Comparing Hankook vs Goodyear Tires

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A car is made up of many parts, all important. Some might overlook this, but I think tires are among the most critical components of a car. They are the only parts that touch the road, playing a key role in acceleration, braking, and steering.

Tires don’t last as long as the car itself, so every owner will need to replace them at some point. Back in the day, choosing tires was straightforward with just one or two brands available, and they were pretty similar. Now, things have changed.

Today, you’re faced with numerous choices across different price ranges and for various uses. If you’ve been following my reviews, you’ll know I usually suggest opting for premium or mid-range tires, as the cheapest ones can be quite poor. But how do these two categories stack up against each other?

We’ll compare two strong options from each category in this review. For the mid-range, we have Hankook, and for the premium segment, we’re looking at Goodyear. How do they stack up, and when is it worth it to spend more? Let’s dive in.

Hankook’s History

In 1941, in Seoul, South Korea, a company named Chosun was born. If you’re scratching your head, let me clear things up: yes, Hankook was once called Chosun. It wore this name for about ten years before transforming into the Hankook we recognize today.

Some might say Hankook was a bit late to the tire game, especially compared to brands that have been rolling since the 1800s. But I beg to differ. Hankook didn’t just show up; it brought innovative changes that shook up the industry. It carved out its niche as a mid-range brand. This means you get a bang for your buck—a blend of affordability and performance that, in some cases, even outshines the more expensive options.

Hankook didn’t just mimic others to climb the ranks. Through its unique technologies, the brand swiftly caught up with its pricier rivals. That’s what has earned it such acclaim today.

The brand’s commitment to quality and performance has solidified a lasting partnership with Audi, including a recent deal to equip the e-Tron GT. Beyond the automotive industry, Hankook has made its mark in motorsports, with a history in Le Mans, DTM, and, starting this year, Formula E.

Even though Hankook isn’t typically seen on the same pedestal as the top-tier manufacturers, it’s undeniably a formidable player in the field.

Hankook’s Tire Families

At first look, Hankook might seem to offer limited choices with just a few tire families. But, that’s not entirely the case. The variety is more extensive than it appears.

Ventus

Starting off, we have Ventus, the top-tier family from Hankook. These tires are crafted for peak performance, giving you superb handling, grip, and traction.

Hankook boasts a wide array of Ventus models. You can choose from the Ventus S1 evo2 and evo3 in various versions, the S1 noble 2, TD, R-S4, and more. This range caters to all performance needs for passenger cars, CUVs, and SUVs across all weather types. So, whether you need summer tires or all-season ones, Ventus has you covered.

Optimo

For those in search of touring tires, the Optimo family stands out. These tires are favored for their longevity and solid performance on the road. The focus here is on refinement, and Hankook has excelled in delivering that.

Optimo tires, much like Ventus, are mainly for passenger cars but also offer summer and all-season varieties. The lineup includes models such as the H426, H428, H724, and H725, spanning a broad spectrum of price points.

Kinergy

Kinergy takes the touring concept further, offering a blend of comfort, quietness, and durability. While mainly focusing on touring options, it also includes some performance models. This lineup presents a slightly broader selection.

Targeting the passenger car segment, with options for CUVs and SUVs, Kinergy introduces performance models like the Kinergy Eco. Despite its touring traits, it leans towards performance. Other models include the GT, 4S2, 4S2 X, AS X EV, PT, ST, among others. This means you have access to summer and all-season tires for various vehicles, accommodating different budgets.

Dynapro

It’s well-known that the Dynapro tire family is a big deal. They’re crafted for CUVs, SUVs, and even light trucks. Hankook cleverly made sure these tires could handle various situations and weather conditions.

You’ve got the touring types like the Dynapro HP2 and HP2 Plus, AS RH03, and HT RH07. These are great for regular driving. Then, there are the all-terrain ones like the AT2 and AT-M. These are perfect for mixing it up between on-road cruising and off-road adventures. And for those who really love to tackle the rough stuff, the MT2 is the ultimate off-road tire.

i*cept

Despite the odd name, the icept tires deliver solid performance for winter driving. While all-season or all-weather tires do okay, the icept lineup shines in really tough conditions.

This family might not have a ton of choices, but it’s got something for everyone. Cars, big CUVs, and SUVs are all covered. Smaller cars can go for models like the RS2, evo2, and evo3. The larger vehicles have options like the evo3 X, evo2 SUV, or the LV.

I*pike

When the icept isn’t enough, the ipike steps in. Designed for the harshest winter weather, these tires are a game-changer. They’re studdable, which means they’re not just good on snow but ice too.

Following Hankook’s approach, the ipike tires fit a range of vehicles just like the icept does. Whether it’s a passenger car, a CUV, SUV, or a light truck, there’s an ipike for it. The standard ipike is for smaller sizes, the X for SUVs, and the RW11 for light trucks, ensuring everyone can find the right tire for their needs.

Goodyear’s History

Hankook’s rival is a name that’s already well-known. Born in 1898 in Akron, Ohio, Goodyear stands as one of the oldest tire makers around. What’s key is its status as a high-end choice.

Deciding on a name was easy. They named it after Charles Goodyear, the inventor of vulcanized rubber. At first, Goodyear made bicycle tires. Then, Henry Ford took notice. He asked Goodyear to make tires for his cars. This move sent Goodyear’s fame sky-high.

What sets Goodyear apart? It’s one of the pioneers in making radial tires. Back then, the competition was still on bias-ply tires. This bold move was a game-changer, pushing Goodyear to the forefront.

Over the years, Goodyear kept getting better. Thanks to its many R&D centers, it introduced lots of new tech. Performance is crucial for Goodyear. With technologies like ActiveBraking, EfficientGrip, and ActiveCornerGrip, its tires shine under various conditions. Touring tires weren’t left behind. Innovations like SmartWear, SoundComfort, and WearControl ensure a smooth ride and durability.

And racing? Goodyear has seen plenty of action, especially in Formula 1. Though it’s no longer supplying tires there, it still holds the record for the most wins.

So, Goodyear tires are great, but how do they stack up against Hankook’s offerings?

Goodyear Tire Families

Goodyear simplifies tire selection with its wide array of tire families.

Assurance

Touring tires are a favorite, so let’s dive into those first. Goodyear’s Assurance series is your go-to for a reliable choice. These tires are built to last and maintain a level of performance typically sacrificed in touring tires. They’re designed exclusively for passenger vehicles and include various models like Fuel Max, CS Fuel Max, Finesse, ComfortDrive, and WeatherReady. As you might infer from their names, all these models are versatile, all-season tires.

Eagle

Should touring tires not be to your liking, the Eagle series might catch your eye. These are Goodyear’s high-performance tires, where you might find a slight trade-off in refinement for superior handling, grip, and traction.

The Eagle line caters to a broader audience with models such as the F1, Sport, Touring, Exhilarate, LS, GT, NCT, and RS, encompassing a wide spectrum. With a variety of names and additional models within each, the options expand further, offering tires suitable for various vehicle sizes and weather conditions.

Ultra Grip

When winter rolls around, driving can get a bit tricky. That’s where the Ultra Grip family of tires comes into play. These tires are built to give you top-notch performance on snowy and icy roads. They even have a touch of sportiness to them.

In this family, the Ultra Grip standard model is joined by the Ultra Grip 8 Performance, Winter, GW2, GW3, and Ice WRT. Together, they offer a range of tires that can fit almost any vehicle you might find on the road today.

WinterCommand

Next up, we have the WinterCommand family. They’re a bit like the Ultra Grip, so much so that some folks think they’re rivals, even though they’re from the same brand. The WinterCommand has its own special features, like a unique list of suitable vehicles and — something the Ultra Grip doesn’t have — the option for studs.

Not all models can be studded, but those that can offer great performance, even on ice. And yes, while they cater to a slightly different set of vehicles, the WinterCommand tires still cover a broad spectrum.

Wrangler

Now, let’s talk about the Wrangler tires, well-known heroes in the off-road scene. These Goodyear tires are meant for SUVs, light trucks, and sometimes CUVs. Don’t be fooled by the specific vehicle fitment; when it comes to model variety, “limited” is not in the Wrangler’s vocabulary.

Goodyear offers more than 20 unique Wrangler models. This means you have choices that span different weather and driving conditions. Whether you need all-season tires for touring on the road, all-terrain, or mud-terrain tires, the Wrangler lineup has you covered.

EfficientGrip

The EfficientGrip family might not be the star of Goodyear’s lineup, yet it stands out in its own right. These tires find their sweet spot between touring and performance. Goodyear has skillfully found a balance, offering a bit of both worlds – a mix that appeals to certain drivers.

In this range, there are two key models: the EfficientGrip and the EfficientGrip Performance. Both are designed as summer tires. They cater exclusively to passenger cars. However, the variety in sizes across these two models is vast, ensuring that finding the right fit for your vehicle is rarely a problem.

Excellence

The Excellence range represents an interesting battle within the Goodyear brand. Aimed to serve as touring tires with an enhanced focus on handling and grip, they don’t compromise on the touring essentials. This means they offer a smooth, durable ride.

The Excellence line may not boast as many variants as some other Goodyear families, but it makes up for this with a broad selection of sizes. This strategic choice allows Goodyear to accommodate a diverse range of passenger vehicles, including some smaller options.

Fierce

At a glance, the Fierce family shares similarities with certain models in the Wrangler series. These tires are built for SUVs and light trucks that tackle various types of terrain.

“Multiple road conditions” here include both on-road and off-road adventures, positioning Fierce tires as versatile all-terrain options. Goodyear has finely tuned these tires to deliver solid performance on the road as well as capable traction off it, striking a commendable balance for adventurous drivers.

Frontera

Touring tires for SUVs? Absolutely. The Frontera line of tires suits the same kind of vehicle as the one before, but the driving conditions are what set them apart.

Even though they’re made for the same vehicles, Frontera SL and HL tires are built for road use only. This makes them all-season touring tires. The HL model offers solid performance for everyday driving, while the SL adds a touch of sportiness. In certain moments, it’s guaranteed to bring a smile to your face.

Integrity

Goodyear stands out as a top-tier brand, usually associated with a steeper price. However, the Integrity tires aim to be more wallet-friendly. It’s important to remember that the performance might not match some of their pricier counterparts.

The Integrity series is pretty compact, featuring just one model. Nonetheless, Goodyear manages to provide a good selection of passenger tires with it. It’s an all-season tire that promises reliable performance year-round. This makes it a smart pick for those driving older vehicles or looking to save some money on tires.

Differences Between Hankook and Goodyear

It’s true that comparing brands from different categories might not always seem fair. Yet, here we are, diving into how Hankook stands up against Goodyear. Let’s figure out the differences and see if Goodyear really has the edge over Hankook.

Performance

There’s a common belief that more expensive tires offer better performance. When we put Hankook and Goodyear head-to-head, we’ll notice differences in performance, whether we’re talking about grip, traction, or touring tires.

Goodyear tends to come out on top in most comparisons. You’ll get either more performance or a more refined tire, justifying the higher price. However, Hankook isn’t far behind in some cases. For instance, the Ventus S1 evo3 by Hankook has braking distances remarkably close to those of the Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5.

The story doesn’t change much in the SUV and light truck categories. Goodyear tires generally perform better, but Hankook surprises in certain scenarios. For example, the Goodyear EfficientGrip SUV, despite being an outstanding all-season tire for SUVs, falls short in wet braking compared to the Hankook Ventus ST.

And off-roading? Here, the competition tightens. Goodyear is known for crafting top-notch off-road tires, yet Hankook brings strong competition with its mud-terrain tire, the Dynapro MT2, almost rivaling Goodyear’s Wrangler Territory MT. But Goodyear takes the lead in durability, especially with their Kevlar-reinforced tires, a feature Hankook hasn’t matched.

Looking solely at performance, Goodyear emerges as the clear winner. While Hankook does shine in specific situations, overall, Goodyear tires are the preferable choice.

Available Options

If you’ve glanced through the section on tire families, you might think Goodyear stands out. That’s partly true. Hankook may lag in the number of families, but its approach to model grouping differs from Goodyear, making comparisons not so straightforward. However, when you tally up the total models each brand offers, Goodyear seems to provide more choices.

There’s a considerable overlap in models and families, which not only broadens your options but also presents varied price points. Goodyear even offers budget-friendly touring tires. They might not match the performance of pricier alternatives but are still solid picks. Hankook deserves praise too. It boasts a wide array of models catering to various vehicle types and tire sizes, so the gap isn’t huge.

One critique for Goodyear involves the Assurance family. Here, you find the Fuel Max and ComfortDrive tires, designed for low rolling resistance and comfort, respectively. Both are top-notch, yet choosing one means compromising in some areas. But, remember, the differences are minor, and both tires offer comfort and efficiency.

Price

The winner in this category seems obvious. Hankook positions itself as a mid-range brand, focusing on quality tires at reasonable prices. Goodyear, not the priciest among premium manufacturers, still comes in at a higher cost than its Korean counterpart.

Some Goodyear models closely match Hankook’s offerings but aren’t the top performers, something to bear in mind.

When comparing similar categories and sizes, Hankook’s tires are consistently more affordable than Goodyear’s.

Warranty

Goodyear has a bit of an edge over Hankook, offering a slightly longer treadwear warranty on many of its tires. However, it’s worth noting that in some cases, the warranties are the same, or Hankook might even offer a longer one.

Overall, Goodyear tends to come out on top in the warranty department. This isn’t too surprising, given that Goodyear tires tend to be pricier.

Advantages of Hankook

  • More wallet-friendly
  • Off-road tires nearly match Goodyear’s quality
  • Impressive performance for the cost

Advantages of Goodyear

  • Superior performance
  • Longer treadwear warranty for many models
  • Wider selection of tires

Which brand to choose?

Choosing between these two brands might seem straightforward at first, with Goodyear appearing to be the superior choice. However, the decision is not as simple as it might look.

Yes, Goodyear does flaunt its high-end quality and generally offers a better product. But the gap between Goodyear and Hankook is not as wide as one might think. Hankook has made significant strides and now provides excellent tires at a more affordable price.

So, should you automatically opt for Goodyear? Not necessarily. Consider the differences, evaluate the prices, and think about whether the additional cost is justified for the performance. For instance, putting a set of Eagle F1s on my ’92 Corolla doesn’t make sense, making Hankook the smarter choice for me. On the other hand, more powerful or luxury vehicles might benefit from the extra performance Goodyear offers, making it the better pick.

Ultimately, both brands are outstanding, and the choice between them comes down to individual needs and preferences. Goodyear has a slight advantage in performance but comes at a higher cost.

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Lucas Liam

Hi, I'm Liam, the enthusiast behind Off Road Genius. With more than 10 years of conquering diverse terrains, my experience with Jeeps extends beyond the ordinary. I've mastered the intricate details of these off-road champions, pushing their capabilities to the limit. Through this platform, I share my profound knowledge and lessons learned from countless miles on the trail. I'm here to inspire, educate, and guide you through the thrilling world of Jeeps. So, buckle up for this adventure-filled ride!

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