Kumo Ecsta ASX Review & Rating
- Dry traction and cornering grip
- Quick steering response
- Ride comfort
- Wet handling at higher speeds
Billed as the best Ultra High Performance tire on the market by Kumho, the Ecsta ASX purports to offer both great quality and great affordability. We took the tire out for a spin to verify these claims for ourselves by testing the tire in several key areas.
In dry conditions, we found that the Ecsta ASX adhered fairly well to the road at any speed on even pavement, though it seemed to have a few problems with uneven surfaces and imperfections in the asphalt. It definitely lacked the traction of a dedicated summer tire… but, we also found it much easier to brake and accelerate than we did with some of its competitors.
When it comes to wet road conditions the tire is both good and bad. Around town or when driving at moderate speeds the ASX performs just fine. It grips the pavement effectively and provides confident traction. But when it comes to pushing the tire at higher speeds in the wet, be careful. It can slide on you if you are not paying attention. We simply did not feel as confident pushing our test vehicle at high speeds on wet road surfaces as we do on other models in this class.
Cornering – Steering
With a fairly stiff sidewall, the Ecsta ASX KU21 was very quick and responsive when steering and cornering. The tire’s larger outside shoulder blocks helped it adhere to the road while turning in both wet and dry weather. When we pushed the tire, we also found it to be quite communicative. We knew right away whenever we were about to encounter trouble, and were able to correct for steering mistakes quickly and effectively.
Winter handling is without a doubt the Ecsta ASX’s greatest weakness. The tire doesn’t seem to be made for cold weather, as it tends to settle and freeze when exposed to lower temperatures. As a result, in our tests the tires lost a great deal of traction, sliding even on light snow. To be fair, this is not advertised as a winter tire, nor does it pretend to be one.
Ride Comfort – Road Noise
Although it provided modest comfort, smoothness and stability while driving, the ASX isn’t the best in its class for road noise. The tires, while fairly quiet, still give off some noise while on the road, particularly when turning and cornering. The Ecsta ASX is thus something of a trade-off between high performance and a quiet ride. That said, for most drivers this won’t be an issue.
The Ecsta ASX holds a UTQG rating of 400, meaning it should be usable for around 40,000 miles. Durability is increased through the tread design, which incorporates a high-tensile steel belt and jointless full-cap nylon plies. All in all tread life is about average for tires in this class.
Kumho provides a warranty on the Ecsta ASX for 5 years or 30,000 miles.
While there are undoubtedly better ultra-high performance all-season tires on the market, the Ecsta ASX definitely has some excellent features going for it, and a price point that is very appealing to those looking to save a few bucks. We would rank it in the middle of the pack for this class.