Kumho is one of the leading budget tire brands. But are its tires the best choice for your vehicle? This Kumho tires review and brand guide has the answers.
Kumho is renowned for making high-quality yet affordable tires. While its tires may be cheaper than those from the leading premium tire brands, they perform reliably well, especially in warm weather areas. Its tires also come with above-average treadwear warranties.
In this Kumho tires review and brand guide, we walk you through some of Kumho’s most popular tires, its tire warranties and guarantees, the tires’ price range as well as some of the brand’s strengths and drawbacks. And by the end of this Kumho tires review and brand guide, you will have adequate information to decide whether its tires are the right choice for your vehicle.
Our mission is to provide trustworthy, well-researched and objective reviews. And this is made possible by our outstanding content creation team, comprising of experienced tire testers, seasoned reporters and experienced industry practitioners. So, whenever you are reading a review on our site, you can rest assured you are getting credible information.
About Kumho Tires
Founded in 1960, Kumho is a South Korean tire company that specializes in making high-quality tires for a wide range of vehicles like crossovers, SUVs, coupes and trucks.
It has grown to become the tire brand of choice for millions of people across the country. And this can be attributed to its reasonably priced yet durable tires.
Its tires are used as original equipment (OE) by some of the leading vehicle manufacturers like Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, BMW and Doge, among others.
Kumho also produces replacement tires, which are available in different types and sizes.
Best Selling Kumho Tires
Kumho produces an extensive range of tires for the consumer market.
From all-season tires to ultra-high-performance tires, winter tires to off-road tires, you can find almost any type of tire from this brand.
Some of its most popular tires include:
Road Venture AT51
The Road Venture AT51 is one of Kumho’s most popular tires.
Designed for light-duty trucks, SUVs, and jeeps, this tire is built to deliver top-notch traction in all seasons and terrains.
According to Kumho, the Road Venture AT51 is also engineered to deliver a quiet and cozy ride, regardless of the weather condition or the road surface.
So, how does this tire perform in different terrains and weather conditions? Let’s take a closer look.
Performance on Wet Roads
Considering that the Kumho Road Venture AT51 is a blend between an all-season tire and an all-terrain tire, it should deliver superb performance on wet roads.
And it performs as expected in these conditions. Its traction, grip and stability are outstanding on wet and slippery roads.
It resists hydroplaning well, thus helping to maintain a solid grip with the road surface. However, it may lose some traction on wet roads as the tire wears out.
Performance on Muddy and Snowy Roads
The Kumho Road Venture AT51 comes with the 3PMSF symbol, and this should tell you the level of performance to expect from this tire on snowy roads.
And as much as it’s not a specialty winter or snow tire, it remains a great performer in these conditions.
The advanced silica compound used in this tire helps it remain flexible, even in freezing conditions.
And as a result, it will provide adequate traction on roads covered with ice or snow.
It will also provide you with sufficient grip for accelerating and braking, thus ensuring a safe driving experience.
While you shouldn’t expect it to perform like a proper winter tire, its performance in these conditions is impressive.
Performance on Dry Roads
The Kumho Road Venture AT51 remains an impressive performer when it comes to dry roads.
It delivers ample traction and superb handling when you are driving on the highway or on dry roads.
Braking distances on dry roads are short and the cornering grip is excellent, even when you are driving at the limit.
Off-road driving presents several challenges. For instance, you will come across sharp gravels, tree stumps, rugged rock formations, and deep mud, among others.
So, can this tire handle these challenges? The Kumho Road Venture AT51 will definitely rise to the occasion when it comes to off-road driving.
It features a dual-silica tread compound, which helps it to withstand punctures, cuts and bruising, which may be caused by abrasive elements present in off-road terrains.
Kumho has also equipped it with angled chamfers, which provide the biting edges needed to keep your vehicle moving through loose sand, deep mud, snow, ice or any other type of rugged terrain.
It also features steeped circumferential grooves, designed to provide off-road traction and grip whenever you encounter loose gravel or dirt.
At the same time, the tapered shoulder blocks extending to its sidewalls provide additional grip, needed for driving over loose mud or sand.
Most tires in this category tend to be quite noisy on the highway, especially when you are cruising at higher speeds.
But with the Kumho Road Venture AT51, you will not have to deal with this problem. As much as it may not be as quiet as a touring tire, the noise levels remain comfortably low.
It also soaks up bumps, potholes, and other road imperfections well, thus resulting in a cozy ride, especially during those long trips.
Does the Kumho Road Venture AT51 Offer Value for Money?
The Kumho Road Venture AT51 manages to tick all the boxes. Its on-road performance is outstanding, its off-road performance is decent and the ride quality is excellent, compared to the others in its class.
If you do a lot of highway driving during your weekdays, you drive on rural roads frequently and you also venture off the beaten path during your weekends, then this tire will serve you well.
This rugged and sturdy tire can comfortably handle varying conditions and terrains. And when you consider its price, it will be hard to ignore this tire.
The Kumho Solus TA71 is a touring all-season tire, designed for drivers of all types of sedans, coupes, minivans as well as smaller CUVs.
It’s engineered to deliver the ruggedness and sportiness of a performance tire, combined with the coziness and refinement of a touring tire.
But does it deliver on these expectations? I took this tire for a test ride and these are the observations that I made:
Performance on Dry Roads
The Kumho Solus TA71 performs like a high-performance tire when it comes to dry roads.
Its grip is adequate, it responds well to steering commands and the vehicle remained stable throughout the test ride, even when I was taking sharp corners.
Performance on Wet Roads
Its performance on wet roads is not disappointing. And this can be attributed to the wide circumferential grooves and the lateral grooves on its tread.
The four wide circumferential grooves work together with the numerous lateral grooves across its tread to evacuate water beneath the tire.
And this helps to prevent hydroplaning, resulting in enhanced traction on wet roads. With the Kumho Solus TA71, you are assured of safe and stable driving on wet roads.
Performance on Snowy Roads
Kumho has equipped this tire with several angled sipes across its tread, which provided additional biting edges.
These biting edges help to supply grip and traction on snowy roads. However, it’s important to note that this tire cannot perform like a proper snow or winter tire.
While it may provide some traction on roads covered with light snow, you cannot rely on it to deliver a safe ride, if you encounter heavy snowing.
Simply put, if you frequently drive on roads covered with thick layers of snow, then this tire is not ideal for such conditions. Instead, you should just buy a proper winter tire.
As mentioned earlier, the Kumho Solus TA71 is an all-season touring tire. And when it comes to touring tires, drivers want a tire that can provide a refined ride.
So, does this tire deliver on this aspect? Without a doubt, the Kumho Solus TA71 is one of the most comfortable touring tires I have tested.
During my test ride, this tire remained smooth and quiet all through, even when the vehicle was moving at higher speeds.
Apart from being quiet, these tires absorb road imperfections well, meaning you will not experience any vibrations in the cabin.
Should You Buy the Kumho Solus TA71?
The Kumho Solus TA71 delivers in almost all areas. It’s among the few tires I’ve tested that manages to live up to its claims.
It provides adequate grip and traction on wet and dry roads as well as a comfortable and refined ride.
And while other tires in its category can provide a better performance, you will have to pay more.
Overall, if you are looking for a budget-friendly all-season tire that will provide adequate wet and dry grip combined with a luxurious and comfortable experience then the Kumho Solus TA71 deserves a spot on your list.
Ecsta LX Platinum
If you drive a high-performance touring tire, you will need a tire that can adequately complement your vehicle’s robust performance.
And the Kumho Ecsta LX Platinum falls in this category. It’s engineered to deliver outstanding all-season traction, without sacrificing ride quality.
The question is, does this tire manage to perform according to these expectations? Let’s take a closer look.
Ultra-high-performance tires should deliver adequate traction and cornering grip on dry roads.
And the Kumho Ecsta LX Platinum lives up to these expectations. It provides assured grip, precise steering feel and solid handling when driven on dry roads.
However, you shouldn’t expect this tire to perform like a premium tire on the track. When tested it on the track, I noticed that its grip was somewhat lacking.
But if you will be using this tire on normal roads, then its overall performance is more than satisfactory. The vehicle will remain stable throughout your ride, even when cruising at higher-than-average speeds.
Performance in Wet Conditions
Most of the ultra-high-performance tires I’ve tested over the years have had a common weakness. And that’s a noticeable loss of traction in wet conditions.
But with the Kumho Ecsta LX Platinum, I didn’t encounter this problem. In fact, its performance in wet and slippery conditions was much better than I had expected.
The traction was outstanding, the braking was solid and the steering response was great, even when I was driving in extremely wet conditions.
Performance in Snowy Conditions
As is expected with a UHP tire, the Kumho Ecsta LX Platinum will only provide some usable traction in light snow.
It has been engineered for areas that experience moderate temperatures throughout the year.
And like we always say, if you live in an area that experiences heavy snowing or freezing temperatures for several months, then you should equip your vehicle with a dedicated snow or winter tire.
Some ultra-high-performance tires tend to vibrate when you hit triple-digit speeds. However, I didn’t face this issue when I was testing this tire.
The ride was comfortable, smooth and refined, even when I pushed my Honda Civic to the limit.
And unlike some of the other UHP tires that I have previously tested, I didn’t experience any road noise with this tire.
Should You Buy the Kumho Ecsta LX Platinum?
The Kumho Ecsta LX Platinum is one of the best UHP touring tires in its category. It delivers an outstanding wet and dry performance.
You will also enjoy a comfortable, smooth and refined ride with this tire, whether you are running errands around town or out on a road trip.
So, if you are looking for a reasonably priced UHP tire that will deliver a luxurious and comfortable ride without sacrificing all-season traction, then the Kumho Ecsta LX Platinum deserves a look.
Kumho Crugen Premium KL33
The Kumho Crugen Premium KL33 was initially developed to be used as original equipment (OE) on the Hyundai Santa Fe.
But currently, this tire is now available in a wide range of sizes, meaning you can buy it as replacement tires for light trucks, SUVs, and crossovers, among others.
As is the case with all-season touring tires, the Kumho Crugen Premium KL33 is engineered to deliver a blend of performance and comfort.
According to Kumho, this tire should tackle everyday driving situations with confidence, thanks to its all-season tread compound.
But how is its performance on the ground? Let’s take a closer look.
The Kumho Crugen Premium KL33 delivers a promising performance when you are driving on dry roads.
Its traction is superb, even during hard acceleration. Its braking is solid and dependable. From what I observed, its braking distances are almost at par with some of the premium tires in its category.
Perhaps what surprised me most is its excellent cornering. It doesn’t lose grip or stability when you are negotiating sharp corners at higher speeds.
As much as the Kumho Crugen Premium KL33 is not a UHP tire, its excellent performance on dry roads will give you the confidence to push your vehicle to its limits.
Performance on Wet and Slippery Surfaces
As their name suggests, all-season touring tires should perform well both in dry and wet conditions.
But, I was somewhat disappointed with this tire’s performance on wet roads. It doesn’t provide as much grip as you may want from an all-season tire in rainy weather.
Its performance in damp conditions is also average, compared to most of the other all-season touring tires in its category.
Overall, its performance in wet and slippery conditions is average at best.
Performance in Snow and Ice
Its performance in snow and ice is also disappointing. As much as it may provide some usable traction in light snow, the overall performance is not reassuring.
So, if you live in an area that snows frequently and heavily, it’s highly recommended to go for a set of proper winter tires.
As you may expect from a touring tire, the Kumho Crugen Premium KL33 delivers a quiet and smooth ride.
It absorbs bumps and potholes well, resulting in a comfortable ride. Also, noise is not an issue, even when you are driving at highway speeds.
But like other tires, you can expect the Kumho Crugen Premium KL33 to become noisy as the tread wears down.
Should You Buy the Kumho Crugen Premium KL33?
The Kumho Crugen Premium KL33 delivers excellent performance on dry roads when it comes to cornering grip, braking, steering response and handling.
However, it tends to falter when it comes to wet traction. While its grip on wet roads may be sufficient, it’s not up to the levels provided by most of its competitors.
Overall, if you usually drive on dry roads throughout the year and you are looking for a budget-friendly tire, then the Kumho Crugen Premium KL33 may be a good choice.
On the other hand, if you live in an area that rains frequently, then the Kumho Crugen Premium KL33 may not be an ideal choice for your driving needs.
Kumho Tires Warranties and Guarantees
As is the case with reputable tire brands, Kumho backs its tires with several warranties and guarantees.
These warranties and guarantees are designed to protect the consumer against loss, in case the tire fails or wears out prematurely. They also help to boost buyer confidence.
These warranties and guarantees include workmanship and materials warranty, treadwear warranty, road hazard warranty and a customer satisfaction guarantee.
Workmanship and Materials Warranty
As its name suggests, this warranty mainly covers tire issues related to workmanship and materials defects.
Under this warranty, Kumho offers to replace your eligible tire if it’s removed from service due to workmanship or materials defects during its usable tread life.
If the tire is removed from service during its first 2/32-inch of its original usable tread, then this tire company will replace it with a comparable new one, free of charge.
However, the buyer will be responsible for mounting and balancing charges, in addition to the applicable taxes and additional services.
If the tire becomes unserviceable after the first 2/32-inch of its original usable tread, Kumho will replace it on a pro-rata basis.
Under the pro-rata basis, Kumho will give you replacement credit, which will be applied when you replace the tires with a new set.
You will be responsible for mounting and balancing charges as well as applicable taxes and related service charges.
Limited Tread Wear Warranty
Kumho also backs several of its tires with a limited treadwear warranty. All replacements under this warranty are done on a pro-rata basis.
So, if your tire wears down to its tread wear indicators and it fails to deliver the warranted mileage, then Kumho will replace it on a pro-rata basis.
With the pro-rata basis, the tire’s replacement costs will be shared between Kumho and the buyer.
Kumho’s replacement allowance will be determined by multiplying the percentage of the warranted miles the tire has failed to deliver with its current selling price.
All the eligible tires under this warranty will be covered for 72 months from the date of purchase.
Road Hazard Warranty
Kumho’s steel-belted radial passenger tires are further backed by a road hazard warranty.
So, if your eligible tire is removed from service as a result of normal road hazard conditions like punctures, bruises, impact breaks or snags, then it should be replaced.
It’s important to mention that tires are only covered under this warranty during their first 2/32-inch of treadwear or within the first 12 months from the purchase date, whichever comes first.
30-Day Satisfaction Trial
Kumho goes a step further to build customer confidence for its tires by offering a free 30-day trial.
So, if you buy a set of Kumho tires, you will have a 30-day window to decide whether they are the right fit for your vehicle.
And in case you are not satisfied, you are free to return them to the original place where you purchased them, and the dealer will exchange them for you.
However, it’s important to note that tires will only be re-accepted if they are not damaged.
Also, if they are worn by more than 2/32-inch of their original tread, then they will not be accepted back.
Kumho Tires Price Range
As mentioned earlier, Kumho tires are considered budget tires. Its tires cost between $60 and $360 making them affordable for most drivers.
So, if you are on the market for affordable but decent-quality tires, then Kumho tires may be ideal for your needs.
Kumho Tires Pros
- Affordable tires
- A vast selection of all-season tires
- Extended treadwear warranties
Kumho Tires Cons
- A limited selection of winter tires
Kumho produces a wide range of tires, which are available at affordable prices. Also, its tires perform quite well, especially if your area experiences fair weather conditions.
But considering Kumho is a budget tire brand, you should not expect its tires to perform like those offered by the premium brands like Bridgestone, Continental or Goodyear.
Also, some drivers have complained that Kumho’s all-season tires and all-terrain tires tend to struggle in colder weather conditions.
Overall, whether to purchase Kumho tires or not will depend on the driving conditions that you frequently encounter and your budget.
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