Kumho Ecsta PA31 Review: High-Performance Everday Tire

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Kumho is a well-known brand with a lot to offer their customers. With the Kumho Ecsta PA31, you can expect a high-performance, all-season tire that offers unmatched everyday driving, excellent treadwear, ride comfort, low noise and all-season traction, even in light snow.

Kumho is the tire to beat, capable of everything (except for maybe off-roading). What exactly makes the Kumho Ecsta PA31 such a great tire? It is jam-packed with many innovative technologies, the main one being the directional tread design. You don’t have to worry about hydroplaning with the tire’s heavy sipe density and large cross grooves. The directional tread pattern prevents excessive and uneven wear while enhancing handling, steering, and braking. These high-performance tires can tackle a variety of conditions, and delivers favorable snow traction and wet weather handling.

Unlike many, high-performance, all-season tires, Kumho Ecsta PA31s have variable pitch shoulder blocks to maintain a quiet ride. According to Kumho, their tread design is an “ideal blend of all-season traction and high-mileage performance”.

These all-season tires boast Escot technology, which delivers elevated steering response (perfect for those who like to get aggressive behind the wheel). This technology also leads to increased tread life by optimizing cord tension distribution.

Find out more about if these tires are really worth it below.

Overview

Dry
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Wet
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Comfort
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Noise
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Treadwear
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Overall
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Pros

Cons

Key Features

Directional tread pattern

  • Exceptional grip on dry and wet roads
  • Enhanced steering response
  • Cornering stability
  • Impressive brake times

High-density sipes around the tread

  • For improved winter handling
  • Advanced block edges to increase grip in rain, snow or ice (still not as good as winter tires)

Steel belts with nylon reinforcements and Escot technology:

  • Optimized cord tension distribution in the sidewall
  • Variable pitch shoulder blocks to enhance ride comfort

Kumho Ecsta PA51 Performance Review

Treadwear and Durability

While Kumho claims to deliver a long-lasting tread life, this isn’t really the case. When it comes down to it, you can get many other high-performance all-season tires that will last you much longer. They won’t wear down as quickly as really low-quality tires but they still aren’t the best. Kumho Ecsta PA31 tires come with a 50,000 mile tread warranty, making it clear that they aren’t the most durable. If you’re looking for increased durability, you should check out Kumho’s touring tires.

Dry Performance

The Kumho Ecsta PA31 tire performs well in dry conditions. If we’re still comparing the tire to the touring models, the Kumho PA31 offers advantages when it comes to handling the corners. You can expect a good grip on dry roads and adequate responsiveness. If you compare the dry performance to other high-performance offerings, there is no question, the handling is much better.

So, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly tire that offers superior handling, the Kumho Ecsta PA31 should be just fine. Just remember that the tires might not last as long as you would like them to.

Cornering Stability
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Dry Traction
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Steering Response
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Wet Performance

You can rely on the the Kumho Ecsta PA31 to get you safely from point A to B in wet conditions. While the tire isn’t a leader when it comes to wet performance, it can maintaining control in both light and heavy rain. The directional tread design and ample cross grooves helps to prevent hydroplaning, increase traction, and enable solid brake times.

Hydroplaning Resistance
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Wet Traction
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Snow Traction and Braking Performance

It shouldn’t come as a shock that the Kumho Ecsta PA31 isn’t the best for winter driving. While it isn’t terrible, you will need to be extra careful and drive slowly. There is considerable traction in light snow but longer stop times. If you’re looking for tires that you can always count on in snowy or icy conditions, winter tires will always beat out the Ecsta PA31. Like in wet conditions, the high density sipes and unique tread design with block edges help gain extra traction in rain, snow and ice, but they certainly don’t compare to winter tires.

Light Snow Traction
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Deep Snow Traction
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Ice Traction
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Comfort & Noise

These tires are said to deliver extreme comfort and low road noise. While the tires are comfortable and quiet, they don’t beat other leading brands like Michelin or Bridgestone.

Ride Quality
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Noise
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Tire Sizes & Specifications

Tire sizes available

15″

195/50R15 82V BSW

205/50R15 86V BSW

185/55R15 82V BSW

195/55R15 85V BSW

175/65R15 84V BSW

16″

205/50R16 91V XL/RF BSW

225/50R16 92V BSW

245/50R16 97V BSW

185/55R16 83V BSW

195/55R16 87V BSW

205/55R16 91V BSW

215/55R16 97V XL/RF BSW

225/55R16 99V XL/RF BSW

195/60R16 89V BSW

215/60R16 95V BSW

235/60R16 100V BSW

17″

205/45R17 84V BSW

215/45R17 91V XL/RF BSW

225/45R17 94V XL/RF BSW

235/45R17 97V XL/RF BSW

245/45R17 99V XL/RF BSW

205/50R17 93V XL/RF BSW

215/50R17 95V XL/RF BSW

225/50R17 94V BSW

235/50R17 96V BSW

215/55R17 94V BSW

225/55R17 97V BSW

235/55R17 99V BSW

18″

215/35R18 84V XL/RF BSW

225/40R18 92V XL/RF BSW

235/40R18 95V XL/RF BSW

245/40R18 97V XL/RF BSW

215/45R18 89V BSW

225/45R18 95V XL/RF BSW

225/50R18 95V BSW

235/50R18 97V BSW

215/55R18 95V BSW

235/55R18 100V BSW

245/55R18 103V BSW

Are Kumho tires any good?

When it comes to purchasing tires, you really need to think about what you’re looking for. If you want an affordable all-season tire with good handling and a decent treadlife, then the Kumho Ecsta PA31 is for you. However, if you live in an area with extreme winter conditions, these tires will not be sufficient. In this case, you will need to purchase dedicated snow tires and switch them over to summer tires as the seasons change. You can expect each tire to cost between $70 and $120 (based on size), meaning you’ll really get a bang for your buck. And if the tires aren’t satisfactory, you’ll be happy to know they come with an attractive 50,000 mile warranty.

Conclusion

All in all, the Kumho Ecsta PA31 is a decent tire offered at great value. It’s important to remember that with these tires, you get what you pay for. There is a reason they’re offered at a much lower price point than say a Brigestone Potenza or Michelin Pilot, they don’t perform nearly as well on a variety of levels or last nearly as long. You can expect increased handling response compared to a touring all-season tire and also superior wet performance. Everything else considered, it a very average tire.