still achieves commendable traction on sand.

Rocks

In rocky terrains, the BF Goodrich KO2 shines across various scenarios, whether it be navigating small rocks, scaling large boulders, or traversing high-speed gravel paths. The tire boasts durable sidewall lugs, reinforced with a three-ply polyester interior and solid rim locks, allowing for safe deflation without concerns.

With reduced PSI levels, the KO2’s angled side lugs and gripping edges excellently contour around rocks, offering unparalleled lateral and circumferential grip.

On the flip side, the Cooper AT3 benefits from its softer compound, enhancing adhesion on rocky surfaces. However, its narrower grooves limit biting effectiveness. Additionally, its side biters are less robust and more susceptible to damage from sharp objects.

Mud Handling

All-terrain tires struggle with thick, deep mud, which is why MT (Mud Terrain) tires exist. Among these, the BF Goodrich KO2 stands out for its better performance, although it’s not perfect at clearing mud.

The tire’s design features staggered shoulder blocks and larger mud scoops, along with side biters, to maximize traction in muddy conditions.

However, despite the Cooper AT3 having similar staggered shoulders, it doesn’t perform as well in mud. It lacks the ability to effectively dig and throw mud backward, which is crucial for advancing in such terrain.

Highway Noise

Noise on the highway is primarily caused by air flowing into the tire’s edges and vibrating against the rubber, creating what’s known as tread noise.

The Cooper AT3 is noticeably quieter, thanks to its narrower grooves and Whisper Groove Technology. This design reduces airflow within the tire, lowering noise levels.

In contrast, the BFG KO2 is louder due to its wider grooves, especially near the sidewalls, allowing more air to enter and hit the rubber with greater force.

Ride Comfort

While ride comfort is influenced by noise, it also depends on the tire’s ability to absorb bumps on various road surfaces.

The construction of the Cooper Discoverer AT3, which uses a softer rubber and less rigid internal structure (comprising only 2-ply polyester and a single ply of nylon), results in a smoother ride.

On the other hand, the BFG KO2’s construction is less conducive to comfort. Its tread is denser, and its internal structure includes more layers of plies, making it less effective at absorbing road imperfections.

For Your Info: When it comes to all-terrain tires that prioritize comfort, the Yokohama Geolandar G015 is a top choice.

Winter Traction

When it comes to winter performance, tires are put to the test. This involves assessing their stopping stability, handling, and acceleration in both light and heavy snow, as well as on ice.

Although both tires come with the 3-peak mountain snowflake rating, the BF Goodrich KO2 stands out as the superior winter tire.

The KO2 features aggressive shoulder blocks that excel in deep snow. Its design includes multiple notches and interconnected rib voids, which are highly effective at trapping snow within the tread. This trapped snow enhances traction, as snow particles tend to cling tightly together.

In contrast, the Cooper AT3 includes snow vices (bite points on the outer longitudinal grooves) that capture a significant amount of snow. However, it doesn’t match the snow-gathering capability of the KO2.

Moreover, the heavier weight of the BF Goodrich KO2 is an asset in winter conditions. It applies more pressure on the snow-covered surface, encouraging snow to fill the tread voids and improve contact and traction.

On the flip side, the Cooper AT3 benefits from a softer rubber compound, which resists freezing better. But, its fewer bite points result in less traction compared to the KO2.

Take Home Points

Focusing on the KO2, it’s recognized as one of the most robust tires in the all-terrain category. Thanks to its powerful biting edges, it delivers exceptional off-road traction.

Conversely, the Cooper AT3, with its road-centric design and less sturdy construction, offers enhanced stability on highways. Its lighter weight contributes to its performance in on-road conditions.

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Lucas Liam

Hi, I'm Liam, the enthusiast behind Off Road Genius. With more than 10 years of conquering diverse terrains, my experience with Jeeps extends beyond the ordinary. I've mastered the intricate details of these off-road champions, pushing their capabilities to the limit. Through this platform, I share my profound knowledge and lessons learned from countless miles on the trail. I'm here to inspire, educate, and guide you through the thrilling world of Jeeps. So, buckle up for this adventure-filled ride!

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