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Michelin CrossClimate is the first ‘summer’ tyre that can safely be left on all winter.

Published 05 March 2015

The Michelin CrossClimate is a revolutionary new type of tyre that answers two regular questions: “Should I switch from summer tyres to winter tyres in November?” And: “Are ‘all season’ tyres a reliable alternative to one set for winter and one set for summer?"

Until now, the answer had been yes to both. ‘Winter’, or, correctly ‘Cold Weather’ tyres are infinitely safer than summer tyres not just in snow but whenever the temperature drops below 8 degrees centigrade. They not only get you through snow, they stop the car much more quickly on snow and ice, and also stop it more quickly in cold, wet conditions.

But changing tyres every October and March isn’t anyone’s idea of a pleasant way to spend an hour or so. Nor is having to store the spare set of tyres when they’re not in use. Nor is having an extra set of wheels and tyres for a car you might sell and which may not fit your next car.

Hence the proliferation of ‘all season’ tyres such as Goodyear Vector 4 Seasons, Vredestein Quatrac, Bridgestone A001 and Pirelli’s new P3000 Cinturato M+S.

These have been a great compromise that perform well in snow, yet can be left on the car all year round, so you only need one set of wheels and tyres.

However, ‘all season’ tyres are still basically cold weather 'winter' tyres that have been modified in terms of compound and construction to improve their performance in summer conditions.

They don’t stop the car as well in the dry as a dedicated summer tyre and the fact is that 70% of car crashes in Europe occur on dry roads.

So Michelin has been working on a tyre that not only performs almost as well as the best cold weather tyres in winter, but also works as well as the best low rolling resistance summer tyres in the summer.

To confirm this, the highly respected TUV, DEKRA and UTAC have been testing it.

Michelin Cross Climate Performance Chart

For braking on dry roads from 100kmh (62mph) they found it performed as well as Michelin Energy Saver Plus summer tyres and significantly better than Alpin 5 winter tyres and Goodyear Vector 4 Seasons all weather tyres.

For grip on wet bends they found it performed as well as Michelin Alpin 5 winter tyres and Goodyear Vector 4 Seasons all weather tyres and was slightly better than Michelin Energy Saver Plus summer tyres.

And for climbing a snow covered hill from 5kmh to 30kmh (5mph to 18kmh) they found it to be the equal of Michelin Alpin 5 winter tyres, slightly better than Goodyear Vector 4 Seasons all weather tyres and vastly better than Michelin Energy Saver Plus summer tyres.

Michelin Cross Climate TUV Tests

For wet braking at 6C and for traction in snow at -6C they found it performed as well as Michelin Alpin 5, which are dedicated winter tyres.

For wet braking from 80-20kmh (a standard Euro test) at 6C Michelin CrossClimate tyres stopped the car 2.3 metres shorter than the best ‘all seasons tyre’. On dry roads at 40C it stopped the car from 100kmh a significant 5.3 meters shorter than the best ‘all seasons tyre’ and 7.6 metres shorter than Michelin Alpin 5 cold weather tyres. On a wet roundabout it was capable of generating 0.67g before breakaway compared with 0.63g for the ‘all seasons tyre’. And on a snow covered hill it was 7% better.

Micheli Cross Climate 308 On Mountain

Rather than a winter tyre adapted for summer, Michelin CrossClimate tyres are summer tyres adapted for winter.

They are developed from Michelin Energy Saver Plus, which are low rolling resistance premium summer tyres that on average last 20% longer than the alternatives.

Michelin Cross Climate Sipes

They used new rubber compounds that maximise grip in the tread, but a high silica content under the tread for low rolling resistance.

The new ‘V’ shaped interlocking tread is at three different angles so acts like claws to maximise grip.

Michelin Cross Climate Tread

Wavy ‘super performing’ sipes, teardop-shaped in depth, have a variable pitch that locks on impact with the road, then opens to squeeze out moisture and remain effective down to a 1.6mm tread depth.

We test-drove Michelin CrossClimate tyres against Michelin Energy Saver Plus summer tyres: braking from 40kmh; braking from 55kmh; driving round a wet roundabout at 38-42kmh; and ascending a snow covered slope. They did everything as promised: equal braking performance to the Energy Savers; later and more controllable breakaway on the wet roundabout; and ascending the snowy slope when all the Energy Savers could do was spin. We also took it up above the snowline in the Jura mountains where it imparted more confident steering feel than my 308 on Goodyear Efficient Grips, as well as hauling us through some 6" deep soft snow.

Michelin Cross Climate Road To Col

Michelin CrossClimate tyres are ‘3 Peaks Mountain Snowflake’ (3PMSF) certified so meet the standard for snow tyres in all European countries.

They are EU labelled C for fuel efficiency, A for wet braking 1 bar (68db) for noise and last as long as Michelin Energy Saver Plus, which is 20% longer than the average summer tyre.

They are priced about £6 more than summer tyres, and about £6 less than cold weather tyres for a 205/55 R16.

Original tread depth is 7mm.

And, from June 2015, they will be available for 23 dimensions, representing 76% of all car tyres sizes between 15” and 17”.

Michelin Cross Climate Sizes

Michelin CrossClimate Interactive Animated Demonstration


TireIndustry    on 5 March 2015

You should look into the origins of the 'Winter' Designation. While it has been accepted in Europe, the 3-peaks mountain snowflake is a US Standard which specifically excludes ice grip and reflects grip on soft (or medium) compacted snow in Montana.

It does not really reflect the snow conditions in Europe, such as hard-packed snow; slush and black ice. I do not believe this tire will perform any better on those surfaces, than a conventional Summer tire as it does not have the same sipes as a conventional Winter tire.

I tried to put these questions to Michelin, but they refuse to respond.

Readers can check the standards associated with the snowflake rating here:

Also, you might like to ask where the motivation for this 'innovation' (not really) came from. Michelin likes to pretend it was their own internal research. In reality VW told Michelin to do it. It was the VW instruction which triggered Pirelli's introduction of a very similar product (the new Cinturato) earlier this year.

You'll see more products along the same lines from other manufacturers in the coming months.

Remember that it took Michelin over 3 years to develop this product. Other companies are much faster at product innovation.

nogginthenog    on 5 March 2015

You say " On a wet roundabout it was capable of generating 67g before breakaway compared with 63g for the ‘all seasons tyre’."

Since many humans lose consciousness at around 5g, you need to learn some basics before you write on technical topics. In this case, try 0.67g.

Ben    on 5 March 2015

Would you buy these for your car?

Brum    on 16 March 2015

Yes. I have a goodyear vector 4s. Very good all around tyre.

Chris Redman    on 6 March 2015

Manufacturing these as run flats would be nice. And 235/55x17 SUV size too.

rorsters    on 6 March 2015

Why all Extra Load ?

CanAmSteve    on 9 March 2015

Oddly lacking 18" (and larger) versions? Since many mid-to-large SUVs and Crossovers would benefit from such a tyre as replacements for the originals on 18" wheels, it seems odd there are no 18" sizes available (if I read the chart and story correctly).

   on 11 January 2017

My rear wheel drive BMw is terrifying even with a light dusting of snow. It is 225 45 r17. I have fitted cross climates all round but am still to scared to take it off the drive, as I'm worried I won't be able to get back up. I drove my Subaru Forester on deep icy snow covered roads with summer tyres and found it very secure, no slipping or problems braking. I haven't seen any reviews on whether I should simply keep the .BMW in the garage when it snows. Note that my bmw was undrivable on imperceptible inclines when front wheel drive cars with summer tyres had no problems at all.

Raymond Graves    on 1 February 2017

I bought it to my Alfa Romeo 156 2.0 JTS (170ps) at Michelin is better on a dry road, No more any winter or summer tires. Now in Poland is a lot of snow, the temperature near -20°C. Also, I used them in summer and autumn. I live in the mountains and I can't say anything bad about Crossclimate. Perfect.?

   on 15 March 2018

I've now had a set of CCs on my Golf R for over 15k miles. The fronts still have about 5 mm left, rears 6 mm. That is pretty good wear in my book (Contis rarely last more than 17-18k). They are grippy under all conditions and quiet running, My only complaint (?) is that they (like winter tyres do) chuck-up a lot more water/mud/slush onto the rear window - so the wiper is needed a bit more often. I guess that proves that they are doing their job.

   on 28 September 2018

I am Michelin tyre fan, Me personally ther offer the best allround tyre. ive used the energy savers 195/50/15 and they were really good, better mpg after change great wet and dry grip no spin plus lasted an enternity. and on my other car I use Michelin Pilot Sport 3 and now the Pilot Sport 4, 225/40/18 and 255/35/18 on rear ive had that in the snow and was doable in sport/summer tyres, with 300bhp, could not fault then they are amazing in the wet and dry, 15k to a rear set 30k+ to fronts also tried the pilot sport zp and those run flats are crap and more expensive, 8k from a rear set wanted to spin constantly.
But for motorbike if I was an everyday commuter in all weathers the pilot roads are amazing but I stick to dry only and only use Pirelli diablo rosso corsa 3, dry grip and feedback is second to non, ok in wet, not great life but each to its own use.

excuse the essay..^^

But the question is how good are these crossclimate on life agains the energy plus??

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