Dry Conditions – 80%
Wet Conditions – 70%
Snow – 70%
Comfort – 80%
Noise Reduction – 90%
Durability – 70%
- Very direct handling
- Plenty of grip and traction in all conditions
- Improved snow performance over its predecessor
- One of the shortest wet braking distances
- Wet handling is average
- Sizes start from 17 inches
Most of our driving habits revolve around everyday driving around town and cruising on the highway. For that kind of application, touring tires are the excellent choice because they offer a good balance between longevity and comfort. Going for this approach means that you will be sacrificing a bit of performance. In most cases, enthusiasts don’t like the dull steering feel, and the lack of proper grip and traction means that going to a track isn’t a good idea.
In the premium tire segment, manufacturers have been making a lot of efforts to improve the performance of the touring models. Of course, this doesn’t mean that they’ll be as good as high-performance tires, but people who want a more dynamic experience will like the improvements.
Premium tire manufacturers are known for making the best of the best tires. Thanks to the constant battle between them, car owners get to enjoy the benefits of newer tires and what they have to offer. Take Michelin, for example. The French manufacturer has been producing tires for over 130 years and is praised as one of the best. There are plenty of models in Michelin’s lineup, and the one I’ll be reviewing comes from the Primacy family.
These are tires that Michelin advertises as luxury performance. It means that it should be a good balance between comfort, longevity, and performance. Aiming for this category isn’t the company’s first try. We all remember the Primacy MXM4 that Michelin launched about a decade ago. The tire was excellent but lacked in the warranty and snow department.
As a successor, Michelin launched the Primacy Tour A/S and all-season grand touring tire, which is also advertised as a performance-oriented model. Pulling off a tire with all 3 characteristics without making some compromises isn’t a simple task. So, did Michelin managed that, or is the tire all show and no go?
What are the features of the Michelin Primacy Tour A/S?
The Primacy Tour A/S is an all-season tire, so I’ll start with that. To make a tire that can be driven in hot and cold weather, Michelin created a unique rubber compound capable of doing so. It is enriched with silica, meaning that it won’t harden when you drive it in the winter.
As you may recall, the MXM4 wasn’t particularly premium when it came to snow performance, so Michelin made some improvements there. Thanks to the tweaks in the tread design, the Primacy Tour A/S should have 17% better performance on snow. The tweaks include a slightly redesigned tread pattern and sharpened angles of the lateral grooves. The result should be better traction on snow because the tire can bite into the surface to find traction.
The tread design is not only responsible for the performance; it also aids in terms of comfort, especially noise. The PIANO noise reduction tuning works alongside the Enhances ComfortControl, which makes the tire quiet. It is achieved by implementing shoulder grooves capable of canceling the sound frequency created by the tires. On top of that, the block chamfers are designed with smoother belts that additionally reduce road noise.
On the performance side of things, Michelin didn’t make any compromises. The tread pattern incorporates 4 circumferential grooves and countless lateral sipes. Their goal is to work together and help the tire evacuate water more efficiently. On the other hand, the zig-zag pattern is made so that the tire has plenty of traction in non-dry conditions.
For longevity, Michelin used its Total Performance technology. Its goal is to provide consistent performance starting from the day you purchase it to the day you replace it. The Primacy Tour A/S features MaxTouch Construction, which helps it wear down evenly, additionally keeping the performance consistent.
How does it behave on dry roads?
As you may have expected, the performance of the Primacy Tour A/S is exceptional. In terms of grand touring tires, you are looking at one of the best.
Grip and traction levels are exceptional, and the tire sticks to the road very well. Aggressive acceleration or hard cornering will not be a problem, which is why the tire gets high praise. You can chug the tire into a corner and see how it works to keep the tire planted on the road.
Doing this is easy, thanks to the tire’s responsiveness, an area where most grand-torturing tires are not very good at. Unfortunately, the tire doesn’t quite beat the sporty characteristics of the MXM4, so in that regard, Michelin didn’t make improvements.
How does it behave over wet and slippery roads?
In terms of wet performance, the Primacy Tour A/S is good, but not without a drawback.
On the positive side of things, the tire is planted and has a lot of traction to get the car rolling. Even if you have a lead foot, you won’t have too many problems. You will notice a bit of slip, and the tire will find traction pretty quickly.
In the corners, the grip is phenomenal and will be more than enough for how most people drive their cars. Again, doing things a bit aggressive won’t be an issue.
Aquaplaning resistance is class-leading, and the tire will remain stable even at higher speeds. Combine that with one of the shortest braking distances in this category, and you get a very safe tire.
Now for the downside, which is the handling. I wouldn’t classify it as the worst, but it doesn’t seem to respond as well as some of its competitors.
How is it over snow?
Performance on snow is noticeably improved, and the Primacy Tour A/S performed pretty well, as long as you drive it in light conditions.
If the snow is shallow, the tire will be perfectly capable of tackling it. It will have plenty of traction and grip to provide exceptionally safe driving. Speaking of safety, you will be getting one of the shortest braking distances in this category.
Is it comfortable and refined?
Michelin made the Primacy Tour A/S comfortable and quiet, something that we already had with the MXM4.
Comfort took a bit of a hit when Michelin decided to make it a bit sportier. The sidewall is slightly stiffer, making the ride ever so marginally harsher when compared with other grand-touring tires. On the other hand, this translates into a very stable and smooth ride on the highway.
The noise levels are good, and the tire is decently quiet around town and on the highway. With that said, it’s not class-leading, and Bridgestone’s Turanza QuietTrack is quieter.
Is it good for off-roading?
No, the Primacy Tour A/S shouldn’t be taken off-road. Even though you can fit it to a crossover or SUV, the tire isn’t designed for those conditions.
You could take a short drive on a dirt road or some shallow mud, but keep in mind that the performance won’t be anywhere near as good as it should be. On top of that, there is the possibility of damaging the tire.
Is the Michelin Primacy Tour A/S ideal for sporty driving?
Michelin tried but didn’t manage to improve the sporty driving of the MXM4, making the Primacy Tour A/S good but far from the best. To be fair, as a grand-touring tire, you shouldn’t expect it to set lap records.
On the responsiveness side of things, the tire isn’t too bad. It responds well and is decently sharp. The biggest downside is that it won’t provide you with a lot of feedback from the front wheels.
You could have some fun with it on a dry twisty road, and that’s about it. Anything more than that, and the tire will struggle.
Michelin Primacy Tour A/S Warranty
I was quite unpleased with the MXM4 for lacking in the warranty department, and unfortunately, things got carried over in the Primacy Tour A/S. The tire comes with a 55,000-mile treadwear warranty, which in the premium segment Is among the shortest ones. Honestly, that kind of warranty is something I’d expect from a mid-range tire.
Michelin Primacy Tour A/S Pricing: Is it worth the money?
The Primacy Tour A/S comes with a higher price tag, but despite that, it is worth the money. The price starts from around $180, but keep in mind that the smallest size is 17-inch. When you compare the same size with other premium brands, you get more or less the same price.
Should I buy the Michelin Primacy Tour A/S?
The Primacy Tour A/S is a tire that should be considered, but only after looking at the other options. Some aspects of it won’t sit well with some owners.
Performance is not an issue in any weather condition. Despite the slight lack of responsiveness on wet roads, the tire is excellent and is on top of its class. The driving dynamic is also good, and Michelin managed to combine comfort and performance very well.
The problem with the Primacy Tour A/S is the warranty. It’s short for a premium, grand-touring tire, which is why some people would be looking at other manufacturers.
What Vehicles Will the Michelin Primacy Tour A/S Fit?
Here’s a sample list of cars that the Primacy Tour A/S will fit:
- Audi A4, A6, TT
- BMW 3, 5 Series
- Lexus LS, GS, ES
- Mazda 6
- Mercedes Benz C, E and S Class
- Opel Astra, Insignia
- Subaru Forester, Legacy
- Toyota Camry, Avensis
- Volkswagen Jetta, Golf, Passat
- Volvo S60, S80
Tire Sizes for Michelin Primacy Tour A/S