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.
I bought these tires because I have always purchased Michelin tires on all my vehicles in the past. I have to say that although they came highly recommended, I am very disappointed with them. The ride is rough and noisy and they seem to create a drag on my car when I am driving. Also, I don't seem to get the gas mileage I did on my previous ones. I am seriously thinking about replacing them they annoy me so much. I would not recommend these tires.
How long have you owned it:
No, I would not recommend this to a friend.
from Asheville, NC
Huge Upgrade from LTX on 04 Rav4
Less Offroad Oriented
I suspect we will give up a slight bit of heavy snow & Offroad grip with these, but on pavement these tires are fabulous. Quiet, smooth ride, dry panic braking is excellent, and lateral grip, for a conservatively driven family car, is better than any previous tire. We have had the OE Yokohama and Michelin LTX (not LTX2). Other vehicles are hard-driven sports cars. But for the family compact SUV these are great. <br /><br />I cannot comment on treadwear yet nor snow traction, but I suspect they will last the full six years I'm willing to own a tire. <br /><br />For 2004 RAV4 we went with 235/60-16 which is an optional OE size on this car. They replace LTX in 215/65-16 which lasted and did well in mud & snow, but was a somewhat compromised asphalt tire.
How long have you owned it:
Yes, I would recommend this to a friend.
from Natick, MA
Satisfied owner; don't believe all the bad reviews
OEM tires were wearing out, noisey and tended to stray. As with any new tire, these were much better. But, we've been particularlly pleased with the improved handling. My wife drives the minivan more aggressively than me (and she is the primary driver of this van), but treadwear seems average so far. We have another 60,000+ miles to go before we reach the 90k these are rated for. Our mechanic told us that everyone who selects these tires is happy with the long treadlife.