Bridgestone vs Michelin: Brand Boss Battle

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Both Michelin and Bridgestone are well-known tire manufacturers, so who wins in the Bridgestone vs Michelin battle?

Publications and buyers waver on whether to call Bridgestone premium, so let’s see whether it lives up to Michelin’s renowned quality.

The outcome: What to cut to the chase? There’s no winner! We compared each brand’s tires, and there’s no clear winner. Each brand won two categories and tied in one. You’ll do with either brand.

But, you may wish to go for one over the other based on the below most-important factors.

Bridgestone vs Michelin infographic

 

Bridgestone vs Michelin Tires: Direct Comparison

Let’s get down to the details of performance, comfort and more in this Bridgestone vs Michelin battle. We’ve chosen two all-season tires to give both picks a fair chance.

However, we want to do something interesting here. According to customers, Michelin is considered a premium tire brand, where Bridgestone is “high-end” but not often called premium.

So, we’ve taken a touring tire for Bridgestone vs Michelin performance tires to see how their comfort level compares when we get to that category. Pay close attention and see who wins—it should be the touring tire as Bridgestone built it for comfort, but will it be?

Our Bridgestone pick: Firestone WeatherGrip

Our Michelin pick: Michelin Premier LTX All-Season Tire

Piles of shiny tires

Dry Performance

Bridgestone

Bridgestone’s Firestone WeatherGrip tires boast fantastic performance, with great traction and stability. They don’t knock the ball out of the park or anything, but it’s adequate for everyday-driving on dry roads.

Despite this performance, the Bridgestone finds its first downfall here. According to customers, they don’t feel great to drive. Don’t get us wrong—you won’t feel endangered; your braking distances will be tight, and cornering is great. However, the car feels like it’s responding slower to your touch.

While handling is easy enough, it doesn’t feel quite right, like a new pair of shoes or a new seat cushion that hasn’t molded to your body yet. Customers feel that the unpleasant handling sensation disappears once they’ve been riving the fires a while, though. 

Before they got used to them, drivers compared the tires on dry roads to winter tires cutting through snow.

Michelin

As you’d expect, the Michelin tire handles wonderfully on dry roads—but of course, decent handling on dry tarmac is the least you can ask for.

Their responsiveness is more impressive. If you have a responsive vehicle, the tires will match well. The lightest touch sets the tires moving in the right direction, speeding and slowing accordingly, too.

Part of this incredible responsiveness comes from the fantastic grip the tires have. Sunflower oil compound laced through the tires contributes to this performance. It does this by softening the tires, adding the friction that smooth, hard tires lack.

The tread helps add stability, too, easily turning dry road driving into a butter-smooth experience, except with a greater braking ability.

Something interesting about this tire’s tread is that it regenerates somewhat as you drive. Rather than disappearing, the manufacturer designed the tread to widen as the tires wear down. This adds a level of longevity you won’t see in other tire brands, and while it doesn’t last forever, it adds to their premium quality.

 Two cars facing each other with different tires

Wet Performance

Bridgestone

Our pick for Bridgestone performs well on wet roads. They’re not outstanding and weren’t made for use in the world’s rainiest cities, but they do okay.

You don’t lose any traction, nor do they increase your braking distance or make cornering a pain. Some users feel the tires have superior performance on wet roads over dry tarmac.

Also, wet roads’ slippery nature makes the tires feel better handling-wise if you’re not already used to them. This doesn’t mean they feel less safe or anything, just more responsive.

All in all, you have adequate and comfortable wet road performance. They’re not the best out there, but they’re still great.

Michelin

Since the Michelin tire’s tread gets wider with wear, it improves wet road performance over time. As the slick roads have less of a surface to rub against, the tires become grippier in rain.

There’s lots of friction, not only brought on by the wide treads but also by compounds in the wheels’ rubber, especially the sunflower oil. Given that the wheels remain soft thanks to the oil, the grippy nature of their dry road performance remains alongside the wide treads.

There’s also a silica compound in the tires, preserving the softness the sunflower oil causes. Not only that, but the silica helps the tires extend their lifespan overall. It coats the tires and helps protect the rubber from wearing down.

The result of the compounds and the way the tread widens? It’s a long-lasting tire that works as well on wet as dry; regular braking times, fantastic handling and prime safety.

Winter Performance

Bridgestone

There’s a reason users compare Bridgestone’s Firestone WeatherGrip to snow tires. They excel in winter conditions. Most customers agree that this model is better for snow than any other touring or all-season tire they’ve used previously.

With these, there are no braking distances, tight cornering and smooth acceleration. Light and even medium snow is no match for these tough treads.

The treads also cling well to ice better than other tires the users have had. This is incredibly impressive for an all-season tire, although it’s a slight letdown when you consider that the winter performance muddies handling comfort in other conditions.

Still, if you have medium-snowy and icy winters, these tires are ones to consider. However, drivers in areas with heavier snowfall should always choose real winter tires over something all-season for safety.

Michelin

Based on our experience reviewing Michelin tires, this model has that classic Michelin fail point: inadequate snow performance.

All-season tires they may be, but snow-ready they are not. The Michelin tires can handle driving on some ice and dealing with light snowfall, but that’s where it stops. 

The positive is that the silica oil makes the wheels strong, while the sunflower oil keeps them flexible, making them stable, sturdy and pliable in cold weather. You won’t end up with frozen tires straight away. Though, according to customers, the tires eventually fail them and get too firm to perform well, and there’s no way they handle deep snow. 

By the end of winter, you’ll have underperforming tires with difficult handling and long braking distances. If you live in a snowy location, it’s best to avoid these tires or invest in some dedicated winter tires for part of the year.

Rows of tires lined up side by side and leaning against each other

Comfort and Noise

Bridgestone

Touring tires are made to be comfortable. Thankfully, these live up to the minimum expectation. They ride smooth, with no jarring jumps as you encounter potholes or debris, absorbing the shock as they should.

However, what’s interesting is that customers don’t seem blown away by the comfort. They don’t speak highly of Bridgestone’s touring tires above performance or other tire types. They mainly find them average. A small selection of customers feel the tires are above average, but they’re in the minority.

Part of a tire’s comfort also comes in its noise levels, though—nobody wants a growl spoiling their smooth, cruising journey. Now here’s where these tires let us down again. They’re not the quietest in the world and are louder than other brands’ touring tires.

The tires aren’t loud by any means. They have a regular, non-invasive growl when you accelerate and an average noise when driving at a moderate pace. Still, we expected more smooth silence from a touring tire. 

Michelin

The soft, pliable tires make for a smooth ride with high shock-absorption driving over small debris and potholes.

You also get added stability thanks to the tire’s interior construction—steel belts laced throughout the tires to naturally strengthen them. These sit below a softer polyester casing that ensures there’s less of a rattle and some noise reduction.

The tires aren’t silent despite this. They’re not loud, they don’t rattle and roar, but there’s a noticeable hum. However, with wind, the car radio and kids that refuse to stop chattering, customers hardly notice the hum!

Warranty

Bridgestone

Bridgestone has an excellent warranty on the Firestone WeatherGrip. There’s a 65,000-mile treadwear warranty or a three-year warranty if your tires wear out in more.

There’s also a five-year materials and workmanship warranty.

Lastly, not a warranty but a nice feature—if you dislike your tires in less than 90 days of use, you can get your money back. 

Closeup of a tire on an Audi

Michelin

Michelin’s warranty covers 60,000 miles of tread life. If your tires wear out in under 60,000 miles, you may be entitled to replacement tires for free. But, that’s only if Michelin confirms it’s a manufacturer error and not a user-based issue.

Take care of your tires well and have proof of your care, if possible—like neighbor witnesses or, if it comes to it, proof of you talking about your tire care on social media.

 

Bridgestone vs Michelin Who Wins?

We can’t determine which tire is better flat out before we select a winner for each category. We selected the winners based on logic and technicalities, so if they don’t match your opinions, don’t worry—both brand’s tires are excellent!

Dry Performance

Winner: Michelin.

Bridgestone’s tires don’t perform badly at all, but Michelin’s tire feels better to handle.

Wet Performance

Winner: Tie!

Interestingly, the tires seem to perform equally well on wet terrain.

Both retain the same level of grip as they have on dry land. Plus, Bridgestone’s handling feels better on wet tarmac than it does on dry. We can’t fault the tires as we did for their dry handling.

Winter Performance

Winner: Bridgestone, hands down.

Michelin tires do decently in winter, but they’re not outstanding. As our Bridgestone pick fares better than most all-season tires in snow, they have to win.

Comfort and Noise

Winner: Michelin.

A touring tire our Bridgestone choice may be, but outstanding, they are not.

Both brands’ picks are non-intrusive and have a typical noise level and smooth ride. Given that Bridgestone’s is a touring tire, it shouldn’t be equal to Michelin’s; it should be better.

Warranty

Winner: Bridgestone.

Bridgestone has two warranty types: a longer trendline warranty and a three-year warranty in place, even if you’ve hit 65,000 miles in that time.

Overall Winner

It’s… a tie!? We didn’t expect that either! But both tires have two wins each and one shared win. 

If you want tires that are constantly smooth to handle and you don’t mind their failures in snow, go for Michelin.

But, if you don’t mind taking time to break in your tires, it’s moderately snowy where you live, and you want the best warranty we’ve seen, go Bridgestone.

 

What Do Customers Think?

We can’t provide a balanced review without real feedback from customers.

Motorists have varying opinions on Bridgestone vs Michelin. Some people claim that Michelin has a great lifespan but terrible grip, where Bridgestone tires are the opposite. Despite this, users seem to recommend Michelin more than Bridgestone.

Some Bridgestone users outright wouldn’t recommend the brand based on their noise level and wear rate.

But, many users state that Bridgestone is the better brand in general, where Michelin is better for luxury cars.

Some people also state that Bridgestone tires are best for driving in all seasons, where Michelin fails to function in snow.

A tire on a white car with gold wheels

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do More Expensive Tires Last Longer?

While it varies on a brand by brand basis, one study determined that more expensive tires last longer. While a cheaper tire seems like a bargain in the moment, it’ll cost you in the long run. Just be careful that you aren’t paying for the brand name, but the tire’s quality instead.

Why Are Michelin Tires So Expensive?

Michelin tires are so expensive because they’re a premium tire brand using the most up-to-date tech in manufacturing. The additives, such as silica, in the tires make them last longer and perform better, and, therefore, cost more.

 

Final Musings

Michelin and Bridgestone are both excellent brands, and we feel Bridgestone is a premium tire brand, despite wavering opinions on it from publications and customers.

You can’t go wrong with either brand or either tire model above. Just pick what you like, or stay brand-loyal if you’re with one of these already. You’ll have no trouble with your tires.

 

 

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