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So, the big question: why does Cooper not take part in media tyre tests?

Some would say we’re worried about the results. But we weren’t worried when the S/T Maxx…

  • conquered (and won) multiple Dakar Rally championships.
  • claimed victories throughout southern Africa’s local rally scene.
  • and became the preferred tyre for South Africa’s leading 4x4 professionals, guides, and tour operators.

Then what's the REAL reason for us opting out?

The short answer is: we don’t have faith in these tests.

The long answer is: we believe they’re misleading the public. Here’s why:

Barring the fact that most tyre-traction tests are grossly disputed by any number of variables, a far more important point is that passenger tyres do NOT belong in the 4x4 arena! 

(Check out the outrageous footnote at the end of this blog)

Although Cooper sells both Passenger and Light Truck tyres, we would NEVER recommend a Passenger carcass to travellers who wished to explore Africa off-road.

The fact that so many South African adventure magazines make this mistake in their tyre tests is mind-boggling, and in our view, irresponsible. It would be a different story if these so-called tyre tests were published in Huisgenoot, but they’re not. They’re published in dedicated 4x4 magazines. 

This blunder is reaffirmed by the medias consistent failure to mention Load Index. That’s like conducting a Super-Car shootout and leaving out kilowatts. It’s a gross omission in any off-road tyre test and once again, a disservice to the reader. 

Load Index is quite possibly the most important feature of any all-terrain tyre comparison, especially as the readers (of a dedicated off-road magazine) tend to LOAD their vehicles before going on holiday.

Durability is another vitally important all-terrain-tyre quality. How many kilometres will the tyre do? Will it suffer excessive cuts and abrasions, or perhaps chipping and chunking of the tread pattern? 

Of course, none of these comparison tests has ever gauged this quality, and in most cases, factory-fitted all-terrain tyres (i.e. popular sellers) simply do not have the compound-quality to offer high off-road mileage.

As mentioned before, Cooper stocks a wide range of products, including OE (factory replacement) tyres; but again, we would NEVER recommend a factory replacement Cooper to a 4x4 enthusiast – particularly one who travels off-road, over long distances, and in a heavily-laden vehicle.

To be clear, we’re not suggesting that every 4x4 owner should fit a set of tough, LT tyres with a high Load Index; mall crawlers, city slickers and Speed & Sound readers could get away with a Passenger tyre; but presumably the readers of an off-road travel magazine would categorise themselves as “none of the above”.

Cooper tyres have consistently conquered the worlds toughest off-road environments, which is why we offer the industry’s most comprehensive warranty programme. But don’t take our word for it; simply ask any 4x4 professional which tyre they use. Our order books hint at the answer.



Before you dismiss this post as a subjective marketing tool, we’re going to state the unthinkable and say: the following list of COMPETING tyres are (in our view) the only off-road products that can hope to compete with Cooper from a 4x4 carcass-and-compound point of view…

BFGoodrich AT and MT

Goodyear Wrangler MT/R

Mickey Thomson (just about the entire range)

Dick Cepek


Pitting these tyres against their passenger-based competitors is a failure to recognise the arena (application) in which they compete; ironically, this is the same arena that most 4x4 magazines use to distinguish themselves from other car-based motoring publications.   

Sadly, with readership figures in mind, so-called shootout “tests” claim to offer the “truth”, but that’s very often only half the story.


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