All About Michelin Tires

As one of the best-selling tire brands, Michelin offers a wide variety of tires for virtually every application and vehicle, no matter what you drive.

All About Michelin Tires

Hailed as one of the best tire manufacturers in the world, Michelin offers tires for just about every single application, from energy-saving commuter tires to track day only, to off-road.

A speed rating indicates the maximum speed in MPH the tires were designed for, and is denoted with a letter, where each letter determines a specific speed. The number preceding it is the tire’s load rating, where each number is a specific weight that the tire is able to suspend. The higher the number, the higher the load capability.

Passenger Car/Minivan Tires


Sizes Range: 205/70R15 96T - 235/65R16 103T
Speed Rating: T (118 MPH)
Warranty: 90,000 Miles Limited
Other Applications: light truck

Even with an emphasis on comfort, handling and a long-lasting life, where the Michelin Defender really stands out is in its braking capability. Braking is as much about the brakes themselves as it is about holding traction, and tires are the last stand between your front bumper and some poor unsuspecting motorist so you want tires that can hold traction under braking.

Michelin’s Defender T+H has a wider range, starting at 185/65/R14 85H, and has a higher speed rating of 130MPH. The Defender T+H excels in wear life, braking, comfort and handling, but suffers ever-so-slightly with fuel efficiency. They are also marginally more expensive than the basic Defender, with some sizes costing as much as $185 per tire, and have an 80,000 mile warranty.

There’s also a Defender LTX M/S which is meant for SUVs and Crossovers, and offers excellent wear life and fuel efficiency, but lacks handling performance. It’s offered in a wide range of sizes and prices, as big (and expensive) as 295/65R20 129R for $355 per tire.

Energy Saver A/S

Sizes Range: 175/65R15 84H - 265/65R18 112T
Speed Rating: T (118 MPH), H (130 MPH), S (112 MPH), R (106 MPH), V (149 MPH)
Warranty: 50,000 - 65,000 Miles

As you’d expect the Michelin Energy Saver A/S tire is directed at optimizing fuel economy. The Energy Saver offers impressive fuel economy, where Michelin claims a fuel cost savings of as much as $400 over the life of the tires. For this the tire sacrifices wear life, braking and handling, although even those three aspects are highly rated. Depending on the size and speed rating, an Energy Saver A/S can cost as much as $231.

Michelin’s Energy LX4 is another energy saving tire, which offers similar prowess with fuel savings but only has two tire sizes available with just one speed rating. According to customer reviews, the LX4 suffers even more than the Energy Saver A/S in the way of tread wear. The price of an LX4 can be $219.

Yet another green tire by Michelin is the Energy MXV4 S8, which unlike the aforementioned energy-conscious tires a fairly solid and well-rounded tire. Putting comfort and fuel economy first while providing exceptional handling, this tire comes with a 50,000 mile warranty and even excels in wet weather. Unfortunately there’s only one size, and that is 245/45R19 with a V speed rating of 149 MPH, which costs $265 per tire. The MXV4 S8 comes standard on Honda Accords, Toyota Camrys and the Volvo S40, among others, and is rated for all-weather.

Primacy MXM4

Sizes Range: 205/55R16 91H - 275/40R19 101H
Speed Rating: V (149 MPH), H (130 MPH), W (168 MPH)
Warranty: 30,000 - 55,000 Miles
Other Applications: Luxury Performance Touring

Suffering in just about no category, Michelin’s Primacy MXM4 is most proficient with handling capabilities. It comes in an extraordinarily wide range of sizes and speed ratings, and can cost as much as $332 per tire. Michelin advertises the Primacy MXM4 as the tire for the “car owner who wants it all,” claiming the Primacy offers precise handling, ride quality and safe for all seasons.

Other versions of the Primacy include the Primacy 3, XC and HP. Both are summer tires and can go up to $337 and $325, respectively, and are more geared towards handling and braking, with fuel efficiency and comfort coming in close behind. They are also rated for the Y speed rating of 186 MPH.


Sizes Range: 175/65R14/XL 86T - 255/45R18/XL 103H
Speed Rating: T (118 MPH), H (130 MPH)
Warranty: 30,000 - 40,000 Miles
Other Applications: Luxury Performance Touring

As indicated by its name, Michelin’s X-ICE Xi3 is engineered for driving on ice and snow. Somehow Michelin managed to engineer a tire that works well in snow and ice, last 40,000 miles and get decent mileage. According to customer reviews, the i3 achieves all of this while preserving the handling and noise of a summer tire. The price of the i3 tire goes up to $262, depending on size and speed rating.

Car Maintenance
Pilot MXM4

Sizes Range: 215/45R17 87V
Speed Rating: V (149 MPH), H (130 MPH), W (168 MPH)
Warranty: 36,000 - 50,000 Miles
Other Applications: Luxury Performance Touring

The Michelin Pilot MXM4 tire seems to be geared for feedback, offering exceptional handling. Things like braking, tread life and fuel efficiency fall by the wayside, but not too far.

While this tire does come as standard on mid-range luxury cars like the Cadillac CTS and Mercedes C-Class, according to customer reviews the MXM4 does leave something to be desired, especially when considering its tread life and noise. The MXM4 goes as high as $285 per tire.

Luxury Performance Tires

Premier A/S

Sizes Range: 185/55R16 83H - 245/45R18/XL 100V
Speed Rating: H (130 MPH), V (149 MPH)
Warranty: 60,000 Miles

Scoring a perfect 10 in most categories, the Premier A/S is an all-weather tire that provides stronger grip under braking and capable wet weather performance. While Michelin does advertise the Premier as offering a quiet ride, multiple user reviews illustrate that this is not the case.

In spite of this the Premier is still an excellent performing tire. The Premier A/S comes in a wide range of sizes, and can cost as much as $205 per tire. Michelin also makes a Premier LTX for SUVs and Crossovers, and while it does have good braking abilities the handling, wear life and fuel efficiency don’t do nearly as well. There’s also only one size at 235/65R17 108V for $192 per tire.

Alpin A4

Sizes Range: 225/50R17 94H
Speed Rating: H (130 MPH)
Warranty: 30,000 Miles
Other Applications: Ultra-High Performance Sport (PA4, Alpin 5) , SUV/Crossover (Alpin PA5)

For a snow tire that’s going to get your luxury touring car up the mountains, the Alpin A4 is rated for multiple snow seasons and provides impressive stopping power on icy and wet roads. Thanks to Michelin’s engineering excellence, the Alpin A4 tire is not expected to lose any ability to hold traction throughout its life. There is only one size available, and it goes for $255 per tire.

There’s two Pilot versions of the Alpin, one is the Pilot Alpin PA4 and the other is the Pilot Alpin 5 SUV. The PA4 is a winter tire, designed to get a car like a Corvette up to the ski lifts. The PA4 in theory combines the performance of a Pilot tire with the Alpin winter tire. With a wide range, the PA4 can cost an intimidating $490 per tire and has a 30,000 mile warranty, along with a W maximum speed rating of 168 MPH.

The Alpin 5 is a summer tire that comes in three sizes, from 225/60R18 104H to 275/50R19 112V, and can cost as much as $300 per tire.

Ultra-High Performance Sport Tires

Pilot Sport 4

Sizes Range: 225/40ZR19/XL 93Y - 315/35ZR20/XL (110Y)
Speed Rating: Y (186 MPH)
Warranty: 20,000 Miles

Everything about this tire screams performance, judging by the speed rating, abysmal warranty coverage (as present with any decent performance tire) and the frankly intimidating largest tire size. As a summer only tire, in terms of handling, braking, comfort and wear life the Pilot Sport 4 has earned enormous kudos, and it’s not surprising that you pay a lot for it. The smallest tire size is $230 per tire, while the largest tire hikes that price up to $468 per tire. There is a Pilot Sport 3, however it doesn’t seem to perform as well.

There are a few versions of the Pilot Sport, including the Pilot Sport 4S, Sport PS2, Sport A/S 3, A/S 3+, Sport Cup 2 and the Sport A/S Plus. The most extreme of these tires is the Sport Cup 2, which is directed as a track day tire, with unparalleled handling and braking, but horrid comfort, wear life and fuel efficiency. The tire sizes go from 215/45ZR17/XL 91Y to a 345/30ZR20 106Y, the latter costing $585 per tire.

Pilot Super Sport

Sizes Range: 205/45ZR17/XL 88Y - 335/30ZR20/XL 108Y
Speed Rating: Y (186 MPH)
Warranty: 30,000 Miles

Available in too many sizes to actually count, the Michelin Super Sport is a less aggressive tire than the Sport 4, but not by much. It offers exquisite handling, braking, comfort, wear life and even fuel efficiency. It’s a great well rounded tire, but again probably not great for commuting, even though it is classified as a summer street tire. The Super Sport can get as high as $523 per tire.

SUV/Crossover Tires


Sizes Range: 235/55R17 99V - 295/35R21 107Y
Speed Rating: V (149 MPH), Y (186 MPH), W (168 MPH)
Warranty: 20,000 Miles
Other Applications: light truck

There are multiple Michelin Latitude tires available, including the Sport, Sport 3, Latitude Tour, Tour HP, Alpin, Alpin 2 LA2 and the X-ICE X12. While Michelin does advertise the Latitude Sport as an ultra-high performance SUV/Crossover tire, customer reviews have described it as otherwise.

The braking ability is phenomenal, however the wear life and handling appear to suffer quite a bit. The best Latitude tire appears to be the Latitude Tour, which excels in comfort, fuel efficiency and wear life. The handling still leaves something yet to be desired, but for highway speed commuting in an SUV/Crossover the Latitude Tour will do the job better than most.

4x4 Diamaris

Sizes Range: 235/65R17 108V
Speed Rating: V (149 MPH)
Warranty: 25,000 Miles

The 4x4 Diamaris is described as a high-performance SUV and Crossover tire, that provides excellent grip in dry and wet conditions. Like other SUV tires the DIamaris is great at providing shorter braking distances, but lacks the performance of the Latitude Tour. Fuel efficiency isn’t very far behind, but handling isn’t particularly good, and the tread apparently doesn’t seem to last very long. There’s only one size of the Diamaris, priced at $192.


Other applications: Light truck

There are two different kinds of LTX that Michelin makes, the LTX M/S2 and LTX A/T2 and it’s fair to say that these two appear to be the best SUV/Crossover tires available. Rated for all weather, the LTX M/S2 boasts supreme wear life, comfort, and exceptional fuel efficiency. It still falls prey to the other SUV/Crossover tires’ shortcomings when it comes to handling, however that is the only area in which the M/S2 is not up to par. The most expensive LTX M/S2 costs $302 per tire.

The LTX A/T2 is commended for its off-road capabilities, and actually scores decently in every other category, including handling. This may be the best value for an off-road tire, costing as much as $367 for a colossal 285/55R20. It also has a 60,000 mile warranty.

Buying tires requires a significant degree of research, in order to understand exactly what kind you should get. Instead of springing for the most expensive tire, or the cheapest, consider what kind of driver you are, where you drive, and for how long. This could mean the difference between still having money in your bank account, and spending your last cent on a tow truck.

Brian GrabianowskiBrian Grabianowski

Avid Formula 1 fan and motorcyclist, I enjoy chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream and long rides to the beach.

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