Michelin Pilot Sport Passenger/Performance Tire

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Michelin's Pilot Sport 225/40-ZR18 Tires - Sticky and Sweet!

Aug 15, 2003
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Excellent traction in dry or wet, funky, functional design. Low wear after 12,000 miles.

Cons:Expensive to replace, low profile doesn't yield a cushy ride.

The Bottom Line: Great handling in all weather except winter weather. The wear on the tires are negligible even after 12,000 miles of 'somewhat spirited' driving!


Background
These tires came stock on my 2002 Volkswagen GTI 337 Edition. When my car was first released (as a limited edition in June 2002), Michelin USA had a problem importing these tires to the US. My tires had a unique tread pattern, different from the Pilot Sport tires that had been sold in the US up to that point. It took a few months for Michelin to bring the tire to the US, but now many vehicles use them including BMW's M3.

I like these tires...
These tires are absolutely amazing. The grip is fantastic and the wear is almost unbelieveable for a tire with so much grip.

Sticky...like glue!
Usually tires that are very sticky (like Goodyear's Gatorback tires of years past) don't last very long at all. The rubber comes off very easy and 10,000 miles later, you're looking at bald tires. Michelin's Pilot Sport has found a way around this problem. Granted, I don't drive my car very hard, but I put 12,000 miles on it in one year, driving 15 miles each way to work and back. I'm also known to have a little 'race driver' in me, so I haven't been 100% easy on my tires either.

Wear oh wear have my...
My tires have very little wear on them, if any at all. They should have no problem lasting another 15,000 to 20,000 miles as long as I behave myself on the local highways. I measure the tread depth at 1,000 mile intervals and haven't noticed much of a change at all.

When it's WET
In wet weather, I've been astounded by the grip afforded by these tires. I have never felt out of control when driving in wet weather. Since these tires are quite wide, they are subject to aquaplaning. We've had a very, very wet summer here in Hampton Roads and the drainage on the highways is terrible. I have driven my car through areas with standing water that was at least 6" deep. I never had any problem keeping my car under control. These tires do an amazing job of moving water out of the way.

When it's WET and COLD!
Now, in icy/snowy weather, beware. These tires do not handle ice or snow well at all. I was caught in a freak snowstorm this past winter, and despite being quite nervous, I never lost control of my car. The tires performed much better than I expected, but I expected them to perform as well as racing slicks on a wet road course!

Go Speed Racer!
Since these tires are Z-rated for speed, they're very sturdy. They have almost no sidewall on them, I compare them to rubber bands specially fitted to my wheels. Not having any sidewall is detrimental to ride quality. These tires ride hard, and there's nothing that can be done about it. I have looked past this because my VW has a very stiff suspension, so the hard ride came with the territory.

Ouch, my wallet hurts!
These tires are pretty expensive, they retail for roughly $200 each. I've seen them advertised on TireRack.com for $180 in the wintertime, but now that it's summer, the price has shot back up. I have also seen these same exact tires for sale at Costco, where they cost $140 each, if I remember correctly. Either way, they're expensive, but they're a lot better tire than the ones you'd get from Manny, Moe and Jack down at Pep Boys.

In the end...
If I needed to buy four new tires right now, I would have no problem buying another set of Michelin Pilot Sports for my car. I'm very pleased.


Recommend this product? Yes


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