Michelin Pilot Sport All Season 4 vs Goodyear Eagle Exhilarate

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In the Ultra High Performance All-Season tire category, you’ll find both the Michelin Pilot Sport All Season 4, and the Goodyear Eagle Exhilarate, optimized for sports cars, sporty coupes, and performance sedans. These tires are carefully crafted to provide exceptional all-weather performance. Let’s check these boys out in details.

Eagle Exhilarate on Camaro
Eagle Exhilarate on Camaro.

Main Highlights

So overall, the Goodyear Eagle Exhilarate is better at:

  • Dry Handling: Providing superior stability and balance during turns.
  • Wet Handling and Hydroplaning Resistance: Excelling in wet conditions with interconnected grooves and multi-directional sipes.
  • Noise Reduction: Minimizing road noise with a strategically designed tread block pattern that reduces sound frequency interference.

Whereas the Michelin Pilot Sport All Season 4 is better at:

  • Overall Braking: Offering superior braking performance in both wet and dry roads.
  • Winter Traction: Providing exceptional grip on snow and ice, thanks to flexible biters and specialized snow vices.
  • Fuel Economy: Offers better MPG readings on a few sizes.

Tread Features

The Goodyear Eagle Exhilarate features an asymmetric tread pattern.

Goodyear Eagle Exhilarate
Eagle Exhilarate showing full depth siping structure with wear.

Its tread comes with these five distinct ribs, or block columns.

And out of them, the outer shoulders come with a very similar desing, despite the tire being asymmetric.

These come with combinations of linear and lateral sipes.

Though due to wear, you only see lateral slits here, (in the image).

Moving inward, the central-most rib stands out with lateral notches extending on both sides, interconnected by sipes to form square-shaped patterns.

While the adjacent ribs vary significantly, where one mirrors the central rib’s design, while the other, though less siped, maintains a similar pattern, including small notches facing the shoulders.

On the other hand, comparatively, the Michelin Pilot Sport All Season 4 also employs an asymmetric tread design with five ribs, though the pattern is totally different.

Michelin Pilot Sport All-Season 4
Michelin Pilot Sport All-Season 4 features more streamlined lugs.

Its central region consists of three primary ribs, creating four circumferential channels, but these don’t connect laterally just like the Exhilarate tire.

The central rib of the Michelin tire features lateral in-groove notches and aligned siping.

Whereas the adjacent ribs, while having similar notches, display distinct siping patterns, where one showcases V-shaped sipes and the other comes with circular ones.

The shoulder lugs also vary.

Here, one side has zigzag lateral grooves with circular siping, while the other combines lateral and longitudinal siping, enhanced by snow vices.

These snow vices are sharp saw-toothed edges (which help with winter performance, as you may have guessed), and they are missing on the Goodyear’s tire.

Info on Sizes

The Michelin Pilot Sport All-Season 4 comes in 16 to 22 inches wheels. These sizes have following specs.

  • Speed ratings: Y on all.
  • Load ratings: SL and XL.
  • Tread depth: 10/32″ on all.
  • Weight range: 19 to 35 lbs.
  • Treadwear warranty: 45k miles.
  • UTQG rating: 540 AA A.
  • Internally, this tire is reinforced with a 2-ply polyester casing, with 2 steel belts, and a single nylon cap.

The Eagle Exhilarate comes in 17 to 22 inches rims. And these sizes have following specs.

  • Speed ratings: W and Y.
  • Load ratings: SL and XL.
  • Tread depth: 10/32″.
  • Weight: 20 to 34 lbs.
  • UTQG: 500 AA A.
  • Treadwear warranty: 45k miles.
  • Internal construction: Two-ply polyester with dual steel belts, and two polyamide cap plies.

A note from your dedicated tire enthusiast: My main page has the ultimate rundown on all-season tires to elevate your driving experience.

Dry-Road Performance

Dry performance can be categorized into three distinct sections: dry grip, handling, and steering response. I’ll take a closer look at each section.

Linear Grip

The directional grip of a tire is influenced by several key factors, such as the composition of the tread, the extent of contact between the tire and the road, and the tire’s total weight. And it gets primarily evaluated through the tire’s effectiveness in braking.

Now, the Pilot Sport All Season 4 really shines here. Its rubber mix is top-notch for gripping dry roads, allowing it to stop 5 feet shorter on braking distance tests, on average, compared to Goodyear Eagle Exhilarate.

A significant contribution to Michelin’s longitudinal grip comes from its aerodynamically efficient rib patterns, which is further enhanced by angular lateral notches (on all 3 central ribs).

Moreover, the tire also benefits from a well engineered contact patch. Although it weighs very similar to its counterpart here, it design ensures a balanced distribution of pressure points across the tread.

This design leads to a reduction in momentum inertia, making the tire more responsive and easier to halt, especially in comparison to its counterparts.

As a side note, it’s interesting to note that both tires are featured in my top ultra high performance all-season tires selection.

Overall Handling

Dry handling in tires is assessed by focusing on two critical aspects: the tire’s ability to grip the road and its responsiveness to steering inputs.

Speaking of grip first, the Eagle Exhilarate provides an enhanced lateral traction out of both tires. This is primarily due to its shoulders, which are more compacted up, and are equipped with both linear and interlocking sipes.

But wait, why do we look at shoulders here?

Well, the significance of the shoulders lies in their role during turning maneuvers. As the tire turns, the edges bear the most of the weight, making the shoulders or sidewalls pivotal for maintaining grip.

Moreover, the tire is also doing a little better in terms of steering stability as well.

This is mainly because of the tire’s stiffer rubber composition, and a more stable internal construction, with 2 polyamide cap plies (unlike the Michelin’s tire, which provides you with only 1).

This structural advantage means that the tire’s lugs are less susceptible to bending compared to those on the Pilot Sport All Season 4 tire, leading to improved balance in understeering or oversteering situations.

So overall, Goodyear is doing better here. However, it’s important to note that the difference in timing is quite minimal. I mean, we’re only talking less than half a second here, (in handling lap time tests, on average).

Wet Grip and Handling

When it rains, a tire’s gotta be good at kicking water out of the way. That’s where grooves and sipes come in.

Grooves are vital for displacing the majority of water, while sipes, though appearing as simple slits, significantly enhance this process.

They kind of squeeze and release to suck up remaining moisture, improving grip on wet roads. So, to rock at wet handling, a tire needs lots of flexible sipes.

Now out of both tires, although the Michelin PSAS4 excels in wet braking and linear traction, it falls short in overall wet handling times compared to the Goodyear tire, as indicated by lap tests on average.

What makes the Eagle Exhilarate so good? Well, it’s got more sipes that are differently sizes and pointed in all sorts of directions, giving it an edge in grip from every angle.

Furthermore, although both tires have four circumferential grooves, the Goodyear interconnects these grooves a little better with each other, enhancing greater water expulsion in the fist place, which means there’s less left behind for sipes, enhancing traction further.

So yes, you can say, that the Goodyear tire not only offer better wet handling times, but also resistance to hydroplaning, (as seen by its faster float speeds in comparison).

Winter Traction

When we talk about winter tires, there are three big things to look at: how well they stop on snow, how they handle, and how quickly they can get moving.

In all these areas, the Michelin Pilot Sport All-Season 4 is kind of a big deal. It’s not just better than the Goodyear tire, it’s actually one of the best in its category of ultra-high performance all-season tires.

On the other hand, the Eagle Exhilarate ranks below average here, among its direct competitors.

The main issue with this tire is its rubber. It’s pretty stiff and doesn’t adapt well to cold temperatures.

Basically, this rigidity hampers the flexibility of the tire’s biters, which are crucial for securing adequate grip in winter conditions.

Another significant difference is that, unlike the Michelin, the Eagle does not feature snow vices. These are saw-toothed edges, which grab both icy and snowy surfaces with more biting power, and are really important.

So overall, it makes sense why the Michelin showcase over 10 feet shorter braking on snow, compared to Eagle Exhilarate.

Ride Quality

Two crucial elements affect driving comfort: the amount of noise from the tread and the tire’s proficiency in cushioning road flaws. Let’s explore each of these elements with details.

Noise Dampening

So, tread noise in tires? It’s mostly about how air moves around in the tire’s tread.

Basically, the noise emerges, when air gets into the tread, especially through the gaps around the edges, and then bumps into the walls of the tread.

This air-tread tango causes all sorts of sounds, like tread vibrato, in-groove resonance, and impact tones.

Now comparing both boys here, the Goodyear tire has a superior overall performance in terms of noise reduction.

It’s got a clever design where its tread blocks are subtly altered (geometrically). This way air particles hitting the lugs, are able to create a bunch of sound frequencies that actually cancel each other out, leading to less noise overall.

On the other side, the Michelin Pilot Sport All-Season doesn’t do as well here. And it ends up making more constant and varied pitches, which are more noticeable in comparison.

For Your Info: In my tire reviews, I’ve noticed that the Kumho Ecsta PA51 (review), is actually the quietest in the ultra-high performance all-season category. And interestingly, there’s a link between a tire’s weight and its noise. Generally, the heavier the tire, the quieter it is. So you’re guessing right, Kumho is one of the heaviest tires in its category.

Vibrations Comfort

Ride smoothness in tires is basically about how well they act like a mini suspension system, helping your car deal with bumps and uneven bits on the road.

And this quality of tires largely depends on both their internal and external construction.

So, between our two tire options, even though they both use firmer rubber, the Exhilarate gives you a bit of a softer ride.

Basically, this tire is more effective in dampening small impacts, making them less noticeable to the driver.

And although you get this slightly under-damped feeling with lager bumps, it still manages them a little better, comparatively, to provide better control compared to the Michelin Pilot Sport.

This enhanced performance is attributed to the tire’s construction, specifically its dual ply polyamide cap plies.

These plies provide additional cushioning and allow for more effective absorption of bumps, compared to the Pilot Sport’s single nylon cap ply.

So, in a nutshell, if you’re looking for a tire that makes your ride feel a bit more cushioned, the Goodyear Eagle is the one to go for.

Side Note: If comfort is what you’re after, you should check out other all-season categories and tires.

Fuel Economy

Fuel efficiency in tires is all about things like how much they resist rolling, their weight, how deep the tread is, and what they’re made of.

And guess what? Both the Goodyear Exhilarate and the Michelin PSAS4 are doing pretty well in this department.

Now, both these tires have a lot of grip, which is great for keeping you safe on dry or wet roads. But more grip usually means more rolling resistance, which can be a drag on fuel efficiency.

But here’s the thing, both tires here mitigate this by incorporating reinforced structures beneath their lugs and stable internal construction, leading to good enough fuel economy.

Their design basically, effectively prevents excessive bending of the lugs. Why’s that important?

Well because, when the lugs keep their shape, the tire rolls more efficiently. Energy goes into moving the tire forward, not into squishing and reshaping the tread.

Plus, this helps keep the lugs from getting too hot, which can wear them out faster.

In the end, when it comes to miles per gallon (MPG), both tires show similar results in tests.

Recommended Read: Do All-Season Tires Use More Fuel?

Closing Remarks

Closing in on our comparison’s conclusion, let’s examine how both tires stack up.

Now out of both boys here, the Michelin excels in the braking department, offering superb performance in both wet and dry conditions.

Though the Goodyear takes the lead in overall handling in both these conditions.

In winter environments, though, we have a clear winner, the Pilot Sport AS4, where the Eagle tire lacks a lot.

Other than this, you get one of the best ranking performances (in its UHPAS category), on Goodyear Exhilarate, in terms of noise comfort.

And yes the tire also ranks here in terms of impact comfort too.

Lastly, fuel efficiency and treadwear are comparable for both tires, with each mitigating rolling resistance through their reinforced structures and stable construction.

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