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- Ample cornering grip, almost on the level of a summer tire
- Best-in-class braking on dry surfaces
- Exceptional responsiveness and steering feel
- Feels surefooted and easy to drive in heavy rain
- Excellent handling and traction in the rain
- Outstanding braking on wet surfaces (best in the category)
- Excellent treadlife for an ultra-high-performance all-season tire
- The ride feels stiff, especially over rough and broken tarmac
- Noisy at higher speeds
- Very expensive
I still hear many driving enthusiasts bashing ultra-high-performance all-season tires for lack of grip and traction. That’s because tires with an all-season tread compound indeed lag behind summer tires in those metrics.
However, those enthusiasts probably never tried the latest crop of performance all-season tires, like the Pilot Sport All-Season 4, which is the newest entry in an increasingly crowded category. The ultra-high-performance all-season class includes many great tires, all designed for excellent handling on dry and wet roads, while also adding some snow traction into the mix.
Michelin engineered its new model to provide best-in-class cornering, traction, and braking on dry roads. Moreover, the company says that the Pilot Sport All-Season 4 offers excellent handling and braking on wet roads and usable traction in light snow. If these things are correct, then this would be a great tire that few others can beat.
Moreover, the new model succeeds in the Pilot Sport A/S 3+, which was already one of the best tires in the category. Michelin boasts that the Pilot Sport All-Season 4 has 4% better dry braking, 5% better wet braking, and 10% better traction on snow-covered roads. These might look like small differences, but remember that the older model was already a class-leading tire in most aspects.
To see if all of these things are true, I prepared a detailed review of the Michelin Pilot Sport All-Season 4.
What are the features of the Michelin Pilot Sport All Season 4?
According to Michelin, the Pilot Sport All-Season 4 is a tire for ultimate all-season wet and dry grip and confident winter traction. In the latest model, the French tiremaker used an advanced tread compound with Michelin Helio Technology with sunflower oil. According to the brand, the mixture stays pliable and flexible at lower temperatures, making it usable in the winter.
Furthermore, the rubber is molded into an asymmetric tread pattern, which features large reinforced outboard shoulder blocks for added stability, grip, and steering response. Meanwhile, the four wide circumferential grooves take care of water evacuation, aided by the Extreme Silica Compound, which enhances the wet traction.
An exciting feature of the tire is the 360 Degree Variable Sipes. These indents can interlock for better dry cornering or open for increased snow traction. Ultimately, the tire also has dynamic biting edges for even better traction in rainy and snowy conditions.
What are the maintenance indicators?
Michelin utilized the industry-standard TWI’s (tread wear indicators), which you can use to monitor the tread depth. These are narrow rubber bars, which stay recessed in the circumferential grooves of the tire.
When the tires reach 2/32-inch tread depth, the TWI’s will be completely flush with the surface. At this point, you should immediately replace the tires because they will no longer be able to provide you with usable wet traction. Also, 2/32-inch is the minimum legal tread depth. Ultimately, even if the tire didn’t reach the lowest point, you should use them in the winter. For those conditions, a tread depth of 5/32-inch is recommended.
Fortunately, the Pilot Sport All-Season 4 has an excellent treadlife for an ultra-high-performance all-season tire. Michelin also provides a 45,000-mile treadwear warranty, which is suitable for the category.
How does it behave on a dry tarmac?
The Pilot Sport All-Season 4 immediately notifies the driver of its performance nature. The tire feels as responsive as the best summer performance tires, which is high praise indeed. Also, there is a lot of feedback from the surface, excellent on-center feel, and an easily-controllable nature at the limit. This is a tire that you will genuinely enjoy driving, no doubt about it.
And it gets even better from here on. I’ll start with the cornering grip because it positively surprised me. I was actually amazed by the grip on offer. You can enter any corner with astonishing speeds without worrying about losing grip. The Pilot Sport All-Season 4 feels almost like a summer tire in this regard, again, which is impressive.
Additionally, the Michelin possesses the shortest stopping distances in the category. There is also ample longitudinal traction, which means that you won’t get much wheelspin when accelerating, even on some more powerful cars.
As a whole, the Michelin Pilot Sport All-Season 4 is easily the new performance king in the category. It provides the best feel behind the wheel, the highest grip in the corners, the best traction, and the strongest braking. If handling is your only priority, this is currently the best ultra-high-performance all-season tire.
How is it over wet and slippery roads?
Usually, when a tire works that well on dry tarmac, it also works on damp surfaces but might suffer in heavy rain. There is no need to worry, though – the Pilot Sport All-Season 4 aces rainy weather and leaves the competition in the dust.
Frankly, most premium ultra-high-performance all-season tires perform well in rainy conditions, but the Michelin takes it up a notch. In the corners, the tire feels exceptionally surefooted, almost like it never rained. Besides, you can easily control your car at the limit, which is pretty high in the first place.
But the best thing about the Pilot Sport All-Season 4 is not how much traction it has. On the contrary, it’s the way this tire behaves when you push hard. The handling is balanced and positive, with excellent steering feel and excellent feedback.
Ultimately, the Pilot Sport All-Season 4 provides the shortest stopping distances on wet roads out of any ultra-high-performance all-season tire. Just like on dry roads. Bloody hell, Michelin simply knows how to make a performance tire.
With that being said, how is it on snowy roads?
Have we come to the point where the Pilot Sport All-Season 4 falls apart? Well, not yet. Michelin’s latest performance all-season tire might not be outstanding for driving on snow, but it can still be usable in a pinch.
The traction levels are suitable for the category. There is a wheel spin during acceleration, but it’s tolerable. Also, the snow’s stopping distances aren’t half-bad, especially given the tire’s talent on dry and wet roads.
However, if you live in areas with harsh wintry conditions, proper winter tires will be a must. The Pilot Sport All-Season 4 should only be an option for drivers that encounter few snowy days throughout the winter. For anything more than that, plan on purchasing winter tires.
Is it suitable for off-road driving?
If you plan on buying the Pilot Sport All-Season 4, chances are you have a high-performance car. And, these vehicles aren’t designed for off-roading. Now, sure, you can fit the tire on some performance crossovers and SUVs, but that doesn’t mean you should go off-roading.
Simply put, the tire doesn’t have enough traction in mud, over large rocks, or on sand surfaces. It also doesn’t behave very well on hardpacked surfaces, such as gravel and dirt.
The biggest reason why you should resist attacking off-road surfaces is durability. The Pilot Sport All-Season 4 is a tire that sharp objects can easily puncture, cut, or bruise. Some of these might make your tires unusable for driving on the road, so please be considerate.
Is it comfortable and refined?
Given its performance nature, I didn’t expect the Pilot Sport All-Season 4 to be comfortable over bumps. And, unsurprisingly, the tire communicates most road imperfections to the passengers. Now, as a driver, this is something that I enjoy, but I bet my family won’t be as happy.
Also, if you thought that every ultra-high-performance tire rides similarly, you’d be wrong. Most of the Pilot Sport’s competitors ride better, which is welcome on a long road trip. The Michelin simply can’t handle broken surfaces very well, transmitting a lot of vibration into the cabin.
Noise levels aren’t particularly high, but still, most premium competitors fare better. The tread growl isn’t high-pitched, but you can always notice it at higher speeds. The problem is even worse on cars with larger wheels, which, to be frank, most high-performance tires have nowadays.
Overall, I wasn’t disappointed with the comfort levels, but I wasn’t impressed either. If you want a more forgiving ride, the competition from Continental, Bridgestone, and Pirelli will fare better.
You can see more Michelin Pilot Sport All-Season 4 Review here: Video created by FaRKle0079
Should I buy the Michelin Pilot Sport All-Season 4?
The Michelin Pilot Sport All-Season 4 sets new standards in the ultra-high-performance all-season category in many metrics. It’s by far the best tire for driving enthusiasts, both on dry and wet surfaces. It also stops almost like a summer tire, feels great behind the wheel, and provides surefooted, yet fun handling. On top of that, it even works in light snow. If you care about those things and don’t mind the higher price, then this is the best ultra-high-performance all-season tire right now.
However, be prepared for a choppy and noisy ride. In the quest to make the tire better to drive, Michelin somewhat spoiled the overall comfort. Now, for me, that’s not a big issue. You decide whether it is an issue for your driving.