Goodyear Vector 4Seasons vs Michelin CrossClimate 2

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As grand touring all-season tires, both the Michelin CrossClimate 2 and the Goodyear Vector 4Seasons stand out for their unique blend of features, providing a balance of comfort, and performance throughout the year. Let’s find a better tire for you, out of them.

4Seasons on Mercedez Benz A200d
Goodyear 4Seasons was tested on Mercedez Benz A200D.

Key Takeaway

So overall it all comes down to this. The CrossClimate 2 is better at:

  • Ride Comfort: Due to its polyurethane foam layer and softer rubber compound.
  • Dry Braking Performance: Superior rubber-road contact and effective tread design.
  • Noise Reduction: Advanced internal and external design reduces tread noise.
  • Winter Performance: Generally outperforms in most aspects.

Detailed Discussion of Michelin’s Tire:

Whereas the Vector 4Seasons has the upper hand in terms of:

  • Overall Handling: Better in terms of steering responsiveness and cornering grip.
  • Wet Performance: Superior handling in wet conditions, thanks to better sipe and groove structure.
  • Wear Resistance: Longer lifespan attributed to lighter weight and harder rubber compound.
  • Fuel Economy: Thanks to its lighter and more rigid design.

Detailed Discussion of Goodyear’s Tire:

Sizes and their Specs

The Michelin Crossclimate 2 comes in 16 to 22 inches with following specs.

  • Speed ratings: H and V.
  • Load ratings: SL and XL.
  • Tread depth range: 10.5/32″ (on all)
  • Weight range: 25 to 36.5 lbs
  • Tread mileage rating: 60k miles.
  • UTQG: 640 B A.

The Goodyear Vector 4Seasons Gen 3 comes in 75 total sizes, in 14 to 20 inches, with following specs.

  • Speed ratings: H, V, W and Y.
  • Load ratings: SL and XL.
  • Weight range: 16 to 26 lbs.
  • Tread depth: 10/32″ on all.
  • UTQG: 500 A A.
  • Treadwear warranty: 5 year standard.
  • All sizes have 3PMSF ratings.

Side Note: Both of these tires are rated in my list of top grand touring options. See here:

Ride Comfort

The ride comfort of a tire is closely tied to its ability to adapt to road surface irregularities, a quality that hinges on its structural integrity and the materials used in its construction.

Typically, tires made from softer materials are acclaimed for offering a smoother and more comfortable ride, a principle well understood in tire design.

In this respect, the Michelin CrossClimate 2 stands out, thanks to its innovative integration of a special polyurethane foam layer. This layer, positioned above the cap plies, is primarily aimed at noise reduction but also excels in absorbing road vibrations more effectively.

Michelin CrossClimate 2
Michelin CrossClimate 2

Moreover, the tire’s ride comfort is further enhanced by its relatively softer rubber compound and increased tread depth.

This combination results in a thicker cushion between the vehicle and the road, enabling better absorption of bumps and reducing the impact transmitted to the vehicle’s interior.

Dry Performance

Understand overall dry performance becomes clear when we evaluate tire’s overall traction and steering response. Consider following.

Directional Grip

When assessing a tire’s performance in dry braking, several critical factors come into play. These include the tread composition, the contact patch size with the road, the tire’s weight, and its rolling resistance.

The CrossClimate 2 particularly shines in this regard, thanks to its exceptional rubber-road contact, especially in the middle tread area which is vital for efficient braking.

This tire offers a carefully crafted rounded contact patch complemented by interlocking central lugs. And this design ensures superior grip and reduces stopping distances significantly.

On the flip side, the Goodyear 4Seasons lacks with its more voided up tread pattern, not able to provide good enough contact patch, and with it ample directional grip. So on average, it lacks behind by more than 3 feet in my 60 to 0 mph tests, comparatively.

Goodyear 4Seasons
Goodyear 4Seasons

Interesting Note: Out of all the tires I’ve reviewed in its category, the CrossClimate 2 outperforms all others in dry braking. That’s why I added it in my list of top grand touring tires. Check out the complete list here:

Overall Handling

Handling in tires is a complex blend of overall traction, encompassing both directional and lateral grip, and steering responsiveness.

But how directional (braking) grip plays a part here? Well, its because tires with inadequate directional grip exhibit longer deceleration times and slower corner entry speeds during lap tests, adversely affecting handling times.

And as already discussed, this is not the issue with CrossClimate 2. Though the tire does lack behind its counterpart in terms of lateral traction or cornering grip (as indicated by lateral g-force measurements in tests) and steering responsiveness (as observed in slalom tests).

In contrast, the Goodyear Vector 4 excels in these areas outperforming Michelin tire by almost a whole second on average (handling lap time tests).

Funny isn’t it? While Michelin here tops for its dry braking, Goodyear ranks for its handling in my list of top grand touring tires.

The Goodyear’s edge lies in its quicker steering feedback, for the most part. And this is thanks to its relatively lighter weight and a stiffer rubber compound.

Both of these design elements basically contribute to less bending and quicker recovery of its lugs from deformation (as the tire corners and shoulders get compressed against the road).

Basically the bending of the lugs is directly proportional to the delay you get between steering inputs and wheels’ output.

Reminder: Before settling on your tires, check out my main all-season tire page for a comprehensive guide.

Wet Performance

Now just like the dry, we see similar results on wet roads as well, where although CrossClimate 2 offers better wet braking, overall handling is superior on Goodyear’s tire.

But since handling is a more significant performance aspect, its fair to say, that Vector4Seasons is a better fit overall for wet performance.

So what makes it better? Well its superior performance is attributed to its sipes and grooves’ structure.

In terms of grooves, while both tires offer similar V shaped voids, the ones on Goodyear still take out relatively greater amount of water. This is because the grooves on this tire are better interconnected to each other, enhancing water evacuation capabilities.

This design allows for superior hydroplaning resistance, and reduces the reliance on sipes, which are the tire’s elements responsible for absorbing residual water particles (left out by grooves).

Sipes basically provide most of the wet traction. That’s why it makes sense why the CrossClimate 2 offers superior wet braking with its central tread area more abundant with interlocking siping.

Though as Michelin still lacks in providing as many sipes towards its shoulders, it lacks to Goodyear in overall handling, showcasing half a second slower lap times on averaged tests.

Noise Reduction

Noise levels in tires are proportionally related to the void-to-rubber ratio. In other words, the more voids a tire has, the noisier it tends to be.

This phenomenon occurs primarily because a significant portion of “tread noise” is produced when air particles, entering through the shoulder voids, interact with the tread walls.

This explains why noise is a notable weak point in the Goodyear Vector 4Seasons Gen 3’s performance. In fact, tests have shown that this tire is, on average, more than 2 decibels louder than Michelin.

In contrast, the CrossClimate demonstrates superior noise performance, attributed to its advanced internal and external design.

Internally, the tire incorporates a specially-designed polyurethane foam solution, effective in dampening noise resonance.

And externally, it benefits from sophisticated pitch sequencing and a design with fewer voids. This design approach involves slightly varied lug geometries, which, when struck by air particles, produce differing tones that effectively cancel each other out, resulting in a quieter ride.

Wear Resistance

The lifespan of a tire’s tread depends on several factors: rolling resistance, the composition of the tire, and tread depth.

While rolling resistance is self explanatory (since greater the friction, faster the wear), the composition determine the tread wear rate and the tread depth tell you about tread wear time. Let me explain.

In terms of composition, tires made with harder rubber compounds usually last longer due to their resistance to wear. And as for tread depth, deeper treads generally mean a longer time before the tire needs replacing. However, it’s worth noting that excessive tread depth can ironically increase rolling resistance.

The Goodyear Vector 4Seasons fares slightly better in these aspects for a couple of reasons.

  • Firstly, it’s lighter in weight, which reduces the pressure on the tire lugs.
  • Secondly, it’s made of a relatively harder rubber compound, which means the lugs are less prone to bending.

These characteristics not only enhance the tire’s steering responsiveness but also minimize heat generation, thereby improving longevity.

On the other hand, the CrossClimate 2 presents a different scenario, where it doesn’t offer as much tread life with its softer rubber composition and greater weight.

Though interestingly, the difference between the two tires increases with temperature. Meaning in colder environments both tires showcase almost similar tread wear.

Winter Performance

When evaluating winter performance, both the Goodyear and Michelin tires exhibit unique characteristics in their handling, acceleration, and braking abilities on icy and snowy surfaces.

Each “all-weather” tire come with a winter-tire-like directional design, earning them the 3-peak mountain snowflake rating, indicating superior winter performance.

However, a closer examination reveals that the CrossClimate 2 generally outperforms in most aspects, except in two specific areas where the Goodyear has a slight advantage: snow braking and acceleration.

The Vector 4Seasons tire’s edge in these 2 areas can be attributed to its slanted longitudinal voids, which function as in-groove notches.

These notches/biters are basically more effective at capturing and holding snow particles, thereby facilitating snow-to-snow contact, (which enhances the tire’s directional grip, as snow adheres better to itself).

On the other hand, the CrossClimate 2 shines in overall snow handling, thanks to its optimally designed sipes on the tire shoulders.

Additionally, its rubber composition is more adept at thermal adaptation, giving it an edge on ice (with colder temperatures).

This advantage is largely due to its interlocking central siping, which improves braking, and its rubber compound, which is more adherent, contributing to better overall performance in icy conditions.

Fuel Economy

Fuel efficiency in tires is determined by several key factors, including:

  • Tire Weight: This encompasses the tire’s internal and external structure.
  • Rolling Resistance: This refers to the efficiency with which the tire’s tread adheres to the road surface.
  • Rubber Composition: The use of specific polymers can enhance fuel economy without compromising grip.

Taking these factors into account, it becomes evident why the Goodyear Vector 4Seasons comes out with better mpg readings on my conducted tests.

The tire is designed to be slightly lighter and more rigid, which contributes to reduced rolling resistance (along with steering responsiveness).

Actually both these tread elements keep the lugs from bending. I discussed it in greater details, in the “dry handling” section.

Bringing It All Together

So wrapping up, it all says for itself that both tires have distinct advantages in their performance capabilities.

The CrossClimate 2 offers exceptional dry and wet braking, though lacks behind in terms of handling due to its lagging steering responsiveness and cornering grip.

Basically the Vector 4Seasons’s lighter and more rigid design contributes to its superior performance here. And yes it also provides this tire with better fuel economy and tread longevity.

On the other side, the Michelin tire provides better ride comfort due to its innovative polyurethane foam layer and softer rubber compound, enhancing noise reduction and vibration absorption.

And yes it also takes the lead in overall winter performance.

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