Should You Buy Michelin Defender All-Season Tires?

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We take a look at one of the most popular all-season tires out there, the Michelin Defender.


The Michelin Defender is a staple in the all-season tire industry. It offers a ton of sizes, a strong warranty that covers you for six years or 145,000 kilometers, and a design that lowers rolling resistance to save fuel.

Introduced in 2012, the Michelin Defender got a few improvements back in 2017 including an H speed rating (210 km/h or 130 mph). Michelin claims that they Defender is the longest lasting tire you can buy in this segment, and that it will last up to 33,000 kilometers longer than its “leading competitor”.

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Interestingly, when you read what people have to say about the Defender, the topic of snow performance comes up often. It would seem that Michelin Defender owners truly enjoy how the tire handles in snow or on ice.

Although we would never recommend an all-season tire in snow (get a proper winter tire), it does say a lot about the Defender’s ability to handle various conditions. But is that the tire you should buy?


Why You Should Buy a Michelin Defender

  1. It’s a great all-around tire. It was named the best all-season tire by Consumer Reports back in 2016 and that was before the improvements made in 2017.
  2. It’s very durable. It features what Michelin calls MaxTouch Construction that’s designed to improve tread rigidity and road contact.
  3. MaxTouch Construction is paired with IntelliSipes, a marketing term for a lower tread depth that doesn’t impact safety or longevity but does reduce rolling resistance and therefore improves fuel economy.
  4. Better braking distances than your average tire in this price range.

Why You Should Not Buy a Michelin Defender

  1. Honestly, there aren’t that many reasons. We are not saying it’s the perfect tire, just that it falls in that group of tires that don’t really have any shortcomings.
  2. The only thing we could say is that it’s been reported by many users to be just ok in the comfort department.

What We Would Tell Our Friends About the Michelin Defender

We can’t find anything particularly wrong with it. Pricing is ok, it’s modern, it reduces fuel economy and so far no one has come forward to say that Michelin’s longevity claims about the Defender are false. So go right ahead.

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