We’ve been bringing you guys along for the ride the last several thousand miles as we put the newest offering from Cooper Tires, the STT Pro, through the paces on our 2010 4Runner. So far, we’ve been impressed with both their road manners as well as their offroad grip and predictability in the muddy, rocky conditions in Vermont. But how do they do in wintry stuff? Thanks to the massive winter storm that wrecked the DC area this past weekend, we had plenty of opportunity to find out!
While the Cooper STT Pros are not designed to optimize winter/snow performance (they’re not snow tires…), I was hopeful that their siping and tread pattern would make them more confidence-inspiring than the Goodyear MT/Rs they replaced.
Over the past weekend we went out 2 separate times with vastly different levels of snow:
6” or less snow: I’d consider this type of condition to be the most common most of us experience – a moderate snow storm and/or streets/trails that have been partially cleared. In these conditions, the STT Pros gripped extremely well and were confident hill-climbers, held lines while turning, and gripped well in braking. Overall, we were impressed. Keep in mind we were not driving like idiots – we were driving at safe condition-appropriate speeds and avoiding blunt throttle, braking, and steering inputs. These tires are not idiot proof – driver error in the snow will still put you in a ditch.
18”+ snowfall: For most of us, driving through a foot and a half of virgin snow (or more) is going to be super rare, and for most of our vehicles it is not only a big test of tires, but of the vehicle and driver skill. For the 4Runner, ground clearance becomes a limiting factor at these snow depths. Even so, we attempted a short jaunt in the deep stuff. With their aggressive lug pattern, the Coopers grabbed the deep snow and clawed the 4Runner forward in 4wd-lo, belly-sliding the 5,500lb truck over the deep stuff. I did use ATRAC and my rear locker on some uphill sections, and it did take a couple of tries to complete a 3-point turnaround, but at no point did the truck get stuck to where I needed to get out and recover it. I was impressed with both the tires and the truck handling a pretty extreme amount of snow.
As as takeaway, the Cooper STT Pros continue to perform exactly as we hoped they would – an aggressive-yet-versatile off-road tire that performs really well in a diverse set of situations.
I just purchased the stt pro 37-10.50-17. Replaced my 36 TSL swompers. I have only driven them 4 times on the black top, however!!! Wow! I can drive my, highly modified, 92 4Runner with 1 finger and completely quiet for a mud tire. I have had all major brands of mud tires and on the road, hands down these are the nicest. My favorite to this point were Toyo MT, but these are even nicer driving tires. Can’t wait to see how they perform off road now!
Hey Ben, thank you for taking the time to share! I remember one time you said (and I’m paraphrasing here) “there’s something to be said about a quiet tire”. This was in reference to when you and your wife blitzed across the US to Moab and back. You had a long way to go and a short time to get there, all on the highway. You mentioned that the noise of the BFG MT’s was……….substantial. My Cooper ST Maxx’s are pretty quiet, but I’m very interested in hearing how you’d compare the highway noise (livability) of these Cooper STT Pro’s vs the other tires you’ve experienced given the same scenario of 600+ miles per day?
There is something about a quiet tire…the WAHHH of tread blocks slapping the pavement on some aggressive tires can get old and prevents normal volume conversations, coherent Bluetooth phone calls, and being able to think coherently:) versus the Goodyear MT/Rs I ran previously, the Coopers are substantially quieter. However, we will need to see how they do over time, since many tired get louder with age/wear.
Nice piece, Ben. Thanks for posting. I, too, was out in the big snow in my 2015 4Runner this weekend. I was only running stock tires, but I was really impressed with how it handled the plowed, as well as the deeper stuff. Your reviews have made me want a set of the Coopers, so that’s next on my mod list. As always, great site, and info! Thanks!
Mike C says
You’ve also spent a lot of time with Duratracs – how would you say they compared to the Coopers in the snow? (If you can remember your pre-MT days 😉 )
Mike – the Goodyear Duratracs were excellent in the snow. I’d say (and I’m having to remember back a ways now) that in lower snow accumulations the Coopers and Duratracs are about the same; maybe the Duratracs are slightly better with a little more siping. For deeper snow, the more aggressive lug pattern of the Coopers gives them an edge.
April Campbell says
What about as far as road noise and overall road handling? I’m looking at both, currently!
Road noise is comparable to the BFG KM2. It’s on the quieter side for a M/T but it is substantially louder than a A/T tire. It handles very well for daily driver duties, and performs well in all conditions from dry pavement to muddy conditions.