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How to compare tyres?

On what basis should you compare tyres to select the one that will give you complete satisfaction? This article is about the main performance criteria to consider, the decision aids you can use and Michelin's best advice. We will discuss how to select the one you need within the same tyre line and provide you with decision aids, such as independent tyre tests, labelling and tyre comparison sites. Finally, we will discuss another important criterion: long term performance.

The main performance criteria for tyre comparison

To ensure effectiveness, tyres need to deliver numerous, often conflicting, performance characteristics. Improving one of these performances must not be to the detriment of the others.

How to compare tyres within the same tyre line?

Each of our tyre lines is made in a selection of sizes to fit appropriate vehicles.

Sometimes a tyre line will have several versions of the same tyre size but with different technical specifications such as :

  • Speed ratings (ex: S, T, H, V, W, Y, etc.),
  • Load index (ex : 91, 94, XL, etc.),
  • OE markings (Original Equipment).

These technical specifications are important details that can determine whether or not that version is compatible with your vehicle and the way you drive.

If several versions are compatible with your vehicle, we recommend that you choose the version with the same specifications as your original equipment tyres, including the correct OE marking.
The OE marking concerns tyres developed in cooperation with car manufacturers that meet more specific requirements, proper to each car brand. For example, the "MO" marking means that the tyre is approved by Mercedes for its vehicles.
However, the OE marking is not a requirement as long as the size, speed, and load indexes are respected.
You can also safely select a version with higher speed rating or load index; however, higher speed or load capability can negatively impact tread life and ride comfort.

Independent tests to help you compare tyres

Independent tyre testers such as specialized magazines or professional organisations can help you for your tyre comparison.
Each year, these independent testers use very strict criteria to assess the performance of tyres by testing them on different surfaces. They evaluate various aspects such as braking, handling, rolling resistance, noise, etc…

Compare tyres with the european labelling

European labelling is designed to help you compare different tyre models (from different brands or within the same brand) on objective criteria.

For example, if you want a MICHELIN summer tyre, you may be hesitating between the MICHELIN Primacy 4 and the MICHELIN e·Primacy. The labelling will indicate that the MICHELIN e·Primacy has a better rolling resistance, which helps to reduce your fuel consumption and CO₂ emissions. If you are sensitive to these concerns, the labelling will then lead you to the MICHELIN e·Primacy.

Labelling can therefore be an aid to decision-making. However, you should be aware that it is limited to a few criteria and that it only measures tyres when they are new, which does not tell you everything about a tyre's performance.

Compare tyres with tyre comparison sites

Using tyre comparison sites can be helpful, but it is important to remember that their comparisons are generally based on new tyres which means that they do not put the tested tyres into perspective beyond a certain level of wear (once they have covered a few thousand miles).

Yet some tyre performances become less effective with wear, particularly on wet roads and especially when braking. Therefore, it is also important, when comparing tyres, to assess the performance of tyres once they start to wear.

Choosing tyres with performance made to last

Maintaining the performance of the tyre until the very last mile is precisely what Michelin demands of its tyre ranges.

In the development and production of our tyres, we strive to obtain the best performance without compromise when they are new, and that this performance remains at an excellent level until the very last mile, once the maximum wear level has been reached.

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