Welcome to this review of the Hankook Kinergy GT! In all honesty, the Hankook Kinergy GT is a conundrum. It is the OEM tires in certain Honda, Volkswagen, Kia, and Hyundai vehicles, which means it scores well in terms of all-season performance. But compared to other all-season touring tires in the Hankook lineup, the Kinergy GT has a slightly higher price tag.
Why is that? Well, compared to the Hankook Optimo H724, the Kinergy GT is what Hankook calls a premium grand touring tire, hence the GT moniker. This means the Kinergy GT is primarily engineered to deliver three main advantages: superior driving comfort, a silent ride, and excellent treadwear.
The Hankook Kinergy GT is also sold in 15” to 19” diameters to fit a wide array of applications. Unlike the Hankook Optimo H724, the Kinergy GT is applicable to both compact cars and larger midsize sedans. It is also a sterling choice for small and midsize crossovers and premium minivans.
What vehicles are perfect for the Hankook Kinergy GT?
The Hankook Kinergy GT is a solid choice for the Volkswagen Golf and Jetta, Honda Civic, Accord, and CR-V, Toyota Corolla and Yaris, Hyundai Elantra, Sonata, and Tucson, and the Kia Rio, Optima, and Sportage.
The Hankook Kinergy GT is also applicable to premium minivans such as the Kia Sedona, Toyota Sienna, Chrysler Pacifica, Dodge Grand Caravan, and Honda Odyssey.
What are the features of the Hankook Kinergy GT?
What makes the Hankook Kinergy GT stand out is not the conservative tread design. The tire is constructed using a silica-infused tread compound. This enables the rubber to deliver high levels of traction in all-season driving, including snow and icy roads. The symmetric five-rib tread pattern may look ordinary, but the treads are designed to efficiently displace water to deliver solid handling on wet and slushy pavement.
The rigid center rib is engineered to aid traction, braking performance, and acceleration. It also comes with multiple tread sipes with chamfered edges to provide maximum grip and admirable all-season traction.
The Hankook Kinergy GT is constructed utilizing two wider steel belts and a full-width nylon reinforcement. This improves the durability and heat resistance of the tire for a safer and more stable ride. The body casing of the tire is also equipped with a polyester cord and a jointless bead wire to further improve comfort and handling.
How does it perform on dry roads?
The Hankook Kinergy GT is a solid performer on dry roads. The braking and handling felt competent compared to other tires in the same category. But then again, this is not the tire to choose if you want to drive fast or if you have a sports car/sports sedan. The grip levels in the tire are not enough to harness the twisting forces of a more powerful motor. With that being said, you will feel the tires squirming if you’re pushing the vehicle over the limit. But the impressive thing is you’ll need to upset the balance of the vehicle really hard to make the tires lose composure.
Is the tire applicable for wet weather driving?
Yes. If you look closely, almost all the features in the Hankook Kinergy GT are intended to enhance wet driving performance. The high-grip silica compound is formulated to improve traction in wet or snowy roads. The same goes for the large circumferential grooves and the multiple tread sipes. The aforementioned sipes are like teeth that offers better grip on icy or slippery roads. But then again, the stopping performance and handling will suffer if you drive fast over water-covered pavement. But similar to driving in the dry, you’ll really need to push the car very hard before the tires begin squirming to find the necessary grip.
How about on snowy roads?
All-season tires should also perform well over light snow. The Hankook Kinergy GT is not the best choice for snowy roads, but it does perform quite well over very light snow or ice. Don’t expect the tires to motivate your vehicle over deep snow, however. If you live in colder climates that receive moderate amounts of snow fall in the winter season, it is better to consider a set of snow tires.
Grand touring tires are supposed to deliver better ride comfort, right?
Yes! In terms of comfort, I have nothing bad to say about the Hankook Kinergy GT. In fact, this is one of the most comfortable touring tires I have tested so far. The tires will glide smoothly over potholes and poorly-paved roads without upsetting the comfort levels inside the cabin. But if there’s a minor gripe with the tire, it will have to be high-speed comfort. At moderate to high speeds, the tires are fantastic. But if you travel above the speed limit, the tires will be a bit bumpier in this regard, especially over coarse asphalt or concrete roads.
How about the road noise?
This is the biggest and most important attribute of the Hankook Kinergy GT. The tires are eerily silent in the city and will continue to be hushed even when driven at higher speeds on the highway. But similar to the ride comfort, you can expect more tire roar as the speed increases. This is not necessarily a bad thing since cheaper tires will most likely be noisier even at slower speeds.
Should I buy the Hankook Kinergy GT?
Absolutely! Considering the all-season traction and comfort of the Hankook Kinergy GT, most car owners won’t really mind the higher price tag. But if you’re on a tight budget, this tire might not be the perfect choice.
But in terms of all-season traction and ride comfort, this Hankook Kinergy GT is a brilliant choice. It happens to perform better than a conventional touring tire while offering a higher degree of comfort.
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