The tires on your car are extremely important considering they are the only parts that make contact with the ground that you’re driving on. Tires are especially important if the ground you’re driving on happens to be wet or snow-packed, so it’s always a good idea to get winter tires for the wintertime and summer tires for the summertime. However, if you don’t want to switch your car’s tires out twice a year, then a good set of all-season tires could do the trick.
That was exactly my dilemma when it came to picking tires for my 2008 Honda S2000. Since I live in Colorado, I needed to either buy two sets of tires to take advantage of the car’s handling dynamics all year round or find a good all-season tire to last me through all four seasons. That’s when I decided to send Michelin a note asking them if I can test out a set of their latest Pilot Sport All Season 4 tires on my old small sportscar.
It took a while to install the Michelin Pilot Sport All-Season 4 tires
After receiving the Michelin Pilot Sport All-Season 4 tires for my car, I had to get them installed. I went to my local Walmart since it was down the street from me and the install rates were cheap. But that turned out to be a big mistake. It took me coming back three separate times for them to properly install the tires on my car since they neglected to notice that the car uses a “staggered set up” as the wider tires go in the back, the skinnier ones upfront.
They ended up finally getting the job done, so I’m not too upset about it, but from my experience, I wholeheartedly recommend that you get your tires installed by an actual tire shop instead. Also, have the shop check your car’s alignment afterward, just as I did, to ensure the maximum tread life out of your new tires.
Surprisingly, the Michelin Pilot Sport All-Season 4 tires handle well in the snow
After getting the tires finally installed and aligned correctly, I was blessed with a couple of snowy Colorado days in which to put them to the test. Unfortunately, I don’t have any fancy instrumented tire testing procedures to throw any hardcore data at you. However, Michelin does say that the Pilot Sport 4s offer 4% more traction during dry braking, 5% more wet braking, and 10% more snow traction over their outgoing Pilot Sport 3 tire. I took that information for what it was worth and proceeded to drive my newly outfitted S2000 in the densely packed snow-filled streets of Denver.
Surprisingly, the tires handle the white stuff a lot better than expected. Granted, I only have around 100 miles on them, so they’re technically not even broken in yet, but you can color me impressed so far. Under light acceleration from stops and feathering the brake pedal when stopping, the tires gripped better than any other all-season tire that I’ve had on my car over the past four years. In fact, the previous set of tires that I had on my car were the Sumitomo HTR A/S P02s, which were adequate for dry and wet performance, but slid around a lot when put in the snow.
By a large contrast, I didn’t notice any slippage from the Michelin Pilot Sport All Seasons and was thoroughly impressed at their ability to grip from a dead stop when driving normally. If anything, I would say that these tires are great for cold weather driving, even when the ambient temperature is 11 degrees Fahrenheit, and really good for light snow driving around town and on the freeway. It’s no wonder that these tires received an overall snow traction rating of 7.6 out of 10 on TireRack.com or that they come as standard equipment on the C8 Chevy Corvette.
The Michelin Pilot Sport All-Season tires are comfortable and quiet
So far, I’ve also noticed that the Michelin Pilot Sport All-Season 4 tires are very quiet, which is something that you’ll notice right away in a tin can like the S2000. Compared to the aforementioned Sumitomos, the Pilot Sport All Seasons feel softer on every surface and even the largest dips I’ve driven on feel and sound more muted compared to the jarring “thunk” that I would hear with the Sumitomo tires.
All-season tires are normally known for being a little stiffer and even hardening up under cold weather conditions, making it feel like you’re driving on a set of hockey pucks, but these Michelin tires seem to oppose that notion. They feel soft and compliant in cold weather, and if you’re looking for a good set of all-season tires that will get you through those cold winter days and some light snow, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the Michelin Pilot Sport All-Season 4s.
I’ll be testing and noting my impressions of the Michelin Pilot Sport All-Season tires on my S2000 throughout the whole year in order to test out their year-round drivability and handling characteristics in different conditions, so stay tuned for more.