Michelin Latitude Tour HP Review
- Dry 90% 90%
- Wet 85% 85%
- Snow 70% 70%
- Comfort 85% 85%
- Noise 90% 90%
- Treadwear 80% 80%
- Overall 84% 84%
One of the reasons why all-season tires have become so popular in the last few years has to do with their traction and grip on all types of surfaces. With their extra-wide grooves and internal steel belts, these tires not only provide extreme cornering and braking abilities but they can also handle more abuse.
Michelin’s all-season tires aspire to do something extra. That means that whether they offer everything mentioned above, models like the Latitude Tour HP come with additional features so that you have no problem differentiating them from other all-weather tires on the market.
And what are those additional features? Do they just increase the asking price of this all-season tire or make their presence felt on the road? Read on our review of the Michelin Latitude Tour HP to have answers to all these questions.
Michelin Latitude Tour HP Review: Features
If you haven’t already, you might want to check out how the Michelin Latitude – the predecessor of the Latitude Tour HP – fared in our test drive a few months ago. That would allow you to have a better understanding of this model’s features, and areas where it has improved on its precursor.
As far as providing its tires with the latest technologies is concerned, Michelin always takes the lead over its competitors. The Latitude Tour HP is a visible reminder of this fact, as this tire comes with three exclusive technologies. Apart from populating its specs’ list, all three of them help take this model’s performance to the next level.
- Comfort Contact Technology: The name of this technology betrays what its major function is. It makes sure that the tire is in constant contact with the road at all times, thereby reducing the vibrations that passengers might feel in the vehicle’s cabin.
- Filament At Zero Degrees Technology: To reinforce the tire’s twin steel belts, the FAZ technology precisely places individual, nylon filaments in specific portions in the tread area at a zero degree angle. This unique arrangement helps the tire retain its original shape for long and enhances steering precision.
- Green X Technology: Michelin claims that all its models that come with the Green X symbol provide huge fuel efficiency without asking you to compromise on other key features such as tire traction and tread wear.
Three Speed Ratings
As we have been telling in these pages before, tires’ speed rating indicates the maximum speed they can maintain without decreasing their shelf life over a longer period. Hence the reason why expensive models such as sports cars have tires with high-speed ratings than, say, family sedans.
- H Speed Rating: Provided you own a coupe, we recommend that you choose the Tour HP which comes with H-speed rating – as it allows you to take your vehicle’s speed all the way up to 130 miles per hour.
- V Speed Rating: Not impressed with the maximum limit set by the previous speed rating? That means that you might have either a sports car or a coupe. So the best you can do is get V-rated tires whose maximum speed limit is at a massive 149mph.
- W Speed Rating: The W-speed rating is given to those tires which meet the needs of vehicles that can reach abnormally high speeds, as any normal vehicle can only dream of hitting the speedometer at 168mph.
Michelin Latitude Tour HP Review: Test Drive
Given the fact that it’s such a high-speed tire, we did have our doubts about the performance of this model on our lowly family sedan. To be specific, we were concerned that since it caters to the expensive segment of market, this tire might not do well for normal folks who don’t believe in the ‘paddle-to-the-metal’ maxim. Read on to find out whether or not it proved our doubts true.
Treadwear and Durability
First things first, Michelin offers four treadwear warranties on specific sizes of the Tour HP. Let’s look at the warranty periods before discussing the treadwear properties.
- Models with H, V and W speed ratings: 55,000 miles warranty
- Models with W speed rating: 45,000 miles warranty
- Models with H speed rating: 30,000 and 60,000 miles warranty
So what do these warranty periods tell us? Models that are provided with lower speed (H) rating last at least 15,000 miles before than those which come with the highest (W) rating. In plain English, if you drive slowly, the tire will last longer.
That’s exactly what we found while we took the tire on a test drive. While users who have used W-rated tires complain that they wear down quickly, our H-rated tire showed no such signs whatsoever.
Of course, there are other factors like your driving style which impact a tire’s wear, but our impression was that if you don’t own an exotic vehicle, choosing the H-rated version of the Latitude HP will allow you to keep on using the same pair for a longer period.
When checking the dry performance of all-season tires’, we always have a two-point checklist at hand. It monitors the tire’s performance based on high-speed stability and traction on dry surfaces. Thankfully, the Latitude Tour HP ticked both these boxes with aplomb.
Thanks to the wide groove pattern of its tread pattern, this tire ensures excellent steering responsiveness and precision at high speeds. As a result, apart from getting a super road feel, you always feel that you’re in control, regardless of how high the reading on the speedometer might be.
As for maintaining its traction on dry surfaces, that’s where the Comfort Contact Technology makes its presence count. It effectively distributes the stress along the tread pattern to make sure that the tire is in contact with the road at all times, thereby providing a superior grip.
Most all-season tires face a double whammy when you take them on a road that has only recently received showers. On one end, they have to provide optimum traction to prevent any slippage. On the other, their grooves have to effectively channel water to keep the danger of hydroplaning at bay.
The Latitude Tour HP performs both these seemingly contradictory jobs with ease. While we weren’t aware of them at first, a post-drive inspection of the features list revealed that it was its 2D Active Sipes that were responsible for improving these tires’ grip on wet roads.
Even when you’re driving in heavy rain, the circumferential tread grooves of this model would never let water disconnect the tire’s connection with the road surface. They do that by constantly eliminating water from beneath the tire’s tread, enhancing the HP’s hydroplaning resistance.
Comfort and Noise
Not long ago, one of our readers asked us to name one feature which is common among all Michelin tires. Our answer? High comfort and low noise. That’s because we knew that all of its models come with two specific features which make your ride noise- and vibrations-free.
The first among those features is the Comfort Contact Technology. It reduces the vibrations the tire will pick up from the road and transmit to the cabin by maintaining constant contact with the road. As a result, those traveling won’t have to contend with road vibrations.
Secondly, its computer-optimized tread pattern plays its part to absorb road noise. It does that by evenly distributing stress along with the tire’s tread, thereby, making sure that all the road voices are canceled out within the tire’s rolling movement.
Snow & Ice
In contrast to what Michelin might want you to believe, the performance of these tires on snow and ice is well below-par. That’s a bit of a shame considering the fact that the original Latitude Tour holds up its own in light snow and ice conditions.
However, with the Tour HP, there’s no such thing as ice traction. You can corroborate our views about their performance on snow by asking other users of these tires. Provided they are being truthful, you should become scared enough to never, ever take them on anything colored white.
We don’t blame its manufacturer because these tires, as their speed ratings indicate, are designed to be driven at abnormally high speeds. They are more concerned about their highway performance and less on traction on snow and ice.
Michelin Latitude Tour HP Review: Conclusion
When compared with Michelin Latitude Tour, the Latitude Tour HP performs better on high-speed stability, wet-road grip, and ultra-comfortable and noise-free ride, though it performs poorly once you compare this model’s performance on snow & ice with that of its predecessor.
- High speed ratings
- Brilliant traction on wet surfaces
- Excellent stability on dry roads
- Performs poorly on snow and ice