Bridgestone and Michelin are top-notch tire brands that have been in competition since Bridgestone was founded in 1931. While both are great tires, what customers should expect from them is a little different.
As a former Bridgestone Engineer, I think that these are close-rated brands. However, I believe that both brands have pros on cons. The good news is it looks like they share the market by categories.
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Michelin vs Bridgestone: Comparetive Comparison
With the developments in the tire industry, tires began to be classified in more detail. For instance, 5 years ago there is no all-weather tire. But now, we separated all-weather and all-season tires. So, there are tons of other tire categories. Nevertheless, I’ll share the most popular ones and compare them one by one.
Before starting, I’d like to briefly talk about different tire families by brand.
Bridgestone vs Michelin Tire Family Comparison (Imported From Table Press)
|Ecopia||Michelin Energy, Premier||Highway eco friendly|
|Turanza, DriveGuard||Crossclimate, Primacy, Defender||Highway traction oriented|
|Potenza||Pilot Sport||Highway performance oriented|
|Dueler||Latitude, Defender LTX||On/Off road|
From that point, I’m going to share my best tire selection by brand and compare them to each other.
Premium brands know that they should also compete with affordable tire brands. Hence, they create tire families.
So, in this section, I’m going to compare these families and help you to find the best one for yourself.
Our tire families will be Michelin Primacy and Bridgestone Ecopia for this section.
Let’s start with the summer tires;
Grand Touring Summer:
Michelin and Bridgestone don’t offer any affordable tires for this segment. The only tire available in this segment fits in only a couple of electric vehicles.
- Bridgestone Ecopia EP500 – This is an electric vehicle-oriented narrow tire
Grand Touring All-Season:
- Michelin Premier A/S – Wet traction, great handling
- Bridgestone EP422 Plus – Longevity, fuel efficiency
- Michelin Energy Saver A/S: The only tire I can recommend for this segment but still has a slight delay while steering
- Bridgestone Ecopia EP150: Only available for electric vehicles
The last section is for the money savers, and the remaining sections are coming for those who are looking for something special!
So, unlike most people think, all-season tires can’t perform perfectly in the winter. Most of them can handle mild winter conditions, though, there is another segment between winter and all-season tires that offers better winter performance with a little sacrifice from deaf driving. All-weather tires!
In my point of view, all-weather tires stay on the top of the all-season tires rating chart. Hence, I’ll compare all-season to all-season and all-weather to all-weather.
Let’s move on!
Standard Touring All-Season (balanced, relatively cheaper):
- Michelin Defender T+H – Great on everything but severe winter performance
- Bridgestone – I don’t recommend any tire from Bridgestone
The market is shallow for this category. My favorite tire in this segment is Goodyear Assurance MaxLife.
Grand Touring All-Season (longevity focused):
- Michelin Primacy Tour A/S – Cozy & quiet tire, offers slightly better traction – (review)
- Bridgestone Turanza QuietTrack – Smooth & quiet tire, offers slightly better longevity – (review)
Grand Touring All-Season (performance-focused):
- Michelin Primacy MXM4 – Smooth and quiet ride
- Bridgestone DriveGuard Plus – Better traction and longevity
All-Weather Tires (best for severe winter conditions):
- Michelin Crossclimate 2 – Best all-round tire ever released, no compromise – (review)
- Bridgestone WeatherPeak – Don’t let tread fool you. It’s the quietest tire in this segment. It’s new but it’s gonna dethrone Crossclimate 2 soon
Crossover/SUV All-Season (longevity focused):
- Michelin Latitude Tour HP – Great all-round tire with winter performance defect
- Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza Plus – Impressive balance and performance, in the best competition
Crossover/SUV All-Season (performance-focused):
The tires in this segment are mostly used on sport utility vehicles. Unlike all-season tires, these tires promise different features.
Since these tires are used on high-torque and powerful-engine vehicles, their main goals are to grip the surface and provide reliable handling. Hence, they have reinforced sidewalls and relatively fluffier compounds. So, they last short but provide excellent driving experience.
Max Performance Summer:
- Michelin Pilot Sport 4S – Offers superior handling and tread life
- Bridgestone Potenza Sport – Offers better-wet performance
Extreme Performance Summer:
Ultra-High Performance Summer:
- Michelin Pilot Exalto PE2 – Best tire for this segment
- Bridgestone Potenza R040 RFT – A bit noisy but worth every penny
Ultra-High Performance All-Season:
- Michelin Pilot Sport All Season 4 – Slightly better winter performance
- Bridgestone Potenza RE980AS Plus – Best in the segment, last long, and offers unique handling
- Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 Plus – Better for performance and comfort
- Bridgestone Potenza RE92 – Way much better for longevity
Street/Sport Truck Summer (SUV, CUV & Performance Pickups):
If you’re living in a snow belt, all-weather tires won’t be enough to get decent traction in winter. Well, you need dedicated winter tires.
Here are my best picks!
Studless Ice & Snow Tires:
- Michelin X-Ice Snow – Longevity – (review)
- Bridgestone Blizzak WS90 – Superior handling, wet & winter traction – (comparison with WS80)
Performance Winter / Snow Tires:
Michelin and Bridgestone mostly provide all-terrain tires via sub-brands.
- Bridgestone – Firestone –> https://www.discounttire.com/tires/brands/firestone-catalog?cat=all-terrain-tires
- Michelin – BF Goodrich –> https://www.discounttire.com/tires/brands/bfgoodrich-catalog?cat=all-terrain-tires
Besides these brands, Bridgestone has one unique all-terrain tire that I generally recommend to comfort-focused customers.
- Bridgestone Dueler A/T Revo3 – Great comfort, average winter performance, and longevity
- A side note here: If you’d like to see the best all-terrain tires by vehicle or usage, this article is GOOOOLD –> https://tireterrain.com/best-all-terrain-tires/
Bridgestone Tires Overview
Bridgestone is a brand that can perfectly carry the promise of ‘safety’ with its quality, performance, and service guarantee from production to sale. Combining its ability to develop superior tire technology and the experience of producing tires suitable for the road conditions of 150 different countries of the world, Bridgestone offers superior performance and comfort for all types of vehicles and users, from motorcycles to automobiles, from construction machines to airplanes.
As an insider, I would like to briefly talk about Bridgestone’s priorities. Let’s move on!
Trust and Prestige
Bridgestone, which is sold in approximately 150 countries around the world, from Japan to the USA, is the leader of the world tire market with its global know-how, suitability for all world roads, and high-standard and quality products. Producing tires suitable for all types of vehicles, from motorcycles to automobiles, from construction equipment to aircraft, Bridgestone has combined its strength and global experience with Firestone in the US.
Innovation and Dynamism
One of Bridgestone’s main goals is to transfer all of its huge investments in research & development over the years and the technology it has developed during many motorsport sponsorships to all its products. Being able to offer these distinguishing features to all its users is one of Bridgestone’s most important values. Bridgestone always carries the flag of innovation and dynamism with the highest scores in eco projects and independent tests.
For instance, Bridgestone is the first company that uses ‘Run-Flat’ tire technology. Even though I don’t personally like run-flat tires, this is the biggest development in the tire industry in recent years.
Pro Tip: If you’d like to learn more about the difference between run-flat and regular tires, you can check this article out!
Developing a tire is a complex business. It takes at least three years.
While the design phase takes a year, the remaining 2 years are spent on field tests.
Well, I was part of this process. I can confidently tell you that customer satisfaction is the foremost main topic of these three years. Besides that, nothing changes after the product is released.
So, I can’t tell you that you’re gonna satisfy with all Bridgestone tires, though, if you’ll have any issue, Bridgestone will fix it!
- Founded in 1930
- The first time listed on the stock exchange was in 1961
- Bridgestone acquired Firestone in 1988. So, yes, Bridgestone and Firestone are the same company
- Bridgestone acquires Bandag, Inc. in 2007 (one of the world’s leading tire retread businesses)
- Bridgestone acquired Europe’s largest digital fleet solutions provider, TomTom Telematics (currently Webfleet Solutions)
Note: Numerically, Bridgestone is the biggest tire manufacturer.
Michelin Tires Overview
Michelin is the most popular and in my opinion best tire brand in the market.
Unlike Bridgestone, they put comfort is the top of their ‘to-do list’. Besides that, the brand itself is a test killer. If you ever read a tire test report, Michelin is probably the winner of that test.
But how can they do this? Here are the answers.
Every tire manufacturer puts its tires to the test. In fact, this is a world-class necessity. Fulfilling this quality standard may be possible with standardized tests. However, Michelin has greatly exaggerated this event in order to understand in the best way what kind of difficult conditions the product it produces can actually withstand, and what kind of results it may encounter beyond the foreseen. In a year, Michelin tests its tires in such a way that 1 billion miles, yes you heard it right, 1 billion miles (1609344000 km) tire models are put to the test. This figure is equivalent to going around the planet 40 times.
Unique Compound & Design
When you are going to buy a tire, you may think about how much scientific studies have been done on it, but you cannot predict how detailed it can be. Thanks to the tread patterns developed by Michelin R&D engineers, you can provide superior performance and safety even in rainy and difficult weather conditions. This patented tread pattern, which belongs only to Michelin, has emerged with special design and design studies together with the tests. With models such as Michelin CrossClimate or Primacy you buy, you not only buy that model, but you also buy high Michelin technology.
Michelin subjects it to many processes until it produces a tire. The most important of these is quality and control. Every product that is mass-produced in the world always produces faulty products. Michelin never sells faulty production from the production line. Incorrectly manufactured tires are immediately sent for recycling. Michelin has also produced its own patented machines in order to achieve the desired quality on the production line. Thanks to these special production machines, control safety has been increased and production error rates have been reduced. That’s why Michelin is the world’s best tire manufacturer today.
- Founded in 1889
- Invented the first radial tire in 1949 (now, radial tire takes 100% of the market share)
- Michelin acquired BF Goodrich in 1989. So, yes, BF Goodrich and Michelin are the same company
- Michelin acquired Uniroyal US in 1989. Though, they’re not the same company because Bridgestone bought Uniroyal Australia in 1982.
- Michelin acquired Camso in 2018
- Michelin bought 99.64% of Achilles and Corsa Tires in 2019. Affordable Michelin brand is loading!!!
Note: Numerically, Michelin is the second biggest tire manufacturer in the world.
Michelin vs Bridgestone: What to Expect
Bridgestone and Michelin respect each other strong points. This competition is the biggest factor in the development of the tire industry in recent years.
Even though both are reliable in all aspects, they meet with different customer expectations.
Let’s dig into features and find which one is best for you.
Traction is basically the grip capability of your tire. In this case, compound selection and tread design play the biggest role.
However, since dry, wet, and snow traction requires different features, separating this section into three will give us the best results.
- Dry Traction: Both brands are performing excellently in dry conditions. However, if you’re living in a dry region, I believe that Bridgestone is a better option due to its generally stiffer compound selection.
- Wet Traction: While Bridgestone is above average in this case, Michelin is leading the market.
- Snow Traction: Even though some of Michelin’s tires racks, yet, Bridgestone is the safe side pick.
Since handling is the most important safety metric, both company pays huge attention to this feature. Well, the market wants it all at once. However, it’s really hard to reach.
So, depending on the tire category, handling is affected by different features.
While softer compound decrease the handling, strong sidewalls, and compact pattern creates a huge advantage.
The competition is tight in this section. If the handling is your priority, I recommend,
- Bridgestone for summer tires
- Michelin for all-season tires
- Michelin for winter tires
Longevity is what Bridgestone promotes more. Well, there is a reason behind that.
As I’ve mentioned before, Bridgestone prefers stiffer compounds. This is a huge advantage for better mileage. However, Michelin tires are always lighter. Hence, they generally have lower rolling resistance which can slower tires’ wear.
If I were not spending 5 years in the tire industry and finding everything online, I would say, it’s a tie game. But, I’m not. So, I prefer to separate categories and share my personal experience with you.
- Summer Tires: I prefer Bridgestone tires again. I think summer tires are the weakest point of Michelin
- All-Season Tires: Michelin the whole day long. They’re the inventor of all-weather tires. They know how the combine summer tire pattern with all-season compounds.
- Winter Tires: Michelin tires will last longer. Yet, I still recommend Bridgestone tires.
Comfort and Noise
Noise reduction and comfort are the most important metrics for passenger vehicles.
These two are related to different things. While comfort is mostly related to the inner structure, noise reduction is directly related to the pattern and the void area ratio of your tire tread.
Regarding comfort, Even though Bridgestone is one of the best in this case, Bridgestone tires always have a stiff ride because of their highly durable inner structures. So, if you ask me I trade this slight decrease in comfort for a more durable tire. Yet, we’re talking about comfort. Michelin is a slightly better tire.
Regarding noise reduction, there is no competition. Michelin leads the market with their unique pattern designs. In my point of view, the rest of the market is copycat.
So, I have to admit that Michelin is a better tire if we combine noise reduction and comfort. Yet, the difference isn’t significant.
Both brands offer great warranties. However, I’ve experienced both. I can confidently say that Bridgestone overperforms Michelin in this case.
If the attention shown to you is important to you, I recommend Bridgestone tires.
Note: You’ll probably don’t need to warranty with Michelin tires. LOOOL!
I know I’ve been promoting Michelin in this article. Though, all the features I’ve been mentioning are meanless if the tire is too expensive.
We all know that Michelin tires are the most expensive tires by far. So, the real question out here is ‘ Are they worth it?’.
Yes, they’re. Well, only if you don’t wanna think about your tire in the next 3-5 years. On the other hand, Bridgestone is at the top of the Price/Performance curve.
Compared to Bridgestone, Michelin is a high-ticket brand. Yet, in my point of view, it totally worth it. However, if you’re in financial difficulty, Bridgestone will meet your expectations.
In recent years, the tire market expands and develop so quickly. Well, the companies influence each other and reverse engineering works perfectly in this case.
So, regarding these two tire manufacturers, both are reliable and trustworthy. However, they are unique in some cases.
- Bridgestone is a better tire for summer usage
- Michelin is a better option for all-season usage. However, Bridgestone WeatherPeak gonna be an expected
- Both are equally good in winter. Yet, Bridgestone focuses on traction but Michelin focuses on longevity.
- Bridgestone tires generally offer longer tread life
- Michelin tires are generally smoother
- LT sizes have stronger sidewalls. That feature makes them more durable. Yet, these tires offer a rougher ride. (LT vs P-Metric tires)
- XL sizes tend to carry more load and offer better handling. Hence, if you’ll go with p-metric sizes, they might be a better pick for hauling and towing( XL vs SL tires)
- Please pay attention to the load range and speed index. These metrics are essential if you expect decent tread life
- There isn’t a bad tire in the market right now, you should just know what to expect from tires
A side note here: If you’d like to get local advice and find the best fit for your driving habits, location, and road conditions DiscountTire – Treadwell Tire Guide can give you masterpiece recommendations.
I hope the article was helpful fellows. Let me know if you need any further support. Have a safe ride!