Versatility is the selling point of the Kumho Solus TA31. This tire is a high-performance all-season tire that delivers tons of comfort and impressive grip on dry and wet roads. Kumho is marketing this tire a notch below the more aggressive Ecsta PA31, but both tires are classified under the high-performance category.
In this Kumho Solus TA31 review, I want to find out if this tire straddles the fine line between a grand touring and high-performance tire, and whether it delivers the promise of ultimate comfort and excellent tread wear while still remaining sporty enough for aggressive driving.
I was able to source a 2011 Nissan Maxima 3.5 SV fitted with stock 18-inch wheels and Kumho Solus TA31 tires. The owner of the Maxima is a young fellow who got the car from his dad. Funny enough, his dad bought a 2016 Nissan Altima last year and was a bit reluctant to let go of the Maxima.
I personally can’t blame him for that since I am aware that the Maxima is a true sports sedan disguised as a comfortable family sedan.
The Kumho Solus TA31 tires fitted in the Maxima were at least 6 months old and has endured at least 4,500 miles of mixed city and highway driving. I also know there was no way for me to test the tires in the snow, but Kumho designed the Solus TA31 to handle a bit of slippery snow and ice since this is an all-season tire after all.
The Kumho Solus TA31 tires fitted to my test car had a speed rating of V and a UTQG rating of 600 AA. Featuring a symmetric tread design with wide shoulder blocks, this tire is engineered for maximum traction and grip.
The advanced dual compound is responsible for the riding comfort while enhancing the steering response in demanding road conditions.
The symmetric tread pattern is also designed to lower the rolling resistance to deliver impressive tread wear, less noise and tire roar, and marginal gains in fuel economy. The four main grooves are engineered to dissipate water away from the central grooves to provide enhanced traction and grip on wet pavements.
I know all of this sounds amazing on paper, but what really stood out is the solid 60,000-mile limited warranty. In my humble opinion, this is the biggest selling point of the Kumho Solus TA31 besides its relatively low price.
According to the owner of the Maxima, he was swayed into purchasing the Kumho Solus TA31 due to the tight constraints of his college budget. But after using the tires for a couple of months, he found out that he made a wise purchase since the tires performed admirably well in all types of driving conditions.
In terms of traction in the dry, it is hard to fault the Kumho Solus TA31. The owner was riding shotgun as I pushed the Maxima hard on a dry and isolated road. This car is quick despite of its size, and the V6 engine roars with authority as the tachometer needle approached the red line. I never felt a loss of traction even when I pushed the car at above average speed.
There was a bit of rain as we drove on the highway. The car remained stable and planted despite of the presence of water puddles on the smooth tarmac. I didn’t feel any sort of hydroplaning as the car sped on the highway, and the steering was still responsive despite the slippery wet driving conditions. I did feel the front wheels squirm a bit while the car was navigating on a fast and wide corner, but nothing too dramatic to merit a low score.
There was no time (and no chance) to test the Kumho Solus TA31 in the snow, but Kuhmo designed this tire to handle a bit of snow and ice without fuss and drama. Of course, deep piles of snow is out of the equation since this an all-season tire and not a snow tire.
I really like how I felt inside the Maxima when I pushed it hard, but I was also impressed with the riding comfort. Yes, the somewhat firm nature of the suspension (my test car was fitted with the optional Sport package) was a bit jiggly on poorly-maintained city roads, but driving it on the highway revealed the luxurious nature of the Maxima. The owner of the Maxima told me that he felt the car became a bit more comfortable after fitting the Kumho Solus TA31 tires. I can’t argue with that, right?
During the test drive and review of the Kumho Solus TA31, the Maxima remained quiet and composed on both city and highway driving. This convinced me to believe that this is a proper grand touring tire despite the sporty apprehensions. Credit also goes to the Maxima for having the NVH tuning of a luxury car, but the tires were quiet and refined unless you approach silly speeds, which at this point will reveal some tire roar.
The Kumho Solus TA31 tires in the Maxima were purchased five or six months ago and were showing little signs of wear. This is normal since the car is a true daily driver. The owner of the Maxima was quite content with the wear characteristics of the tire, especially since he didn’t have to spend an arm and a leg to purchase a new set of rollers.
Did you know what I found out in this Kumho Solus TA31 review? This is a true grand touring tire since it delivered marginal levels of comfort. But it is also versatile enough to handle the demands of aggressive drivers who want maximum traction and grip from their tires. It is only fitting to recommend the Kumho Solus TA31 to entry-level sports sedans and sporty crossover vehicles. If you want a tire that performs well in both wet and dry pavement but you don’t want to sacrifice comfort and tread wear, the Kumho Solus TA31 is worth a second look.
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Alvin Reyes has expertise in automotive evaluation. He collaborated with famous newspapers and is still making efforts in tire review for DrivingPress.com