Kleber Quadraxer 3 vs Hankook Kinergy 4S2

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In the Grand Touring All-Season category, both the Kleber Quadraxer 3 and the Hankook Kinergy 4S2 stand out as strong contenders, promising a blend of comfort, longevity, and reliable performance in every season. Let’s explore their individual features, so you can make an informed decision.

Kinergy on Cherokee
Kinergy 4S2 comes with relatively stiffer sidewalls.

Main Highlights

So overall, the Kleber Quadraxer 3 is better at:

  • Dry-Road Braking: Providing shorter braking distances due to its larger tread footprint and enhanced grip.
  • Resistance to Hydroplaning: Excelling in hydroplaning resistance with better interconnected grooves and deeper tread.
  • Performance in Light Snow: Offering superior forward momentum and traction in light snow conditions.

On the flip side, the Kinergy 4S2 tire is better at:

  • Handling and Steering Response: Demonstrating superior lateral traction and quicker steering feedback, crucial for responsive driving.
  • Wet Performance: Achieving enhanced wet-road traction and handling thanks to its dense, flexible siping pattern.
  • Noise Reduction: Thanks to its varied pitch producing pattern.
  • Overall Value: Offers better overall value in terms of cost, fuel efficiency, and dry/wet handling performance.

Tread Features To Note

Starting with the Kleber Quadraxer 3, this tire has a pretty streamlined directional tread pattern.

Kleber Quadraxer 3
You can clearly see the secondary rubber layer, underneath all lugs.

It’s got this unique design where the tread is split into 5 parts.

See those slanted cuts on the swoopy lugs? They are the ones splitting up the tread here.

These longitudinal voids are more prominent towards the edges, acting as in groove notches.

While towards the middle, they are slimmer, and here, they act as siping.

Speaking of which, the tire is very lacking in the siping department, where you get only linear structures.

Other than this, the central area is pretty packed up, and here you can see, how the lugs are sitting on a secondary rubber layer.

This layer is like the backbone of the tire, giving it stability when you’re zipping around corners.

On the other hand, you again get another directional pattern on Hankook Kinergy 4S2.

Hankook Kinergy 4S2
The Hankook Kinergy 4S2 comes with a lot more siping, clearly.

Now its tread is prominently divided up in to two sections, thanks to its outer circumferential grooves.

And here, the outer shoulder lugs are pretty boring, as they only come with linear sipes, and “snow vices”, which are those sharp, tooth-like edges facing the grooves.

Though things get a lot more interesting, when you move towards the middle area of the tread.

It’s super crowded with lugs that interlock even more aggressively than on the Kleber tire.

These lugs are loaded with sipes of various shapes and orientations, giving you some solid traction in wet conditions.

You’ll find both wave-like and straight sipes here.

Moreover, the Hankook has these concave tie bars in the middle, connecting the lugs. It’s a fancy term for reinforced foundations, these lugs have, just like the ones on Kleber.

Info on Sizes

The Kleber Quadraxer 3 comes in 107 sizes, in 15 to 20 inches rims, having following specs.

  • Speed ratings: T, H and V.
  • Load ratings: SL and XL.
  • Weight range: 18 to 34 lbs.
  • Tread depth: 10.5/32″ on all.
  • UTQG: 600 A A.
  • Treadwear warranty: None.
  • All sizes have the Tri Peak ratings, along with M+S.

Hankook Kinergy 4S2 comes in 81 total sizes in 15 to 19 inches. They have following specs.

  • Speed ratings: H, V, and W.
  • Load ratings: SL and XL.
  • Weight range: 16 to 34 lbs.
  • Tread depth: 9.5 and 10/32″.
  • UTQG: 500 A A.
  • Treadwear warranty: 60k miles.
  • All sizes have 3PMSF and M+S ratings.

Dry-Road Performance

To fully understand the tire’s traction and steering capabilities, it’s important to consider dry performance in detail. We should examine both traction and steering response separately for a clear assessment.

Linear Grip

“Longitudinal grip” is basically how well a tire sticks to the road when you’re moving straight. It’s all about the tire’s middle part touching the road.

And yes, since its a directional metric, we usually measure this grip by looking at tire’s braking efficacy.

Now, comparing both boys here, the Quadraxer 3 really stands out. In-fact its one of the best when it comes to dry braking in its all season category. That’s why the tire comes out with 5 feet shorter braking distances (on averaged tests), compared to Kinergy 4s2.

So what makes this tire do so well here?

Well, this is because it offers a larger tread footprint, hitting the road, especially from its middle. And as it offers interlocking lugs there, the overall grip gets further enhanced.

For Your Info: Although the Kleber’s tire here provides one of the best directional traction, its rated in my list of best grand touring tires, for a totally different reason.

Overall Handling

When you’re looking at how a tire handles, you’ve got to consider a mix of linear and lateral grip, along with how quickly it responds to steering.

To understand why these variables are significant, you’ve to consider the 3 phases of cornering:

  • Entering the turn.
  • Mid-cornering.
  • Exiting the corner.

As you enter a turn, you need to slow down first, and here, with Kleber offering superior braking, excels, as already discussed in the section above.

Moreover, the tire also offers superior exiting performance, due to its better on-center feel, meaning it gives you a straight-forward idea on when to accelerate, when the steering gets in a neutral position, post-turn.

But here’s the catch: despite being a star in these two areas, the Kleber doesn’t quite keep up with the Hankook overall.

The main reason? It’s heavier. Plus, its softer rubber tends to bend more, especially in the lugs. This bending wastes time, as lugs have to snap back into their shapes, which means your steering response gets delayed.

So the tire isn’t able to provide you with superior performance in the mid-cornering phase, which is the most important aspect of overall handling.

That’s why, even though the Kleber is killer at dry braking, it’s still over a second behind the Kinergy 4S2 in overall handling on the track.

Wet-Road Performance

In wet conditions, ensuring good grip and avoiding hydroplaning are essential, both achieved through successful water removal. Let’s take a closer look at each.

Resistance to Hydroplaning

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

So if the grooves aren’t affect, a water layer can form b/w the tread and the road, causing the tires to float, or hydroplane, which of course means a complete loss of all traction.

Now, both of these tires here are pretty good at this. They’ve got these V-shaped lugs that work like little channels, pushing the water from the center of the tire out towards the edges.

This helps a lot in getting rid of the water fast.

Though if we’re splitting hairs, the Quadraxer 3 gets a bit of an edge. It’s got better connections between its grooves and a deeper tread.

This means, the Klber tire can handle higher speeds, before it starts to hydroplane, and this holds true for both running at straight roads and curves.

Wet Grip and Handling

Now, even though those grooves do a solid job at getting rid of most of the water, there’s always a bit that sticks around. This can make the tire slip, and that’s where sipes show their importance.

Sipes are basically small slits in the tread, that give water a place to escape when it’s trapped between the tire and the road. And yes, they need to be flexible enough to do this job well.

Now, when we talk about handling, the Hankook Kinergy really shines here, thanks to its dense array of sipes.

These sipes basically keep their flexibility, even during hard turns, because of their complex, multi-angle design. In other words, they don’t stiffen up or close during handling, braking, or accelerating.

On the flip side, the Kleber Quadraxer 3 isn’t quite up to par in this area, as it doesn’t have as many sipes, to begin with, particularly near the edges of the tread. And the ones it does offer have less efficient linear structures, which tend to stiffen up with aggressive cornering.

Basically, its sipes are more oriented towards performing on snow, and they lack in terms of wet traction.

That’s why, in my comparative tests, the Kinergy 4S2 consistently outperforms the Kleber, where it showcases a 5-foot shorter braking distance and, 2 seconds quicker wet handling lap times, on average.

Winter Traction

For those looking for a great all-season tire that can handle winter conditions well, both boys here are top choices in the grand touring category.

These tires are like the best of both worlds, combining elements of summer and winter tires. They excel in snow and ice braking, acceleration, and overall handling.

Plus, they’re both pretty responsive to steering inputs and provide superb acceleration, which also brand these tires with the 3-peak mountain snowflake rating along with M+S (Mud and Snow) designations.

However, when I put them through thorough tests, I found some differences. And here’s the catch: The Kinergy 4S2 performs a bit better on icy surfaces, while the Kleber shines in powdery snow, overall.

Hankook’s tire basically offers better micro grip, which is highly needed on icy tracks. This is thanks to its abundant full-depth sipes, with their interlocking structures.

Meanwhile, the Quadraxer 3 shines in light snow, as it offers better swooping lugs, grabbing and tossing greater snow backwards, generating a relatively more powerful forward momentum/acceleration.

Moreover, as the tire offers winter-focused sipes (as discussed in wet traction), this also adds to its overall performance here.

Side Note: Despite both tires offer 3PMSF ratings, they can’t outperform winter tires. I discussed it more in, “Winter vs All-Season vs Summer Tires“.

Noise Comfort

Road noise in tires is mostly about how air interacts with the tread. Let me explain.

So, as the tire rolls, air particles enter predominately through shoulder voids, and hit the tread walls. And this impact (of them hitting), is what creates, what they call, tread noise.

Now, since a lot of this noise comes through the shoulder voids, it explains why both the Kleber and Hankook tires here, aren’t the quietest.

Though if we’re splitting hairs, the Kinergy 4s2 is doing slightly better, (on the decibel reading scale).

The tire’s improved noise comfort comes from its tread design, which produces varying pitches. These different tones, created as air hits various parts of the tread, tend to cancel each other out, leading to a more pleasant sound profile.

Speaking of which, the tire comes with a consistent growl, which is mostly noticeable at speeds below 40 mph and tends to blend into the background on the highway, especially once you’re going over 60 mph.

Whereas, the Quadraxer 3 has a slightly louder sound profile, where it tends to produce a light, higher-pitched noise that’s slightly more noticeable, in comparison.

Additionally, it emits a kind of impact noise. I mean, when the tire hits something, there’s a slight ringing that you can feel in the vehicle’s cabin.

Learn, what makes all-season tires comfortable and quieter?

Overall Value

When evaluating the value of a tire, it’s important to weigh several aspects: the tire’s performance in dry, wet, and winter conditions, its cost, tread life, and fuel efficiency.

Considering these factors, the Kinergy 4S2, which is relatively more affordable, offers better overall value. And even though the Quadraxer 3 might have a slight edge in tread longevity, it falls short in terms of fuel efficiency due to higher rolling resistance.

This means the tire end up costing more initial, and over time as well, in the form of fuel money.

And besides, as the Hankook’s tire excels in overall dry and wet handling performance, it becomes pretty clear, which tire offers a better value here.

The Decision Point

Let’s recap the significant contrasts and resemblances between both tires.

Now, here, the Quadraxer 3 excels in dry-road braking, though lacks to its counterpart in terms of handling and steering feedback.

It also has an advantage in resistance to hydroplaning, and performs better in light snow conditions with superior forward momentum.

Though overall snow handling is still better on Hankook’s tire.

Moreover, its also a little more comfortable on roads, and provides you with better overall value. Though Quadraxer 3 excels in terms of tread longevity.

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