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Michelin Defender2 Tire Review - 1-Year Update 

We update our Michelin Defender2 tire test at the one-year mark. The news is all good.

In May of 2023, we kicked off a long-term test of Michelin’s Defender2 all-season touring tire. Our tester is a 2006 Honda Accord V6 EX-L sedan. These two are a great match, and the quick summary of our one year with the tire is “no surprises.” Michelin is a quality tire brand trusted by manufacturers, retailers, and drivers. We have had only good luck with the tires so far. Here are our two prior test reports:

1) Michelin Defender2 Tire Review - “Just Get the Michelins”

2) Michelin Defender2 Long-Term Test- Wet Weather, Mileage, Silence Updates

Image of Michelin Defender2 tire by John Goreham14,500 Miles Tire Wear
When we mounted the Michelin Defender2 tires, we measured the tread depth at 8.64 mm. Now, having driven in four seasons in New England and having covered about 14,500 miles. The tread depth measures 7.47 mm. Therefore, roughly 1 mm of depth was worn away. We would consider this excellent news. This is not a surprise and is in line with our expectations of such a tire. Tire treadwear is not linear. We would not necessarily expect the depth to be reduced the same amount per mile over its lifespan. The good news is that the tires are showing no signs of premature wear.

Image of Michelin Defender2 tire by John Goreham.1-Year Inspection
We recently had the tires rotated, and the tire professional gave them a clean bill of health. No sidewall cracking, bulges, bubbles, or tears were evident. New England roads can be terrible. The potholes in Boston and Cambridge, MA, where this tire has spent a lot of its life, are notorious for damaging sidewalls. Luckily, we had a mild year, and no damage has occurred. Despite being pretty low profile, these tires have taken a beating and have not shown any sign of damage.

Winter - Mild But Icy
This past winter was not very snowy, but we did have many days of precipitation that formed ice on the roads. We had no trouble on treated surfaces with the Defender2 tire. A dedicated winter tire is always a great idea if you travel in harsh winters, but thus far, we have not had much of a chance to test the tires in deep snow. 

Quiet Ride
The Defender2 tires continue to impress us with their sound profile. They seem to have very little road noise, and no unusual noises such as chirping under quick acceleration. 

Tight Handling
One of our favorite aspects of the Defender2 tire is its crisp handling. The tire seems well suited to the sporty V6-equipped Accord. 

Online Reviews - Positive Owner Comments
We checked out the Defender2’s Tire Rack review ratings. Overall, owners give this tire a solid 4.5 out of 5 stars. Here are some selected comments from verified purchasers we pulled from Tire rack reviews:

  1. “I prefer Michelins because they are reliable and resistant to problems; these tires promise results consistent with those criteria. They handle well, are quiet, and are compliant (i.e., not harsh or jittery on washboard surfaces).
  2. “On this TSX, these tires make it feel like a go-kart.”
  3. “I love these tires. They replaced the original Michelin Latitude Tour, and these Defender 2 are so much better. Their quiet, smooth handling is fantastic. They're great in the rain.”

Conclusion - Michelin Defender2 Tires Live Up to the Reputation
Based on a year of testing in all four seasons in New England, the Defender2 meets all of our very high expectations for a Michelin tire. We expect Michelin tires to perform well, and these do. If we could choose a few areas in which the Defender2 seems to excel, we would say, quiet ride, smooth operation, and sharp handling. 

Our treadwear measurements show that the Defender2 tires are headed for long life. Based on our year of testing, we give the Michelin Defender2 tires two thumbs up. 

Images of Michelin Defender2 tire by John Goreham.

Test Notes: The tires used in this long-term test were provided by Michelin. The author paid out of pocket to have them mounted and balanced. As with all of our automotive product tests, we have offered to return them when testing is concluded.

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John Goreham is an experienced New England Motor Press Association member and expert vehicle tester. John completed an engineering program with a focus on electric vehicles, followed by two decades of work in high-tech, biopharma, and the automotive supply chain before becoming a news contributor. In addition to his eleven years of work at Torque News, John has published thousands of articles and reviews at American news outlets. He is known for offering unfiltered opinions on vehicle topics. You can connect with John on Linkedin and follow his work at our X channel. Please note that stories carrying John's by-line are never AI-generated, but he does employ Grammarly grammar and punctuation software when proofreading.