Cooper AT3 Vs AT3 XLT

All terrain tires are very convenient and versatile because they can handle various different conditions and ideal for many drivers with light trucks, SUVs, and alike. There are also plenty to choose from and match with your preference such as Cooper AT3 Vs AT3 XLT. These Cooper tires are from the same family but not exactly the same and before deciding to choose one, you may want to check our comparison below to see which of them will fit your application the most.

In this article, we are going to give you information about:

  • Why Changing Car Tire
  • What Affect Car Tire
  • What are Cooper AT3 and AT3 XLT
  • What Cooper AT3 and AT3 XLT can offer
  • How are Cooper AT3 and AT3 XLT on the Road
  • How are Cooper AT3 and AT3 XLT for Off-Road
  • Cooper AT3 Vs AT3 XLT

Changing Car Tire

We all know that the tire is an important part of the vehicle and while your car can run without them, it will be just a matter of time until we can’t drive them anymore. The tire is cushioning your wheels and continuously in contact with the surface as well as providing the required traction for the vehicle to run on various different terrains. Each terrain may need different sets of tires but most of them are versatile and convenient if you just want to have some adventure on gravel.

Changing tires every several years is not only about maintaining the vehicle but also preventing the expensive mistakes and they are also extremely necessary for our safety as well. If you insist on going with an old set of tires, the first thing we have to face is compromising with road grip and driving with worn-down tread. If the tire is no longer reliable, the chance of blowout is also high and it is dangerous that may cause accidents or cause the vehicle to crash.

Since worn out tires no longer have the tread that aids the grip, we won’t be able to stop the vehicle properly and have to deal with stopping or braking ineffectively. In addition, problems like uneven wheel alignments will cause balance and uneven wear that affects your car’s performance.

Car’s Tire Performance 

Just like any part of the car, there are various factors playing roles affecting the tire or damaging them. Many people ask when to change the tire or how long they last but it is a mix of different factors so there will be no fixed rule on when the exact time we should buy a new set but examining them first. The most prominent reason is the design from the manufacturer itself because the compound can be made harder or softer and with different tread depth.

The convenient way is by checking the treadwear if they come with one because if the warranty is longer then, chances are the tire is meant to be long lasting as well. Basic maintenance such as tire pressure, rotating them, alignment, and checking the wear from time to time will make sure we know when there is a problem and quickly act to fix it. For people who are driving on different conditions, do consider using different tires or models that suit the application.

This is because different seasons or terrains will affect how the tire performs and what type of challenge they have to face. In addition, roads with potholes, obstacles, curbs, sharp objects, speed bumps, etc. because they are putting much stress on the tire.

About Cooper AT3 and AT3 XLT

If you are here then it means that your tire needs to be changed and for the options, there will be plenty of options to choose from. The most convenient method is by sticking with your stock tire but if you want to change the driving characteristics, we can try new tires as well or new model from what you have been using to improve the performance. Personally we recommend sticking with known names because they are going to offer more variants and are more reliable as well.

Among those many brands out there, Cooper is one of the most popular options or brands to choose from and if you have a set of them in the past, you may want to see what new tires they bring out to the market now. Many like their tires because of the performance and for the price point so it is reasonable to stick with them. Most of them are also highly rated which makes it even more promising to try.

Just like any other manufacturers, Cooper also continuously upgrades and introduces new options to the market which makes their tires always new, if you enjoy how they used to perform. The examples are Cooper AT3 and AT3 XLT because the two are very popular choices on the all-terrain line and many people do like how they work. The original AT3 is an older variant and the latter is the newer option so it can be quite difficult to find retailers carrying the original model.

The first AT3 is no longer available anymore on Cooper’s website, so we often recommend to go for the new models or XLT if you are driving a light truck. The current model that sits closely to the AT3 is AT3 4S in the newer collection and as the name suggests, it is made to be ideal as an all-terrain and all-season or hybrid of the two. The XLT on the other hand is more suitable for drivers who are driving the truck in both worlds and if you need more reliability off the road.

Cooper AT3 Feature

Before seeing how these tires achieve their reputations, let’s see what Cooper AT3 and AT3 XLT are coming with. Starting with Cooper AT3, this old tire is coming with an attractive tread pattern which is also what you can find on the newer AT 4S. If you compare the original AT3 and AT3 4S, the biggest difference is on the siping because they have more in this model. It has 5 ribbed design which meant to enhance stability and on-road handling.

As you can see there is a divided center rib and this is to improve the off-road traction as well as allover performance while the aggressive shoulders will provide an added traction when you are driving on soft surfaces or making the tire look more attractive. It has thick grooves around the circumference to aid the performance and lots of siping to both reduce road noise as well as improving winter driving and more even treadwear. Read also: Cooper AT3 Vs Toyo AT3 here.

Cooper AT3 XLT Feature

As for the XLT, it is said that this tire is using a shred-resistance silica compound and new tread pattern. The instant differences you can see between this model and the older AT3 or AT3 4S is it will come in larger sizes, have more aggressive sidewall, as well as slightly wider as it is meant for heavy duty purpose. The tread design however, is very similar and it is difficult to pinpoint the difference as all AT3 lines are using the same tread pattern.

The prominent feature of AT3 XLT is the stone ejector ledges to help prevent punctures on your tire as well as the rugged traction shoulders with alternating scoop, cleat lugs, and biting edges designed to offer grip when you are driving on rock, soil, or thick mud.

Cooper AT3 and AT3 XLT on the Road

Now for the most important part which is the performance itself, the two are actually working really well but probably not for the same vehicles as the latter is more ideal with a light truck while the former is more of a light-duty all-terrain tire. But, performance wise, especially on the road, the Cooper AT3 and AT3 XLT are equally impressive. There are plenty of grip and you can feel the confidence with steering, cornering, or braking and this includes wet traction as well.

However, for an SUV the AT3 or AT3 4S is lighter to the vehicle and is more comfortable compared to the XLT. It doesn’t mean the XLT is bad but you can notice driving with an aggressive all-terrain with this one so it’s just slightly less comfortable for road application.

Cooper AT3 and AT3 XLT for Off-Road

For the off-road traction, there are enough to bring your SUV or light truck to some adventure with any of these two. But, when facing more difficult terrain, especially loose soil such as sand and mud, we do think the aggressive sidewall of AT3 XLT is more reliable to tow you or carry you away from such difficult situations. It doesn’t mean the AT3 is unreliable because it is not the case but the tread is not made for serious off-road.

For driving during winter season, both Cooper AT3 and AT3 XLT are still reliable and since the two have the same design, they are working quite impressively too, despite not as high performance as the winter tires.

Cooper AT3 Vs AT3 XLT

If you are going to drive in all seasons or in both on and off the road, we do think any of the two will be an ideal option to choose and if you can’t find the original AT3, the AT3 4S is almost identical. In comparison the XLT is meant for heavier application and load while the tire is available in larger sizes as well. The former is comfortable on the road while the latter is more reliable for off-road traction.

Cooper AT3AT3 XLT
- Original model- New tire
- Available in smaller sizes- For larger sizes
- Ideal for SUVs and as all-season- Ideal for light trucks
- More comfortable on the road- More reliable for off-road


It is best to choose the one that fits you the most so our choice may differ but we do recommend the AT3 XLT for the off-road enthusiast and owner with heavier load while the original AT3 is more ideal for driving within the city and more similar to all-season tires.