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Michelin Defender2 Tire Review - “Just Get the Michelins”

We review the Michelin Defender2 all-season touring tire designed for coupes, sedans, and crossovers. Here’s what we have found in our initial trials.

Michelin’s new Defender2 all-season grand touring tire came to market recently with the intent of maintaining its leading position as the default tire for many vehicle owners. The tire has earned praise from owners in reviews and we wished to see if it lived up to the sterling reputation it has begun to develop.

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Image of Michelin Defender2 tires by John GorehamMichelin Defender2 - What Type of Tire Is It? The Defender2 is a tire that has been designed for longevity, security, and a quiet ride. This is the type of tire most commuters would choose for sedan, coupe, or crossover if they want a tire that is suitable for all-year use on-pavement. Since it is an all-season tire, it will work quite well on very cold roads below freezing, and it will handle light snow duty, such as that encountered on a typical commute. Since it is a grand touring tire, it is designed with handling and comfort in mind. A tire of this type is not just for commuting but is equally well-suited to road trips and back-country adventures.

Related Story: Michelin CrossClimate2 Tire Review Conclusion - The New 4-Season Standard

Michelin Defender2 - Will It Fit Your Car? The Michelin Defender2 tire comes in diameters from 16-inch to 20-inch. However, most of the sizes are in the 16-18-inch range. In total, there are 38 sizes presently. Mostly for popular makes and models of vehicles. You can view a chart here to see if the Defender2 will fit your car. However, we always suggest that any shopper ask their tire retailer to verify the tire they are considering is right for their specific vehicle. Image of Honda Accord by John GorehamMichelin Defender2 Review - Our Test Vehicle We have fitted the Michelin Defender2 tires to a 2006 Honda Accord EX-L V6. This is a high-volume model, and this is the top trim of that model for the year in which it was produced. The same size tire is used on many sports sedans, such as the Acura TSX. Our Accord is aligned properly and the rims are in good shape. Our Accord originally came with Michelin tires. Since its original tires were fitted, we have changed them due to normal wear and tear multiple times, with fully-worn Bridgestone Blizzak Winter tires being removed to make room for the new Defender2s. Image of mobile tire van by John Goreham Our go-to on-site tire installer, Boston Mobile Tire, balanced and mounted the Defender2 tires for us, and we paid our of pocket for the service, as we always do in our tire tests. The balance is perfect, and the tires seem perfect for our Accord.

Image of Michelin Defender2 tires by John Goreham


Michelin Defender2 Tires - Initial Driving Impressions We have had a chance to drive the Defender2 tires on suburban, urban, and highway roadways since the installation this past week. Here are our impressions broken down into categories. - Comfort - New tires generally feel pretty sweet, given that they have full tread, are newly balanced, and the tires that came off are worn. However, the comfort of the Defender2 tires is hard to miss. A short ride over broken-up roads reveals that they are comfortable over all surfaces. -Sound Level - The Defender2 tires are still fresh, but they seem very quiet by comparison to other all-season tires we have tested. -Handling - The biggest improvement over past tires is felt in the wheel. The Defender2 tires turn in crisply and handle very well in corners. -The Look - The Defender2 has a unique sidewall. We like the look, and suspect many shoppers will as well.

Michelin Defender2 Tires - Reviews and Ratings At Other Sites T

ire Rack customers scored the Defender2 tire a 4.5/5 in over 120 reviews. In Tire Rack testing the Defender2 also scored quite high in all categories. That includes earning a rating of Excellent in the Wet, Dry, Comfort, and Treadwear categories. Discount Tire reviewed the Defender2 and said, “If you like the Michelin Defender T+H, you’re going to love the Michelin Defender 2, its leveled-up big brother. With a slew of upgraded, updated, and entirely new features, the Defender 2 doesn’t just help you get where you need to go, it’ll make sure you have fun along the way.”

Michelin Defender2 Tires - Prices We shopped the Michelin Defender2 tire against its premium brand peers at a popular inline tire retailer. Here are the results we found. We used the 215/50R17 size as our example. Only tires in stock for immediate shipment were considered. Michelin Defender2 - $191 Pirelli P7 AS Plus 3 - $189 Goodyear Assurance Comfort Drive - $193 Bridgestone Turanza Quiettrack - $209 As you can see, there is no meaningful price difference between the major premium tire brands in this category. The Michelin Defender2 is priced mid-pack, which we feel makes it a good value. Image of Michelin Defender2 sidewall courtesy of Jay Condrick


Michelin Defender2 Tires - Warranties Michelin Tires have a warranty package the company calls the Promise Plan. The plan has four main elements, as follows: -60-Day Satisfaction Guarantee -Roadside Assistance for 3 years -Manufacturer’s Limited Warranty against defects -Treadwear Warranty In the case of the Defender2, which has been designed for long life, the treadwear warranty is a whopping 80,000 miles. That is the longest treadwear warranty of any tire this author has ever tested. Image of Michelin Defender2 tires by John GorehamMichelin Defender2 Tires - Initial Impressions Summary & Future Plan Our initial impressions of the Micheline Defender2 tires have been entirely positive. Our title comes from a comment we overheard when we took another vehicle with other tires we were testing to a retailer for mounting and balancing. One of the other customers in the shop was trying to decide which brand to buy, and the experienced shop manager said, “Just get the Michelins.” Indeed, it is a brand known for quality and durability. In our next review installment, we will address any changes we find to fuel economy and wet-weather performance. In a fall review, we hope to speak to snowy weather performance. Check back for more testing updates on the Michelin Defender2 tire.

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.

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 follow John on Twitter, and TikTok @ToknCars, and view his credentials at Linkedin Images by John Goreham except the image of the Defender2 close-up, which is courtesy of Jay Condrick of Boston Mobile Tire.


Ray (not verified)    December 9, 2023 - 11:16AM

I'm running the Michelin Defender2 on my 2012 Toyota Corolla and love them. Have racked up 11k in 12 months. Smoothe ride, good handling, good gas mileage, and excellent performance in wet conditions.