Michelin, the famous French tire manufacturer that’s been in the business since 1889, is the second largest tire maker in the world (Bridgestone comes first). And there’s a reason for this – since their inception, the company has been making quality, durable tires for a range of vehicles, sowing no sign of slowing down. But of course, like every other large, successful business, they have had their fair share of defects and recalls in the past. So what about the Michelin Latitude Tour tire, one of the company’s best-selling all-season tires for SUVs and crossovers? Is it worth purchasing, or should you keep on looking for a safe, long-lasting tire for your vehicle?
In this bog post, we offer you a neutral, well-researched review of the tire, which should hopefully help you decide if it’s the right fit for your needs and budget.
The Latitude Tour is Michelin’s SUV and Crossover all-season tire that combines strength, comfort and fuel efficiency to deliver safe and comfortable rides to the drivers of crossovers, sport utility vehicles and light duty pickups. How is Michelin’s Latitude Tour able to do this, you ask? By using the latest innovations in tire technology and safety, such as MaxTouch construction and Comfort Control technology. Let’s go over the most important features of this incredibly quiet and comfortable tire.
- MaxTouch Construction: the Latitude Tour has a newly optimized contact patch of MaxTouch construction which provides a wider contact patch, lowering rolling resistance, thereby prolonging tread life and increasing fuel efficiency. This, along with special tread compounds, allows the tire to deliver 33% more miles. Which brings us to the next important feature…
- Green X Standards: thanks to special tread compounds which lower the rolling resistance and improve fuel economy, the Latitude Tour meets Michelin’s Green X standards, meaning it’s a true eco-friendly tire. In fact, according to the manufacturer, you can save up to a whopping 82 gallons of fuel with this tire. Talk about being economic!
- Comfort Control Technology: Michelin uses computer-optimized design and precision construction to reduce vibrations and road noise, while improving overall comfort. Indeed, we found the Latitude Tour to be supremely quiet, comfortable and smooth even on rough roads.
- Silica-Based Compound and Wide Groove Design: thanks to a special rubber compound silica, as well as a wide groove design of the tire, the Latitude Tour stops 5% shorter than most commercial tires. This means greater driving confidence in wet conditions.
Like all Michelin’s tires, the Latitude Tour utilizes several impressive and highly useful features, making it one of the best all-season tires for crossovers and SUVs – in theory, at least. But what about the actual practice? While most drivers seem to love this particular tire, we’ve come across a few negative reviews, mostly regarding the tread life. Again, in theory, thanks to the silica-based rubber compound, plus MaxTouch construction, the Latitude Tour should have a great tread life, but of course, real life is often very different than theory. So what do we think? Is this tire worth purchasing? We’ll let the Pros and Cons section speak for itself.
Pros & Cons
Like all tires, Michelin Latitude Tour has its advantages and disadvantages. Whether expensive or cheap, literally all tires have at least one con. The question is, do the pros outweigh the cons?
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With general pros and cons out of the way, let’s talk about the Latitude Tour’s actual performance on dry and wet roads, as well as in winter conditions. The first thing we can immediately notice about this tire is its superb dry and wet traction – this is due to its innovative design, wide tread widths, which allow the tire to have excellent handling and traction on both dry and wet roads. But when it comes to snow and ice, it is this same feature that makes the tire less than perfect – wide tread widths simply don’t allow for a firm grip on snow, at least when driving on deep snow. This is not a dealbreaker though, as Michelin Latitude Tour is not a winter tire anyhow.
But more on detailed dry, wet and snow performance later– for now, let’s stick to the basics for those looking for short and simple answers. How does this tire fare overall? Considering its price (obviously, it’s on the pricier side of the tires), features and performance in all seasons, we’d say it’s one of the best performing tires in this class. It’s supremely safe, comfortable and quiet, plus has great traction in most weather conditions. All in all, a 9/10 for us.
To be good, a tire needs to strike a delicate balance between traction, durability, comfort and energy efficiency. Of course, there is also the final cost to think about – if it’s overly expensive, no matter how good, most drivers simply won’t find it worth purchasing. Thankfully, Michelin Latitude Tour manages to check all the right boxes here. It’s safe, super comfortable and quiet, durable, long-lasting and energy efficient, plus reasonably priced. But when it comes to dry performance in particular, this tire absolutely shines. Thanks to its MaxTouch construction, Comfort Control tech and Green X standard, this is undoubtedly one of the best dry (and wet!) performance tires for SUVs, crossovers and light duty pickups currently on the market. Let’s get into the specifics, shall we?
The Latitude Tour has stable shoulder blocks, which, when combined with a continuous center rib, help boost the tire’s strength and stability, plus responsiveness. This is true in both dry and wet conditions. And thanks to the MaxTouch construction, which provides a wider contact patch, the tire in general has very good traction. The handling is excellent, acceleration and cornering is quick and easy, no matter the road. As for braking – it’s even more responsive. This is mostly due to the special rubber compounds the Latitude Tour sports, which help the tire stop 5% shorter than its predecessors and most commercial tires.
Importantly, this tire is quiet and comfortable, and we’re talking about real smoothness and quietness here. Thanks to the Michelin’s Comfort Control technology, which uses computer-optimized design and precision manufacturing, the tire cancels out road vibrations and noise as much as possible. Another thing that helps block out road noise and vibration is the tire’s internal structure which includes two steel belts under the tread area, which sit on top of a polyester cord. This improves ride quality in general, and helps reduce vibration tremendously. This is one comfortable, quiet and smooth tire on most roads, although it will vibrate a little bit on extremely rough and bumpy roads. This is to be expected though, as rarely any tire can handle extreme road conditions.
Similar to how it performs in dry conditions, the Latitude Tour tire delivers a stable, safe and comfortable ride even when driving over pools of water. There are several reasons why this tire performs so well on wet roads, but the two most important ones are:
- Wide groove design and sipes around the tread: we already mentioned that the wide groove design helps enhance the tire’s stability, but more importantly, it helps the tire resist hydroplaning. The grooves and added sipes around the tread channel water away from under the tread quickly and safely, preventing it from building between the tread and road surface.
- Special rubber compounds: the compounds used in the construction of the rubber help the Latitude Tour have impressive traction and handling properties on wet roads. This is also what allows the tire to stop shorter than other tires with similar prices on the market.
All in all, under rainy conditions, this tire performs equally well as it does in dry weather. Traction and braking are exceptional, and cornering and steering response are not far behind. When it comes to wet weather conditions and noise, the Latitude Tour produces virtually no sound. Whether it’s dry or pouring rain outside, this tire provides a quiet, comfortable and stable ride. Speaking of stability, it’s next to impossible to hydroplane with this tire. Although the wide tread widths tremendously help with this, we also believe that the tire’s strong internal structure has something to do with this. Twin steel belts, plus a polyester cord casing help enhance the tire’s durability and ability the stay firm and stable no matter the weather.
Snow and Ice Performance
Although very good on light snow and some ice, the Latitude Tour leaves much to be desired when it comes to deeper snow. And while it’s true that this isn’t a winter tire and you shouldn’t expect it to perform like one (we’ll talk about why it’s important to have proper winter tires in extreme winter months), we’d still like the Michelin L. T. to perform slightly better on snow. So, let’s talk about the possible reasons why this tire could use snow performance improvement.
Remember the wide tread widths? Yes, they’re perfect for dry and wet conditions, but can be a problem on snow. Mind you, the tire delivers a safe and comfortable ride in light snow – deeper snow is where the issues arise. This is not surprising, as extremely wide tread widths generally limit the traction of all tires in deep snow. That being said, this is most definitely not a deal breaker. When it comes to deep snow, extremely low temperatures and ice, you need proper winter tires anyway. Why? For one, no all-season tire can handle extreme winter temperatures safely; they’re just not built and designed that way. Two, real winter tires have unique rubber compounds and treads that help them grip into ice and snow and kick it out behind them as you drive. So, if you live in areas with extreme winter conditions, purchase the real winter tires; otherwise, an all-season tire like the Michelin’s Latitude Tour should be good enough.
The Latitude Tour comes in various sizes, ranging from 15” to 19”. It fits a number of SUVs, light duty pickups and crossovers, including the following vehicles (this is not a complete list):
- Honda: Ridgeline, Pilot, CR-V
- Jeep: Grand Cherokee, Liberty
- Volvo: XC90
- Chevrolet: Traverse, Silverado, Trailblazer, Equinox
- Ford: Explorer, Edge, Expedition, Escape, F-150
- Hyundai: Santa Fe, Veracruz, Tuscon
- Toyota: Highlander, Tacoma, Tundra, 4Runner, RAV4
- Lexus RX350, RX330, RX400h
All Michelin tires have a standard manufacturer’s limited warranty, including Latitude Tour which comes with a 6-year, or 65,000 mile warranty. As for tire uniformity, it’s guaranteed for the first year, or for the first 2/32” of wear. This is a pretty good deal for all-season tires, and since Michelin are famous for their quality, long-lasting tires, there’s nothing to complain about. So, the warranty covers defects in materials and workmanship for the life of the original usable tread, meaning 6 full years from date of purchase, and there is also a 3-year flat changing service agreement.
All in all, it’s a great-quality all-season tire for crossovers and SUVs that definitely justifies its price.