The Michelin Defender is part of the tire
test program at Consumer Reports. In our lab tests, all season tire
models like the Defender are rated on multiple criteria, such as those listed below.
Dry braking is from 60 to 0 mph.
Wet braking is from 60 to 0 mph.
Handling includes how well the tires gripped in an avoidance maneuver involving a swerve into the left lane and back into the right lane; dry and wet cornering grip; and subjective steering feel.
About This Brand
A French company, Michelin has its North America headquarters in Greenville, S.C. As a global tire maker, it offers tires for nearly all applications. In North America, it owns the BFGoodrich and Uniroyal brands. Founded in 1891, Michelin first introduced the radial tire, and the company continues to be a pioneer in tire technologies. Michelin tires generally perform impressively in our all-weather tests and offer many models with low rolling resistance and long tread life.
Features & Specs - Michelin Defender
Speed rating Speed rating. This letter denotes the maximum sustainable speed and is found directly after the load index. For S-speed-rated tires, it's 112 mph; for T, 118 mph. Speed ratings for other tires include Q, 99 mph; H, 130 mph; V, 149 mph; and Z, 150 mph plus. While such speeds may seem wildly impractical, tires with higher speed ratings tend to provide better handling at legal speed limits. Choose tires that have a speed rating at least as high as the one specified on your vehicle's placard.
Treadwear warranty Commonly used by tire manufacturers to market tires, the warranty describes the typical tread life of the tire. Consumers should view the warranty an indicator of tread life only. Actual mileage will vary with vehicle type, driving style, road, and weather conditions, just to name a few variables. Nearly all treadwear warranties are based on pro-rated amount based on the usable tread worn off the tire.
UTQG treadwear UTQGS, which stands for Uniform Tire Quality Grading System, is a federal government required grading system for passenger tires excluding winter tires. Key information includes Treadwear, Traction, and Temperature appearing on the sidewall of a tire. UTQG treadwear, an index developed by the government, compares a tire's tread life with that of a reference tire graded at 100. A tire with a grade of 300 is predicted to last three times as long as one graded at 100. Treadwear grades are just one indicator of tread life, but actual tire life will vary due to a number of factors including road conditions, driving habits, vehicle, and maintenance.
UTQG traction UTQGS, which stands for Uniform Tire Quality Grading System, is a federal government required grading system for passenger tires excluding winter tires. Key information includes Treadwear, Traction, and Temperature appearing on the sidewall of a tire. UTQG traction indicates the tire's ability to stop on a wet surface with Government grades of AA, A, B, C, from best to worst.
UTQG temperature UTQGS, which stands for Uniform Tire Quality Grading System, is a federal government required grading system for passenger tires excluding winter tires. Key information includes Treadwear, Traction, and Temperature appearing on the sidewall of a tire. UTQG temperature indicates the tire's ability to resist heat build-up under test conditions with Government grades of A, B, C, from best to worst.
The 90,000 mile tires had to be replaced at 23,000. The tires were on a 2008 Toyota Sienna Limited with 105,000 miles. The tires wore even with no alignment problems. The tires were replaced without question and adjustment was made based on the 90,000 mile warranty.
How long have you owned it:
More than six months
No, I would not recommend this to a friend.
By Suburban Dad
from Newtown CT
Lasted less than expected
I was very surprised to find out that my Defenders only got about 51k miles on them before needing to be replaced. Supposedly good for 90k, these were on a Toyota Sienna XLE. I dont have my records of rotations done and alignment, probably missed some, Im sure, but I did more than 66% of them, so I was really unhappily surpised.<br />That said, the tires rode well, were pretty quiet and handled the suburban lifestyle well. No accidents, I felt confident driving the kids around with these tires on.
How long have you owned it:
More than six months
Yes, I would recommend this to a friend.
By Not getting anywhere fast
from Omaha, NE
It's like driving in tar all the time
This is DEFINITELY not a low rolling resistance tire. We drive this car (and the tires) everywhere, city and highway, short trips and long trips. While the tire handles well, is relatively quiet, and has good traction, our car now has two driving modes: acceleration and braking. There is no such thing as cruising at highway speeds anymore as the rolling resistance is so great that constant pedal pressure is required to keep the car moving. Gas mileage has taken a 10-20% reduction since putting these tires on my vehicle. I echo the thoughts of the engineer who is suffering the same issue on his Prius. Tires have been rotated twice in the year we have owned them with no noticeable improvement. Wheel alignment is within specifications as measured at the dealership. I rated dry grip as a Con because the car rapidly decelerates upon removing my foot from the gas pedal. It's like driving in tar all the time. I'm afraid it is adding more stress to an already old engine and may be hastening the car's demise. I would replace the tires but who can afford that kind of investment? With the limited miles we put on the vehicle now we will suffer with these tires most likely for the balance of the car's useful life (i.e., the tires will outlast the car). The drag on the car drives me insane every time I drive it. The good news is that my wife drives the car most of the time so she doesn't have to hear me complain about it. I trusted CR's rating on this tire and am sorely disappointed.