The difference between a Michelin and a Dunlap start occuring at about 20k. When new there is probably no difference that I can feel. Actually the Dunlops are a very good tire for the length of their tread. They just wear out in half the time.
Dunlops are the only tire I can say that about. Pirellis are the worse, but all others have great difficulty with the other two critical issues of tire's longevity. The first issue is the tire"s desire (through aggresive tread design) to scallop the edges and become noisy. MBs are particularly suseptible to this due to the high amount of caster built into the front ends. This causes the tire to lean into a turn. Great for handling , but causes the scalloped edges on both inside and out on the front. Tires with these tread patterns give noise that often is mistaken for wheel bearings. The Michelin XGT series of tires have this problem and I don't consider them good tires. The Michelin Pilot MXV4 and MXM tires are absolutely top of the line here.
The second issue is the tires ability to take a beating and remain round. That pothole that felt like it was going through the floor and left no damage was just an illusion. It does damage the tire and it shows up 5000 miles later (or less). This is really where the money went. Bullet proof tires cost money and Michelin really has no comparison here. I diagnose at least 5 cars a week with drivability problems due to this issue and they are never Michelins.
I do many alignments for another shop that specializes in Nissans. The owner swears by a number of Jappanese tires; Bridgestone and Yokahoma mostly. Maybe the tires get the rap when the customer/car should take some of it, but I am finding these problems regularly with cars sent for alignment.
In many issues of quality the last level takes a larger financial commitment than the amount of gain. Is that MB really worth twice as much as that Aurora? With tires, I believe it is more distinct. Michelins get most of the money back by lasting that much longer (while usefull - out of round tires have no use to me).
The comfort and reliability are luxury factors hard to put a dollar on, I'm glad the economics can be usually equated through longer wear.
Bosch Master, ASE Master, L1
33 years MB technician