There have always been lots of choices in the category of touring tires for people with passenger sedans. Almost all tire brands have something special to offer in this segment of the market, and all of them closely compete in the overall driving experience. The Michelin Primacy Tour A/S stands out.
However, premium passenger car tires mainly focus on optimizing luxury, comfort, and ride quality. They do not typically come with the boldest traction or cornering promises typical for the performance segment.
However, to secure a bigger piece of the pie of this market segment, some tire brands have tried breaking that norm. They’ve incorporated carefully engineered design changes to improve the driving experience without any compromises on ride quality. The Michelin Primacy Tour A/S is a prime example!
This review will discuss if Michelin has truly made something unique here and if it’s better than similar offerings from the other leading brands. Let’s get started!
Overview — Michelin Primacy Tour A/S
According to Michelin’s claims about the Primacy Tour A/S, it’s a tire designed to combine premium quality ride comfort with precise handling and steering response.
The company’s website boasts a strong selling point stating that the biggest luxury car makers (like Mercedes, BMW, and Audi) use the Primacy Tour A/S on their vehicles.
The engineering behind these achievements involves a silica-based tread compound, which retains flexibility and traction in winter conditions while also performing well in the summer.
The tire has 17% better snow grip than its predecessor, making it a worthy successor to the well-received Primacy MXM4.
There’s an asymmetric tread pattern on the rubber compound. The design is tuned for an optimized driving experience and a quiet ride — branded as Enhanced ComfortControl.
Precise handling requires high traction, which often comes at the cost of ride comfort and quietness. That’s not the case with the Primacy Tour A/S, though. While Michelin has focused on improving its overall performance, they’ve taken sufficient measures to keep the road noise in check.
The quietness comes from elements like block chamfers with smooth belts, frequency-canceling shoulder grooves, and the signature PIANO Noise Reduction Tuning.
They’ve also thought about hydroplaning issues. The tread pattern features sweeping and broad circumferential grooves to boost hydroplaning resistance.
The zig-zag sipes — a well-known counter to winter problems — are also a valuable design feature in these tires for improved traction on ice and snow. After all, there’s some science behind the bold 17% snow performance improvement claims of Michelin.
The company used the Total Performance package in this model, ensuring optimal performance despite wear and tear.
MaxTouch Construction is another technology that minimizes and distributes the wear and tear evenly across the tire’s tread. It’s a vital design implication to ensure that those biting edges — crucial for traction in winter and rainy conditions — last a long time.
Internally, the Primacy Tour A/S doesn’t stray too far from the established industry standards. It includes a spiral-wrapped polyamide cord and a tread-stabilizing steel belts pair.
On dry surfaces, there aren’t many grand-touring tires that come near the performance of this offering from Michelin. The Primacy Tour A/S offers precise and responsive steering, and that’s not something reviews typically state within the passenger car tire category.
While feedback from the road is somewhat lacking, that’s to be expected to make sure the ride isn’t a bumpy mess. After all, comfort will always be the primary consideration for a grand-touring tire.
The handling makes up for it, though! The tire can easily compete against some of the best grand-touring models in the tire industry in terms of traction. However, there’s still room to grow before we can crown it as the performance king in the touring category.
Overall, Michelin has knocked it out of the park with this grand tourer’s responsiveness, handling, and traction. People who have driven with it feel that it’s light on the corners and oozes performance no matter how hard you push it.
If you’re a luxury car owner but spend most of your time behind the steering wheel (rather than the backseat) — this tire is enough to keep you excited on your journeys.
Michelin Primacy Tour A/S Wet Performance
Like all tires, road grip gets compromised as the conditions get wetter. The Primacy Tour A/S is no exception to this rule, as you’ll feel it slightly lose connection with the road on rainy days. The responsiveness also isn’t as smooth as you get on dry tarmac.
However, that’s not to say that it can’t hold its own on wet roads. You’ll get sufficient traction for daily driving — even better than some of its alternatives with a similar price tag. Unless you consciously look for a lapse in performance, you won’t feel any significant performance issues in wet conditions. The wet braking performance is also quite promising, and its hydroplaning resistance does the job well.
Michelin Primacy Tour A/S Winter Performance
When it comes to winter performance, the Primacy Tour A/S has much more to offer than the Primacy MXM4 — its predecessor.
The braking, traction, and stability — all seem to have stepped up over the last model. These improvements make the tire a convenient fit for light winter conditions and thin layers of snow.
However, as you could imagine, places that get full-blown snowstorms aren’t where the Primacy Tour A/S shines so bright. For those locations, there’s no way around getting a reliable set of winter tires.
Can You Take Them Off-Road?
Short answer — no. It’s not designed for off-roading and lacks off-road traction and durability, even for the easiest tracks.
Ride Quality and Comfort
Comfort, ride quality, and quietness are the primary features of a grand touring tire — and the Primacy Tour A/S shows it. You won’t have any complaints about the tire in this department.
The quietness is great but not industry-leading, especially with the likes of the Turanza QuietTrack from Bridgestone in the market. However, we’re just nitpicking at this point.
The Primacy Tour A/S is undoubtedly one of the best grand-touring tires you can find in the market segment. If you’re someone who enjoys driving to your destination, rather than being driven in the backseat as you answer your emails — you’ll love this one.
In almost all categories, the tire exceeded our expectations from a performance standpoint, especially since we were expecting typical grand-touring things from it.
The high price tag doesn’t make it a bang-for-buck scenario, but if you don’t have tight budget constraints, you can’t go wrong with the Primacy Tour A/S.