Two of the most recognizable and respected brands in the industry are Michelin and Goodyear. Both brands have their fans, both brands have their detractors, but ask any sampling of people in the United States to name a couple of tire brands and Goodyear and Michelin will probably dominate the responses. A common question that we receive is: "Which brand is better?" The answer depends on the tire category and the specific needs of the driver, but I'll try to give an overview by comparing the top tires from each brand by category. This comparison focuses on categories for cars.
Category: Passenger All-Season
Verdict: The Goodyear has the advantage in bad weather traction. Michelin's Energy Saver A/S optimizes rolling resistance to slightly enhance fuel economy. Both have very good treadwear and rate well in our customer surveys, but the Goodyear is currently higher. Two strong contenders, however the Goodyear wins with superior traction in bad weather.
Category: Standard Touring All-Season
Contenders: Goodyear (none) vs. Michelin Defender
Verdict: No contest here as Michelin has the number one tire in the class and Goodyear has no entry. Michelin wins by default. Goodyear would need a heroic new entry to unseat the current king of this class.
Category: Grand Touring All-Season
Verdict: These two tires are both excellent entries into the category. I've driven both of these and prefer the Michelin, which also has slightly higher survey results over a larger number of miles. This round goes to Michelin.
Category: High Performance All-Season
Verdict: The Eagle GT is solid but the Pilot Exalto A/S remains one of the best all-around tires in the category. It blends ride, handling and traction in a wide variety of conditions. The Pilot Exalto A/S takes this round for Michelin as well.
Category: Ultra High Performance All-Season
Verdict: These tires are both right in the top tier of the category. We have not tested them directly against one another, and the Goodyear is relatively new. Both earned similar results against other tires in the category in tests one year apart. This one is too close to call.
Category: Max Performance Summer
Verdict: This is an excellent match-up of two of the newest and stickiest tires in the Max Performance Summer category. The Michelin won their head-to-head test, and having done some of the driving for the test, I agree with the results. Honorable mention to the Goodyear, which is an excellent tire in its own right, but the Pilot Super Sport is the class of the field right now.
Category: Extreme Performance Summer
Contenders: Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar G: 2 vs. Michelin (none)
Verdict: Goodyear makes the Supercar G: 2 in very few sizes, but does enough to take the category unopposed. Any tire that looks this cool merits some points in a brand shoot by virtue of the halo effect it brings to the brand:
- Goodyear wins two categories: Passenger All-Season and Extreme Performance Summer.
- Michelin wins four categories: Standard Touring All-Season, Grand Touring All-Season, High Performance All Season and Max Performance Summer.
Whether you're a Goodyear or Michelin fan, both brands provide great options. Choose the tire from the brand you like that best suits how and where you drive.