Saturday, June 29, 2013

Michelin Primacy MXV4 Tire - Smooth, Quiet, Grippy, Long-Lasting and Energy-Saving

After using Yokohama YK520 tires on my 2004 Infiniti G35 for 6 years, and trying the Yokohama YK580, I got the Michelin Primacy MXV4 in V speed rating. Originally, my 2004 Infiniti G35 came with mediocre Bridgestone Turanza EL42 tires. I replaced them with the YK520 even before they wore out.

The YK520 were good but got progressively louder and harsher as miles and years accumulated. For that reason and also because I didn’t want to compromise wet traction by driving on diminished tread, before they wore out I got the newer version of America’s tire-exclusive Yokohama YK580. But the noise remained so I replaced them with the Michelin Primacy MXV4 and only then I realized that the problem was a wheel bearing. After replacing a left rear wheel bearing, the noise was gone.

In addition to the YK520, my other points of comparison are the Yokohama TRZ, Bridgestone Turanza EL41, Goodyear Eagle RS-A, Bridgestone Turanza EL42 and others. I got the Michelin Primacy MXV4 in 215/55VR17 size and V speed rating. It came with a 60,000-mile warranty and with the Green-X rating from Michelin indicating it is a low rolling resistance tire.

About the Michelin Primacy MXV4

The Michelin Primacy MXV4 is a luxury performance touring all-season tire. It is claimed to deliver all-season traction and a safe, comfortable ride. It has an non-directional tread design, low rolling resistance and long tread life. Available in several speed ratings (S, T, H, V), I got the V-rated tires. Tread depth ranges from 9.5 to 11 (32nds of an inch). My tire is 9.5. 

In addition to 60,000-mile treadwear warranty (in the first 6 years) and a 6-year defects warranty, Michelin includes free roadside assistance with changing tires for the first 3 years.


Michelin tires are known to be well-wearing and I have no doubts that in my, mostly freeway, driving they will last over 60K miles. So far, I have 7K miles on them.


The Michelin Primacy MXV4 is a non-directional tire, which can be rotated to any position. After wearing off the mold-release compound (approx first 500 miles), the tires deliver excellent cornering and braking with no squeal. Not only is the traction excellent (comparable to the Yokohama YK520), the ride and noise are much improved. The small imperfections in the road disappear and the larger ones are felt like a very distant event.

Initial impressions are deceiving, because new tires ride softer than worn ones. But once again I don’t have a harsh, noisy ride quality. The ride became much smoother and quieter comparing the worn YK520 and even better than new Yokohama YK580.

The traction in dry and wet weather is excellent; comparable to the YK520 and much better than the EL42. The tire is speed-rated V and can go as fast as I can legally (and illegally) drive. Tires are speed rated to ensure the construction is robust enough to withstand the force that tries to rip it apart the faster the tire spins. The V speed rating is more than robust for my purposes and the 60K mile warranty is enticing too.

I run recommended by Infiniti 30 psi. As mentioned above, the traction is excellent. It doesn't rain here much so most of my driving is done in dry conditions. The speed I can sustain in turns is much higher than what I could do with Turanza EL42 (equating to high g-loads), same with ultimate acceleration and braking acceleration (or deceleration). And as most tires, these should grip even better when worn in dry conditions.

Behavior When Worn

This section will be updated once the tires actually develop any significant wear. So far, after 7,000 miles they behave like new. Handling in the wet weather is excellent. The inflation pressure is maintained above the factory-recommended 30 psi, at 35 psi both front and rear. At this pressure, the ride is firm, but quiet. The mpg is great, but there is some squeal when braking and cornering. I might decrease the pressure to recommended 30 psi.

Low Rolling Resistance
Most Primacy MXV4 fitments feature the Green-X low rolling resistance technology, including my 215/55R17 V-rated tires. And even though brand new tires tend to provide slightly worse fuel economy than tires with at least a couple thousand miles on them and the tires with significant wear produce even better numbers, I got a measurable improvement after switching from a worn Yokohama YK520 to these MXV4 tires. In the past the best I could get was 24-25 MPG and now I am getting 26-27.5 MPG in the same conditions, which is about 10% better. And it should improve further as the tires wear.

Pros: Very quiet, smooth, long-lasting, noticeable mpg improvement, 60,000-mile warranty, non-directional, decent grip.
Cons: Price, the grip level lower than sportier tires (e.g. Yokohama YK520)


The Michelin Primacy MXV4 is a very quiet, smooth, long-lasting tire with decent traction in dry and wet weather (no snow here). It saves gas and is an excellent choice overall, provided you want exactly that: smooth, quiet tire with good traction that will last long and save gas. A great replacement for any OEM all-season non-sport tire.

It is not for you if you want ultimate in responsiveness and/or the best traction possible (but at the expense of noise, ride, mpg and longevity). I am no longer seeking the grippiest tires so the Michelin Primacy MXV4 works well for me. I can finally enjoy listening to music while driving, while knowing that I have enough traction for emergency braking and cornering. And I can save gas while not replacing tires for 60K miles or 10 years.

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