- Excellent aquaplaning resistance
- Refinement is very good for a mid-range tire
- Decent levels of performance in dry conditions
- Poor snow performance
- Handling isn’t the sportiest of the bunch
Living in an age where some of us have longer commutes to work or just love to drive means we need to think about the tires. Different types of tires will deliver different performances, so it’s essential to choose wisely.
For the most part, car owners who rack up many miles and don’t drive something that can corner like it’s on rails will go for the touring option. Long tread life combined with decent performance is more than enough for going around town or on the weekend with your family.
When it comes to choosing a tire, the best option you can make is one from a premium manufacturer. With that said, the mid-range ones have begun to catch up and deliver very good performance at a lower price point.
Speaking of mid-range, one of the more popular manufacturers is Hankook, and the tire I’ve tested is the Kinergy ST. The Korean manufacturer advertises it as a standard touring tire with plenty of capabilities.
What's In This Guide?
- What are the features of the Hankook Kinergy ST?
- How does it behave on dry tarmac?
- How does it behave over wet and slippery roads?
- How is it over snow?
- Is it comfortable and refined?
- Is it good for off-roading?
- Is the Hankook Kinergy ST ideal for sporty driving?
- Hankook Kinergy ST Warranty
- Hankook Kinergy ST Pricing: Is it worth the money?
- Should I buy the Hankook Kinergy ST?
- What Vehicles Will the Hankook Kinergy ST Fit?
- Tire Sizes for Hankook Kinergy ST
What are the features of the Hankook Kinergy ST?
As a touring tire, one of the critical elements is longevity, and Hankook claims that it has paid attention to that. The Kinergy ST is built with a specific stiffness of the blocks, which should provide advantages in several key areas, including durability, longevity, and handling.
Refinement is another area of a touring tire that should be in the spotlight, and the Kinergy ST seems to cover that front as well. Hankook worked on optimizing the pitch sequence of the tread pattern, aiming to improve the noise levels. Also, the sipe design should help with road comfort.
Even though performance isn’t the most important thing in a touring tire, the Kinergy ST has a few features that cover that aspect. The tire is designed with a stiffer center rib, thanks to which Hankook aims to improve the grip and handling in dry conditions.
Hankook didn’t forget wet performance, and the Kinergy ST has some features that help it in those conditions. The tread pattern features wide circumferential and open shoulder grooves designed to help the tire evacuate water more efficiently, resulting in better aquaplaning resistance.
Treadwear Rating: 4.5/5
How does it behave on dry tarmac?
It’s important to know that the Kinergy ST is a mid-range tire, so the performance won’t be on the same level as the premium ones. With that in mind, I have to say that the tire performs pretty well.
Under normal driving conditions, the Kinergy ST will deliver pretty good performance. For driving around town or on the highway at normal speeds, most people probably won’t be bothered too much by the performance, as it isn’t on the same level as the premium competitors. Don’t get me wrong, the tire has pretty good levels of grip and traction, but only when driven without pushing it too much. The good news is that in an emergency situation, the braking distances are quite short for a tire from this category.
Speaking of pushing, the Kinergy ST is a tire that you shouldn’t push hard, as it’s not prepared for that. It may seem fine up to a point, but it will begin to struggle. Going overboard will result in understeer, and if you get too happy with the throttle in a rear-wheel-drive car will result in oversteer.
As far as mid-range touring tires are concerned, the Kinergy ST is a pretty good option and can satisfy most people’s needs. With that said, it’s a tire that won’t be enough for the enthusiast, so be wary of your purchase.
Dry Rating: 4/5
How does it behave over wet and slippery roads?
Moving on to the wet performance and the Kinergy ST continues to deliver pretty good results. Like in dry conditions, it won’t be able to compete with the premium models from Michelin or Continental.
Starting off with the grip and traction levels, they are good, as long as you’re aware of the type of tire you have on your car. The Kinergy ST has decent levels of grip in the corners, and if you’re not driving over the speed limit, the tire will have no problem sticking to the road. When accelerating, the traction levels are good enough to eliminate or minimize slip if you’re not overly aggressive, so things are pretty good in that department as well.
The only area of the Kinergy ST that I have to criticize is the braking distances. While they are safe and fall within the range of that mid-range tires can offer, the ones you’ll get here are just a tad longer than what I was hoping for.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, you have the aquaplaning resistance, which is excellent. The Kinergy ST manages to stay very stable at higher speeds in heavy rain conditions. In this regard, it’s among the best in its class.
Wet Rating: 4/5
How is it over snow?
As an all-season tire, the Kinergy ST gets the M+S rating, meaning that it has some performance in snowy conditions. With that said, the tire is only usable and not something you should rely on too much.
In lighter conditions with an inch or two of snow, the Kinergy ST does an acceptably decent job at delivering performance. The traction levels are acceptable, so you may want to be more cautious in these conditions. You also get a moderate grip, so don’t drive like you’re on a rally stage, because the braking distances are not the shortest in this class. At slow speeds, the tire isn’t too bad, but it becomes a bit unpredictable when you approach the limit.
Things don’t improve too much if the snow is packed, as the Kinergy ST cannot bite in and deliver the performance you need. Deep snow or ice are situations where the tire shouldn’t be driven at all.
Over clear roads, the performance is decent, and it can get the job done. It’s not as good as in warmer temperatures, but it does a decent job at remaining soft in freezing temperatures.
Snow Rating: 2.5/5
Is it comfortable and refined?
Refinement is one of the most important things you’ll need in a touring tire, and the Kinergy ST delivers on those. Like in the previous sections, it’s not comparable with the Defender T+H or the TrueContact Tour, but it’s not bad for a mid-range tire.
The levels of comfort are pretty good for a tire from this category. Hankook tweaked the internal construction of the Kinergy ST, resulting in a pretty soft tire capable of delivering a plush ride. You will notice the occasional jolt from larger holes, but it has no problems with the smaller ones while minimizing vibrations transferred to the cabin.
As for noise, things are even better. Thanks to the optimized tread design, the Kinergy ST is a very quiet tire, at least as far as mid-range touring models are concerned. It’s not as quiet as something like the Turanza QuietTrack, and despite the hum, you won’t have a bad time.
Comfort Rating: 4/5
Is it good for off-roading?
All-season tires are designed to be driven in multiple seasons, not multiple terrains, so off-roading is off the table. The Kinergy ST isn’t designed to handle the torture, and the risk of damage is significantly increased.
While a short drive on a dirt road may be fine, I’d avoid doing that too often, as you risk reducing the tire’s tread life.
Is the Hankook Kinergy ST ideal for sporty driving?
I’ll be blunt – the Kinergy ST isn’t a tire that’s good for sporty driving. It lacks most of the tire characteristics that you’d want to have fun with on a twisty road.
On a positive note, the Kinergy ST has a good on-center feel, which is great for on the highway. With that said, it’s not the most responsive touring tire, and the feedback isn’t too pronounced, so it kills the joy. In addition to that, the tire isn’t overly impressive in terms of grip and traction for that kind of driving, so you can forget about playful driving.
Noise Rating: 3.5/5
Hankook Kinergy ST Warranty
In terms of warranty, the Kinergy ST isn’t among the best, even within its class. With a 70,000-mile treadwear warranty, it’s behind the Continental and Michelin models I mentioned previously, which is no surprise. In the mid-range category, even the Cooper CS5 Grand Touring is ahead of it, so I’d say that it’s average.
Hankook Kinergy ST Pricing: Is it worth the money?
The Kinergy ST may not be able to do many things right, but the best part of the tire is the price. A typical 15-inch tire is about $15 cheaper than Cooper’s model and over $30 more affordable than the premium competition.
Value Rating: 4.5/5
Should I buy the Hankook Kinergy ST?
Generally speaking, the Kinergy ST isn’t an impressive tire. It gets the job done without too much drama, which is fine for most people and their driving habits. In dry and wet, you have safe performance, combined with a well-refined driving experience, so it covers all the basics. The best part is that the performance comes at an affordable price, making it a tire with a very good value.
While it may be good for some cases, the only thing I’d advise is caution in winter driving. The performance is average, and the tire doesn’t fair well with that, so unless you live in an area with harsher winters, the Kinergy ST is not a bad choice.
Overall Rating: 3.5/5
What Vehicles Will the Hankook Kinergy ST Fit?
Here’s a sample list of cars that the Hankook Kinergy ST will fit:
- Alfa Romeo Mito, 147, 157
- Audi A2, A3
- BMW 1, 2, 3 Series
- Chevrolet Bolt, Malibu, Spark
- Fiat 500, Fiat Punto
- Ford Fiesta, Focus, Ka
- Honda Civic, Accord
- Lexus IS, CT
- Hyundai Accent, i30, i20
- Nissan Micra, Maxima
- Toyota Yaris, Corolla
- Volkswagen Golf
Tire Sizes for Hankook Kinergy ST
- 175/70R13 82T
- 175/65R14 82T
- 175/70R14 84T
- 185/60R14 82T
- 185/65R14 86T
- 185/70R14 88T
- 185/75R14 89T
- 185/75R14 89T
- 195/60R14 86T
- 195/70R14 91T
- 195/75R14 92T
- 205/70R14 95T
- 205/75R14 95T
- 215/70R14 96T
- 215/75R14 100T
- 225/70R14 99T
- 175/65R15 84H
- 185/60R15 84T
- 185/65R15 88T
- 195/60R15 88T
- 195/65R15 91T
- 205/60R15 91T
- 205/65R15 94T
- 205/70R15 96T
- 205/75R15 97T
- 215/65R15 96T
- 215/70R15 98T
- 215/75R15 100T
- 225/70R15 100T
- 225/75R15 102T
- 235/60R15 98T
- 235/70R15 103T
- 235/75R15 105T
- 245/60R15 101T
- 255/60R15 102T
- 255/70R15 108T
- 265/50R15 99T
- P275/60R15 107T
- P295/50R15 105T
- 205/55R16 91H
- 205/60R16 92T
- 205/65R16 95H
- 215/55R16 97H
- 215/60R16 95H
- 215/65R16 98T
- 215/70R16 100T
- 225/60R16 98T
- 225/65R16 100T
- 225/70R16 103T
- 235/60R16 100T
- 235/65R16 103T
- 215/50R17 91H
- 215/55R17 94H
- 215/60R17 96T
- 215/65R17 99T
- 225/45R17 91H
- 225/50R17 94T
- 225/55R17 97H
- 225/60R17 99T
- 225/65R17 102T
- 235/55R17 99H
- 235/60R17 102T
- 235/65R17 104H
- 245/45R17 99H
- 225/50R18 99T
- 225/55R18 98H
- 225/60R18 100H
- 235/55R18 100H
- 235/60R18 107H
List of Hankook Reviews