The rise of the popularity of crossovers and SUVs didn’t happen because of the off-road abilities of these vehicles. Instead, buyers were lured by the roomy interiors and adventurous looks on the outside. Also, most crossover and SUV owners never venture outside of the road.
This necessitated tire manufacturers to produce rubber for crossovers and SUVs that are designed only for on-road use. Crossover/SUV touring tires are one of the best-selling tires on the market right now, and every serious tire company has a competitor in the segment.
Of course, that includes Michelin, a company that’s known for producing high-quality premium tires that often push the envelope. Michelin’s crossover and SUV touring tire, called the Latitude Tour, is now one of the oldest in its category.
Despite that, we learned by now that Michelin knows how to make products that are ahead of its time. Many tires from the French company still compete for best-in-class honors, even though they were launched over five years ago.
That said, the Michelin Latitude Tour faces stiff competition from outstanding tires, such as the Continental CrossContact LX25, Pirelli Scorpion Verde All Season Plus II, and Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza Plus.
And, perhaps more tellingly, all of these premium competitors are much less expensive than the Latitude Tour. As a matter of fact, the Latitude Tour is the priciest tire in its category, even when compared to newer premium rivals. So, is Michelin’s product worth the extra cost?
You’ve arrived just in the right place to have that question answered. In this article, I’ll cover every detail about the Michelin Latitude Tour, including the performance it offers on dry, wet, and snowy roads, the comfort levels, and treadlife.
Before we jump to any conclusions, though, let’s see what Michelin has to say about the features of the Latitude Tour.
- What are the features of the Michelin Latitude Tour?
- What are the maintenance indicators?
- How does it behave on a dry tarmac?
- How is it over wet and slippery roads?
- With that being said, how is it on snowy roads?
- Is it suitable for off-road driving?
- Is it comfortable and refined?
- Should I buy the Michelin Latitude Tour?
What are the features of the Michelin Latitude Tour?
According to Michelin, the Latitude Tour is a crossover/SUV touring tire designed for a quiet ride, outstanding fuel efficiency, long treadlife, and impressive on-road comfort and handling. To be honest, though, you will read almost the same things on the websites on other manufacturers, even those that produce cheaper alternatives.
Michelin continues to praise the wet traction of the tire – the Latitude Tour stops 5% shorter in rainy conditions than the predecessor. That’s not a lot but bear in mind that the French company almost always provides the best results in wet conditions.
To achieve these things, Michelin utilized its tried-and-true Total Performance technology. The French company claims that it focuses on the entire life of the tire. “All our tires have performance made to LAST, delivering, by design, an exceptional level of long-lasting performance,” the company states on its website.
Moreover, the Michelin Total Performance technology means that the engineers try to improve things in one area, without sacrificing performance in other areas.
Like in most premium tires, Michelin utilized a silica-based tread compound. The rubber is molded into a symmetric tread pattern, and both the tread compound and design are optimized for longevity and durability. Michelin calls that MaxTouch Construction, and what it means is that the tire should perform well throughout its entire lifetime.
The tread pattern itself consists of stable shoulder blocks and a continuous center rib for increased responsiveness and highway stability. Furthermore, the Latitude Tour features four wide circumferential grooves, which channel water through multiple sipes in the outboard shoulders for increased hydroplaning resistance. The sipes also help to create more biting edges for better snow traction.
Meanwhile, the Michelin Comfort Control Technology ensures that the tire provides the passengers with a comfortable and quiet traveling experience. More accurately, the technology features a computer-optimized design and precision manufacturing to reduce the vibrations entering the cabin, and mitigate road noise.
Some Latitude Tour models and sizes also come with the Green X symbol, which signifies green manufacturing techniques and increased low-rolling resistance.
On the inside, the Latitude Tour is pretty standard for a crossover/SUV touring tire. It features twin steel belts under the tread area, on top of a polyester cord casing, both working to enhance stability and ride quality.
What are the maintenance indicators?
The Latitude Tour features the regular tread wear indicators (TWI’s) like any other Michelin tire, or any other crossover/SUV touring tire for that matter. That said, some companies, like Continental, started using letters for an even better indication of treadwear.
The TWI’s are very important for the owner because they show how much tread there is left on the tire. Without sufficient tread, the tire won’t be able to resist hydroplaning well, and overall, the wet performance will suffer significantly.
On the Michelin Latitude Tour, the minimum tread depth is 2/32-inch. When the tire comes to this point, you should immediately replace it with a new one. Otherwise, you risk driving on tires that aren’t able to provide you with safe traction and braking on wet surfaces.
The treadwear indicators are narrow rubber inserts built into the circumferential grooves of the tire. As the tread of the tire wears down, these narrow rubber bars will become more visible. When the tread is only 2/32-inch deep, the bars will be completely flush with the tread.
And, while it’s recommended to replace the tire after it reaches that point, I suggest doing that earlier, especially if you want to retain snow traction and braking.
Fortunately, the Michelin Latitude Tour won’t wear down very fast. Owners report good treadlife, and Michelin covers those claims with a 65,000-mile treadwear warranty on all sizes.
That said, the Latitude Tour is also the most expensive tire in its category. And, for the price, you can get even better treadlife in the Bridgestone Dueler Alenza Plus (an 80,000-mile treadwear warranty), and Continental CrossContact LX25 (a 70,000-mile treadwear warranty).
How does it behave on a dry tarmac?
Overall, the Latitude Tour performs very well on dry roads. The tire feels responsive enough for accurate positioning of your vehicle in the corners. Also, the directional stability is top-notch, even at highway speeds.
In terms of grip levels, the Michelin Latitude Tour is in the upper echelon of the class. If you want it more honestly, the cornering grip is very good, but I expected more for the price. It’s the same with traction and braking, which are fine, but far from exceptional.
These are things that you probably won’t be able to test on public roads. The differences between the best tires and the Latitude Tour are nearly imperceptible in daily driving.
How is it over wet and slippery roads?
The Latitude Tour is one of the better touring tires for driving on rainy days. The hydroplaning resistance of the tire is top-notch, and the traction levels are excellent.
Moreover, the tire achieves some of the shortest braking distances in the category, both in light and heavy rain. And, thanks to the Total Performance package, the Latitude Tour retains the safe traction after it wears down.
With that being said, how is it on snowy roads?
Michelin employed zig-zag sipes on the inner and outer tread blocks of the tire, which in theory should give the Latitude Tour excellent snow traction.
However, in the real world, the tire is far from usable in those conditions. You can get some traction on snow, but other premium competitors fare much better. It’s the same with braking – the distances are longer than the best in the category.
Is it suitable for off-road driving?
The Latitude Tour is a touring tire, which means that it’s designed mostly for driving on paved roads. Sure, you can utilize the tire over hardpacked surfaces, but don’t expect high levels of grip. Moreover, the Latitude Tour doesn’t have a tough casing that will protect it from cuts and punctures.
Is it comfortable and refined?
Not that we expected anything less from a Michelin product, but the Latitude Tour is supremely quiet and comfortable. The ride quality is particularly impressive – the tire easily works out smaller and larger imperfections on the road. Also, road noise is minimal, even at highway speeds.
You can see more Michelin Latitude Tour Review here: Video created by AutoServiceWorld
Should I buy the Michelin Latitude Tour?
The Michelin Latitude Tour is an excellent touring tire for owners of crossovers and SUVs. Overall, it provides the driver with safe traction on dry and wet surfaces, good treadlife, and outstanding comfort.
However, the price of the Latitude Tour is exceptionally high, even when compared to other premium tires. And, it’s here that the tire loses against its stiff competition.
For example, the Bridgestone Dueler Alenza Plus and Continental CrossContact LX25 beat the Michelin Latitude Tour in many categories, while also having higher treadwear warranties. And, they are cheaper, too.
For those reasons, I would recommend the Michelin Latitude Tour only if you get a good deal. Otherwise, you can save over $100 on some sizes if you opt for products from the main competitors.
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