Kumho Ecsta KU31

The Kumho Ecsta KU31 is a Ultra High Performance Summer tyre designed to be fitted to Passenger Cars.

Tyre review data from 165 tyre reviews averaging 76% over 2,770,523 miles driven, and 2 tests with an average result of 8th.

Dry Grip 83%
Wet Grip 75%
Road Feedback 77%
Handling 76%
Wear 72%
Comfort 74%
Buy again 77%

The Ecsta KU31 is ranked 63rd of 143 Summer Ultra High Performance tyres.

Tests Included


Best Result


Worst Result


Average Result


Latest Tyre Test Results

2014 Auto Review Max Performance Tyre Test
7th of 7 tyres
  • Price
  • Grip and control on wet pavement, low resistance to aquaplaning, grip and handling on dry pavement
  • The Kumho KU31 looks smart, but unfortunately doesn't deliver in test. On wet roads the performance is mediocre with plenty of understeer and poor aquaplaning performance, and in the dry the braking distance from 62 mph is almost 4 meters longer than the best on test, which means when the Continental had stopped, the car would still be travelling at near 20 mph! Not the best option for road or track.
View Full Test >>
2010 EVO FWD Tyre Test
9th of 9 tyres
  • Good dry pace
  • Poor wet performance, lowest subjective score.
View Full Test >>

2014 Tyre Tests

2010 Tyre Tests

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Questions and Answers for the Kumho Ecsta KU31

2019-03-05 - How to identify the manufacture date on my KUMHO 185 55 R15?

There will be a two digit code on the sidewall, like 4318 which would mean week 43 of 2018.

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Top 3 Kumho Ecsta KU31 Reviews

Given 40% while driving a Volkswagen Golf 6 GTI (225/45 R17) on mostly town for 5,000 average miles
I have never encountered a tyre that slips as much as this tyre - Cant make it for a few hundred meters without the tyres slipping when I press the gas pedal...
Helpful 166 - tyre reviewed on May 25, 2016
Given 81% while driving a Ford Mondeo ST24 (215/45 R17) on mostly town for 125,000 easy going miles
I wanted to buy it again, but unfortunately the production has stopped, I found it outdated, I bought it again.
Helpful 29 - tyre reviewed on August 5, 2022
Given 77% while driving a MINI Cooper S (205/55 R15 V) on mostly country roads for 40,000 spirited miles
Fitted these tyres to Mini Cooper S using 15" tyres and they were great. Dry and wet handling is great, especially after the changes to the suspension and proper wheel alignment with proper corner weighting. You could really pushed the car to the limit and when they do understeered, you could really unwind the wheel and it would tuck in again. Great value for money vs performance. Quite playful too, could invoke lift off oversteer with these tyres. It hasn't got the outright grip compare to Potenza RE002, but you don't really need it with Mini Cooper S because the chassis with proper alignment and coilover is fun will smaller less grippy tyres.
Helpful 37 - tyre reviewed on September 19, 2020
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Latest Kumho Ecsta KU31 Reviews

Given 18% while driving a Volkswagen Passat Estate 2.0 TDI (170) (235/45 R18 W) on mostly motorways for 4,000 easy going miles
Possibly the worst tyre known to man. Had a couple of these now. The previous of which blew out. More recently my Passat developed a horrendous vibration. Turns out the tyre's no longer round. It had more bulges than a pant special. Had my car shaking like a defecating dog. Horrendous. Thinking of buying a set? Think again! Buy yourself a pack of rubbers, use them and glue them to your alloy wheel instead. Guaranteed a smoother ride.
Helpful 34 - tyre reviewed on March 6, 2020
Given 80% while driving a BMW 530D M sport (285/30 R20 W) on a combination of roads for 0 spirited miles
Not sure about the wear but I don't care because its all about safety. When I say safety I mean it does grip very well in dry and also wet. I've 290bhp BMW (rear wheel drive of course) and no issue. I dont see why pay double the price for Michelin and other "good" brands. Will definitely buy again but i can see that price is going up. obviously tyre maker know's its good and selling more every day.
Helpful 35 - tyre reviewed on November 3, 2019
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Given 77% while driving a BMW 116i (205/55 R16 V) on mostly country roads for 10,000 average miles
I bought these tyres in November 2011 on a deal at £100 for a pair to fit to the front of my BMW E36 323i replacing a pair of 225/50 Pirelli P6000.
The Kumho's transformed the front end giving so much grip the rear would now swing around like hinge every time I really gave it some throttle. Before it would understeer slightly making the rear easier to control but now the front even in winter conditions could be thrown into corners with gay abandonment. At the time the front end of the old beemer was as good if not better than anything I had ever owned with these on.
After that car was retired 2500 miles later I put the wheels and tyres into storage until I purchased the BMW 116i and fitted some brand new Hankook Ventus Prime 3 to the other pair of wheels.
I bought the car at the beginning of summer and fitted the wheels with the Kumho's to the rear of the car figuring it would be better to wear the older tyres out quicker. The combo of Kumho's on the rear & Ventus Prime's up front was awesome. Turn off traction control and I could almost drift the rear of the car around roundabouts as the feedback was excellent and the grip & feel on the front was also rock solid. Come winter though and traction control was a must as the short wheelbase 1 series would constantly snap out on the cold tarmac.
I swapped the tyres around as the Ventus Primes had won the 2018 Auto Bild test and the Kumho's had proved brilliant on my old car. This sorted the handling, you still needed TC but the car definitely handled better and the Kumho's had almost as much grip on the front as the Hankooks.
So to sum up, the Kumho's work great on the front of a BMW as the weight of the engine increases grip and they have great feel on the rear in summer. They tend to snap out easily on the rear of a rear wheel drive car in winter so not suitable for that application.
The only other fault I have is that once the tyres were down to 6mm (after about another 7000 miles, around 10,000 in total) they were prone to aquaplaning. Maybe this wouldn't have happened on the 323i as it was heavier on the front but it certainly does happen quite a bit on the 116i.
These are an old tire now and technology has moved on so I doubt I would buy again, I also have a feeling they may become dangerous well before reaching the legal limit but they were great in 2011 for the price. They may not aquaplane as much on a heavier car, a 205 section tyre is quite big for a car the size of a 1 series.
Helpful 32 - tyre reviewed on June 26, 2019
Given 91% while driving a Subaru Legacy 3.0R Spec B (215/45 R18 W) on a combination of roads for 27,000 spirited miles
These Kumo tyres replaced Bridgestones on my Subaru Spec B and have performed excellently. Wear is very good for a car with 245HP and despite being summer tyres have enabled me to drive through deep snow out of my housing estate while other people have been stuck. However it has to be considered the Spec B is 4 wheel drive with a limited slip differential.The general road handling is superb and in particular wet road driving/brake is so very safe. For example on one occasion I had to drive from Frankfort to Luxemburg in heavy rain and easily maintained a speed of 85 to 90mph. At no time was there any change in steering feel or load, the car just felt safe. On the Autobann running at 140mph the car feels totaly stable which is a compliment to both car and tyre. I have owned the car for 6 years and driven a total of 55,000 miles. Kumo tyres were fitted just after purchase and this report reflects my experiance with two sets of Kumo tyres.
Helpful 27 - tyre reviewed on February 9, 2018
Given 66% while driving a BMW 640d (225/45 R17) on mostly country roads for 18,000 spirited miles
Bald after 18,000 miles is pretty average. The grip is 'OK' average, middle of the road etc. They are a decent enough lower-mid-range tyre, but for anyone looking for something more, i would spend a little more. The PS91 is a much much better tyre than these. Handling feels a bit vague too.... on the plus side, these look fantastic on the car - the design is great!
Helpful 28 - tyre reviewed on November 20, 2017
Given 57% while driving a BMW 120d (225/45 R17) on a combination of roads for 8,000 spirited miles
Bought these as cheap runflats when the previous owner's Goodyear Eagle F1 assymetrics died a death from sidewall failure.

Initially liked them - I thought the tread pattern looked excellent for water displacement in the wet, but immediately noticed that road noise was worse, especially under braking.

one month in, the water 'chine' tread on the shoulders became severely feathered, causing an awful rumbling noise whenever I corner. It was so bad it prompted me to replace my front wheel bearings before I homed in on the tyres as the culprit! The road roar was especially noticeable when I took the car to Europe on holiday, the super-smooth French tarmac really made them buzz.

I tried reversing them and running them in backwards to un-feather them, which partly reduced the noise, but after putting them the right way around again for the winter they're still unbearably loud - particularly under braking, cornering at low speeds on smooth tarmacked roads.

I have to assume this is due to the tyre tread blocks having insufficient strength, I'll be replacing them. My advice: don't buy.
Helpful 27 - tyre reviewed on September 21, 2017
Given 63% while driving a Audi A5 (275/30 R20) on mostly country roads for 0 average miles
Bought these for my Audi A5 cabriolet. Would never buy them again. They made my car vibrate very much, i tried to re-balance several times with no success. Even renovated my rims and still vibration. Gave up and bought new Bridgestones, the car stopped vibrate emediatly !!!!. Egg-Shell problems with these tires are a fact.
Helpful 26 - tyre reviewed on July 14, 2017
Given 84% while driving a Subaru Legacy 2.0GT Spec B (215/45 R17) on mostly country roads for 8,000 spirited miles
I'll keep it brief. Coming from Maxxis Z3 these tyres are day and night difference on the road esp in wet conditions. One thing is for sure these tyres love high tyre pressures. So if you have a 3400 lb car be sure to run around 35psi, i was at 32 psi and I tell u the difference between 35 and 32 was night and day (subaru). I'll certainly buy again, and I recommend these tyres as a nice budget grippy tire.
Helpful 32 - tyre reviewed on June 11, 2017
Given 81% while driving a Ford Galaxy (215/55 R16 W) on a combination of roads for 8,000 average miles
i have bought these tyres for years and found the price coupled to overall performance is excellent, the only negative i have found is that when the tyers get to about 80% worn ,they feel a tad hard on the ride, but this again informs me through the steering feed back that new ones will be needed soon, dry and wet driving is excellent and fuel economy exceeds fords expected mpg,i feel very safe with these tyers so i will not change brand,
Helpful 33 - tyre reviewed on January 28, 2017
Given 84% while driving a Subaru Legacy GT 2.0T AWD auto wagon (225/45 R17) on mostly country roads for 5,000 spirited miles
Handles exceptionally well in the wet, above acceptable in the dry and gives overall good handling.
Helpful 32 - tyre reviewed on December 7, 2016
Given 77% while driving a Skoda Fabia 1.2TSI 77KW(stage 1 to 100KW) (205/45 R16 W) on a combination of roads for 1,500 spirited miles
Had Bridgestone Turanza ER300 before these. They are softer(@2.4 bar pressure) and car felt softer on curves, as opposed to the bridgestones.Upped the pressure to 3bar and roll sensation was not so noticeable,but still there.
BUT: better grip on launch and better stopping power on dry and wet also. Bridgestones needed to be warmed up to give same performance.
Because of the softer compound they are quite silent (at least for the first 1000km). Will update if they get much noisier.
50-120 km/h no noise.
130-160 km/h a bit of noise
180-230 km/h they get a bit noisy, but way less than ER300's.
PROS: good value for money, nice grip.
CONS: Soft sides=roll if pressure
Helpful 31 - tyre reviewed on August 29, 2016
Given 44% while driving a Audi A4 1.8T S line Cabrio (235/45 R17) on mostly town for 7 easy going miles
kf: purchased these tires at a discount tire for 60$ each, after 5,000 miles went to get my tires rotated at the same discount tire. While there they tell me that the tires in the front are already at the red line in terms of tread life. and the rear tires are also very close to wearing out. at 6,000 miles the tread is even with the tread bars in the rear tires which were rotated to the back, two extremely close call accidents occured, both times at low speeds turning, once during rainfall at 15mph after constant rain for 5 hours in houston ( not flooded or high water) nearly collided into a pickup.
Helpful 29 - tyre reviewed on April 29, 2016