YONKERS, N.Y. (Oct. 7, 2009)—Consumer Reports in its November issue ranked four Michelin-brand tires tops in the all-season, performance all-season and winter categories.
The Michelin HydroEdge was the top scoring model among S- and T-rated all-season tires. The Primacy MXV4 and Pilot Exalto A/S took top honors among H- and V-rated all-season tires, respectively, while the X-Ice XI 2 topped CR's ratings for winter tires.
Each of the four Michelin models received an "excellent" rating from the magazine.
The Michelin tires reportedly bested tests of 69 models—the largest group ever tested by Consumer Reports. That includes all-season and winter tires that fit most sedans, wagons, minivans and some SUVs.
Prices for the Michelin models ranged from $106 to $126 for a passenger size 215/60R16 to fit CR's two Chevrolet Malibu test cars. CR's engineers said they expect other sizes of the same tire models to provide similar performance.
Other high-scoring all-season tires included the Hankook Optimo H727, Nokian WR G2, Dunlop Signature in the all-season and H- and V-speed rated all-season categories, respectively.
In the winter category, the General Altimax Arctic was a runner-up to the Michelin X-Ice XI 2.
CR said its tire engineers rated models based on a variety of categories including dry and wet braking, handling, hydroplaning resistance, snow traction, ice braking, ride comfort, noise, rolling resistance and tread life.
Despite top scores, CR said the Michelin tires weren't necessarily the best in every area. For example, the HydroEdge had only fair snow traction.
Yonkers-based CR said it rents a local skating rink to test braking on ice and has outside labs evaluate tread life and rolling resistance. To ensure consistency, the magazine's testers buy each tire model in the same size and mount them on the same test cars.
The publication also modified its tire ratings from previous tests. Starting with these tests, CR said its ratings are now designed so that readers can compare the individual performance of one type of tire with another.
For example, the ratings of all-season and winter tires can be compared to see how much dry and wet grip is given up with winter tires in return for better snow and ice traction. The overall score, however, is still relative to each tire category.
A tread-life rating is included in each tire's overall score.
The November issue of went on sale Oct. 6. The reports also are available to subscribers at the magazine's Web site.