Hankook Kinergy 4S2 vs Goodyear Vector 4Seasons Gen 3

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Out of both these grand touring tires, the Goodyear Vector 4Seasons Gen 3 offers superior dry grip and stability, whereas the Hankook Kinergy 4S2 provides enhanced wet traction, and comfort. Let’s find the better tire for your needs.

Vector 4Seasons Gen 3 on Ford Focus
Goodyear Vector 4Seasons Gen 3 on Ford Focus.

Bottom Line

The good things about Vector 4Seasons Gen 3:

  • Dry directional grip and stability, providing better control and shorter stopping distances.
  • Handling and responsiveness, due to its lighter build and quick-recovery tread design.
  • Resistance to hydroplaning, with more efficiently designed voids and interconnected grooves.
  • Performance in light, powdery snow, thanks to its effective lugs and winter-focused sipes.

Review Goodyear’s tire: https://tiredriver.com/goodyear-vector-4seasons-gen-3-review/

The good things about the Kinergy 4S2:

  • Wet traction, offering shorter braking distances and quicker lap times.
  • Better performance on icy surfaces, attributed to its abundant full-depth sipes with interlocking structures.
  • Noise comfort, with a more compact tread design and effective pitch sequencing.
  • A close match in wear resistance, though potentially offering slightly better longevity due to its robust construction.

Review Hankook’s tire: https://tiredriver.com/hankook-kinergy-4s2-review/

Tread Appearance

The Goodyear Vector 4Seasons Gen 3 features a strikingly aggressive directional tread pattern.

Vector 4Seasons Gen 3
Vector 4Seasons Gen 3

The tread is characterized by angled, longitudinal cuts on each lug, forming in-groove notches that enhance its performance.

The design basically, divides the tread into four primary sections, separated by three distinct, linear, and straight circumferential grooves.

Additionally, slanted longitudinal cuts further segment the lugs between the outer circumferential channels, adding to the tire’s dynamic appearance.

However, there is room for enhancement in its siping design.

I mean, the current sipes are linear and are very laterally oriented.

Why that’s the problem? Well, because such sipes get stiffer with the tire cornering aggressively, I’ll throw more light on this in its section.

Internally, the tire is constructed with a dual-ply polyester, two steel belts, and a topmost polyamide cap ply, located just beneath the rubber surface.

In comparison, the Hankook Kinergy 4S2 also sports a directional pattern but with a notably different tread design.

Hankook Kinergy 4S2
Hankook Kinergy 4S2

It features more extensive siping, dividing the tread predominantly into two sections thanks to its pronounced outer circumferential grooves.

Here, the outer shoulder lugs are although very similar to the ones on Goodyear, they are still equipped with “snow vices”, (which are sharp, tooth-like edges adjacent to the grooves).

And speaking of differences, of course the main ones are seen in the tread’s middle area.

It’s densely populated with interlocking lugs, which are embedded with variously shaped and oriented sipes, offering robust traction in wet conditions.

The includes both wave-like and straight sipes.

Additionally, the Hankook features concave tie bars in the middle, serving as reinforced foundations for the lugs, contributing to its overall stability and performance.

Sizes – What to Know?

SpesGoodyear 4SeasonsHankook Kinergy
Total Sizes75 (14 to 20 inches)81 (15 to 19 inches)
Speed RatingsH, V, W, YH, V, W
Load RatingsSL, XLSL, XL
Weight Range16 to 26 lbs16 to 34 lbs
Tread Depth10/32″ on all9.5 and 10/32″
UTQG500 A A500 A A
Warranty5 years standard60k miles
Ratings3PMSF and M+S3PMSF and M+S

Overall Dry Performance

On dry pavement, a tire’s behavior is greatly shaped by its capacity for acceleration, efficient braking, adept cornering, and responsive steering. Let’s examine all of these elements.

Directional Grip

When it comes to linear or directional grip, the central tread region plays a pivotal role as it supports most of the tire’s weight during straight-line travel.

Having said that, the Kinergy 4S2 doesn’t perform as well because it takes longer to stop, showing a weaker straight-line grip.

This is likely due to its heavier build which increases momentum, increasing stopping time, despite having a large area in contact with the road.

On the other hand, the Vector 4Seasons Gen 3 shines in terms of stability and grip, making it one of the top choices in my comparison of grand touring tires.

Although the tire is pretty voided up, which you might think would reduce grip by decreasing the contact area with the road, they actually improve traction, ironically.

This is because these grooves act like what they call, in-block notches, helping the tire grip not longitudinally, but in various directions, improving its stopping abilities.

Overall Handling

Handling combines a tire’s overall traction, which covers both its ability to grip in a straight line and while moving sideways, along with how quickly it responds to steering.

That’s why here, braking is also a contributing factor, since tires with poor directional grip take longer to slow down and therefore enter corners more slowly during tests, affecting lap times and handling.

In this context, the Hankook Kinergy 4S2 doesn’t quite measure up, showcasing relatively lesser lateral traction and slower steering response. And yes, as already discussed, it also lacks behind its competitor in terms of directional grip too.

So it no wonder that the tire takes almost a second longer to complete laps on average (during my comparative testing, with these boys).

Though don’t get me wrong, its not that bad, its just that the Goodyear Vector 4Season is actually very good. I mean handling is its strongest of all suits, and is the main reason why its ranked on the very top on my grand touring tires list.

See for yourself: https://tiredriver.com/best-grand-touring-all-season-tires/

So what makes this tire the best here?

Well the tire’s main advantage comes from its lightweight and firm rubber, which basically keep the lugs from bending too much, and rebound quickly (back to their shapes).

This rapid recovery reduces the delay between steering actions and the car’s reaction, leading to more responsive and accurate handling, setting it apart as a top choice among the competition.

Wet Performance

In essence, the total effectiveness of a tire in wet conditions can be described by its ability to clear its path of water.

This feature is pretty significant in defining the tire’s overall wet traction, and resistance to hydroplaning. Let’s talk both of these performance aspects one by one.

Resistance to Hydroplaning

Now most of the water is expelled out through the grooves.

That means if these grooves are insufficient, a layer of water can build up between the tire and the road, leading to hydroplaning, or floating, where the tire loses all traction.

Now both tires here are pretty great here with their V-shaped voids, providing clear pathways, pushing water away from the center towards the edges and out of the tire effectively.

Though going in to finer details, the Goodyear Vector 4Seasons still comes out with a slight advantage, showcasing relatively faster straight and curved float speeds.

This is mainly because of the tire’s more voided up tread pattern, and better-connected grooves, allowing for more efficient water displacement.

Wet Traction

While grooves effectively remove most water from under a tire, a small amount can remain, leading to potential slipping.

This is where sipes come into play.

Sipes are tiny cuts in the tread that provide an escape route for water trapped between the tire and the road. They need to be flexible to function effectively.

That’s why with a more extensive and a complex siping structure, the Hankook 4S2 takes the lead overall, notably outperforming its counterpart in terms of wet braking.

The tire basically offers better siping relatively, which retain their flexibility even under the stress of harsh maneuvers, thanks to their intricate, multi-angle design. This means they don’t stiffen or close up when the tire is under pressure.

On the other side, the Vector 4Seasons falls a bit short in this aspect. It doesn’t have as many sipes, especially near the tread edges/shoulders, and the ones it does have aren’t effective enough.

I mean with their linear structures, and lateral arrangement, they’re more prone to stiffening, during aggressive maneuvers, reducing their effectiveness in wet conditions.

Consequently, in comparative tests, the Kinergy 4S2 consistently outperforms the Goodyear, where it demonstrates a 5-foot shorter braking distance and, on average, 2 seconds quicker lap times in wet conditions.

Winter Traction

If you’re in the market for an all-weather tire that also manages winter conditions well, both the Hankook Kinergy 4S2 and the Goodyear Vector 4Seasons Gen 3 are excellent choices in their grand touring category.

These tires strike a balance, incorporating features from both “premium” summer and winter tires, making them highly effective in snow and ice braking, acceleration, and handling.

And they’re responsive to steering and provide strong acceleration, earning them both the 3-peak mountain snowflake rating and M+S (Mud and Snow) designations.

Though diving in to specifics, I found a few things worth noting.

The Hankook Kinergy 4S2 has a slight edge on icy surfaces, thanks to its superior micro grip. This is attributed to its numerous full-depth sipes with interlocking designs, which provide a solid grip on slick ice.

On the other hand, the Goodyear Vector 4Seasons Gen 3 excels in light, powdery snow. Its well-designed lugs effectively grab and displace snow, creating strong forward momentum and acceleration.

Noise Comfort

Tire noise is primarily caused by air particles interacting with the tread blocks.

These (air) particles enter through the shoulder voids, and create noise as they collide with the tread walls.

This initial noise then echoes inside the tire, a phenomenon known as in-groove resonance, which is influenced by the rubber’s composition.

Now looking at both tires, it makes sense why the Goodyear Vector 4Seasons tends to be noisier here, in comparison.

Its design features relatively larger voids, particularly around the shoulders and sidewalls, allowing more air to enter and move within the tread pattern.

This increased airflow contributes to the noise, and the tire’s softer composition amplifies the in-groove resonance, making it louder.

On the other hand, the quieter Hankook Kinergy 4S2 comes with a tread design which is not only more compacted up, but also employs better pitch sequencing.

This involves arranging the tread blocks in a (subtle) way that produces sound waves of different wavelengths and frequencies, which helps cancel out noise, resulting in a quieter tire overall.

Wear Resistance

Out of both tires here, the Goodyear Vector 4Seasons Gen 3 takes the upper hand when it comes to tread longevity.

This advantage stems from its lighter construction and a more strategically designed tread pattern.

Essentially, the tire’s weight is more evenly spread across a larger rubber area. This means that each tread lug bears less pressure as it contacts the road, which in turn extends the tire’s overall tread life.

To give you an idea about its performance, the tire lasts almost 5 to 10k more miles compared to Hankook 4S2.

To Conclude

So overall, both tires have their strengths in different performance areas.

On dry pavement, the Goodyear Vector 4Seasons takes the lead with better directional grip, handling, and superior voids for water displacement, making it less prone to hydroplaning.

However, the Hankook excels in wet traction due to its more effective siping, offering shorter braking distances and quicker lap times.

In winter conditions, Kinergy 4s2 performs slightly better on ice while Goodyear leads in light snow.

Other than this, noise comfort is more optimal with the Hankook due to its strategic tread design and pitch sequencing, reducing in-groove resonance.

And in terms of wear resistance, both tires are closely matched, though Goodyear still edges out a little bit due to its lighter build and well-distributed tread design.

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