Michelin X-Ice vs. Pilot Alpin 4
When it comes to buying tires, Michelin has consistently ranked as one of the best tire manufacturers in the world – home to the trust of billion of car drivers around the world.
From summer tires to all season tires – the French manufacturer has proven their pedigree in creating robust tires that stand the test of time. The same can be said for their winter line, providing your car with maximum grip on snow-ladden roads.
This review entails two of their most coveted winter – the Michelin X-Ice and the Pilot Alpin 4. Both are great options in the market and offer excellent road performance.
So buckle up motorheads, as we give our two cents on two of the most popular winter tires out there. Read on to find out how these tires fared in tests and how people who are using these tires like them.
Michelin Pilot Alpin 4
The Michelin Pilot Alpin 4 is one of Michelin’s best all-season tire, but many consider it as a winter-only tire due to Michelin’s extensive marketing of the series for winter season.
The Alpin 4 boasts stable handling on both wet and dry roads with precise steering and great feedback even during harsh weather conditions.
Let’s take a look at the specs of the tire.
The Pilot Alpin 4 features an exclusive tread called Stabiligrip, which has a new 3-D sipe technology. It offers a 10 percent improvement on snow acceleration and up to 5 percent better handling dynamics on wet roads.
So if you live in an area where the weather is harsh, your dealership may recommend you to go with Pilot Alpin 4 — but do check out our comparison before making a decision.
The improved braking distance is another feature of the Alpin 4. A better braking distance could be attributed to the use of a silicon-based rubber compound, which remains flexible under all weather conditions. It also helps with traction and grip.
With an increased concern on safety, many drivers prefer the Alpin 4 due to its improved braking distance.
- The tread design allows the Pilot Alpin 4 to produce more resistance against water and snow
- The tire can also be used in summers
- The tread life is better than that of the X-Ice
- Porsche has tested and approved the tire
- The high-density sipes allow for superior grip during heavy snow — thanks to the deeper grooves and displacement edges around the tire
- A 6-year or 30,000-mile warranty
- The 10 percent braking improvement seems marginal compared to Michelin’s X-Ice series
- The tire tends to lose grip after about 20,000 miles in snowy conditions
The specialized winter tires are also developed by Michelin, and are the third iteration in the popular X-Ice series. The company claims to have built the tire specifically to perform well under harsh weather conditions.
What makes the Xi-3s special? The cross-designed sipes are combined with micro pumps. The block edges are equipped with the Flex-Ice compound to provide better grip, stability and braking power under all weather conditions.
Most winter tires become popular due to their tread design. The X-Ice also has a unique tread design. The new Cross-z sipes provide superior traction and grip in snowy conditions. The design also promotes stability during high speeds and on wet roads.
Our test drivers could feel the difference as soon as they got into the car. The car equipped with Michelin’s X-Ice series seemed more stable at high speeds.
Michelin claims the X-Ice series has better cornering due to its MaxTouch Construction, which allows the tire to maintain maximum contact with the road at all times.
The MaxTouch Construction also ensures better tread life, fuel efficiency and resistance. Fuel efficiency is a factor for many vehicle owners, mainly due to high gas prices, so if affordability is a factor for you—we suggest you opt for the X-Ice series.
- The X-Ice is one of Michelin’s best winter tire used in coupes, sedans, and minivans
- The Flex-Ice silica formula ensures superior control and stability in snow and rain
- The z-sipes displace snow and water as the wheel turns
- The unique z-sipes have an exclusive directional pattern to channel water away
- The cross z-sipes adds more biting edges for better grip
- The rigidity improves resistance to damage — so you don’t have to worry about a flat tire
- The steel belts strengthen the rigidity of the tire
- Michelin claims the X-Ice has 10 percent better braking over its competitors
- The tread life compared to other winter tires is excellent — all thanks to the silica-based rubber compound
- Low rolling resistance
- The tire gives excellent snow and rain traction but lacks in corners
What We Liked About The Pilot Alpin 4
- The Pilot Alpin is a better all-season tire. The thickness of the tire helps enhance the overall look of the vehicle while providing the needed grip across seasons
- The Pilot Alpin is an excellent tire for summers. The tread is ideally suited and well balanced as it was tested under a variety of conditions
- The FAZ technology adds strength by wrapping polyester cord filaments spirally around the tire
- This gives more ride comfort on bumpy roads, and the bigger size also helps keep the vehicle stable at high speeds
- A rock-solid performance tire in all scenarios compared to the X-Ice, which is solely developed for driving in snowy weather
What We Didn’t Like About the Pilot Alpin 4
- The brakes could be better
What We Liked About The X-Ice
- The snow and winter traction is unbeatable in its class. Only bested by the Blizzak range which is more expensive
- The tire has excellent grip and offers better handling in snow and harsh conditions
- The ride is quite comfortable even though the tire is narrower than the Alpin 4
- The tread life is good. It can last above 60,000 miles as Michelin claims
What We Didn’t Like About The X-Ice
- Traction in the corners could be better
- The ride could be more quiet and comfortable compared to the Alpin 4
|X-Ice Sizes||Alpin 4|
175/65R15 XL 88T BSW
225/40R18/XL 92V BSW
195/55R16 XL 91H BSW
245/35R19/XL 93W BSW
215/50R17 XL 95H BSW
285/30R20/XL 99W BSW
215/45R18 XL 93H BSW
|18 – Not Available|
The X-Ice is a better tire if you only want to drive in snowy conditions. It will offer less grip and traction during the summers as the compound used in the design works best in extreme weather conditions.
On the other hand, Michelin’s Alpin 4 has some significant improvements over the Alpin 3, which was also an all-season. In our tests, the Alpin 4 performed well even when there was considerable snow on the roads.
If you need a tire for the snow and winter season only, the X-Ice is a superior tire for that purpose in a variety of ways and outperforms the Alpin in almost every category.
It depends on your vehicle as well because the Alpin is not available in a lot of sizes, while the X-Ice fits all wheel sizes. So weigh the pros and cons for yourself and see what attracts you more.
We think the Alpin 4 is a better choice if you are to buy a set for your vehicle.