Michelin CrossClimate 2 vs Michelin CrossClimate Plus

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It might surprise you, but choosing between tire models can be quite the puzzle. While some folks stick to what they know, adventurers like me love to mix things up. Why? The tire industry is on the move, with new tech ushering in fresh advancements.

When eyeing two models, we often end up weighing the brands themselves. Yet, sometimes, the choice is between siblings from the same family, which might seem odd.

Though the latest tires usually steal the show, there are moments when an older model shines as the smarter pick. It’s not a rule, but it pops up as a frequent query.

Today’s spotlight falls on two all-season grand touring contenders from Michelin: the CrossClimate 2 versus the CrossClimate Plus. Launched by the French titan in 2015, the CrossClimate saga began with its inaugural model. The Plus followed, only to bow out when the CrossClimate 2 entered the scene.

So, does the CrossClimate 2 live up to the hype, or does its predecessor, the Plus, hold the key to better value?

Michelin CrossClimate 2

All-season performance shines through various features, one key element being the compound. Michelin introduces its Thermal Adaptive rubber, crafted to stay flexible in both warm and cold conditions. This innovation ensures the CrossClimate 2 performs admirably across summer and winter alike.

Ditching conventional designs, Michelin adopts a V-shaped tread pattern, claiming notable enhancements. Integral to this innovation are the V Ramp chambers and 3D SipeLock technology. These components collaborate to expand the contact area, boosting grip and traction significantly.

This tire’s design also aims to excel in wet and snowy conditions. The sharp edges cut through water on rainy roads and bite into snow, ensuring reliable traction in both scenarios. The angled grooves effectively channel water away, enhancing the tire’s stability at speed and offering resistance against aquaplaning.

Unlike typical designs, the CrossClimate 2 lacks a central rib. However, its design strategically aligns blocks with the directional forces, creating a continuous surface that enhances handling and performance.

As a grand touring tire, smoothness and quietness are paramount. Michelin achieves this with PIANO Noise Reduction Tuning, a computer-designed tread pattern that lowers noise through smart geometry and pattern variation, making for a quieter ride.

Michelin CrossClimate Plus

Though it’s the older model, the Michelin CrossClimate Plus doesn’t fall short on features. Michelin chose a special silica rubber blend that stays flexible all year round. This means the tire works well even when it’s freezing outside—something summer tires just can’t manage.

The silica mix also helps the CrossClimate Plus grip the road in the rain. The tire’s block edges are designed to offer extra hold and traction on wet surfaces.

At a quick look, the tread pattern looks the same, but there are minor differences. The V-shaped design helps the CrossClimate Plus stay steady during heavy rain, offering great protection against aquaplaning.

The design includes beveled edges and 3D sipes with a central locking mechanism. These features enhance grip on wet roads and traction on snow and ice.

Over time, some tires might not perform as well. Michelin tackled this issue with the CrossClimate Plus. The tire has Emerging Grooves that ensure performance doesn’t drop off much as the tire wears down.

Performance Comparison

When diving into the performance of tires from the same manufacturer and class, a few years apart, we can anticipate some differences in how they hold up under various conditions.

How Do They Perform in Dry Conditions?

Grand touring tires might not be your go-to for peak performance, but the CrossClimate series does bring a few surprises to the table.

Starting with the CrossClimate Plus, this older model truly stands out. It offers top-notch performance in its category, delivering high traction and grip, along with some of the shortest braking distances seen.

But, is the CrossClimate 2 an improvement? In many ways, yes. It edges out its predecessor with better traction, ensuring stability even in more aggressive driving situations, and brings slight enhancements in braking distances. In terms of grip around corners, it also shines, maintaining excellent control.

However, it’s important to note that neither tire is designed for extreme performance. While they offer remarkable grip in corners, Michelin’s aim wasn’t to create track-ready tires.

How Do They Perform on Wet Roads?

Michelin’s premium grand touring tires, including the CrossClimate Plus and 2, excel in wet conditions, showing a more pronounced difference in performance compared to dry conditions.

The CrossClimate Plus provides exceptional grip and traction on wet roads, setting a high standard for safety and control.

In contrast, the CrossClimate 2 steps up even further in wet conditions, aligning it with the top performers in its class, like the PureContact LS. It offers enhanced grip, traction, and better performance against aquaplaning, making it a formidable choice in rainy weather.

While the CrossClimate Plus maintains commendable braking distances and aquaplaning resistance, it does fall slightly behind newer models, including the CrossClimate 2, which boasts higher speed stability and improved safety features in wet conditions.

Can They Be Used on Snow?

The CrossClimate Plus and CrossClimate 2 both boast a 3PMSF (Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake) symbol. This indicates they outperform M+S (Mud and Snow) tires in snowy conditions. Classified as all-weather tires, they’re a solid pick for winter use. During tests, both models showcased their prowess, handling light snow with ease. Michelin’s expertise shines with the CrossClimate Plus, a legacy carried on by the CrossClimate 2. These tires maintain stability and safety, ensuring control even in challenging conditions.

Where you’ll really notice a difference is in deeper snow. All-season tires may falter here, but the CrossClimate tires power through without issue. However, in extreme snow, their limitations start to show. Despite this, they’re among the top choices for snow driving within their category.

The differences between the two are there but subtle. The CrossClimate 2 edges out slightly in deeper snow, offering marginally better braking distances.

Will They Deliver Good Off-Road Performance?

The CrossClimate 2 and CrossClimate Plus are not ideal for off-road adventures. Their design favors paved roads, and the rubber compound is not built for the rough and tumble of off-road conditions. Driving on unpaved surfaces can lead to premature wear or even damage to the tires. Sharp rocks pose a risk of cuts or punctures, potentially necessitating early replacement.

Light travel on dirt roads is possible, but caution is key. Don’t push them too hard; excessive force can cause damage.

Are they good at handling?

Here’s where things turn interesting between the CrossClimate Plus and CrossClimate 2. You might expect one to outshine the other, but the results are unexpected.

The CrossClimate Plus really caught me off guard with how well it handles. For a grand touring tire, it’s quick to react and feels quite spirited. Among grand touring tires, this one seems to meet what most driving enthusiasts are looking for. The quick response and the feedback it gives are top-notch.

However, moving to the CrossClimate 2, it’s a bit of a letdown, especially after experiencing the CrossClimate Plus. It’s not awful, but it blends in more with other grand touring tires. It’s somewhat responsive, but the feedback doesn’t impress much. Its weakest spot is during wet conditions. The tire gets a bit unpredictable at its limits. It handles ordinary driving well, but once you push it, that’s when its discomfort shows.

How well-refined are the tires for everyday driving?

Grand touring tires are designed for smoothness and polish, and Michelin aimed for this with two models, though with mixed results.

The CrossClimate Plus isn’t the top performer in its category, mainly because of how it handles. It’s commendable that Michelin produced a grand touring tire with such good handling, but it sacrifices a bit of smoothness. The ride is okay if you don’t mind feeling a bit of the road’s roughness. It does smooth out some bumps, but it’s not the cushiest option out there.

Noise isn’t where this tire shines either. It’s not the noisiest, but you’ll hear a hum that gets louder as you speed up, placing it behind others in its class.

The CrossClimate 2, however, is like it’s in a league of its own compared to the Plus. It excels in comfort, soaking up road flaws and keeping the ride serene. Noise-wise, it’s very quiet, even at high speeds, rivaling the Turanza QuietTrack, a top choice for quietness.

Do any of them come with a warranty?

A warranty is crucial when choosing grand touring tires. Here, the CrossClimate 2 leads the pack.

Michelin’s CrossClimate Plus offers a 50,000-mile treadwear warranty, decent but not the best among rivals. The CrossClimate 2 steps it up with a 60,000-mile warranty, giving you an extra 10,000 miles of coverage.

Remember, tires with higher speed ratings might have a shorter warranty period.

How They Compare in Terms of Price

Usually, older tire models are a bit less expensive than their newer counterparts. That’s why many people stick with them. For some car owners, a slight improvement in performance isn’t top of the list, so they find a great deal. But, in this case, it’s the other way around.

Although the CrossClimate Plus is, on paper, the older model, its price is somewhat higher than that of the CrossClimate 2. The price gap isn’t massive, but you’re looking at about a $10 bump for a standard 16-inch size. And if you opt for a larger size, this difference can grow.

Michelin CrossClimate 2 Pros and Cons


  • Warranty on treadwear lasts longer
  • A more polished tire
  • Better performance compared to the older version


  • Less dynamic than the earlier tire
  • Struggles when pushed hard in corners during rain

Michelin CrossClimate Plus Pros and Cons


  • Top-notch handling
  • Great grip and traction, whether it’s dry or wet
  • Performs well even in thicker snow


  • Not as refined
  • Costs a bit more than the newer version

Which of the two is a better option?

Considering everything, the choice leans towards CrossClimate 2, right? Yes, but it’s not that simple.

The CrossClimate 2 shines with its superior grand touring features compared to the CrossClimate Plus. However, this doesn’t make it the top pick for everyone. Some drivers might prefer the driving feel of the older model and choose it instead.

For those in search of a cozy touring tire with a solid warranty and impressive performance, the CrossClimate 2 stands out as the better choice. Yet, if smoothness isn’t at the top of your list and you come across the CrossClimate Plus at a lower price, that’s a deal worth considering.

Ultimately, both tires have their merits, making it important to pick the one that aligns with your requirements.

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Lucas Liam

Hi, I'm Liam, the enthusiast behind Off Road Genius. With more than 10 years of conquering diverse terrains, my experience with Jeeps extends beyond the ordinary. I've mastered the intricate details of these off-road champions, pushing their capabilities to the limit. Through this platform, I share my profound knowledge and lessons learned from countless miles on the trail. I'm here to inspire, educate, and guide you through the thrilling world of Jeeps. So, buckle up for this adventure-filled ride!

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