The tire industry has seen quite a lot of changes over the years. Along with the car industry, tires have evolved and went from a single option that people had almost 2 centuries ago to the countless models we have today.
Thanks to those changes and evolution, today’s market features plenty of brands, each offering multiple models. This is because, unlike the olden days where the car types were limited, you have plenty of choices today. From economy hatchbacks to huge SUVs or trucks, the variety of types means different tire types are required. On top of that, even within the same category, you may have different applications.
Some people may drive their SUVs strictly over paved roads, while others may take them off-roading. In both cases, you may have the same car that will be driven in two different conditions, resulting in two types of tires.
Considering the number of tire brands available on the market, you can be sure that you’ll have a wide range of price options to choose from. Ranging from cheap Chinese brands to the premium ones we all dream to have, means that there is a tire option for everyone.
Put somewhere in the middle of both extremes are the mid-range options like Hankook. The company’s goal is to provide tires with excellent performance at a more affordable price.
Unlike some of the premium manufacturers that have been around for over a century, Hankook is a slightly younger company. It was founded in 1941 as Chosun Tire Company in Seoul, South Korea. Over two decades later, in 1968, the company gets rebranded into Hankook Tire Manufacturing. The name comes from the Korean translation of Korea, so technically, the company’s name is Korea Tire Manufacturing in the native language.
Since then, Hankook has expanded worldwide, opening facilities in China, Hungary, Indonesia, the US, and South Korea. It also has technical centers in Japan, China, South Korea, the US, and Germany. Even though the numbers may not seem impressive, the company covers over 180 countries across the globe producing over 100 million tires annually, putting it in the top 5 manufacturers on the market. To back this and deliver all those tires, Hankook has over 20 thousand employees throughout its factories, testing facilities, and research centers.
In terms of partnerships, Hankook partnered up with several European car and truck manufacturers throughout the years. It means that you’ll find its tires on specific models fitted from the factory.
Looking at Hankook’s lineup, you can see that the brand has a tire in every category, and in some of them, there are multiple options. To avoid making this review longer than some books out there, I’ll make a slight selection. I’ll choose one model from each category that I believe to be the best and most popular.
One thing to keep in mind is that you may notice some similarities between a few of these. The market has multiple categories with a similar application but a few subtle differences that translate into a greater advantage in the real world.
#1. Kinergy GT
Considering that touring tires are the most popular ones on the market, I’m kicking off this list with the Kinergy GT. It’s an all-season grand touring tire that Hankook designed as an affordable answer to the likes of Michelin Primacy Tour A/S or the Continental PureContact LS.
The Kinergy GT is designed with a silica enriched compound molded into a tread pattern that helps is deliver excellent grip and traction. As a result, you have a tire that can provide superb stability in straight-line speeds and hold to the road very well in the corners. Even though it may not be as good as its premium counterparts, it can deliver more than enough for most users.
In wet conditions, the traction is also very good, and thanks to the 4 circumferential grooves and lateral sipes, the Kinergy GT has excellent aquaplaning resistance. You can push it before it starts to break traction, and in those cases, it breaks away progressively, and you can feel it and react.
As an all-season tire, you should be expecting good enough performance in snow, but unfortunately, the Kinergy GT cannot deliver that. Despite the M+S rating, the tire is usable only in very light snow conditions but struggles in harsher ones.
Like all grand touring tires, it’s not the most dynamically inclined tire, but it seems to be doing pretty well. The Kinergy GT is designed with bead filler intended to increase stiffness, resulting in better response and less sidewall flex.
Despite the stiffer construction, refinement is something the Kinergy GT does well. The tire can smooth out most of the bumps in the road, and it will do that without making too much noise. There are quieter and more comfortable tires on the market, but not by much.
In terms of warranty, the Kinergy GT comes with 60,000-mile, which isn’t as much as the industry-leading. With that said, the price point is noticeable lower than the premium competitors, which levels things out.
#2. Ventus S1 evo3
Moving away from the comfortable and daily driving-oriented tires, we come to the Ventus S1 Evo3. It’s an ultra-high-performance summer tire designed for sporty driving and maximum grip and traction. The tire is in a similar category as the Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5 and the Pirelli P Zero and seems to be as good if not better in some cases.
Hankook’s revolutionary compound mix and tread pattern result in a tire with excellent handling characteristics in dry conditions. It can even outperform some of its premium counterparts. As a result, you can expect to have a very responsive tire capable of providing you with plenty of feedback. A slight downside is the braking distances. They are well above average, but I was expecting them to be slightly shorter.
Things become a bit weird in wet conditions. The Ventus S1 evo 3 offers very good performance. It can grip well in the corners and won’t slip too much when accelerating. Even though it’s slightly better than the Dunlop SportMaxx RT2, most of the upper-class tires are better. One area where the tire excels is the braking distances in wet. It outperforms any UHP summer tire, which is high praise from a mid-range option. Looking at the aquaplaning resistance, it’s excellent, on the same level as the Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5.
On the comfort and noise side of things, the Ventus S1 evo3 is average or slightly better, depending on the different scenarios. It seems to be a better performer in terms of noise, keeping things decently quiet. Comfort levels are acceptable as far as a UHP tire goes, but they aren’t comparable to the touring ones.
UHP tires rarely come with a warranty because they aren’t the longest-lasting tires. Apart from the Michelin Pilot Sport 4 that has a 20,000-mile treadwear warranty, the rest of the premium tires don’t have it, and this includes the Ventus S1 evo3.
#3. Ventus S1 Noble 2
Another tire from the Ventus family is the S1 Noble 2. This is a UHP tire like the previous one, but this is an all-season option, unlike that one. It’s put up against the excellently performing Bridgestone Potenza RE980AS and the Michelin Pilot All-Season 4, and it seems to be doing fine.
The Ventus S1 Noble 2 features a silica enhanced rubber compound designed to be usable in the winter. It also has a hydro block tread pattern made to help the tire deliver excellent performance in wet conditions.
In real-world usage, the Ventus S1 Noble 2 is a very well-performing UHP tire. It delivers more than enough grip and traction for most people, and as long as you’re not after that little extra performance, you won’t need more. Yes, the premium ones are a bit better in this and, in some cases, are a bit more dynamic, but that’s something you’ll notice on the track. With that said, even on the roads, if you push it near the limit, it will break traction.
Things are more or less similar in terms of wet performance. The Ventus S1 Noble 2 can deliver very good handling characteristics paired with very good levels of grip and traction. On top of this, you also have a tire that delivers short braking distances making it a safe option.
Like most all-season tires, winter performance is usable but not comparable to a winter tire. The Ventus S1 Noble 2 can deliver usable traction in light snow conditions, and that’s as much as you should expect from it. As long as you are careful, you can use it and rely on decent handling characteristics.
As for refinement, there is some good and bad news. The good news is in terms of comfort, resulting in a decently soft tire for daily use. Noise levels, on the other hand, are not so good. At slower speeds, the Ventus S1 Noble 2 is quiet enough. Once the speed increases, there will be a noticeable tire roar.
The warranty is praise, which favors the Ventus S1 Noble 2. Hankook sells the tire with a 50,000-mile treadwear warranty, putting it on the same level as the Continental ExtremeContact DWS 06 and above the Michelin option.
#4. Winter i-cept evo 3
If an all-season tire with its poor winter performance isn’t what you need, then maybe the Winter i-cept evo3 is what you’re after. This straddles performance winter tire is a more affordable option than premium tires like the Bridgestone Blizak LM005 and the Goodyear Eagle Enforcer Winter.
The main feature of the tire is the compound and tread. Hankook utilized a high-loading silica rubber making the tire softer for colder temperatures. On the tread side of things, the Winter i-cept evo3 features a unidirectional pattern enabling the tire to deliver traction in snowy conditions.
On dry roads, the Winter i-cept evo3 performs very well. It provides excellent levels of grip and traction, and thanks to the 3D sipes, the tire exhibits very dynamic characteristics for a winter tire. The braking distances are also very short and making them a tad longer than what the Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 can achieve.
In wet conditions, things are pretty good, and the Winter i-cept evo3 can offer some very good performance. The grip and traction levels are excellent, considering it’s a mid-range tire and doesn’t fall too much behind the premium competition. When it comes to braking, even though it’s not a class-leading tire, it’s very close to the top, very close to the Michelin Pilot Alpin 5.
As a winter tire, the Winter i-cept evo3 offers very good performance in snowy conditions. Things aren’t as good as the premium competitors, but the tire remains very good. There is more than enough grip and traction for regular driving, and even if you push it, it remains very controllable on the limit.
Winter tires aren’t known to be the quietest, and the Winter i-cept evo3 is proof of that. There isn’t a massive difference in this category, but this one isn’t a tire that can compete with the premium ones.
#5. Dynapro AT2
With the passenger tires aside, we reach the SUV and truck models. The Dynapro AT2 is an all-season all-terrain tire designed to deliver balanced performance in on and off-road conditions. This tire comes as an upgrade to the previous AT-M, and it brings a good amount of improvements.
As an off-road capable tire, the Dynapro AT2 is designed with a silica-rich compound which is also cut and chip resistive. This means that the tire will have excellent traction on colder roads but will also be durable to going off-road.
On dry roads, the Dynapro AT2 is a pretty good performer. Thanks to the 3-ply construction, you’ll be getting a decently responsive tire with plenty of feedback. Grip and traction levels are also very good, putting the tire not too behind the likes of the Michelin LTX A/T 2. One thing you’ll notice is the tracking in a straight line. It’s not the tire’s strongest side, meaning that micro adjustments are required.
In rainy conditions, the Dynapro AT2 is a bit disappointing. Even though it does deliver more than enough grip and traction for normal driving, getting a bit aggressive will result in a slip. It’s not the worst performer, but it’s not as good as the Continental TerrainContact A/T.
The Dynapro AT2 comes with the 3PMSF rating, resulting in excellent snow performance. There is plenty of grip and traction, and the tire is very controllable. On top of the handling, you can also rely on the very short braking distances.
In off-road conditions, the Dynapro AT2 is good and delivers usable traction in most lighter conditions. It will start to struggle in deeper mud, and it’s not a tire that you should consider for rock-crawling.
The Dynapro AT2 is an acceptably well-refined tire, but nothing stands out. The comfort levels are a bit on the harsher side, and the noise levels are about average.
Despite the performance not being on the same level as the premium tires, the warranty certainly is. The Dynapro AT2 comes with a 60,000-mile treadwear warranty, which is as much as the BFGoodrich Trail-Terrain T/A has.
#6. Dynapro MT2
For people that want more performance in the wilderness, the Dynapro MT2 is the right choice. It’s an all-season mud-terrain tire designed to tackle the most extreme off-road scenarios. Looking at the performance, it’s a tire that can be compared with something like the Goodyear Wrangler Territory MT.
Hankook went with the classic approach and threw everything it had into making it good for off-roading. The reinforced internal construction, combined with the high-void tread pattern featuring self-cleaning technology, aims to make it an excellent performer in extreme conditions.
On the road in dry conditions, the Dynapro MT2 is acceptable and delivers usable performance. It’s not a tire you can push too much but will be more than enough for regular driving. The handling and responsiveness won’t thrill you, which shouldn’t be surprising; it’s not a tire designed for that.
The Dynapro MT2 meets wet conditions with similar results. It will be fine as long as you don’t drive it like you’re on a track. There is a decent amount of grip and traction, and the braking distances are pretty good, almost as good as the premium options. One thing you can compare with the expensive tires is the aquaplaning resistance. Even in harsher rain and deeper water patches, the tire will remain very stable.
The weakest point is over snow, as the Dynapro MT2 is an M+S rated tire. As a result, it’s usable only in lighter conditions, which puts it in the middle of the pack.
When it comes to off-roading, the Dynapro MT2 is a tire that won’t disappoint. Thanks to the self-cleaning technology, mud or rocks won’t get stuck in the tread, and you’ll have maximum performance constantly. Fancy a bit of rock-crawling? With a bit of deflation and with the help of the shoulder blocks, you are guaranteed to have excellent traction.
Despite Hankook’s goal of producing a quieter tire, it seems that it didn’t achieve that. The Dynapro MT2 is slightly louder than its premium competition. On the other hand, the tire exhibits some acceptably comfortable ride quality, considering the sturdy internal construction.
For the warranty, the Dynapro MT2 is matched with the competition. Like the premium counterparts, the tire has no treadwear warranty, which seems to be an industry standard for mud-terrain tires.
#7. Ventus S1 evo 3 SUV
An SUV may be good for off-roading, but not everyone takes advantage of that. Some people own sportier options and need tires that can handle the performance, like the Ventus S1 evo3 SUV. Essentially, it’s very similar to the regular Ventus S1 evo3, but with sizes for SUVs.
The HSSC or Highly Enriched Synthetic Silica Compound is Hankook’s way of enabling the tire to have excellent performance without sacrificing longevity. The interlocking grooves with stiffer shoulders are designed so that the tire is dynamically inclined and delivers excellent traction in wet conditions.
In dry conditions, the Ventus S1 evo3 SUV provides excellent performance. It can bite into the road and offer high levels of traction without too much slipping. The lateral grip is also excellent, and you can throw it into a corner without the tire getting wobbly. As a summer performance-oriented SUV tire, it may not be on the same level as the premium options, but it’s close.
When it comes to wet conditions, the difference is a bit bigger. Even though the Ventus S1 evo3 SUV offers very high levels of grip and traction, something like the Continental CrossContact UHP is a bit better.
Considering that it’s a UHP tire for SUVs, the handling of the Ventus S1 evo3 SUV is very good. The tire delivers very dynamic responsiveness without too much flex in the sidewall. You may notice slightly muted feedback, but it’s not entirely numb.
In terms of refinement, the Ventus S1 evo3 SUV is an average performer. The comfort and noise levels are good for a tire of this category. With that said, some of the premium competitors will be able to offer a bit more.
Similar to the passenger car model, the Ventus S1 evo3 SUV comes with no warranty, like some of the other tires. The only one in the premium segment that has is the Michelin Pilot Sport 4 SUV with a 20.000-mile treadwear warranty.
#8. Ventus ST
Continuing the trend of performance-oriented tires for SUVs, we have the Ventus ST. It’s an all-season sporty tire for SUVs that goes up against some pretty stiff competition from the premium segment.
The V-shaped tread pattern combined with the high bead filler are working together to provide high levels of traction and steering response. Hankook also designed it with a jointless bead wire which aims to stabilize the performance without sacrificing comfort.
Dry performance with the Ventus ST is outstanding. Even though the tire doesn’t deliver the highest levels of traction and grip, it’s almost as good as some of the premium options. The handling characteristics are dynamic and for most people, they should suffice. In the braking department, the tire manages to beat the Goodyear Efficientgrip SUV, meaning that you have short braking distances.
Things seem to improve in the wet as the Ventus ST manages to provide premium-like performance. It handles almost as well as the Continental ContiSportContact 5 SUV and offers braking distances that are very short. The aquaplaning resistance is superb, and the tire remains more stable than most of the premium competitors.
In the winter, the Ventus ST is average. It can deliver usable traction in light conditions, which is as much as you should expect from it.
Comfort and noise levels are average, and the Ventus ST won’t win any award here. In both cases, you get acceptable performance but far from class-leading.
As for warranty, the Ventus ST comes with a 50,000-mile treadwear warranty, which is surprising in this category.
#9. Dynapro HP2
When it comes to touring options in the SUV and crossover segment, there are plenty of choices, one of which is the Dynapro HP2. As an all-season touring tire, it goes up against the Michelin Premier LTX and the Dunlop Grandtrek Touring A/S.
The Dynapro HP2 is a tire designed for stability and refinement. Tho achieve that, Hankook designed the center rib to be stiffer, increasing stability. On the refinement side of things, the silencer sipes on the shoulders are tasked with eliminating harmonic sounds from the tread.
On dry roads, the Dynapro HP2 is a phenomenal tire. It can deliver very high levels of grip and traction, easily surpassing the Pirelli Scorpion Verde. With that said, the biggest disappointment is the braking distances. Even though they are short and safe, most of the premium competitors will brake shorter.
In wet conditions, the performance of the Dynapro HP2 is a bit more consistent. The tire delivers very high levels of stability, putting it near the premium segment. Surprisingly, the aquaplaning resistance isn’t as impressive, nor are the braking distances. Both are among the higher ones in the mid-range segment but still fall short when compared with the premium ones.
As an M+S tire, the Dynapro HP2 delivers usable traction on snowy roads. Like with most all-season tires, you can use it in lighter conditions, which is nothing unusual for these types of tires.
Refinement is one area where the Dynapro HP2 delivers very good performance. The comfort levels are very good, and even though they are not the best, the tire sits near the top. Noise is where the tire shines, managing to be quieter than most of the premium competitors.
Hankook made the Dynapro HP2 to last, which can be seen from the warranty. The tire comes with a 65,000-mile treadwear warranty, as much as the BFGoodrich Advantage T/A has.
#10. Dynapro HT
Highway tires are more or less touring tires, with some minor differences. The last tire on this list falls in this category. The Dynapro HT is a highway tire with some wider applications, covering usage from SUVs to trucks or vans.
Looking at the features, you can see that Hankook paid attention to comfort and longevity. The Dynapro HT’s rubber compound is designed using LPAH or Low Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon to enable the tire to last long and offer shorter braking distances. On the handling side of things, you have a stiffer center rib, delivering more responsive handling.
The performance that Dynapro HT can deliver on a dry road is excellent. It offers plenty of grip and traction, and even though it’s not as much as the premium competitors, for most drivers, it will be more than enough. In the handling department, the tire is quite dynamic considering that it’s a highway tire, but keep in mind that if you push it too much into a corner, you’ll notice some flex in the sidewall.
Wet performance is another area where the Dynapro HT doesn’t disappoint. It can grip very well to the road, offering a very planted feeling, something that some competitors may struggle with. The aquaplaning resistance is also very good, thanks to the circumferential and lateral grooves. Thanks to those, the tire can remain stable even at highway speeds. In some situations, it comes close to the Continental TerrainContact H/T.
Winter driving isn’t the tires forte, and even though it’s good on clean roads, the snow performance is average. You can use it in lighter conditions if there isn’t too much snow, but in deeper patches, it will begin to struggle.
Hankook nailed the Dynapro HT in the refinement segment. The tire is as comfortable as you’d expect from a highway tire, smoothing out bumps and eliminating vibrations. Noise isn’t particularly low, and it’s slightly above average in the highway tire segment.
Longevity is what these tires are designed for, and the Dynapro HT can deliver on that. The tire comes with a 70,000-mile treadwear warranty, which is more than the Michelin Primacy LTX.