- The best aquaplaning resistance in its class
- Easy to handle
- Decently comfortable
- Plenty of grip and traction in dry and wet conditions
- Feedback is a bit numb
- Noise levels are average
Several months ago, Michelin announced that it’s releasing the Pilot Sport 5 and some touring tire that I failed to remember, which is irrelevant today. The best part about it is that I finally got the chance to test it, and you know that this means – it’s review time.
Michelin, as a brand, is known for making some of the best performing tires in the industry. Its Pilot lineup offers models considered the go-to for performance-oriented driving conditions.
The Pilot Sport series of tires is among the multiple options that go a long way back for several generations. These summer options are something you’d go after if you’re looking for the best performance without worrying too much about refinement.
A common misconception is that the Pilot Sport 5 is a replacement for the Pilot Sport 4S, but that isn’t the case. This latest iteration replaces the Pilot Sport 4, which is designed to bring a better balance between performance and refinement. The 4S, on the other hand, comes in larger sizes and is more performance-oriented.
So, now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s look at the features and see how they translate into real-world performance.
What are the features of the Michelin Pilot Sport 5?
It’s been roughly 6 years since Michelin released the Pilot sport 4, so we can assume that the company spent that time developing and improving the already great tire. There are plenty of features, some of which we’ve already seen before.
Even though we’re talking about a performance tire, Michelin also aimed to make a durable one, relying on the MaxTouch Construction. This technology focuses on distributing the forces of the tire evenly in driving scenarios resulting in an even wear and prolong the tire’s life.
Longevity isn’t everything with the Pilot Sport 5, and Michelin also worked on improving the handling. To achieve that, the manufacturer utilizes its Dynamic Response Technology to enhance handling, responsiveness, and precision. The previous generation was excellent in this regard, and I’m eager to see if there’s an improvement.
Despite being a summer tire, it should also be able to deliver performance in wet conditions, something that Michelin addressed. The Dual Sport Tread Design features two sides of the tire, each one for different circumstances. The inner side of the Pilot Sport 5 is designed with larger grooves aimed at improving aquaplaning resistance. On the outer side, the tire features stiffer blocks, which should additionally help the handling and improve grip in the corners.
Treadwear Rating: 4.5/5
How does it behave on dry tarmac?
Continuing the trend that Michelin already set, the Pilot Sport 5 is an excellent tire in dry conditions. It’s not the best in this category, but it ranks pretty high.
From a daily driving perspective, the Pilot Sport 5 can offer everything you’d need and more. The levels of traction when acceleration are excellent, minimizing wheel spin and rolling without any issues. Cornering grip is also fantastic, and the tire holds the line perfectly, giving you the confidence to push it more.
Speaking of pushing it more, the Pilot Sport 5 continues to impress on a twisty road with some more aggressive driving. Again, you have loads of grip that unfortunately turns to understeer when you approach the limit. I wouldn’t call this a deal-breaker, but some drivers may feel a bit disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, the tire is very well balanced, and as long as you drive on the roads, you may not notice that it’s lacking in some situations.
The Pilot Sport 5 isn’t a track-ready tire, so when you go on your favorite circuit and start pushing it to its limit, you’ll notice that it lacks in some areas. The slight understeer kills the joy, and even though you can correct it, you will be faced with a minor handling issue which I’ll discuss shortly.
Braking is equally crucial as cornering, and I’m happy to report that the Pilot Sport 5 is excellent. It’s near the top and comes a hair behind the Ventus S1 Evo 3, so there’s some improvement over the previous version.
Dry Tarmac Rating: 4.5/5
How does it behave over wet and slippery roads?
The most significant change with the new model is wet performance. Unlike its older brother, the Pilot Sport 5 delivers surprisingly excellent results when driving in wet conditions, and in some cases, it comes out on top.
In damp conditions, the Pilot Sport 5 is a tire that surprises with the performance it offers. There’s plenty of grip and traction for daily driving, giving you much more than you’d ever need. In an emergency braking scenario, the Michelin tire outperforms the Eagle F1 Asymmetric 6, but falls a bit behind the Premium Contact 6, so it’s among the best.
This performance also translates when you’re driving at the limit, so the track performance is good enough. Sure, there are other options that may be better and more precise, but I wouldn’t cross off the Pilot Sport 5 from the list.
Aquaplaning resistance is where the tire shines the most. Unlike its predecessor, the Pilot Sport 5 remains very stable and planted when driving over water patches. When compared to its rivals I could say that it’s the best, so there’s a huge improvement here.
Wet Rating: 4.5/5
Is it comfortable and refined?
The way Michelin has set up the Pilot Sport 5 is to deliver excellent performance and be usable as a daily driver. This is a double-edged sword, and on the one hand, you have a tire that isn’t the best for the track, but it’s decent enough for picking up the kids from school.
When you’re getting a performance tire, you are sacrificing a bit of comfort, and there’s no getting around that. The Pilot Sport 5 is decently comfortable, considering the type of tire it is. It deals with bumps acceptably well and won’t offer the harshest ride in the world. Some of the vibrations are absorbed, and it can protect the passengers from massive jolts. Worst case scenario – it will dampen them enough.
The noise levels are not the lowest, but they are also far from the highest. There is some noticeable hum coming from the tire, which can increase at higher speeds and on rougher surfaces. With that said, a well-insulated cabin can mute parts of it, so with the radio on, the Pilot Sport 5 won’t be overly intrusive.
Comfort Rating: 4/5
Is the Michelin Pilot Sport 5 ideal for sporty driving?
I hinted that I have some criticism for the Pilot Sport 5 regarding handling, and I’ll explain what I mean. The tire is very good for sporty driving, it feels like it’s made for a twisty road where you can push your car a bit more.
The thing that makes the Pilot Sport 5 great in this regard is how easy it handles when you’re pushing it. It doesn’t feel twitchy, and even though the responsiveness isn’t the best, it’s pretty good. Precision is another area where the tire performs admirably. It’s not the most precise tire, but keep in mind that you can notice this only if you’re on a track. On public roads, it will be more than enough for most drivers.
My biggest complaint with the Pilot Sport 5 is the feedback. It’s not the numbest tire I’ve got my hands on, but near the limit, you will be looking for some information from the front tires.
Overall, there are sportier tires on the market, and some may criticize the Pilot Sport 5 for being un-sporty, and while that may be true, it’s not the worst out there.
Noise Rating: 3.5/5
Michelin Pilot Sport 5 Warranty
So this comes as a surprise, but Michelin still hasn’t come out with a warranty figure for the Pilot Sport 5. If you have any information, feel free to reach out and correct me on this.
Based on the 4 and 4S that come with a 20,000 and 30,000-mile treadwear warranty, we should expect similar numbers for the Pilot Sport 5.
Michelin Pilot Sport 5 Pricing: Is it worth the money?
Michelin is known for being a bit on the higher side when it comes to price, but we have a slight issue here. The Pilot Sport 5 still isn’t available in the US, but if we look at the prices from Europe, the smallest 17-inch tire is roughly $130. If the price remains similar to this, then we should have a very competitive price.
Should I buy the Michelin Pilot Sport 5?
Once the Pilot Sport 5 becomes available with retailers, there are almost no reasons why you shouldn’t buy it. Michelin has made a very capable tire, delivering plenty of performance in terms of grip and traction while being usable daily. You can push it quite a lot before it begins to let go, so as long as you’re not planning to use it on a track, you’ll be a happy camper.
The Pilot Sport 5 can do many things, but setting the fastest lap times isn’t one of those. There are some aspects of it that make it a good sporty tire, but not the best, which is why for these situations, you’ll be better off with another tire.
What Vehicles Will the Michelin Pilot Sport 5 Fit?
Here’s a sample list of cars that the Michelin Pilot Sport 5 will fit:
- Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio
- Audi TT RS, RS5, RS6
- BMW M3, M4, M5
- Chevrolet Camaro
- Dodge Viber, Challenger, Charger
- Ford Focus RS
- Honda Civic Type R
- Lexus RC, IS
- Hyundai Veloster N
- Nissan GT-R
- Toyota Supra, GR86
- Volkswagen Golf R
Tire Sizes for Michelin Pilot Sport 5
- 205/40 R17
- 245/40 R17
- 205/45 R17
- 215/45 R17
- 225/45 R17
- 245/45 R17
- 225/50 R17
- 215/55 R17
- 225/55 R17
- 245/35 R18
- 255/35 R18
- 265/35 R18
- 205/40 R18
- 215/40 R18
- 225/40 R18
- 235/40 R18
- 245/40 R18
- 255/40 R18
- 275/40 R18
- 215/45 R18
- 225/45 R18
- 235/45 R18
- 245/45 R18
- 255/45 R18
- 235/50 R18
- 235/35 R19
- 255/35 R19
- 275/35 R19
- 225/40 R19
- 235/40 R19
- 245/40 R19
- 255/40 R19
- 285/40 R19
- 225/45 R19
- 235/45 R19
- 245/45 R19
- 245/35 R20
- 255/35 R20
- 255/40 R20
- 275/45 R20
List of Michelin Reviews