Michelin Pilot Sport 5 vs Hankook iON evo

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Choosing the right performance tire can redefine your driving experience, and with options like the Michelin Pilot Sport 5 and the Hankook iON evo, the stakes are higher. So I decided to take a closer look at these two titans, where I tested them out against each other, exploring their distinctive traits and overall performance to help you make an informed decision.

Michelin Pilot Sport 5
Michelin Pilot Sport 5 looks cook on Nissan Altima

Quick Takeaway

The Hankook iON evo excels in:

  • Straight-line traction, with its central lugs employing more powerful biters.
  • Wet braking, offering marginally better handling times due to a higher number of sipes and a flexible rubber compound.
  • Road comfort and noise levels, generating less noise due to its more closed tread design and providing a more comfortable ride due to its softer rubber composition and more flexible lugs.

The Michelin Pilot Sport 5 shows strength in:

  • Hydroplaning resistance, ranking among the top summer tires for this aspect thanks to its slightly larger voids on the outer lugs that facilitate efficient water clearance.
  • Handling performance, demonstrating superior balance between understeering and oversteering, resulting in shorter handling times.
  • Tread durability, offering a sturdier build and superior lug maneuverability, resulting in slower wear and longer tread life.

Dry Performance

Comprehending the dry performance of any tire requires an evaluation of its capacity to brake, accelerate, and negotiate corners. Let’s examine these parameters more closely.

Straight-line Traction

In tire terminology, ‘dry grip’ refers to a tire’s ability to maintain traction on dry, straight roads. This trait is also known as straight-line traction due to its directional nature.

And since its directional, the central area of the tread is where most of the action is, as that part bears the most weight on it. In other words, that area meets the road with greater, you can say, connectivity, so how much rubber to road contact is made form there is significant.

Now the Hankook iON evo, besides offering more rubber to road contact, also offers a more streamlined structure, and so it makes sense why its able to brake a whole foot faster compared to its counterpart.

Moreover, its wide array of lateral in-groove notches offer superior biting, contributing to its straight grip efficacy.

In contrast, while the Michelin Pilot Sport 5 also provides a decent contact patch from its central ribs, but compared to Hankook, it still lacks due to it’s relatively wider grooves, which can’t meet up with the road with similar amount of rubber.

So Hankook takes the lead, when it comes to directional grip.

Handling Performance

The handling of a tire, including its side-to-side grip during cornering, largely depends on the contact made by the shoulder lugs.

That’s because these shoulders, or I should say, edges of the tread, bear the majority of the weight as the tire turns, due to inertia, I you want to go into the physics of it.

And here, the Michelin Pilot Sport 5 takes the cake.

Sure, both tires contact the surface with almost the same amount of rubber, the stiffer shoulders, and durable sidewalls of Pilot 5 still allows it to showcase faster handling times.

Basically due to stiffer make of these extremities of the tire’s tread, the Michelin offers faster steering response.

In contrast the ION EVO, with softer make shows are a greater difference between under and over steering. This basically happens because the tire’s flexible tread bend more in comparison.

So overall, you see faster dry handling on Michelin Pilot Sport 5.

Fuel Efficiency

Rolling resistance, determined by the tire tread composition and weight, directly influences fuel consumption.

And considering all it can be explained why the Michelin Pilot 5 demonstrate superior fuel consumption patterns, offering relatively smaller resistance values.

The tire although weighs more in comparison, it’s stiffer compound is less susceptible of bending, as the tire maneuvers

It’s significant, because this flexing/bending of the tread uses up energy, that could have otherwise be used in to the rolling of the tire.

That’s why the softer tread compound of the Hankook iON evo is lacking here.

Performance on Wet Traction

Tires must provide a reliable grip and resistance to hydroplaning for safe navigation on wet roads. Both tjese objectives are met, with effective removal of water across the tread.

And that is done by sipes and grooves.

Grooves are essential for hydroplaning resistance, and they clear water at a macro level, you can say.

And residual water is then eliminated by the sipes.

These are small slits that absorb water particles, allowing the rubber to maintain traction, where the relatively dried up road is grabbed up by the tread more efficiently.

Now we have some mixed results here.

The Hankook iON evo performs better in wet braking and offers marginally superior handling times, thanks to a higher number of sipes and its flexible rubber compound.

However, it falls short in hydroplaning resistance compared to the Pilot Sport 5, which ranks among the top summer tires for hydroplaning resistance on both straight and curved roads, courtesy of its slightly larger voids on its outer lugs that facilitate efficient water clearance.

So both tires are rated equally, when it comes to wet traction.

Road Comfort and Noise Levels

Let’s start with noise. But first, how does it get produced in the first place?

Well, air is the main culprit here.

The air particles enter (mostly), through the shoulder area, and then strike around, where the impact of that air to tread collision is generating the unwanted sound-waves.

So here both tires are resulting out with similar decibels values, as my testing shows me.

Though these tires work very differently here.

I mean, in case of Hankook iON evo, the tire kills noise at the source, with its more closed tread voids on the shoulders, which don’t allow as much to come in, in the first place.

In contrast, the Pilot Sport 5, although comes with its larger tread voids, features more effective variable pitch technology.

This tech basically changes the geometry of the tread, form one rib to another, and it causes the air particles striking them to create different sound waves, (of variable frequencies).

And so those variations in tones don’t allow noise to amplify.

But since the tire has a stiffer tread compound, its not able to soak up the bumps very nicely, whereas its counterpart diminishes the imperfections of the road in a better way.

So overall, you can say, its a win for Hankook.

Tread Durability

The durability of tread is contingent on three pivotal factors: rolling resistance, tread depth, and composition. Why? Well, because a tire with deeper tread will wear down more slowly, and a tougher composition will also slow down the rate of rubber deterioration, as it would be more resistant of burning.

Given these considerations, it’s clear why the Pilot 5 provides longer tread life, even though the tire pushes its tread more against the ground, with its relatively larger weight.

So why its better?

The answer lies in the differences in tread rubber compound and design.

Unlike the Ion EVO, the Pilot Sport 5 offers a harder rubber, and a greater tread depth. So it takes longer to be worn down to replacement levels.

So overall tread life is superior on Michelin Pilot Sport 5.

Final Thoughts

After a comprehensive examination of these summer tires, we can derive some conclusions.

The Hankook iON evo excels in dry braking, whereas its counterpart does better in the handling department.

Similarly, in wet conditions, the Hankook offers better wet grip, and handling, but the Pilot 5 offers greater hydroplaning resistance.

For fuel and tread life, the Michelin is again taking the lead, though the difference here is negligible.

Both tires are almost neck to neck, when it comes to noise, but overall comfort award still goes to ION EVo.

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