This article is a comprehensive Michelin Defender LTX M/S review, designed to help you decide if these tires are right for you.
To reach our conclusion, we’ve taken a deep dive into Michelin’s manufacturer specifications. We’ve also researched how the Michelin Defender LTX M/S has performed in various tire tests. We then measured the data against customer reviews to build a complete picture of the tire’s performance.
Don’t have time to read everything? Here’s a quick summary of our review as well as pros & cons listed.
In summary, the Michelin Defender LTX M/S tires are highly recommended for most road users. These tires perform extremely well in a broad spectrum of driving conditions and deliver a smooth, quiet ride on most roads. Although these tires are some of the most expensive in the Highway All-season class, they are durable enough to negate that cost over time.
To find out we reached our conclusion, read on for a comprehensive breakdown of the Michelin Defender LTX M/S tire. We’ve split the article into three distinct categories to cover all the bases:
- Performance Breakdown
- Recommendations & Conclusions
If you’re ready to find out if the Michelin Defender LTX M/S is the right tire for you, strap yourself in, and let’s go!
Michelin Defender LTX M/S Overview
The Michelin Defender LTX M/S is designed to be an all-weather radial tire for light trucks, crossovers, SUVs, and commercial vans. This tire is marketed as a comprehensive all-rounder, equally at home on smooth tarmac as it is churning through light mud and snow in harsher conditions.
In terms of its official tire class, the Michelin Defender LTX M/S is classed as an all-season highway tire. This means that it’s not specially adapted for hardcore off-road driving or as a specialized snow tire.
Compared to its closest rivals in the all-season highway tire category, the Michelin Defender LTX M/S grades as one of the most expensive tires in the class. However, the LTX M/S incorporates advanced tire technology to offer great performance in most areas, while its main competitors all have slight disadvantages in specific categories.
The primary application of the Michelin Defender LTX M/S is an all-season tire, capable of balancing comfort, handleability, fuel efficiency, and grip in inclement conditions. This tire was developed as a replacement for Michelin’s LTX M/S2 tires. Compared to its predecessor, the compound of the LTX M/S is much more durable.
The full lineup of Michelin Defender LTX M/S tires have tread ratings of either 720 AA or 800 AA on the UTQG scale. In terms of warranty, the R speed rating versions are covered for 50,000 miles, while the H & T speed rating tires are covered for 70,000 miles.
The Michelin Defender LTX M/S represents a clear upgrade over the older LTX M/S2 tires, providing greater durability and enhanced performance.
Michelin Defender LTX M/S Performance Breakdown
We’ll now dive into a comprehensive breakdown of the Michelin Defender LTX M/S, evaluating these tires using several major categories:
The Michelin Defender LTX M/S tire offers impressive overall performance. These tires are also designed to offer plenty of stability thanks to their excellent construction. Michelin has incorporated two strong steel belts into the internal layout, allowing the tires to handle the heavy loads carried by pickups and SUVs.
Michelin also embedded their specialized MaxTouch Construction formula into the tires, creating a strong contact zone with the road. This helps distribute the various physical forces of acceleration and braking, resulting in higher traction. The user reviews also back this up.
The difference between a great set of tires and a bad set really shows up in the wet. The Michelin Defender LTX M/S tires score well here according to surveys. The four deep channels and alternating tread pattern of these tires provide good traction in wet conditions.
Michelin claims that the Defender LTX M/S tires can save drivers approximately 10 meters of stopping distance in wet conditions. Customer reviews noted that this performance is clear to see while on wet roads, especially in terms of control and stopping distances.
Michelin’s Defender LTX M/S score highly for their dry weather performance as well. These typical road conditions are where these tires shine brightest. The data shows that the LTX M/S tires score highly in customer surveys regarding their dry weather performance.
Reviewers were especially impressed with the traction they could feel, keeping them stable on the road. Again, Michelin’s MaxTouch Construction plays a role here, giving drivers stable traction regardless of the road conditions.
Although these tires are not specialized for snowy conditions, the Defender LTX M/S tires are capable of handling light mud and snow. The high-density, full-depth snipes on these tires are the key to this impressive performance.
User reviews noted that the traction on icy roads was less than that on snowy roads, although the tires scored well for traction in light snow. This was frequently referenced in individual customer reviews.
However, these tires are not suitable for deep snow or extreme winter conditions.
According to user reviews, the Michelin Defender LTX M/S tires demonstrated impressive performance in terms of braking distances. Customers were especially impressed with the stopping response in wet conditions.
The manufacturer quotes that these tires provide 10 meters of extra stopping distance when compared with the nearest competitors.
By all accounts, the Michelin Defender LTX M/S holds up well in terms of handling. The outright traction in all weather conditions is great. Customer reviews highlight that owners were particularly impressed with the feedback and grip from these tires, especially on tight, twisty roads.
Some drivers did notice road imperfections more on these tires than the previous Michelin model, but this largely depends on driving style or the quality of roads in different areas.
Noise and Comfort
When it comes to a comfortable ride and minimal road noise, the Michelin Defender LTX M/S tires really stand out from direct competitors. Even in a vehicle class that can contain some stiff suspension setups, customers rated these tires highly in terms of smooth ride quality.
Many customer reviews also raved about the low amounts of road noise generated by the Defender LTX M/S tires. As a driver using all-season highway tires, a comfortable ride is the most desirable quality. And the Michelin Defender LTX M/S delivers well in this category.
Pickups, SUVs, and vans have a habit of punishing their tires, either through carrying heavy loads or through spells of off-road driving. The Michelin Defender LTX M/S tires have exceptional durability, even when compared to other tires in this class.
Michelin has strengthened the rubber compound of this tire, which also includes their fantastic Evertread technology. Compared to its predecessors, the Defender LTX M/S lasts an extra 10% longer. According to user reviews, most drivers have found that these tires last for the full duration that Michelin claims.
Price & Value
The main disadvantage of the Michelin Defender LTX M/S tires when compared to direct rivals concerns their price point. These tires are some of the most expensive sets in this tire class, sometimes costing $50 per tire more than other brands.
However, because of their exceptional durability and excellent performance, the cost-per-mile of running the Michelin Defender LTX M/S on trucks and other SUV class vehicles is frequently lower than other manufacturers.
Thanks to Michelin’s MaxTouch Construction technology, these tires can enhance the fuel efficiency of a vehicle, further offsetting their higher initial cost.
Here are the top five direct competitors to the Michelin Defender LTX M/S in the Highway All-season tire class:
- Firestone Destination LE3
- Michelin Agilis CrossClimate
- Continental TerrainContact H/T
- Kumho Krugen HT51
- Michelin LTX M/S2
Recommendations & Conclusions
The Michelin Defender LTX M/S tires are some of the highest-rated tires in the Highway All-season class. These tires score highly in both customer reviews and official surveys.
Michelin’s Defender LTX M/S tires provide outstanding performance in the majority of weather conditions. According to user reviews, these tires offer excellent grip and traction on wet roads but also perform well in light snow and muddy conditions. The overwhelming majority of customer reviews recommend this tire.
While the Michelin Defender LTX M/S tires may cost more than most of their competitors, this cost is offset by their exceptional durability. For drivers who do thousands of miles every year, these tires are well worth the money.
Although most competitors of the Defender LTX M/S tires are cheaper, very few of them perform to the same standard across all meaningful categories.
Based on the research, data, and customer reviews outlined in this Michelin Defender LTX M/S review, these tires are highly recommended.
These Michelins deliver fantastic grip and traction across a broad range of road conditions. They’re also stable and responsive in wet weather, light snow, light mud, and standard dry conditions. These tires are also extremely durable and more than capable of living up to the manufacturer’s mileage estimates.
That said, a cheaper alternative to these tires would be the Firestone Destination LE3 tires. Although these Firestones were rated more highly in most driving conditions, they don’t perform as well as the Michelin Defender LTX M/S tires in off-road conditions.