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Michelin Defender T+H Review

Michelin Defender T+H Review

No matter the type of vehicle you own, you want the best tires possible to enhance your safety and the vehicle’s maneuverability. Good tires can improve your fuel economy, lengthen the life of your brakes and brake pads, improve handling, and increase your overall safety. If you’re on the search for new tires, the Michelin Defender T+H could be ideal depending on your needs. Read this Michelin Defender T+H review to learn about the tire’s features, performance, pros, and cons to see if this is the right tire for you.

Michelin Defender T+H Overview

The Michelin Defender T+H is designed to build off the original Defender with better technology and a rubber tread compound for long-term durability. The Defender T+H combines long tread life with all-season capabilities to create a standard tire for the drivers of coupes, family sedans, minivans, and small crossover vehicles. Some important aspects to note include:

  • All-season tread compound
  • Asymmetrical tread pattern
  • High silica content
  • Independent tread blocks
  • Zigzag sipes

Michelin Defender T+H Features

Although all tires serve the same purpose, they are created differently to serve varying needs. This tire, for instance, is designed mostly to run on the tarmac. Here are some of the features that set the Michelin Defender T+H apart from competitors:

Safety Features

The Michelin Defender T+H has some safety features to help you feel more confident on the road and improve your overall driver experience. The defining safety features are:

  • Zigzag sipes: A sipe, also called a kerf, is a small slit in the tire’s tread block that is intended to create additional tread surface area for increased grip. There are distinct zigzag sipes on the Michelin Defender T+H with the required biting edges. This feature is especially beneficial on slick surfaces.
  • High silica content: Michelin has included in this tire’s chemistry a higher level of silica content than found in previous iterations. Silica helps tires maintain a higher level of traction.
  • Circumferential grooves: These are major grooves molded into the tire. They provide lateral biting edges and enhance cornering traction. Michelin included them on the design of the Defender T+H for added safety to help prevent hydroplaning.


The Michelin Defender T+H differentiates itself from other tires because of the impressive technology used in its construction. Features that have a positive influence on the tire’s on-road performance are:

  • MaxTouch Construction: Michelin uses the MaxTouch Construction to maximize the tire’s life. It distributes the tire’s contact forces evenly and minimizes stress points inside the tire.
  • IntelliSipe Technology: This technology increases the tire’s safety by maximizing the tire’s biting edges to ensure all-season traction.
  • Comfort Control Technology: Comfort technology increases the on-road grip to decrease road noise, resulting in a quieter ride.

Speed Rating

The speed rating of a tire identifies the maximum amount of speed it can maintain over a longer time period. A tire can go over the speed rating, but doing so would decrease the performance and may be dangerous. As showed by the name, the Michelin Defender T+H has two speed ratings. The different speed ratings are:

  • T: This rating is best used for vans and family sedans and indicates the tire can safely and comfortably maintain a speed of 118 miles per hour.
  • H: This rating applied best to coupes or sport sedans indicates the tire can maintain a speed of 130 miles per hour.


Michelin tires all have a Standard Manufacturer’s Limited Warranty, which covers workmanship and materials defects for up to six years or for the life of the original usable tread, whichever comes first. The Michelin Defender T+H tires also have an 80,000-mile treadwear limited warranty.

Michelin Defender T+H Performance

Consider your daily driving conditions when choosing your own set of tires. Here is how the Michelin Defender T+H performs under different driving conditions:

In Dry Conditions

The tire offers more steering control on full paved roads because of an increased footprint on dry tarmac. The Michelin Defender T+H is intended for highway driving and offers the dependable stability and smooth drive you’d expect. Because the independent tread blocks are designed to handle slippery surfaces, they fare extremely well in dry conditions.

In Wet Conditions

The tire performs well in wet conditions, with little to no slippage. The IntelliSipe technology, special 3D active sipes, provide dependable grip in wet weather conditions. Because of circumferential grooves, road contact is optimized and hydroplaning was not an issue in testing. The lateral notches channel water away from the footprint of the tire and ensure better tire-to-ground contact.

In Snow

Because these were designed to be highway and tarmac tires, they don’t perform too well in snow. They do not have the lugs that provide the necessary traction in snow, nor do they have indents to insert studs for grip in icy conditions. Michelin did not intend these tires to be used in snow.

Noisy Roads

These tires excel at providing a safe and smooth ride on the highway. Vibrations are near non-existent, making the cabin ride an exceptional experience, even on noisy roads. Vibrations from outside the car stay outside. The Michelin Defender T+H is one of the quietest tires Michelin offers. However, as with all vehicles, a hilly terrain might create some noise.

Michelin Defender T+H Pros and Cons

When deciding which tires are best for your vehicle, it’s important to look through online reviews for pros and cons. Some advantages of the Michelin Defender T+H include:

  • Dependable performance on dry and wet surfaces
  • Comfortable and quiet ride
  • Increased tread life when compared to original
  • Good value for the price

Some disadvantages of the Michelin T+H include that it is not intended for deep snow, icy conditions, or hard-pack terrain.

The Michelin Defender T+H can be a great tire to outfit your vehicle with for many reasons. It performs well in varying conditions and has an increased warranty of 80,000 miles. Consider your individual needs, driving habits, vehicle specifications, and even the weather in the area where you live to help determine if it is the right tire for your vehicle.

FIXD Research Team

At FIXD, our mission is to make car ownership as simple, easy, and affordable as possible. Our research team utilizes the latest automotive data and insights to create tools and resources that help drivers get peace of mind and save money over the life of their car.

We’re here to help you simplify car care and save, so this post may contain affiliate links to help you do just that. If you click on a link and take action, we may earn a commission. However, the analysis and opinions expressed are our own.


About the Author

FIXD Research Team

FIXD Research Team

At FIXD, our mission is to make car ownership as simple, easy, and affordable as possible. Our research team utilizes the latest automotive data and insights to create tools and resources that help drivers get peace of mind and save money over the life of their car.

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