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 Kumho Solus series of tires worth it?
Here I’ll specifically be looking at the Kumho Solus TA31 All-Season Tire – 205/55R16 91H. All the opinions I give and points I make are directly about this tire in this review. If it’s a good tire or not can be reflective of Kumho Solus as a whole, but this isn’t the final say on their entire product line.
- Good traction
- Average Price
- Decent steering response
- Stable handling
- Shaky on lower quality roads
- Creates a lot of road noise
- Below-average tread life
- Not well suited for ice
What Is Kumho Solus?
Kumho Solus is a tire brand that specializes in a variety of makes. One of their more popular line-ups is their all-season tires that 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, which is why some companies also refer to them as three-season tires. They work great in fall, summer, and spring, but I’m sure you notice an important season missing there. Cold temperatures bring up a lot of problems for these tires that I’ll explore more later.
Kumho Solus 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.
There was no problem with the state of my Kumho Solus tire upon arrival. No damage, no scuffs, nothing at all that would lead to me being upset 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 made when you get it, but when you take it out on the road. I wouldn’t just slap it on my car and go for a joy ride right away, though. Always remember to make sure everything is secure and that your tire pressure is at the correct level before using any new tires.
Kumho Solus Features
The main feature of the Kumho Solus TA31 All-Season Tire that I wanna look at is its dry traction. The continuous center ribs and the symmetric tread increase handling stability and ride comfort. It also has wide shoulder blocks which offer more grips at corners and curves.
A common feature I’ve found mentioned by countless users of the Kumho Solus that I have to agree with is the steering response. Along with the handling, the tight steering leads to tight instance responses.
Four-groove tread and engineered sipes along with the literal grooves ensure that the tires aren’t in trouble when it comes to wet conditions. When it comes to all-season tires, I would say that the wet traction offered is about average. It’s better than what you might get out of other tires that offer good dry traction.
Kumho Solus Test
It’s hard to put a tire to a lot of tests, and it’s never a good idea to use a single new tire with several older ones. This results in the testing being rather brief this time, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t able to do anything.
The major thing I was able to test involves the cold. 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 1.1 pounds per square inch per ten degrees fahrenheit dropped. This falls well within the expected range of any tire.
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 Solus For?
The Kumho Solus TA31 All-Season Tire being an all-season tire means it is built for people in more temperate climates. Places like 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 Kumho Solus?
The main benefits of the Kumho Solus TA31 All-Season Tire revolve around its handling and steering. In the proper conditions, these tires will steer and handle without issue and have a wonderful feeling behind their traction.
They don’t work at their best in wet conditions, but they’re still built with them in mind. Chaotic weather won’t hamper these tires too much. 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 Kumho Solus?
I would call the Kumho Solus TA31 All-Season Tire versatile if nothing else. It can work in several locations without going below what I would consider a manageable level of handling. I still think it has optimal conditions where it works best, though.
It’s not shocking to say this tire works better with smoother roads. That’s the case for most tires, but it can really be felt here. 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 here, and they will work well, they just 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 dropping, then these tires will get you where you need to be with minimal worries.
Should You Buy It?
It’s rare that a person is 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 Kumho Solus tires is a good option.
There are several aspects that 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 Kumho Solus all-season tire is one of the better choices.
How to Buy Kumho Solus
Kumho Solus is anything but a small brand so there are several places you can purchase them. 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 my recommendation I would start by looking here at Tire Rack. It’s a well-respected tire retailer that will get you started on figuring out which model of Kumho Solus is a fit for your car. There is a lot to sift through and choose from, and I would still recommend shopping around for the best price.
How Does Kumho Solus Compare to the Alternatives?
Kumho Solus 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 budget 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 Kumho Solus TA31 All-Season Tire – 205/55R16 91H. What makes these tires good in the eyes of many is their ability to work in dry conditions with good handling and control. They also don’t sacrifice the ability to function in wet conditions to meet these goals.
What they do have to sacrifice is their winter usability. A place with more temperate winters, or where not a lot of driving is needed in the colder months won’t cause the Kumho Souls All-Season tires 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.
- https://www.kumhotireusa.com/us/index.do – Kumho Website
- https://www.toyotires.com/ – Toyo Website
- https://www.douglastires.com/ – Douglass Website
- https://www.tirerack.com/content/tirerack/desktop/en/homepage.html – Tire Rack Website