Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Kumho Ecsta 4X

Note: The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.
Vehicle: 2006 Subaru Impreza WRX Sedan
Miles Driven on Tires: 3,000
Location: Manchester, NH
Driving Condition: Combined Highway/City
Driving Style: Average
Kumho Ecsta 4X
Follow-Up Review: 30,000 miles on tires
January 03, 2014
I never hated these tires enough to take them off before they wear out, but I'm getting a little exited that they are coming to the end of their life. I was able to improve the stability problem by pumping them up to 36/37 psi (32 is the recommended pressure for the car). This also improved, but didn't eliminate, the tires tendency to track grooves on bad pavement. They still track grooves worse than my motorcycle sometimes. <br><br>The tires will probably be down to the wear bars before 40,000 miles, which is what I got out of the RE92's they replaced. Unfortunately these have a tread wear rating of 420, vs 160 for the RE92's. <br><br>For the life of me I can't work out why these have such high reviews for steering feel and stability. Great all out traction, good wet traction, decent winter performance, decent ride noise/quality, but miserable steering feel. And yes I've checked the wheel alignment, and even after only rotating them twice in 30,000 miles they are wearing evenly, so it's not an alignment issue.<br><br>Lastly, I made a mistake in my original review, the RE92's are not run-flat, just expensive for no apparent reason.
Initial Review: 3,000 miles on tires
September 16, 2012

I'm having trouble closing the gap between most other reviews, Tire Racks test of this tire, and my experience. Replaced the OEM Bridgestone Potenza RE92's with these and the ride is a little softer and much quieter, but steering response is terrible. I'm seeing few complaints of this in the reviews, and Tire Rack puts steering response as one of the strong points of the tire, but I can drive down the highway, wiggle the steering wheel, and feel the car yaw like a boat. It's a similar feeling to when I drive my parents 12 yr old Buick LeSabre, not really an acceptable driving characteristic in anything in a performance category. Outright grip when cornering and braking seems good, but again, any steering inputs mid corner result in a delay while the outside tires load up, then the requested change in direction. Maybe I was spoiled by the rock hard sidewalls of the run-flat Bridgestones, but I find it hard to believe all tires in this category behave like this.

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