Tyre of the Year 2023: Michelin CrossClimate 2 SUV is WhatTyre’s overall winner

Tyre of the Year 2023: Michelin CrossClimate 2 SUV is WhatTyre’s overall winner

300,000 tyres, 700 brands and 9 categories later it is virtually impossible to choose and outright winner. But the 2023 WhatTyre Tyre of the Year awards wouldn’t be what it is without, well, a flagship Tyre of the Year. So, a decision must be made, and this year Michelin’s CrossClimate 2 SUV is the worthy winner of our overall accolade.

Before we get into the detail of why the Michelin CrossClimate 2 SUV has won, it is also worth setting that particular tyre’s victory in some overall context. Out of the nine categories in this year’s competition, Michelin have won four of them. Of those, two Tyre of the Year awards relate to SUV-specific products (the Michelin Pilot Sport 4 SUV in the SUV category and the Michelin CrossClimate 2 SUV in the all-season SUV). At the same time the CrossClimate 2 series – including the conventional car all-season tyre from which the SUV variant is derived – is responsible for two of those four wins itself (All-season Tyre of the Year and All-season SUV Tyres of Year). In other words, the CrossClimate 2 SUV sits at the pinnacle of both all-season and SUV tyre technology.

The CrossClimate 2 SUV made its debut in the middle of last year, following the launch of the bespoke European CrossClimate 2 ninth months and the introduction of the US CrossClimate 2 before that. What this staggered release programme tells us is that the CrossClimate 2 SUV edition which has so comprehensively won this year is a really bespoke product tailored both to European SUVs and to European weather specifically.

CrossClimate 2 series sets new high bar for all-season technology

At the launch of the wider range, Michelin said that performance-wise the CrossClimate 2 is number one across a range of characteristics. However, his outstanding report comes with a caveat, such performance is not necessarily at the start of the tyre’s life or even mid-way, but rather the legal limit (2mm in the comparative test data we saw). There are arguments in favour of such a worn-tyre comparison, but the fact is that the CrossClimate 2’s remarkable results will be contested by those testing at other points in the tyre’s life.

Still, the results are impressive. Comparing the CrossClimate 2 with the leading competitors in the wet, the new Michelin tyre is only a little behind the category-leading Bridgestone Weather Control A005 at full-tread. However, at 2mm TUV Sud testing suggests the CrossClimate 2 is number one.

When it comes snow braking it is similar story at full-tread, only this time Michelin narrowly beats the Continental AllSeasonContact with just a 1cm shorter stopping distance. However, at 2mm the Michelin CrossClimate2 is shown to be significantly further ahead of its premium market peers.

Nevertheless, most tyre tests are conducted on the first millimetre or two of a tyre’s life. And yet even in those, apparently sub-optimal conditions, the Michelin CrossClimate 2 has won a couple of a leading German magazine tyre tests and offered a strong showing in several more.

Specifically, the CrossClimate 2 won ACE Lenkrad and Auto Straßenverkehr’s September 2022 tests, with the testers highlighting snow and dry performance. Specifically, ACE Lenkrad praised the tyre’s “consistently good performance in the wet as in dry and on snow”, adding that it is “best when braking on snow…” For its part Auto Straßenverkehr highlighted the CrossClimate 2’s “high grip level”, adding that the tyre is “very good on snow.”

When you add SUV specific praise for the tyre’s mileage to the plaudits won for snow and dry performance, you can see why this product has shone. Indeed, longevity testing conducted by DEKRA on behalf of Michelin indicate that drivers can achieve an additional 5,000 kilometres or 3,100 miles from CrossClimate 2 SUV on average, compared to the likes of the Bridgestone Weather Control A005Evo, Continental’s AllSeasonContact, the Goodyear Vector 4 Seasons SUV Gen-3 and Pirelli’s Scorpion Verde All Season SF.

Michelin disrupted the market when it launched the original Crossclimate back in 2015. Since then much of the market has changed the way it thinks about all-season. The latest generation of the product in general and the SUV variant in particular seems to suggest that the company continues to lead the way in this field.


Featured Tyres