Michelin Pilot Alpin 5 SUV Review
A premium winter tire designed for high-end vehicles, the Michelin Pilot Alpin 5 SUV delivers winter performance and a whole lot more.
- Excellent grip under braking on slick surfaces
- Overall performance
- Tread life warranty
- Excellent in slush
- Limited sizes
- Definitely not cheap
These directional tires feature an arrow pattern of tread blocks that run in diagonal rows, flowing away from the center of the tire. This design allows for multiple benefits including excellent ability to force water and slush away from the contact patch and maintain grip.
Likewise, the wide central groove in the tire is also designed to maximize water dispersion, clearing water from the tread and allowing it to do its job.
As a result of this, as well as a unique tread compound, Michelin has been able to improve upon the old Latitude Alpin LA2, adding improved acceleration and lateral grip, but more importantly reducing braking distances.
Heavy siping across the tread blocks means the tire grips excellently on snow, ice and clear, cold roads too.
The ultra wide tread design of the tire offers benefits both on snow-covered roads and clear roads. The wide footprint makes for a more planted feeling on snow, giving you added grip as well as added confidence. On clear roads it helps maintain much of the vehicle’s sporty driving nature. These tires obviously won’t handle like high-performance summer rubber, but they are classified as performance winter tires and as such deliver a higher level of lateral grip on clear-cold roads.
One of the most unique features of this tire is its tread life warranty, or should we say: the fact that it has a tread life warranty. Very few winter tires are backed this way and while 30,000 miles doesn’t sound like a lot, it should mean three solid winter seasons, if not more, for your machine. (Most winter tires should last four seasons).
A unique feature of these tires are what Michelin calls “Snow platform indicators.” Molded into the tread grooves, these wear bars inform the driver when the tread is worn to the point that deep snow traction will now be limited. The tires will still maintain much of their grip on clear, wet or slushy roads, but the ability to grip deep snow is no longer optimal.
Part of the reason for the tire’s warranty is due to a unique construction just under the tread that’s designed to better dissipate heat in the tire. This prevents heat soak that can lead to premature wear. As the same time, this feature also serves to reduce rolling resistance for improved fuel economy and reduced environmental impact.
The tire’s construction is made in much the same way as a conventional truck/SUV tire and is designed to withstand heavier loads and do so over time. Twin high-strength steel belts are coated by a polyamide cap ply which allows the tire to better maintain its shape at high speeds.
Who Should Buy These Tires?
Based on price alone, the target audience for these tires is limited. But for those who have no issue paying six figures for a luxury or performance utility vehicle, we’d recommend they also take that same mentality and apply it to their tires. Michelin really is a leader in tire technology and the Pilot Alpin 5 SUV lets you get maximum safety in the winter as well as maximum performance too. We’d also add that these tires are particularly good in slush, so if your winter climate is a slushy one, these would be our top pick!
Michelin Pilot Alpin 5 SUV Price
Pricing for the Michelin Pilot Alpin 5 SUV ranges from roughly $250 per tire for a 19-inch diameter wheel and goes up to over $500 per tire for a 21-inch wheel.
Michelin Pilot Alpin 5 SUV Warranty
While almost all winter tires do not come with a tread life warranty the this tire is an exception. Michelin backs the Pilot Alpin 5 SUV with a 30,000 mile warranty, and 15,000 miles for the rear tires if they are a different size than the fronts.
In addition, a standard limited warranty covers defects in materials and workmanship with a free replacement tire during the first 25 percent of tread wear. After that period and down to the final 2/32-inch of useable tread life, Michelin will replace defective tires on a pro-rated basis.
Michelin Pilot Alpin 5 SUV Sizes