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Mr Bill.

I suggest your reply be made into a sticky for all to refer to.
Clear, concise and informative

A C load rated LT tire is the best match for the weight of an Xterra. A C load rated tire will ride better on the highway than an E load rated tire so if one's Xterra is a typical weekend warrior a C load rated LT tire is probably the best choice. (Nothing pejorative about the term weekend warrior - if one works for a living and an Xterra is one's primary vehicle then by definition that Xterra is a weekend warrior.)

Many LT tires suitable for an Xterra are only available with E load ratings. The sidewalls will be stiffer and the tires will be heavier than a C load rated tire. The ride will be more harsh in comparison. If a particular tire is only available with an E load rating and that's the tire you want then go for it, but if that same tire is also available with a C load rating the C load rated tire may be the best overall choice.

There are circumstances where the stiff sidewalls of an E load rated tire are an advantage, but primarily when that tire has 3 ply sidewalls. I ran Cooper Discoverer ST/Maxx LT265/75R16-E tires for 40,000 miles on my Xterra specifically because I wanted the rugged 3-ply sidewalls vs. the 2-ply sidewalls typical of most C, D and E load rated LT tires. I only went back to C load rated AT3's because I now have a jeep for rockcrawling and "tough" trails and my Xterra has been relegated to overlanding/mild offroading where 3-ply sidewalls are unnecessary.

There was a time or two during my recent 4,200 mile overlandinbg trip to Cabo San Lucas when I questioned whether I should have purchased a new set of ST/Maxx tires and stayed with 3-ply sidewalls, but I had no issues with my new AT3's, never got stuck, and the ride was comfortable both on and off road so those doubts have been resolved..
 

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Discussion Starter #42
Just wondering if anyone who has the AT3 4s' are still using them and how are they holding up after a year+ of usage? I'm looking to pick some up.
Sorry for the delay... I'm still running them. They've held up pretty well with no issues. I will say that over the last year and a half I've been driving mostly other vehicles (personal and work) so they haven't been used a ton. My parents came out to CO to ski up in Breck this past December and i70 was closed eastbound at the tunnel from a snowstorm; they had zero issues getting up there from Denver. There's roughly 10K miles on them and the treadwear has been great; pretty much look new with plenty of tread on them. I still recommend them to all my friends looking at tires, even for crossovers and small SUVs (eg: Cross Treks, Rav4s, even a Mini).

Did you end up getting a set?
 

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I did get a set of Cooper Discoverers and so far I've been quite happy. There were a few snowy days, and the tires did fine. My snow tires are still better but I'm excited to see how these hold up by the end of summer.

Thanks again for the help everyone.
 

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I have a set of Cooper Discoverer AT3 LT tires, LT265/75R16-C, installed 8/26/2019 that now have just over 6,000 miles on them, 4,200 miles of which were on a 3+ week overlanding trip to Cabo San Lucas and back with road conditions known for eating tires. They replaced a set of Cooper Discoverer ST/Maxx tires, LT265/75R16-E, that gave me 40,000 miles of trouble free service.

I have nothing but good things to say about my Cooper AT3 LT tires and the heavier duty Cooper ST/Maxx tires that preceded them.

How did these Cooper AT3 LT acá work out for you? Much of a dent in gas mileage? Road handling? I just ordered a pair of the LT3s. Himmed and Hawed over the 4S versus LT question, but decided the C was a good “Goldilocks “ solution.
 

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How did these Cooper AT3 LT acá work out for you? Much of a dent in gas mileage? Road handling? I just ordered a pair of the LT3s. Himmed and Hawed over the 4S versus LT question, but decided the C was a good “Goldilocks “ solution.
Due to the nature of the majority of the miles on these tires, a 4,000+ mile overlanding trip, I don't think it would be possible to isolate any effect the new tires had on fuel mileage. Also, I went from a more aggressive E-load range tire to a C-load range tire.

I liked my ST/Maxx's and I like my AT3's as well.
 

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Thanks Mr Bills! Are the original AT3s still on your vehicle? How many miles are on them now? Did you find any improvement in highway manners going from an E to a C-load?
 

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Original AT3's?

I don't think you understand the progression. I purchased my X used in 2013 soon thereafter replaced the can't-remember-what-brand P265/75R16 tires on it with Cooper Discoverer ST/Maxx LT265/75R16-E, which I used for over 40,000 miles. I replaced those with a set of Cooper Discoverer AT3 LT265/75R16-C and now have about 7,000 miles on them, 4,000 or so of which were on a 3+ week overlanding trip in Mexico.

I can summarize the change in ride this way: The AT3's provide a less truck-like ride on the highway. That's great if you prefer that your Xterra drive like a SUV on the highway, not so great if you like the feel of a truck. In many ways I prefer the road feel of the ST/Maxx even though it is a stiffer tire.
 

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Thanks MR. Bills. That’s exactly what I was wondering. I’m stiffening up the rear leafs with some heavy duties for towing, so I’ll take a more pliant C class.
 

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I installed PRG (Deaver) dual AAL's and Bilstein 5125 shocks at about the same time I bought the ST/Maxx tires, so my comparison of the ST/Maxx and AT3-LT is with those modifications.

With either tire you will need to dial in the increase in rear axle tire pressure when towing to accommodate the increased load on the rear tires, axle and suspension from the trailer tongue weight. You can use a bathroom scale and some scrap wood to measure tongue weight and published numbers for your tow rig, but I like real numbers. For that I go to a public scale and get the actual weight on each axle when fully loaded then use the corresponding tire pressure from the Tire and Rim Association Load Inflation Index for my tire size and that axle weight as my starting point.
 

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Many thanks! You’re further Convincing me I did good going with the LT Cs instead of the 4S. My main concern, besides fuel economy, was snow traction. Evidently the firmer rubber compound on the LTs make for significant drop in Snow performance.
 
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