Many people will choose Michelin tires if Uniroyal is the only other option they have. This shouldn’t come as a surprise given that Michelin is a household name worldwide, thanks to its tires’ excellent road manners, brilliant dry and wet traction, and long treadwear warranties.
Another thing that distinguishes Michelin from Uniroyal is the price of its tires. The French tire manufacturer is notorious for pricing its models away from the reach of budget-minded shoppers. Ironically, the same set of drivers makes the target market of Uniroyal.
In case you’re wondering, these aren’t the only differences between Michelin and Uniroyal tires. Various other factors also distinguish these two manufacturers’ tires. That is despite the fact that Uniroyal has been a subsidiary of Michelin in the North American market since 1990.
This article will highlight the primary differences between Michelin and Uniroyal tires. We’ll kick things off by discussing the respective histories of both these brands. Next, we’ll look at their tire families before comparing Michelin and Uniroyal tires on various actionable counts.
Michelin has been around for well over a century. The brand was founded by two French brothers whose primary goal was to manufacture a replaceable bicycle tire. Not only did the ‘Michelin’ brothers achieve this goal, but in doing so, they founded a multi-billion dollar company.
Its success in manufacturing a replaceable bicycle tire helped put Michelin on the map, and the company hasn’t looked back since. A few years after the breakthrough, Michelin decided to enter the automobile market, which was still in its infant state at the start of the 20th century.
Michelin’s entry into the car tire market wasn’t seamless, though. The French tire manufacturer faced strong competition from two rivals – Continental and Hankook – which were already trying to be the major force in the market. This led to a rivalry that continues to exist to this day.
However, with due respect to Continental and Hankook, it’s Michelin that’s now in ascendance, as it has been for several decades. The US-based tire manufacturer has become a household name across the globe, even though its tires’ prices force many drivers to look the other way.
Michelin’s Tire Families
Michelin has a fairly straightforward way of grouping its tires. There are six categories of tires competing for your attention in the tire manufacturer’s lineup. These include Pilot, Primacy, Premier, Latitude, Defender, and Energy. Let’s discuss them all in detail.
Michelin’s Pilot tire family holds tires that are a racing enthusiast’s dream. Exceptional high-speed stability, top of the line cornering performance and feedback, more steering feedback and response than you know what to do with – these qualities define Michelin’s Pilot tires.
Here are different tires in Michelin’s Pilot lineup:
- Summer (passenger cars) : Michelin Pilot Sport 4 and Pilot Sport 4S
- Summer (SUVs and crossovers): Michelin Sport 4 SUV
- All-Season: Michelin Sport A/S and Michelin All-Season 4
- Performance Winter: Michelin Alpin
Michelin’s Primacy series is populated by touring tires. These models deserve your attention if you use your car, SUV, hatchback, or crossover for everyday driving. The Primacy tires also come with above-average treadwear warranties. You can also count on them in light snow.
Bear in mind, though, that not every Primacy tire is for the conservative driver. Sure, models like Primacy Tour A/S, Primacy MXM4, and Primacy LTX are designed for family rides. But there are other tires in this family – Primacy HP, Primacy 3, etc. – that prefer performance over ride comfort.
Michelin’s Premier series only contains two tires. One of which is the Premier LTX, a reliable all-season tire that can improve compatible passenger car’s ride quality, fuel economy, and dry and wet performance. This model also comes with an extended treadwear warranty.
Then there is the Premier A/S. While this model has the same all-season tread compound as you get in the Premier LTX. Its target market involves SUVs and CUVs. Think of vehicles like Nissan Murano, Buick Enclave, and Chevy Equinox.
Michelin’s Latitude series is by far the most diverse of any of its tire families. Whether you’re looking for a luxury all-season touring tire for everyday driving, a performance tire that could help you win races, and a dedicated winter tire that can handle thick snow, this series has it all.
However, there is one thing that we don’t appreciate about Latitude tires. They only cover the SUV and CUV crowd, forcing passenger, sports, and muscle car drivers to look elsewhere.
Michelin’s Defender series shows what happens when exceptional refinement meets cutting-edge technologies. Both the tires in this family – Defender T+H and Defender LTX M/S – have everything that distinguishes Michelin tires from the also-rans.
In case you are wondering, these tires aren’t aimed at the same target audience. The Defender T+H aims to entice drivers of passenger cars, coupes, CUVs, and SUVs. In contrast, the Defender LTX M/S hopes to woo the deep-pocketed light truck crowd.
Michelin’s Energy series is probably the least famous of all its tire families. However, its fortunes might change for the better as more and more people opt for electric vehicles, which form the target market of every single tire in the Energy family.
Many people don’t know that Uniroyal, originally called the US Rubber Company, has been around for almost as long as Michelin. The US tire manufacturer, which was founded in 1892 in Naugatuck, Connecticut, is only three years younger than its French counterpart.
After carrying its maiden name for 70-odd years, the company became Uniroyal in 1961. Fast forward 24 years and another monumental change took place. Fearful that one of the investors might initiate a hostile takeover of Uniroyal, its management took it private.
The company operated in its new iteration till 1990, when Michelin Group purchased it for US$32.2 billion, making Uniroyal a subsidiary of the French tire manufacturer in the North American market. Outside of these regions, Uniroyal is still operated by Continental.
At the time of writing, Uniroyal has over 100 people manufacturing its tires in the US alone. Though the company isn’t among the big three tire manufacturers worldwide, it remains an attractive option for drivers looking for high-quality tires at mid-range prices.
Uniroyal Tire Families
In contrast to Michelin, Uniroyal doesn’t group its tires based on driving style. Instead, its tires are grouped based on the vehicles they are meant to go on. For instance, Uniroyal’s Tiger Paw family comprises tires that can be installed on passenger cars and minivans.
Uniroyal’s Tiger Paw family is populated by passenger cars and minivan tires. All these tires have multiple things in common, including mid-range asking prices, decent road manners, and all-season traction. They also come with eye-watering treadwear warranties.
Take the Uniroyal Tiger Paw Touring A/S as an example. This all-season touring tire comes with 75,000/65,000-mile warranties (depending on tire size). This makes Tiger Paw tires extremely affordable, both in the short run as well as in the long one.
Uniroyal’s Laredo family of tires offers the all-season grip you get from their Tiger Paw siblings. They are also backed by extremely long treadwear warranties. For example, the Laredo Cross Country and Cross Country Tour are backed to last 50,000/55,000 and 60,000 miles, respectively.
However, that is where the similarities end. While the above series’ tires are only designed to be used on the highway, the Laredo Cross Country can also be used for light off-roading.
Michelin Vs Uniroyal Tires: Differences
Here are the major differences between Michelin and Uniroyal tires:
Michelin tires are a much better choice if you regularly push your vehicle to its limits.
These tires’ high-speed stability, steering response, and cornering grip cannot be matched by most rival premium brands, let alone Uniroyal, which manufactures mid-range tires for everyday driving. But these aren’t the only features that make Michelin tires a better pick for enthusiasts.
Michelin tires’ excellent road grip and traction make them a dependable option for year-round high-speed driving, regardless of whether you’re driving on dry or damp roads. All in all, if you want to maximize your vehicle’s performance, Michelin tires are a much better bet.
Availability of Options
Once again, it’s Michelin that leads the line.
Having seen Michelin’s tire families, you are now aware that this brand’s tire can be installed on almost every vehicle on the road. However, it isn’t only the number of tires that Michelin manufactures that distinguish it from its subsidiary.
Pick any Michelin tire of your choice, and chances are that it will be available in multiple sizes. Need proof? The Michelin Premier A/S comes in 40+ sizes (15 – 20 inches). The same is true for Michelin Primacy MXM4, which is available in as many as 57 sizes.
Price and Warranty
Uniroyal tires are much cheaper than their counterparts from Michelin, something we expected as Uniroyal is a mid-range subsidiary of Michelin. So, it’s only likely that Michelin will want its sub-brand to target those drivers that cannot afford the main brand’s tires.
What is surprising for us, however, is that Uniroyal tires can compete with their Michelin counterparts in the warranty department. The 75,000-mile treadwear warranty that you get on the Tiger Paw isn’t bettered by any touring A/S tire carrying Michelin’s name.
Advantages of Michelin
- Large number of touring and all-season tires
- Offers dedicated winter tires
- Features cutting-edge technologies
Advantages of Uniroyal
- Tires weigh less heavy on the pocket
- Treadwear warranties are almost as big as you get on rival Michelin tires
- Some of the models can also be used for light off-roading
Michelin Vs Uniroyal Tires: Which Brand to Choose?
Given the way this comparison has panned out, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Michelin is a better brand for drivers who can afford its tires’ asking prices. Or for anyone who wants a set of tires that can offer a plush ride, top-of-the-line dry and wet traction, and extreme high-speed stability.
However, for anyone who is perplexed by Michelin’s pricing strategy for its tires, Uniroyal tires might make for a decent compromise between price and performance. Sure, they might not be able to compete with Michelin tires in a race. But their asking price won’t blow a hole in your pocket either.