Michelin Defender 2

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Michigan, USA
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Joined
May 24, 2019
Messages
226
Location
Ontario Canada
if they only would offer it for 15" wheels ....

I’m with you on the need for 15 inch sizes. I have noticed a pattern where increasingly more and more tire models are introduced new in the higher sizes but they seem to be reducing the smaller ones. For example, the current defender comes in the 15 inch size I need for the LeSabre, but, at least at its introduction, Defender 2 does not come in my size :-(
 
Joined
Feb 4, 2022
Messages
140
Location
Alberta
I’m with you on the need for 15 inch sizes. I have noticed a pattern where increasingly more and more tire models are introduced new in the higher sizes but they seem to be reducing the smaller ones. For example, the current defender comes in the 15 inch size I need for the LeSabre, but, at least at its introduction, Defender 2 does not come in my size :-(

I hope more sizes will come out. They usually do.
 
Joined
Aug 11, 2022
Messages
5
Location
Tucson, AZ
I drive long distances at 75 - 85 mph in the hot Arizona summers (110 degrees ambient temperature). I like the overall design of the Michelin Defender 2, but I am worried about the "B" temperature rating.

I have never used a tire with that temp rating out here in AZ. I find it unusual that a major manufacturer's premier tire in such a major market segment would end up B rated (for both temperature and traction).

Is this something I should really be concerned about, or are those UTQG ratings somewhat meaningless?

I see that many people justifiably think that the traction rating is somewhat menaingless given modern skid control and newer tire materials, but the temperature rating is a BIG worry for me in this climate. Two to three hour driving stretches at 85 mph in hot 110 degree weather would tend to really thermally stress the tire, and that B rating seems to indicate that the design does not dissipate heat as well as an A-rated tire.

Thanks in advance for any advice that anybody can offer.
 
Joined
Nov 10, 2015
Messages
186
Location
Portland, OR
I've had a few sets of Michelins and I was always VERY impressed with the treadwear and performance in every category rated. I use Tire Rack and find their ratings of the tires to be very accurate and have never purchased a tire that did not perform as rated. I exclusively only use tires rated at A A 500+, even if the tests may be meaningless, they have always performed as rated. I drive my cars very aggressively and I tend to buy a new one (used) every three years. So the first set of Michelins in 2010 on my F-150 were awesome, made the truck corner as well as any car. The sidewalls were pretty stiff and amazing in the corners, and the ride was really great and comfortable for a truck. Since then I've purchased about 5 different sets of Michelins, which are always dramatically better than the tires they vehicles came with. I've driven many many different cars, all my friends vehicles, different rental almost every week for work, and plenty of high performance sports cars. Lots of experience with many types of tires and also each type of driving conditions, plenty of snow experience with different models also.

I would definitely purchase the The T+H's. Tread wear, is A Rather than B on the other. I usually don't purchase tires that have only A A specs, but I pay the most attention to the user ratings. I've never installed a tire that didn't perform as the ratings described. My only gripe with the Michelins is they tend to be pretty expensive compared to other tires their size. But, I always pony up and spend the coin. FYI, the best road tire I've ever driven was the MXV4's, about five years ago, on my Ford Taurus. Just amazing in every rating and performance. It had an AA A 800 rating and was rated at 60k miles. I put over 40k miles on the tires and they were only a tiny bit above half worn. Performance never degraded over wear, and visually appeared new.

What vehicle / size are you looking at? Just curious...
You got lucky if you were happy with your set of mxv4s’
I had a set of them 4 years ago on a 2005 pontiac vibe 205-55r16 . It ate them in 27k I attempted milage warranty but was give the run around and since I was selling the car I gave up. (I figured a new set if tires may help sell it) The mxv4 tires were a 60k tire at the time. The previous set of michelins went 55k and had 10k left technically but were replaced due to poor rain traction and they were getting old.
The lack of care from Michelin and separately costco has me questioning costco tire department and Michelin tires.
I always keep my tires rotated and watch for inflation related issues. I didn’t wear the edges off or the centers out it was very even wear across the entire tread. It was as if i had driven 47k not 27k miles.
 
Joined
Feb 22, 2003
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Somewhere in the US
Is this something I should really be concerned about, or are those UTQG ratings somewhat meaningless?
I don't think those values are meaningless, but I note that the UTQG treadwear rating is one of the highest I've ever seen. I wonder if that is what is driving the other values.

Perhaps that tire isn't a good fit for your driving.
 
Joined
Aug 30, 2004
Messages
27,614
Location
CA
I don't think those values are meaningless, but I note that the UTQG treadwear rating is one of the highest I've ever seen. I wonder if that is what is driving the other values.

Perhaps that tire isn't a good fit for your driving.
Can you tell us a bit more about the criteria for those ratings?
 
Joined
Jun 5, 2020
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2,522
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Oz with Dorothy and Toto
I don't think those values are meaningless, but I note that the UTQG treadwear rating is one of the highest I've ever seen. I wonder if that is what is driving the other values.

Perhaps that tire isn't a good fit for your driving.

How can you use UTQG treadwear ratings when researching and buying tires?​

First you have to understand the limitations of the treadwear ratings information. While the UTQG treadwear rating is mandated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration*, and the testing process is supposed to be the same for all manufacturers, the NHTSA does not test tires and assign the ratings. Rather, it's the tire manufacturers' duty to conduct (or commission) the testing.

This means that UTQG treadwear ratings are not established by an objective testing organization, or according to a universal ratings scale. A "400" treadwear rating from Tire Manufacturer A doesn't necessarily equal a "400" treadwear rating from Tire Manufacturer B; the mileage lifespan of the two tires under equal driving conditions could be quite different.

If you're trying to choose between tires of the same type from the same manufacturer, the treadwear rating could be a deciding factor.

Treadwear ratings are therefore most informative and helpful when comparing tires from the same manufacturer. If you're trying to choose between tires of the same type from the same manufacturer, the treadwear rating could be a deciding factor. Tire manufacturers could be accused of inflating their treadwear ratings to appear superior to the competition, or even being conservative on the ratings in certain circumstances. However, within their own product range, the ratings should correspond to actual testing results.
 
Joined
Feb 22, 2003
Messages
4,230
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Somewhere in the US
First, the UTQG rating is against the SRTT (Standard Reference Test Tire). So you can compare between manufacturers even though each manufacturer conducts their own test. The test is on a prescribed route in Texas for a prescribed distance. It is not uncommon for many manufacturers to conduct the test through a third party with only one set of SRTT's - and money saved!

However, the rating can't be overstated, but it can be understated. This is where the confusion lies. Many manufacturers will understate their lesser brands/tire models, because they want their premium tires to look good.

Where this is pertinent to the discussion is that treadwear is part of a 3 way compromise involving treadwear, traction, and rolling resistance.
So a B traction rating is an indicator that there is some compromise to get a better treadwear rating.

Further, the B temperature rating probably goes to trying to minimize the tire's mass - hence the lower rating. That makes it possible to further enhance the treadwear rating and not grossly affect the fuel economy of the tire.
 
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Joined
Feb 20, 2022
Messages
159
We had the original Defender MS as the first set of replacement tires on our '16 Mazda6, and got the replacement Defender M/S2.

Tires went around 70k, winter traction when worn to 3-4/32nds was not great but functional.

Highly recommend them. So much quieter than OEM. The F-100 wears the Defender truck tire, and our Yukon will have them installed when the OEM rubber wears out. First vehicle to use them was a 2000 Corolla, and have bought them exclusively when available in the needed size.

Only vehicle to not have them is the Jeep as we run all terrains.
 
Joined
Feb 25, 2009
Messages
180
Location
TX
The new DEFENDER tires are not as great as the previous DESTINY line that DT used to carry around 10-12 years ago. I got almost 80,000 out of the Destiny line, Defender did barely 60,000. Sucks. Everything is headed the same direction as the Wooly Mammoth.
 
Joined
Aug 11, 2022
Messages
5
Location
Tucson, AZ
I don't think those values are meaningless, but I note that the UTQG treadwear rating is one of the highest I've ever seen. I wonder if that is what is driving the other values.

Perhaps that tire isn't a good fit for your driving.
I did have a live chat with Michelin yesterday, and the agent said that the desire for the best treadwear rating in the category did cause a switch in the tire compound, and the B ratings on the other parameters are the tradeoff. He said that it's still an H rated tire, so there's no worry about the tire reliability at sub-115 mph driving (assuming correct tire inflation).

However, for 110 degree ambient temps, that means 140 - 150 degree pavement temps, and then there's the additional heat from the driving time. It's just a bit of a worry in this climate.

Other choices in this general category would be the Continental TrueContact and the Hankook Kinergy PT, both of which are well reviewed in this TireRack comparative test. (However, in the same test, they actually liked the older Michelin Defender T+H a little more, and the new Defender 2 is supposed to be a large upgrade over the old Defender T+H - at least in terms of wet and dry handling and braking).

If you go to Michelin's info page for the Defender 2, in Footnote 2, they state their testing results for this brand new tire design. This footnote states:

"Based on internal wet braking tests from 50 MPH and internal dry braking tests from 60 MPH using tires in size 225/65R17 on a 2021 Toyota RAV4, where the MICHELINⓇ DefenderⓇ2 tire had an average stopping distance of 130.0ft wet and 10.9 ft dry versus the BridgestoneⓇ AlenzaⓇ AS Ultra with an average stopping distance of 127.8 ft wet and 125.8 ft dry and the ContinentalⓇ TrueContact™ Tour with an average stopping distance of 145.2 ft wet and 129.2 ft dry and the GoodyearⓇ AssuranceⓇ MaxLife™ with an average stopping distance of 134.0 ft wet and 125.0 ft dry. Actual on-road results may vary."

I am assuming that they mean 109 ft dry stopping distance for their tire (not 10.9 ft !). Also, the numbers they state for a 50 mph wet stopping distance for their arch-rival Continental TrueContact Tour (145.2 ft) is vastly different than what TireRack found (126.2 ft - see charts in the linked article.) However, the Michelin data was taken using a 2021 RAV4, and the older data from the TireRack comparison was done with a 2017 BMW F36 430i, so it's hard to compare numbers. The Defender 2 is too new for an objective review to appear in the online press.

I like to get my tires at a local Discount Tire, and they do have the Continentals, but only the DT version of that tire (called the Control Contact, which seems to have a few structural differences from the regular version of the TrueContact).

Another option is the Hankook Kinergy PT, which did have great specs in that TireRack comparison test, and is made with "an abrasion-resistant, carbon black compound for low rolling resistance and long life. The compound is molded into an asymmetric pattern featuring optimized block stiffness for handling and durability."

I know that in general, Hankook is regarded as a second-tier manufacturer in camparison to Michelin, and also the Kinergy PT is a 5 or 10 year old design (in comparison to the brand new Michelin Defender 2, which was obviously engineered to have better specs than the other tires in its segment).

I wonder if anyone knows what a carbon-black compound is, and whether this tire would really be comparable to a Defender 2 - or perhaps better for my purposes in extremely hot weather conditions.

Thanks everyone !
 
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Joined
Jan 2, 2004
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California
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Spotted these at Costco. Michelin got rid of all their 15” figments in the Defender 2/X Tour A/S 2 series as well. So all you 15” guys will need to look at another tier 1/2 tire brand or go Chinese.
 
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