Hankook Dynapro HT RH12 Review

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The Korean Hankook Dynapro HT RH12 is a premium highway all-season tire, that provides pretty decent wet performance. But is this tire still worth it, considering other performance areas? Well, let’s find out.

Honda Pilot
Dynapro HT on Honda Pilot.

Size Variations

The tire comes in 15 to 20 inches rims. And these sizes have following specs.

  • Speed ratings: S, T.
  • Load ratings: SL, XL, C
  • Tread depth: 11, 12.5, 14, and 15/32″ are seen.
  • Weight: 24 to 64 lbs.
  • UTQG: Ranging between 300 and 700.
  • Treadwear warranty: 70k miles for P metric, and 40k for LT.

Quick Takeaway

Highlighting its capabilities, the Hankook Dynapro HT performs exceptionally well in:

  • Strong directional grip and effective braking on dry surfaces, enhanced by its well-designed tread pattern.
  • Good wet handling and braking, standing out among budget competitors in its category.
  • Quiet and smooth ride comfort, thanks to its soft rubber composition and noise reduction technology.

However, the tire could benefit from improvements, especially in:

  • Hydroplaning resistance, particularly in curved conditions, due to its tread design.
  • Ice traction, where it falls short in braking and handling on icy surfaces.
  • Tread longevity, as the winter-optimized tread wears down quicker than other all-season tires.

Tread Structure

To fully appreciate the tire’s performance, a careful study of its design is recommended.

Hankook Dynapro HT RH12
Hankook Dynapro HT RH12

So, the Hankook Dynapro HT RH12 stands out with its symmetric tread pattern, defined by five clear ribs, also referred to as block columns.

Starting with outer shoulder ribs, the lugs here are pretty packed.

These lugs feature a combination of linear and wave-like sipes, and notches facing the middle.

And yes, they also have biters on their outer edges, adding to the tire’s handling grip.

Moving towards the middle, the central most rib is characterized by linear lateral notches facing outwards, along with wave-like sipes.

And while this rib with continuous running design, enhances grip, the adjacent ribs, with proper zigzag lateral voids, interconnecting the outer circumferential grooves, add to the tire’s hydroplaning resistance.

Though the lugs (on these surrounding ribs), mimic the siping pattern of the central rib, varying slightly in angles.

Overall Dry Performance

Analyzing dry road performance requires a close look at the tire’s traction, cornering ability, and responsiveness to steering inputs.

Let’s examine these factors one by one.

Directional Grip

The effectiveness of directional grip is primarily influenced by the rubber’s contact with the road, especially in the tire’s central region.

But why is the center so crucial? Well, because this area bears the most weight, when the tire rolls straight, so lugs there meet with the road with greater force.

Having said that, I can now explain, why there are no complaints with Hankook Dynapro HT RH12 in this regard, as the tire provides above average braking performance, among other tires in its highway all-season category.

The tire features sleek, longitudinally aligned ribs, where the central rib provides a continuous-running pattern, while adjacent ribs offer many zigzag in-groove notches.

So, you not only get ample rubber-to-road contact, but also a great on-road bite, together enhancing the tire’s overall longitudinal grip.

However, it’s important to note here that its directional grip or braking efficacy significantly decreases with the use of LT sizes. These sizes are particularly heavier, which contributes to increased momentum inertia, in turn causing slower braking.

Dry Handling and Steering

Discussing the complexities of tire cornering involves understanding three key phases:

  • Entry Phase: This is where the vehicle starts to navigate the turn. It involves braking and sometimes downshifting, setting the stage for how the vehicle will handle the corner.
  • Mid-Corner Phase: This is the critical moment when the vehicle is actively turning. Steering feedback becomes crucial here, as it determines how well the driver can maintain control and negotiate the curve.
  • Exit Phase: In this final phase, the vehicle begins to straighten out, and the driver gradually reapplies the throttle to exit the turn smoothly.

Now, for Hankook Dynapro HT, the tire offers better-than-average performance in two of these key areas: Entry, and mid-corner feedback.

This means that during the entry and mid-corner phases, the tire provides a solid sense of control and traction, allowing you to clearly feel the limits of the overall traction.

However, the on-center feel is somewhat light with these tires.

By on-center feel, I’m referring to the sensation you get from the steering when driving straight, particularly post cornering.

In practical terms, this means that as you exit the corner and the car starts to straighten out, it might feel like it requires less effort to steer, potentially giving a sensation of reduced control. And by putting less effort in, you end up with understeering.

Don’t worry, though, these tires are still pretty good and you can control your car just fine. It’s just that they feel a bit different when you’re coming out of turns compared to other tires. You might need a little time to get used to this lighter feeling when you’re straightening up the car after a turn.

Tread Longevity

Tread longevity hinges on finding the right balance between rolling resistance, tread depth, and rubber composition.

These factors determine the rate and duration of tread wear. And in this context, the Hankook Dynapro HT needs some improvements.

While its tread incorporates heat-resistant compounds and high-grade rubber additives to combat wear, its winter-optimized tread tends to wear down to the 2/32″ replacement mark more quickly than other tires in its highway all-season category.

Though its P metric sizes do better, compared to LT sizes, as they are significantly lighter, so there’s less pressure on the lugs as the get rubbed against the road. That’s why you end up with 700 treadwear rating and 70k miles as tread warranty, but very lacking 300 UTQG, and 40k miles warranty for LT sizes.

For folks who don’t know, you can learn all about LT sizes here: https://tiredriver.com/what-does-lt-mean-on-a-tire/

Though keep in mind, even P metric sizes don’t usually go up to 70k miles.

Side Note: If tread longevity is a priority, the Michelin Defender LTX M/S might suit your needs better here.

Wet Performance

Analyzing a tire’s behavior in wet conditions involves looking at its grip on wet surfaces, its steering response, and its ability to prevent hydroplaning.

Let’s review these elements.

Wet Traction

Achieving reliable wet traction is inherently more challenging than dry grip due to the essential need for efficient water evacuation. This is because water, being non-compressible, must be displaced from the tread to avoid interference with the tire’s grip.

In this context, the Hankook HT showcases remarkable performance, where it stands out in wet handling, outperforming its competitors in the budget category.

And although its wet braking performance doesn’t lead the pack, it’s still very appreciable, where it comes right in the middle of its highway all-season category.

To give you an idea about its performance, when compared with the high-end Michelin Defender LTX MS (review), the Dynapro only falls short by a feet, on wet braking tests.

So what makes this tire perform so great?

Well, a key factor is its advanced siping structure, which features a mix of rectilinear and interlocking sipes across its tread, ensuring effective water displacement.

These sipes work by channeling water particles into their slits, whilst maintaining flexibility.

Basically, while most of the water goes out through grooves, there’s still left over moisture, and that coming in between the tire’s rubber and the road’s surface is squeezed into those slits.

This way, the tire creates a relative direr contact patch, for improved rubber-to-road contact.

Furthermore, while these sipes help dry out the surface, the tire’s numerous in-groove notches, especially around the edges of the tread, provide excellent surface bite, particularly as the tire corners. This enhances its lateral grip in wet conditions.

Aquaplaning Resistance

Hydroplaning happens, when a tire can’t push enough water away through its grooves, leading to the tire essentially floating on the water surface.

This is dangerous because it means the tire can’t grip the road properly.

Now, here, the Hankook Dynapro HT is pretty good, thanks to its 4 wide enough circumferential grooves, interconnected with each other.

But there’s a catch. Due to the tire’s continuous running central most, and outer shoulder ribs, the tire isn’t able to evacuate adequate amount of water, compromising its curved float speeds. But yes, it does okay in straight-line hydroplaning tests.

If you’re wondering, float speeds refer to the speed at which the tire begins to hydroplane, typically on shallow water. To measure this accurately, I use a telemetry system that precisely records the moment the tires start losing traction. This system helps to identify at what speed and under what conditions the tires begin to hydroplane.

Winter Performance

For those in search of an all-season tire with decent snow capabilities, the Dynapro HT RH12 should definitely be considered.

I mean sure the tire is missing with 3 Peak Mountain Snowflake rating, but it still performs adequately.

For Your Info: The 3 Peak rating only tells you about tire’s acceleration on light snow, and is not a measure of tire’s handling and braking. You can read all about it here.

Having said that, the Hankook HT stands out for its superior directional grip, and handling abilities, largely thanks to its central rib, densely packed with notches, and the adjacent ribs equipped with zigzag in-groove biters.

These features create effective snow-to-snow contact, enhancing the tire’s steering response and providing more consistent performance in laps.

This level of control, particularly in maintaining a balance between oversteer and understeer, is a significant advantage over many of its competitors, who often struggle in this area.

However, it’s important to note that despite its array of wavy, interlocking sipes across the tread, the Hankook HT still falls short in ice traction, particularly, in terms of braking, as seen on tests.

Fuel Efficiency

A tire’s fuel efficiency depends on various factors like its design, construction, and operational conditions. This explains the significant variation in fuel consumption across different sizes of the Hankook Dynapro HT.

The SL (Standard Load) and some XL (Extra Load) sizes, known for their lower weight and shallower tread depth, generally outperform the LT (Light Truck) sizes in terms of fuel efficiency.

The lighter weight reduces the pressure on the lugs as they interact with the road, and a shallower tread depth increases tread rigidity.

This results in minimized lug flexing, conserving energy that is then redirected to the tire’s rolling movement.

Consequently, these design optimizations lead to improved miles per gallon (MPG), enhancing the tire’s overall fuel efficiency.

Overall Ride Comfort

The overall ride comfort of a tire is greatly influenced by two key factors: the level of tread noise and the tire’s ability to absorb road irregularities.

Let’s explore these aspects in detail.

Noise Comfort

Fundamentally, tire noise arises from air movement.

I mean, as the tire rolls, air enters the tread (predominately from shoulder voids), and collides with the tread walls, generating noise.

Now, what makes Dynapro HT so quiet on roads, is its continuous-running shoulder ribs, with densely packed up lugs. Meaning, the tire deals with noise at its source.

Now, sure some residual air still manages to get in, the tire effectively mitigates this through its advanced pitch sequencing technology, which utilizes lugs of varying angles, to produce different tones as air strikes them, thereby preventing the amplification of these sounds.

Road Smoothness

Regarding ride comfort, my evaluation and subjective testing suggest that the Dynapro HT RH12 offers an exceptionally soft ride, surpassing many of its class competitors.

The tire excels in cushioning the impact of road imperfections, enhancing driving comfort. However, this softness is a double-edged sword. I mean, its rubber is way too soft. So while it enhances comfort, it compromised on tread stability.

That’s why the tire shows delayed recovery after initial impacts, meaning, bumps take more time to settle down.

Take Home Points

Overall, the Hankook Dynapro HT RH12 strikes a nice balance between performance and comfort.

It provides great capabilities in dry conditions, with superb braking and cornering, I mean comparing other tires in its highway all season category.

Moreover, its wet performance is also appreciable, though the tire lacks in providing adequate hydroplaning resistance.

In snowy settings, the tire although lacks a little on ice, its overall winter scores are above average.

Other than this the tire comes with very mixed results in terms of comfort, tread longevity and fuel economy, where its P metric sizes are doing better, compared to LT.

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