Kumho vs Michelin Tires: Which is a Better Tire?

Comparing Kumho and Michelin tires reveals their strengths and weaknesses. Kumho is budget-friendly, while Michelin is known for top quality. We’ll review performance, touring, and winter tires. Then, we’ll check customer ratings. This will give us a solid comparison.

What to Know About Kumho


Park In-chon founded Kumho in 1960 in Gwangju, South Korea. It was initially called Samyang Tire and later rebranded to Kumho in 1996. The company first focused on East Asia but then expanded globally.

In 1963, Kumho partnered with Uniroyal, a US tire company, to enter the US market. Then, in 1977, Kumho opened Kumho Tyre, a subsidiary in the UK.

Kumho is now the 16th largest tire maker in the world. It is known for supplying tires to top car brands like BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Ford. This highlights its strong reputation and trust in the industry.

What to Know About Michelin

Michelin ranked second globally in tire revenue, according to Statista. The company began in 1889 as a small French rubber business founded by the Michelin brothers, Andre and Edouard. It has since led in tire technology. Its innovations, like the removable pneumatic, run-flat, and radial tires, have transformed the industry.

Michelin doesn’t just focus on car tires. It also serves aircraft, bicycles, and motorsports. This broad range demonstrates its dedication to innovation in transport.

Differences Between Kumho and Michelin

Let’s delve into a comprehensive comparison between Kumho and Michelin tires across various categories:

1. Performance Tires: Kumho’s Ecsta PS31 is a top performance tire, with strong wet and dry grip, as Tire Rack’s tests show. However, its steering is not as responsive as expected for an ultra-high-performance tire. In comparison, Michelin’s Pilot Sport 4S shines with excellent steering and great wet and dry performance. It just shows some understeer on wet roads. Overall, Michelin proves the better choice for performance tires.

2. Touring Tires: Kumho’s Solus TA11 is a good all-season tire. It offers a quiet and comfortable ride with decent grip on dry, wet, and snowy roads. However, Michelin’s Defender T+H is better. It excels in comfort and reliability on all surfaces. Michelin leads with a wider tire range, spanning Crossclimate, Premier, Primacy, and Defender.

3. SUV and Light Truck Tires: Kumho’s Crugen HT51 and Michelin’s Defender LTX M/S are tough and good on light off-road use. The Defender does better on wet roads, while the Crugen handles light to medium snow due to its 3PMSF label. Overall, neither clearly outperforms the other. This results in a tie in this category..

4. Warranty: Michelin stands out for its exceptional tire warranties, even extending coverage to winter models, which is uncommon among tire brands. Kumho also offers competitive warranties, albeit with varying mileage. Michelin’s comprehensive warranty coverage gives it an edge in this aspect.

Michelin is a top choice. It leads in performance, variety, and warranties. Meanwhile, Kumho is a solid option for budget shoppers.

Here are the treadwear policies of some of their tires.

Tire ModelMileage Warranty
Kumho
Solus TA1175,000 miles
Crugen HT5170,000 miles (P-metric), 45,000 miles (LT-metric)
Crugen Premium60,000 miles
Ecsta PA5145,000 miles
Ecsta PS31Free replacement for the first 2/32″ of wear, no mileage specification
Michelin
Defender T+H80,000 miles
Defender LTX M/S70,000 miles (T and H speed rating), 50,000 miles (R speed rating)
Crossclimate 260,000 miles
Pilot Sport 4S30,000 miles
Pilot Alpin PA430,000 miles

5. Cost

While Michelin tires are known for their premium quality and excellent warranty coverage, they typically come with a higher price tag. On the other hand, Kumho tires are renowned for being among the most affordable options in the market. Here’s a price list for Kumho tires based on Tire Rack:

  • Ecsta PS31: $110 – $206
  • Ecsta PA51: $121 – $208
  • Solus TA11: $79 – $178
  • Solus KH16: $118.39 – $238.08
  • Crugen HT51: $145 – $282
  • Crugen Premium: $129.76 – $244.77
  • Road Venture AT51: $171 – $352.45

These prices may vary depending on the specific retailer or store you visit. Ultimately, opting for Kumho tires can offer significant savings without compromising on quality for budget-conscious consumers.

6. Customer Reviews

Customer reviews compare Kumho and Michelin tires. They note Kumho offers good quality at lower prices than Goodyear and Michelin. Some prefer Kumho tires from South Korea and Vietnam for their quality control.

Likewise, Michelin tires get high praise. Ratings are mostly 4 to 5 stars. Reviews often highlight their quality and performance. For example, the Michelin Defender T+H is celebrated for its flawless performance. Customers appreciate Michelin’s consistent quality.

Pros and Cons

Kumho

Pros

  • Long tread life warranties
  • Some of the most affordable tires on the market
  • Great performance tires
  • Good industry standing

Cons

  • Fewer tire selections

Michelin

Pros

  • Gives treadwear warranties for winter tires
  • All-around quality tires
  • Wide variety of products
  • Over a century of experience in the tire industry

Cons

  • Among the most expensive tires

Kumho Tire Family

Tire FamilyDescription
EcstaHigh-performance tires designed for sporty driving enthusiasts.
SolusAll-season touring tires offering a balance of comfort, performance, and longevity.
CrugenSUV and light truck tires known for their durability and all-season traction capabilities.
Road VentureOff-road and all-terrain tires designed for trucks, SUVs, and other rugged vehicles.

Michelin Tires Family

Tire FamilyDescription
DefenderAll-season touring tires known for their longevity, comfort, and reliability.
PilotHigh-performance tires designed for sports cars and enthusiasts seeking superior handling.
CrossClimateVersatile tires offering all-season performance, including excellent traction in winter.
LTXLight truck and SUV tires known for their durability, all-terrain capability, and comfort.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Kumho Tire a reliable brand?

Kumho tires are reliable and affordable. Their partnerships with major car makers prove their quality. Plus, models like the Crugen HT51 and Solus TA11 get top scores on retail sites.

Are Kumho tires noisy?

Kumho tires are quiet and offer a smooth ride. They are designed to absorb road bumps well. This design helps keep them quiet.

What is the lifespan of Kumho tires?

Kumho tires last between 60,000 and 90,000 miles. This range depends on road conditions, maintenance, and driving habits. Tread compounds affect longevity, but other factors matter too.

Conclusion


Are Kumho tires worth considering? Definitely. In our comparison, Kumho stands out against Michelin. Michelin might be more popular, but Kumho offers quality and performance. Many consumers agree.

Before deciding, comparing specifications is smart. This ensures you get the best value. Research is key. It helps you choose the right brand, be it Kumho or Michelin.

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