The Kumho Spare Tire T121 is one of the most popular spare tires on the market. But is it the right spare for your vehicle? This review has the answers.
The Kumho Spare Tire T121 is an affordable and reliable spare tire. It delivers top-notch traction and grip in dry and wet conditions. Also, it provides reliable handling and controllability, resulting in a safe and secure ride. Kumho has also backed it with a solid warranty.
In this Kumho Spare Tire T121 review, we will take a closer look at its performance in different conditions and surfaces, its price range, available sizes, as well as warranties and guarantees. We will also explore some of its strengths and drawbacks. By the time you finish reading this review, you will have all the information that you need to decide whether it’s the right spare tire for your vehicle.
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A flat tire can happen to anyone, regardless of how experienced or careful, you are on the road. This can be occasioned by a faulty tire or road conditions. And when you may be forced to cancel your trip and call a tow truck. But it doesn’t have to get to that. A spare tire is all that you need to get moving.
And when it comes to spare tires, you have two options to choose from. You can opt for either a full-size spare or a compact spare tire. Each type of spare tire comes with its pros and cons.
As the name suggests, a full-size spare is simply a standard tire. So, whenever you are buying a new set of tires for your vehicle, you will buy five instead of four.
Therefore, you will have a standard size tire ready in case you get a flat. Simply put, a full-size spare tire will provide a permanent fix to the problem.
However, keeping a full-size tire as a spare tire means sacrificing some trunk space, especially if your vehicle doesn’t come with an undercarriage slot.
Furthermore, a full-size tire is heavy, meaning it can lower your vehicle’s fuel economy by a considerable margin.
Also, if you keep a full-size spare in your car, you will have to keep rotating it with the other four tires to ensure it wears at the same rate as the others.
Full-size spare tires will be the ideal choice for long-distance drivers, off-roaders or anyone who lives in an area that has few auto service stations.
As you can see, keeping a full-size spare tire in your vehicle comes with more cons than pros. And this is where a compact spare tire comes in.
Also known as a donut, a compact spare tire is a lightweight version of your vehicle’s standard tires. It’s simply a special purpose tire designed to save the day in case one of your tires develops a puncture.
Considering that the donut is smaller than the full-size spare, it will take up only a small amount of space in your trunk, leaving you with enough room to store other things like strollers, gym gear, bags and any other thing that you would want to store in your trunk.
Also, compact spares are lightweight, meaning they will deliver better fuel economy for your vehicle than full-size spare tires.
The only disadvantage with a compact spare is that you can only drive it for up to 50 or 60 miles at a lower speed limit. Also, a donut is a temporary fix.
If you spend most of your time commuting or driving around the city, then a compact spare will be more than enough for your tire emergencies.
The Kumho Spare Tire T121 is one such tire. It’s designed to provide a temporary fix for your vehicle in case you get a flat.
About the Kumho Spare Tire T121
As mentioned above, the Kumho Spare Tire T121 is a compact spare tire. It’s currently one of the best spare tires on the market today, thanks to its durability, combined with top-notch performance and handling.
This compact tire will provide a temporary solution for your vehicle if one of your tires develops a puncture, blowout, accident or any other form of damage, rendering it unusable.
During such situations, you simply need to replace your damaged tire with the Kumho Spare Tire T121, and you can drive comfortably to your destination. According to the manufacturer, you should maintain a maximum speed of 50mph when using this tire, inflated at 60psi.
Considering that the Kumho Spare Tire T121 is a compact spare tire, it has a smaller physical size than an ordinary set of tires. And thanks to its lightweight design, it will only take up minimal storage space in the trunk, making it ideal for smaller cars or people with storage issues.
It’s worth mentioning that this tire is not designed for long-term driving. Simply put, the Kumho Spare Tire T121 cannot withstand your vehicle’s weight for long durations. Also, you cannot operate your vehicle safely at full speed.
But as long as you observe the manufacturer’s recommendations, you shouldn’t experience any issue with this temporary spare tire.
While the Kumho Spare Tire T121 may be a temporary tire, it should take you safely to the closest service station, regardless of whether the road is dry or wet. So, does this tire perform accordingly?
Based on the experiences of drivers who have used this tire, the Kumho Spare Tire T121 performs reliably well in dry and wet conditions.
The manufacturer has outfitted it with an all-season tread compound and a ribbed tread pattern, which work together to deliver reliable all-season performance.
At the same time, its continuous center rib, combined with the optimal block placement, work together to enhance its grip in dry, wet and slippery conditions. Also, Kumho has armed the tire with extra siping across its surface, which provides additional biting edges.
Also, the tire’s tread design comes with an optimal groove pattern, featuring a combination of lateral and circumferential grooves.
The lateral and circumferential grooves work together to evacuate water from the tire, thus helping to minimize aquaplaning.
So, whether you are driving with this tire on dry roads or you happen to encounter rainy conditions, you can rest assured of a safe and reliable driving experience.
However, it’s worth mentioning that the Kumho Spare Tire T121 comes with a shallower tread depth than conventional tires. And as a result, it may not provide a safe driving experience or handle as well as standard tire if you happen to encounter roads with thick layers of snow, ice or other adverse conditions.
Therefore, if you live in an area that rains heavily or experiences harsh winters, it will be advisable to opt for a full-size spare tire. And if you have no other option but to use a donut in ice or snow, then you should be extremely cautious with your driving.
Handling and Controllability
Like ordinary tires, spare tires should also provide great handling and controllability. Failure to do that, you will struggle to maintain proper control of the vehicle. You may even end up with a crash.
The good news is, the Kumho Spare Tire T121 comes with excellent controllability and handling.
While it may have a narrow footprint due to its smaller physical size, its ribbed tread design compensates for that.
As noted above, the Kumho Spare Tire T121 comes with a continuous center rib. And this design helps to maintain optimal contact with the surface, resulting in enhanced steering responsiveness. Also, the continuous center rib helps to boost driving stability considerably.
Consequently, the steering will be fast and precise and you will enjoy enhanced controllability, even in wet conditions.
Warranties and Guarantees
Kumho stands behind this tire with a materials and workmanship warranty. Under this warranty, Kumho commits to replacing the Spare T121 if removed from service due to workmanship or materials defects.
So, if it becomes unserviceable during this tire, Kumho will replace it with a comparable new one, free of charge. The company will also take care of mounting and balancing charges.
Coverage extends up to the tire’s first 50% of its original usable tread. Therefore, any tire whose original tread is worn by more than 50% is not eligible to be replaced under this warranty.
Sizes and Fitment
The Kumho Spare Tire T121 comes in several sizes, ranging from 14 inches to 17 inches. It can fit almost all types of vehicles whose wheel sizes are within this range.
Kumho Spare Tire T121 Price Range
The Kumho Spare Tire T121 is currently retailing at approximately $50 to $115. The actual price for this tire will depend on your vehicle’s wheel size as well as where you buy it.
- Outstanding wet and dry traction
- Lightweight and compact
- Not ideal for driving in snow and ice
Should You Buy the Kumho Spare Tire T121?
If you live in an area that rarely experiences extreme weather conditions, then the Kumho Spare Tire T121 will be a good choice for a spare tire. It will provide a temporary but reliable fix for your vehicle in case you experience a flat.
About THE AUTHOR
I've spent many years selling cars, working with auto detailers, mechanics, dealership service teams, quoting and researching car insurance, modding my own cars, and much more.Read More About Charles Redding