The tire market is flooded with options in the touring niche. It’s the most popular category within the tire niche, and why wouldn’t it be? After all, ride comfort is what you’d mainly be looking for when it comes to getting from point A to point B. That’s something that grand-touring tires mainly offer, but they lack performance. But the Michelin Primacy MXM4 aims to change that.
Michelin has aimed to bring you the best of both worlds; the tread life and comfort of a touring tire, and the grippy response of an ultra-high-performance tire.
In this review, we’ll closely look at what they’ve accomplished and how the tire performs in different scenarios. Let’s get into it!
Overview — Michelin Primacy MXM4
The company claims that the MXM4 features precise handling, excellent traction, and a comfortable and quiet ride. Now, that’s a mind-boggling combination for anyone who knows a thing or two about tires.
The high-performance and ride comfort blend makes the MXM4 a popular choice for leading luxury car manufacturers.
But how did Michelin achieve this? Well, they mostly owe it to the advanced technology they’ve developed through 132 years of research, development, and innovative evolution.
The tire’s tread consists of Helio Compound with sunflower oil. It’s an all-season rubber compound that has you covered in all conditions from blazing hot Junes to freezing cold Decembers!
The tire’s dry tarmac traction doesn’t leave much room for complaint, while the tread compound maintains pliability in the winter to deal with snowy conditions.
The tread design has slightly rounder shoulders rather than sharper blocks. This helps the MXM4s corner reliably, and that’s not an area touring tires are known for.
The tread compound’s asymmetric pattern designs optimize the tire’s handling on the road, no matter how twisty turn-y they are. Even at higher speeds, you won’t notice any stability issues — which could be lifesaving!
The MXM4 deals with hydroplaning issues with wide circumferential grooves on the inside. They help drain out water more effectively by channeling it through the well-positioned sipes.
Michelin’s 3-Dimensional Variable Thickness Sipe Technology also does well to provide ample traction in the winters.
With all of that said, a grand-touring tire must make zero compromises on ride comfort. To ensure that, Michelin implemented its ComfortControl tech in the MXM4. It’s based on precision manufacturing procedures and an optimized tread design that minimizes cabin vibration and noise.
With MaxTouch Construction, the ear on the tire is distributed equally across the tread. It also helps the biting edges of the tire last longer throughout the MXM4’s lifetime. You’ll appreciate that during the winters — that’s for sure.
On the inside, the Primacy MXM4 is constructed with twin steel belts, with a BAZ-enforced spiral-wrapped polyamide cord. The casing made out of polyester cord ensures premium ride quality.
On dry tarmac, the Primacy MXM4 is the industry-leading grand-touring tire in different performance departments. In some areas, it’s only outshined by its successor — the Primacy Tour A/S — but the MXM4 is still considered as the overall handling champ in its category.
With such grippy handling quick response of the tire on paved surfaces, Michelin has set all-new standards for its grand-touring competitors in terms of driving pleasure and performance.
The corners are where the MXM4 really shows off its capability and class. The tire feels light and grippy even while coming out of the sharpest corners — and that’s a remarkable achievement for a grand-touring tire.
The tire also offers some of the best braking performance relative to other grand tourers.
Our praises for the MXM4 won’t stop even in rainy conditions — that’s just how well thought-out the engineering is on this one. All those fancy tread design technologies really seem to be at work here, with outstanding traction, cornering grip, and braking performance on wet roads.
Even in heavy rain, the tire doesn’t break character. The hydroplaning solutions implemented on the inside of the tire seem to work remarkably well, even when you push them through significant water puddles.
Handling feels sure-footed and won’t keep you from hitting the gas even on rainy days. And if you do, the braking performance has a lot of stopping power to back it up. But make sure you drive safe, no matter how fun it is to push these MXM4s in wet conditions.
Overall, you get an unbeatable wet road performance from the Michelin Primacy MXM4 within the grand touring market segment.
Performance on Snowy Roads
In line with Michelin’s claims on the pliability of the tread compound in winter conditions, the MXM4 provides great traction on snowy roads for a touring tire.
Some competitors take the lead in this department, though. Alternatives with deeper grooves and rougher zig-zag sipe designs will bite the snow harder — but that has an evident negative impact on ride quality.
Overall, the tire won’t let you down if you ever find yourself in a snowy situation. However, we won’t recommend these over a set of dedicated winter tires for thick layers of snow.
Grand-touring tires are the opposites of off-road options in every way. Following the same theme, the MXM4 is not the tire you need if you have even the slightest off-road needs to take care of.
Not only will they have little to no traction on hardpacked surfaces, but those rough conditions will quickly destroy the condition of your tires as they simply aren’t designed to take an off-road beating.
Is It Comfortable and Refined?
With MXM4s installed, your ride is guaranteed to be quiet, smooth, and comfortable. After all, that’s what grand-touring tires are all about.
Even at high speeds on the highway, you won’t notice any annoying road noise or cabin vibrations to sabotage the luxury of your ride. If you’re behind the steering wheel — be careful not to fall asleep with these tires!
While performance and handling aren’t the strongest suites of grand-touring tires, Michelin is determined to challenge that standard. Being the oldest and most significant tire maker out there, they’ve got the advanced technology to do so. And they’ve given it a heck of a shot with the Michelin Primacy MXM4.