Michelin Defender T+H Review: 2021 Analysis

| Last Updated: October 12, 2021

Today there is a tire for every niche application imaginable. However, this doesn't mean that manufacturers like Michelin have given up on the lucrative market of daily-driver family cars.

The Defender T+H is proof of that. This is a tire that offers an incredible balance of price, durability, and performance. 

If you are looking for a tire with those features, then this review is for you.

TL;DR: Michelin Defender T+H 

Ready to learn more about this tire? First, let's review its pros and cons.

Michelin Defender T+H

MICHELIN Defender T + H All-Season Radial Car Tire for Passenger Cars and Minivans, 205/65R16 95H

PROS

  • Available in a variety of sizes
  • Unbeatable price-value ratio
  • Adequate traction on snow and ice
  • Provides unparalleled wet and dry grip for family cars

CONS

  • Sensitive to aggressive driving styles
  • Its grip in snow may be affected in relatively heavy vehicles

Best For:

Family vehicles such as sedans, minivans, and crossovers used for everyday driving

Michelin Defender T+H  Performance Ratings

Whenever tire ratings are discussed, one of the main aspects to consider is the number of miles reported by drivers. In our case, the Defender's 2M+ reported miles make its ratings relatively reliable. 

However, it also implies that its current ranking of 4 out of 17 in the Standard Touring All-Season segment could change by the time you read this article.

That said, below are shortcuts to the ratings in each category.

Michelin Defender T+H Dry Performance

Dry Performance Ratings

Dry Overall

9.3

Cornering Stability

9.2

Dry Traction

9.5

Steering Response

9.1

The excellent results on dry roads are not surprising. After all, this is a tire designed for family sedans, minivans, and crossovers. Michelin has always put great emphasis on offering a firm and predictable grip for cars in that segment.

And once again, they have succeeded. If you are looking for a tire that provides excellent stopping power and reliable dry performance, this tire is one of your best choices.

Michelin Defender T+H Wet Performance

Wet Ratings

Wet Overall

8.8

Hydroplaning Resistance

8.9

Wet Traction

8.8

The same argument explained in the previous category applies to wet performance. Family cars require tires that provide safe braking when the road is wet. And this is exactly one aspect where the Defender T+H excels. This tire will not disappoint if your main concern is good wet traction and high resistance to hydroplaning.

Michelin Defender T+H Snow / Ice Performance

Snow / Ice Ratings

Snow / Ice Overall

7.2

Light Snow Traction

7.9

Deep Snow Traction

7.0

Ice Traction

6.6

The point of buying an all-season tire is that it should perform well on snowy or icy roads. In that sense, this tire offers an adequate level of traction for the vast majority of midsize family sedans.

This is possible thanks to the new, high silica content all-season tread compound used by Michelin. From the point of view of snow and ice performance, this tire is among the best in its segment.

Michelin Defender T+H Comfort Performance

Comfort Ratings

Overall Comfort

8.7

Ride Quality

8.8

Noise

8.5

Michelin's IntelliSipe technology and the excellent structural rigidity provided by the two wide steel belts give the Defender a superior road contact area. This translates directly into an unparalleled driving experience, with low noise levels that are hard to hear. If you are looking for a tire that delivers a premium driving experience, then you will not find a better alternative on the market.

Michelin Defender T+H Treadwear Performance

Treadwear Ratings

Treadwear

8.8

One of Michelin's objectives in redesigning the Defender was to improve its durability under normal driving conditions significantly. We must say that this objective was successfully achieved. This tire has one of the most durable treads in its segment, which guarantees years of uninterrupted use. If you are looking for a long-lasting tire, then this is one of the best options available. 

Michelin Defender T+H Warranty

Treadlife Warranty

6-year warranty or 80,000 miles, whichever occurs first. This warranty is halved when the rear and the front tires are different in size.

Uniformity Warranty

Complaints regarding these tires’ uniformity must be subscribed in the first year of use or the first 2/32" of wear.

Workmanship / Materials Warranty

Michelin provides an amazing 6-year warranty against defects in workmanship or materials. Moreover, it also offers free tire replacement for the first year, 2/32" wear, or 25% wear.

Road Hazard Warranty

Sadly, none.

Manufacturer Special Warranty

This tire comes with a special warranty consisting of 60-day satisfaction (in which you can exchange the tire for a BFGoodrich or Uniroyal equivalent) and a 3-year flat changing service.

Tire Rack Road Hazard Warranty

On top of the tread life warranty offered by Michelin, this tire features Tire Rack's leading warranty that covers refunds of up to $40 for repairs per tire per occurrence.

Moreover, if the tire suffers non-repairable damage within the first 2 years, a refund of the original purchase price or replacement purchase price (whichever is less) will be made.

With 80,000 miles / 6 years of warranty, this is undoubtedly one of the most cost-effective tires in the Standard Touring All-Season segment.

Michelin Defender T+H Specs & Options

As is to be expected from a tire designed for such a broad sector, the market coverage offered by Michelin is quite generous. This tire is available in sizes ranging from 14 inches to 18 inches and rim widths from 185 to 235. Regarding its UTQG of 820 A B, it is normal for this type of application (family cars). To learn more about the UTQG, read this article.

This is a tire available in the most popular sizes used by family sedans and minivans.

Michelin Defender T+H Reviews

Although the vast majority of the reviews of the Defender T+H are positive, several negative comments stand out.

The drivers writing the negative comments state that after 20,000 miles, the tread wear is already noticeable. Moreover, they describe the traction in light snow as poor and the noise levels being quite high.

The only pattern we have found among these drivers is that most of them point out that their driving style is spirited and that their cars are midsize sedans. This leads us to believe that this tire is susceptible to premature wear when used outside of the normal driving conditions you would expect from a family vehicle.

The above reminds us that an excellent dry grip is not necessarily synonymous with a tire being suitable for an aggressive driving style. 

After analyzing driver reviews, we can conclude that this tire offers amazing durability and performance when used under normal driving conditions.

Quick Recap

MICHELIN Defender T + H All-Season Radial Car Tire for Passenger Cars and Minivans, 205/65R16 95H

Michelin Defender T+H

Dry

9.3

Wet

8.8

Snow / Ice

7.2

Comfort

8.7

Treadwear

8.8

End of the Road

Michelin has done an amazing job with the Defender. This is a tire that provides predictable and reliable performance in both wet and dry conditions as well as an adequate level of traction in snow. It is not a high-performance tire, but it is one of the best family car tires currently available on the market.

Damaso has been in the automotive world since he was 14 years old and his father decided to bought an auto repair shop. Years later, his passion for electronics, computers, and automotive mechanics motivated him to graduate in Mechanical Engineering and venture into the sales of automotive equipment. For years Damaso worked as a technical advisor assisting car dealerships, tire shops, and even the plants of Toyota and Mitsubishi that operate in his country. He has over 25 years of experience reporting on topics ranging from DIY jobs, technological analysis, automotive news, and more. He is a wealth of information and a valued member of our team.