It’s the battle of the Formula 1 heavyweights! With both brands no stranger to lucrative tyre supply contracts with the most elite racing league in the world, it’s little wonder that Bridgestone and Michelin are the number one and two tyre companies in the world, respectively. It’s France (Michelin) versus Japan (Bridgestone). The question: Where can Aussie motorists get the best tyres?
- We’ve compared both brands and their car tyre offerings to the average Aussie motorist, using the most common tyre size in the country – 205/65/15.
- This size tyre is commonly found on smaller passenger sedans and hatchbacks such as some Toyota Corolla models.
There’s no doubt that Michelin and Bridgestone have proved their worth on racing tracks around the world, but their consumer car tyres are what most people are going to be curious about. The average Aussie motorist is more worried about the value for money their tyres can bring, than what lap time they can help set at the Albert Park racetrack. So which brand reigns supreme? Here is our guide.
Michelin Car Tyres
A quick visit to Michelin’s Aussie website suggests the brand caters to the average driver straight away. Michelin clearly has a strong focus on sustainability and green initiatives. Based on the aforementioned tyre size, Michelin sells the following:
|Model||Purpose||Approx Price Per Tyre|
|Energy XM2||Handling and safety, water-evacuating tread||$111|
|Primacy 3 ST||Comfort cruising for small SUVs||$129|
|Agilis||Better grip throughout the life of the tyre||$189|
Source: Michelin website March 2018
Being an elite tyre manufacturer with a focus on innovation and technology, you can bet that Michelin incorporates some Formula 1 experience into its ‘normal’ tyres to some extent.
- The Energy XM2 looks to be a good value, mid-range tyre, compared with the low-cost offerings of other brands. Its tread is designed to disperse water faster than an average tyre in the event of aquaplaning.
This might mean the difference between staying safely on the road or not if you lose control of your vehicle in wet conditions. The XM2 looks to be a good bet if safety is a high priority when purchasing tyres, and it should be, of course.
- The proliferation of small SUVs on Aussie roads also makes the Primacy 3 ST a good bet, especially for those who don’t actually go off-roading.
- The Agilis is a mid-range performance tyre, perhaps suitable for a warm or hot hatch and for drivers who value extra grip.
Michelin is not a budget brand. Hard-compounded, ultra-high mileage economic tyres are not the aim here. So if it’s simply cheap car tyres that you crave, you will have to look elsewhere. However, for the discerning buyer, Michelin offers ‘everyday’ tyres at a price accessible for many people.
Bridgestone Car Tyres
Bridgestone has cemented itself as one of the world’s premium tyre brands. Its range is situated in the mid-high-end range, with offerings catering to a variety of different applications. For the average Aussie motorist, with average-sized tyres, Bridgestone brings the following options.
|Model||Purpose||Approx Price Per Tyre|
|Ecopia EP100||Fuel economy, durability||$115|
|Ecopia EP300||Fuel economy, durability||$115|
|RE92||Durability and ride quality||$119|
|Potenza RE88||Smooth ride, and handling, cornering and braking||$125|
Source: Bridgestone website March 2018
Bridgestone seemingly has more of a focus on the ‘everyday’ motorist than Michelin. While this range of tyres is not particularly expansive, Bridgestone clearly knows who its consumers are and what they want from their car tyres.
- With softer-compound tyres proven to be safer in the wet, it’s hard to overlook the RE88 as a good-value option.
- However, for long-lasting tyres, Bridgestone does make the cheaper Ecopia series, which focuses on durability, which can in turn lead to increased fuel efficiency.
Bridgestone’s offerings in the 205/65/15 market are somewhat cheaper than what Michelin dishes up, but with a different corner of the market covered. Again, however, Bridgestone is not a ‘cheap’ brand, as the cheapest offerings in this size range are around $80 per tyre.
Michelin Vs Bridgestone: Who races ahead?
It’s hard to go wrong with two of the biggest tyre companies in the world. Their history, international reputation and warranties mean you won’t be hard done by with either brand. Let’s just say there’s a reason why they have both previously been Formula 1 tyre suppliers and sponsor a litany of other motorsports events. Specifically, it really depends on your needs and own wheel size to determine which is best for you.
- Do you just want a tyre to get around the city in? Do you travel long distances regularly on country roads? Do you need to regularly drive up a big mountain with lots of twisty roads?
- These types of questions are what you must ask yourself as it’s hard to split these brands apart.