A Combination of Roads for 7,000 Average miles
Mercedes Benz C180
Mercedes C 180, 2013 Model, 205/55/16.
Tyre size reviewed: 205-55-16-V
Michelin and Hankook review.
I have always been very careful and aware/educated when I bought new tires, I used to be a huge Michelin fan and held my nose when low-cost tires like Hankook etc was mentioned, it was unthinkable for me to use anything ells other than premium brands like Michelin.
After my original good Dunlop SP Sport FastResponse MO tires were worn out on my MB C180 I bought 4 new Michelin Primacy 3, actually against the recommendation from my tire-dealer who warned me about the Michelin's, for once I did not listen to good advice.
I have never been so surprised and disappointed about tires before, with the exception of some lethal LingLong tires on a rental car.
As I recently wrote about Michelin Pilot Sport 3 PS3 on my other car, a MB SLK 350, the Michelin Primacy 3 has basically the same slightly "weird" unsafe feeling under all circumstances.
In the dry the Primacy 3 have this somewhat strange "heavy" and "clumsy" feeling, a slightly unstable "wandering" feeling in straight driving and curvy country roads, it's like constantly driving on slippery pebble roads, it is not much or a big problem but enough to be very irritating especially on long journeys.
With the Dunlops my C180 was 100% stable at all speeds both on straight and curvy roads, a "light" and "agile" safe feeling with the Dunlops, never with the Primacy 3.
I have previously noted with other Michelin tires on other cars that they could have a slightly "heavier" feeling than other brands but more solid planted on the road, I always liked it before and it was never a problem like with the Primacy 3.
With Primacy 3 I also noted that braking in both wet and dry is slightly worse than the Dunlops, not a huge difference but absolutely noticeable.
In dry corners/turns the grip is often pretty good with the Primacy 3 but it is not consequent, I have never before experienced tires with so surprising unequal irregular qualities on the limits and in sharp turns as the Primacy 3 and it's basically that same slightly shaky/wobbly feeling as PS3 on the limits.
There is also a somewhat "weird" noise from the tires at all speeds, a "course" and "rough" noise, almost as if there were small pieces of metal in the tires. (spikes)
The comfort with the Primacy 3 in general is mediocre at the best, a huge negative surprise from what I expected, I never had perfect comfort with Michelin's before but I never had any complaints either.
It's acceptable performance in the wet, I never had problems in heavy rain in straight driving but again inconsequent surprising and "weird" behavior in sharp turns and corner, it is simply not possible to trust these tires.
I really don't have anything good to say about Michelin Primacy 3, I do not like them at all and I do not trust them, I am extremely surprised and disappointed about that.
I owned a 2000 Model VW Bora (Jetta) since new for many years, I have had Dunlop SP 8000, Uniroyal MS Plus 55, Michelin HP, Michelin Pilot Exalto on this car, all of them were good tires with no problems, very stable with good grip and acceptable/good comfort.
The current owner of this VW Bora bought Michelin Primacy 3, I have driven that car with the Primacy 3 and it's basically the same experience as I have with my MB C180, a good car reduced by bad tires, in addition to the similar problems with my C180 the VW Bora easily loses grip on the rear and wobbles side to side with the rear when pushed near the limits in turns, I have never previously experienced this with the VW Bora and any other tire-brands, this car is normally very stable in any situation, believe me, I have pushed that car to every limit.
I have driven a VW Golf TSI 2016 Model and a BMW 320i 2016 Model with Michelin Primacy 3 tires with basically the same negatives regarding "heavy/clumsy" feeling, stability problems and mediocre comfort/noise, although I did not push these cars to the limits in curves/turns so I can not comment on that.
After ca 2000 km and a long journey in my C180 I had enough, no more Primacy 3, I got rid of them.
After recommendation from a tire-dealer, who was aware of the "problems" with the obviously very overrated Michelin Primacy 3, I decided to change and buy the Hankook Ventus Prime 3 K125 which I would never had considered before.
As my tire dealer predicted, I was very positively surprised with the Hankook tires on my C180, much cheaper, much better than the Primacy 3, back to the "light" and "agile" feeling as with the Dunlops, very stable and planted in dry and wet, good braking, good comfort/noise, the wear is about average, nothing bad to say about the Hankook, good tires, very similar to my good Dunlop tires even at very high speeds.
I never had anything bad at all to say about Michelin tires on my own previous cars and other cars I previously have driven with Michelin tires, it was for a long time my absolute favorite tire-brand, it was good to drive on and they lasted long.
Nowadays my own experience with both new and older cars with the newest Michelin tires is always disappointing regardless of car and tire-size and based on comments from both tire dealers and consumers with different cars I can only agree that Michelin's now are widely overrated, and very overpriced, and even some budget tire-brands are superior in basically every way.
One explanation to the Michelin fail might be manufacturing process in different countries, I do not know, but the tires I tried lately were all manufactured in France except for one tire that was manufactured in Spain.
I always had correct alignment and tire-pressure, no mechanical problems with the cars, I can only conclude that Michelin for me is now a fallen "hero".