Michelin vs Pirelli: Car tyres compared

They are often touted as the two leading tyre brands in the world. You will see their logos splashed around motorsports venues from Europe to Australia, and they service some of the quickest cars on the planet. Indeed, Michelin and Pirelli have ingrained themselves into the psyche of everyday motorists, meaning they are not only thought of as leading brands for racing, but also regular use on the roads of our cities.

In motorsports circles, both brands are the go-to for tyre performance and reliability, which can mean the difference between first and last on the grid, or on the road and in the ditch. But what about when it comes to the everyday Aussie driver? The mums and dads who drive their children to school, drive to work, and then maybe drive to the family barbecue at the weekend? What can Michelin and Pirelli offer them, and which brand reigns supreme when it comes to the streets of Sydney, Melbourne, Perth or Brisbane? Let’s compare the car tyres of both.


Michelin certainly caters for the average Joe, but the brand also has a strong focus on sustainability and green tyre initiatives, in addition to quality performance and handling. 

Category/model Purpose Price per tyre (as of June 2016) 
(from Michelin.com.au)
Everyday & Environmentally Friendly
Energy XM2

Designed for more mileage, fuel efficiency and maximum safety.

Energy Saver

Designed for fuel efficiency, longevity and handling.

Pilot Super Sport

Ultimate grip, sports handling and dry traction.

Pilot Sport PS2

Designed for dry handling, dry grip and sports performance

Pilot Sport 3

Designed for wet grip, handling and control in all situations.


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While Michelin offers a number of tyre options to suit most needs, its range of ‘everyday use’ tyres does seem somewhat limited. But what it does offer appears to be at a price point that should be affordable for the discerning customer. That includes its run-flat tyres, designed for maximum convenience in the case of a flat tyre, enabling you to drive until you reach the nearest service station. Michelin’s Primacy 3 run-flat tyre will cost you about $235.


You can’t deny Pirelli’s racing pedigree, with the brand demonstrating a strong focus on high-level performance. However, it does still cater for average Aussie motorists.

Category/model Purpose Price pre tyre (as of June 2016) 
(from JaxTyres.com.au)
Cinturato P1

Designed for everyday use with sustainability in mind.

Four Seasons Plus

Designed for all weather conditions, with more mileage and fuel savings.

Everyday Run-Flat
Cinturato P7

The cheapest run flat option. For steering response and performance in super saloons.

Dragon Sport

Entry-level performance. Wet and dry performance and safety.

P Zero Corsa Assimetrico

High end performance, designed for track use and extreme handling situations.


You could forgive the average consumer for looking a bit lost when it comes to Pirelli’s range of tyres, which does have a strong focus on performance. However, its everyday range of tyres is competitively priced, making quality more affordable for your average city-dweller. Even Pirelli’s run-flat tyres seem reasonably cheap.

The verdict

For the average consumer, Michelin and Pirelli do not offer the cheapest tyres around, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. With their racing pedigree at the forefront of their brand image, you can expect to find some of these performance characteristics passed down to their everyday tyres. Overall let’s summarise what we’ve found when comparing Michelin and Pirelli tyres.

Pirelli Michelin

Wide variety of performance tyres


Somewhat limited ‘everyday’ range

More consumer-oriented ‘everyday’ tyres

More entry-level performance tyres

High base prices for ‘performance’ range

Cheaper base level tyres

More run-flat price options

While Michelin appears to offer a better variety of ‘everyday’ labelled tyres, Pirelli seems to bring a greater variety of entry-level performance options, which have a lower price floor but also a higher ceiling.

It could be worth jumping into the ‘performance’ bracket and fitting out your car with some of these choices. However, keep in mind that ‘performance’ tyres are often of a softer compound, which is great for handling and safety, but comes at the expense of fuel efficiency and longevity. On the other hand, ‘budget’ or ‘eco’ car tyres are often of a harder compound, which is good for both fuel efficiency and longevity, but not so great for handling – especially in wet conditions.

At the end of the day, you will have to decide which brand you think best meets the trade-off between quality and price. If you’re looking for cheap tyres, you’re in the wrong place.

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