I find shopping for anything involving my car to be a tedious and long affair. Quality of the products, warranties, price ranges, and more have to be dug through on end just to make sure I’m not getting ripped off. So, is there anything that makes the Hankook Tires series of tires worth it?
Here I’ll specifically be looking at the HANKOOK Kinergy GT All-Season Radial Tire – 205/55R16 91H. All the opinions I give and the points I make are directly about this tire in this review. If it’s a good tire or not can be reflective of Hankook as a whole, but this isn’t the final say on their entire product line.
- Good Price
- Decent Handling
- Good steering response
- Stable turning
- Makes lots of road noise
- Not suitable for icy conditions
- Shaky on older and beat-up roads
- Cold weather reduces viability
- Well suited for typical temperate spring, summer, and fall conditions
- Alright on wet roads with basic safety kept in mind
- Built to last a while in optimal conditions
- Standard handling
What is Hankook?
Hankook is one of many tire brands that specializes in a variety of makes. One of their more popular line-ups is their all-season tires which are made to work in numerous conditions. In the conditions they’re made for, it keeps good traction and functions well.
These types of tires are slightly misleading in their industry standard name. It’s to the point where some companies also refer to them as three-season tires.
The reason for this is they work great in fall, summer, and spring, but not winter. Cold temperatures bring up a lot of problems for these tires. I’ll go more in-depth on that later.
Hankook First Impression
With it being a tire delivery there wasn’t much of a package to speak of. That leaves the tire itself as the only thing to look at from the transit. So what was my first impression?
There was no problem with the state of my Hankook tire when I got my hands on it. No scuffs, damage, or anything that would upset me with how it had been handled during its journey.
Before I got into any tests with the tire I wanted to get a feel for it compared to the average tires I’ve used for my car. The sturdy feeling of the tire was welcome, but there isn’t much more to say about it.
First impressions of a tire aren’t finished when you get it though. How it handles is important as well.
However, I wouldn’t just slap it on my car and go for a joy ride. Always remember to make sure everything is secure and that your tire pressure is at the correct level before using any new tires.
It’s also important to try and not mix tires whenever possible. Not all aspects of a tire may be industry standard, and that can cause problems when multiple different tires start moving on the same car.
The main feature of the HANKOOK Kinergy GT All-Season Radial Tire that I wanna check is its ability to hold traction. In dry conditions, this is going to work fine, but wet conditions can cause some minor issues.
This isn’t a unique problem for Hankook though. All tire brands that aren’t specifically made for it tend to have poor handling in wet conditions, and that’s why so many warnings are given to people when they’re driving in the rain.
One of the main features I see brought up with Hankook that I have to agree with is the steering response. With good handling, this leads to tight instant responses when no other issues are present.
When it comes to all-season tires, I would say that their handling in cold weather conditions is about average. It’s better than what you might get out of other all-season tires, but these types of tires just are not built for the constant cold.
The major feature I wanted to test with the HANKOOK Kinergy GT All-Season Radial Tire – 205/55R16 91H was cold temperature handling. Low temperatures being the biggest problem that all-season tires have, I decided it would be worth it to keep the tire in a cold condition that mimics the temperatures of a bad winter and see what the results were.
There was the obvious result of the tire losing pressure. Doing the math, it lost somewhere around 1.2 pounds per square inch per ten degrees Fahrenheit dropped. This falls a little outside the expected range, but only by a measly .2 pounds per square inch per ten degrees.
After the tire set itself back to the regular outdoor temperature it was close to where it started. It of course needed more pressure put back into it from leakage, but none more than should be expected.
While this puts it well within the typical ranges of an all-season tire set out in cold weather, I still can’t recommend it for cold weather drivers. These aren’t built for weather like that, even if they handle it as well as could be expected.
I doubt you will have to worry about the tire just giving out or losing all its pressure for a couple of unusually cold nights, but the average weather you expect should be taken into account. If you travel around a lot and don’t have a stable type of weather to expect then this could be the best all-around choice for you as well.
Who’s Hankook For?
The HANKOOK Kinergy GT All-Season Radial Tire, being an all-season tire, is best suited for people that live in temperate climates. Locations such as the southern United States which have a good mix of dry, wet, and hot road conditions will be the best place for a tire like this.
Winter is a problem that this tire has, but that’s expected of an all-season. As I said before, it’s more accurate to call these types of tires three seasons as they handle below zero temperatures poorly.
Even a bit above zero degrees will start to cause issues with this tire, so don’t look too much into an all-seasons model if you live in a place that is expected to be cold often.
What Are the Benefits of Hankook?
The main benefits of the HANKOOK Kinergy GT All-Season Radial Tire are its handling and steering. With the right weather, these tires will steer and handle without a problem.
They don’t work at their best in wet conditions, but as long as you keep wet condition safety in mind that won’t be a problem. I’m sure you can stay safe on the road be it wet or dry as long as you keep your basic road senses.
Where Can You Use Hankook?
I would call the HANKOOK Kinergy GT All-Season Radial Tire well suited in its versatility. It can work in numerous locations without being hindered below a manageable level. I still think it has optimal conditions where it works best, though.
It’s no surprise when I say this tire works best on smoother roads. That’s the case for most tires, but it’s an even bigger difference with this Hankook tire.
Bumpier and older roads create a lot more noise and can be felt clearer when using these tires. It’s uncomfortable if you have to stay on suboptimal road conditions often.
You can use them on a worn-out road, and they will work well, but they feel off on these roads. Aside from that, the ability of the tires to work in dry and wet road conditions remains firm. When the temperature isn’t too far down, then these tires will get you where you need to go.
Should You Buy It?
A person is rarely looking to buy a single new tire and end it there, so the first question you should ask is do you need four new all-season tires? If the answer to that question is yes then looking further into Hankook tires is a good option.
Several aspects go into picking a tire. There are the obvious parts, like your car model and what will fit, but there are regional differences to look into. The main one to think about with this tire is the weather.
Hot and dry are the best conditions for these tires. They work decently on wet roads which makes them a good choice for places with hard-to-predict weather. One condition they’re not good for is the cold.
If you live in a place where extreme colds are expected to happen, even only during winter, then you may want to think about another type of tire altogether. A lot of problems can arise from using a tire not meant for subzero temperatures in a region where they’re frequent.
In the end, it’s up to you, not me, if you think these tires will fit your car. I will say, I think for people that live in the right region and have the correct vehicles the Hankook all-season tire is one of the better choices.
How to Buy Hankook
Hankook isn’t a little brand so there are several ways you can make a purchase. Amazon and other big retailers are likely to offer a few models at any given time, and more tire-focused shops tend to have access to even more.
If you want them from the same source I got mine then go ahead and check here. There may be better deals out there, but Amazon is always a good place to get started.
How Does Hankook Compare to the Alternatives?
Hankook is a well-sized brand with several decades backing it up. It’s hard to call their tires bad, but are they the best?
Other big companies make their own all-season tires. The question is, how do they stack up in my opinion?
Douglass All-Season tires are well received, have decent builds, and are well-made all around. Nothing about them immediately stands out to me, but when shopping around I noticed their price. Compared to other big competitors their tires were cheaper.
How much they would save varied by the supplier, the region, and so many other factors. One thing stayed consistent almost everywhere I went, their price was lower by at least a couple tens of dollars when compared to the competition.
Without any big issues being thrown against them in mass, plenty of happy customers, and a low price tag compared to the other choices, it’s clear what makes Douglass all-season tires a high contender in the market. A budget option that doesn’t feel like it is always welcomed in my eyes.
Toya Open Country tires are one of the best-reviewed and rated tires I was able to find that fills the all-rounder niche. The main problem that people have with them is they don’t always feel the price is worth it. These tires are not cheap.
What you get for spending more is higher quality. The simple question is do you think that little extra more in terms of build quality is worth the massive blow to your wallet.
These aren’t tires for someone on a budget. If you’ve got the cash and don’t scoff at a big number, then they could make the best choice for you.
I’ll keep my recap here quick because there isn’t a lot left for me to say about the HANKOOK Kinergy GT All-Season Radial Tire. The best part of this tire in my eyes is its ability to work in dry conditions with good handling and control. They won’t work the absolute best in wet conditions, but it’s enough to get you by with basic safety in mind.
The worst conditions for these tires are cold winters. A place with more temperate winters, or where not a lot of driving is needed in the colder months won’t cause the HANKOOK Kinergy GT All-Season Radial Tire much issue. Anywhere with bad winters will see the worst of these tires come out, though.
I do recommend these tires for anyone that lives in a temperate or warm region. The issues they have are few and far between, and most of it has to do with their ability to handle the cold or their traction against ice.
These are not winter tires, but if you keep that in mind when making your purchase then I believe that these will last your car for years to come. Be sure you get a full set though, no one wants to be driving around with a mismatched tire.