BMW has been partnered with Michelin for a long time. The French tire brand has supplied tires for high-performance BMWs for as long as most of us can remember. And for good reason, too. Michelin is among the best tire makers in the world and for the past decade or so, few—if any—have been able to do it better. So it’s no surprise that Michelin took the highest tire satisfaction rating in JD Power’s recent survey.

JD Power’s survey considers traction and handling, tire wear, ride quality, noise levels, and even appearance. And since different tires have different jobs, they’re segmented into different vehicle categories, such as for performance cars, luxury cars, and EVs.

That last bit is important, as tire manufacturers are having to make specific tires for EVs and it’s a tougher nut to crack than performance car tires. EVs, especially powerful ones, need a tire that can not only cope with the torque but also provide low rolling resistance, low tire noise, and less vibration. Tires also play perhaps an even larger role in how an EV performs than they do with internal combustion cars, due to the delicate balance between grip and rolling resistance required. However, tire makers are getting better at it, according to the survey.

Photo by Pirelli for media use

“The industry’s focus on EV tire performance shows, especially in terms of lack of vibration and quietness on the road, as compared to non-EVs,” said Ashley Edgar, senior director of benchmarking and alternative mobility at J.D. Power. “As electric vehicle market share increases, it is imperative for both the EV manufacturers and tire manufacturers to collaborate to fine-tune these areas as they play such a large role in EV performance and tire satisfaction.”

Michelin ranked the highest overall in the survey for the 20th consecutive year, with a score of 833 out of 1,000. While Pirelli actually score the highest in passenger cars specifically, with a score of 828, just beating out Michelin’s 827. Michelin ranked higher in trucks and SUVs, which is what gave it the overall nod.

Interestingly, BMW actually switched to a Pirelli P Zero Elect as the OE tire for the BMW i4 M50 and the best driving BMW since the 1M—the BMW M5 CS—used a Pirelli P Zero as its OE tire. It will be interesting to see how the tire brands separate themselves as EVs become an even bigger part of their market.

[Source: JD Power]