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: 2005 Mazda MAZDA3 s 5-Door Without TPMS
Miles Driven on Tires: 500
Location: Olathe, KS
Driving Condition: Combined Highway/City
Driving Style: Average
Kumho Ecsta 4X
Follow-Up Review: 4,000 miles on tires
February 13, 2012
After a few miles (and a snow storm or two) I wanted to give an update on the tire performance.<br><br>Ride comfort has improved slightly as the tires have broken in, but it's still pretty piss poor. The tires still feel like they have zero give over harsh bumps and all of it is directed into the cabin. I doubt it improves any past this, and I still feel it's pretty unacceptable.<br><br>Snow performance is exactly what I thought it would be. Great. It's not as good as the DWS, but it's more than capable of getting someone around in the typical midwest snowstorm without any issues. Traction from a stop is fantastic, steering response is good (although not as good as the DWS), and braking is awesome. I did not get to test them in a heavy snowstorm so I can't comment on the super deep stuff.<br><br>Road noise has picked up a tiny bit since my last update, but they're still incredibly quiet tires. <br><br>No funky wear on the tires yet. I plan on rotating them when I change my oil next.<br><br>Everything else about the tires has remained exactly the same.
Initial Review: 500 miles on tires
December 19, 2011

I replaced a set of Michelin Pilot All Season tires with these 4X's. While I find that the performance of the tire itself tends to be on par with the Pilot A/S, one area where it falls EXTREMELY short of is ride comfort. The performance of these tires over bumps is absolutely unacceptable. The shock of every bump is transferred to the cabin and right into the steering and seat. None of this was there with the Pilot A/S. It feels like a tire that is set at the maximum pressure allowed, then run through a suspension set up as stiffly as possible. In 500 miles it's already causing new noises inside my car and I fear it will only get worse. I cannot express enough that if ride comfort is one of your bigger requirements that you AVOID this tire.

Dry performance of the tire is right in line with the Pilot A/S which is quite the compliment considering the price of 1/3 as much. Steering response is immediate and crisp, and emergency handling is instant and with full control. I have a set of Continental DWS's on my wife's Mazda Protege and handling response is a night and day difference between it and the 4X. They blow the DWS out of the water.

Wet performance is absolutely fantastic with the 4X. I drove my 3 through some extremely heavy rain and the car never skipped a beat. I've never had more confidence in the wet than what I do with these tires.

All in all these tires are so great on so many levels, but ultimately I feel like their cheap price finally shows through on ride comfort. I've never owned a set of tires that handle bumps so poorly. I'm not going to replace these tires (as I'm not in the business of wasting $400), but if I could do it all over again I wouldn't consider them even for a second. As much as I hate to say it, I'd probably sacrifice the handling performance I so desire and pick up a set of DWS's from Continental since they do everything else so perfectly.

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