Crossovers, SUVs, and trucks have been gradually rising in demand over the years, and they’re getting better and better as competition grows. Not only have they buffed up their off-road capabilities, but they’ve significantly improved in their on-road dynamics. However, these vehicles can’t perform to their highest potential without some worthy tires under them — tires like the Michelin Defender LTX M/S.
Michelin Defender LTX M/S Features
The Michelin Defender LTX M/S might be one of the best all-season highway tires we’ve reviewed for trucks, SUVs, and crossovers. Besides the typical activities associated with vehicles of this sort, like hauling, towing, and off-roading, the Defender LTX M/S also provides excellent driving on paved surfaces.
It succeeds the LTX M/S2, an iconic Michelin tire with a place in every North American trucker’s heart. The LTX M/S had big shoes to fill, and it did! It’s one of the best tires you could get for any vehicle with an elevated form factor, and there’s lots of Michelin technology behind that.
The tire offers optimized driving dynamics for all surfaces, including dry, wet, and snowy. It’s also marketed to have a 10% longer tread life than its predecessor. Moreover, its fuel economy, all-season safety, and generous treadwear warranty make it a well-rounded premium tire (no pun intended).
A lot of it has to do with Michelin’s Total Performance Package, which means the engineers don’t make compromises in any performance aspect of the tire.
The tire’s Evertread compound is known to withstand rougher usage for years — an ideal quality for a tire with off-road capabilities.
The tread design is symmetric, with three-dimensional Active Sipes and independent, stable tread blocks. This tread design translates into improved braking, handling, and wet traction. Water evacuation is also taken care of with lateral and circumferential grooves.
Lastly, Michelin’s bolder claims about the tire’s extended tread life come from their MaxTouch Construction technology. It expands the tire’s contact patch with the road for even treadwear as the tire gets older. Moreover, it also helps provide better stability, handling, braking.
On-Road performance is where the LTX M/S shines, especially since it’s a tire for SUVs, trucks, and crossovers. With these tires installed, you won’t be struggling for traction whether you drive with a heavy payload or not.
There’s excellent high-speed stability thanks to the MaxTouch Construction tech. Moreover, it offers impressive cornering grip and responsive steering compared to other tires in the segment. It brakes well, too — so that’s a 10/10 for on-road performance.
Even in wet conditions, the tire doesn’t disappoint. The hydroplaning resistance performs well, and even significant water puddles won’t hinder your drive in any way.
There’s excellent wet traction, high cornering grip, and short braking distances. Much of it can be attributed to the tire’s exceptional Evertread compound, which helps Michelin lead the segment with its top-quality rubber.
The Defender LTX M/S is an all-season tire, which means it comes with a promise of being a worthy winter companion. However, make sure you keep your expectations in check if you’re buying this tire to deal with extreme snowy conditions.
No matter how good an all-season tire gets with its winter performance, it can’t beat a winter tire with a highly pliable tread compound.
With that said, we’re not making any excuses for the Defender LTX M/S. The tire has formidable all-season qualities and will be a promising performer in the winter months as long as the weather doesn’t get too crazy.
The tire’s excellent hydroplaning resistance helps it on slush, and you can expect reliable handling and decent braking distances.
SUVs and trucks were originally meant to be off-road vehicles, but people hardly use them for that purpose these days. This tire’s off-road performance suits that demographic. Even though it’ll provide you with decent traction on off-road terrain, there are much better off-road tires in the industry if that’s what matters to you the most.
The tire is strong enough for casual off-roading to withstand potential chips and cuts from rough off-road surfaces. Still, I’d suggest avoiding any overly harsh tracks with the Michelin Defender LTX M/S.
The Defender LTX M/S gets everything right as an all-season tire. If you’re someone with a truck, crossover, or SUV and mostly stay on paved surfaces with them, you’ll love this tire. The only two things which might go against it are its off-road performance and its price tag. So, if you’re not into off-roading and have a large budget to work with, go for the Defender LTX M/S’s!