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Old 07-01-2012, 07:29 PM
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Cooper Zeon LTZ 275/55/20 Review

This is an initial review of the Cooper Zeon LTZ in 275/55/20 on a 2011 Hemi Grand Cherokee 4x4 Limited with standard suspension and rear load-leveling shocks (tow package). Miles driven: 1130 miles over a one week trip. Tires installed and balanced, taxed: $995 out the door. I highly recommend these as an "all terrain" solution for a Grand with 20" wheels. Long term wear rating is TBD. Full initial review and more pics below.



WHY -- The stock Forteras work well for me on the road, but I wanted a more aggressive tire for light trail use that wouldn't be too loud and still provide decent road performance. Several Land Rover LR3 people I've gone "off-road" camping with use Cooper Zeon LTZ tires so after some further research it was an easy pick. Other tires considered were mainly Nitto Terra Grapplers (really noisy, short life), Goodyear Wrangler Silent Armor (disappointing performance), Cooper AT3 (not aggressive enough) and a few others far off my short list. I wanted to keep the 20" wheels so choices were limited obviously. Thanks goes out to my old cross-town neighbor and forum friend, BMWister, for hooking me up with people who owned these comparison tires.

THE FIT -- Perfect. I bought a second set of 20" wheels and TPMS sensors because I'll still run the Forteras for summer road duty. The Zeon LTZ in 275/55/20 fit perfectly on the stock 20" Jeep wheels and add about 3/4" more tread and section width to provide more rim protection. The overall wheel diameter increased to 31.5" from ~30", so that gives another 3/4" of extra road clearance and only results in ~4% lower speedometer reading (60mph indicated = 63mph actual). The sidewalls of the Zeon LTZ are very thick and firm -- I didn't measure with a caliper but they felt as meaty as BFG All Terrains I had on another vehicle. There is no rubbing or clearance issue at any angle and they look good on the Grand, IMHO. Note that new OEM-replacement TPMS sensors were recognized after sitting several minutes once mounted and without any "programming".

PERFORMANCE ON ROAD-- All the reviews say they're quiet, and the are for an AT tire, but the Zeon LTZs do have a mild hum. At about 65-70mph the hum is more noticeable but not like a mud-tire and not objectionable. Over hard bumps the Zeon LTZs are actually quieter than the Forteras. Handling is better than the Forteras in wet/dry and they really stay glued in the turns with less floating feel than the Forteras. On wet roads the Zeon LTZs stuck like a rain tire and never broke loose even with traction control set to "off". The lugs and voids are big but never had any gravel sticking/flinging. The tread stayed clear of gravel and debris. No noticeable loss of power from the minor increase in diameter and the ride comfort is still excellent, I'd say even better, considering the firmer sidewall. Very cool!


PERFORMANCE OFF ROAD -- No off-road events on this long trip but, due to a good rain storm while up north, I went in search of some mud. All I could find was some mild dirt "access roads" in a place we weren't supposed to be, so no pics from there, sorry. The Zeon LTZs did cake up with some clay but quickly self-cleared and the traction and steering control was really great. On a short rocky climb out of the access road they grabbed really well on the wet rocks. I've had BFG All Terrains (different truck) in the same kind of muck before and I believe they would have fared no better and possibly worse in the clay mud. This off-road part will get updated when I get a chance or when the fall and winter weather hits if I can ever get away to do some proper testing. I think the Zeon LTZs suit the Grand well for road and moderate trail use.


DEEP lugs but angled just right to let gravel and mud slip out. Good rain channels too.


Still has a stock look but tires are no longer wimpy. I didn't want to stand out when I go to church. Extra sidewall height is noticeable and welcome.


Rear view look. They stick out a tiny bit more than the Forteras but not like SRT8 reps (I considered them) that push sidewalls to the edge of the wheel well lips -- paint will stay better protected by using the stock 20" wheels. I balanced form and function without going to an 18" wheel set.
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Old 07-01-2012, 07:43 PM
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Re: Cooper Zeon LTZ 275/55/20 Review

Good review! Could you tell me the disappointing part of the Silent Armor performance.
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Old 07-02-2012, 11:29 AM
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Re: Cooper Zeon LTZ 275/55/20 Review

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Originally Posted by Alaska-HWY JK View Post
Good review! Could you tell me the disappointing part of the Silent Armor performance.
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Some owners have had good luck with the the Silent Armors, but reviews I read and two current owners in Chicago I spoke to noted they were poor in the wet, didn't clear goop from tread quick enough and were hard to keep balanced. Bummer. I forgot to mention that the Firestone Destination ATs were a contender but they do not have as thick of a sidewall for trail rash, IMHO. I'll replace the Forteras on my other set of 20" with 275/55/20 Destination ATs for dedicated road tire use when the time comes. I really wanted to like the Silent Armors from what I read and I see a lot of contractors with them, but nobody was ecstatic with them.

On the other hand, people who had the Zeon LTZs (some full size pickups, several Land Rovers and a Tahoe) liked them so much in rain, snow and muck that they are on their second or third set. Also, it was really hard to find anyone picking the Silent Armors for a second time. I think there are two of us on Jeep Garage with the Zeon LTZs now so hopefully the other member will update long term impressions later on too.

The Zeon LTZs are my choice for when I'm going to be going where there aren't roads any season, not necessarily serious trail running, and also during winter to provide traction on unplowed roads and deep fields getting to remote property. That was the plan, but maybe I'll just run them all year round and keep my extra wheels in case of any boo-boos.
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Old 07-03-2012, 11:46 AM
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Re: Cooper Zeon LTZ 275/55/20 Review

Those tires look really tough!
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Old 07-06-2012, 09:48 AM
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Re: Cooper Zeon LTZ 275/55/20 Review

>..... Cooper AT3 (not aggressive enough) .........

Interesting that you said that since according to Coopers Tire web site, the AT3 is better performed off-road. Zeon LTZ do excel in dry traction since the product is aimed at the sport truck segment.
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Old 07-06-2012, 11:14 AM
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Re: Cooper Zeon LTZ 275/55/20 Review

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Originally Posted by rotaryzz View Post
>..... Cooper AT3 (not aggressive enough) .........

Interesting that you said that since according to Coopers Tire web site, the AT3 is better performed off-road. Zeon LTZ do excel in dry traction since the product is aimed at the sport truck segment.
Yep, I know, and I think the AT3 is OK, but what sealed the deal was during my decision making process I got to drive in an LR3 with the Zeon LTZ, then an LR3 with Silent Armors, and then an F150 with the AT3 on the same trails on the same day. Not a "fair" comparison I know with the different vehicles & sizes, but the AT3 did a bit worse in the same slippery muck as the Zeon LTZ -- they didn't bite as hard IMHO with axles and xfer cases locked. Not sure what part of off-road where they're rated higher than the Zeons, the Zeons were great. The Ford driver said he liked the AT3 over his old BFG ATs. I'm on roads more than trails so if the Zeon LTZ is rated better on the road (by Cooper) then it's just a bonus.
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Old 07-06-2012, 12:43 PM
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Re: Cooper Zeon LTZ 275/55/20 Review

Bmanz they look really good! I know I recommended you look at the AT3 but the more I look at your WK2 the more I like the look of the Zeon LTZ on it. So...are these better in a traction and performance sense than the Destination ATs that you had on your Expedition? I would bet the Destinations are significantly more quiet due to their center-strip tread; you need to let me know when we can do some additional real testing at the cottage up north. Nicely done review.
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Old 09-03-2012, 05:36 PM
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so there is no rubbing with these? I have an Altitude with the 20 inch rims and want to rid myself of the Forteras. The 275/55/20 gives me the tire selection as I was looking at Toyo Open Country AT. but was conserned about rubbing. So no rubbing with this size? I am the same suspension as yoy, minus the rear load.leveling shocks.

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Old 11-09-2012, 01:58 PM
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Re: Cooper Zeon LTZ 275/55/20 Review

Had 305/50/20's on my FJ, and will be putting 305/40/22's on my altitude next week. Love the tire, put 35K on the FJ, and they were still like new! Quiet, great ride and grip, wear lik cast iron! Two thumbs up!
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Old 11-10-2012, 11:22 AM
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Re: Cooper Zeon LTZ 275/55/20 Review

would like to see those 305/50/20`s, please post up some pics,
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Old 11-10-2012, 01:00 PM
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Re: Cooper Zeon LTZ 275/55/20 Review

The 305/50/20's were on my FJ on a set of BMF 5 spoke novacanes. I will have to look and see if I still have any pictures of it. And the 305/40/22's should be on the jeep by Wednesday but no pics of that until she's clean and it's supposed to rain all next week.
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Old 11-13-2012, 06:42 PM
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Re: Cooper Zeon LTZ 275/55/20 Review

Wheels are in, and getting the tires wrapped around them right now, should have them on in about an hour. Not sure if I will be able to get pics tonight or not, stay tuned!
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