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In Our Opinion:
Michelin is one of the leading tire manufacturers in the U.S., and it’s easy to understand why. Michelin tires come in many types and sizes, including passenger, truck, SUV, and specialty tires. Regardless of what tire you purchase from Michelin, it’s bound to be a strong choice. However, Michelin tires can be on the pricey side, so they may not be the best for drivers on a budget.
Many tire types available
Innovative fuel efficiency technology
Extensive testing for consumer models
Some of the longest treadwear warranties in the industry
One of the most expensive tire brands on the market
Whether you’re shopping for summer tires, all-terrain tires, or even commercial highway tires, Michelin offers one the largest selections of tires to consumers today. Michelin tires continue to top industry expert and consumer recommendation lists, including earning the No. 1 spot in our review of the 10 best tire brands currently available.
In this article, we’ll break down why Michelin tires are considered some of the best in the business. We’ll take a look at Michelin as a whole – including industry ratings, popular tire models, tire costs, and customer reviews – to give you a better understanding of Michelin’s strengths and weaknesses.
Founded in 1889 in France, Michelin is one of the top-selling tire brands in the world. In 2019, Michelin accounted for almost 20 percent of North American tire sales, beating out other big competitors like Bridgestone and Goodyear. Michelin has grown in the past 30 years and acquired BF Goodrich and Uniroyal tire brands, making it an even bigger tire powerhouse.
Michelin tires go beyond just cars – the manufacturer also provides products for bicycles, airplanes, and Formula One motorsport vehicles. Currently, the brand’s North American headquarters is located in Greenville, South Carolina.
Within the industry, Michelin tires are known for their top-tier standards, rigorous testing, innovation, and long treadwear warranties – mileage limits reach 100,000 miles for certain models. Michelin is also one of the few manufacturers to offer a treadwear warranty for its winter tires, according to Edmunds.com.
Michelin Tires Industry Ratings
Michelin tires, like all tires, must follow a grading system created by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This system is called Uniform Tire Quality Grading (UTQG), and it rates tires – except winter tires – based on their treadwear, traction, and temperature resistance.
Here’s what each grade says about your tires:
Treadwear: This grade estimates the longevity of your tires. To calculate treadwear, tires are measured against a control tire given a rating of 100. If a tire has a 500 treadwear rating, that means it lasted five times longer than the control. Most passenger tires have between a 300 and 500 treadwear rating, according to data from SaferCar.gov.
Traction: This grade measures how well your tires “grip” a wet road. Traction grades are given on a scale of AA, A, B, or C. Good day-to-day tires typically have an A rating.
Temperature: This grade measures a tire’s heat resistance on a scale of A, B, or C. Tires need to withstand high temperatures due to their designs and how quickly they rotate.
Below, we’ve compiled a few popular Michelin tires and their UTQG scoring using data from SaferCar.gov.
Michelin Tire Model
Michelin Defender T+H
Pilot Sport A/S 3 Plus
Michelin Premier A/S
Performance touring All-season
Michelin LTX M/S2
However, it’s important to note that the NHTSA does not conduct these tests. Manufacturers and independent companies are responsible for tire testing. If you’re curious about a Michelin tire you already own, you can check the tire’s sidewall for the UTQG grade.
Michelin’s Most Popular Tire Models
Michelin tires come in a variety of models, most of which are top performers in their categories. For passenger cars, trucks, and SUVs, Michelin sells some of the most popular tire models on the market.
Using data from TireBuyer, a few of Michelin’s highest-rated tires include:
Michelin Defender T+H: One of the longest-lasting tires available for passenger cars
Michelin LTX M/S2: A highway all-season tire that aids with comfort, noise reduction, and braking effectiveness
Michelin Pilot Super Sport: Offers an increased handling ability and longer tread life than other performance tires
Michelin X-Ice Xi3: Provides research-backed elite traction in inclement winter weather and is available for coupes, sedans, vans, and crossover vehicles
Each of the tire models listed performs above average in terms of treadwear, traction, and temperature resistance when compared to competitors’ models.
Michelin offers both original equipment (OE) and replacement tires, but its OE options are not covered under a mileage warranty. All replacement models are covered under a six-year Michelin Promise Plan?. This limited warranty covers any defects in workmanship or materials. Some Michelin tires also come with a mileage warranty, which guarantees your tread lasts for a certain number of miles.
Cost of Michelin Tires
It’s no secret that Michelin tires are expensive. According to TireBuyer, Michelin tires cost anywhere from $90 to $529, depending on the type and size of your tire. Most standard-size all-season Michelin tires for passenger cars, SUVs, and crossovers cost less than $200 each.
Although this is a little higher than other brands, the price largely reflects the quality of rubber Michelin uses, as well as its lengthier treadwear warranties.
Michelin Customer Reviews
To give you a better idea of Michelin tires and their overall quality, we compiled a few customer reviews from TireBuyer. Across the board, Michelin tire reviews are positive. Customers are often impressed with their durability and long-lasting tread life. However, one or two Michelin models did miss the mark.
Here’s an overview of customer experiences with Michelin tires:
Positive Experiences with Michelin Tires
“The [Michelin LTX A/T2] came stock on my 2019 F-250. At 12,000 miles, they don’t show any wear… My biggest surprise is how well they do in mud. I’ve pulled the trailer through some fairly deep, nasty mud. I had to use four-wheel drive, but these tires threw the mud all over the truck/trailer and kept the tread clear.”
– SOMD Dan via TireBuyer
“Bought my Suburban new with a set of [Michelin Energy Saver A/S] tires. Just now replacing for the first time at 72,000 miles. Definitely notice a much better fuel economy… All-around, a great tire to buy. I drive a lot (45,000 to 75,000 miles a year), so really happy I found this product.”
– Glen via TireBuyer
Negative Experiences with Michelin Tires
“The [Michelin Premier LTX] is almost worn out at 22,000, mostly long-distance road miles. I have rotated them every 5,000 miles. I had to have them rebalanced twice, and they actually hydroplaned on me once. Never had a tire to do that.”
– Jack via TireBuyer
“I have a Corvette C7 Z06. I bought the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires for track day. They did hold the track very well. My problem is, I wore them out in one day. That’s a little too expensive for me.”
– Steve via TireBuyer
Our Final Thoughts on Michelin Tires
We gave Michelin tires 4.5 out of 5.0 stars and recognized the manufacturer for having the Best Tires Overall in our 2021 industry review. Michelin’s many quality tire options, positive customer reviews, and shining industry reputation make it a smart choice for most drivers. The only drawback is Michelin tires’ higher price point.
If you want to compare Michelin tires with a few of our other top recommended tire manufacturers, we recommend checking out Cooper and Pirelli. These brands also scored highly in our industry-wide review and may offer strong tire options for your vehicle.
Cooper: Most Affordable
If Michelin tires are out of your price range, consider purchasing Cooper tires. According to TireBuyer, Cooper tires range from about $65 to $475, depending on the type and size of the tire. An independent tire manufacturer, Cooper products are mostly sold online or through participating dealerships.
Italian-manufacturer Pirelli is known for its high-performance tires for luxury and exotic car brands. However, the tire company also makes tires for day-to-day cars, trucks, and SUVs. You’ll pay a high price, but the tires you get from Pirelli are high-quality and provide great grip during wet or dry conditions.