Nokian SeasonProof vs Michelin CrossClimate 2

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As grand touring all-weather tires, both the Michelin CrossClimate 2 and the Nokian SeasonProof are designed to deliver a balance of comfort, longevity, and performance across various weather conditions. But which tire is for you? Well, you’re about to find out.

CrossClimate 2 on Jaguar XE
Both tires were tested on Jaguar XE.

Key Takeaway

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

  • Superior dry performance with enhanced braking and handling.
  • Greater ride comfort, thanks to its advanced design and materials.
  • Longer lifespan and durability due to its lighter weight and rubber composition.

Detailed Review of Michelin Tire:

Whereas the Nokian SeasonProof has the upper hand in terms of:

  • Improved winter performance, excelling in traction and responsiveness on icy and snowy surfaces.
  • Better wet traction with advanced hydroplaning resistance.
  • Superior siping structure for effective wet conditions handling.
  • Faster wear rate, reflecting its softer rubber composition.

Detailed Review of Nokian Tire:

Construction Features

The Nokian SeasonProof sports a winter tire like tread design, flaunting a directional pattern with V-shaped lugs.

Nokian SeasonProof
Nokian SeasonProof

These lugs create sharply curved channels along the sides and, segmented near the shoulders, are padded with reinforced bases (you can spot the secondary rubber layer underneath these lugs in the image).

This layout not only provides connected lateral grooves to fend off hydroplaning, and enhance water clearance, but also keeps the tread structurally sound for steady handling.

The lugs themselves are decked out with zigzag, serrated edges, dubbed snow vices, and notches that go against the grain of the arrow-like lugs, giving this tire a leg up in winter conditions.

Moreover, you also get a more aggressive siping structure here, as well, comparatively.

Other than that, you get 2 ply polyester casing with dual steel belts and a single nylon cap ply, in the tire’s internal construction.

Shifting gears to Michelin’s offering, you’ll notice the similar V-shaped lugs.

Michelin CrossClimate 2
Michelin CrossClimate 2

However, a closer look reveals that these lugs aren’t as pronounced or “swooping” as on the SeasonProof.

Speaking of differences, this tire also features interlocking, wave-like siping in the central tread area.

Such siping pattern is very complex, and labor-intensive too.

I mean, its one of the reasons, why the tire is so expensive in its grand touring all-season category.

Additionally, it has linear sipes that widen toward the shoulders, accompanied by longitudinal slits.

And yes, there are snow vices here too, though they’re less aggressive than those on the Nokian tire.

Moreover, the tire comes with a rounded contact patch and, under the hood, combines 2 ply polyester, 2 steel belts, and 2 nylon cap plies beneath its rubber surface, making up a robust internal structure.

Sizes Facts

SpecsNokian Season ProofMichelin Cross Climate 2
Rim Sizes (inches)14 to 1916 to 22
Total Sizes6390
Speed RatingsT, H, V, W, YH, V
Load RatingsSL/XLSL, XL
Weight Range (lbs)19 to 3225 to 36.5
Tread Depth (in)9 to 10/32″10.5/32″ (on all)
WarrantyNone60k miles
UTQG600 A A640 B A

Ride Comfort

The comfort of a tire’s ride is intricately linked to its capacity to conform to road irregularities, a characteristic largely dependent on its structural integrity and material composition.

That’s why generally, tires crafted from softer materials are known to provide a smoother, more comfortable driving experience, a concept well recognized in the realm of tire manufacturing.

In this context, the Crossclimate 2 has the upper hand, as this tire incorporates a specially engineered polyurethane foam.

It’s basically an additional layer on top of its cap plies, which although primarily intended to reduce noise, also excels in absorbing road shocks more effectively.

Additionally, its performance in this aspect is further enhanced by its relatively softer rubber compound and deeper tread depth.

This means there is more cushion between you and the road, allowing for greater dissipation of bumps, minimizing the impact felt inside the vehicle.

Dry Performance

The way a tire works on dry roads hinges on its grip – that’s both in a straight line and side-to-side – plus its cornering ability. We’ll explore both these factors more closely.

Directional Grip

When discussing dry braking capabilities, the CrossClimate 2 tire stands out as an unparalleled option in its category.

I mean its the main reason why this tire lands a spot in my list of top grand touring AS options. See my list here:

But what contributes to its remarkable effectiveness? Well, its braking is largely due to three key design features:

  • Directional Tread Pattern: This design ensures the central lugs, with their denser structure, are perfectly aligned with the road surface, enhancing the rubber-to-road contact for improved grip.
  • Zigzag Central Groove: Thanks to the lugs interlocking with each other, the grooves act as biters, providing traction.
  • Rounded Contact Patch: This crucial design element ensures even weight distribution across the lugs, which minimizes momentum and aids in efficient stopping.

On the other side, the Nokian lacks. A LOT. I mean its the weakest performance aspects of this tire. That’s why on my comparative analysis, the Seasonproof falls short of the Michelin’s CrossClimate 2 by over 20 feet on average in dry braking tests conducted from 60mph.

Overall Handling

Overall handling is a blend of a tire’s directional and lateral grip, along with its steering response. To fully grasp this, let’s consider the three stages of cornering: entering the corner, mid-cornering, and exiting the corner.

Entering the Corner: Here, the vehicle needs to slow down, and the CrossClimate 2’s superior braking, with its faster stopping capabilities, allows for a quicker entry into the turn.

Exiting the Corner: The Michelin’s excellent directional grip and solid on-center feel contribute to an effective performance at this stage. So you’ll experience improved acceleration and stability as you navigate out of the corner too.

Mid-Cornering: Although the CrossClimate 2 isn’t exceptional in this phase, it still outshines tires like the Nokian SeasonProof which particularly struggles with steering response.

This relatively sluggish steering feedback performance results from its softer rubber, which tends to bend more.

And this bending leads to a delay, as the lugs need to return to their original shape, causing a lag in steering response. Therefore, the tire doesn’t offer optimal performance during the crucial mid-cornering phase, which is a significant component of overall handling.

That’s why in my dry handling lap time tests, the SeasonProof trails behind the CrossClimate 2 by over 2 seconds on average.

Wet Performance

For good wet traction, a tire needs effective steering and grip, and it has to be able to prevent hydroplaning. Let’s explore these elements step by step.

Hydroplaning Resistance

Hydroplaning is technically the floating of the tire on the watery surface. And it happens when water can’t exit the tread quickly enough, causing tires to loose all traction and slide.

To mitigate this, tires are designed with grooves that effectively channel away most of the water.

And here, both tires provide pretty efficient grooves, thanks to their directional tread pattern, which enhances water displacement by propelling it from the center to the edges via V-shaped voids.

Nonetheless, a detailed analysis indicates that Nokian Seasonproof still edges out a little bit with its more advanced groove configuration.

Simply put, its grooves are wider and better connected to each other. So they are able to throw out more water in comparison, allowing for faster float speeds.

Wet Traction

Given that the SeasonProof tire demonstrates superior resistance to hydroplaning, efficiently evacuating more water with its grooves, it inherently reduces the reliance on sipes from the start.

But wait why are sipes important? Let me explain.

So, as the tire compresses against the road, these narrow siping slits expand to create a low-pressure zone that effectively draws in residual moisture, facilitating contact between the rubber and a comparatively drier surface.

That’s why here, the Nokain takes the upper hand, with its more effective siping structure.

In contrast, the CrossClimate 2, characterized by its linear and wider sipes, exhibits reduced flexibility under severe conditions, leading to diminished water absorption, comparatively.

Though the performance difference between the two tires is still pretty low. And the problem is again with Nokian SeasonProof’s lacking wet braking (where it takes more than 10 feet longer to stop on my conducted tests).

However, it compensates by being half a second faster in overall wet handling lap times.

Winter Performance

When it comes to winter performance, I test out all-weather tires for their traction on the slick road, responsiveness to steering, and performance under various snowy or icy conditions.

And in my assessments and trials, the Nokian not only outperforms its Michelin counterpart but ranks at the very top among all other grand touring tires I’ve reviewed so far.

To give you an idea about its performance, the SeasonProof excels with braking distances 5 feet shorter on ice, acceleration in snow that’s half a second quicker, and an average speed almost 2 mph faster on courses combining slush, ice, and snow.

This impressive performance is largely attributed to the tire’s snow-optimized wider siping slits, which are exceptionally effective at trapping snow and forming snow-to-snow contact with it.

This is crucial because snow adheres better to itself than to rubber.

Additionally, its rubber composition is more adaptable to fluctuating temperatures, maintaining flexibility even in freezing conditions, which significantly enhances its performance on icy surfaces.

Wear Rate

Determining tire wear can be a complex task, but I’ve devised an effective approach here, where I select a standard tire size (225/55R17) commonly used for all-weather tires and weigh a set (of all 4 tires), prior to any tests.

I then rigorously test them under dry and wet conditions, taking note of their comfort levels, and subsequently reweigh them to determine the weight difference.

This method effectively illustrates the wear rate for each tire.

Now, in this analysis, the Michelin tire proves to be the more resilient choice, losing approximately 8 grams less per 1,000 miles, suggesting a longer lifespan of the tread.

The reason for this durability is primarily linked to its lighter initial weight and specific rubber composition.

On the other hand, the Nokian SeasonProof exhibits a faster wear rate due to its heavier and softer rubber composition.

These elements basically cause the tread lugs to bend more when in contact with the road, leading to increased heat generation and with it, not only faster wear but also lowered fuel economy.

To Sum Up

So, in conclusion, both tires offer distinct benefits, aligning with different needs and environments.

The Michelin takes the lead when it comes to dry performance and ride comfort, offering superior braking, handling, and a smoother drive due to its advanced design.

However, the Nokian excels in winter conditions and wet traction, with better hydroplaning resistance and performance on icy surfaces.

Other than this, while the Crossclimate 2 has a longer lifespan due to its durable composition, the SeasonProof shows a faster wear rate.

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