Michelin Defender T + H review

Michelin Defender T + H Tires

It is perfectly normal for drivers to have loads of expectations from their tires when they buy them. However, what most drivers do not know is that some expectations contradict each other, especially when it comes to car tires. For instance, some drivers look for impressive winter tires, while also expecting a longer tread life from the same tire.

As a result, drivers need to understand that there are trade-offs with tires when it comes to expectations and needs. This means that you may have to choose between two different qualities while opting for the one you need most. Using the example above, you may decide to go for a tire with a longer tread life knowing fully well that you may not get the excellent traction on wet roads that you desire.

The reason for the elucidation on trade-offs with tires is due to the experience with Michelin Defender T + H tire. This product from Michelin is an embodiment of popular trade-offs that drivers have to make when selecting the right tires for their vehicles. In this Michelin Defender T + H review, we will discuss the features, benefits, pros, and cons of the tire while also reviewing the cars you can use the tire with.

Michelin Defender T + H
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One of the noticeable features of the Michelin Defender T + H is the fact that it was designed for dry and wet roads. Just like other light truck tires, it has a very effective dry handling capability. While it has impressive dry handling, its performance on wet roads is also very impressive and exceptional. There are lots of features in the tread design that prevents skidding or hydroplaning when driving on wet roads, but the same cannot be said for its performance on snow-covered roads.

New Technology for Better Performance

In 2017, some five years after the initial release of the T + H, the manufacturer, Michelin Tires, made upgrades to the tire. However, these upgrades didn’t affect the pre-existing technologies in the tire. This is because these technologies make the T + H a darling among drivers.

Some of the technologies include;

Comfort Control Technology: The purpose of this technology is to provide drivers with a comfortable ride through these tires. It also strengthens the tire’s grip on the road surface, which is a way of increasing the quiet ride that the tire provides.

Maxtouch Technology: This innovation plays a pivotal role in ensuring that the tire lasts longer. Its modus operandi is to evenly distribute the tire’s contact forces on the road. By doing this, the stress points inside the tire get reduced and this ensures that the tire lasts longer.

Intellisipe Technology: While the two technologies explained above affect the tire’s performance, the intellisipe technology helps ensures the safety of the tire. It does this by optimizing the biting edges of the Michelin Defender T + H to ensure that it offers excellent all-season traction.

Safety Features

From the intellisipe technology, let’s discuss the other safety features embedded in the Michelin Defender T + H. Generally, there were high expectations for the safety aspect of this tire. This is because it comes with an H speed rating which means that it considers the safety of drivers.

The following are some of the safety features used in the Michelin Defender T + H;

Zigzag Sipes: This is the representation of that intellisipe technology and it provides the biting edges needed for the extra grip on slippery surfaces, including those covered with light snow.

High Silica Content: This is another feature that ensures that the tire grips wet roads very well and offers good wet traction. Michelin has utilized a high amount of silica in manufacturing this tire. This provides an effective grip on slippery roads.

Circumferential Grooves: This feature helps prevent a situation known as hydroplaning. This situation occurs when water gets in between the tire and the road surface, making it difficult for the tires to respond to steering. the circumferential grooves help to collect and evacuate them from the surface of the tire.

Double Speed Rating

One of the distinctive features of the Michelin Defender T + H is the fact that it has two-speed ratings. As its name suggests, the tire has a T and H speed rating. The T rating implies that the Defender T + H can maintain a speed of 118mph for a long time. This means that the tire works perfectly for family minivans and sedans. It is also ideal for vehicles with high load capacity.

The H speed rating means that the tire can sustain traveling at 130mph for a long time. This implies that the tire is best suited for fast sports cars and coupes.

Treadwear and Durability

One of the main focuses of tire manufacturers is the durability and treadwear of their tires, and Michelin doesn’t disappoint this time. It also makes sense that the Defender T + H will come with durable tread given that it is a highway tire and is relatively expensive.

In a bid to make sure that treadwear is even in the tire and its tread life is maximized, the manufacturer ensured an even distribution of force along the road surface. To test for this durability and even treadwear, the Defender T + H was checked after completing 3000 miles journey, and there was no sign of deformity.

Finally, Michelin uses a combination of the EverTread compound, asymmetric tread pattern, and two internal steel belts to ensure the durability of this tire. These steel belts are both strengthened by a 1-ply polyamide and a two-ply body casing. The EverTread compound is also used in other Defender tires such as the Michelin Defender LTX MS.

Dry Performance

Before judging the performance of any tire on dry or wet surfaces, you need to consider some factors which include braking power, grip, cornering abilities, and stability at high speeds. The Defender T + H performs excellently under each of these factors.

As a result of being made for slippery roads, the tire has independent tread blocks that increase its biting power on dry roads.

Wet Performance

Among the tire manufacturers in the automobile industry, this is the tire with the most feature dedicated to wet traction. This is possibly one of the reasons why many drivers prefer this wheel over its competitors.

with the combination of the high silica content and the Intelliscope technology, the Defender T + H provides one of the best-wet traction performances. The intelisipe technology provides zigzag sipes that create an optimized contact with road surfaces while the high silica content helps increase this optimization process.

Even when driving in the rain, the lateral notches and circumferential grooves switched to action by channeling water away from the footprint of the Defender T + H. With features like this, drivers are safe from the possibility of hydroplaning.

Comfortable and Noiseless Ride

When this model was about to be released, one of the points that Michelin hammered on during the marketing phase was how quiet this tire is. And that wasn’t a publicity stunt. While comfort control tech may sound a bit complex to some drivers, drivers would understand its function after driving on the Defender T + H for few miles.

The technology finds a way to prevent the vibrations from the road to find their way into the cabin of the car, providing drivers with a quiet and comfortable ride. And this will remain the status quo as long as you don’t take the tires for a ride on rough or hilly terrain.

Snow Performance

While the Defender T + H provides unmatchable and reliable traction on wet roads and slippery surfaces, this performance is almost non-existent on a snowy road. Even the powerful biting edges will not help the tires when it comes to surfaces covered by snow. However, you can still manage to drive on the tires in light snow conditions. But once the snow gets much, avoid driving using these tires.

What are the pros and cons


Has a strong and tough tread compound

Comes with a good traction performance on wet and dry road

Provides quiet and comfortable riding experience


Performs poorly in snow conditions

Michelin Defender T + H Review
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Vehicles You Can Use the Tires With?

The following are some of the vehicles that work perfectly well with this model

  • Buick Park Avenue, Regal, LeSabre, Century, Lacrosse
  • Cadillac DeVille
  • Chevrolet HHR, Impala, Malibu, Cobalt, Cruze, Venture
  • Chrysler Sebring, Town & Country
  • Dodge Charger, Stratus, Magnum, Avenger, Grand Caravan
  • Ford Fusion, Taurus, Focus, Flex, Crown Victoria, Freestar
  • Honda Accord, Civic, Insight, CR-V, Odyssey
  • Hyundai Sonata, Santa Fe, Elantra, Genesis
  • Kia Optima, Soul, Forte, Amanti
  • Lexus ES330, ES350, LS430
  • Lincoln Town Car
  • Mazda 929, Mazda6, Mazda5 MPV
  • Nissan Altima, Quest, Maxima, Sentra, Cube, Versa
  • Pontiac Grand Prix, Grand Am, Vibe, Bonneville
  • Scion xB, xA
  • Subaru Outback
  • Toyota Camry, Prius, Solara, Avalon, Corolla, Sienna, RAV4
  • Volkswagen Jetta, Golf, Passat, Touareg

Tire Sizes

The Defender T + H has three different sizes. These include the 16 inches size, 17 inches, and 18 inches size. Under each of these tire sizes, there are different models available, below are some of the available models:

16 Inches

205/55R16 91H BSW

205/60R16 92H BSW

215/65R16 98H BSW

235/60R16 100H BSW

17 Inches

215/55R17 94H BSW

215/60R17 96H BSW

215/65R17 99H BSW

225/50R17 94H BSW

225/55R17 97H BSW

235/50R17 96H BSW

235/55R17 99H BSW

18 Inches

215/55R18 95H BSW

Price Range

The price tag on the Defender T + H starts from $123 upward. However, it is possible to find the tires at a cheaper price as some sales platform offer rebates, discounts, special offers and promos that help reduce the price. You can also get coupon codes from some online retailers.

Michelin Tires Warranty

Michelin offers an 80 000 mile tread warranty which also translates to a 6-year warranty. The tires allow you to reduce mileage by half. You can do this by using different sizes of the tires in front and rear of the vehicle.

You also get a guarantee on the tire uniformity for the first 2/32 inch wear or the first year of use. The warranty comes with a 6-year material and workmanship guarantee. It also involves free full replacement within the first year alone. From that point onward, you get a prorated amount for the repair or replacement of tires.

You may be interested in: Michelin Destiny

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