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. 

Product Information 

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. 

Pros 

  • 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 

Cons

  • 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

Shop now at PriorityTire.com

Michelin X-Ice

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. 

Product Information

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. 

Pros 

  • 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

Cons

  • Low rolling resistance
  • The tire gives excellent snow and rain traction but lacks in corners

Shop now at PriorityTire.com

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 

Tire Comparison

X-Ice SizesAlpin 4
15″

175/65R15 XL 88T BSW
185/60R15 XL 88H BSW
185/65R15 XL 92T BSW
195/55R15 XL 89H BSW
195/60R15 XL 92H BSW
195/65R15 XL 95T BSW
205/65R15 XL 99T BSW

18″

225/40R18/XL 92V BSW
245/40R18/XL 97V BSW
245/50R18/XL 104V BSW

16″

195/55R16 XL 91H BSW
205/50R16 XL 91H BSW
205/55R16 XL 94H BSW
205/60R16 XL 96H BSW
205/65R16 XL 99T BSW
215/55R16 XL 97H BSW
215/60R16 XL 99H BSW
215/65R16 XL 102T BSW
225/60R16 XL 102H BSW
235/60R16 100T BSW

19″

245/35R19/XL 93W BSW
255/35R19/XL 96V BSW
285/35R19/XL 103V BSW
235/40R19 92V BSW
255/40R19/XL 100V BSW
265/40R19 98V BSW

17″

215/50R17 XL 95H BSW
215/55R17 XL 98H BSW
215/60R17 96T BSW
215/65R17 99T BSW
225/50R17 XL 98H BSW
225/55R17 XL 101H BSW
225/60R17 99H BSW
235/55R17 99H BSW

20″

285/30R20/XL 99W BSW
295/30R20 97V BSW
245/35R20 91V BSW

18″

215/45R18 XL 93H BSW
225/50R18 XL 99H BSW
225/60R18 100H BSW
235/50R18 XL 101H BSW

18 – Not Available

Our Verdict

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. 

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