Hyundai, Kia, & Genesis Using Michelin Pilot Sport 4s Tires
The answer to the question in the title will make some people very upset, but it must be said. I have reviewed many vehicles on my channel, and the Korean trio is genuinely some of my favorite cars. Not only because of the price but because it delivers on all the things that matter, such as ride quality, quietness, and even excellent driving dynamics that can rival or exceed certain German cars. But not all Korean cars are that good; there are some cost-cutting involved with some of your favorite performance Korean cars.
I have personally owned the Kia Stinger, Hyundai Veloster R-Spec, and Genesis G80. Out of those three, most would expect my favorite to be the Stinger or something, but it is the G80. Many would instead brush off the G80 as the grandpa car; it has the worst specs, etc. But there is so much more to driving than just a spec sheet. The Stinger and Veloster R-spec both used the Michelin Pilot Sport 4s tire set up and for a good reason.
Kia Stinger Michelin Pilot Sport 4s
Many praised the Stinger for being some almighty do everything car, and when it first came out, all the journalists hyped it up as if it fell from the heavens. It was even named car of the year, the car of the century whatever. I noticed when I first drove the car that it had a sloppy chassis, and it was all over the place. The car came equipped with Michelin Pilot 4s tires, of course, to hide some of the deficiencies of the Stinger.
The Stinger by design is flawed because it’s a hatchback sedan, which many love because of the SUV like utility, and I too appreciated this and why I primarily bought the car. But to convert a sedan into a hatchback requires a lot of structural beams in the rear, which adds weight, and that’s fine, but vehicles like this will never have the same level of rigidity as the sedan counterparts, in this case, the G70. The Stinger is also based on the phenomenal Genesis G80, which got no real love from the press but is one of Korea’s best work yet.
The Genesis G80 utilized a proper double-wishbone front suspension and multi-link rear. Lotus also tuned this suspension, and the chassis was rock solid. The Stinger, G70, and new K900 are based on the G80 platform; however, all three of these cars utilize an inferior MacPherson strut suspension in the front. This setup is a far cheaper solution for front suspensions. For the Stinger and its weaker chassis and suspension, the best solution is to overtire it and install the best summer tire possible, the Pilot 4s.
Genesis G70 Michelin Pilot Sport 4s
Now, strut suspension can be incredible if appropriately tuned like on the BMWs, Porsches, etc. Thought I should mention before people get more triggered than they already are. The G70 is another compelling case because I like the G70; it has a 3-Series driving demeanor and feels far more rigid than the Stinger because it is a traditional sedan. The G70 is another vehicle that uses the Pilot 4s tire, and a subscriber of mine conducted an interesting experiment. He owns a 2019 Honda Accord and a 2019 Genesis G70. Both vehicles share the same tire size, so he swapped the all-season tires from the Accord and put them on the G70, and he put the Michelins on the Accord. He found his Honda Accord to be the superior handling car to the G70 after he made this temporary tire switch. He continued to say his G70 felt sloppy to drive and was not all that it was made out to be by reviewers. Funny what you hear when actual owners get ahold of these cars and not just some giddy reviewers.
Hyundai Veloster R-Spec Michelin Pilot Sport 4s
Finally, the little 2019 Veloster R-Spec I owned. I like this car a lot, and for the price, I appreciate everything that it has to offer. The B&M short-throw shifter is a gem, and the vehicle has a great driving feel, naturally, because it feels like it’s on rails. The Veloster is affordable, and because of that, the R-Spec does not come with a limited-slip differential. For street driving, this is fine. You have to take the Veloster R-Spec to a track to see the deficiencies of not having an LSD. But Hyundai decided to make up for this by putting an insane Pilot 4s setup on there, but tires can only mask so much of the lack of mechanical grip. Again, I still loved driving the car on the street, but objectively, this had to be said.
Hyundai, Kia, & Genesis Using Michelin Pilot Sport 4s Tires Conclusion
I love Hyundai, and I still enjoy the performance offerings from the Korean trio. But the reality is, some of these cars come with overkill tires to make up for certain deficiencies either in the lack of suspension, chassis, etc. The Michelin Pilot Sport 4s summer tire is excellent for grip and offers phenomenal traction in the wet but produces a lot of road noise. Cars like the Stinger and G70 would benefit far more with a better-tuned suspension and chassis and get coupled with a quality all-season instead like the G80, but that would cost more money.
Some of you might be upset by this, for whatever reason. If you chose to worship and praise the Korean brands good for you, you should. The trio is producing phenomenal cars for an excellent price and all the features you seem to like. But no car is perfect, and when you build certain performance cars to a price point, you are left with something subpar. This reason is why I believe the Korean car manufacturers are at its best producing affordable quality family cars, or the other extreme, expensive luxury cars like the Genesis G80 and G90. Both the G80 and G90 are some of the best vehicles on the planet, wanted by no one because there is no brand cachet with Genesis. Nobody wants to pay $50k-$75k on a Korean luxury car, so the company compromised and produced affordable offerings that are half baked but have 0-60 times under 5 seconds and Apple Carplay. That’s all people care about nowadays.
Please read the rest of my Hyundai stories here.
Kevin Meyn is an automotive journalist for Torque News concentrating on Hyundai content. Kevin is the founder of Exhaust Sports Auto Youtube channel, where he does professional car reviews on new and used vehicles. Through the use of various resources and extended Automotive expertise, Kevin documents the latest in automotive news revolving around Hyundai. Kevin graduated from NC State University studying Supply Chain Management but has had a passion for cars since he was a child. Follow Kevin on Twitter and Instagram @exhaustsports.