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.
After reading CR ratings and reading user reviews I bought a set of Michelin Defenders for my 7 year old Toyota Tacoma. While riding home on the new rubber I felt that the ride was harsher and noisier than the tires they replaced. Then came the lightbulb moment. In almost 60 years of buying vehicles, and replacement tires for them, I remember very few times when the installers paid any attention to correct inflation pressures. My Tacoma recommends 29psi front and 32psi rear. After the tires cooled, I checked pressures which ranged from 36 to 39 psi. The 39psi tire was on the driver's side front. I corrected the pressures and went for a short ride. CR's rating for noise and ride was vindicated. I do not believe that my experience was unique and strongly suggest that buyers check tire pressure after installation.
How long have you owned it:
A month or less
Yes, I would recommend this to a friend.
from Denver, CO
Very low mileage life
Tread Life Bad
After only 23K miles, they are nearly shot. Dealer said the Defenders are not living up to their reputation. We rotated them without fail and drive very conservative. Would not recommend them.
How long have you owned it:
More than six months
No, I would not recommend this to a friend.
from Southern, IL.
Somewhat less than advertised.
Smooth And Quiet
Bought these defenders after going through 2 sets of Michelin energy tires in less than 100,000 miles. Was looking for more tread life. Disapointed in that regard. I don't think we will get near 45000 before they are completely gone.