Pirelli Scorpion Verde All Season vs Michelin CrossClimate 2

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Out of both tires discussed, the Pirelli Scorpion Verde All Season falls under the category of Crossover/SUV Touring, offering a balance of performance, comfort, and efficiency. On the other hand, the Michelin CrossClimate 2 is labeled as a Grand Touring All-Season tire, aiming to provide a superior blend of capabilities for a wider range of vehicles.

Michelin CrossClimate 2
Both tires were tested on Audi Q3.

As a tire engineer, my tests show that the CrossClimate 2 generally surpasses the Scorpion Verde All Season in many key areas. It leads in noise reduction thanks to a well-designed tread and sound-absorbing foam, and its softer rubber composition enhances comfort. Plus it also excels in both dry and wet conditions with superior grip, braking, and hydroplaning resistance. While the Pirelli remains competitive, its more aggressive tread and heavier build slightly diminish its performance in noise reduction and handling compared to the Michelin. Though the tire takes the upper hand in terms of longevity, and fuel economy for sure.

Sizes and their Specs

The Michelin Crossclimate 2 (review) 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.

Pirelli Scorpion Verde All Season (review) comes in 16 to 20 inches rims, having following specs.

  • Speed ratings: H and V.
  • Load ratings: SL and XL.
  • Weight range: 26 to 40 lbs.
  • Tread depth: 9 to 12/32″.
  • UTQG: 600 A A.
  • Treadwear warranty: 65k miles.

Winter Performance

When it comes to selecting an all-season tire that excels in snowy conditions, the CrossClimate 2 is a standout option, particularly in the grand touring tire category.

Michelin CrossClimate 2
CrossClimate 2

This tire shines in key performance aspects, including acceleration, braking, snow handling, and precision steering. And its exceptional performance is highlighted by its 3-peak mountain snowflake rating, a notable feature that the Pirelli tire lacks.

So, what sets the all-weather Michelin tire apart here?

Well, there are a lot of factors to consider. Firstly, its directional tread pattern, characterized by sweeping lugs, effectively clears snow and enhances forward traction.

Additionally, the interlocking sipes, particularly prominent in the center, provide substantial directional grip on icy surfaces.

Moreover, the tire’s thermally adaptive rubber composition, featuring deep linear siping slits in both lateral and longitudinal directions, ensures superior handling in various winter conditions.

So, unlike the Scorpion Verde All Season, CrossClimate 2 tread elements remain flexible in cold temperatures, maintaining comparatively superior performance.

For Your Info: The Nokian SeasonProof (review) is actually the top ranking tire for winter performance when it comes to grand touring category.

Wear Resistance

The longevity of a tire’s tread life is influenced by factors such as weight, material composition, and tread depth. And in this regard, the Pirelli Scorpion Verde All Season takes the upper hand.

Scorpion Verde All Season
Scorpion Verde All Season

This is because the tire offers a more wear-resistant rubber formula with special polymers which actually keep the tread cool (expelling out more heat), thereby improving durability.

Moreover, the tire also features relatively stiffer rubber composition and a greater tread depth which means it faces less wear rate and takes more time to wear down. Both things are different let me explain.

With a stiffer rubber, its rubber burns down slower. And with greater tread depth, it takes longer to reach down to 2/32″ replacement limit (which is basically the legal tread depth limit in USA).

The CrossClimate 2 on the other hand, does the opposite with its softer rubber compound and shallower tread depth, wearing out faster in comparison.

Overall Comfort

Comfort in tires is twofold, encompassing both the dampening of road noise and the smoothing over of road imperfections. Let’s take a closer look at how each tire measures up in these aspects.

Noise Reduction

Road noise is primarily caused by the interaction of air particles with a tire’s tread walls. As air flows into the tire, especially through the shoulder areas, it collides with the tread, creating the bulk of the noise associated with tire movement.

This is where the CrossClimate 2 excels, producing only minimal impact noise and very little tread vibration.

Now, there are two key reasons for its superior performance here:

  • Firstly, the tire features rounded contact patch, which simply put reduces air-to-tread impact points, reducing noise at the source.
  • Secondly, it incorporates a “more effective” layer of sound-absorbing foam within its inner liner, (although this feature is only available in limited sizes). This foam layer not only significantly reduces cabin noise but also contributes to the overall impact comfort performance too.

On the other side, although the Pirelli lacks behind but only by a very small gap. I mean it also offers sound absorbing foam (on limited sizes), but still takes the back seat here mainly because of its more aggressive tread design, generating a lot more noise, mainly in the form of growling.

Side Note: If you’re interested in reading on this further, you should check out my post on “Are All-Season Tires Comfortable?

Impact Comfort

The level of comfort provided by a tire is greatly influenced by its design and materials. It’s well-known that tires with softer compositions are better at absorbing road vibrations, thus offering a smoother ride.

And this is where both tires offer very similar performance. I mean they both end up getting same scores in my books (from my subjective tests).

The Michelin CrossClimate 2 has the edge of its softer winter tire like rubber providing superior cushioning, while the Pirelli Verde has greater tread depth to its advantage.

Why greater depth helps here? Well because it allows bumps more room to settle down before reaching the vehicle’s cabin.

Helpful hint: Start your tire choice journey at my MAIN All-Season tire page, your reliable resource.

Overall Dry Performance

When assessing a tire, the combined analysis of traction and steering response in dry conditions provides a detailed overview. So its best we divide this section into following sections.

Directional Grip

The Michelin CrossClimate 2 excels in directional grip, a characteristic largely determined by the effectiveness of tire braking, which in turn depends on how well the central tread area contacts the ground during linear motion.

This tire distinguishes itself with three key features:

  • Directional tread design.
  • Interlocking central lugs.
  • Rounded contact patch.

The directional tread pattern features a tightly packed lug configuration in the center, enhancing the contact between the rubber and the road for superior grip. This is self explanatory, as with more contact, comes more grip.

Furthermore thanks to the interlocking lugs in the middle and its wave-like sipes there, it’s able to provide relatively greater bite, allowing it to stop almost 8 feet shorter compared to Scorpion Verde tire.

Lastly, the rounded contact patch helps to evenly distribute the tire’s weight across the tread, leading to quicker braking (as it doesn’t create as much momentum as the greater weight of Pirelli tire does).

Side Note: The CrossClimate 2 is actually the best (in my books) when it comes to dry braking. In fact its the main reason I added this tire in my list of top grand touring tires. See here: https://tiredriver.com/best-grand-touring-all-season-tires/

Overall Handling

When its comes to overall handling, you should know that its an interplay between lateral grip and steering responsiveness.

Lateral grip is basically the grip/traction tire offers while its right in the middle of the turn. And here, the CrossClimate 2 shines, outperforming its competitor with slightly higher “lateral G-forces”, a results of its relatively stickier rubber compound.

Moreover, the tire also takes the lead in terms of steering feedback performance, showing superior on-center feel (stability, post-cornering) and mid-cornering feedback.

It basically provides you with a better balance between under or oversteering. In other words, with these tires you feel more controlled and connected while turning and then straightening of the vehicle (after the turn is over).

The result: Michelin’s tire offer 1.5 seconds faster handling (lap times) on tests, compared to Pirelli.

Now, the primary shortcoming of the Scorpion Verde All Season is its weight. I mean, its heavier build puts more strain on the tire lugs as they flex against the road surface, causing the lugs to bend more and take longer to return to their original shape.

And this results in the “delay” between steering input and the vehicle’s response, lowering its overall handling performance.

Wet Performance

At its core, a tire’s overall wet performance is about its ability to push water away from the road in front of it as it rotates.

This ability is key to reducing the risk of hydroplaning and improving the tire’s grip and traction in wet conditions. Let’s take a closer look at each of these important characteristics.

Wet Grip

Now wet grip depends on how sipes and grooves work together. Let me explain.

Grooves in the tire effectively redirect most water, while sipes (which are narrow slits in the tread) come in later, and are essential for managing residual water particles.

Here’s how these sipes work: As the tread makes contact with the road, these siping slits open up (with the weight upon them), allowing water particles to get sucked in. And as the roll over, they spray the sucked up moisture out in the air, clearing off road and allowing rubber to grip the road properly.

Having said that, it makes sense why the Pirelli Verde lacks here with its less-efficient siping design.

Despite having numerous small slits, their linear and laterally oriented structure makes them prone to stiffening, particularly during sharp turns. Moreover, the tire’s harder composition, with a lower silica content, adds to the rigidity of the sipes, further impairing their ability to absorb water as effectively as the Michelin’s tire.

Speaking of which, the CrossClimate 2 on the other hand does the opposite. It although doesn’t offer as many sipes (particularly on its shoulders), the ones it does offer are very effective, thanks to its relatively softer rubber composition.

Plus its central tread area with interlocking (wave-like) sipes allows it provide one of the best wet braking, when it comes to grand touring all-season category. Meaning its impressive directional grip isn’t just limited to dry conditions only.

And yes, the tire’s swooping lugs effectively remove more water, reducing the reliance on sipes. This design not only improves handling in wet conditions but also offers superior resistance to hydroplaning.

Hydroplaning Resistance

Hydroplaning occurs when a tire loses contact with the road due to water on the surface, essentially causing the tire to float on the water.

And the overall tire’s ability to prevent this “floating or hydroplaning” largely depends on its grooves, which are responsible for displacing most of the water from the tire’s path.

Now sure the Pirelli Scorpion Verde All Season comes equipped with pretty wide 4 circumferential grooves clearing out water nicely. But the thing is its only able to clear out water longitudinally (and not so much, laterally).

And that’s where Michelin CrossClimate 2 comes in and takes the lead. Its V-shaped voids are designed to escape greater quantities of water at a given time.

Basically with the tire’s rounded contact patch, these arrow-shaped grooves are more adept in channeling water out from the middle of the tire outward towards the edges, allowing for not only faster straight float speeds but also curved.

To Sum Up

In conclusion, both boys here provide some nice performance aspects.

The CrossClimate 2 provides superb braking, and nose reduction, both attributable to its rounded contact patch.

Plus the tire also provides superior wet performance, particularly in terms of hydroplaning.

The Pirelli Verde All Season on the other side, provides just as great of the dry handling and similar impact comfort performance compared to Michelin’s tire.

Though the tire clearly leads in terms of fuel economy and tread longevity (even though it comes in the SUV touring category), compared to grand touring CrossClimate.

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