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.