When it comes to finding the right tire in the market for your needs, we often overlook one of the most crucial qualities — safety. The annual death rate from car crashes is over 1.35 million, and tires designed for maximum safety can bring that figure down. Michelin — the oldest tire manufacturer in the game — realizes that. Their Defender T+H seems like a step in the right direction.
In this tire review, I’ll discuss what makes this particular offering from Michelin so safe and how it performs in different conditions. Let’s get started!
Michelin Defender T+H Features
Most of us get awestruck by flashier qualities in a tire like speed, short braking distances, steering response, cornering grip. That makes it easier for companies to sell sportier tires, but claims about safety aren’t the most marketable, but Michelin appears to be challenging that norm with their Defender T+H.
On their website, Michelin decorates this tire with promises about its best-in-class safety and increased durability. According to the French tire manufacturer, the Defender T+H has the longest tread life among its premium competitors.
Tires from companies like Continental and Bridgestone have become highly durable over the years, so that’s a heavy claim from Michelin. But there’s Michelin’s advanced technology behind it.
The tire’s all-season tread compound lays the foundation for it all as its specially designed with longevity, safety, and durability as the highest priorities. The rubber has a high content of silica, which helps with performance under heavy rain.
The asymmetric tread pattern provides a smooth and quiet ride. The tire also offers excellent cornering and high-speed stability, thanks to its zig-zag sipes.
For hydroplaning resistance, the tire has lateral notches and groove lines to evacuate water. It also helps in snowy and slushy conditions, where the biting edges and zigzag sipes secure ample traction for safe cornering and stability.
The Defender T+H is designed to get all the basics right, and it provides excellent performance on dry tarmac. You’ll get an engaging steering response, superb traction, and confidence-inspiring handling even at higher speeds.
It even brakes shorter than most of its all-season competitors, making it a tough tire to beat on paved surfaces. It’s also one of the safest — if not the safest — touring tires you can find in the market.
The Defender T+H does well in the rain. Its excellent hydroplaning resistance ensures that no matter how deep a puddle is, your stability remains intact — and that shows how safe the tire is even in wet conditions.
Thanks to the tire’s water evacuation solutions and its high-silica content, it corners well, brakes short, and provides lots of traction on wet roads.
All-season tires have a pretty stained track record for their handling in snowy conditions, and the Defender T+H isn’t much of an exception. As you’d expect, the tire doesn’t display any outstanding performance metrics on wintry roads, but it performs well for daily driving in light snow. Unless you get harsh winter conditions, the tire will provide enough braking performance and traction to get you from point A to point B safely.
The Defender T+H doesn’t belong on hardpacked surfaces, so you shouldn’t take it off-roading. You might find some grip, but the sharp stones and chips won’t do your tread life any favors.
Michelin seems to have knocked it out of the park with the Defender T+H’s ride quality. Everything about the drive feels smooth and quiet, and your passengers will thank you for it!
If you’re in the market for a tire with no compromises on safety, the Michelin Defender T+H is a no-brainer. It’ll also last you longer than most other all-season options out there, which is a great plus to have from a practical standpoint. With promising dry and wet performance, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t shortlist the Defender T+H.