Hankook vs Toyo Tires: The Main Differences

Last Updated November 25, 2022

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In the world of tires, you really are spoiled for choice. There are so many tire companies out there that it makes it rather difficult for uninitiated people to understand which ones to go for. You can go for a premium set of tires made by a premium brand, but those tend to cost a fortune. On the other hand, you can go for a more affordable brand, yet one that does not compromise on tire quality essentials.

Hankook vs Toyo Tires

Hankook and Toyo are both such brands as they have long been somewhat of a bridge between economical and premium tires. In this article, we are going to compare Hankook vs Toyo tires and tell you why one is better than the other. We are going to list the most popular tire series of both and will compare them in a wide variety of categories such as options, price, warranty, traction, and off-roading.

Hankook History

The Hankook tire brand traces its roots back to the 1940s which were really tough years for most companies as the world plunged into WW2. A man called Cho Hong-Je founded the Hankook tire company in 1941 and the company has been incredibly competitive ever since. Based in Seoul which is one of the most technologically developed cities in the world, the Hankook tire company was set to push the boundaries of tire design and technology which made them the company they are today.

The presence of Hankook can be felt throughout the car industry as they are official suppliers for many of the world’s most prominent automakers such as Audi. Hankook also used to be a supplier of tires for the Porsche Macan, the BMW X5, the Mini Cooper, and even the Mercedes S-Class at one point. Currently, Hankook is the sole supplier of tires for Formula E, but they have also sponsored events such as Le Mans, and DTM.

All of this enabled them to become the 7th largest tire company in the world, but many believe that Hankook is actually in the top 5. It may not be a top-drawer tire brand like Michelin, but Hankook offers amazing tires for a wide variety of purposes, some of which are indeed the top-drawer level of quality and performance.

Hankook Tire Families

Hankook’s tire catalog might not be as expansive as some would think as they don’t offer too many consistent tire families. However, Hankook believes that this is enough to cover the majority of the market and that quality always triumphs over quantity.

Hankook Ventus

If you are after a high-performance tire, one that can offer great steering responsiveness, lots of traction, consistent feedback, and affordable prices, the Hankook Ventus family of tires is certainly worth considering. The Hankook Ventus S1 Evo3 tire is a true performance tire, but one that aims to be both comfortable and sporty.

The Hankook Ventus RS4 is likely one of the best performance tires you buy in its class as it comes with a relatively affordable price, but an amazing dry performance. Wet performance might be a bit under average, but overall, the RS4 really is an amazing tire for the price. This is the story with the entire Ventus family of tires as these offer amazing value.

Hankook iON

As mentioned in the introduction, the Hankook brand is the sole supplier of tires for Formula E which is one of, if not the biggest EV racing organization in the world. This allowed Hankook to invest in high-performance EV tires which lead to them coming out with the iON family of tires which is one of the very first EV-only tire families on the market.

Hankook made quite an effort to make a tire that can withstand the added abuse that comes with balancing particularly heavy EVs while also maximizing refinement, traction, longevity, and most importantly, range. The Hankook iON tire is supplied with the Audi RS e-Tron GT which is one of the most capable EVs on the market.

Hankook Kinergy

The Hankook Kinergy family of tires is one of the most impressive tire families Hankook offers as these touring tires are a great compliment for all comfortable luxury cars on the market. The Hankook Kinergy PT H737 is available for various passenger cars out there and it offers superb all-weather traction, is amazingly comfortable, and relatively affordable.

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If you want a really good performance-to-price ratio with superior efficiency and sustainability, the Hankook Kinergy eco2 should be on your radar. There are also many other tire models within this series that are compatible with all sorts of cars including hatchbacks, sedans, wagons, SUVs, trucks, and sports cars.

Hankook Optimo

If you want the very best and most refined touring tires Hankook makes, you should consider the Hankook Optimo family of tires. These tires are designed with highway driving in mind which means that they last longer, are quiet, and offer competitive braking performance without compromising other important factors such as durability and affordability.

If you care a lot about performance, the Ventus and the Kinergy are better, but if you just want a cohesive and dependable cruising performance, the Hankook Optimo series of tires is likely the best.

Hankook Dynapro

If you want great all-terrain and off-road performance, you should focus your attention on the Hankook Dynapro family of tires. The Hankook Dynapro AT2 is designed to be comfortable and refined but also capable of traversing challenging terrain. It may not be as rugged as the Hankook Dynapro MT2 mud tire, but it dwarfs the MT2 when it comes to daily driving.

We should also mention the Hankook Dynapro AT-M tire as this is one of the best off-roading tires Hankook makes, yet it also comes with a 50,000-mile warranty.

Hankook I*Cept and I*Pike

For extreme winter and ice-driving, the Hankook I*Cept and the Hankook I*Pike are the best. These are designed to live in snow-covered areas throughout the entire year, but also don’t sacrifice comfort and durability to achieve that. The I*Pike family of tires can also be equipped with studs which makes these the most capable winter tires in the entire Hankook catalog.

Furthermore, these are available for SUVs, passengers, trucks, and crossovers.

Toyo History

The Toyo tire company was founded in the 1940s which were troubled times in post-WW2 Japan. After the war ended, company assets were scattered across the country and some were destroyed which made manufacturing incredibly difficult. As Toyo was a relatively young company in the 1950s, the only way they could survive was to merge with a large industrial manufacturing company.

After the merger, Toyo stuck to its guns and pushed its innovative solutions forward in order to become competitive in the global tire market. The 1960s were really successful for Toyo as they managed to expand to the US market. Ever since that, Toyo has kept increasing its US presence which resulted in them acquiring a one million square foot warehouse in California.

As far as Toyo tire families are concerned, Toyo makes some of the most capable and most popular off-road and all-weather motorsport tires out there. Toyo drag radial tires can often be seen on some of the most capable drag cars in the most prestigious US drag racing competitions. Toyo never stopped innovating which resulted in them offering all kinds of tires for virtually anything with wheels.

Toyo Tire Families

Toyo offers a few consistent tire families, most of which are designed for passenger cars, SUVs, and trucks. You can buy Toyo performance tires, Toyo off-road tires, Toyo touring tires, and Toyo winter tires as well.

Toyo Extensa

The Toyo Extensa family of tires is designed with value and longevity in mind which often tend to be difficult to achieve as they are completely opposite of each other. Be that as it may, the Toyo Extensa A/S II is a tire that can do both as it offers an amazing 75,000-mile warranty and a really affordable price for what it is.

Besides the Extensa, Toyo also offers the HP 2 which manages to maintain the same qualities as the A/S II but is designed primarily for performance cars.

Toyo Proxes  

Likely the most popular Toyo tire family for sedans and sports cars, the Proxes family of tires is designed for ultra-performance without compromising on comfort and noise too much. The Toyo Proxes ST III is one of the best Toyo performance tires ever as it offers superb traction in all conditions while also being fairly quiet.

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However, if you want the best and most capable performance tire Toyo makes, you will have to go for the Toyo Proxes R1R tire. This tire offers class-leading handling and agility, but it does suffer when it comes to tire longevity.

Toyo Open Country

The Toyo Open Country family of tires is designed primarily for SUVs and trucks which means that these offer all-terrain capabilities. The Toyo Open Country AT2 and the Toyo Open Country AT3 are the two most popular tires from this family, both of which are excellent at off-roading and durability.

There are more than 10 different sub-models of the Open Country Toyo tire, all of which aim to offer a slightly different emphasis.

Toyo Observe

As far as mid-spec economy winter tires are concerned, we need to mention the Toyo Observe family of tires. This family only offers two tire models, one is designed for winter daily driving with comfort and isolation in mind while the other is a more extreme take on a winter tire that can also be studded and is at home in extremely cold environments.

Toyo M-Line

The Toyo M-Line family of tires is designed with commercial-grade durability in mind and comes with a 3PMSF rating. Don’t be fooled into thinking that these are your regular winter tires as they can also offer great performance in the dry.

Toyo Celsius

To finish off our Toyo list of tires, we are also going to mention the Toyo Celsius lineup of tires. This line of tires is designed for all-weather touring and is perfect for people living in places where the weather can change drastically. They might not be the best for extreme weather and summer driving conditions but are more than good enough for anything in between.

Differences Between Hankook And Toyo

Performance

The world of high-performance tires is incredibly crowded, but we are going to compare the Hankook Ventus range of tires with the Toyo Proxes range of tires as these two tire families are the best. When it comes to dry traction, the RS4 Ventus is the best tire in its class, but the Toyo Proxes R1R is better when it comes to wet performance. Overall, Hankook makes slightly more capable performance tires, but Toyo is better in certain applications such as drag racing.

Touring tires is where Hankook takes it as they offer more variety and more models in this segment, especially if we also consider the iON range of tires as well. Off-roading on the other hand is where Toyo takes it, but the Dynapro range of Hankook tires is really good as well. Snow performance is even between both as they offer studdable ice tires and capable snow tires.

Price & Warranty

Price-wise, these two brands are similar. For example, the Hankook Dynapro series of tires is more expensive than the Toyo Open Country series of tires while most other tire families are slightly cheaper with Hankook. It is more or less the same when it comes to warranty as these two brands are really similar. Hankook does trail behind Toyo a bit in this regard as some of their performance tires come with shorter warranty coverages.

Available Options

As far as the sheer variety is concerned, Toyo makes tires for wider applications, but Hankook makes up for it because they offer a standalone tire series for electric cars. Both make tires in a variety of shapes and sizes which means that they should fit all types of passenger cars out there.

Advantages Of Hankook

  • Better Dry Performance Traction
  • More Variety In The Touring Tire Segment
  • A Standalone EV Tire Family
  • Slightly Cheaper

Advantages Of Toyo

  • Better Wet Performance Traction
  • Better Drag Racing Tires
  • Better Off-Road Tires
  • Better Warranty

Which Brand To Choose?

These two brands are incredibly well-matched as there really aren’t too many differences between them. Hankook might be a bit more serious when it comes to ultra-performance dry traction tires while Toyo offers a more consistent performance experience in a wider variety of environments.

Off-roading is where Toyo is better, but touring tires are better with Hankook. All in all, no matter which one of these two you go for, be sure to balance your needs and wants as complimenting your car with a proper set of tires is a primary goal.

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