Comparing the best in a given industry is not the easiest task. Companies that have managed to reach this level have done so by pushing themselves to be the best, so people tend to think that it doesn’t affect the brand you choose. Unfortunately, things are not that simple and there are more differences than you might think. There aren’t too many manufacturers that are at the top of the tire world. These premium brands are usually the oldest in the industry and use as many technologies as possible. Unlike mid-priced options that don’t have many features, premium tires also have a premium price tag in mind.
If you think you’ll have to pay more, there are a few considerations to keep in mind. All tires are not created equal and I have found that the slightly cheaper options are better than their more expensive competitors. That’s why comparisons are necessary, and I’m here to make them today.
There aren’t too many names that could be considered top names. Among them are BFGoodrich and Michelin, both of which have produced excellent tires over the years. So how do they stack up against each other, especially since Michelin technically owns BFGoodrich? Let’s find out.
History of BFGoodrich:
Of the companies still operating, and probably overall, BFGoodrich is the oldest. The company was born in 1870 in Akron, Ohio, after its founder bought the Hudson River Rubber Company the previous year. In the beginning, the company continued the trend of the Hudson company, producing rubber products, but still did not make tires.
As the automotive industry began to grow, BFGoodrich added tires to its product line, and just over 30 years after its founding, it began supplying Ford with tires for the Model A. That same year, the company was crowned the first tire manufacturer to produce tires for the first car to cross the United States.
BFGoodrich has provided innovations and technologies that have helped improve the tire industry over the years. Making the first tubeless and belted tire in the US shows how committed the company was to bringing new and improved features to its models. Thanks to continuous research and development, the company has had several successful products and technologies for the aerospace industry.
Racing is another area where BFGoodrich is known for its excellent results. In 1914, it supplied the tires for the Indianapolis 500 and brought home the victory. This led the company to participate in other major racing series such as Baja, Paris Dakar, WRC and many others. Having a lot of success in the off-road series means this brand knows how to make a decent off-road tire that I can step into quickly.
BFGoodrich Tire Families:
When it comes to tire families, BFGoodrich follows a familiar path and groups tires according to their use cases.
- An Advantage:
Touring tires are a common sight in the tire industry, and BFGoodrich’s answer is the Advantage tire family. They are designed to last longer and provide excellent comfort that covers everything the average driver needs all year round.
There are a handful of options, but luckily BFGoodrich has designed them to cover a wide range of vehicles. On the passenger car side, you have models like Control, T/A and T/A Sport that offer different features. Some rely on better finishing, while others offer slightly more nimble handling. Entering the segment of CUVs, light trucks and SUVs, the T/A Sport is the LT version that combines all the all-weather features of its little brother.
- G force
If you’re looking for performance, look no further than the g-Force tire range. These tires are the opposite of the previous two groups, which means you may lose some refinement, but you get tires that are capable of sportier performance.
This family has tires that can only be installed on passenger cars, so CUV and SUV owners are out of luck. COMP-2 is available in a summer version and a full-season version called COMP-2 A/S Plus. Both can deliver excellent results on both dry and wet roads, and one can be used in snow. For even better performance, you have the Rival S, a track-specific tire that offers excellent performance in dry conditions. There are also winter models which are, you guessed it, winter tires but with some performance built into them.
On the slightly more affordable side of the performance segment, BFGoodrich also has another family of tires that can be a good choice. Radial models may not be on the same level as the previous ones, but they are a good choice for people who are looking for a sportier tire. They are basically a middle ground between g-Force and Advantage tires.
Like the previous family, these are tires that can only be installed on passenger cars and are only all-season models. Not to mention there aren’t too many designs to choose from. You have T/A and T/A specs where the second tire brings some improvements.
Leaving passenger cars, we come to tires designed for off-road driving. As you can probably guess from the name, BFGoodrich’s All-Terrain models are designed to provide a balanced tire that can deliver decent performance both on and off-road.
The All-Terrain family only includes the T/A KO2, which comes in a wide range of sizes, so fit shouldn’t be an issue. I have to mention the Trail-Terrain T/A in this family, even though it doesn’t have the All-Terrain designation. With this tire you will see the improved performance of the T/A KO2 and the tire is tuned to be more usable on the road.
- Mud Landscape
This is another circular family that needs no explanation. BFGoodrich’s Mud-Terrain models are the tires to look to when you need something that can handle extreme off-road conditions. Like the previous family, there are not too many models, but they cover a wide range of sizes.
Mud-Terrain comes in two flavors, T/A KM2 and KM3, one of which is meant to replace the first. However, you have tires that can give excellent results even in the most difficult conditions. In addition, there is a UTV version of the T/A KM3 for people who own such vehicles.
While the other families on this list have some winter options, BFGoodrich also has specific winter tires. In this group, you have tubeless tires that offer excellent performance in winter conditions compared to corded or all-ply tires.
There is only one model to choose from – the T/A KSI. This tire is available in a very wide range and covers the entire range of passenger cars. Given the options, it might even fit some CUVs or SUVs.
Don’t let the name fool you. The business group includes the tourist segment of larger vehicles, so in this case you have an all-terrain tire for SUVs or light trucks. Of course, it can also be used on commercial vehicles if the size is right.
Currently, the only model sold is the T/A All-Season 2. In snowy conditions, you get usable performance as an all-around tire from a well-built tire designed to last.
The History of Michelin:
On the Michelin side of history, we have a company founded in 1889 by two brothers in Clermont-Ferrand, France. In the beginning, the company made rubber products and there were not too many tires. Things changed when the brothers wanted to speed up the tire repair process by making a tire that could be replaced.
Making interchangeable tires for bicycles pushed the competition in the early days of the company, bringing home a victory that helped Michelin grow in popularity. That boom came around the same time that cars became popular, so the brothers tried to cover that segment as well and make car tires. Covering this market share meant that the company had to improve its products to stay relevant. Thanks to its research and development facilities, Michelin has managed to stay at the forefront of either bringing innovations to the tire industry or improving existing ones.
Michelin competed on bicycles from the beginning, and the trend continued with cars. Some of the inventions and new technologies were transferred to the racing department of the company, allowing the manufacturer to participate in series such as Le Mans, endurance races, WRC, Formula 1, etc.
Although Michelin was founded shortly after BFGoodrich, the French company managed to climb the ladder and establish itself as one of the best. The company’s success during the year allowed it to buy several other brands, including BFGoodrich.
Michelin Tire Families:
On the group side of things, Michelin is pretty standard, with each tire family having a certain set of characteristics that differentiate it from the rest.
Although I usually start with travel options, I use the Pilot tire family for Michelin. These are what you get when you want the best possible performance and are willing to sacrifice some of the everyday refinement that most people expect from a tire. That said, not all of these designs are rough, so there are some pretty nice options.
In the passenger car segment, Michelin has models such as the Sport All-Season 4, Sport 4s and Alpin 5 that cover all 3 weather conditions. The same models can also be found with the SUV badge, which means that this part of the market is also covered. In addition, you have the Diamaris model for this car group. For a more pleasant experience with this type of tire, Michelin offers the Pilot MXM4, designed with excellent grip and grip, but not too harsh.
Moving away from the performance options, we have Michelin’s ultimate touring tire family – the Primacy. Designed with the latest and greatest technology, the tires can deliver decent performance, but are some of the most refined tires on the market. This tire family includes models such as the Tour A/S, LTX and XS, designed to fit everything from small economy cars to larger SUVs. These models are year-round only, such as the MXM4 and MXV4, and there are others that cover the summer segment. For those conditions, you have HP and Primacy 3, both of which are only available for passenger cars.
The Premier tire family looks similar to the Primacy in many ways. Like the previous group, these are touring tires and with a wide range of sizes you should have no problem finding the right tires for your car. There are only two options here, the A/S and the LTX, both of which are all-season models. The first is for passenger cars, while the second is for CUVs and SUVs. As with most touring tires, they aim to offer a refined feel and relatively long life.
The Michelin family range includes models such as Latitude, which are designed for specific vehicles. The best thing about this family is that it spans multiple climates, each offering different flavors in terms of features and usage.
Michelin has grouped Latitude tires into three main models: Tour, Alpin and Sport, which are designed for all-season, winter and summer tyres. Each group has a number of additional models, which means that the Latitude offers a wide range of options for people who own gyms and gyms.
Driving in winter is not impossible, but it requires good tires. While Michelin has winter options in other families, one is designed for these conditions. The X-Ice family mainly covers the passenger car segment, but there is an alternative for SUV owners.
The X-Ice range includes models such as the Snow, Xi2 and Xi3, which are not plugged. For SUV owners, the Snow model is also available as a snowmobile, which also covers this segment. In some cases, you may need the additional performance of the north side on ice. This is a Michelin studded tire that is more commonly available in a variety of sizes, covering passenger cars as well as CUVs and SUVs.
Michelin is known for overlapping families, and the Defender is a perfect example of that. These are touring tires, which means that longevity and refinement are the main goals of the manufacturer. Although it is not too different from some of the others on this list, the technologies and some of the functions are not identical.
The Defender range covers most of the automotive industry with just two models – the T H and the LTX M/S. The former allows you to choose everything from cars to smaller SUVs, while the latter covers larger vehicles, including light trucks. Even the two models overlap, especially in CUV sizes.
Many premium brands try to offer certain models at a slightly lower price, and the same is true of Michelin’s Energy family. While these touring tires can’t compete with the big players in the game, they are designed to compete with other mid-level brands.
The Energy tire family is available in two versions, LX4 and Saver. While both are available as summer tires, the LX4 is also available year-round. In terms of applications, Michelin aimed to offer a wide range, including smaller models that people appreciate in older cars.
Michelin is constantly trying to improve its models or launch new ones, and the CrossClimate is one of them. This family is Michelin’s latest addition to the all-season grand tour segment and has proven to be a very strong contender so far.
An original CrossClimate model is hard to find these days, which is not surprising. With the updated CrossClimate and CrossClimate 2 tires, you will see the best grand tires on the market. In addition, these models have a wide range of different applications.
The last tire family is the LTX. If you pay attention, Michelin has a few LTX models from previous families. However, the manufacturer has chosen completely new models for them. Of course, applications range from CUVs to light trucks, and depending on the tire, two models are needed. For on- and off-road conditions, Michelin offers the A/T2 all-terrain tire, capable of acceptable off-road performance without major drawbacks. When you’re not taking your SUV or light truck on the road, you’ve got the M/S2, which is basically a touring tire. No matter which model you choose, you get tires all year round.
Differences Between BFGoodrich and Michelin:
Although Michelin owns BFGoodrich, you should not assume that both brands offer identical products. There are differences, and I’ll cover them in the following sections.
Since both manufacturers offer premium tires, the differences are not that big compared to Michelin and Nexen.
If you look at the summer selections of Advantage and Primacy and compare the results, you can see how close these models are. In passenger and SUV models, Michelin has a slight edge over BFGoodrich, with slightly better grip and ride characteristics. This changes in wet conditions, where the American tire offers slightly better braking performance, but not handling.
The winter options seem to offer more consistent results with the Michelin performing better. Comparing the g-Force Winter 2 and the Pilot Alpin 5, it turns out that the French manufacturer was able to produce a tire that can beat the BFGoodrich all-terrain tire. To be honest, I’m not saying the difference is huge or that it’s a bad tire, and while there are differences, they’re not huge.
What about great travel opportunities? Well, the CrossClimate 2 is up against the Advantage T/A models and the results don’t favor the home brand. Again, I’m not criticizing BFGoodrich for making a bad tire, but Michelin made a better tire. In almost all conditions, the CrossClimate 2 can deliver slightly better performance than the Advantage T/A twins, which should come as no surprise. I’ve hailed Michelin’s latest addition to the segment as one of the best, and it shows.
Off-roading is popular among SUV owners, and this is an area where BFGoodrich definitely leads the way. In the off-road segment, the All-Terrain T/A KO2 outperforms the LTX A/T 2 both on- and off-road. The Michelin is slightly better finished, but in all other situations the T/A KO2 is the better choice. In extreme off-road conditions, the comparison is meaningless. Michelin doesn’t play well with off-road tires and there’s no mud option, so BFGoodrich technically takes the crown here.
Just looking at the number of families gives you an idea of which brand offers a wider range. Even if you compare families with a similar tire class, you will see that Michelin is the more flexible choice in most cases.
Whether you’re looking at touring or performance, BFGoodrich is short on options. Although the company covers a wide range of vehicles, Michelin has several models, so there are more options to choose from. There are even tires with similar characteristics from different families, so you can choose between models with different characteristics. The same can be said about vehicles. For example, BFGoodrich has one or two travel options for CUVs and SUVs, while Michelin has many more. The same can be said for performance or track oriented tires where again you have a lot more flexibility.
In the SUV segment, things favor BFGoodrich mainly because Michelin has only one model in the category. On the other hand, BFGoodrich is a much better choice for the mud off-road side of the business, mainly because Michelin doesn’t have tires designed for the most extreme off-road situations.
Although the differences in performance are not huge, you may find significant differences in price. Take, for example, the g-Force COMP-2 A/S Plus and the Pilot Sport All-Season 4. The same size 17-inch model gives the BFGoodrich a difference of about $30. The most important thing to note here is that the Michelin model has a lower speed rating.
A similar difference can be found in the Grand Touring segment with CrossClimate 2 and Advantage Control. In this case, the Michelin has a higher speed rating, so technically they are closer. The biggest difference is seen between the CrossClimate SUV and the Advantage T/A Sport LT, with the BFGoodrich option being about $40 cheaper for 16-inch tires.
The trend continues for off-road vehicles, with the LTX A/T 2 costing about $30 more than the All-Terrain T/A KO2. The relevant 16-inch model has the same load capacities, Michelin rated for a lower maximum speed.
Although Michelin does not seem to offer the longest tire warranty, in this comparison it seems to be slightly better in some cases. Take the landscaping options just mentioned. The BFGoodrich model has a 50,000-mile wear warranty, while the Michelin model has a 60,000-mile warranty.
Grand Touring models have mixed results. The CrossClimate 2, Advantage T/A, and T/A Sport all come with a 60,000-mile warranty, about the same as most competitors. Regardless, Advantage Control offers a longer warranty of 5,000 miles. For some models, BFGoodrich is a better choice and they belong to the segment of grand touring SUVs. The CrossClimate SUV has a 50,000-mile warranty, while the Advantage T/A Sport LT has a 65,000-mile warranty.
Advantages of BFGoodrich:
- Mud terrain options are also available
- Mostly a bit cheaper
- Performance is very close to Michelin’s competitors
Advantages of Michelin:
- Slightly more efficient tires
- Some tires have longer wear
Which Brand to Choose?
Choosing the best brand is not as easy as it seems. There are several models and not all have the same performance so one is the better choice. Overall, Michelin is a slightly better brand, especially when looking at the available options and tire performance. Although they are a bit more expensive, you get tires that perform better than BFGoodrich, especially at the limit. Yes, some models of the American manufacturer can offer better performance in some situations, but in general, the French manages to take home the trophy.
Honestly, that doesn’t make BFGoodrich a bad choice in any way. It has excellent models and although the options are not as extensive, it still keeps pace with Michelin and the rest of the premium segment pack. The best part is that in some cases you pay less for a tire that may offer a little more in some areas such as warranty. When it comes to performance, it’s either on par with the Michelin or slightly behind. One area where BFGoodrich is moving forward is off-road tires. The first problem is that Michelin doesn’t have many of them, and the ones they do have aren’t as good as BFGoodrich’s products, especially in off-road conditions.
In conclusion, if you are looking for great road tires and price is not an issue, Michelin Defender ltx m s Review is a great choice and maybe a little better. Given that most people don’t drive their cars to the absolute limit, these are things they may not realize. BFGoodrich is a more budget-friendly option that may appeal to people who need a set of tires that will perform well without breaking their budget. In this case, you save a few dollars and get very good performance tires.