Bridgestone vs Kumho Tires: What are the differences?
Choosing a perfect set of anything is not particularly straightforward as many variables go into making something perfect. Tires are no different as there are simply too many things we need to consider while shopping for brand new rubber. Whether it be the price, availability, traction, longevity, safety, handling, or any other of the billion relevant factors.
However, if we were to start at the beginning, it’s best to consider the price as that is a crucial element of us even being able to buy certain tires. Kumho is a brand that offers tires at an average price which means that they are not too expensive, yet we can hardly consider them economy-level. On the other hand, Bridgestone makes some of the world’s most expensive tires.
In our Bridgestone vs Kumho tires comparison, we are going to put these two tire brands head-to-head and see which one comes out on top. We will square these off in various categories and tell you why one is better than the other. Therefore, stick around to the end because you will have a much clearer understanding of which one of these two tire brands is perfect for you.
Kumho Tires History
Back in the 1960s, a tire brand called Samyang Tire was born in Gwangju, South Korea. The brand later changed its name to Kumho Tires which has also been a subsidiary of Doublestar for almost 5 years now. The company started small by producing two dozen tires per day, but it kept on grinding until it became the reputable tire brand it is today.
The first true pat on the back for Kumho took place 6 years after its inception when the US Department of Transportation (DOT) finally legalized Kumho tires for the US market. This certainly wasn’t a linear process, but it helped when the Kumho Tire company started working together with Uniroyal which is one of the oldest US tire manufacturers.
The partnership between Kumho and Uniroyal was bearing fruit in other markets as well because the company expanded to the UK market as well by the name of Kumho Tyres. The pace was rather rapid as Kumho managed to make more than 30 million tires by 1983. For a spot of context, we already talked about Kumho starting with just a dozen or two tires per day.
Exactly 30 years after the company was founded, it reached the golden milestone after producing more than 100 million tires. Kumho didn’t fare all that well in the 2008 crisis, but it seems like they are slowly, but steadily climbing towards the top of the industry. Kumho tires are well-priced, but they do not skimp when it comes to research and development which is probably why they managed to survive 2008 at all.
Kumho Tire Families
Even though Kumho is a large tire brand, they don’t exactly offer all that many different tire types. As such, you can find around 6 different tire families which should do the trick for most people.
The Kumho ECSTA tire line represents Kumho’s performance tire offerings which means that these are designed for optimum traction in both dry and wet conditions. These are available for all passenger cars including sporty SUVs. It’s worth mentioning that many models from this family prioritize longevity and refinement without hampering performance.
These tires are some of the best performance tires from their price range because you get quite a bit of versatility. They are available in a bunch of sizes including low-profile tires for high-performance cars. ECSTA tires are available in either summer or all-season form.
If you want a dependable all-season tire that can deliver in a wide variety of situations, the Kumho SOLUS is the one to get. Most SOLUS tire variants are made with all-season use in mind, but Kumho also offers a SOLUS winter tire. SOLUS tires are more expensive than most Kumho tires, but that comes with the territory as these are some of the best tires Kumho offers.
However, the winter SOLUS tire can’t match the Kumho WINTERCRAFT TIRE for pure winter traction. These are the tires you should buy if you want to use a single set of tires year-long. The good thing is that they also seem to be fairly long-lasting as well.
The Kumho WINTERCRAFT tire family is one designed solely for winter use which means that these can be studded. Studded winter tires are intended for ice driving as they are able to maintain traction better than regular winter or all-season tires can.
These are available for both passenger vehicles and SUVs/trucks. The best thing about these tires is that even though they are great winter tires, they are also fairly refined and comfortable.
The Kumho I’ZEN line consists of a single tire type that is designed with winter use in mind. These can not be studded as they are designed for alpine (snow) driving. They can be had for both passenger cars and SUVs/trucks.
The Kumho CRUGEN line is designed for SUVs, crossovers, and light trucks which means only for cars with higher ground clearance. There are three different sub-models within this family, all of which emphasize different driving qualities.
Kumho ROAD VENTURE
The last Kumho tire family we are going to mention here is the KUMHO ROAD VENTURE. These tires are designed solely for SUVs and trucks and are intended to go off-roading. This family of tires offers five different models depending on if you want a mud tire, an all-terrain tire, or a really durable tire.
Bridgestone tire company was founded back in 1931 in Japan and is now one of, if not the largest tire company in the world. The company had a really rough time during WW2 as many of Bridgestone’s facilities were bombed by the allies. Thankfully, some factories were left untouched which enabled the company to keep going after the war ended.
The company was founded by a man called Shojiro Ishibashi (Ishibashi translated into English is Bridgestone). The very core of the company is based on the necessity of technological innovation as Shojiro knew that the only way Bridgestone could succeed outside Japan is if they moved the industry forward as a whole. By 1946, Michelin invented the radial tire and Bridgestone followed with their own radial tire less than a year later.
This means that Bridgestone didn’t copy Michelin as they were both racing to come out with the first radial tire ever. Bridgestone started a massive expansion campaign in the 1960s which meant that Bridgestone tires were starting to reach many different world markets. This was also the time when Bridgestone bought off Firestone.
Bridgestone was also heavily involved in Formula 1, but they didn’t stick for too long as the position was later taken by Pirelli. Nowadays, Bridgestone is huge as they have more than 150,000 employees all around the world.
Bridgestone Tire Families
Bridgestone is a true heavyweight in the tire industry which means that they make some of the world’s best tires, especially in the high-performance segment. They offer quite a few different tire families, and we are going to list the ones most people are interested in buying.
If you want a high-performance tire for your sports car/supercars, you should definitely consider buying the Bridgestone Potenza. The Potenza family consists of 6 different Potenza variants, all of which emphasize performance in a different way. This enables you to pick a tire that specifically suits your driving style and how serious you are about performance.
These tires are designed with performance in mind which means that they are stiff and have a really well-balanced contact patch so the tire can always deliver power to the ground. This is essential for high-horsepower cars, especially those with a RWD system.
If you want a comfortable, refined, and long-lasting touring tire with all-season capabilities, the Bridgestone Alenza family is right up your alley. The Alenza tire family is designed for SUVs, crossovers, and light trucks and there is only one variant of the Alenza family currently available.
The Alenza tire even comes with a really commendable 80k-mile warranty which only reiterates how serious Bridgestone is with this tire. The tire is also very well balanced and it is able to deliver both in the dry and the wet without suffering during wintertime.
The Bridgestone Turanza family is more or less the same as the Alenza family with the only difference being that this tire family is reserved for passenger cars exclusively. These are classic touring all-season tires that should be able to deliver in most situations.
Bridgestone also offers a dedicated off-road tire, and it is called the Bridgestone Dueler. However, the Dueler is a tire that isn’t overly serious about off-roading which means that it can be daily driven without serious sacrifices to comfort and refinement. They are durable, long-lasting, and perfect for those who take their daily drivers to occasional off-road courses.
The Bridgestone Driveguard is a Bridgestone proprietary run-flat tire that is rated for up 50 miles after a puncture. Bridgestone is really proud to advertise that the Driverguard tire is like no other run-flat tire as this one is also comfortable and refined which is not the case with most run-flat tires. There is only one Driveguard variant available, but it comes in various sizes.
In the modern tire industry, more and more brands are emphasizing sustainability and eco-friendliness and Bridgestone is one of those brands because the Bridgestone Ecopia is an eco-friendly tire. These are designed to save fuel because of minimal road resistance and are available for both passenger cars and SUVs/crossovers/light trucks.
The Bridgestone Blizzak is the best Bridgestone winter tire while also being the most successful and popular winter tire in Japan. These tires are not only designed to cope with ice and snow, but rather to be quiet, comfortable, and refined.
Differences Between Bridgestone and Kumho Tires
This is the part of our Bridgestone Vs Kumho Tires comparison where we square these two brands off to see which one comes out on top. We are also going to tell you why you should go for one over the other and how good these two brands do when it comes to performance, available options, price, and warranty.
First of all, dry traction is where Bridgestone comes out with the Potenza and Kumho comes out with the ECSTA tire family. Even though both of these perform amazingly well in the dry, the Bridgestone Potenza is the better tire in the wet. As such, Kumho performance tires are really good, but Bridgestone simply has more tricks under its sleeve.
Touring tires are also fairly evenly matched, but Bridgestone, once again, takes it because they make more refined tires overall. Kumho offers studdable winter tires while Bridgestone does not which means that ice driving is solely in favor of Kumho. On the other hand, regular winter driving is more comfortable with the Bridgestone Blizzak.
Off-roading is where Kumho takes it because their ROAD VENTURE lineup is better performing than Bridgestone’s Dueler. However, if you want a tire that can do refined highway driving with the expense of not being able to do heavy off-roading, the Dueler is the better choice.
Both of these brands have a wide selection of different tires that also come in various shapes and sizes. However, Bridgestone slightly edges it because they offer more tire families with more numerous sub-variants within each. Kumho offers a very well-rounded selection of tires and available sizes as well, but Bridgestone takes it to a different level because they are such a huge tire company.
Price & Warranty
Kumho is the cheaper brand, but not by much. On the other hand, Bridgestone does offer longer-lasting warranty coverage. According to a few online sources, Kumho offers warranty coverage for up to 70,000 miles on certain models while Bridgestone tops out at 80,000 miles.
Advantages Of Kumho
- Better on ice
- Better in extreme off-roading
Advantages Of Bridgestone
- Better in both dry and wet conditions
- Better warranty coverage
- More options
- Better winter tires
- More comfortable
Which Brand To Choose?
At the end of our Bridgestone vs Kumho Tires comparison, we can easily say that Bridgestone seems to be the better tire brand overall. That is not to say that Kumho is bad, but rather that they can’t match Bridgestone as they are a huge tire company with more resources in general.
Both of these brands offer great tires at their respective price points, but if you want to reach your goal of buying the perfect set of tires, Bridgestone lives to fight another day.