The Michelin brand still stands tall as the oldest tire maker globally — established 132 years ago in 1889. However, its competition wasn’t always as brutal as today.
For instance, Bridgestone has already overtaken it as the world’s largest tire maker. Other premium brands also trade heavy blows as all brands compete for their market share.
However, fierce competition in the market is always great news for the consumer as brands need to provide extra value to secure their position.
Michelin’s innovation has also been somewhat fueled by it, and their CrossClimate SUV tire is a perfect example. It’s an all-season touring tire that’ll have you covered in all weather conditions.
This tire aims at providing drivers with lots of traction on dry, wet, and snowy surfaces — and that certainly sounds like an ambitious goal. Almost no tire performs equally well in hot and cold weather; it’s always one or the other.
However, if we go by Michelin’s past achievements in innovation and standard-setting product launches, the CrossClimate SUV deserves a closer look at its claims.
In this review, let’s find out how it performs in all of these scenarios and whether it should be your next upgrade.
Overview — Michelin CrossClimate SUV
Michelin has bold marketing statements backing the CrossClimate SUV. According to them, it’s designed to provide ample traction in all driving conditions and weather situations, including wet, snowy, and icy surfaces.
The secret behind all of this is a silica-based tread compound designed to maintain its flexibility in the winters while staying firm in the heat.
The tread’s rubber compound is also focused on treadwear and durability, an area where most Michelin tires perform well.
The tread pattern is directional instead of the traditional zig-zag sipes. You’ve read about the zig-zag sipes in most of our reviews, but Michelin has drifted away from them to ensure high performance in hot and cold conditions.
They’ve paired the directional pattern with solid transverse ribs, open shoulders, and lateral grooves.
There are many other unique elements in the CrossClimate SUV tire’s tread design. Michelin’s interesting choices include 3-dimensional self-locking sipes, bevel-edged tread blocks, and emerging grooves. All of this shows how confident the brand is in its innovation capabilities — and it pays off!
The tread design is well-thought-out and serves many useful purposes. The tire has high road grip levels in dry, wet, and snowy conditions — genuinely justifying the ‘all-weather’ in its name.
So far, the tire industry hasn’t given us any all-season tires that beat or even trade blows with summer tires on dry tarmac performance. All-weather all-season tires are even more underwhelming with their dry on-road grip.
However, Michelin’s bold design choices have paid off in this case. The CrossClimate SUV tire doesn’t perform any worse than a specialized summer tire — and that’s unheard of for an all-weather all-season tire to achieve. Even we can’t believe that we’re saying it, but this tire deserves it.
Sure, you can’t expect an equally good steering response, but it’s almost as good as a summer tire in all other departments. Whether it is braking, traction, cornering grip, or accelerating — the tire just sticks remarkably well all the way through.
What’s even more impressive? The performance doesn’t fly out the window in freezing conditions.
Other all-weather tires in the segment don’t come anywhere near the CrossClimate SUVs in summers, especially in the cornering grip area.
The CrossClimate SUV doesn’t feel out of place on rainy days — even under heavier storms. The vehicle feels quite sure-footed in wet conditions as the tire’s hydroplaning resistance outperforms all of the competition.
The tire is grippy enough to get you out of sharp corners without any noticeable loss of traction. You’ll feel like pushing your SUV to its limits in the rain with these all-weather tires installed.
The wet braking distances are also some of the best in this market segment. The credit for this mainly goes to the advanced tread directional tread pattern implemented in the CrossClimate SUV.
If you get lots of rain where you live, you won’t regret getting these tires installed for an upgrade.
We’re pleasantly surprised by how well Michelin has designed this tire to flawlessly handle dry and wet conditions!
Following the all-weather theme, the CrossClimate SUV doesn’t disappoint on snow either. Not only does the tire handle slippery winter roads easily, but it also manages to feel firmly planted even at higher speeds. You’ll even have enough traction to get your SUV out of some deep snow.
The only area where the CrossClimate SUV’s snow performance falls short is braking. While the stopping distances aren’t too long, there are better-performing competitors out there in this department. Winter braking seems to be the caveat for all of the above benefits you get with the directional tread pattern.
The tire isn’t ideal for off-road conditions but puts up a fair fight on hardpacked surfaces. There’s some traction to get you through easy and medium-level off-roading tracks, but we’d suggest you stay away from any heavy offroading to preserve the tire’s sensitive tread compound.
While the tire performs well in all of the above weather conditions, it’s also a touring tire at heart. Generally, that’d mean a quiet, comfortable, and smooth ride for the passengers. However, while you’ll still have a smooth ride with the CrossClimate SUV tires, we can’t make promises on the road noise.
The directional tread pattern doesn’t do much to muffle the road noise. Instead, it gets to the cabin even at medium-high speeds. On the highway, you might get annoyed in a couple of hours unless you have some music on.
If there’s one all-season all-weather SUV tire on the market that truly deserves those tags in its name — it’s the Michelin CrossClimate SUV.
The engineers have genuinely pulled off a masterpiece, somehow providing impressive amounts of traction on dry, wet, and snowy surfaces — all in one! If you’re looking for an upgrade for your SUV from this category, you can’t go wrong with a set of Michelin CrossClimate SUVs.