Falken Wildpeak AT3/W vs Cooper Discoverer AT3 XLT: The Cooper Discoverer AT3 XLT is the more aggressive version of Discoverer all terrain line up. The tire now has aggressive sidewalls combined with slightly wider circumferential grooves. On the other side, the Falken Wildpeak AT3w offers amazing performance in wet, wear and winter performance (hence the name, 3w).
Compared to Falken Wildpeak AT3w, the Cooper Discoverer AT3 offers a superior on road performance in both wet and dry conditions, reduced tread noise with closed up shoulders and superior fuel economy, but the tire lags off road on all types of rugged terrains as it’s not as durable, nor as biting.
Let’s check out how effective these tires are next to each other, starting by looking at their tread closely.
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Tread Design Differences
Starting with the Falken Wildpeak AT3/W, the tire offers Z shaped blocks in the middle and these have ramps, supports, and chamfered edges on their sharper sides.
And adding to these biters, the surrounding blocks have notches facing in all directions (which are C shaped).
On shoulders, a very similar design is seen except for the sipes. The tire features dual siping where it’s wave-like on shoulders and rectilinear in the middle.
Actually the central sipes are optimized for dry grip which help the tire most with directional traction, whereas the interlocking sipes on the shoulders deals with wet traction in a better way.
On the other hand, the Cooper AT3 (XLT) features a less aggressive pattern.
This tire has 4 circumferential grooves (unlike the Falken Wildpeak which only has 2).
The outer 2 grooves are wider and more jagged as they are covered with blocks having snow vices and chamfered edges.
And on the shoulders, you see staggered blocks having 3D wave-like siping (common with all other blocks as well).
When it comes to on road, the Cooper AT3’s better performance makes sense. The tire simply offer more rubber to road contact.
With narrower gaps between blocks, the tire offers a little bit more surface area of it’s tread in contact with the pavement, and naturally this affects the grip positively and you get shorter braking distances.
Similarly with it’s more uniform pattern, it ensures a better level of comfort and lesser noise levels. It features Whisper Grooves Technology, where the rides between the lateral grooves restrict the movement of the air, and this way the noise is dampened (noise is just the flow of air).
The Falken Wildpeak at3w, on the other side, with it’s aggressive design had to compromise a little bit. This tire, besides having smaller blocks, is also less streamlined than its competitor. So it has a comparatively lesser grip and comfort.
But this is very minimal, and compared to how good the tire is off road, I think it’s neglect-able for an aggressive all terrain tire.
And speaking of which, although, the Cooper AT3 is again slightly better on wet roads, the Falken Wildpeak provides you with one of the best wet handling times in the all terrain category.
With wider grooves, and tread depth, the tire is also great in hydroplaning, as it allows more volume of water to evacuate efficiently.
FYI: Wildpeak AT3w offers one of the deepest tread in the category, which goes up to 19/32 (where Cooper AT3 offers up to 17/32″.
Traction on mud and snow
Off Road, the Falken Wildpeak seems unbeatable here.
This tire has larger groove voids and tread depth (On average, it has 2.3 mm of more tread depth when compared).
In fact, it has one of the deepest treads in the category.
So, this allows more volume of mud to escape, while the sharper chamfered edges, notches and ramps cut through the surface.
These wider and deeper grooves also help the tire with deeper snow as well.
And although, both tires are 3 Peak Mountain Snowflake rated, the Falken Wildpeak shows better efficacy overall, with it’s deeper 3D siping (having dual pattern).
These are better able to trap snow in the grooves, and since snow sticks better on snow, the tire comes out better here.
Traction on rocks
On rocks, the Falken Wildpeak provides better lateral and longitudinal traction in comparison.
The Cooper AT3 XLT although, not too far off here, is still not as efficient. The tire offers a harder compound with less biting edges.
Where on the Falken Wildpeak, the softer compound allows the tire to simply stick better on rocks, while the notches facing on all sides, hug the rocky surface firmly.
The tire also features bulkier sidewall lugs, which during flexing sidewalls (when tire is pressured down) munch on to the rocky surface in a better way.
And speaking of sidewalls, the Wildpeak also features better durability overall with it’s stronger inner construction of 2 ply polyester with 2 steel belts and 2 layers of nylon, where on Cooper AT3 there is only 1 layer of nylon.
So Falken provides better sidewall protection with its 2 ply polyester sidewalls, which are further reinforced with 2 extra layers of polyamide running around the tire’s bead.
That’s why the tire, even on harsh gravely roads, despite not having designated stone ejectors, still shows better performance.
Note: The Cooper AT3 XLT although offers stone ledges (in the grooves) are still more prone to stones getting lodged in its tread.
Both tires provide you with very good life time span.
The Cooper AT3 has a more uniform design which allows this tire to have a balanced pressure points on all parts of its tread. So you get to see a very uniform tread wear all across.
But this even wear is only for highways.
Because off road, the tire wears quicker because of it’s less durable construction (and like we talked earlier, the stone getting lodged in the tread, chips away the tread).
Still the Cooper AT3 comes with a 60k miles warranty compared to Falken’s 55k.
In the end, if you are mostly staying on-road with these Cooper tires, you would have no problem.
So What’s the Verdict?
Well, the Cooper Discoverer AT3 is a more on road oriented tire. It comes with traditional longitudinal grooves and squared off blocks, which provide more rubber to road contact, translating in to a better on road grip.
The tire also comes with whisper grooves technology (as the shoulder blocks have connectors), and this does not allows the sound wave to pass through easily and amplify.
So the tire is also more comfortable on road.
On the other hand, the Falken with it’s softer compound although provides good cushioning to the bumps, the tire is slightly louder and lacks a little on dry roads, where it’s on par with Cooper AT3 on wet.
But the tire with its more durable construction is unbeatable when it comes to off-road performance.
Where on mud, it’s deeper tread comes in handy and on snow it offers better traction with it’s dual siping design, despite both of them with 3pmsfr.
On rocks the tire offers more biters and bulkier lugs which sticks better during flexing sidewalls.