Tire shops would like you to believe that the more expensive the tire, the better the ride. In many cases this is true. If you’re always shopping for the cheapest tire you can buy, you’re not going to get the same ride you would if you were to always buy the most expensive tire you can find. In our Kumho tires review, we’ll be taking a look to see how this brand performs against the competition.
Kumho is a brand that prices their tires somewhere in the middle. They’re not too expensive, and not too cheap. Their designers spends a lot of money on research and development, and they have dozens of different makes and models, for all different kinds of applications. But are they any good? Or would you be better off spending your money elsewhere? First, we’ll be taking a look at how Kumho tires perform overall. Then, we’ll go in depth and explore the different options they have.
This is the one area where these tires really excel. Across the board, they’re generally 30 to 40% cheaper than competing models. They often have similar tread patterns and designs as top end models, but are sold at a much lower cost. How is this possible? There are two reasons. First, Kumho is never really cutting edge tires. They take existing proven designs, and re-engineer the manufacturing process to cut costs. This allows them to reduce their costs, passing the savings on to the consumers.
Tread wear on them is reasonable for the price, although not industry leading. that being said, Kumho is very good at estimating their tire wear. Their estimates are based off typical city driving. If you’re just looking for a set of tires to throw on your weekend car, or do mostly highway miles, then you’ll likely get much more miles on the tire than they’re rated for. But if you’re driving a sports car, burning out your tires and slamming on the brakes, you’ll likely get 10 to 20% less than the rated mileage.
Performance and Packages
How well your rubber perform depends on which tire you buy. Each one has different options and features. We’ll be breaking down Kumho’s tire line by usage, so you can find out which ones in the series are best rated.
All Season Kumho Tires Review
There are two different types of Kumho all seasons on the market: the Solus and the Ecsta. The Solus are the most highly reviewed. The treat is arranged in a grid-like patter, with four deep groves that extend the length of the tire. This gives them incredible performance in wet conditions, as there is somewhere for the water to go. This prevents hydroplaning, even when driving through large puddles.
The Solus has a softened outer tread block that maintains tight handling in the winter, and they have a tread block pattern that reduces road harmonics, keeping them smooth and soft in the summer.
The Ecsta Tire has many of the same features as the solus, although it’s designed more for dry conditions than snowy ones. This tire is ideal for use in warm climates, such as the west coast. Although it doesn’t work quite as well in the deep snow, handling and speed performance is significantly improved on dry ground.
There are three different winters available. The most popular is the Kumho Wintercraft. This tire excels in areas where no all season tire can stand a chance. It’s good in deep snow, slush, and ice. If you’re in need of studded model, this model has advanced stud placement that allows it to grip the road in multiple places, which works in harmony with the directional tread design. Directional tread is especially important in icy conditions, where some areas of the road can be more slick than others. The end result is a tire that has excellent starting, braking, and handling, even in extreme conditions.
Although the Wintercraft tires are some of the best performing, they’re overkill for most conditions. The I’Zens are a better overall tire, and despite their incredibly low price they are one of the best rated snow tires. They’ve got a dual tread design. The directional treads in the center allow them to provide excellent starting and stopping performance, while the touch grippy outer part of the tread gives excellent handling, even at high speeds.
Kumho Truck Tires
Although most tires are available for light trucks and SUVs, Kumho does have one particular tire that is specially designed for use on larger vehicles. The Kumho Road Venturer is an all-weather tire that’s designed to address some of the common issues with light truck shoes. What they’ve done is use a special casing that reduces load on the sidewall. This allows them to use a more flexible sidewall, providing a smooth and soft ride. But even if your vehicle is quite loaded down, it won’t stress the sidewall as much as other options. The tread pattern is a bit of a combination between the winter and the all season, allowing it to do well in the snow despite the additional weight that’s loaded on it.
Are Kumho Tires Right for Me?
This brand has a wide range of options available, all of which perform above average for their price category. Whether you’re looking at a new set of tires for severe service, or a cheap pair of all around summers, Kumho has something for you.
That being said, these tires won’t be for everyone. Considering that they are half the price of top tier tires, you know there will be a few tradeoffs. One disadvantage is the rot time. If you are driving the vehicle regularly, you’ll never have to worry about this. But if you’re throwing your tires on a show car that only sees the road once per month, you’ll notice that the sidewalls will degrade before you reach the mileage of the tire. This is a common issue across all models, but there are special models that are designed to correct this.
We’d recommend These tires for any smaller vehicle, as well as vans or light quarter ton trucks. They’re best for road driving, so offroaders may want to look elsewhere.