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Michelin Pilot Sport 5 Review – HOT Dry Weather

Michelin Pilot Sport 5 tyre showing sidewall and tread pattern.

In this Michelin Pilot Sport 5 review, I will be looking at the performance of the tyres in dry conditions. I’ll be testing the tyres on tight mountain passes, the fast country roads, in town and on the freeway/motorway.


Short Version

My understanding is the Pilot Sport 5s are designed as a sports tyre with good all-weather performance with the focus being on dry conditions.

With that in mind, my opinion and assuming your car has not had a massive power upgrade, is that the Michelin Pilot Sport 5 tyres nail their remit completely. So far, I have only used the tyres in dry conditions with temperatures from 25C up to 40C and up to this point I can’t say that the tyres have any bad points for what they are intended for. They give loads of grip, inspire tons of confidence, have good ride comfort and should last longer than tyres in the same segment.


In-Depth – Pilot Sport 5 Review

I’m going to look at seven aspects of the tyre and give my thoughts on each one, specifically:

  • Ride comfort ie how the tyres deal with imperfections in the road surface.
  • Braking grip
  • Grip under acceleration.
  • Turn in response
  • Cornering grip
  • Balance
  • Noise
  • General feel of the tyres, do they inspire confidence.

Ride Comfort

It’s obvious that ride comfort was not the number one priority for the PS5s but that is not to say they are uncomfortable. I’d say that Michelin have judged the ride comfort perfectly. The Pilot Sport 5s seems to take the edge of most, if not all the road imperfections I have encountered so far. Sure you can feel bumps and holes but so far, never in a jarring way or in a way that leads me to whince if I see an unavoidable hole approaching. Yes, you can feel the hole but the tyre deals with it in a really nice way. Not like a magic carpet but in a really nice way. The closest way I can describe it is that I feel that the tyres are made from really dense rubber. Not hard rubber. Dense rubber. And that is a nice thing.

Braking Grip

Mighty. Loads of grip, big forces, time after time. Definitely a case of me worrying about the brakes before the tyres. I feel the brakes are going to give up long before the tyres

Acceleration Grip

I’m testing the tyres on a MK1 Octavia RS (MK4 GTI platform). Car is claimed to be running around 300bhp. Traction in first and second doesn’t seem to be an issue at all. But when I say that bear in mind that I am not launching the car from a dig for two reasons.

One there is a new 1.8T clutch upgrade on the car which I am still bedding in and two, launching a car is not something I do generally in any car. Having said that I have inadvertently engaged this clutch sharply with some revs and I’m not feeling a loss of traction. What I might be feeling is a gradual loss of traction as more power is fed in but the car is still moving forward. For a fwd car with this much power I think the acceleration grip is good.

Turn in Feel/Response

They do not tack into a corner in the way a track day tyre would. And I can’t say they have sharp response to the steering. However they give me plenty of confidence. I don’t have any doubts that they will grip and that they will turn. Once they turn, they turn, they stick to the line I choose.

Cornering Grip – Slow, Medium, High Speed

Slow corners, plenty of grip and never did I get a feeling that the tyres were rolling over on the sidewalls. You choose your line the PS5s stick to it. Medium speeds again, good grip and confidence inspiring. The side walls seem to be very stable, and the video footage seems to back this up.

Balance

Balance of tyres is not something that I really thought about until reading the Tyre Reviews website. Seeing as they include it, I thought I would say some words on balance also.

Generally, the Octavia RS is known for a neutral balance and it’s not known for lift-off oversteer. The Michelin Pilot Sport 5s do nothing to change this. In this particular car with the bigger turbo and perhaps turbo cars in general, lift-off over steer is not something that I want, simply because the slower throttle response makes picking up the slide harder.

In short the PS5s don’t seem the alter the balance of the car.

Noise

I haven’t measured the noise and the car has quite a loud exhaust, having said that, I haven’t noticed noise from the tyres being above what I would consider normal.

General Feel & Summary – Michelin Pilot Sport 5 Review

The more I use the tyres the more I think they feel like a “serious” tyre. A tyre focused on giving good performance in all conditions and a tyre not afraid to give up a little bit of ride comfort.

These tyres are not the brightest and most feelsome but I would say they give me all the information I need and nothing more. They give me the feedback I need, to know where the limit of grip is. I suppose someone could make the argument that there are more “fun” tyres out there, perhaps the Advan Sport V107 for example. But as a nice feeling road tyre, Tyre Reviews place the Pilot Sport 5s first in the dry above all it’s main competitors.

So far I can’t fault the Pilot Sport 5s in any way, as I said at the start, I believe they allow me to travel at higher speeds than would be considered acceptable on the public highway. While giving good feedback and good ride comfort.

In the dry at least, for most cars, the Pilot Sport 5 tyres are not going to be the limiting factor for performance. The limiting factors to speed, in the dry, with PS5s is probably going to be the car’s suspension (namely it’s roll and dive resistance) and brake stamina, not the tyre. And I think if you have coilovers and upgraded brakes, as I’ve said here, the speeds these tyres will allow you to travel at, are probably far in excess of what is considered reasonable for the road.

If you are looking for a road tyre that can also be used on track, these are probably not the tyres for you, there are better options out there, but if you want a nice road tyre, a tyre that takes the edge of bad roads, has a good ride, gives plenty of confidence and grip, I think the Pilot Sport 5s tick all the boxes, at least in dry conditions.

As an added bonus the tread life on the PS5s is supposed to be better than all it’s main competitors, not something that will be an issue in Greece but if you have abrasive roads where you are, that might be a big plus.


More Pilot Sport 5 Reviews

Since the tyres have been fitted, nightime driving temperatures haven’t dropped below 28 Celcius and peak daytime temperatures have been 38 Celcius. The opinions I give in this review are based on these weather conditions. I will be doing more reviews of these tyres in the future in cooler temps and also in wet conditions. If you want to see these reviews, subscribe to the StrikeEngine newsletter (link below) and subscribe to the YouTube channel

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This page was last modified Aug 4, 2023 @ 4:17 pm

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