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Kumho Ecsta HS52 review

A welcome return for Kumho with its latest Ecsta. It delivered on its performance target of good braking, but there are areas that need improving

The Korean firm was a test regular, but has been absent since 2017, when we tested 205/55R16. Its entry is the successor to that tyre, which finished fourth, with a similar gap to the winner. 

The HS52 joined Kumho’s line-up in 2022 and, like others, promises increased mileage compared with its predecessor. The Ecsta HS52 is most effective in the dry. It was marginally the quickest on the handling circuit, and was joint fourth in braking, stopping less than half a metre behind the winning Continental.

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It won the wet-circle assessment, but front grip was limited when facing the handling circuit’s mixed demands. It began to slide at slower speeds than rivals and triggered rear movement when it did hook up. The HS52 needed lots of lock and patience on the throttle, but managed joint fourth for wet braking. Its struggles in the deeper aquaplaning assessments meant it finished mid-pack across the wet tests.

Fuel economy is not what you might expect from a new design, but remove the super-frugal Bridgestone from the results and Kumho’s performance looks more respectable and competitive with most of its rivals.

Blackcircles.com says…

"These tyres meet customer expectations, gaining a 4.6/5 score. Customers rate the performance in all weathers, especially in wet conditions." 

Results

Kumho Ecsta HS52  
Overall98.4% 
Price£66.44 
Wet braking95.5%=4th
Wet handling97.7%10th
Wet cornering100%1st
Curved aquaplaning78.4%10th
Straight aquaplaning93.2%10th
Dry braking98.2%4th
Dry handling100%1st
Cabin noise99.4%4th
Rolling resistance71.6%8th

Buy the Kumho Ecsta HS52 from Blackcircles.com...

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In this review
Products editor

Kim has worked for Auto Express for more than three decades and all but a year of that time in the Products section. His current role as products editor involves managing the section’s content and team of testers plus doing some of the tests himself. 

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