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'Consumer Reports' rates Cooper tire No. 1

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'Consumer Reports' rates Cooper tire No. 1

When “Consumer Reports” first started rating all-terrain SUV and pickup tires in 2008, Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.’s entry was listed as the ninth best tire. Three years later, the company has the number one-ranked tire.

The Cooper Discoverer A/T3 finished first among 13 tire lines tested. All were described as having “more grip than all-season on snowy and unpaved roads.” The tire’s cost, $150, placed it squarely in the middle.

It was among five all-terrain tires that stood out, according to “CR.” The others, all of which tied for second place, were the Michelin LTX A/T2 ($180), Hankook Dynapro ATM ($175), Kumho Road Venture AT KL78 ($130) and Kumho Road Venture SAT KL61 ($139).

“Over the last three or four years, we’ve spent a lot of time on materials technology, especially when it comes to new polymers and the utilization of silica. That has helped us optimize performance,” says Chuck Yurkovich, vice president of global technology. “Combined with our traditional speed to market, our focus on state of science materials technology has resulted in us being able to compete very effectively with industry leaders.”

“CR” rated the Discoverer A/T3’s performance characteristics as follows:

* “Excellent” for snow traction.

* "Very good” for dry braking, wet braking, hydroplaning resistance, ride comfort and tread life.

* “Good” for warm-weather handling and quiet ride.

The tire received “Fair” marks for ice braking performance and low rolling resistance. It received no “Poor” marks.

The Discoverer AT3, which was introduced earlier this year, will be on display from Nov. 1 through Nov. 4 at the 2011 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas, Nev.

Cooper's massive 50-foot by 50-foot booth, No. 43001, will be located at the Las Vegas Convention Center in the Global Tire Expo-Powered by TIA section.

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