Michelin primacy 3 vs Pilot Sport 3

Below we compared Michelin Summer tires. Each tire has its own abilities but while testing them we found out some interesting facts, that we were not expecting. Let’s dig in.

The Michelin Primacy 3 has a comparatively closed tread pattern while Pilot Sport 3 has a little wider grooves in comparison. This clear difference helps a lot to distinguish between their overall capabilities. Tires with closed pattern are considered good on dry tracks while wider grooves help to avoid aquaplaning.

Let’s find out what else their design tell us.

Design Of These Tires:

The Michelin Primacy 3 tire has a closely packed design, all the shoulder blocks are of similar size and shape. All the shoulder lugs are divided by normal sized grooves.

It consists of two tread block rows, one rib and four grooves.

One groove is very thin and it is placed on the outer side.

Two grooves in the central part are wider and the groove on the inner side is of normal width.

The two tread block rows have blocks of similar size separated by narrow grooves and a rib is sandwiched between these rows.

The rib consists of several sipes, that are running from one end towards other.

No sipes are placed on rows and shoulder blocks.

The Michelin Pilot Sport 3 tire has a comparatively open tread design.

It consists of two wider grooves, two narrower grooves and two small lines running on the tread.

It consists two ribs and one tread block row.

One side shoulder blocks are separated by narrower grooves and a longitudinal groove is cutting them in two parts.

While other side shoulder blocks aren’t fully separated and are placed as a half cutted rib.

All the blocks are of same size in the tread block row and they are separated by lateral grooves.

The rib is separated in two parts by a small line and both parts have small sipes placed on them.

All the shoulder blocks have sipes running on them.

Road Grip Comparison

Dry grip is directly proportional to the amount of contact patch, more contact area means more dry grip.

Michelin Primacy 3 due to relatively narrower grooves has more tread blocks so it has increased contact patch that results in its higher grip on dry tracks.

The wet grip of this tire is also good as it has higher contact patch and several sipes placed on its rib.

Moreover, the lateral and longitudinal grooves help in channeling of water so wet grip is improved.

Sport 3 also has good dry grip but it can’t beat its opponent in this aspect as it has wider grooves compared with Primacy.

These grooves decrease its contact patch resulting in less dry grip comparatively.

The wet grip of this tire is also not comparable with its competitor due to lesser contact patch. So, in this section primacy is the clear winner thanks to its closed tread pattern.

 Primacy 3Sport 3
Dry GripHighModerate-High
Wet GripHighModerate-High

Handling Comparison

The handling of a tire depends upon its shoulder. Primacy 3 has very good dry handling due to its closely placed shoulder tread blocks with narrower grooves, that help to bite the surface improving the grip of the tire while cornering.

The wet grip of this tire is also satisfactory but is not as good as its counterpart as the number of sipes engraved on the shoulder blocks is lesser due to which tire may face problems in wiping the water away while cornering.

Michelin Pilot Sport 3 also provides good steering experience due to its closely placed tread blocks in the shoulders as of its opponent.

Both of these tires stand on same grounds while talking about dry handling. But in terms of wet handling Sport 3 wins the race due to its increased contact area from shoulders, plus the increased number of sipes that wipe away the water while cornering and provide extraordinary steering response in wet weather.

 Primacy 3Sport 3
Dry HandlingHighHigh
Wet HandlingModerate-HighHigh

Comparison of Hydroplaning Resistance 

Hydroplaning refers to the condition when tire loses grip with the road and starts to float and resultantly the vehicle loses control.

Sport 3 due to its extremely wide grooves is very good at resisting hydroplaning, although it does not have sufficient lateral grooves but its longitudinal grooves are wide enough to throw all the water backwards, there is sufficient space available for high volume of water to pass away.

This makes this tire very good at resisting aquaplaning.

Michelin Primacy 3 does not have much wide grooves so in this case it isn’t able to beat its counterpart. But it can also resist hydroplaning till a certain level but if speed is increased at wet roads using this tire, then chances are that your vehicle might lose control due to aquaplaning.

 Primacy 3Sport 3
Hydroplaning ResistanceModerateHigh

Comparison of Rolling Resistance

Rolling resistance is proportional to the amount of tire’s tread touching the surface, the more the contact patch, more will be rolling resistance.

So, as we have discussed earlier that Primacy 3 has higher contact patch so it will face higher rolling resistance.

Which will resultantly increase the fuel consumption of the vehicle.

Sport 3 has higher void ratio so it won’t face higher rolling resistance as due to lesser contact patch less force is required to drag the tire.

Resultantly this tire will improve the fuel economy of the vehicle.

 Primacy 3Sport 3
Rolling resistanceHighLow

Comparison comfort

Main thing to discuss in this section is the noise level produced by each tire. Noise is produced by the movement of air particles inside the grooves of a tire.

The wider the grooves the more spaces available for air particles to collide with tread block walls, creating sound. Primacy 3 has less void ratio so it makes less noise than its rival.

While Sport 3 has wide grooves and higher void ratio so more air particles can get in the tread and they make louder noise compared to its counterpart.

In terms on comfort Primacy 3 is the clear winner.  

Durability and treadwear

Primacy 3 comes with new patented tread design that make sures all of the tire tread comes in contact with the road, this feature not only improves tire performance but makes sure that tread wears evenly.

Primacy 3 has higher contact patch so its tread wear is higher as well.

Moreover, it has lower tread depth than its counterpart so its tread is leveled with the grooves before its rival’s. This results in lower tread life.

Sport 3 is also made with durable material. It has lower contact patch so its tread wear is less.

And its tread depth is higher than its competitor so its tread will take more time to level with its grooves and its tread life will increase.


Both of these are summer tires.

Primacy 3:

  • Has better dry traction.
  • Has better wet grip.
  • Provides more comfortable journey.

Pilot Sport 3:

  • Has better wet handling.
  • Provides good hydroplaning resistance.
  • Has lower rolling resistance.
  • Has higher tread depth.

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