Does it always make sense to buy premium tires, and do some budget-friendly brands offer better value? If you want to know the answer to this question, be sure to read this article as we are going to compare Blackhawk vs Michelin tires and tell you if it makes sense to spend that not-so-little bit extra and buy the best the industry has to offer.
Blackhawk Rating: 4.7/5
Michelin Rating: 4.5/5
If you’ve never heard about the Blackhawk tire brand, you are not alone. That makes perfect sense as this brand was only founded back in 2002 by a global conglomerate called Sailun Tire Group. Sailun Tire Group owns Blackhawk and a few additional tire brands such as Sailun, RoadX, Rovelo, and Maxam. All five of these are designed as value-oriented tires which means that they aim to offer the best bang for the buck.
Since 2002 and with the help of its Sailun parent company, Blackhawk is now being sold in more than 150 countries worldwide. Blackhawk tires are all manufactured in China and Vietnam which is one reason why they cost as little as they do. However, they do own logistical centers in Germany, Canada, and a few other countries.
Nowadays Blackhawk is continuously pushing its global presence forward and is slowly becoming popular in the US, especially in the Southeastern part of the US. They don’t offer too many variations and tire families at the moment because their lineup is really small and tries to cater to a wide audience without any special purpose-built tires in addition to a few commercial tires only.
All in all, Blackhawk is certainly making strides lately, but now it’s time to introduce you to the nitty gritty and tell you everything about Blackhawk tire families.
Blackhawk Tire Families
Blackhawk divides its tire families into two divisions. The first one is intended only for light trucks and passenger vehicles while the second one is intended for commercial trucks. We are going to introduce you to their non-commercial tire families as these are the ones people are interested in buying.
The Blackhawk Street family of tires is the main Blackhawk passenger car tire family and it offers four different models. The first one is the Blackhawk HH11 all-season touring tire engineered to offer adequate performance on as many surfaces as it can. Backed by a 50,000-mile warranty and up to a W-speed rating, the HH11 is available for passenger cars, SUVs, CUVs, and light trucks.
The Blackhawk HU01 is Blackhawk’s take on an ultra-performance all-season tire that aims to achieve the very best traction levels on both dry and wet surfaces. It is also backed by a 50,000-mile warranty and is available for passenger cars and SUVs and is available with a W speed rating only. Finally, we are also going to mention the Blackhawk HU02.
The HU02 is available for sedans, coupes, and SUVs and it differs from the HU01 because it offers even better dry traction, but is only backed by a 40,000-mile warranty. The final tire from this family is the HH01 which is backed by a 50,000-mile warranty and is a passenger car tire with your usual all-season prowess.
The other currently available Blackhawk family of tires is the HISCEND family of tires. The HT01 tires are designed for SUVs, trucks, and CUVs and Blackhawk likes to call them touring performance tires. They max out with a T-speed rating and are backed by a 60,000-mile warranty which is as high as you can get with a Blackhawk tire.
The Blackhawk HISCEND-HA11 is a premium all-terrain SUV/CUV/truck tire designed to be used both on and off-road. It is backed by a 40,000-mile warranty and features an included rim protector as is usually the case with premium all-terrain tires. We are also going to mention the HS02 tire which features a modern asymmetric pattern and variable pitch technologies in order to be as quiet as it can be.
The Blackhawk IcePrey family of tires consists of three different winter tire types, all of which aim to achieve a slightly different emphasis. The HW02 is the most comfortable one of the bunch which means that it maximizes ride comfort while the HW03 is the same, but is tailored for SUVs and CUVs.
Finally, we come to the HW06 which is designed for light trucks and SUVs and is mostly focused on wet performance while also being decently comfortable. All of these are not backed by any mileage warranty, only a road hazard warranty and a standard 60-month quality warranty that is included with all Blackhawk tires.
Not many people know that arguably the biggest and most prominent tire brand in history, Michelin, actually started by making bicycle tires. Two brothers with a Michelin family name founded the company back in 1899 in France simply by wanting to make a bicycle tire that can be replaced quickly and easily.
As most people were busy repairing their bicycle tires for hours, the Michelin brothers did manage to invent a more convenient bicycle tire which kickstarted the entire company. A brand like Michelin needs no introduction as everyone is aware of how huge this brand truly is. As the company moved toward car tires, they started making strides immediately.
This led them to be part of some of the world’s most illustrious car racing events such as Le Mans, WRC, F1, WEC, and pretty much any other major racing organization you can think of. Michelin leads the industry today as it is the largest tire company in the world in front of Bridgestone, Continental, Pirelli, Goodyear, and all the other major brands.
The Michelin brand is so big that it grew outside the world of tires and also known for recommending some of the world’s most illustrious restaurants. It’s almost impossible to talk about tires without mentioning Michelin.
Michelin Tire Families
Now it’s time to introduce all of the prominent Michelin tire families which are available for all types of vehicles that are equipped with tires. We are going to mention the most popular families which make up the majority of all tires Michelin offers.
The Michelin Pilot is one of the most famous tire families in the world because it also is one of the best, if not the best ultra-performance family tires on the market. The Michelin Pilot Sport 5 is the go-to tire in this segment and is also a golden standard when it comes to performance-oriented cars. The Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 is even more agile and responsive but is incompetent in the snow.
Both the Sport 5 and the PS2 are summer tires only, but you can also go for one of the All-Season Sport models. If you want SUV Pilot tires, you can get those as well. These are only available for passenger cars and they are available in all kinds of shapes and sizes which means that it is easy to find the model that fits your car. These tend to come with a 20-30k treadwear warranty which is not all that good for a premium tire.
The Michelin Premier family of tires is designed with touring tires in mind which means that these tires can often be seen on most luxury cars of today. The Premier family is not as expansive as the Primacy family of touring tires which means that it only comes with two tire models. The first one is the Michelin Premier A/S designed to passenger cars only while the Michelin Premier LTX is designed for SUVs.
Both are backed by a 60,000-mile warranty which is far from the best warranty coverage in the premium touring tire market.
The Primacy family also offers touring tires which may confuse some people, but the Primacy lineup is even more tailored toward quietness and fuel efficiency. The Michelin Primacy MXM4 is designed for luxury cars primarily as it offers great traction but is also really quiet and refined. However, they only come with a 45,000-55,000-mile warranty.
It’s the exact same story with the Michelin Primacy Tour A/S tire, but this can fit on SUVs too. The Michelin Primacy MXV4 is more tailored towards compact cars and is more balanced which means that it performs really well in various categories, but isn’t the best in any. On the flip side, it does come with a 60,000-mile warranty.
The Michelin Latitude offers only SUV and CUV tires as is often the case with many premium brands. These differ depending on if they are standard all-season or all-weather models and if they are tailored toward performance or touring purposes. You can also go for Michelin Latitude winter tires as well.
These also come in a wide variety of sizes which means that they cover pretty much the entire SUV/CUV segment.
As the name might suggest, the Michelin X-Ice family of tires deals exclusively with winter tires. The most popular tire model from the X-Ice family is the Michelin X-Ice Xi3 which offers an impressively quiet experience for a winter tire but is also able to offer a semi-performance tire experience. A 40,000-mile treadwear warranty may not seem as much, but winter tires often come without warranty coverage at all.
Most of these can be fitted on passenger cars, SUVs, CUVs, and trucks. Most of them are also studless tires, except for the X-Ice North model with can be equipped with studs.
As far as sheer quality is concerned, it is really hard to beat the Michelin Defender family of tires. The Defender family thrives in being both capable and seamlessly comfortable which truly does transfer the premium touring tire feel. These come in both passenger car and SUV/truck sizes, but SUV and truck Defender tires are some of the best SUV/truck tires money can buy.
The Michelin Defender T+H comes with an 80,000-mile warranty, offers class-leading refinement levels, and also offers great traction. The Michelin Defender LTX M/S is even better than the T+H, but it comes with a 70,000-mile warranty.
The Michelin Energy family is all about efficiency tires which means that these are designed with a low rolling resistance which is intended to save you money on fuel bills. The most popular model here is the comfortable and refined summer Michelin Energy Saver A/S tire, but you can also go for all-season Energy LX4 tires as well. These are backed by a 45,000-55,000-mile warranty.
The Michelin Cross Climate family acts like a bridge between touring and all-weather tires which means that these will offer great traction even in light snow. The most popular CrossClimate model is the Michelin CrossClimate 2 which offers amazing touring tire qualities while also being great in the rain and in lighter snow.
With a 60,000-mile warranty on average, the CrossClimate family is not all that great, but they are available for a wide array of vehicles, and those who try the CrossClimate tend to stick with it as these really are amazing.
The Michelin LTX is likely the most popular Michelin All-Terrain tire family because of the LTX A/T2. However, the LTX family also offers more touring-oriented models as well. These are only available for SUVs and trucks and also come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes which means that they can fit on virtually anything.
Differences Between Blackhawk And Michelin
This is the part of the article where everyone knows what is about to take place as Michelin is the largest tire company in the world while Blackstar is the exact opposite. As such, Michelin’s Pilot line of tires is the best ultra-performance family here while the Premier, the Defender, the Primacy, and the CrossClimate wipe the floor with the Blackhawk HISCEND family when it comes to touring tires.
Winter tires are also where Michelin takes the cake, as is virtually every other category as well. This makes perfect sense as Michelin offers countless models and has more than 100 years of experience. Blackhawk does make good tires and there is a place for it in the current tire market, but there are levels to this game.
Price and Warranty
This is the segment where Blackhawk makes its case heard as comparable Michelin tires can sometimes cost three times as much. For a spot of context, the Blackhawk HICSEND HA1 all-terrain tire costs $130 at Walmart while the comparable Michelin LTX A/T2 all-terrain tire costs around $260 which is twice as much.
In the warranty department, Blackhawk comes out swinging by offering a 40,000-mile warranty coverage minimum and a 60,000-mile warranty coverage maximum. On the other hand, Michelin ranges from 20,000 at the lower end to 80,000 miles on the top end. Given the price difference between the two, Blackhawk beats both in the warranty and the price department.
Availability Of Options
Michelin wins here as Michelin offers dozens of tire families with more than 100 different models scattered in various niche tire segments while Blackhawk offers a few tire models in total. As far as where to buy these, you can buy Michelin tires at any tire store that wants to be considered a serious tire store while Blackhawk tires aren’t as widely available, but can still be bought relatively easily.
Advantages Of Blackhawk
Advantages Of Michelin
- Better Performance Tires
- Better Touring Tires
- More Options
- Better Winter Tires
- Better All-Terrain Tires
- Better Efficiency Tires
- Everything Else
Which Brand To Choose?
At the end of our Blackhawk vs Michelin tires comparison, we can easily conclude that this is a classic David vs Goliath scenario, but in this one Goliath wipes the floor with David. To cut a long story short, Blackhawk offers good value and can satisfy many owners across the nation, some of which won’t even be able to tell the difference.
On the other hand, Michelin is the NO. 1 tire company for a reason. They truly do make tires like no one else does.