Toyota Prado Tyres - Cooper Discoverer ATR Vs Dunlop AT20

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Tyres for the Prado
Last Updated: 04 April 2013

The Landcruiser Prado normally uses the 265/65/17 sized tyres. Initially a niche choice there are now lots of manufacturers to produce tyres in this size.

The tyre brand and model commonly used by Toyota are the Dunlop AT20 or A/T 20 as OEM tyres. If you search on the web you'll probably find that these are not the best tyres available. But more often you will find out yourself.  However the Dunlop AT20 are not all bad, their sole redeeming quality is that they are quiet road biased tyres. The Dunlop AT20 can last up 50,000 km if you treat them well. The AT20's didn't last very long for most of us and replaced at about 30,000-40,000km.

Here's our story on what we replaced them with.

There are a few common choices as replacement tyres for the At20. The Bridgestone D694 is the most promoted tyre as a good replacement. Hard to find in 2007 but much easier in 2010. In fact I initially waited 4 weeks in the hope that they would be available but in the end still weren't. So I looked for another model.

So I didn't want to get a different size tyre for various reasons so I searched for other brands.  BF Goodrich, and Goodyear all had various LandCruiser compatiable models but again size was the problem. In the end I bought the Cooper Discoverer ATR.

Dunlop AT20 Vs Cooper Discoverer ATR Review

There are not many comprehensive, direct comparisons or statements about the two models so we decided to write up this tyre review.

Dunlop AT20 summary:
These are the OEM or standard tyres the Prado comes with. Looking at them they resemble normal car tyres except bigger. They have rounded edges and closely spaced tread and normal looking tread depth. Nothing out of the ordinary.

Dunlop AT 20 on-road experience:
For suburban driving these tires are OK. It gives good ride handling and so forth.  However in deeper water puddles which you expect the car to cope with - it does aquaplane. When roads are wet the rear end does have the same issue as all solid axles but thanks to AWD and LSD the effect is only noticed in for a second or so.

Dunlop AT20 Off-road experience:
Work quite well on easy dirt roads until you try a better tyre you wouldn't really know. It hasn't been raining very much since 2005 so hard to tell.

Last known pricing (RRP)
LandCruiser Prado
NOT including on roads, discounts etc...

5 door Kakadu - $87,990
5 door VX - $74,490
5 door GXL - $63,490

5 door Kakadu - $88,990
5 door VX - $75,490
5 door GXL - $64,490
5 door GX - $58,490

Diesel (Only)
3 door ZR - $65,990
3 door SX - $55,990

3 door SX - $55,990

See Read Motorblog for more!

Cooper Discoverer ATR summary:
At first glance you will notice that the tread pattern is blockier or aggressive. It has larger gaps between thread patterns and greater depth. The edges of the tyre are almost square. On one side reveals white lettering and the other black. I chose white on the outside because I think they look nicer.

The initial installer did not get the balance right but once rectified they felt perfect. 

Copper ATR on-road experience:
Immediately noticeable was the tyres tendency to track straight or whatever the wheel alignment was set at.  Braking performance was noticeably improved and cornering grip was much better. Road feel appeared to have improved a little. This tendency may change as the tyre wears so visit later for an update.

We are quite picky about noise, because when the Prado does long distances, quietness is a very important factor in keeping alert and general comfort. The Cooper Discoverer ATR is not a noisy tyre but noisier than the Dunlop AT20 but not by much. I can't really complain.

Off-road experience:
Dirt roads are handled in a much better fashion than the Dunlops.  Definitely has more grip.  On sand they seemed to dig rather than float.  Since there's plenty of power it is only momentary.

Initial summary:
The Cooper ATRs so far have revealed the following:
- The provide better grip accelerating or braking.
- They have white lettering on the side walls.
- They are slightly nosier.

I initially had wheel alignment problems but solved by increasing the tyre pressures to 40psi. The ride is firmer due to the higher pressures but that's expected. Tyre wear around the edges is absent - which bodes well for tyre life.  So if you have wheel alignment problems try adjusting the tyre pressures first.

Price (2007)

The price of Dunlop AT20 vary: I was quoted between a price range of $200-280.
The price of Cooper Discoverer ATR vary: I was quoted between $250-330. 
The price of the Bridgestone D694 vary: I was quoted between $269-300 

The retailer chosen wasn't the cheapest but the nicest to us.

Issues and summary

The Cooper ATR is overall a better tire than the AT20 without any significant downsides.

These tyres are suitable for all types of roads despite the off-road style thread. Whether another tyre like the much promoted Bridgestone is better I don't know. Maybe at the next tyre change.

After 10,000kms the tyres are holding up well.  I've noticed very little wear. The extra road noise is not noticed around town and on freeways its still more than acceptable.

UPDATE: 12 months after purchase the Discoverers ATR Still had plenty of thread left. Wish I kept track of how many kilometers they have covered! The tyres where rotated recently and I could tell that the newer ones where in the front. The initial tram lining returned and sensitivity to  road imperfections where again immediately noticeable. It should disappear after the next interstate trip. 

UPDATE: After 40,000km there is still plenty of tread left so I anticipate at least 60,000km before I even nee to consider replacements. I have also found the sweet spot for me - at least in terms of the optimum tyre pressures.  42psi if you really want to know!

The ride is firmer and the alignment, wear and handling is just to my liking. Considering the now worn in suspension it seems to balance it out? Well at least I think so.

I think I will replace the tyres at 50,000km on the basis that a change is as good as a holiday and its something else to write about!

UPDATE: Didn't replace them - tyres are expensive. After 70,000km still have lots thread - think they might last over 80,000kms. Others are on 2nd set but still no reason to change to another tyre...

UPDATE: Finally replaced with Bridgestone Dueler D694 - see new review

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