Michelin Pilot Sport All-Season 4 vs CrossClimate 2

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Michelin Pilot Sport All-Season 4 is ultra high performance all-season tire, while the CrossClimate 2 comes in the grand touring category. So it makes sense why they vary so much in terms of performance. Let’s check it out.

Kia Sorento EX
Testing out XL sizes of Crossclimate 2 on Kia Sorento EX.

So out of both these boys, the Michelin Pilot Sport All-Season 4 provides superior acceleration and braking, better cornering, enhanced wet steering response and mid-corner feedback, and improved ice traction with features like snow vices and circular siping. In contrast, the Michelin CrossClimate 2 outshines in overall winter conditions, offers better hydroplaning resistance, promises a longer lifespan, and, although not by much, it’s also better when it comes to fuel economy.

Layout of Tread Pattern

The Michelin Pilot Sport All Season 4 displays an asymmetric tread design across its five ribs.

Michelin Pilot Sport All-Season 4
Michelin Pilot Sport AS showcase it’s asymmetric pattern clearly (with it’s circular/linear sipes).

Let’s start with outer 2 ribs, or shoulder blocks.

On one side, there are zigzag lateral grooves coupled with circular siping, while the other side intricately merges lateral and longitudinal siping with snow vices (for enhanced traction).

In the the middle, there are 3 main rims, forming 4 longitudinal channels.

The middle most one comes with lateral in-groove notches, while the adjacent ribs, though mirroring the notches, showcase contrasting siping patterns, one with V-shaped sipes and the other with circular ones.

And speaking of the tire’s internal construction, the All-Season 4 integrates a two-ply polyester casing, supported by two steel belts and capped with a nylon ply.

In contrast, the Crossclimate 2, is totally different, having a straight-forward directional pattern.

CrossClimate 2's tread
Crossclimate 2 interlocking lugs capture stones pretty easily.

Its tread prominently features V-shaped lugs, which are segmented towards the shoulders.

(By that I am referring to the longitudinal slits you see towards the edges).

These shoulder blocks (if you will), are relatively more voided up, and have linear siping on them.

These sipes, as we go towards the middle, become thinner, and then change in to wave-like patterns (central most).

Speaking of which, lugs are also more packed up here, and that combined with the tire’s rounded contact patch, this area forms the most contact with the ground.

Internally, the Crossclimate 2 is fortified with a 2-ply polyester carcass, complemented by two steel belts and a singular polyamide cap ply.

Size Variants

Knowing sizes is one of the most important thing to note, when comparing tires, so let me simplify it for you.

SpecsCrossclimate 2Pilot Sport All-Season 4
Rim Size (inches)16 to 2216 to 22
Speed RatingsH, VY (all sizes)
Load RatingsSL, XLSL, XL
Tread Depth (32″)10.5 (all sizes)10 (all sizes)
Weight Range (lbs)25 to 36.519 to 35
Tread Warranty60k miles45k miles
UTQG Rating640 B A540 AA A
Detailed Review LinksCrossclimate 2 ReviewSport All-Season 4 Review
Side Note: Out of both tires, only the Michelin’s offer 3PMSF rating.

Straight-Line Grip

When assessing straight-line grip, factors like tread composition, the rubber’s contact area with the road (especially from the center), weight, and rolling resistance collectively influence this overall longitudinal traction.

Now out of both tires, it makes sense why the Michelin Pilot Sport All-Season 4, coming in ultra high performance category, leads the way (literally), as the tire offers better acceleration and braking.

(Both these braking/acceleration factors quantify the overall directional grip of a tire).

The tire’s superior performance is actually coming from its design, featuring five continuous ribs (comprising two shoulder columns and three central ones). This design ensures consistent rubber-to-road contact, yielding exceptional longitudinal traction.

Furthermore, the presence of its (a lot more in number), biters contributes are also helping, which makes sense since the tire has sizes with speed ratings going up to Y (highest), while the Crossclimate 2 maxes out at V.

Side Note: Out of all the tire’s I’ve reviewed, the Michelin PSAS4 tops in ultra high performance all-season category, for its exceptional braking (in both wet and dry).

Dry Cornering

The efficacy of cornering largely hinges on the tire’s shoulders, as they maintain the most contact with the road while turning. But why shoulders?

Well, that’s because they get the most weight on them. This phenomenon is due to the centripetal force, which is why passengers feel pushed to the opposite side during a turn.

Now, although both tires offer compacted shoulders, that provide pretty decent lateral grip (for their respective categorizes), the Michelin CrossClimate 2 falls short in overall performance, when it comes face to face with Pilot Sport.

The Crossclimate lacks by over 4 seconds on lap tests (using sizes on both tires, with similar specs and speed ratings).

It mainly lacks due to it’s relatively sluggish steering responsiveness, where it’s heftier build, tends towards more under-steering compared to its counterpart.

In contrast, the more agile Michelin Pilot Sport All-Season 4, equipped with a superior rubber blend and a spirally wound nylon cap ply, emerges as the superior choice for cornering.

Tread Life

In the area of tread longevity, there are a lot of factors involved, like the tire’s overall rolling resistance, tread pattern, construction, and so on.

Though things get less complicated, when one compares their UTQG (Uniform Tire Quality Grading) ratings.

Note: Now the UTQG ratings are only significant, when comparing tires from the same brand, rather than different ones.

And using it, one can clearly see, why the the Michelin Pilot Sport All-Season 4, even with its sturdy silica-based tread, doesn’t quite outperform its counterpart, giving out less overall longevity, in comparison.

I mean, the Michelin Crossclimate 2, showcasing a UTQG of 640, indicates a lifespan that is 6.4 times longer than the reference tire. And in contrast, the Pilot Sport AS 4, with a UTQG rating of 540, suggests a life expectancy 5.4 times that of the reference tire.

Now despite Crossclimate’s marginally heavier construction, it’s slightly deeper tread allows it to wear down more slowly to the U.S.’s minimum legal tread depth of 2/32″, thus offering a longer tread life.

Moreover, as the tire comes with less grip, and with that, smaller speed ratings, there’s less overall rolling resistance generated here.

Whereas it makes sense why one can’t expect too much from the ultra high performance AS tire like the Pilot Sport.

Winter Traction and Stability

There’s often a confusion when comparing these tires in winter conditions. On one side, there’s the ultra-high performance (UHP) All-Season Michelin Pilot Sport, and on the other, the Crossclimate 2, which comes with a 3-Peak Mountain Snowflake (3PMSF) rating.

So which is better? Well to understand that you must first know what the 3 peak rating is. The 3PMSF rating simply indicates that a tire can achieve 10% faster acceleration on snowy surfaces compared to a standard all-season tire without this certification.

It’s not a test for handling or braking, or ice performance. In fact, its best if you give this a quick read: https://tiredriver.com/3pmsf-and-ms-ratings/

Now for the sake of simplicity, my overall winter scores with these boys tell me that the Michelin Crossclimate 2 generally offers better performance in snow, while the Pilot Sport excels on icy surfaces.

The Pilot AS4 basically offers various traction-enhancing elements, such as numerous snow vices, chamfered edges, V-shaped notches, and circular siping, contributing to its superior ice traction.

Whereas the Crossclimate 2 utilizes swooping lugs that act as snow scoopers, which create better snow lateral and longitudinal grip, (as they gather and eject snow backward to generate stronger forward momentum).

Moreover, with it’s lugs having snow vices, and it’s thicker linear siping (especially designed to capture snow particles) effectively provide you with better snow-to-snow contact.

This contact is essential since snowflakes naturally adhere well to each other, unlike rubber. Think of it as the “snowball effect”.

Fuel Efficiency

Fuel efficiency in tires is primarily influenced by factors like rolling resistance, weight, tread depth, and material composition.

Now considering these factors, it can be explained why the Michelin Pilot Sport All-Season 4 lacks a lot here (which is to nobody’s surprise, given its a ultra high performing tire).

So even though its ribs/lugs are pretty streamlined longitudinally (which helps here), it’s more “sticking” rubber generates a ton of rolling resistance, which is pretty evident from its speed ratings going up to Y (maximum).

Check out here: https://tiredriver.com/speed-rating-on-tires/

On the other hand, sure, Crossclimate 2 isn’t a great option when it comes to grand touring tires, its offers pretty great mpgs when compared to Pilot Sport.

Side Note: Crossclimate is one of the most lacking tires in its category, as it comes with softer, winter-tire-like tread compound, where it’s malleable lugs are susceptible to more flexing. And such flexibility in it’s lugs expends additional energy, (in the form of heat or reshaping tread, for example), compromising fuel economy.

Wet Performance

Wet performance highly depends on tire’s ability to clear water out, which is done by sipes and grooves.

Grooves play a primary role in displacing water, and sipes, (tiny slits in the tread) are crucial for managing any residual moisture.

These sipes expand (throwing air in them, out), creating a suction mechanism that draws in water particles. And as they roll over (along with the tread), they contract again, spraying collected water particles out.

So their flexibility is really important here.

And this brings us to why the Michelin Crossclimate 2 lacks here. Although the tire has a softer rubber, it’s (predominant) linearly aligned siping tend to get stiffer, with harsh maneuvers, particularly.

This causes more slippage for this tire and a reduced under/over steering balance, which is further affected by the tire’s heavier weight creating greater momentum inertia.

On the other side, the Michelin Pilot Sport All Season 4 stands out with its superior steering response, where it’s mid-cornering feedback is the most appreciable aspect.

Though in Crossclimate’s defense, you do get superior resistance to hydroplaning on this tire, and it’s also a major factor in overall winter performance.


Hydroplaning, or aquaplaning, occurs when a tire loses contact with the road due to water interference, making grooves pretty important here, as they do most of the “cleaning”.

Now, when it comes to Crossclimate 2, this tire is greatly helped by its directional pattern and rounded contact patch.

While it’s V shaped lugs throw water out laterally with more ease, the rounded contact patch, creating a negative pressure amplifies that, so more water gushes out of this tire, relatively.

Whereas on Pilot Sport All-Season 4, you get slightly lacking performance, with it’s continuous running longitudinal ribs, hampering its ability to evacuate water as effectively, particularly in sideways direction.

And yes, it’s shallower tread depth isn’t helping it either.

So overall, Crossclimate 2 results with better float speeds on tests, in comparison, even though its only by a smaller difference.

Final Thoughts

To summarize, a comparison of both tires reveals a variety of notable performance characteristics.

The Michelin Pilot Sport All-Season 4 excels in the following:

  • Superior acceleration and braking, due to its longitudinal traction and continuous rib design.
  • Better cornering performance, thanks to its agile construction and superior rubber blend.
  • Enhanced steering response, and mid-cornering feedback in wet conditions, even though it has slightly less resistance to hydroplaning.
  • Greater ice traction, owing to various traction-enhancing elements such as snow vices and circular siping.

While the Michelin CrossClimate 2 takes the lead in:

  • Overall winter performance, with a better grip in snowy conditions due to its swooping lugs and snow vices.
  • Hydroplaning resistance because of its directional pattern and rounded contact patch.
  • Longer tread life as indicated by its higher UTQG rating.
  • Better fuel efficiency overall.

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