Michelin tires are quite rightly regarded, by most, to be the best in the world, at least when it comes to tires you're likely to put on your car or truck at home. Michelin tires rank highly across both expert reviews and customer surveys and sit top of the list of the best tire brands across multiple tire categories.
In this Michelin review we've spent hours looking at all the different tires it produces and compared those to the best tire brands (opens in new tab) that try to compete with Michelin. We've pulled user reviews, survey information and industry reviews into one place so you can find all the information you need right here as well as a list of the best Michelin tires you should look out for.
1. Michelin Defender: T+H Passenger car / LTX MS light-truck/SUV
- Price: From $104.99 to $360 (opens in new tab)
- 70k-80k miles limited warranty
- 60-day trial
- 3-year flat tire roadside assistance
- All-season Safety
- Huge warranty
- Long-lasting tread
- Could be more responsive
- Wet braking fair not great
More than just a safe pair of hands, Defender tires come with a huge warranty, between 70k and 80k miles (depending on model), which is matched only by the lower-rated Pirelli P4 Four Seasons Plus, and have consistently topped the charts as the ultimate all-season tire.
The T+H version is designed for passenger and minivan vehicles, while LTX covers the light truck SUV/Crossover family. Competitively priced and competent in all-weather conditions, even snow and ice, its only real drawback is that it’s only average when it comes to wet stopping, but that’s typical of all-season tires. Having said that, as far as all-season tires go, taking into account it’s tread-life and that warranty, it’s hard to find anything better.
- Buy Michelin Defender tires at Walmart (opens in new tab)
2. Michelin Premier A/S: Luxury Performance Touring Passenger Car/Minivan
- Price: From $155 to $360 (opens in new tab)
- 60k miles limited warranty
- Silica and sunflower oil tread
- Treadwear Indicator
- EverGrip safety technology
- Low rolling resistance
- Excellent in cold conditions
- Actual tread life could be longer
The all-season Michelin Premier A/S has been mooted as the ‘replacement’ for the popular Primacy MXV4, which it doesn’t so much as replace (you can still get it) as tweak its already impressive features. The user reviews are a little more mixed in comparison to the Primacy, which was almost universally loved. However, it’s still enjoying a good run for a tire that does it all in the ‘Luxury Performance Touring’ category for passenger cars, SUVs or minivans. It’s quiet, has low rolling resistance for better fuel economy and is excellent when the weather gets cold.
Overall, though, these are quality boots. The SUV/Crossover version of the Premier A/S, the LTX, is the best of the lot, but it’s also the most expensive.
- Buy Michelin Premier A/S tires at Walmart (opens in new tab)
3. Michelin Pilot: Ultra-performance
- Price: From $185.99 to $600 (opens in new tab)
- Up to 45k miles limited warranty (depending on model)
- Highest speed ratings of ZR with sub-speed rating categories of W and Y
- Dynamic Response Technology
- Multi-compound construction
- Excellent in wet and dry conditions
- Exceptional handling
- Treadwear warranty (for some models)
- Ride comfort could be better
- High rolling resistance
There are 13 different tires in the ultra-performance Pilot range, which is designed for performance cars with an eye on the occasional (or regular) track day. These come under four different categories: Sport 4 S, Super Sport, Sport Cup 2 and Sport A/S 3+. All are summer tires, barring the Pilot Sport A/S 3+ which is an all-season tire.
Prices start at $166.00 and end up at a sizeable $600 per tire, depending on the model you choose. One of their most popular tires is the Pilot Sport 4s, a summer tire that isn’t designed for those chilly winter months but delivers on the road or the track. In some respects, the Pilot 4 S is a track tire that’s been given tread to make it road-legal, in others it’s an exceptional tire that handles extremely well in most seasons, bar winter.
This is a premium tire designed for, and in conjunction with, sports cars, but it’s not all about screaming around the bends. The Pilot Sport 4s comes with a treadwear warranty of 30,000 miles which makes it a practical option too, barring the price. If you're looking for something a little more practical for the road then the Sport A/S 3+ comes with 45k mile warranty and works in winter months too. Only the likes of Continental tires (opens in new tab) come close in terms of variety and performance.
- Buy Michelin Pilot tires at Walmart (opens in new tab)
Other Michelin tires to consider
In terms of out and out performance, the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 is, basically, a racing tire with enough tread to make it road legal. Even Michelin doesn’t recommend its use in wet conditions. A factory OEM tire on some of the world’s fastest cars, including the former Nurburgring lap record-holding Porsche 911 GT2 RS, this grip-centric tire is made for the track. Period. If Michelin doesn't quite cut it for sport performance, we recommend some high-end Pirelli tires (opens in new tab) instead.
The outstanding CrossClimate+ targeted at the Luxury Performance Touring class has set a new benchmark for ‘all-weather’ tires, but when it comes to winter-only tires the Latitude X-ice may well lead the way in truck tires but it doesn’t fair as well on passengers cars – the Vredstein Wintrac Pro, for example, is just as good if not better for a fraction of the cost.
Last but by no means least, the Michelin range of eco-friendly tires: Energy LX4, MXV4 and the budget, Saver, are all badged with the Michelin Green X® label which guarantees a level of energy efficiency that Michelin claims to be among the highest in the market, while maintaining all the advantages of long-wear, safety and performance.
Michelin tires: User reviews
JD Power (opens in new tab) ranks Michelin top in four categories in its Original Equipment Tire Customer Satisfaction Study: luxury, passenger car, performance sport and truck/utility. Michelin came first in all categories save ‘Performance Sport’, coming second to Goodyear by 4 points out of 1000. Michelin has won 91 total J.D. Power awards since the survey began in 1989, more than any other tire manufacturer.
According to Consumer Reports (opens in new tab), Michelin ranks top on the Tire Brand Report Card with 71% ahead of Continental 70%, General 69%, Pirelli 66%, Goodyear 65%, with Nexen and Bridgestone tires (opens in new tab) on 65%.
Overall - Should you buy Michelin tires?
The figures, reviews and ratings speak for themselves; Michelin manufactures the best tires in the world, and it has been doing so for a considerable time. One would imagine it's very much aware of how well some of the cheaper tire brands perform for a lot less money (most notably Nexen) but we think there’s quite a way to go before the Michelin Man gets dethroned. Combine with some of the best auto insurance (opens in new tab), and you're doing motoring right this year!
Michelin Tires: Company history
One of the oldest tire companies in the world, Michelin was established in 1889 by two brothers, Édouard and André Michelin in Clermont-Ferrand, France where they are still based today. Two years later they patented the removable pneumatic tire (still used on bicycle tires today) and in 1946, changed the face of tire manufacture by developing and patenting the radial tire. This technology still underpins the standard design for all modern tires.
Michelin is one of the five foreign tire brands that manufacture in the USA and have plants in several countries. Aside from tires, in 1900 the Michelin brothers published a handy guide for the 300 French motorists that could afford cars to promote their tires. This guide explained how to change and repair tires, it listed mechanics, garages, hotels, published maps and, more pertinently, advised of good places to eat. It was like an early form of Tripadvisor.
By 1926, when automobiles were still very much the preserve of the well-heeled, the guide began rating fine dining establishments with stars, this evolved into the Michelin star that lives on to this very day.
These days Michelin manufactures a range of tires for anything with wheels, in the non-commercial automobile sector, they have five major brands – Pilot, Primacy, X, Latitude and Energy – representing 38 different models of tire, CrossClimate, Defender, LTX and Premier have two models apiece and Diamaris, Agilis and Alpin have one tire model to their name.
The range of brands are designed to fit passenger cars, light trucks, minivans and SUV/crossovers, with many of them manufactured to suit a variety of climates and road conditions.