Kumho is one of the leaders in the budget tire world. Their quality is often surprising and surpasses even some of their big-name rivals. The Road Venture AT51s are a great example of that. They are a really great tire to buy if you are on a budget and you enjoy the occasional off-road trail or dusty jobsite.
- Type: All-Terrain
- Sizes: 15-20″
- Uniform Tire Quality Grade (UTQG): 540 A A
- Speed Rating: R-T
- Warranty: 6-year or 55,000 mile
- Price: $$ – $$$
What Sets It Apart
The Road Venture AT51 is a great tire on the road and a decent tire off the road. What really sets them apart, though, is the price. It’s possible to get new shoes on all four corners for under 500 bucks, and you will be happy with the results.
One of the other nice things about these tires is that they have good performance in the snow. Usually, any AT tire that is decent on the road will be terrible in the snow. In fact, the previous generation of Kumho ATs were pretty terrible during the winter. They must have worked some miracles in the lab because the new AT51s will get you home in a blizzard.
Comfort and Performance
These tires have a good amount of sidewall tread and a lot of surface area. They will stick to just about anything and give you a lot of confidence when you drive. Within reason, of course. They are still a compromise tire; they are never going to perform as well on the road as a good set of sticky summer tires, and any dedicated off-road tread will leave them in the dust. However, especially for the price, you won’t feel like you are sacrificing either category completely.
There is some extra noise on the highway. It’s not as bad as running mud tires on the road, but it is noticeable. The AT51s are about mid-pack in terms of comfort; if you are used to the Cooper Discoverer series, you might notice a bit of vibration. It’s definitely not a deal-breaker, though.
Like we said above, though, where they shine as a road-focused all-terrain tire is their performance in the snow. The tread pattern is good at self-cleaning, meaning the snow has a hard time building up and stopping the bite.
Safety and Durability
Unless you are in very deep mud, you don’t have to worry about these tires failing to bring you to a stop. It might take a little longer than a higher-end tire like the Michelin AT2, especially if they are cold, but you are never going to feel like you can’t get a grip.
You may find that these tires don’t last quite as long as your average all-season, but that’s not really a commentary on Kumho. The truth is that ATs don’t last as long as harder highway tires, and while there are a few that really stand out, the fact that these Kumhos don’t shouldn’t dissuade anyone.
Especially since they come with a 55k mile tread warranty, or a six-year warranty, whichever comes first. That includes a free replacement in the first year, so you can have a lot of confidence in the AT51s longevity.
Who It’s For
People who will get the most out of these Kumho AT51s live near the snow, do a lot of road driving but enjoy the occasional off-road, and/or work in a field where you are out in a field. They seem especially well suited for Jeeps and 4-Runners, and other vehicles you expect to see on the trail Saturday and at the mall Sunday.
Still, though, the low cost makes them an easy recommendation for anyone that could benefit from a road-focused all-terrain. It’s a tire that punches way above its weight class, and we’re happy to see that Kumho continues to push the limits of what a budget tire can do.