Are Michelins overpriced and overrated OR

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Jul 13, 2005
New Hampsha
worth every penny that you spend? I just picked up some OEM alloy rims for my Matrix. Currently I have Michelin HydroEdges on my car. It has been pretty much a love/hate relationship with these tires.....after 7K miles they have a pretty smooth ride and for a T rated tire they hold the road pretty well around the corners....very decent on packed down snow as well....the hate part is the noise and the performance in powdery snow is not all that hot. At low speeds they whoop whoop whoop and make all sorts of noises...depending on road surface they either roar, sing or chatter or do all at once! At speed of 80mph or so they are fine..go figure...we drove down to NJ to get the rims and ride was very in reality it is a decent tire but noisey as heck

All that being said I am going to leave the Edges on my steelies and get some new rubber for my alloys. I went to Sears tonight as A) they have a pretty decent selection with good prices for retail and B) All Michelins are on sale. I was thinking of maybe saving some $$ and going with a Falken or Kumho tire...actually I would save a BOATLOAD of money over the Michelin I am looking at the Exalto A/S on sale for 118.79 each.

Just looking at the tires side by side the Michelin just seems to scream quality over the Kumho or the Falken as far as construction, looks, sidewall flex....of course I guess this is all subject in the eye of the beholder.

So in keeping line with my original question...Michelins are pricey...but does that price give me a better made product, a better chance of not having a tire out of round, a better chance of having a tire that can be balanced and be vibration free, an overall better product?

So are Michelins overpriced or does it boil down to you basically get what you pay for?

Thanks for looking

Michelin markets tires under three brands. Michelin, which is the top, premium brand (and priced as such), BF Goodrich, midpriced, with many touring and performance models, and Uniroyal, the economy line.

Lately, in the Michelin family of tires, I have been going with BF Goodrich tires. There are many options in that line that I think match Michelin performance at much more reasonable prices.
Yes, the manufacturing quality is generally very good on the Michelins, ie. the tires are very uniform and can be easily balanced. Now, as far as actualy performance/traction... well, in my experience they're overpriced for what they offer. Aside from their top of the line Pilot Sport tires (which are also quite expensive nonetheless), their other stuff is mediocre at best. MXV4+ Energy is probably the best case in point - this tire is comfy and long lasting (OEM on many cars), but handling, dry, wet, and snow grip - pretty bad, especially when you consider their price. This doesn't change the fact, that they're still well made.

I've also had a set of winter Michelin Pilot Alpins - they were OK for they were designed for - mostly dry winter roads with occasional slush, but again, at $120 each, hardly a bargain.
I think Michelin is overpriced and slightly overrated. I've had great success with with BFG as I have them on three of my 4 vehicles.

My Traction T/A's were an absolute bargain IMO.
My friend has Michelin PS2s on the 17" rims of his E46 330i with sport package. He drives like a maniac and takes street corners HARD (dumb, I know), and those tires stick. When he turns the traction control off, there's a very light chirp, but they've never lost grip.

For such a high performance tire (Tirerack calls them "max perf"), the tread pattern looks like that of a touring A/S tire.
i think there are equally as good of a tire if not better out there for less money.
Yes the S,T,H rated tires are overpriced. The Michelin Symmetry for the Odyssey minivan is $120.00 a tire. I replaced the tires with Kumho Solus H rated for $80 a tire and I could not be happier. The comparable MXV4 is $150 per tire.

The high end Pilot Sport is not overpriced if you are talking about high performance for expensive imports with 17", 18", 19" and 45, 40 series tires. The price difference is a smaller percentage when the competitors tire are over $150 per tire.

As for the BFG tire, I have gotten a great tire with the old Comp TA and a lousy tire with the G Force KDWS.
I have the same tires on the same car as DaveinLA's friend. They are excellent tires. Overpriced in any case..but excellent. You can get as good a tire for less money.
I think Michelins are a little overpriced but, I've heard you'll get a little more for trade-in for a car with them mounted. For what that's worth.
Think everything depends on the market and how this or that company wants to position its product on it. I cannot find another explanation why in Eastern Europe Michelin X-Ice costs about 40 % more the in the North America. Normally the price difference for the same level tires does not (or should not) exceed 5-10 %. But there are exceptions. Unlike other Europe, in Germany Michelin is usually about 30 % more expensive then other leading manufacturers.
With a lot of products, tires included, you end up paying for a design, execution of the design (manufacturing quality), service, and then name (advertising). From what I've seen Michelin seems to have a repuation for good quality, such as low weight needed for balancing, fewer surprises such as blowouts or lots of early failures, etc., but they don't always/often end up being considered the 'best design' in any given category.

'Best design' is a series of tradeoffs, dry / rain / mud / snow / ice / speed / load performance vs tire life, so it ends up being a judgement call. Some of their designs seem to be classics, a standard of sorts, like the LTX M&S, while others are pretty humble in spite of their manufacturing quality, such as the LTX A/S. I'd get a set of the LTX M&S if they were available as they seem to have good performance with very good tire life, and I did get a set of the Harmony tires for one of the sedans as it seemed to have good rain and snow performance for an all season tire, with good tire life. They're replacing some BFG Control all season tires, which were good tires but they didn't last as long as I suspect that the Harmony tires will.
Mich are good and overpriced. My Kuhmos were just about as good in the spec's but almost 100 bucks cheaper. Now Goodyears are overpriced and all but the top prem ones are junk.You compare there spec's of the low and mid range to others that are priced cheaper and the GY spec's will fall short just about everytime.
I don't know what category of tire a Falken 512 is, but below the Falken compared to the top 5 all season tires at Tirerack, with the treadwear rating. Anyone can make a gumball tire that has good traction, I recall on the bikes I could go thru a sticky tire in less 5k miles on the road, the trick is providing traction over long periods. That seems to be why some of the 'premium tires' cost more.

Goodyear Tripletread 740
Michelin Harmony 800
Goodyear Comfortread 700
Michelin Harmony 740
Yokohama Aegis LS4 420
Falken ZE-512 420
The Falken 512 is an All-Season High Performance tire with ratings in H,V,and W. I don't think those other tires are speed rated even at H.
And you can't compare treadware ratings among different manufacturers, only within the same manufacturer as this is not an industry standard.
"The Falken 512 is an All-Season High Performance tire with ratings in H,V,and W. I don't think those other tires are speed rated even at H. "

Which is one of the points mentioned earlier; it's all a set of compromises, and often comes down to performance vs wear. I have absolutely no concern about speed ratings for our cars, so any tires that sacrifice tread life and snow / ice traction for high wet / dry traction are stupid, like Falken 512s (they're actually good tires at some price/performance/wear point, but not at mine :^)

"And you can't compare treadware ratings among different manufacturers, only within the same manufacturer as this is not an industry standard. "

Actually it is an industry standard, but each maker is allowed to interpret their own test results. In general models advertised as being high performance tend to get lower than 'real world' wear ratings as tires that wear out quickly are perceived to provide better traction, and all season tires tend to get higher than 'real world' ratings as long tire life is desired. I ran across one individual who noticed that with Michelin tires he could multiply the wear ratings by 100x to get an estimate on mileage, but that obviously won't work for everyone. The data below supports your statement, where four V rated tires and a brand x tire are compared for performance and wear for police work. The percent is wear in the test, and the wear rating in enclosed. The brand x tire is out of it's element and will wear quickly, not unlike using a load rating that is too low for truck, the Firestone tire appears to be overrated, the Goodyear underrated. Still, when comparing all season tires I would expect tires with a lot higher wear rating to wear better than those with a lot lower wear rating, staying within the designed load/speed range.

Equipment Performance Report: 2001 Patrol Vehicle Tires

BF Goodrich Touring T/A VR4 P225/60R–16 97V M&S 18.9% (360)
Firestone Firehawk PV41 P225/60R–16 97V M&S 35.1% (340)
General XP 2000 V4 P225/60R–16 98V M&S 28.2% (320)
Goodyear Eagle RS–A P225/60R–16 97V M&S 24.0% (260)
Brand X P225/60R–16 97S M&S 34.1% (440)
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