Kumho Ecsta 4X II Review
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It seems Kuhmo is one of the leading tire makers when it comes to versatile all-weather performance. I am a bit familiar with the first-generation Kumho Ecsta 4X, I had the tire fitted test on a 2004 Mitsubishi Eclipse a couple of years ago. That particular test car was fitted with 17-inch wheels and lowering springs, but the ride was still smooth and civilized due in large part to the KuhmoEcsta 4X tires.
However, for this test drive and review of the second-generation Kumho Ecsta 4X II, I was able to find a 2013 Chevrolet Camaro fitted with 18-inch aftermarket wheels. The Camaro was also equipped with a 3.6-liter V6 motor and a 6-speed manual transmission.
I had a lengthy chat with the owner of the Camaro. He basically told me that he bought the Kumho Ecsta 4X II tires after reading tons of reviews online. He wanted his muscle car to remain quiet and composed on the highway, but he also wanted dollops of traction and grip when the car is pushed near the limits of adhesion.
Apparently, he made the right choice. But before we get to the review of the Kumho Ecsta 4X II, here are the features of this ultra-high performance all-season tire.
Kumho Ecsta 4X II review: Features
The Kumho Ecsta 4X II is equipped with extraordinarily stiff tread blocks that retain its shape even when the car is pushed hard towards a winding corner. The tread design is engineered with noise-canceling characteristics to reduce road noise and vibration even as the car is driven at high speed. This tire is also engineered with an oversized footprint to increase the contact patch on the road. This means that you get sure-footed handling and traction on all types of road conditions, whether wet or dry.
The advanced rubber compound of the Kumho Ecsta 4X II is designed to perform cooler than ordinary tread compounds which greatly improves the wet traction of the tire. This also enhances wear so you can expect the tires to retain the same level of performance with minimal tread wear.
Kumho Ecsta 4X II review: Test Drive
I was calm and composed as I piloted the Camaro over a tight right-hand corner at above average speeds. I didn’t notice the tires break traction but I did feel the rear wheels slide a bit due to the presence of sand and dirt on the road.
I presume that the Kumho Ecsta SPT or PS31 will offer higher levels of grip on dry pavement, but they won’t offer the same levels of comfort and tread wear as the Kumho Ecsta 4X II.
I didn’t feel any unwanted body movements or shudder over concrete expansion joints, and the tires were able to muffle the thumps and bumps caused by rutted patches of road.
I must admit the firm suspension of the Camaro is not what you would call plush, but even the owner of the Camaro noticed an improvement in the overall comfort of his muscle car after installing a new set of Kumho Ecsta 4X II tires.
Mind you, the roar was still there, but it is not as intrusive as before (the owner can attest to that). You don’t need to raise your voice when talking with a person in the passenger seat, and we’re talking about traveling at moderately fast speeds.