Michelin Defender T + H Tire Review & Rating

The new for 2017 relaunch of the Michelin Defender T + H builds off the original Defender with the latest in tire technology that includes a new rubber tread compound and pattern that is created to provide enhanced treadwear and long term durability.

Michelin uses a next generation Evertread compound and asymmetric tread pattern on the Defender T + H that features higher amounts of silica for increased traction on wet pavement, while maintaining consistent grip as the tire wears down. It’s the same compound used on the best-selling Defender LTX M/S for trucks/SUV’s.

Michelin Defender T + H Tire Review

Independent tread blocks and Michelin’s Intellisipe Technology, which provides interlocking zig-zag sipes around the tire, assist in delivering excellent wet traction. These added sipes and their biting edges further enhance performance on snow covered road surfaces, which is very good for all-season tires.

Comfort Control Technology gives this model a smoother and more quiet ride on most any road surface. Noise is minimal and you’ll find the ride to be very comfortable for the most part.

Michelin has initially released the new Defender T+H in several 16-18 inch sizes, with many more to come throughout 2017. An 80K mile tread warranty is included on all tire sizes.


  • Dependable dry and wet traction
  • Comfortable and quiet ride quality
  • Treadlife is much better than the original
  • Excellent value for the money


  • Not the best in deep snow or on ice and hard-pack

Overall Thoughts

The Defender has been a popular choice since its release in 2012, but despite its popularity it still had a few faults. One of those was with treadlife. Despite a 90K mile warranty, we heard from a number of drivers who said they were not seeing that many miles from the tread.

Michelin addressed this issue with this newly released updated model. In fact, Michelin claims the new Defender T + H to be “the longest lasting tire among leading competitors’ tires.” Time will tell, but we feel these added improvements in the tread compound and design will likely prove this to be true.

In addition to a longer treadlife, the Defender T+H delivers consistent all-around solid performance. Dry and wet traction is excellent, while the ride is quiet and comfortable. Now that treadlife has been addressed, the only area of concern we can find is with performance in deep snow or on icy road surfaces. To be fair though, this issue is found on most every all-season tire. If you need reliable and dependable winter traction, you’ll want a set of dedicated winter tires.

Overall, this new model is now one of the best standard all-season tires available today. Highly recommended.

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What Vehicles Will The Defender T + H Fit?

(This is not a complete list of ALL vehicles this tire will fit)

  • Buick Park Avenue, Regal, LeSabre, Century, Lacrosse
  • Cadillac DeVille
  • Chevrolet HHR, Impala, Malibu, Cobalt, Cruze, Venture
  • Chrysler Sebring, Town & Country
  • Dodge Charger, Stratus, Magnum, Avenger, Grand Caravan
  • Ford Fusion, Taurus, Focus, Flex, Crown Victoria, Freestar
  • Honda Accord, Civic, Insight, CR-V, Odyssey
  • Hyundai Sonata, Santa Fe, Elantra, Genesis
  • Kia Optima, Soul, Forte, Amanti
  • Lexus ES330, ES350, LS430
  • Lincoln Town Car
  • Mazda 929, Mazda6, Mazda5 MPV
  • Nissan Altima, Quest, Maxima, Sentra, Cube, Versa
  • Pontiac Grand Prix, Grand Am, Vibe, Bonneville
  • Scion xB, xA
  • Subaru Outback
  • Toyota Camry, Prius, Solara, Avalon, Corolla, Sienna, RAV4
  • Volkswagen Jetta, Golf, Passat, Touareg

Tire Sizes


205/55R16 91H BSW
205/60R16 92H BSW
215/65R16 98H BSW
235/60R16 100H BSW


215/55R17 94H BSW
215/60R17 96H BSW
215/65R17 99H BSW
225/50R17 94H BSW
225/55R17 97H BSW
235/50R17 96H BSW
235/55R17 99H BSW


215/55R18 95H BSW

Price Range

Michelin Defender T+H prices range from approximately $123 and up. You may also find occasional rebates, discount prices, coupons and special offers on this tire.

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The Michelin Defender comes with a 6-year or 80,000 mile tread warranty on the T + H. Mileage is reduced by half if different sizes are used on front than rear. The tire’s uniformity is guaranteed for the first year or first 2/32 inch of wear.

Materials and workmanship are guaranteed for 6-years and includes free replacement during the first year or first 2/32 inch of wear. Michelin prorates out the amount for the remaining time period or until the final 2/32 inch of tread depth on the tire.

Michelin also includes a 3-year flat tire changing service and their 30-Day customer satisfaction guarantee, where if you are not satisfied with your tires you can exchange them for a different model or get a full refund.

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40 thoughts on “Michelin Defender T + H Tire Review & Rating

  1. Got the 195/65R15 Defender T & H tires for replacement of the older (pre T & H) Defender tires on 2010 Corolla. Previous Michelins got 72K (didn’t want to start fall/winter with marginal tread) and these (so far) appear better tires (I’ve driven ~4K on the new tires). Gas mileage has remained constant (~39 mpg) and they handle great. Looking forward to another 80K miles on these tires. I won’t buy any other brand of tire….Michelin rocks.

  2. Dealer mounted Defender t+h asymmetric tires inside out; have 32k miles on them before another tire shop noticed. Should I have original dealer remount tires now? Thanks

  3. Just changed from a Michelin LTX to the T-H. The tire store never even mentioned the old LTX as a replacement tire for my 2014 RAV 4. I barely got 50,000 out of the LTX and they got extremely noisy the last 20K. I’m should have done more research on this T-H as far as snow performance goes because living in Montana, snow performance is one of my main concerns. We will see I guess because that is why I changed tires for the upcoming winter. The LTX didn’t look like they were safe for getting through another winter. I sincerely hope that I have not made a bad choice because my RAV has always been a great car in the icy and snow covered roads here.

  4. I would go to a michelin store and tell them about the warranty. They will probably give you 40 to 50 percent off new tires. It will still cost money but usually you can pick the tire you want with a discount but never will be free

  5. Which tire gets the better gas mileage and how much is the difference between the michelin defender ltx and the michelin defender t+h?

  6. Have the 225-65-17 T+H on my subaru 2016 outback? Are they tough enough for long distance travel on Gravel road as in Alaska and the Yukon?
    Seem fine for highway driving, but considering Michelin Defender LTX MS or the Yokohama GEOLANDAR A/T G015 (A/T) tires.
    1. Is the G015 quiet enough to run as a year around tire in western WA.? I know its tought fro gravel.
    2. is the LTX MS tough enough for gravel use?

  7. A couple of years ago I purchased the Defender XT, I am very happy with tire so I went to purchase my second set and the salesman told me the company no longer manufacture the Defender XT, So I had to purchased the defender H+T. Can you please tell me what the difference?

    1. Hey, so according to my research H+T provide an excellent value for money and their tread life is amazing but
      they aren’t the best in deep snow or on ice. For a better understanding, check out our review on Michelin Defender T + H Tire.
      Let us know if you need more information, goodluck!

  8. I’m looking at a set of Michelin Defender LTX M/S tires size 275/55/20 being put on a 16′ Silverado LTZ.
    I occasionally pull an 8000lb trailer but, mostly drive highway miles. I live in Michigan so, there is snow to contend with for part of the year.
    If anyone has any experience with these tires for these conditions, please, your input would be greatly appreciated.

    1. I purchased a set of Michelin Defender LTX M/S tire size 275/60/20 as a replacement for the OEM Goodyear tires for my Dodge Ram 1500. I also town 8000 lbs. frequently and have had excellent experience with the Michelin’s. They are a superior tire in every aspect of performance vs. the previous tires. I am also located in Michigan and have enjoyed the improved performance through all the crazy Michigan seasons. I currently have 20,000 miles (2 years old) on the tires and current performance is good as new. Highly recommend!

    2. Hey Robert, as per my research these tires do not handle so well under snow and wet road conditions. Thank you for approaching us!

  9. I bought a set of Michielin Defenders for my 2007 Toyota Camry in 2014 I am quite happy with the handling experience . Also the car is very quiet with these tires And feels quite secure in most conditions . The only downfall with these tires is the sidewall is full of small cracks. Which has me now worried . We only put on 30000 miles on them . Im not sure i’ll be replacing these tires with another pair of Michelins . Considering they were quite expensive . I think they should be fully reinbursed .For the amount of miles we put on them . Also I am a retired And I did extensive research on these tires And now feel I’ve been let down .

    1. Oh no, Martin. Extremely sorry to hear about your experience. What tire are you driving? We have plenty of useful blogs on tires ranging from the most affordable to the most reliable choices. Let me know how I can help.

  10. I just put the 15 Defenders T+ H on my 2001 Forrester and there smooth riding, good traction on wet, quiet and cornering feels very solid. I’m only on mile 300 out of 80,000.

      1. Ran Michelin defender t&h on 2015 dodge caravan got 90000 km were still good but had a rod puncture one tire so replaced them all would easily have gotten 110000 km out of them replaced them with the same set again never had 1 issue with them would definitely recommend to anyone

  11. Put a set on my 2014 Forester at 55k miles. Corners better than the original Yokohamas and seems better in the wet too. Have yet to try them in heavy snow or ice. Not as good as previous all-season Michelins, but that was on a 1999 Subaru Brighton. So hard to compare. Overall, an excellent tire.

    1. Hi Jon
      Great to hear about your experience until now, as mentioned in our review the performance in heavy snow leaves a lot to be desired.

    1. Hi
      We can understand that you’ve had a bad experience which would explain your frustration towards this tire. Could you please tell us more about your experience using other Michelin Tires or perhaps the Michelin Defender T + H? We believe your information would help inform other members of our community, thank you.

  12. These tires are great for the vehicles they are intended for. There is a list of vehicles above and there are no “trucks” on it, this is a tire for cars and SUVs. I have found that it works great on two of my mid sized cars and I have Michelin Defender LTXs on my trucks. Bert your truck is handling like a car because you have CAR tires on it. A SUV is not a “truck” and in all honesty you really should put “truck” tires on a “truck”. For the money these tires are great for my Maxima and Genesis. You really need a Defender LTX on a truck so you don’t have the sway that a car would have. You bought the wrong tires. I seriously doubt there will be a recall because this by far Michelins best selling tire after the 2017 redesign. The earlier ones did have issues with wear. To answer another question for Bill Miller you can rotate them front to back and then X the backs to the other sides. The only thing is when they are mounted on rims there is one side has to mounted on the outside and even says OUTSIDE on it but they are unidirectional tires. I have almost 60k on these tires on my Maxima and feel that I can get one more winter out them, I haven’t any issues with them and I rotate them every 8000 miles.

    1. I have the defenders on my 2014 F150 4×4 with the stock 20” rims. Since the installations of these tires I have a hum coming from the front tires. The alignment was checked on the day of the install. There is no mention of the 20 “ defender tires on any reviews is that because they are in the class of truck tires instead of light pickup or suv ?

  13. I bought Michelin Defender in 2014 for my Toyota Corolla and the tires only lasted 35,000 miles. Are their anything I can do?

    1. I would go to a michelin store and tell them about the warranty. They will probably give you 40 to 50 percent off new tires. It will still cost money but usually you can pick the tire you want with a discount but never will be free

  14. I drive 110 miles round trip to work every day, had these on my 2014 Dodge Avenger, went to Uniroyal tiger paws. Worst mistake ever. Got 36,000 miles on them and started whining and vibrating. went back to the Michelin and its smooth sailing and quiet. Get great handling in all types of weather, and no splashy feeling.

  15. This overrated tire is the worst tire I have ever owned!. I tow a small trailer(RV) and get all kinds of sway that I never got before with the last set of Michelin LT tires. Also the tread design picks up all kind of gravels and slings them everywhere. I talked to others who have had the same problems with this very bad design. If you want your truck to handle more like a car, never go on gravel roads, and never ever tow even small loads it might be good enough. Otherwise avoid this tire like the plague. I’m hoping for a recall!

  16. on the Michelin T&H tires, size 225/65R17, what does the T&H stand for? ALSO, with that type of tire tread design can that tire be rotated each 5000 miles on all four wheels or just front to back on the same side each 5000 miles?

    1. T is for Terrain. H is for Highway. It’s a cross between highway and off road. As such it works well on both but not best on either one due to the dual use.

      1. Hi Jack
        Thank you for your input. As stated in our review the tire will do well on dry roads and light snow conditions, but as conditions worsen and there is packed snow the performance does degrade.

  17. These are not the tires for a Toyota Sienna!! Vehicle rode hard and bouncey no matter the tire pressure or conditions. Hard to handle bordering on unsafe. Swapped them for Michelin Premier and was much, much better. These X-Tours or Defender T & H (equivalents) should not never have been specified by Michelin for a Toyota Sienna. Come on Michelin – do your homework!!

    1. This overrated tire is the worst tire I have ever owned!. I tow a small trailer(RV) and get all kinds of sway that I never got before with the last set of Michelin LT tires. Also the tread design picks up all kind of gravels and slings them everywhere. I talked to others who have had the same problems with this very bad design. If you want your truck to handle more like a car, never go on gravel roads, and never ever tow even small loads it might be good enough. Otherwise avoid this tire like the plague. I’m hoping for a recall!

    2. WOW! I was just about to order these Defenders (235/60R17) for my 2015 Sienna, as many places I called recommended them. I have looked into several different Brands and models of tires, and though I was hesitant about this one at first due to reported poor handling in heavy/packed snow and ice (I live in the North East), I was ready to order based on numerous recommendations from several different shops.
      vbar…I’m wondering what year your Sienna is, and what made you go with these in the first place?
      Also, are you referring to the Premier LTX as to your replacements? I had also considered the Primacy MXV4…
      Why does tire buying have to be such a challenge???

    3. Not true. The 235/60/17 works great on my 2008 sienna AWD. I wear all my tires hard, and these have held up well, but not likely to get 80k. The only tire I have had that is/was all season was a Pirelli Scorpion Zero in 235/45/20 as standard on a 2010 Mercedes 4-Matic GLK. They were 3 peak rated then, but may have lost that 3 peak rating in Europe. I will use those again in a heartbeat, as I would these Michelins T+H on my Sienna. The Pirellis are as good in snow as my Virdesteins I replaced them with, and the 3-peak Vierdestein snows are no match to Pirelli Zeros in any other way. Watch reviews by people who do not know what they are doing or are just plants pushing tires, since this Pirelli vs. Vierdestein did not match the reviews.

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