Michelin Defender Review

Michelin Defender review

When it comes to tire manufacturing and the automobile industry, Michelin has a reputation to uphold. With every tire churned out by the tire manufacturer, there is the continuous reassurance of quality and expertise. The Michelin Defender doesn’t disappoint in this regard.

This tire is one of the latest products from Michelin for minivans and standard cars. In a recent Standard Touring All-Season test, this tire came out first in the test, beating about 21 tires from other brands to clinch the prize.

The Michelin Defender has also been tagged the best in Ride Comfort, Corning Stability, and Dry Traction during this competition. What you get with the Defender is peace of mind and a quality road experience even in stormy situations.

This Michelin Defender Tire review will discuss the different features and benefits of the tire, while also considering the pros, cons, tires sizes, and the type of vehicle that the Defender works with.

Michelin Defender
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Like other Michelin Tires, the major focus of the Michelin Defender is safety and durability. Tagged as Michelin’s longest-lasting tire, the Defender comes with myriads of features and capabilities that ensure the safety of drivers while also maintaining its longevity.

Tread Life

One of the high points of the Michelin Defender is the quality of its tread life. The tire manufacturer claimed, after a series of tests, that this tire has the best tread in the industry. Considering that they are other tires from reputable tire manufacturers offering durable and quality tires, this is a very bold statement. However, Michelin doesn’t make bogus claims.

The durability of these tires is ensured by using an all-season tire tread compound designed to optimize functionality and durability. This tread compound is combined with high silica content which helps the handling of wet roads and wet traction.

The mixture of the tread compound and the silica content forms an asymmetric tread pattern, which also has a unique function; ensuring a quiet and comfortable ride. It is also important to state that the tire uses its in-house tire technology, the Intellisipe technology.

This technology combines with the zigzag sipes and helps provide a more rigid tread block, necessary for optimal and excellent cornering ability and stability. The Michelin’s intellisipe technology also combines with the Green X technology to provide a lower rolling resistance, which results in increased fuel efficiency

Circumferential Grooves

The Michelin defender also offers improved resistance to hydroplaning, all thanks to the lateral notches and circumferential grooves present on the tires. These components combine to ensure the effective channeling of water away from the tread. The tire also offers more traction on light snow roads through the biting edges provided by zigzag sipes and independent tread blocks.

Internal Construction

Michelin followed the industry standard with regards to the internal construction of the Defender tires. The tire possesses two wide steel belts and a single ply of polyamide that serves as reinforcement for these belts. The function of these steel belts and their reinforcements is to stabilize the tread and enhance the steering responsiveness.

This is where the Michelin Defender T+H outranks it, as it possessed a polyester cord and two-poly casing for increased durability and more ride comfort.

Tread Wear Indicators

In a similar fashion to many of the industry’s all-season tires, the Defender all season tire comes with indicators, also known as TWIs. The function of the indicators is to help the driver maintain the tire and stay safe by showing the amount of tread wear left on the tires.

This feature is a very important one because, without sufficient tread, tires would not be able to channel water away from their tread, which in turn affects the wet handling and traction of the tire. This will also affect the resistance to hydroplaning by the tires, and this is a major safety concern for drivers who ply wet roads.

For record purposes, the minimum tread depth for this tire is 2/32 inches.

You will find the TWIs inside the circumferential grooves on the tire. They are small rubber bars placed inside the tire strategically. Once the tires get to the minimum tread depth, you will start seeing the TWIs. At this point, you know that the tire is due for a replacement if you want to keep enjoying optimal braking, traction, and handling.

Dry Performance

This is one of the things that Michelin got right with this tire. The Defender performs excellently on dry roads. The steering response is excellent while also maintaining high levels of traction. The tires offer impressive, direct, and dynamic handling. Its cornering ability is so good that it can achieve high cornering speed without losing grip on the road surface.

Finally, as much as the Defender is one of the all-season tires, it performs excellently on dry roads, braking sharply and ensuring clear communications with the road.

Wet Traction

In what seemed like a shocking turn to experts, this tire has an impressive performance on wet surfaces. The hydroplaning resistance is huge and water on the road doesn’t even affect the performance of the tires.

The tread compound also plays a pivotal role in the wet performance of this tire. The compound with high silica content ensures that the wet traction is excellent even in damp conditions. the braking distance achieved by Michelin Defender tires is one of the top three in the industry and the cornering grip is also perfect.

Snow Traction

One of the things you should bear in mind is that the Defender is not a dedicated winter tire. It performs poorly in winter weather conditions, especially on roads covered with snow. Its performance on light snow is, however, manageable, as long as you take caution while driving. You need dedicated winter tires if you live in a snowy area and wish to get quality ice traction and not the Defender.

Off-Road Driving

The tires are also not built for rough terrains and hilly surfaces. While the tires will move on these surfaces, you will damage the tread in the process, and you may not get the needed traction on hilly surfaces.

What are the pros and cons


It is good for all-season traction

Comes with exceptional tread block rigidity

The steering response is also very good

Provides a quiet and smooth ride

it is fuel-efficient


There could be an improvement with the cornering abilities

It is not a winter tire

Michelin Defender Tire
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Price Range

The tires cost $85 upward. It may however reduce due to discounts, rebates, or coupon codes.

Vehicles that You Can Use the Defender With

Many vehicles work well with these tires. Some are passenger cars while others are regular sedans and coupes. Some of these cars include;

  • Chrysler Sebring, Town & Country
  • Chevrolet Impala, Venture
  • Dodge Grand Caravan
  • Ford Crown Victoria
  • Buick LeSabre, Regal, LaCrosse
  • Cadillac DeVille
  • Lincoln Town Car, MKZ
  • Ford Freestar, Focus, Taurus
  • Honda Odyssey, CR-V, Civic
  • Hyundai Elantra, Sonata
  • Kia Soul, Amanti, Forte
  • Nissan Sentra
  • Scion xB, xA
  • Toyota Sienna, RAV4, Camry, Corolla
  • Subaru Outback
  • Volkswagen Jetta

Tire Sizes

The Defender comes in different sizes. They range from 13 inches to 17 inches. Each tire size have different models available under it Below are these models;

13 Inches

  • 175/70R13 82T BSW
  • 175/70R13 82T BSW

14 Inches

  • P205/70R14 93T BSW
  • 175/65R14 82T BSW
  • 185/65R14 86T BSW
  • 185/65R14 86T BSW
  • 175/70R14 84T BSW
  • 185/70R14 88T BSW
  • 185/70R14 88T BSW
  • 195/70R14 91T BSW
  • 195/70R14 91T BSW

15 Inches

  • 185/60R15 84T BSW
  • 195/60R15 88T BSW
  • 195/60R15 88T BSW
  • 205/60R15 91T BSW
  • 215/60R15 94T BSW
  • 185/65R15 88T BSW
  • 185/65R15 88T BSW
  • 195/65R15 91T BSW
  • 195/65R15 91T BSW
  • 205/65R15 94T BSW
  • 205/65R15 94T BSW
  • 215/65R15 96T BSW
  • 215/65R15 96T BSW
  • 205/70R15 96T BSW
  • 205/70R15 96T BSW
  • 215/70R15 98T BSW
  • 215/70R15 98T BSW

16 Inches

  • 205/55R16 91H BSW
  • 205/55R16 91T BSW
  • 205/60R16 92T BSW
  • 215/60R16 95T BSW
  • 215/60R16 95T BSW
  • 225/60R16 98T BSW
  • 225/60R16 98T BSW
  • 235/60R16 100T BSW
  • 215/65R16 98T BSW
  • 215/65R16 98T BSW
  • 225/65R16 100T BSW
  • 235/65R16 103T BSW
  • 235/65R16 103T BSW

17 Inches

  • 225/50R17 94T BSW
  • 215/55R17 94V BSW
  • 215/55R17 94T BSW
  • 225/55R17 97T BSW
  • 235/55R17 99T BSW
  • 215/60R17 96T BSW
  • 215/60R17 96T BSW
  • 225/60R17 99T BSW
  • 225/60R17 99T BSW
  • 215/65R17 99T BSW
  • 215/65R17 99T BSW
  • 225/65R17 102T BSW
  • 225/65R17 102T BSW

18 Inches

  • 225/50R18 95T BSW
  • 215/55R18 95T BSW
  • 225/55R18 98T BSW

Michelin Tires Warranty

The Defender comes with a complex warranty system. The warranty depends on the speed rating of the defender tire. For instance, the Defender T & H tire has a 6-year and 90 000 miles tread warranty while the tires with V- speed rating have a 6-year or 80 000 miles tread warranty. Tire uniformity for both tires is guaranteed by a year or the first 2/32 inch of tire wear.

The warranty covers materials and workmanship for the six-year duration of the warranty. There is also the free replacement offer which only holds for the first year or the first 2/32 inch of wear.

You may be interested in: Michelin Defender T + H review

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