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Michelin’s Defender family of tires defines excellent traction and tread life, as well as maximized comfort and mileage. Of course, you’d expect nothing less from the manufacturer of premier tires.
Under Defender, you’ll find the Defender LTX M/S and the Defender T+H. We will look at these two models, their respective pros and cons, and their performance vis-a-vis each other and some of their Michelin counterparts.
There’s a lot to unpack with just this lineup. So put on your seatbelt and join us in this ride.
What is a Michelin Defender?
It is a family of tires that gives you two great options for mileage, comfort, safety, and quiet. Both models can take you far, provided that you choose the right fit for your requirements.
Here are Michelin Defender LTX M/S and T+H, which are both long-lasting, all-season tire options.
Michelin Defender LTX M/S
The Michelin Defender LTX M/S is an all-season performance model. This means it can be driven on wet, dry, and winter roads. Its M/S rating implies it is safe to take through mud or slush. That pretty picture it paints is made possible by its tread design that discharges water in rain or snow. Meanwhile, the proprietary Evertread compound allows it to stay 10% longer in rainy weather.
Classified as a high-performance tire, it features a grip that promotes better ice traction and shorter stopping distances during emergencies. MaxTouch Construction can boost your fuel economy. With a 70,000 miles warranty, it has a long-lasting tread quality that can sustain you throughout many seasons.
Yet, if you’re buying a set of LTX M/S tires, you should know that it is quite stiff and, thus, not always as quiet as you wish it to be. It is also prone to flats and blowouts because of its quick warming and cooling cycles. Lastly, its prices start at $144.99. But it can go as high as $360.99.
This tire is compatible with light trucks, crossovers, and sports utility vehicles (SUVs). It works for T, H, and LT sizes. However, it is not designed to tackle deep snow.
- Sporting a directional tread design, this tire allows for easy water discharge during wet weather driving.
- The Evertread compound lets the tire stay 10% longer in rainy weather, as well as promotes durability.
- MaxTouch Construction can boost fuel economy.
- Its tread can last you up to 70,000 miles.
- Its prices can hit a high ceiling, but they are still considered mid-range.
- It tends to be stiff, which can result in some uncomfortable rides over bumps and holes.
- It is prone to flats and blowouts because it is quick to warm up and cool down, which puts pressure on the rubber and affects its density.
- It may get a little noisy, depending on the road on which you’re driving.
Michelin Defender T+H
The highlights of the Michelin Defender TH are excellent mileage and safety. These are the two things you will need for a long drive, such as a cross-country trip with friends or family. The tires with this label never tire. MaxTouch Construction ensures the even distribution of forces to maximize tread life.
Further, this model has a grip that gives you control and confidence in any season. In charge of this is the proprietary IntelliSipe technology. In wet situations, it facilitates hydroplaning through its special rain grooves. The Evertread compound is present here to provide durability.
Continuing the excellent performance is the Comfort Control Technology. You can go miles and miles without dealing with tire noise with this feature on board, or, well, underneath. Make sure there is no over-inflation to avoid vibrations.
A generous 80,000 miles limited warranty comes with this tire as well, particularly for speed rating H. It is available in sizes ranging from 14 to 18 inches. This one is slightly less expensive than the previous model. It retails at $104.99 to $200.99 apiece.
- For long-lasting time on the road, take advantage of this tire’s exceptional tread quality.
- Through MaxTouch Construction, it ensures that forces are distributed evenly for durability.
- It has a good grip and control for all seasons.
- It sports special rain grooves to facilitate hydroplaning.
- Its mileage warranty is hardly matched by other models in its category.
- It is the more affordable version in the Defender family of tires.
- It may produce vibrations when the tire is overinflated.
- Its wet stopping is average at best.
- It could do more in terms of responsiveness.
- Is the Michelin Defender Good in Snow?
Yes, both Michelin Defender models have excellent traction in light snow. The M/S rating of the LTX M/S even shows that it can be used in slush. On the other hand, T+H works well when the icy snap strikes, but it may not be as effective in snowy or icy conditions. It only has fair wet braking as well.
Whether you want a high-performance all-season tire or a long-lasting all-season tire, you can choose from the Defender line.
Now, let’s see how it compares with another Michelin tire collection, the Premier.
Which is Better: Michelin Defender or Premier?
Michelin Premier also has two models in its lineup: the Premier A/S and the Premier LTX. Let’s take a look.
The Premier A/S features the same Comfort Control Technology as the Defender T+H. So you can be sure this one runs smooth and quiet when you’re driving. The Premier LTX is also close to Defender T+H in terms of maintaining hydroplaning resistance on wet pavements. All three also share a similar price range (nothing beyond $300).
The shorter stopping of the Defender LTX M/S can also be found in the Premier A/S.
What makes Premier different from Defender is the EverGrip technology, which provides extra grip on dry or wet roads. This design features many tread blocks and sipe patterns, which can help you cut through the snow. Yet, in a particular Michelin Defender/A/S review and comparison, the lower mileage of the latter was also brought up. In this regard, the former wins.
When asking which is better, we need context to provide an answer. So, in place of a verdict, we will ask you to decide for yourself. Think about your requirements and preferences. What kind of tire are you looking for?
- How Many Miles Do You Get Out of Michelin Defender Tires?
With the Defender LTX M/S Tire, you get up to a good 70,000 miles. This already falls into the category of the best of the best. The average tread-life warranty for car tires is between 30,000 and 100,000 miles.
Even better in this department is the Defender T+H, with its 80,000 mileage warranty. This is hard to match, even for all-season tires. And reports affirm that this model can reach close to its expected run.
If tread wear is a make-or-break factor for you, these two can end up high on your shortlist.
Which is the Best Michelin Tire?
This is quite the question, eh? We only have two models to compare after all. They are both from the same Michelin family of tires, with their respective strengths and weaknesses to show.
If we are to choose, we will pick the “best” for the situation we are in. If our priorities require superior all-season performance, we will go for the Defender LTX M/S.
If what we want is unparalleled mileage and safety, then hands down, it is the Defender T+H.
Both options have reasonable prices, as is expected from Michelin.
When it comes to choosing which tire to use when driving your vehicle through any season, the Michelin Defender is one of the most dependable lines out there. The performance of its models is excellent and superior in many areas. Some failings can be addressed, but they are not make-or-break factors. In this case, the pros outweigh the cons.
Between the two, you will have to decide which features align with your priorities. You can take the LTX M/S through any conditions, while the T+H is suitable in light wintry weather. Your budget may also play a role in your final decision. The T+H is slightly cheaper than the LTX M/S, but both can be used in outfitting luxury vehicles. But the latter is ideal for light pickups, crossovers, and SUVs.
Overall, they are two tires we can recommend for those who want all-season superior traction and tread functionality (LTX M/S) and outstanding mileage and safety (T+H). Of course, you are free to check out our other reviews to find the best fit. You can browse by category to find other models that are similar or comparable to either of the two.
Having considered all the factors mentioned here, which tire model are you planning to get?