Kumho Tire Selection Guide
There are a number of things to consider when purchasing tires for your personal vehicle. Specifically, these considerations can be categorized as follows:
There is a tire-line to fit virtually,every driver/vehicle combination & need. There is a significant amount of overlap in different tire lines to satisfy these different combinations of needs. For example, there are All-Season/ Grip/ "S" Speed-rated/ Low Price tires; Touring/ Treadwear/ "H" Speed-rated/ High Price; All-Season/ Treadwear/ "T" Speed-rated/ Medium Price tires; Performance/ Grip/ "Z" Speed-rated/ High Price tires, etc. All designed to meet customer needs. Let's look at each of the considerations listed above in more detail.
All-Season vs.Touring vs.Performance
All-Season tread designs will provide good all-around traction for varying road conditions such as Wet, Snow & Ice, but still provide good Treadwear & Tire Noise characteristics. Performance tread designs have been engineered to Enhance a vehicles Handling capabilities on wet & dry roads, but usually exhibit increased Tire Noise & Lack Long Treadwear Life. Performance tread designs usually have larger tread elements to provide a stiff tread area for handling performance. Touring tread designs were designed to bridge the gap between All-Season & Performance tires. Touring tread designs combine the technology for good treadwear characteristics from All-Season tires & handling & grip associated with Performance tires. Touring tires also exhibit very good Tire Noise & Ride Comfort.
Treadwear Performance vs. Grip/ Handling/ Traction Performance...
The treadwear-traction trade-off has been a focus in Tire Performance-Enhancement Technology for decades. Tire companies have been trying to reduce the trade-off between treadwear & traction through the development of new rubber, new tread designs, & new tire construction techniques. Basically, a tire will wear-out quickly if it is providing maximum grip to the road. This is due to the tread rubber being torn from the tire (on a microscopic level), while it is adhering to the road surface. An excellent treadwear tire minimizes the amount of rubber being removed at the road surface; thus providing long tread life, but less road gripping traction.
Tire Speed-Rating ("S","T","H","V","W","Y","Z")
A common Trade-Off for higher Speed-Rating is reduced Ride Comfort. An "S" Speed-Rated tire will give a more comfortable Ride compared to "H" Speed-Rated tire, & a "H" Speed-Rated tire will give a more comfortable Ride compared to a "Z" Speed-Rated tire. The Ride Comfort Characteristics can be attributed to the tire's Overall Stiffness. A tire capable of running at High Speeds requires a more stiff construction, in order to provide the necessary high speed stability & durability.
Tire Speed Rating Symbols:
A Z-Speed Rated tire without a Service Description means that the customer must
consult the Tire Manufacturer to obtain the tire's Maximum Speed Capability.
As with the many different levels of tread design, tire performance, & Speed-Ratings: there are many different levels of pricing within a category. For example, prices can vary from $50.00/tire to $125.00/tire depending on the br& name. When you multiply this price by 4 wheel positions, the price can become significantly high, & more difficult to justify.
High Performance Tires
High Performance tires typically have Speed-Ratings of "H" or higher;
although, tire companies have developed Entry-Level performance Tires that
exhibit "S" & "T" Speed-Ratings for the people that want only the "look" of