Some say that around 30,000 different components are needed to make a single motor vehicle. Some of these components like extendable thigh support cushions or plastic ashtray lids are not vital for the car’s safety, reliability, handling, longevity, or anything else for that matter. Other components like the engine, the transmission, and the tires are the most essential parts because, without them, you will not be able to drive.
Hankook Rating: 4.5/5
Bridgestone Rating: 4.7/5
As such, we always need to make sure that all of our vital car components are operating as intended as we are not willing nor able to risk our lives and the lives of other people on the road. In this article, we are going to focus on tires specifically because we are a tire-related blog after all. Both Hankook and Bridgestone are certified heavy-hitters in the tire industry which means that these are household names most people are aware of.
If you are truly dedicated to making your everyday driving as exciting and as safe as possible, premium tire brands are exactly what you need in your life. In this Hankook vs Bridgestone Tires review, we will tell you the ins and outs of both of these brands and why one is better than the other.
The story begins back in 1941 in Seoul, South Korea. A man called Cho Hong-Je founded a company called Chosun in mid-May of 1941. Ten years after the company was renamed Hankook which remains to this day. The 1940s were troubled times as the world plunged deep into WW2. Many companies were going under as the fog of war made it extremely impossible to conduct business internationally.
Be that as it may, many companies from Seoul stepped up their game which later made Seoul the most technologically developed city in the world. The company kept improving its designs and they were really adamant about investing in next-gen tire technology which was and still is the backbone of the company’s success.
Hankook is known for its partnership with premium car brands such as Audi as Hankook is the brand supplying tires for some of the world’s most illustrious cars like the new e-tron GT. Hankook is also heavily invested in motorsports which means that they have a meaningful impact on the world’s most noteworthy events such as Le Mans, DTM, and Formula E.
Nowadays Hankook is busy being the 7th largest tire company in the world. Some are keen to say that Hankook isn’t a “true” premium brand, but some of their products certainly don’t reflect that. Either way, Hankook is a household name that deserves attention even from those people who only buy top-drawer brands like Michelin, Continental, Goodyear, or Pirelli.
Hankook Tire Families
At first glance, it may seem like Hankook’s tire catalog is rather slim and lacking because they offer only a few consistent tire families. However, Hankook believes that these are more than enough to satisfy the needs of 99% of modern-day motorists and that they prefer quality over quantity.
The Hankook iON is a newcomer to Hankook’s family as it is designed solely for electric vehicles. These are the tires Hankook supplies to various premium automakers, including Audi. The main selling point of the iON family is that these tires are refined, quiet, and can easily support the added weight that comes with an electric car.
Furthermore, these tires are designed with the lowest possible rolling resistance which ultimately leads to a better range. Hankook says that the iON tire is designed for drivers who want to make the most out of their EVs. Currently, iON tires are only available for passenger cars, but iON SUV tires are soon to follow.
We have already talked about how Hankook is interested in motorsports which means that they are always trying to offer the world’s best performance tires. The Hankook Ventus is designed with maximum traction and controllability in mind, so much so that this tire is easily able to trade punches with all notable premium performance tires.
The Ventus family consists of seven different sub-models, all of which emphasize performance in a slightly different way. These are available for passenger cars, crossovers, and even SUVs. Most Ventus tires are summer tires, but there are some all-season and all-weather versions as well.
Touring tires are some of the most popular types of tires in the current tire industry because they accentuate the most important aspects of tire design such as longevity, refinement, durability, and performance. The Hankook Optimo is the first of two main touring tire series which are designed to offer everything you’d want from a tire.
This is the tire most people go for if they want a tire designed to do lots of miles in a refined manner, especially on the highway. The Optimo tire is designed for passenger cars and can be bought in various sizes and sub-variants.
The Hankook Kinergy family of tires is likely the most interesting tire Hankook currently offers. These are rather similar to the Optimo tires we mentioned above but are designed and manufactured in a sustainable and eco-friendly way. Not only that these tires take care of polar bears, but they also offer an immensely refined experience because they are comfortable and quiet.
The good thing about these tires is that they are available for cars of all shapes and sizes including passenger cars, crossovers, and SUVs. They also come in various sub-variants, each highlighting other important driving qualities such as performance, longevity, or durability.
The Hankook Dynapro family of tires is designed with off-roading in mind which means that these tires are designed for SUVs and light trucks. The Dynapro lineup consists of a few touring SUV/truck off-road tires, mild off-roading tires, classic all-terrain tires, and even extreme off-road tires like the Dynapro MT2.
Hankook i*cept & I*pike
The Hankook Winter i*cept and I*pike line of tires do seem to be named by someone who lacks a bit of imagination, but thankfully they make up for it when it comes to performance. The i*cept family comes with five different sub-models which are designed for a rather broad spectrum of winter driving challenges.
The I*Pike family is designed with extreme winter use in mind which means that these can also be studded. Both of these offer tires for passenger cars, SUVs, and trucks.
Bridgestone tire company was founded back in 1931 in Japan, but Bridgestone also had a rough start because allied forces bombed many of their facilities during WW2. Thankfully, not all factories were destroyed which enabled Bridgestone to keep operating when the war ended. The company’s founder is called Shojiro Ishibashi (Ishi-Bridge, Bashi-Stone).
The company was built on the idea that innovative thinking is the only way a Japanese tire company could ever rival the world’s most prominent tire brands. Because of that idea, Bridgestone managed to come out with their own design of the radial tire, only a year after Michelin came out with theirs. This means that these two companies were developing the radial tire at the same time and that Bridgestone didn’t just copy their design from Michelin.
The 1960s were fairly prosperous as the company began a massive expensive campaign that included acquiring Firestone. The company kept on growing continuously which made them the largest tire company back in 2010. Bridgestone lost this title last year to Michelin who now reigns supreme as the largest tire company in the world.
With more than 150,000 employees, Bridgestone keeps on pushing the industry forwards. They are also heavily invested in motorsports and were even the sole supplier of tires to Formula 1 until Pirelli got involved in 2011.
Bridgestone Tire Families
We have already talked about how large the Bridgestone company is and that is rather apparent the moment you take a look at their tire catalog. Only the most popular mainstream tire families will be listed here as these are the tires most people are interested in buying.
High-performance tires are likely the main focus of the Bridgestone brand and that is why their Bridgestone Potenza tires are some of the world’s most prominent high-performance tires. The lineup consists of 6-7 different tire variants, all of which are designed to offer high levels of traction, responsiveness, and handling.
A balanced contact patch, proper weight distribution, and optimal temperature management are the three essential ingredients for making performance tires, and Bridgestone does it as well as every other premium brand out there. These are available for all types of performance cars, including supercars.
Refined, durable, and long-lasting tires are typically known as touring tires as these are the types of tires most people who do long-distance driving would go for. These are available for passenger cars, SUVs, light trucks, and crossovers.
They come in either summer or all-season form which means that there are plenty of choices to be made within this tire family. One of the best aspects of the Bridgestone Alenza tire is that it comes with an industry-leading 80,000-mile warranty which only reiterates that Bridgestone touring tires are designed to last.
The Bridgestone Turanza tire is really similar to the Alenza listed above. However, Bridgestone made sure to make the Turanza one of the quietest tires in the entire industry. As such, most of the benefits that come with the Turanza family evolve around the fact that this is the tire you want to buy if you want the quietest ride possible.
If you own a daily driver truck or SUV, but you also like spending the weekends in the wild, the Bridgestone Dueler is the tire for you. This means that this tire is designed for off-roading, but it does not sacrifice comfort and refinement. Therefore, this tire is perfect for those who like the “one car for all” philosophy as these are well-rounded utility tires that can deliver on and off the tarmac.
The Bridgestone Driverguard tire is an exclusive run-flat tire with some pretty interesting features. For starters, Bridgestone says that a flat Driveguard tire can last up to 50 miles without worrying about it falling apart. Moreover, Bridgestone also states that this tire is way more comfortable than 99% of run-flat tires out there.
As sustainability is slowly becoming one of the most important aspects of product design, Bridgestone came out with a new tire family called Bridgestone Ecopia. This tire is designed to lower rolling resistance which aids in better fuel economy. The tire is also manufactured primarily from sustainable materials which reduce the overall impact on the environment. These are available for passenger cars, trucks, SUVs, and crossovers.
The Bridgestone Blizzak is a great all-around winter tire and one of, if not the most popular winter tires in the whole of Japan. These are able to sustain adequate traction in snow and ice while also being really comfortable and refined. Availability-wise, these come in various shapes and sizes and can fit virtually anything.
Differences Between Hankook and Bridgestone
In this part of our Hankook vs Bridgestone tires comparison, we are going to put these two well-known brands in a grudge match against each other. We will face them off in the performance, availability, price, and warranty segments and see which one comes out on top as the tire brand you should go with.
When it comes to dry traction, a performance tire is the one to go for. The best Bridgestone performance tire is the Potenza while the best Hankook performance tire is the Ventus. The Potenza seems to take the edge in dry traction, but it does not really match the Ventus tire in the wet. All in all, both of these are amazing and you are not making a wrong choice by going with either of them.
The touring segment is also relatively closely matched, but the Bridgestone Turanza is just too comfortable. Moreover, the Bridgestone Alenza comes with an 80,000-mile warranty which also helps Bridgestone take it in the touring department. Off-roading and winter driving is where Hankook makes up for it because they offer more serious options and they simply offer more tire variants.
When it comes to availability, these two brands are, once again, evenly matched. Bridgestone offers more touring and performance options while Hankook offers more options in the off-roading and winter segment. Both brands offer tires that can fit on virtually anything, so we can call this category a draw.
Price & Warranty
Hankook tires are indeed cheaper when compared to Bridgestone tires and the price difference can be felt on the road. On the other hand, Bridgestone offers longer warranty coverage on most tires and you simply can’t overlook the fact that their Turanza family comes with an industry-leading 80,000-mile warranty.
Advantages of Hankook
- Value for money
- Better off-roading tires
- Better winter tires
- More winter tire options
- A dedicated EV tire family
Advantages of Bridgestone
- Better performance tires
- Better touring tires
- Better warranty coverage
- More comfortable
- More all-season and summer tire options
Which Brand To Choose?
At the end of our Hankook vs Bridgestone tires comparison, we can easily say that both of these brands are well-known for a reason. Even though Bridgestone seems to be the better brand overall because they offer more of almost everything, Hankook manages to beat Bridgestone in some fairly important categories. All in all, both of these brands are amazing and it’s really difficult to make a wrong choice here.