Update: I’m at about 50,000 miles on these Kumhos and they are still going strong! With the pandemic significantly reducing my mileage this year, I’m hoping to get another 12 months out of them. Will likely buy again!
Finding the perfect tire for your Jeep can take a lot of time and research – it certainly did for me! Since the day I bought my 2015 JKU a little over 2 years ago, the inevitable tire upgrade was ever on my mind. I read a ton of reviews and compared prices from every store I could find online. The most difficult part was being honest with myself about my driving habits and offroad needs. In the end, I purchased a set of the little-known
Kumho Road Venture AT51 Tire and I love them!
I purchased the Kumhos from The Tire Rack in September, 2017, and I’ve logged about 8000 miles on them so far. They look and handle great, and they are more affordable than the other finalists on my short-list of tires. The Kumhos are an excellent value purchase, considering the price of the “mainstream” all terrain options can be steep. The three main reasons I chose the Kumhos over the competition are as follows – price, product, personality.
The Kumhos on my Jeep are size 285/70/17. I could have gone a little bigger (I have a 2.5″ lift), but for the sake of my wallet and my stock axles, I purchased the 285s (~33 in). My final selection was among these AT51s, the Toyo Open Country AT II, and the
BFGoodrich KO2. The Toyos and the BFGs both would have cost me over $1100 for a set of five. A ton of Jeepers run these two tire brands and I’ve never heard a bad word about either. They are a sure thing, but so is the price tag. The Kumhos, at $171 per tire, came to $857 for the full set. Naturally I had my doubts about a relatively cheap, unknown tire. But every man has his price! I did a little more digging to find out more about the Kumho Road Venture AT51, and ended up being pleasantly surprised.
There are notably fewer reviews available online for the Kumhos, compared to the Toyos and BFGs. In fact, I had trouble finding many Jeepers at all that had the AT51s on their rig. Most Kumho patrons used them on pickup trucks for construction sites or light offroad access. That said, the reviews were glowing and my concerns about the too-good -to-be-true price tag were diminishing.
As mentioned above, it was difficult yet crucial for me to remain honest about my driving and tire needs. I own a capable, rugged vehicle. However, 95% of my driving requires neither of those attributes. I commute during the week. I like to do a couple of moderate trail rides each summer, but a trip to Moab just isn’t in the cards for me. I do live in Massachusetts, so snow capability is vitally important.
Another concern for me was appearance. If sacrificing price and some offroad performance were likely, finding a compromise tire that still had a rugged appearance was the priority. I found that in the Kumho Road Venture AT51! The sidewall is not quite as pronounced as the BFG or Toyo, but it does stand out. The tread, in my opinion, does rival its competitors.
After driving the Kumhos for about 3 months, I can say they are almost as quiet as the stock tires. There is a slight audible hum at around 40 MPH if I really try to hear it. Driving any faster, the standard Jeep wind noise drowns out and tire hum. The tread has not noticeably warn at all, and my gas mileage has stayed about the same, maybe a tick less. I reset the gauge after I got the tires and I’m running about 18.0 MPG in my JKU with the hardtop and lots of slow commuter traffic. The kicker for me? This tire has the snowflake symbol, meaning it is rated for harsh snowy conditions. I just had my first opportunity to test the Kumhos in the snow following a 5-6 inch snowfall here in New England. The tires handled perfectly!
Any Jeeper’s modifications to his/her rig are personal, and many are unique. One of my goals in working on my Jeep is to come up with new and creative changes to the vehicle. I like to add interesting stuff that other Jeepers might not have. In finding this tire, I was able to upgrade the Jeep’s performance with some new shoes that don’t get purchased that often. After seemingly endless research, and now testing, I am confident that the Road Venture AT51 can stick out as the new kid on the block, but also perform with the big kids on the trails. I’d recommend this tire to anyone with similar driving styles and offroad habits that is looking for a more affordable tire upgrade than some of the more common selections out there.
I hope you enjoy my review and thanks for reading. Happy Jeeping!