- Excellent dry performance
- Superb aquaplaning resistance
- One of the best price per performance ratios
- Relatively comfortable and refined
- Practically no performance on snow
- Traction on ice is far from the best
- Not the longest-lasting
In the tire world, Kumho is a Korean brand that offers excellent models at an affordable price.
Take the Ecsta 4X, for example, an excellent tire that got a second version, the one I’ll be talking about today – Ecsta 4X II. On paper, this model seems to bring quite a few improvements and looks promising.
Kumho advertises this model as an all-season tire with excellent performance and no compromise on ride comfort. To achieve the all-season part of that marketing, the company used a special rubber compound. It is designed to perform optimally in all weather conditions, even in freezing temperatures. I’m not a huge believer in tires that perform equally impressive in all weather conditions, mainly because that’s not entirely true. The same can be said about the Ecsta 4X II, which I’ll explain later in the review.
The tread is designed to have a maximum footprint that should help a lot with traction and cornering stability. Another feature related to the tread is the noise-canceling technology the company used. Essentially, it should help keep the noise levels lower, which you’d find in touring tires.
ESCOT is a technology developed by Kumho used in the Ecsta 4X II that should provide two advantages. The first one is improved stability in a straight line and at higher speeds, and the second is longevity.
Things look promising on paper, but is the Ecsta 4X II as good as Kumho says?
Treadwear Rating: 3.5/5
How does it behave on dry tarmac?
On dry pavement, I’ll have to say that Kumho delivered on everything that promised.
Traction is superb, and the Ecsta 4X II is more than capable of keeping the car planted regardless of whether you are accelerating or braking. The tire will have plenty of grip in both cases and can even cope with more powerful cars.
One area where it shines the most is in the corners. In terms of responsiveness, I wouldn’t give it a medal, but it’s more than responsive enough for what most drivers want and need. Chug it into a corner, and you’ll find that you could’ve done it at a higher speed. The levels of grip are so good, you’ll end up amazed at what your car can do.
During the cornering, despite not being the most responsive tire, the Ecsta 4X II does take inputs with ease and provides plenty of feedback.
To be fair, I wouldn’t compare it with the premium tires, but it’s still impressive what Kumho managed to do.
Dry Rating: 4.5/5
How does it behave over wet and slippery roads?
Wet conditions are tricky for most tires, as they cannot stick to the road as well as they can on dry. Well, I was surprised to find that the Ecsta 4X II is just as good on wet pavement as it is on dry.
People tend to drive more slowly and be extra careful with the throttle, brakes, or steering in wet conditions, which is understandable. However, with the traction the Ecsta 4X II has on wet pavements, you can push a lot more than you’d normally would.
You can indeed push the tires to their limit more easily in wet conditions, but the good news is that the Ecsta 4X II is very easy to control. So even if you overdo it, you can get back on track very quickly.
Heavy rain is a tire’s worst enemy because, in those conditions, the tire has reduced traction from the water between the rubber and the road. The good news is that the Ecsta 4X II has excellent aquaplaning resistance, probably the best in its class.
Wet Rating: 4/5
How is it over snow?
All-season tires cannot be good in all conditions, so I wasn’t too surprised by the lack of performance in snowy conditions.
The Ecsta 4X II is not a good tire for driving on snow, and for an all-season tire, that is a huge shame. Acceleration is the worst, as the tire has the tread design for that. It will struggle to find grip for sure, but it may end up finding it every now and then.
When you start to corner is where the Ecsta 4X II really disappoints. Take everything I said about the responsiveness in the dry and wet section and flip it. In some cases, the front tires will feel unresponsive – you add a steering input, and the car doesn’t change direction.
Going a bit faster is out of the question, as in those cases, the Ecsta 4X II is almost dangerous. If your car starts to skid, you won’t be able to do much to control it, which, trust me, is not fun.
Snow Rating: 2/5
Is it comfortable and refined?
Kumho says that the Ecsta 4X II offers comfort, and I can compare the tire with some more expensive models in this category.
Let’s get one thing out of the way: Kumho doesn’t sell this as a touring tire, so I didn’t have high expectations. But, as it turns out, the Ecsta 4X II is more than capable of providing a smooth ride. Road imperfections or holes are smoothed out, and the only thing you’ll feel is larger potholes.
Sound-wise, it’s impressively quiet. Again, I’m saying impressively because it’s not a touring tire. The noise level is decently low when you consider the price.
Comfort Rating: 4/5
Is it good for off-roading?
If you’re on the market for a performance tire like the Ecsta 4X II for your sedan, then the chances of off-roading with it are slim.
Putting that aside, this tire is not designed for that scenario, and you should avoid it. A dirt road may be passable, but you should keep in mind that you may damage the rubber.
Is the Kumho Ecsta 4X II KU22 ideal for sporty driving?
Yes, it is, and if you are the type of driver that’s into that kind of driving, I will encourage you to take the Ecsta 4X II on a track.
The dry and wet performance is exemplary for an affordable tire, something that I would like to see in other similarly priced tires. With plenty of grip in the corners and high-speed stability, the Ecsta 4X II will put a smile on your face. Add the decent responsiveness combined with the talkative nature of the tire, and you may get some decent lap times.
Noise Rating: 4/5
Should I buy the Kumho Ecsta 4X II KU22?
I think you should, because I know I would. But, with that said, I wouldn’t recommend it in every situation.
The dry and wet performance is impressive, and that’s why I say that the Ecsta 4X II is something that I can recommend. Add the decently refined ride quality, and you are looking at a good option for not a lot of money.
If you live in a place with snow, then I cannot recommend it. I would say avoid it. the performance is terrible, and in those conditions, I would go for a winter tire.
Overall Rating: 4/5
Kumho Ecsta 4X II KU22 Warranty
Before you start attacking the warranty, keep in mind that this is a mid-tier tire. Kumho offers a 40,000-mile treadwear warranty, which is not the highest one I’ve seen, but decent for the price range.
Kumho Ecsta 4X II KU22 Pricing: Is it worth the money?
Not only is the Ecsta 4X II worth the money, but I may even say that it has one of the best price-per-performance ratios I’ve seen in this class. One tire will set you back anywhere from around $84 to about $185, which is excellent for the performance you get.
There are premium options that perform better, but they are also a lot more expensive, so the Ecsta 4X II is a great option. Superb dry and wet traction, responsive and refined tires are not too common in this price range.
I have to admit I was surprised by the Ecsta 4X II. Kumho managed to improve the first version, which was already good and give us a better tire.
In dry and wet conditions, there’s hardly any downside to the tire. Yes, it is not the most responsive one on the market, but you should expect some compromises at that price range. Although to be fair, it’s not as bad as it may sound, the tire responds well and keeps you informed through the steering wheel what each tire is doing.
Some may not be happy with the 40,000-mile warranty, but again, keep the price in mind. Some competitors offer less or no warranty at all.
The biggest downside was the snow performance. All-season tires should technically perform well in all conditions, but the Ecsta 4X II couldn’t deliver on that front.
Overall, the Ecsta 4X II is an excellent tire, which you should not avoid.
What Vehicles Will the Kumho Ecsta 4X II KU22 Fit?
- Audi TT, A4
- BMW 1, 3, 5 series
- Chevrolet Malibu, Camaro
- Ford Mustang, Fiesta, Focus
- Honda Civic, Accord
- Lexus IS, ES
- Mazda 2, 3, 6
- Nissan Micra, Altima, 370Z
- Toyota Yaris, Corolla, Camry
- Volkswagen Golf, Passat
Like most of the past reviews, this should be a reference list to get an idea of what kind of cars can fit the Kumho Ecsta 4X II KU22.
Tire Sizes for Kumho Ecsta 4X II KU22
NOTE: THESE ARE THE SIZES CURRENTLY AVAILABLE ON KUMHO’S WEBSITE
List of Kumho Tire Reviews
Does this tire wear down pretty fast are the rubber compounds soft or hard