Cooper AT3 vs ST Maxx

Cooper is a well-known name in the tire market for their good products and pretty affordable collection. Many like their variant of tires for the performance or look and if you are as well, the Cooper AT3 Vs ST MAXX are two good options to consider. One of them is more ideal for within the city application with some light trail while the other is an off-road model. If you want to know more, do check what they can offer below before making the purchase.

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

  • Which Tire to Choose
  • What are Cooper AT3 and ST MAXX
  • What are the Features of Cooper AT3 
  • What are the Features of Cooper ST MAXX
  • How are the On Road Performance of Cooper AT3 and ST MAXX
  • How are the Off-Road Performance of Cooper AT3 and ST MAXX
  • Cooper AT3 Vs ST MAXX

Tire Type to Choose 

Tires are a prominent part of your vehicle that decides the driving performance because they are in contact with the pavement. Whether or not the car will have proper traction both on and off the road is not only about the type of vehicle but also due to the car’s tire and how well they are performing on different terrain. Since they are always in contact with the road, the tire will need to be changed from time to time, depending on when they will wear out.

When it comes to choosing the best tire, it is all about what your car’s need and where the vehicle will be driven. Not all of us will be driving on rock mountains or through a pool of mud and even crossing a lake but no matter where you are driving, a good tire will bring the most of the experience. Tires are usually separated into various types based on what they are best at and where they are used on. 

There is no single type of tire that works best in all applications so it is best to choose the one that you will be focusing the most. For example, if you are driving a sedan or CUV, regular summer tires and all-season will be the best choice. This type of vehicle will most likely stay on the road and driven within the city where the tire must be able to provide both comfort and confidence. Summer tires are optimized for both dry and wet traction, have good mileage, as well as be very comfortable.

If your place also experiences light snow during winter, going with an all-season such as Hankook Optimo H724 Vs H725 will be a wise decision. All-seasons are often chosen because they are convenient and can work well through the year so we don’t need to change the tire set when the season changes. For SUV, Light Truck or Pick Up owners, all-terrain is the better and most ideal choice due to the nature of the vehicle itself that carries more loads and is driven in both terrains.

All-terrain tires typically have rugged design and large chunks of tread pattern which makes it look aggressive but it is with a purpose to increase traction especially against loose surfaces where the vehicle will be driven on. They are fairly comfortable for on-road application as well but not as much as the summer tire and tend to consume more fuel. For users who are facing loose surfaces often like thick and sticky mud, Mud-terrain type is probably the better option for the vehicle.

About Cooper AT3 and ST MAXX

If you are here then we assume that you are also driving on both terrains and currently looking for reliable all-terrain tires from the huge number of options out there. All AT tires are very much similar to each other in terms of benefit but what’s amazing is each company has their own way to make the compound as well as creating the proper tread pattern in order to deliver the best performance. Typically, tires that come with treadwear warranty will also last longer.

Tire is not cheap and changing them altogether can set you back around $1000 depending on the model, so it is wise to think about whether it will satisfy your application or not. However, an expensive set is not always the best and performance is always what matters the most. To save your time from browsing the collection of all-terrain tires out there, it is best to stick with a brand or manufacturer that you already have experience with for they may have the ideal options as well.

Among those tire brands out there, Cooper is one of the biggest players where you can find lots of good options. Their tires seem to work really well and there are tons of models to fit in your vehicle with different sizing options as well such as the Cooper AT3 and ST MAXX. Both tires are considered as all-terrain but they are very different from each other and it is not only on the price point as well in which the latter can be around $80 more expensive than the former.

The AT3 is an older and popular tire from the brand which some may already used in the past but not long ago Cooper renewed the line and offered a total of three different tires for the AT3 line so the original tire is no longer in the company’s collection. Today, we are going to use the AT3 4S which is the closest to the original AT3 model and also the most affordable in the line. ST MAXX on the other hand is landing on the off-road side more.

Cooper AT3 Features

The AT3 we are talking about today is the newer AT3 4S as this is the closest to the original model and all of the three tires have almost identical tread pattern as well. As you can see, the tire has circumferential channels and wide, lateral notches to help when evacuating water from the contact patch and avoiding hydroplaning. It also has zigzag sipes all over the tread blocks meant to create biting edges to allow the tire stay confident when rolling on slippery surfaces as well as stay stable on dry roads.

The new tire is said to combine silica-based tread compound into the tread pattern. It is featured with five-rib design to give you both dry and wet performance as well as Snow Groove Technology with saw-tooth block edges in the outboard grooves in order to retain snow in the tread pattern.

Cooper ST MAXX Features

Moving to the ST MAXX, this tire is marketed as all-terrain but looking quite aggressive and more similar to a mud tire. It has a cut and chip-resistant compound which is molded into the symmetric, hybrid four-five rib design meant to reduce the road noise and to help with even wear. It also has an open pattern with multiple block edges so it is to be expected that the tire will have a good clawing traction, especially useful when you are driving on loose-surface.

To make sure your tire will last long, the ST MAXX is designed with stone ejector ribs while the non-parallel grooves wall will help by resisting rock retention as well as improving the wear by avoiding stone drilling into the compound. In addition, this tire is molded and designed to accept optional metal studs when you need additional traction on snow.

Cooper AT3 and ST MAXX on the Road

Now let’s move to the most important part which is the performance itself and starting from the on road behavior, they are good options but the AT3 will be better. When it comes to on road application, grip is not very concerning because most tires can work well, unless it is frozen, a typical all-season will do well. In comparison, the greatest difference between Cooper AT3 and ST MAXX is the comfort and for prolonged use, road noise. We are unsure why ST MAXX can be quite loud from time to time but it is probably due to the compound and tread design.

When still new, it is actually pretty quiet however and these noise issues appear after a while so you may not notice it right after. For traction, both dry and wet roads are no problem and overall we have no complaint about how the two work on regular roads.

Cooper AT3 and ST MAXX or Off-Road

Moving to the off-road section, Cooper AT3 and ST MAXX are also still good but now the ST MAXX will work better. This tire is very similar to a mud-terrain type when it comes to traction because thanks to the big lugs, it can tow us away from loose dirt or even mud without much issues. It has incredible traction off-road including when driving on sharp rocks which shows that the tire can sustain much stress without wearing out and breaking down.

Driven on ice, none of them are as great as tires with ice rating or different compounds made for frozen temperature but we have no idea how ST MAXX performs with studs. With snow they are acceptable and for the latter, this tire can dig up quite a thick layer of snow really well too in case the winter in your place is rather severe.

Cooper AT3 vs ST Maxx

These tires are great choices for those who want convenient options to run both on and off the road. The difference is that MT MAXX is more ideal for people who are driving mostly off-road due to how the unit is designed. It is also not the best off-road however, if you count lasting ability because issues like air leak and cupping has been reported by many owners. As for AT3 or AT3 4S, this model is more like a balance on an off-road tire, performing well in all areas.

Cooper AT3Cooper ST Maxx
- True all-terrain- More for off-road
- More affordable- Expensive
- Balance performance- Better for off-road and snow
- Comfortable- Not as comfortable


You should go with the tire that fits with the application the most but between the two, we will recommend getting the original AT3 or the AT3 4S for a good combination of comfort, lasting ability, and reliability on different terrains as long as it is not on the extreme.