All-season tires have always tried to check all the magic boxes — the ideal wet condition grip of summer tires, the snow traction of winter ones, with no compromises on comfort. All-season tires like the Michelin CrossClimate 2 outsell all other categories of tires out there.
There are countless all-season models in the market, but none of them have been able to match the wet traction and snow performance of summer and winter tires respectively.
That changes with Michelin’s CrossClimate 2 though. The French brand has been known for pushing boundaries and setting new standards for what’s achievable.
In this article, we’ll review their CrossClimate 2 and see if it has what it takes to be a true all-season champ. Let’s get into it!
For starters, the Michelin CrossClimate 2 nails the basics. It drives like a high-quality grand-touring tire on wet and dry tarmac, with an impressive performance on snowy conditions too.
Overall, this tire seems like the first one with a successful combo of winter and summer traction.
It’s not an easy feat to achieve that — a lot of research and development efforts go into designing something that truly challenges industry norms.
For instance, Michelin has used their next-generation ‘Thermal Adaptive’ compound on this tire to ensure a strong grip on wet and dry tarmac, while also staying pliable and soft on ice or snow.
The tread pattern, with V Ramp chamfers, is directional and uniquely designed. The chamfers offer effective edges that bite into the snow for traction. Their interconnecting design also offers promising dry road grip.
For the cherry on top, Michelin employed their state-of-the-art PIANO Noise Reduction Tuning technology for a quieter and more comfortable ride. For the ultimate in comfort, however – look into the Bridgestone Turanza QuietTrack instead.
Here’s what we’ve decided after driving 1,000 miles on these tires in our tire testing sedan, an Audi A4.
Generally, we’ve known great winter tires to struggle on paved roads — mostly because of the softer pliable compounds used in winter tires for stronger snow traction.
However, Michelin seems to have found a way around this with the CrossClimate 2. It provides an impressive amount of grip on dry pavement as well!
With all-season tires, it’s important to keep your expectations in check. These tires are supposed to do just ‘fine’ in all weather conditions and don’t primarily focus on providing an engaging thrill ride. For grand-touring options though, it’s one of the best performing tires out there.
In wet conditions
Living up to its all-season hype, the CrossClimate 2, like its bigger brother the Michelin CrossClimate SUV, offers great handling even on wet roads. Its performance in the rain is on par with some of the best tires in its class, such as the Pirelli P7 Cinturato and the Continental PureContact LS.
The hydroplaning resistance seems to be done well on this tire. With that extra bit of control and traction, the whole experience is confidence-inspiring for the driver. Even cornering doesn’t involve any noticeable under or oversteer.
As for braking performance on wet roads — the tire stops really well. It manages to stop in shorter distances than many of its competitors.
Performance on snow
We’ve gone over the CrossClimate 2’s snow capabilities a couple of times, but let’s dive into some more details.
It’s a perfectly usable tire in winter conditions, even if the weather gets a bit tough where you live. If you know all-season tires, you’ll understand how rarely a review says this about one of these.
In almost every test, it easily beats the similarly priced competition in its class. Michelin really outdid themselves and made sure the tire doesn’t falter in any weather condition.
If you only get light snow where you live, you probably don’t need a set of winter tires to get you through the snowy season.
You’ll be just fine with the CrossClimate 2s — they keep you on the road, stop quickly, and provide great acceleration traction to help you get from point A to point B. That’s exactly what Michelin tried to achieve with this one!
In places that get super thick layers of snow and harsh winter weather, you’ll be better off with some specialized winter tires. But in all other weather conditions, the Michelin CrossClimate 2s will do just fine.
To the French, driving is supposed to be a luxurious experience. Hence, french tire brands like Michelin are known for their focus on ensuring a certain level of comfort regardless of the type of tire they make. Even their high-performance tires are easily more comfortable than competitors in the same class.
Being a grand-touring tire from Michelin, it only makes sense that there aren’t any compromises on comfort in the CrossClimate 2. It’s comparable to winter tires like Bridgestone’s Blizzak WS90 , and it’s easily one of the most comfortable all-terrain options out there.
The tread growl is barely hearable, especially when you’re driving around in the city. Very little road noise reaches the cabin, even if you’re driving at the highway’s speed limit.
Along with quietness, the ride is also smooth. Smaller road bumps get easily masked even at higher speeds. These tires also deal fairly well with potholes and bumps, but a lot of that depends on the suspension of your vehicle.
Note: don’t take it off-roading
Like any other all-season grand touring tire, off-road conditions are the opposite of what the CrossClimate 2’s are made for. You shouldn’t even take these tires off-roading for a trial run as rough surfaces can be damaging to the tire’s tread.
Michelin somehow managed to pull off a miracle with the CrossClimate 2. Every once in a while, such breakthroughs hit the market and change the entire category’s dynamics for good.
With great performance on snow and dry tarmac, this tire has certainly set a higher bar for the all-season tire market.
If you’re in the market for a tire that doesn’t need to be switched up with every new season, the CrossClimate 2 is made for you. The best part about it is that you don’t even have to compromise your ride quality for it, as it’s designed to offer a quiet and smooth ride.