Cooper Tire Discoverer MTP and Level 8 Bully 5 Wheel Review
If you haven’t heard of the new Cooper Discoverer MTP mud-terrain tire, that’s probably because you haven’t been into your local Discount Tire or America’s Tire lately. The Discoverer MTP is part of a family of Cooper Tire offered exclusively through Discount Tire, which also includes the road-friendly HTP and the all-terrain ATP.
The Cooper Tire Discoverer MTP is immediately intriguing for off-road enthusiasts because of its price. Discount Tire actually offers the MTP near entry-level mud-terrain prices, making it one of the most affordable muds it sells in stores or on its DiscountTireDirect.com website.
Pricing aside, the more important aspect is how the tire performs. We aimed to see just how the Discoverer MTP holds up in the real world, so we tossed a set of the new Discoverer MTPs on our Jeep WJ. We also had the chance to check out another exclusive Discount Tire offering, a 17x9 Level 8 Bully Pro 5 wheel that we fitted with our 285/70/R17 MTP test tires.
Getting the Discoverer MTP Dirty
The eye test of any good mud-terrain is an aggressive tread pattern, and the MTP certainly looks the part with its high-void, staggered tread block design. When it comes to actually getting them dirty, we’re happy to report the MTP doesn’t disappoint in dirt, mud or rocks. On hard-packed trails and rocky slopes, the MTP provides good dry traction overall; in spite of the big voids, the large tread blocks offer ample surface to grip firm terrain. Between the tread voids Cooper employs stone ejector ribs that do an efficient job of ridding the tire of small stones picked up from the trail. Of course we came home with a rock or two after a few rides, but for the most part the ribs do help keep the tire voids clear.
When it comes to getting into soft dirt and wet, muddy slop, that’s where the MTP really shines. The staggered outer tread block design certainly helps with grip in the soft stuff, but clearly the alternating shoulder scallops (which Cooper describes as “scoops”) also aid in providing confident traction. Cooper incorporates what it calls a “side-biter” tread pattern onto the sidewall of the MTP, and while it’s not the most aggressive sidewall pattern in the mud market, it does provide noticeable grip in rocks and soft terrain. Most importantly, the “side-biter” design provides additional sidewall protection from punctures and pokes.
We were immediately impressed with the traction the Discoverer MTP tires provide off the highway, and over the course of a few months of testing we haven’t changed our tune one bit. Compared to another set of mud-terrains we recently used on the same rig, the traction of the Discoverer MTP was superior due to having larger, more aggressive voids. The traction of the tire in sand and mud is impressive, even with the tires fully inflated to highway PSI. Of course, when we did air down the soft-terrain traction of the tires only improved, as the scalloped shoulder and sidewall design offer additional bite and grip. Overall, the dirt and mud performance of the MTP receives very positive marks.
On the highway, it didn’t surprise us the Discoverer MTP is not on the quiet end of the off-road tire spectrum. While we praise the off-road traction of the MTP, it is certainly louder than two other mud-terrains we’ve recently tested in the same environment, one of which is Cooper’s own STT Pro (although it’s worth noting this is a more costly tire). What’s most important in our eyes with muds is the ability to provide reliable, confident handling on the highway, and we’re happy to report the MTP offers predictable performance in both wet and dry road conditions.
We’ve also been very impressed with the performance of the Level 8 Wheels Bully Pro 5. Discount Tire says the cast-aluminum wheel is made with a low-pressure construction process to create a stronger, more durable wheel, but it’s also far lighter than a steel wheel or most stockers so you’re not adding any unnecessary weight. The eight-spoke design of the Bully Pro 5 offers a clean appearance that isn’t overly flashy. The black coating on the wheel is a three-stage powder coat finish that stood up to our abuse thus far – no chips or nicks in the finish. The wheel also incorporates a specially designed bead hump to aid in keeping the tire in place when aired down – it’s not a bead-lock but it still helps! The hardware included with the Bully Pro 5 is just as durable as the wheel itself, as the lug nuts are zinc coated to withstand the abuse of the environment.
Our favorite feature of the Bully Pro 5 is no doubt the bolt-on protector ring, which provides protection for the wheel from rocks and debris on the trail. The ring is also fully replaceable should you want a fresh set. We saw firsthand the value of the protector rings, as we clipped rocks a number of times on the trail, but instead of coming home with dents and gouges in our aluminum Level 8 wheels the ring took the brunt of the hit and kept our wheels looking fresh and new underneath.
Further proving the wheels were thoughtfully geared toward the off-road crowd, a deflator/air gauge kit is also included with a wheel set purchase to aid in airing down or double checking PSI levels once its time to air up and get back on the road. It’s also worth nothing that Discount Tire will ship the tires and wheels already mounted and balanced if both are purchased at the same time from DiscountTireDirect.com. Customers can also purchase new TPMS sensors that Discount Tire will install to work with a vehicle’s factory air pressure monitoring system. The Level 8 Bully Pro 5 has an MSRP of $219, though Discount Tire does occasionally offer discounts if purchasing a complete set.
Our Discoverer MTP 285/70/R17 test tire has an MSRP of $235, making it one of the most affordable mud-terrain tires that Discount Tire offers. Typically when you find an inexpensive mud-terrain, it’s usually by an off-brand you’ve never heard of, but in our eyes there’s added peace of mind with the MTP since it is produced by Cooper. Off-roaders will also appreciate the 14 available sizes, which will fit wheels ranging from 15” to 20”, with the biggest size being a 35”.
Our only gripe with the MTP is in relation to its two-ply sidewall construction, as we’d like to see a three-ply design like other high-end mud-terrains. Then again, the value proposition means something has to give, so we can’t expect the MTP to have every feature that more costly mud-terrains do. That said, in spite of our efforts to punish the tires, we came away with no complaints regarding durability or off-road performance.
For those not familiar with a mud-terrain and the additional road noise that comes with it, it’s possible the MTP will be a little too loud for someone wanting a cool looking tire on their daily driver that never sees dirt. But if you’re a weekend warrior looking for an affordable, well-built mud-terrain tire produced by a well-known tire manufacturer, the Cooper Tire Discoverer MTP is a great bargain from Discount Tire and America’s Tire.