Sumitomo vs Michelin tires: Which is the Best Tire Brand?


Written by

Henry Speciale



Steven Schiller

sumitomo vs michelin tires

You may have seen Dunlop or Falken a dozen times in tire shops, but it may never occurred to you that these brands belong to the world’s sixth largest tire maker, Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd.

Between Sumitomo vs Michelin tires, Michelin is an obvious choice if money is no object. Sumitomo is a cheaper option, but it performs closely to Michelin’s tire lineup. You’ll be surprised that Sumitomo wins in offroading, which has been Michelin’s weakness for a long time.

  sumitomo-tires-prices sumitomo-tire-quality
Performance Very good Excellent in all weather and road conditions
Noise/Comfort/Ride Quality Michelin is superior, but HTRZ3 has been a popular summer tire alternative
Warranty Michelin Defender line and HTR Enhance tires are both warrantied up to 90,000 miles
Price Cheaper by $9-72 Expensive
Tire Diversity Limited selection, but the Encounter AT beats Michelin in off-roading More tire choices

Sumitomo is an international tire and rubber company that produces car tires, sports goods, golf balls, tennis balls and other rubber-based products like gloves, water seals, and more. It is a subsidiary of one of Japan’s largest conglomerates – the Sumitomo group.

On the other hand, Michelin is a French multinational company that has commercial presence in 170 countries. It produces tires for space shuttles, aircraft, and different types of vehicles and equipment.

Here is a quick overview of the two world-renowned tire makers.

What Are They?

  Sumitomo Michelin
Year Founded 1909 1889
Founder Masatomo Sumitomo Edouard Michelin

Andre Michelin

Headquarters Kobe, Hyogo, Japan Clermont-Ferrand, France
Number of employees 40, 055 125,000
Factories Japan, China, Thailand, Indonesia, USA, Brazil, Turkey, and South Africa 123 manufacturing sites in 26 countries
Tire variety Motorcycles, passenger cars, trucks, buses, vehicles for construction, agriculture, and motorsports Bicycles, motorcycles, passenger vehicles, airplanes, space shuttles, farm equipment and construction vehicles
Brands owned
  • Dunlop
  • Falken
  • BFGoodrich
  • Kleber
  • Kormoran
  • Riken
  • Tigar
  • Uniroyal

Sumitomo Tires Vs Michelin: How Do They Work



Sumitomo is committed to its SMART Tyre concept, where innovation focuses on an environment-friendly, sustainable and safe technology that are delivered through:

  • Sensing Core – technology that tracks tread rigidity, tire pressure, load capacity, and other data that can help drivers ascertain tire and road conditions to avoid potential hazards.
  • 4D Nano Design technology – utilized in the rubber compound of its commercial tires and winter products, responsible for enhancing fuel efficiency and grip in wet weather and winter.
  • S-tech design – engineered to yield high mileage and better tread integrity


Michelin caters to the same market needs identified by Sumitomo. In detail, Michelin tires are equipped with the following technological innovations:

  • Advanced Compound – Carbion technology and silica save fuel and increase mileage.
  • Michelin Acoustic Technology- responsible for reducing interior noise by 20%
  • Michelin Self Seal Technology – promotes longer tread life by having a sealant material that protects tires from punctures up to ¼ or (6mm)

Differences: Sumitomo Tires vs Michelin


Tire diversity

Aside from owning several tire brands, Michelin’s tire selection is more diverse than Sumitomo.

Michelin has 9 tire families:

  • Defender – popular for unrivaled tread life and durability, suited for any type of vehicle. For instance, Consumer Reports valued Michelin Defender’s wear potential up to 90,000
  • Primacy – designed for highways due to its excellent cornering abilities that can make any passenger car, coupe, or crossover achieve comfortable rides
  • Premier – succeeded Primacy with enhancement on braking, traction and ride quality
  • Pilot – promises sports cars a racing-inspired performance on street and track roads
  • CrossClimate – composed of all-seasons tires designed to withstand any weather or road condition, even under heavy loads
  • Energy – fuel-efficient tires that offer all-season traction for passenger and luxury performance vehicles
  • Latitude – has tires designed for touring, sport, and winter
  • X Ice – Michelin’s winter lineup that provide smooth and safe rides in extreme weather
  • LTX – Mainly for off-road rides in trucks and SUVs.

Sumitomo has 5 tire families:

  • HTR – The HTR Z5 and HTR A/S P03 belong to this all-season high performance category. Both tires are commended for reliable braking and cornering on dry surfaces. However, the A/S P03 performs better in wet conditions due to its silica-enhanced compound and asymmetric tread pattern.
  • HTR Enhance – features three all-season grand touring tires: HTR Enhance LX2, HTR Enhance WX2, and HTR CX2. The LX2 supports coupes, family sedans and small CUVs with a limited warranty of 90,000 miles. Meanwhile, the CX2 and WX2 offer a 65,000-miles limited warranty.
  • Touring – Has one tire line named LS with three speed ratings (T, H, and V). Sumitomo touring tires provide all-season traction with terrific handling and braking on dry
  • Encounter – has three tires made for SUVs and light trucks. The Encounter HT and Encounter HT2 are engineered for highway use, while the Encounter AT is meant for on and off-road use.
  • Ice Edge – the only winter tire in Sumitomo’s lineup. It is studdable and carries a 3PMSF symbol. It performs well on snow, slush, and ice with high hydroplaning resistance.


Here’s how Sumitomo tire quality fares against Michelin.

Description Sumitomo Tire Models Michelin Counterparts Verdict
UHP summer HTR Z5
  • Michelin Pilot Sport 4s
  • Michelin Pilot Sport 3
  • Michelin Latitude Sport
  • Michelin Primacy 3
  • Michelin Primacy HP
Michelin wins, but some

drivers preferred the HTRZ5 for its affordability

UHP All season HTR A/S P03


Michelin Pilot Sport All Season 4 Michelin has better ratings overall
Grand touring tires Touring LS H

Touring LS V


Michelin CrossClimate 2


Michelin leads in all categories
Crossover/SUV all season touring HTR Enhance LX2


Michelin Defender T+H Michelin excels in all aspects with huge difference of 15%
On/off road all terrain Encounter AT


Michelin LTX A/T2 All terrain tire


Sumitomo wins
Highway all season Encounter HT

Encounter HT2


Michelin Defender LTX M/S


Michelin wins
Winter Ice Edge Michelin X Ice Snow


Michelin wins in braking

 Aside from the above models, check out our brief comparisons of other tires from both brands.


In review, Sumitomo’s HTR Z3 scored higher in comfort, wear and reduced noise than the Pilot Sport 3. However, it performed less well in wet and dry traction. No wonder drivers chose it as a cheaper alternative.

All Season

Michelin rules the all-season tire category. For instance, Michelin Defender T + H and Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+ won against Sumitomo’s HTR A/S P02 in nearly all aspects. The Po2 does better than the A/S 3+ in snow and ice, but it falls behind the T+H in this category.


Ratings for the Sumitomo Encounter HT vs Michelin Agilis Crossclimate differ by about 1 point, with the Michelin performing better in most categories, such as performance on wet, dry surfaces, and comfort.


In general, Michelin is $9-72 more expensive than Sumitomo. Check out some Michelin Sumitomo tires prices.

Sumitomo Tires Discount Tire Michelin Tires Discount Tire
Sumitomo HTRZ5 $128-332 Michelin Pilot Sport 4S $200-1,115
HTR A/S P03 $97-241 Michelin Primacy MXM4 $175-356
HTR Enhance LX2 $93-177 Michelin Defender T + H $102-231
HTR Enhance CX2 $163-267 Michelin LTX M/S2 $206-282
Encounter AT $161-594 Michelin Defender LTX M/S $151-467
Encounter HT2 $142-310 Michelin Defender LTX M/S2 $206-282

As for winter tires, Michelin and Sumitomo have the same price range. For instance, at Walmart, the Ice Edge costs $173.61 per tire while Michelin’s X Ice Snow can be bought at $176.07 each.

Pros and cons – Sumitomo Tires vs Michelin

Sumitomo’s Edge


  • Budget-friendly price tag
  • Has competitive quality and warranty

Michelin Advantages


  • More tire options
  • Superior performance in all weather and road conditions
  • Excellent noise reduction, comfort and ride quality



Are Sumitomo tires good quality?

Certainly. Sumitomo tires manufacturer utilize top-grade technology. In fact, it has won the “Tire Technology of the Year Award” four times.

Are Sumitomo tires safe?

Absolutely! Sumitomo tires are designed with the SMART tyre concept. The tires are equipped with a wear-sensing technology and an active tread that reacts accordingly to changes in road and weather conditions.

Does Michelin own Sumitomo?

No. Sumitomo belongs to the Japanese conglomerate, the Sumitomo Group. It owns the brands Dunlop and Falken. On the other hand, Michelin’s brand portfolio consists of tires from Kleber, Uniroyal-Goodrich, SASCAR, Camso and of course, Michelin.


Although comparisons between Sumitomo vs Michelin tires are common, I hope this post gives you lots of insights about their competitive qualities.

Michelin and Sumitomo are both top-tier tire brands that excel in dry and wet conditions, though Michelin has a slight edge in most cases. One area where Sumimoto defeats Michelin is offroading.

If you have questions we did not answer in this article, let us know so we can help you in our next post.

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Henry-Speciale - Writer

Henry Speciale

I’m Henry, the content writer for PPMC Transport. We build our site entirely on experience and extensive market and customer research. My goal is to create a trusted platform where people can go to determine what is best for their vehicles in terms of safety and convenience. Keep an eye out for our useful guide!...more