Michelin Vs Pirelli: Car Tyres Compared

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They’re often touted as the two leading tyre brands in the world. You’ll 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’re not only thought of as leading brands for racing, but also regular use on the roads of our cities. This is reflected in our annual car tyre reviews, with almost nothing separating Michelin and Pirelli over the years as the two brands have dominated.

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, then drive to work, and then maybe drive to the family barbecue at the weekend? What does Michelin and Pirelli offer them, and which brand reigns supreme when it comes to the streets of Australia, from Sydney to Humpty Doo? Let’s compare the car tyres of both.

Michelin Car Tyres

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 Tyre Purpose Approx Price Per Tyre
Energy XM2 Designed for extra mileage, fuel efficiency and maximum safety $109
Energy Saver Designed for fuel efficiency, longevity & solid handling $125
Pilot Sports 3 Designed for wet grip, handling & control in all situations $155
Pilot Sports PS2 Designed for dry handling, dry grip & sports performance $275
Pilot Super Sport Designed for ultimate grip, sports handling dry traction $729

Source: Michelin website March 2018

While Michelin offers a number of tyre options to suit most needs, its range of ‘everyday use’ car 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.

Pirelli Car Tyres

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 Tyre Purpose Approx Price Per Tyre
Cinturato P1 Designed for everyday use, with sustainability in mind $115
Four Seasons Pro Designed for all weather conditions, with more mileage $139
Pilot Sports 3 Designed for wet grip, handling & control in all situations $155
Dragon Sport Designed for entry-level wet & dry performance & safety $159
Cinturato P7 Run flat for steering response & performance in saloons $179
P Zero SUV Run flat high performance for SUVs with large wheels $749
P Zero Corsa Asimmetrico 2 High-end performance for track use & extreme handling $2,000

Source: Pirelli website March 2018

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 car tyres is competitively priced, making quality more affordable for your average city-dweller. Even Pirelli’s run-flat tyres seem reasonable considering the advanced technology they provide and the fact they’re mostly reserved for luxury cars.

Michelin Vs Pirelli: Who’s tyres race ahead?

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.

  • 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.
  • Those looking for an everyday performance tyre to apply to a hot hatch or super saloon may be treated to a bigger range with Pirelli with a lower entry-level price.

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 the cheapest tyres, you’re in the wrong place.

Compare Car Tyres

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