Michelin Defender Review

Hello and welcome to my Michelin Defender review.

Being named the number one all-season tire from the leading authority in consumer reporting magazines is no easy task, but that is exactly where you’ll find the Michelin Defender ranked on the list. It didn’t happen by accident either, as Michelin has used their latest tire technology to create quite an impressive tire that they claim may be the best model in there entire lineup. Here’s a closer look at what this tire offers and what you can expect performance wise on the road.

Michelin Defender review

Dry Traction

No surprises here, the Michelin Defender all season is excellent on all types of dry pavement. An asymmetric tread pattern and silica compound help deliver solid grip while also providing better braking performance. Another added benefit is that this tire features a lower rolling resistance. You can expect to see a little better gas mileage once the tires are broke in. We’ve heard others mention a 2-5% gain in mileage, although results will vary of course.

Rating Verdict – Excellent

Wet Traction

Wet grip is an area where the Defender rates above many other all-season tires, including the older HydroEdge. Michelin uses their unique IntelliSipe Technology which increases the number of biting edges to go with siping around the tread for enhanced grip on wet roads. You’ll notice it reduces braking distance and gives you a more confident feeling when driving in the rain. There’s four circumferential grooves and numerous lateral grooves around the tread surface that push away the water and virtually eliminate the risk of hydroplaning.

Rating Verdict – Excellent

Winter Traction

Driving on snow and ice tends to be challenging for any all-season tire, but the Defender holds its own and actually performs above expectations in all but the most difficult of winter conditions. The added siping and silica tread compound gives this tire more bite on the snow and ice, while also improving braking and acceleration. Though not a snow tire, for drivers living in areas that see moderate amounts of snow and other winter weather, the Defender does a pretty good overall job.

Rating Verdict – Good

Cornering Grip

Michelin’s MaxTouch Construction is designed to optimize the tire’s footprint against the stresses of various road surfaces. What that translates to is better cornering, stability and overall handling performance. You’ll find a large number of Michelin Defender reviews that make note of how stable this tire is when cornering around town or taking interstate off-ramps. While you will not mistake it for a maximum grip high performance tire, it does deliver some of the best cornering/handling in this class.

Rating Verdict – Excellent

Steering Response

You’ll immediately notice how crisp and responsive the steering is on this tire, whether it is changing lanes on the highway or running errands in town. There is no awkward feeling behind the wheel. It simply goes where it’s pointed without issues.

Rating Verdict – Excellent

Ride Comfort

Riding on the Defender is similar to riding on tires like the General Altimax RT43 or even the Michelin MXV4. It’s designed to be comfortable on all types of roads and lessens the jolts when hitting potholes or uneven pavement. Driving 100 miles to your destination won’t leave you feeling wore out or like you just rode on a wagon train.

Rating Verdict – Excellent

Noise Comfort

Michelin tires are known for being quieter than other brands and that is exactly what you can expect on the Defender. Road noise is minimal whether driving at slower speeds or on the highway at 70 mph. It’s comparable to what you find on many of the better grand touring all-season models.

Rating Verdict – Good

Treadlife/Warranty

An added benefit to Michelin’s MaxTouch Construction is an extended tread life on the tire, and the Defender certainly does not disappoint. It comes with a 90,000 mile tread guarantee, which is among the longest of any tire. Based on our own findings, and what other drivers are reporting as well, this is one of the longest wearing tires on the road today.

Rating Verdict – Excellent

Michelin Defender Review

Price/Value

There’s no getting around the fact that Michelin tires cost a little more than most other brands, and that’s mainly due to the quality and performance you’ll find with their tires. As prices go, on a 215 /60 R17 96T tire, the Defender comes in at approximately $146. The same size in a Goodyear ComforTred Touring is $136, while the General RT43 can be found for around $106.

Michelin offers the longest warranty out of this group and arguably delivers a little better performance as well. Value for the money is very good.

Rating Verdict – Good

Final Verdict

A lot of times you see and hear tire advertising that simply turns out to be more hype than fact, but for the Michelin Defender the truth is in the actual results. This tire steps up to the plate and simply flat out performs. It excels in almost every area and delivers the type of driving performance and comfort you want from an all-season tire. In addition, it’s longer wearing tread design makes for a good value in new tires. It definitely deserves a spot among the top tires in this class.

Tire Size
Load/Speed
Sidewall
UTQG
P205/70R14
93T
BSW
820 A B
175/70R13
82T
BSW
820 A B
175/70R13
82T
BSW
820 A B
175/65R14
82T
BSW
820 A B
185/65R14
86T
BSW
820 A B
185/65R14
86T
BSW
820 A B
175/70R14
84T
BSW
820 A B
185/70R14
88T
BSW
820 A B
185/70R14
88T
BSW
820 A B
195/70R14
91T
BSW
820 A B
195/70R14
91T
BSW
820 A B
185/60R15
84T
BSW
820 A B
195/60R15
88T
BSW
820 A B
195/60R15
88T
BSW
820 A B
205/60R15
91T
BSW
820 A B
215/60R15
94T
BSW
820 A B
185/65R15
88T
BSW
820 A B
185/65R15
88T
BSW
820 A B
195/65R15
91T
BSW
820 A B
195/65R15
91T
BSW
820 A B
205/65R15
94T
BSW
820 A B
205/65R15
94T
BSW
820 A B
215/65R15
96T
BSW
820 A B
215/65R15
96T
BSW
820 A B
205/70R15
96T
BSW
820 A B
205/70R15
96T
BSW
820 A B
215/70R15
98T
BSW
820 A B
215/70R15
98T
BSW
820 A B
205/55R16
91T
BSW
820 A B
205/55R16
91H
BSW
820 A B
205/60R16
92T
BSW
820 A B
215/60R16
95T
BSW
820 A B
215/60R16
95T
BSW
820 A B
225/60R16
98T
BSW
820 A B
225/60R16
98T
BSW
820 A B
235/60R16
100T
BSW
820 A B
215/65R16
98T
BSW
820 A B
215/65R16
98T
BSW
820 A B
225/65R16
100T
BSW
820 A B
235/65R16
103T
BSW
820 A B
235/65R16
103T
BSW
820 A B
225/50R17
94T
BSW
820 A B
215/55R17
94V
BSW
820 A B
215/55R17
94T
BSW
820 A B
225/55R17
97T
BSW
820 A B
235/55R17
99T
BSW
820 A B
215/60R17
96T
BSW
820 A B
215/60R17
96T
BSW
820 A B
225/60R17
99T
BSW
820 A B
225/60R17
99T
BSW
820 A B
215/65R17
99T
BSW
820 A B
215/65R17
99T
BSW
820 A B
225/65R17
102T
BSW
820 A B
225/65R17
102T
BSW
820 A B
225/50R18
95T
BSW
820 A B
215/55R18
95T
BSW
820 A B
225/55R18
98T
BSW
820 A B

Fits These Vehicles And Many Others

  • Acura RL, TSX, CSX, TL
  • Audi A6
  • Buick LeSabre, Lucerne, Regal, Park Avenue
  • Chevrolet Malibu, Impala, Cobalt, Cruze, Aveo
  • Chrysler Town and Country, PT Cruiser
  • Dodge Grand Caravan, Avenger, Caliber, Neon, Intrepid
  • Ford Focus, Crown Victoria, Fiesta, Taurus, Fusion, Freestar
  • GMC Sonoma, Savana, Envoy, Yukon, Acadia
  • Honda Odyssey, Accord, Civic, CR-V, Fit, Element
  • Hyundai Tucson, Sonata, Elantra
  • Infiniti G37
  • Kia Sportage, Rondo, Soul, Amanti, Forte
  • Mitsubishi Outlander, Galant, Lancer
  • Nissan Altima, Versa, Sentra, Rogue
  • Pontiac Vibe, Grand Am, Grand Prix, Montana, G5, Solstice
  • Saturn Ion, L300, Vue, Outlook, Sky
  • Scion xA, xB
  • Subaru Outback, Forester, Impreza, Legacy
  • Toyota Sienna, RAV4, Camry, Corolla, Solara, Yaris, Prius, Matrix, Avalon, Tacoma, Echo
  • Volkswagen Jetta, Passat, Eos, Beetle, Golf
  • Volvo XC70, V70

Warranty

Tire Warranty – 6 years or 90,000 miles on all T and H Speed Rated sizes. 6 years or 80,000 miles on all V Speed Rated sizes. Mileage is reduced by half on rear if different sizes are used than on front.

Tire Uniformity – 1 year or first 2/32 inch of wear

Materials & Workmanship – 6 years. Free replacement during first year, first 25% of wear or first 2/32 inch of wear . Prorated amount after that down to the final 2/32 inch of tread depth.

Other – Michelin provides a 30-day satisfaction guarantee. 3 year flat tire changing warranty also included.

Thanks for reading and I hope you found this Michelin Defender review helpful. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave them in the comments section below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *