Cooper CS3 Touring Tire Review
Cooper Tire is an American tire manufacturing company founded in 1914. With over 100 years of experience in the design and manufacture of auto and truck tires, the company has built a great reputation – their tires are usually long-lasting and of excellent quality, yet are budget-friendly.
What about the Cooper CS3 Touring tire? Is as good, better, or maybe worse than other Cooper tires? Find out below.
Cooper CS3 Touring Tire is an all-season radial tire designed for coupes, sedans and crossovers. This is actually a replacement for Cooper’s older GLS model, and a better one at that. With several innovative features, special design and unique construction, this tire combines comfort and great traction to provide smooth and stable rides in all weather conditions, including light snow.
Let’s check out some of the most notable features the CS3 touring tire boasts:
- Modern tread compound and profile: the tire has a modern touring tread compound and profile which allow it to provide even wear and long tread life. How? CS3’s all-season compound is molded into a symmetric design which leads to easy rotation patterns, and as a result, much more even wear than usual.
- Stabledge technology: Cooper has incorporated its patented Stabledge tech into the CS3’s center and intermediate ribs to enhance handling and dry traction stability. The result is more responsive braking and accelerating, as well as a better cornering grip. Overall, the Stabledge tech increases stability and precise handling in all weather conditions.
- 5-rib tread pattern plus lateral and circumferential grooves: the unique tread pattern design with 5 ribs improves wet and light snow traction, while 20% more lateral and circumferential grooves ensure the tire is practically resisant to hydroplaning. This is what makes CS3 one of the best wet performance tires in its class.
- 3D Micro-Gauge Siping: Cooper’s own 3D Micro-Gauge Siping helps make this tire super-stable during acceleration, braking and cornering, no matter the weather. In fact, this feature further enhances the tire’s wet grip and traction.
- New pitch sequence in the tread: to lower in-vehicle noise, Cooper have designed a new pitch sequence in the tread, which, coupled with advanced tread pattern, helps reduce vibrations and noise significantly.
The CS3 Touring tire stands out from other mid-range offerings because of its premium features – it’s strong and durable, with a modern design which allows it to perform equally well in dry and wet weather conditions. This model also has solid winter performance, and although it doesn’t shine in deep snow (what all-season tire does, though?), in light snow and some ice, it’s great. Furthermore, the tire is one of the most comfortable tires in its class thanks to two features in particular – new pitch sequence in the tread and 3D Micro-Gauge Siping which help the tire maintain a stable and comfortable shape during driving while reducing noise and vibrations.
But almost all tires are great on paper – what about their negatives, and more importantly, their actual performance in different weather conditions? To help you decide if the Cooper CS3 Touring tire is the right fit for your needs, we’ve listed some of its major pros and cons. We also talk about its dry, wet and snow performance in detail down below, so make sure you check out every section of this blog before making any purchasing decisions.
Pros & Cons
Like all tires, the mid-range CS3 Touring tire has its positives and negatives. Most drivers find this tire to perform really well on both dry and wet roads, but struggling in deep snow. This is not a huge minus though, as most all season-tires struggle with heavy snowfall. Most importantly, the negatives do not override the positives, making this model definitely worth checking out.
Excellent dry traction and handling
Great wet grip; traction and handling are good even in torrential rain
Stable, quiet and comfortable in all weather conditions
Good fuel economy
Solid performance on light snow and ice
Good tread life
Tread life could be better: like most affordable and mid-range tires (and even some expensive tires, too), the CS3 could use some improvement in the tread life area. Although warranted for 65,000 or 50,000 miles, many drivers complain that the tire doesn’t last anywhere near those digits. Of course, it’s worth noting that tread life does depend on various factors, including how well you maintain your tires and where you drive. For instance, this model doesn’t have good off-road abilities, so driving on gravel, mud and rock could significantly damage the tread. Nevertheless, we believe the Cooper CS3 touring tire could use improvement in this department.
Snow performance could be better: although the CS3 performs well in light snow and ice, it’s obvious it loses its traction even in slightly deeper snow. And sure, this is not a winter tire so nobody expects excellent traction in snow, however, we believe that overall snow performance could be better.
The Cooper CS3 Touring tire seems like a great all-season tire for coupes, sedans and minivans. But without its actual performance in different weather conditions analyzed, you can’t really know whether this model is the right fit for your needs, can you?
Right off the bat, we can see that this mid-range model has excellent dry and wet performance. How? For one, the CS3’s modern design and profile, including all-season compound, symmetric design and 5-rib tread pattern with lateral grooves, help make it solid and stable on both dry and slippery roads. Two, Coopers patented technologies such as 3D Micro-Gauge Siping and Stabledge performance enhance the tire’s handling and traction, both in dry and wet weather. But what about snow performance? As you could see in the Pros & Cons section, we believe this model could use some improvement in the snow traction department, however, the CS3’s snow performance is far from bad. In light snow, and on slippery and icy roads, the tire holds its traction well, making it a good-quality all-season tire overall. So, how good or bad the tire’s snow performance will be, largely depends on your winters and general weather conditions.
But enough with generalizations – in this chapter, you can read about Cooper CS3 Touring tire’s performance in different weather conditions in detail, including its dry, wet and snow performance.
The Cooper CS3 tire has excellent traction in dry weather. There are several reasons for this, but the most important features that help with dry handling and stability include:
- Stabledge technology: Cooper’s own tire technology called Stabledge enhances handling and dry traction stability as it’s incorporated into the tire’s center and intermediate ribs. The result is quick and easy braking and acceleration and better cornering grip.
- New tread compound and design: thanks to a wider footprint of this tire, as well as Cooper’s all-season tread compound, this model has fantastic dry traction handling, as well as excellent overall stability at all speeds.
Besides these two important features, the tire’s design and internal construction help with traction and handling. The CS3 consists of a high-turnup, ply polyester casing which supports twin steel belts. There is also a nylon reinforcement ply, which further improves handling and high-speed durability.
Another important thing to ask about a tire, is how quiet and comfortable it is in different weather conditions? The Cooper CS3 Touring tire is one of the most comfortable tires in mid-range pricings. This is due to its newly developed pitch sequence in the tread, which not only helps lower in-vehicle noise, but also absorb excessive shock and vibrations. In practice, the CS3 Touring tire really is quiet and comfortable, however, since it doesn’t have much off-road capabilities, the moment you start driving on rougher roads such on tiny rocks or gravel, you will feel those vibrations and some road noise. It’s not a huge problem though, especially considering the affordable price of the tire, but it is something to keep in mind if you often drive on unpaved surfaces.
All in all, this is one stable, long-lasting tire with major improvements in performance compared to the Cooper’s older GLS model.
Similar to its dry performance, the CS3 Touring tire’s performance on wet and slippery roads is outstanding. Safe, stable, with a great wet grip, this model provides confidence in braking and cornering even in torrential rain. There are multiple reasons why this model does so well on damp roads, but the most important ones include its specific design and build materials. So, things such as:
- 3D Micro-Gauge Siping: Cooper’s patented 3D Micro-Gauge Siping design increases tread element stability and enhances wet grip and tire control. Providing 30% more total sipe length when new, and a whopping 125% at half-worn, this design ensures the tire is stable and safe throughout its entire life.
- Unique tread pattern and tire design: the CS3’s 5-rib tread pattern enhances the tire’s wet (and snow!) traction, providing excellent stability and confidence in braking and accelerating even when driving on slick roads. Lateral and circumferential grooves further help improve the tire’s wet grip, reducing the risk of hydroplaning.
The tire’s internal structure also plays a big role in how well it performs in rain. Thanks to the already mentioned two steel belts that are spirally wrapped with nylon, the CS3 model is strong and stable. Equally important, the tire is able to maintain that stability even when you’re driving in pouring rain.
Like most all-season tires, Cooper CS3 Touring tire performs great in dry and wet conditions, and a little less great in snow. Light snow and some ice are not an issue (if the tires are well maintained), but deeper snowfall is simply too much for this model to handle. That being said, the CS3 tire does have a couple of features which help it maintain its traction in cold and snowy weather conditions:
- Deep circumferential grooves + lateral notches: this model has four deep circumferential grooves, as well as wide lateral notches which not only help evacuate water in rainy conditions, but push light snow away as well.
- 3D sipes: the already mentioned 3D Micro-Gauge Siping design which can be foud throughout the footprint acts as a biting edge on snow. These biting edges enhance traction on snowy and icy roads, making the tire stable and responsive to braking and cornering.
Overall, the Cooper CS3 touring tire performs well in light snow and ice, but is not suitable for folks who live in areas with seriously cold and snowy winters. That said, extremely cold winters with a lot of snow require real winter tires anyway, so CS3’s winter performance could be labeled as solid.
This model comes in sizes ranging from 14 inches to 18 inches, and is available in T, H and V speed rating. Some of the vehicles that can fit the Cooper CS3 Touring tire are (this is not a complete list):
- Ford: Taurus, Fusion
- Chevrolet: Astro, Cavlier, Cruze, Malibu
- Honda: Accord, Civis, Odyssey
- Buick: Roadmaster, Enclave
- Volkswagen: Jetta
- Toyota: Sienna, Corolla, Camry
- Dodge: Caravan, Avenger
- Nissan: Altima, Sentra
Cooper provides Standard Limited Warranty on all tires, as well as a free 45 day road test to see how and if you like the model at all. Both V and H speed rated tires have a 50,000 mile warranty, while the T speed rated models have a 65,000 mile tread warranty (unlimited time for all three models). Uniformity warranty is guaranteed for the first 2/32” of wear, while the workmanship and materials warranty includes free replacement for the first 2/32” of wear (again, unlimited time). Prorated warranty is then given until 2/32” of remaining depth.
Considering the good warranty plan, reasonable price and great overall performance, the Cooper CS3 Touring tire definitely gets our stamp of approval.