Reviews say the Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S is a fine performance all-season tire -- it's just not the best. The Bridgestone Potenza RE970AS Pole Position (*Est. $185) costs about the same, but its dry- and wet-road performance and higher speed ratings boost it into the ultra-high-performance (UHP) all-season class. No expert has tested it on ice and snow yet, though. A less expensive performance all-season tire, the Yokohama Avid Envigor (*Est. $140), outclasses the Michelin in one expert test on dry and wet tracks, although owners say it's not as good on ice and snow. The Michelin boasts a history of good behavior on winter roads in both expert tests and owner reviews, but it's still not the best performance all-season for challenging winters: That honor goes to another runner-up in this category, the Continental ExtremeContact DWS (*Est. $160).
ConsumerReports.org's thorough comparisons and reputation for objectivity makes it the most valuable review source here, although its test of the Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S does not include any narrative detail. Expert testers at TireRack.com go into more detail on the Pilot Exalto A/S's strengths and weaknesses, but their comparison includes fewer tires than ConsumerReports.org's analysis. TireRack.com also collects owner-written reviews -- including more than 900 for the Pilot Exalto A/S -- but it breaks tires into so many categories (including six all-season categories, from passenger all-season to ultra-high-performance all-season) that the Exalto A/S isn't compared directly with some of its main competitors. Another retail site, 1010Tires.com, collects far fewer user ratings. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is a valuable source for government-mandated tire ratings.
ConsumerReports.org tests the H-rated and V-rated versions of the Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S alongside other performance all-season tires. Editors rank the tires according to their traction, comfort and more.
Review: Performance All-Season Tire Ratings, Editors of ConsumerReports.org
2. Tire Rack
The Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S ranks third in this comparison test of four performance all-season tires, but staff testers at this retail site still call it "a class-leader that holds its own against the new challengers." The Pilot Exalto A/S grips securely on the wet test track but not quite as well as some competitors.
Review: Testing New High Performance All-Season Tires, Editors of TireRack.com, May 28, 2010
3. Tire Rack
Owners who post reviews at this retail site give the Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S the best scores in the high-performance all-season category. They say it drives confidently on both dry and wet roads, though somewhat less well on snow and ice.
Review: Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S, Contributors to TireRack.com
Consumers can look up government-mandated tread-wear, traction and heat-resistance scores for tires at this website. The Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S gets an A for traction (the highest rating is AA) and the top score of A for heat resistance. It scores 400 for tread wear, about average for a performance all-season tire.
Review: Tire Rating Lookup, Editors of SaferCar.gov
More than 80 owners post ratings for the Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S at this Canadian retail site. Some include written comments, others only numeric scores. The Pilot Exalto A/S gets good ratings overall, with lower ratings for snow performance.
Review: Michelin Pilot Exalto A-S, Contributors to 1010Tires.com