Michelin Defender review
What is it?
The Michelin Defender is a standard touring all season tire designed for sedans, crossovers, and minivans. Engineered to deliver true four season performance, as well as sound comfort characteristics and long treadlife.
The Defender meets "Michelin Green-X" objectives for low rolling resistance, and therefore increased fuel economy.
Strengths and weaknesses?
Excellent dry traction and steering response for the tire category. Wet road capabilities are markedly above average as well.
Ride quality is satisfactory, and road noise is low. Treadlife is also a strong point.
The Defender doesn't quite make the grade in true winter conditions though. While still better than average for the category, its snow and ice capabilities are short of top tier category alternatives like the Continental TrueContact, which is particularly strong in this area.
How does the Defender compare?
In light of the winter condition performance deficiency, users rank the Defender seventh out of twenty-two category options.
In 2014 Tire Rack comparison testing, the Defender finished second overall behind the Continental TrueContact. Here again, the disparity in winter performance is largely responsible for the result.
Anything else to know?
Budget-oriented shoppers will note that the Defender is notably more expensive than quality category alternatives like the Firestone Precision Touring and General Tire AltiMAX RT43 (T-Speed Rated). Yes, the Michelin has the edge when it comes to overall performance, but many standard touring all season tire users don't prioritize outright performance. Accordingly, both the Firestone and General are worthy of consideration.
And if snow/winter performance is a requirement, then the Continental TrueContact is your go-to.
The Defender is a quality option with many positive attributes, but its relative lack of winter performance and high-end price allow for alternatives to be considered.
Before you buy...
Jump over to our Tire Deals section to take advantage of available tire coupons and rebates. Also, review our important Pre-Purchase Checklist for Tires to make sure you purchase a tire that fits your needs.