Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Michelin Pilot Sport (PS3) 225/40/18 92Y XL (Extra Load) Review

Michelin Pilot Sport (PS3) 225/40/18 92Y XL (Extra Load)

We all need tyres, and often we underestimate just how important these 4 small patches are.
I have ran these for 14.5k miles, ran PS2's before these and I'm now trying out Continental Sport Contact 5  :innocent:

[Some stuff from my other tyre reviews...]

Considerations for tyres are varied but generally follow these lines :

1. Cost
2. Grip levels wet/dry  (which translates to stopping distance and safety!)
3. Availability
4. Brand name 'status'
5. Tread Wear Rate
6. Noise levels
7. Alloy lip protection
8. Speed rating
9. Quality
10. Progressive breakaway

These are all differently 'weighted' by all of us, for me I'm not a rich man, but for me grip (especially wet) ,breakway progression, quality and wear rate are my primary considerations. For each and every person on here I'm sure its different.

my previous tyre reviews
Michelin Pilot Sport Two (PS2) 225/40/18 92Y Extra Load : Review

PS3 how they looked when fitted in 2010!

PS3 today with approx 2mm of tread depth left

PS3 tyres fitted at this mileage : 44664 miles

PS3 tyres changed at this mileage : 59220 miles

from full tread depth to 2mm in 14,556 miles (Oct 2010 to Feb 2012)

Treadwear is 320
Traction AA
Temp A


I have chosen to use a mobile fitting service called Event Tyres again  :drinking:
Order the tyres online , select a date , they then phone you back (very quickly) and confirm the time/date etc.
No money is required until they are fitted.
For the third time they have continued to surprise me with top notch service.
I do however concede that you could source the tyres alone cheaper elsewhere.

£145 per tyre, so £290 all (this includes fitting etc)


Fitted today , phone call at 8.30 am to say it would be 10-12
Tony arrived at 11am
Very friendly top notch service. Huge van and air jack , viola all done (balanced weights stick on and only on inside  :happy2:) in 30 minutes!
alloys confirmed prior to work so no disputes after . No marks made at all.
Absolutely faultless.
Event come highly recommended based on this experience. (for the third time Ive used them)

Other options to consider

Goodyear Eagle F1 Assymetric
Pirelli PZero
Yokohama parada 2
Michelin PS2 / PS3  (PSS not available in UK at time of review)

Read the reviews , check the forums (for the exact tyre size you plan to fit) and decide yourself

Plus Points
hot weather : good grip , limited feel , progressive breakaway, no impression of weak sidewalls at all [good but not a patch on PS2]
cold weather : poor. take a time to 'warm up' during this phase you can be caught out with very low grip levels (even in cold but dry conditions) [PS2 better]

100% tread  : no bedding in period, worked straight from day one.
                       (although like all tyres I would recommend a 100 miles bedding in phase to remove the releasing agent)
50% tread    : same as 100%
10% tread (legal limit) : significant drop off in wet weather performance

limited road noise : quieter than PS2, but very little in it
on the track         : not tested so I cant comment in this scenario. But I reckon with some good heat i them they should perform nearly up to PS2 standards
up the drag strip : no idea I never ran them up the strip

low wear rate : 15,000 miles on a revo stg1 gti is pretty impressive.

They wore evenly across the entire tread depth  :happy2:

USED as reference points from PS2 review...
hot weather : good strong grip , nice feel , progressive breakaway, easily recoverable, nice turn in feedback. no impression of weak sidewalls at all
cold weather :  as above + good stability , never once aquaplaned.
100% tread  : no 'bedding in' phase required , great from mile 0
50% tread    : still performing great, no change in wet or dry from 100% tread
10% tread (legal limit) : amazing for a nearly bald tyre! still manage to shift some water, in general driving seem normal, however once the (lower) limit is reached the progression is swift  into terminal understeer. To be fair I have taken these tyres way past the point of tread depth where I would normally change. But they perform so well.
limited road noise, probably got slightly worse once past 75% worn (25% remaining)
on the track : not tested so I cant comment in this scenario. Reckon they should perform well as long as they dont overheat and tyre pressures are kept stable
up the drag strip : rubbish driver on a cold day = poor results lol, not the tyres fault  

Minus Points

wet weather : shocking in first 10 minutes! once warm they grip well BUT on the limit breakaway is sudden and non progressive and will most likely mean youll have a big off. They key point with these tyres is that I never felt I could trust them to push on and enjoy a wet backroad.
[PS2 wipes the floor of the PS3]

alloy wheel lip protection is very limited , tyre has a very 'flat' profile , doesnt bulge, so provides little or no protection


The PS3 is an excellent all round tyre (almost) with one major flaw in regards of its wet weather performance/breakaway characteristics.
For me its liveable with, but far from ideal.
For me the PS2 has a far better balance and characteristics albeit with the penalty of reduced tyre life.
The PS3 is however a better tyre than the Exalto's (but they are comparable in poor wet weather performance!)

I tried various different pressures (mostly from OE recommended all the way up to 40 psi), with little difference.

Would I buy them again = YES (but prefer to try other makes before going back)
Would I recommend them to you = YES (if wet weather isnt your preference)
Should you consider other alternatives = YES
Are they the 'upgrade' Michelin would have you believe from the PS2 = NO

Given a choice of the tyres Ive tried they fall in the following order

1st PS2
2nd PS3
3rd Pilot Exalto

Ultimately I ran PS3's and was unhappy enough to consider going back to PS2 or another make.
In the end I chose Continental Sport Contact 5's (and even in the first few hundred miles have given me back feel and wet weather grip)

Looking forward, I intend to run the Pilot Super Sport once they become available in the UK if they arent too expensive.

Heres how Michelin compared PS2 and PS3.
The only thing I can agree with is the increased tyre life!


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