Thursday, September 5, 2013

The price of low rolling resistance - Michelin Primacy MXV4

About a year ago I replaced Yokohama YK520 tires on my 2004 Infiniti G35 with highly-rated Michelin Primacy MXV4. Both tires carry a V speed rating. I am running comparable inflation pressures and noticing that the grip level of the Michelins is nowhere near as good as that of the YK520.

This is surprising for several reasons. First of all, the Michelin Primacy MXV4 is highly rated, in comparison to other tires in its class, bu Consumer Reports, Tire Rack and people who use them. And I already have several thousand miles on them, which should mean that they are broken-in and the mold release compound should have worn off. Perhaps the problem is the tire in the size I got (215/55R17) is a Toyota-spec OEM tire and is potentially tuned more for longevity, comfort and MPG rather than grip.

The fuel economy is noticeably improved in comparison with the Yokohama YK520. But the tires squeal when coming to an abrupt stop or when taking turns at speeds that my Honda Accord's mediocre Bridgestone Turanza EL41 tires stay largely silent.

Is this the price of low rolling resistance and, by extension, better fuel economy? I will keep looking for an answer.

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