- Based on tire-related sales in the first and second quarter of 2016, Bridgestone is at the top of the podium with approximately $12 billion in sales.
- Coming in at a close second place is Michelin with $11.56 billion in total sales.
- Goodyear is in third place with approximately $7.58 billion worth of tires sold.
- Rounding out the top 4 is Continental with $5.85 billion worth of tire sales.
Based on the sales stats, Bridgestone and Michelin are literally neck and neck for the title of the world’s biggest tire maker. This is the reason why people often ask which is the best between Bridgestone and Michelin since these two brands are among the most popular in the world.
Bridgestone Tires Overview
Bridgestone Americas is the offspring of two major companies: The Firestone Tire & Rubber Company founded by Harvey Firestone in Akron, Ohio in August 1900, and Bridgestone Tire Company of Japan founded by Shojiro Ishibashi in 1931.
The Bridgestone name is synonymous with motorsports, particularly in Formula One racing. Bridgestone has been a major part of Formula One since 1997. The company won its first title in 1998 for the McLaren-Mercedes team under the fantastic driving of Mika Hakkinen.
Michelin Tires Overview
Michelin tires were founded by brothers Edouard Michelin and Andre Michelin in 1889. The two ran a small rubber factory in Clermont-Ferrand, France. Michelin filed its first patent for a removable pneumatic tire in 1891. The prototype tire was used in the bicycle of Charles Terront to win the Paris-Brest-Paris bicycle race, which was the world’s first ever long-distance cycle race.
Interestingly enough, Michelin was the first to introduce the concept of a run-flat tire in 1934. The tire would basically run on a special foam lining if it gets punctured. But the company gained prominence in 1946 when it introduced the world’s first radial tire.
Ironically, Michelin first competed in Formula One in 1977, which is the same year that Bridgestone entered Formula One as well. Michelin was the first to introduce radial tire technology in Formula One.
Bridgestone versus Michelin: Which is better?
The question should NOT be focused on which among Bridgestone or Michelin tires is the best since there is no clear and definite answer. The question should rather be: what OEM tires were fitted to my ride?
Modern cars are so complex that some were developed and engineered to run at peak performance using a specific set of tires from a famous brand, whether it be Michelin, Bridgestone, Goodyear, or Pirelli. For example, the 2017 Bugatti Chiron sports a set of tires co-developed with Michelin. But even that’s not enough since Bugatti is still waiting for a tire that can travel at the Chiron’s top speed of 310 mph. Since the Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tires of the Chiron are not rated to handle that ludicrous top speed, the car is now limited to a top speed of ‘only’ 280 mph.
The lesson here is simple. If your vehicle was equipped with Bridgestone tires from the factory, it is safe to assume that those specific set of tires will deliver the best combination of traction, comfort, and ride quality in your vehicle. It’s the same with Michelin tires.
In terms of price, it is hard to differentiate the two brands since their tires are priced similarly. Mind you, Bridgestone and Michelin tires are not cheap. They are among the most expensive set of tires that you can buy. However, you are not only paying for the brand panache since you also get a longer warranty with each Bridgestone or Michelin tire.
Best Bridgestone Tires
Here are some of the best Bridgestone tires that you can buy today:
Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 Plus
The Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 Plus is engineered to provide better fuel economy and is available for compacts, midsize sedans, minivans, and small crossovers. This tire offers confident all-season performance without compromising ride comfort and a solemn ride. This tire is backed by a 70,000-mile limited warranty and is available in 15” to 18” diameters.
Bridgestone Turanza Serenity Plus
The Bridgestone Turanza Serenity Plus is an all-season touring tire designed for luxury sedans. This tire is renowned for providing a smooth, quiet, and comfortable ride while offering solid and reliable performance in wet or dry driving conditions. This tire is backed by an impressive 80,000-mile limited warranty and is available in 15” to 19” diameters.
Bridgestone Potenza RE92A
The Bridgestone Potenza RE92A is a high-performance all-season tire designed for sports coupes and sedans. This tire combines the wet traction levels of a summer tire with the comfort and wear characteristics of a touring tire. It is available in 17” and 18” diameters to fit the needs of modern sedans and coupes.
Bridgestone Potenza RE970AS Pole Position
The Bridgestone Potenza RE97OAS Pole Position seems to have it all: all-season traction, fantastic high-speed stability, and a comfortable ride. This tire is engineered for modern sports cars, sports coupes, and high-performance sedans. It comes with a 40,000-mile warranty and is available in 16” to 20” diameters.
Truck and SUV Tires
Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza Plus
The Bridgestone Dueler Alenza H/L Plus is an all-season highway tire designed for light trucks and sport-utility vehicles. This tire delivers full-on comfort and low tread wear with exceptional wet and dry performance. This tire comes with an 80,000-mile warranty and is available in 16” to 20” diameters for plus-size applications.
Bridgestone Dueler H/L 422 Ecopia
The Bridgestone Dueler H/L 422 Ecopia is engineered to deliver maximum fuel economy. This tire is perfect for light trucks, SUVs, and small to medium-sized crossover vehicles. This tire can provide dependable all-season traction and grip with touring levels of comfort and ride silence. It is backed by a 65,000-mile warranty and is available in 16” to 19” diameters.
Best Michelin Tires
Here are the best Michelin tires that you can choose for your car, truck, crossover, or SUV:
Michelin Energy Saver A/S
The Michelin Energy Saver A/S is the brand’s ultimate fuel-efficient tire designed for passenger cars. This tire is engineered to provide lasting comfort without compromising traction, braking, and handling performance. This tire is reputed to last for 16,000 miles longer than the competition and is backed by a 50,000-mile limited treadwear warranty.
Michelin Defender T+H
The Defender is Michelin’s standard passenger tire that delivers better handling and a longer treadwear compared to other passenger tires. Michelin claims this tire can outlast the competition by up to 21,000 miles while maintaining a comfortable ride with minimal amounts of road noise. It is backed by a magnificent 90,000-mile treadwear warranty.
Michelin Primacy MXM4
The Michelin Primacy MXM4 is a high-performance touring tire with brilliant all-season capabilities. This tire is also renowned for providing a comfortable ride and low tread wear. Michelin claims this tire can stop your car better on wet roads and comes with 45,000-mile limited treadwear warranty. The Primacy MXM4 is good for performance sedans and sports coupes.
Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3
The Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 combines the traction and grip levels of a summer tire with the cold weather capabilities of an all-season tire. This tire also provides a smooth and comfortable ride while still having the lowest treadwear in its class. It is backed by a 45,000-mile warranty is a solid choice for performance sedans, sports coupes, and sporty crossovers.
Truck and SUV Tires
Michelin LTX A/T 2
The Michelin LTX A/T 2 is an all-terrain tire that behaves like a touring tire on the highway. This tire is engineered to resist chipping and tearing while still providing a comfortable ride with low wear characteristics. It is backed by a 60,000-mile warranty and is a good choice for light trucks, SUVs, and rugged crossover vehicles.
Michelin LTX M/S2
The Michelin LTX M/S2 is an all-season tire that offers supreme levels of comfort and a longer tread life. This is an ideal tire for sport-utility vehicles and crossovers who demand a tire that can perform admirably in all types of weather including light snow. This tire is backed by a 70,000-mile warranty.
Conclusion – Bridgestone versus Michelin
There is no definite answer to which among Bridgestone and Michelin are better since you have to consider a lot of variables like wet traction, dry traction, tread wear, road noise, comfort, and the warranty. Choosing between the two brands is like asking a car enthusiast to choose between a Ferrari or a Lamborghini, Pagani versus Koenigsegg, or Mercedes versus BMW. It is seemingly impossible to choose since each brand offers a different sort of driving experience.
One thing is for sure, though. If you are choosing between Bridgestone and Michelin, you can be confident you are getting the best from each brand since they won’t be the top tire makers in the world if not for their commitment to quality and performance.
Alvin Reyes has expertise in automotive evaluation. He collaborated with famous newspapers and is still making efforts in tire review for DrivingPress.com