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Tires & Wheels

Cooper Discoverer S/T Maxx vs BFGoodrich All-Terrain KO2

Cooper ST Maxx vs BFGoodrich KO2
Written by Nick Steiner

All-terrain tires are a go-to option for light trucks and SUVs that spend almost as much time off the beaten path as they do on the freeway.

A jack of all trades, they offer on-road performance competitive with the average HT tire while still giving you the traction, tread, and aggressive handling you’ll need to tackle the dirt and gravel.

However, no two all-terrain tires are the same, so it’s worth doing your due diligence before fitting your car with just any one of the many on the market.

The Cooper ST Maxx and the BFGoodrich KO2 are a pair of the most popular tires among SUV, light truck, and van drivers. What’s the difference, and which one is for you? Keep reading and find out!

Cooper ST Maxx – Pros and cons

Pros

  • Stone-ejector tread design
  • Durable Armor Tek 3 rubber
  • Excels in mud
  • Holds up in dry and wet weather
  • Quiet on-road

Cons

  • No treadwear protection warranty
  • Poor performance in snow

BFGoodrich KO2 – Pros and cons

Pros

  • Tough sidewalls with CoreGard Rubber technology
  • 50,000 miles treadwear protection warranty
  • Good performance in snow

Cons

  • Comparatively loud
  • Expensive

Cooper ST Maxx vs. BFGoodrich KO2 – What’s the difference?

1. Tire type

Cooper ST Maxx

Cooper ST Maxx

The Cooper ST Maxx is actually an on-road all-season tire. It’s designed to handle highway terrain no matter the surface conditions, but also deliver quality performance off-road

BFGoodrich KO2

BFGoodrich KO2

The KO2 is an all-terrain tire in the truest sense. It can handle rocks, gravel, snow, and whatever else you find off the path with ease.

The winner

If you’re looking for an all-terrain tire for the harsher roads, the BFGoodrich KO2 is for you. Otherwise, there’s nothing to say either tire type is better than the other.

2. Tire pressure

Cooper ST Maxx

They have a maximum tire pressure of between 35 and 80psi, depending on the size of the tire.

BFGoodrich KO2

Maximum tire pressures for the BFGoodrich KO2 are the same as the Cooper ST Maxx, being between 35 and 80psi depending on the tire radius.

The winner

No winner here, they’re the same!

3. Durability

Cooper ST Maxx

The ST Maxx uses durable Armor Tek 3 technology to maximize strength and lifetime. Like many others, it also features a tread pattern designed to eject stones picked up on the drive.

BFGoodrich KO2

Featuring Coregard sidewall technology and a thick rubber compound optimized for demanding off-road journeys, the KO2 is guaranteed to stand the test of time (and rocks).

The winner

Both tires are built to last, but the KO2 is designed for harder terrain, so you can expect it to last longer.

4. Fuel economy

Cooper ST Maxx

The ST Maxx has been shown to drop fuel economy by about 2-3mpg on average. This is due to several factors, possibly the biggest being the weight of the tire.

BFGoodrich KO2

An equivalently sized BFGoodrich KO2 (LT285/70R17) might drop your fuel economy by about 1-2mpg.

The winner

Both tires mentioned are LT285/70R17. The Cooper is 60lbs and the KO2 is 57.9lbs. Considering weight is a major factor in the fuel economy of the tire, and evidence shows that the KO2 is easier on the tank.

5. Noise

Cooper ST Maxx

The ST Maxx is a very quiet tire, especially considering its weight and tread.

BFGoodrich KO2

Also pleasantly surprising, the KO2 isn’t noisy on the road either. Deep treads usually make for a loud tire on the road but BFGoodrich seems to have done a good job with the KO2.

The winner

Both tires are quiet given the kind of tires they are, so we can’t decide on a winner.

6. Load capacity

Cooper ST Maxx

The load capacity is a broad range depending on the tire. The ST Maxx has a load capacity range of 1984 to 3858lbs

BFGoodrich KO2

The BFGoodrich KO2 can handle between 1929 lbs to 3858 lbs.

The winner

Depending on what size tire you buy, we can see here that the Cooper ST Maxx has a higher lower bound weight capacity than the KO2, making it a winner.

7. Acceleration

Cooper ST Maxx

Deep treads and a hybrid 4-5 rib design give the ST Maxx plenty of traction, which should translate into good acceleration. However, the weight of the tire is another factor. Whether there’s a noticeable change in acceleration depends on the tire you’re replacing with the ST Maxx.

BFGoodrich KO2

The KO2, with its stiff sidewalls and chunky design, is a classic all-terrain heavy tire. You will notice speed and acceleration take a hit after mounting these.

The winner

It’s difficult to say, but one metric we can rely on is weight, which shows us that the lighter KO2 might get you more speed.

8. Warranty mileage

Cooper ST Maxx

The Cooper ST Maxx has no treadwear protection warranty.

BFGoodrich KO2

BFGoodrich’s KO2 has a treadwear protection warranty of up to 70,000 miles.

The winner

Clearly the BFGoodrich as it’s the only tire between the two with a treadwear protection warranty.

9. On-road traction

Cooper ST Maxx

An on-road, all-season tire is designed to tackle highway terrain regardless of weather or surface conditions. The ST Maxx holds up incredibly well against the elements but is noticeably weak when handling snow.

BFGoodrich KO2

The KO2 is a tire built for the dirt. As such, while it has all the traction for the road, it’s slower and heavier to handle than its Cooper counterpart.

The winner

On the road, the ST Maxx reigns supreme.

10. Off-road traction

Cooper ST Maxx

While not necessarily an all-terrain tire by name, it certainly might as well be. The ST Maxx is perfect for a 50/50 on and off-road split.

BFGoodrich KO2

In name and practice the KO2 is a mudder. It excels in shifting soil and deep snow and will get you across gravel and rocks with no complaints.

The winner

The KO2 is built for the wilderness and will perform much better than the ST Maxx.

11. Performance

Cooper ST Maxx

The ST Maxx is a heavy tire made to brave the elements. Stiff, cut-and chip-resistant sidewalls can handle damage and high-grip stone ejector treads give you the traction you need for either the road or the dirt.

Handling is heavier, and your acceleration will take a hit; this isn’t a sports tire after all.

BFGoodrich KO2

Speed and acceleration-wise, the KO2 will slow you down if you’re mounting them to a lighter vehicle. However, they excel at what they are. The KO2s can comfortably last up to 70,000 miles before needing replacement.

Regardless of conditions, the KO2 will power you through anything. Staggered shoulder block design with 3D active sipes means you should have no problem in powder (soil or snow).

The winner

Both tires are perfect for what they are. If you want something for the road and the dirt, the Cooper ST Maxx has the road performance and dirt handling for you. If you want something more aggressive to explore the uncharted, get the KO2s.

12. Price

Cooper ST Maxx

Depending on the retailer, a Cooper ST Maxx LT 285/70R17 will cost you around $340

BFGoodrich KO2

A BFGoorich KO2 of the same size specs will cost around $310

The winner

The KO2 is certainly the cheaper tire.

FAQs

1. How long will my Cooper ST Maxx tires last?

Ans. Around 35,000 to 40,000 miles. It depends heavily on how hard you drive them.

2. Are Cooper ST Maxx tires rated for snow?

Ans. As all-season tires, they are designed to give good performance in any road conditions, including snow.

3. How often should I rotate my BFGoodrich KO2s?

Ans. Around every 5,000 miles or so.

4. Is the BFGoodrich KO2 worth the money?

Ans. Cheaper than the ST Maxx and offering best-in-class off-road performance and tire durability, the KO2 is absolutely worth the price tag.

About the author

Nick Steiner

Nick has been a car nut for his whole life as far as he can remember. His father was a car dealer who used to change and repair his cars himself. As a result, Nick had the opportunity to get around all sorts of cars and learned to get his hands dirty repairing vehicles from an early age.

Nick is a great fan of Japanese quality and German preciosity. His deep passion lies in older models that he believes have a flair that takes him back to his childhood. He also loves their durability and reliability when compared to the modern models.

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