For the last few years, Michelin's Primacy MXV4 had dominated the Grand Touring All-Season category, as well as our independent tests. The tire is known for offering a quiet and comfortable ride with some sporty handling. With over 16 million miles reported by our customers, the Primacy MXV4 has been far and away a best seller and the target that all other tire manufacturers are shooting for. A host of new models have been introduced to challenge the MXV4 and we took the new Bridgestone Potenza RE97AS, Continental PureContact with EcoPlus Technology and Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus to the street and track for evaluation.
On our 6.6-mile loop of expressways, state highways and county roads, we're able to get a sense for how each tire will perform in real world conditions, like those most of our customers experience on their daily commute. The variety of pavement types, conditions and legal speeds puts each tire through its paces and helps determine overall ride comfort, road noise and handling at highways speeds. While the Michelin continued to impress our testers, the PureContact with EcoPlus Technology got the nod with slightly better and more responsive handling characteristics, while the Pirelli was just a little behind. The Potenza RE97AS was in a near tie with the Primacy MXV4 for best tread noise.
On our 1/3-mile test track course, we can replicate extreme maneuvers (in both wet and dry conditions) normally experienced during an abrupt emergency avoidance move. While in dry conditions, all four tires proved to be very capable performers. The PureContact with EcoPlus Technology proved to be noticeably more responsive to steering input than the others, but the Primacy MXV4 was close behind.
The competition was tight, and while the Continental almost spoiled Michelin's party, the MXV4 was able to get the overall nod by a very small margin.
For a complete recap of our testing, read "Testing Grand Touring All-Season Tires with a Sporty Edge."