Twin Turbo 200 bhp Saab vs Michelin Pilot Sports

SvsS_Michelin Tyres 1SvsS_Michelin Tyre 2

Take a powerful, front wheel drive Saab add a set of 8×18″ Hirsch alloys shod with Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tyres, a whole lot of driving pleasure and I didn’t quite now how long the tyres would last.

I’ve driven 27,000 miles in my 9-3 and it seems the front tyres are about ready to be replaced. I must admit, I’m pretty impressed with Michelin’s longevity, for a car with a decent amount of power going through the front wheels, I was possibly expecting half that.

It’s hard to rate them against other brands, as these are all I’ve known on my 9-3, but needless to say, the English weather throws every imaginable extreme at you. Thick snow and sub zero temperatures one moment to 35 degrees the next, flash floods, horizontal rain and even the odd giant hail storm, the Michelins have performed faultlessly throughout them all.

Not once have I felt they’ve been pushed to their limit, and believe me, I’ve tried, rain and shine, roadholding has been exceptional and even at high (high) speeds, road noise has been superbly low.

I could try another brand – Pirelli, Continental and Hankook all have superb reviews, but I think I’ll stay loyal and head to Bond Street for a new set of Michelins and look forward to another 27,000 miles of inspiring Saab driving, thanks Michelin.


16 thoughts on “Twin Turbo 200 bhp Saab vs Michelin Pilot Sports

  1. Michelins are the best no doubt. I have been using them since 1984. Had bad experience with Pirelli P9000 OEM on my 2004 9-5 Aero. The tyres don’t look too bad to me in the pic, of course you would know better but I wanted to ask one question. Have you been rotating them periodically, lets say at 10,000km?

    • Morning, thank you for the comment and recommendation. The front tyres are just over the limit tag, worse on the edge, wheels will need some tracking and balencing I imagine. I haven’t had them turned, I tend to put them on, and enjoy the drive, that is something I should consider though, the rears still have 3/4mm tread on them.

  2. Very interesting. I’ve had the opposite experience with Michelin PS3. Fine tyres but longevity was less than a half of yours. With normal driving, nothing special. On a 9-3 with 2.8 engine in summer. 17″. It was the reason for trying something else. It’s maybe important to stay with PS2…

    • Morning Alex, amazing difference, I’ll stick to the PS2s then. I must admit, I’ve been really impressed with the performance and longevity, they look great too.

      I also sadly noticed that the Hirsch site no longer has any alloys for sale, so they’ll need protecting by great tyres even more now too.

      • Mornin’ 11C, there is one hope, if Saab starts to produce again in a couple of months, as they claim, than also Hirsch might come back. I admit, it is a bit wishful thinking as I’d like to swap some parts for Hirsch.

        Regarding the tyres, I have right now second summer season Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2 (P911 C2 comes with them). Great performance, now after 10,000 miles they seem to make another 10,000. Cheaper than the PS2. Good experience.

      • Morning Alex, I’m quietly hoping that about Hirsch too, it would be a real shame if either party didn’t see the financial benefit.

        Never really thought of Goodyear, but they sound like they’re doing you proud, maybe I’ll look, have to change them very soon, another few hundred enjoyable miles on them yesterday.

        Loving some of your latest posts by the way.

  3. 27k on a pair on the front of front wheel drive with a heavy engine that’s very impressive. I’m planning in replacing the rear tyres in mine before a blast to the Monza GP I might be tempted to get a set and move the Avons to the rear

    • Morning Paul, Monza GP, nice. A comment from Alex seems to be stick with the PS2s and not go for the PS3s though.

      Interesting to hear other peoples thoughts on this.

      • I’d stick with PS2’s if your happy with the last 27k
        I’ll try to do a trip report on the road for the Monza trip

  4. Thanks for the review. FWIW, I’ve run Conti Sport Contact 3s for the past 100,000 miles. I get about 18,000 from the fronts. (9-3 Aero, 2.O, Hirsch Stage 1).

    • Hi Ian, thanks for this, interesting just how different brands are, I was seriously considering some of the high end Hankook Evo S2s, if I had had any doubt about the Michelins, that’s what I would probably have gone with.


      • I’ve always been keen on having the best rubber available – it’s the only thing that keeps the car (and the soft pink bits) on the road!

        I had a 205 GTi 1.9 which I ran for 180,000 miles, all on Michelin Pilot Sports and they were great tyres too.

        When I purchased my Aero it had some really dodgy ‘Admiral’ cheapy tyres. The car wasn’t very stable and there was hardly any grip. As soon as I switched to the Contis, the car really came alive and felt much more secure and accelerated MUCH harder….

        The only other tyre I considered was the Michelins but eventually went with the Contis as they were standard Saab fit, at the time. Sometimes I wonder what the car would be like on the Michelins……

        FYT – Thanks again for a top site. My Saab now has 147,000 on the clock and is pretty tidy too. Just had a brand new complete engine, turbo, intercooler, drive shafts and CV joints so it’ll be good for quite a few more!

  5. Wait! You should consider the Michelin Pilot Super Sports, they are better – trust me, they handle much better in the wet than the PS2’s, cornering is more precise at hight speeds. I had the PS2’s on last year and switched to the super sports. I agree mileage wise I reckon I got 28k out of mine as well (I did rotate but haven’t this time around). Check on camskill as well for prices. I’m running 225 45 18 on my TTID.

  6. Hi 11C, I know you had your car booked in and have probably got new shoes on those lovely rims, but thought i’d throw in my tuppence worth anyway for what it is.

    I had the same issue as you, outside of the front tyres worn to excess. Shame as well as i reckon i would have got another few thousand out of them if it wasn’t for that. Anyway, after weeks of checking out tyre reviews and getting advice on forums i decided to go for the Goodyear Eagle F1’s. I have to say, so far i’m impressed. They certainly grip well in the dry. Difficult to say about the wet yet as (fortunately) there hasn’t been much in the way of heavy rain since i’ve had them fitted but from what others have said they are great in the wet too! Obviously i cannot comment on wear as yet as i’ve just had them fitted. But so far i’m pleased with them. I ordered from Camskill and found a local tyre shop who fitted them for me at £10 a pop. I run on 17″ wheels so they’re probably a little cheaper for me.

    Like you, i don’t rotate. They way i see it you will probably have to change the front tyres 2 -3 times in the lifetime of the back tyres thus saving money. The only thing to be aware of, of course is that the rear tyres will degrade as they get older. The rubber on one of mine is beginning to crack a little on the sidewall but it’s the original tyre that came on the car. The opposite side was replaced when i bought it from the dealer last year as i think the original had a puncture in an area it couldn’t be fixed. I will probably replace the rears next year as i’ve spent quite a bit (well for me) on the car this year. I’ve had the griffin spoiler fitted and installed the leather handle kit. I was toying with the idea of TX alloys but the tyres needing replaced has put that on the back burner for now. I like the alloys that are on it anyway, and may just get them refurbed as a couple have been curbed unfortunately. I was thinking of getting the colour changed slightly as well to a darker silver. I’m still undecided.

    Anyway, that’s my tuppence worth.

    Cheers for now


    • Hi Kev

      Thanks for this, I had booked mine in for the tyres but had to cancel, so all recommendations gratefully received. Sounds like the Goodyears are doing you proud, i’ll look into them.

      TX alloys are pretty smart, I think a slightly darker silver would suit them, let me have a picture to share when / if they’re done.

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