Last Updated: 01.12.2021

The right tires make a huge difference in your driving experience. It delivers a plethora of benefits, including incredible performance, superior safety, and unparalleled comfort. The options are endless, and one of the brands that stand out is Michelin. 

In this Michelin Defender vs Premier comparison, we’ll talk about two of the company’s most popular product lines. They are both impeccable, but which one stands out? 

We tried them both and went through their specs and features. Read on and find out which one is a better option! 

Main Differences Between Michelin Defender vs Premier 

The main differences between Michelin Defender vs Premier are:

michelin tire image

  • Michelin Premier uses sunflower oil as one of its main materials, whereas Michelin Defender only has silica 
  • Michelin Defender is a great choice for wet surfaces, whereas Michelin Premier performs better on dry surfaces
  • Michelin Defender has great stability, whereas Michelin Premier has excellent steering response 
  • Michelin Defender has a treadwear warranty of 50,000 to 80,000 miles depending on the model, whereas Michelin Premier has a treadwear warranty of 60,000 miles for all models 
  • Michelin Defender costs anywhere from $100 to $200, whereas Michelin Premier ranges from $110 to $270 

Michelin Defender vs Premier Introduction

An all-season tire, the Michelin Defender is a great option for coupes, minivans, crossovers, and sedans, among other vehicles. It has the latest technologies, making sure of its great performance, regardless of the weather. 

Aside from the silica tread compound, it has the company’s exclusive IntelliSipe Technology, which improves braking and handling. 

Meanwhile, the Michelin Premier is specially designed to have an excellent wet grip, although it does well in other conditions. It offers exceptional driving control and stopping power. It has internal twin steel belts with polyamide cord to ensure unrivaled construction. 

Having a hard time deciding what to pick between the two? Keep on reading as we take a closer look at their differences. 

Available Models 

Take note that Defender and Premier have different models available, each with its respective features. 

  • Michelin Defender T+H

michelin defender tire

From snow traction to wet grip, this tire promises the best performance. It is the perfect winter tire, guaranteeing a strong grip even in challenging conditions. 

With its improved and long-lasting tread life, you can expect the best bang for the buck. Even in severe conditions, the tire can hold up, unlike others that are easily prone to wear. 

It is also a great choice if you are looking for eco-friendly tires. Over its life, you can save up to 65 gallons of fuel. 

Lastly, it has a great speed compared to the next Defender tire we will talk about next. If your priority is to go fast on the road, you can never go wrong with this option. 

  • Michelin Defender LTX M/S

man showing michelin defender LTX MS thread

Many will agree that it is a better version compared to the previous Defender tire. It might not have the same comfort features, but it is an all-rounder. 

Looking at its features, one of the most notable is the high silica content. This is responsible for improving the tread pattern and traction, which will keep you safe even on slippery surfaces. 

The Max Touch technology is another notable innovation that you will find in this tire. The latter makes the grip firmer, even when you are on a dry surface. 

  • Michelin Premier A/S

micheling premier AS tire with description

Control and reactivity are two of the strongest suits of this tire. It has an innovative tread pattern that ensures optimal transmission. The same feature is the one that is responsible for making your car easy to control. 

Whether on dry or wet roads, these tires are excellent. It has functional elastomers and silica, so it has great grip. This way, it is easier to stay safe regardless of the road conditions. 

In terms of comfort, this is also a stand-out. It minimizes vibration, so your body won’t have to suffer, even on rough roads. Plus, it stays quiet throughout the ride. 

  • Michelin Premier LTX

michelin premier LTX tire with magwheels chrome

If you are looking for tires that will work perfectly for 4×4 or SUVs, this is a notable option. Among others, it is known for its exceptional grip, which makes it notable in terms of control and braking. 

Additionally, it has expanding grooves with top-notch construction. The latter allows it to maintain the best traction, even on wet and slippery surfaces. This way, you can be confident in your safety. 

While it is off-road focused, take note that it isn’t made with heavy applications in mind. For instance, this isn’t a great tire for towing heavy trailers. 


When looking for new tires, construction is one of the most important considerations. It will impact the overall performance and longevity. To add, it also affects safety and comfort, especially considering its compatibility with the surface you are driving on. 

Whether you choose Defender or Premier, we can assure you that the construction is top-notch. Michelin built a global reputation because they use only the most innovative materials available, guaranteeing long-term functionality. 

The two models of Michelin Defender tires have different tread construction, resulting in varying performance. Defender T+H has high silica. It expands when it is on a slippery surface, which is also the one that is responsible for maintaining its grip.

On the other hand, Defender LTX M/S does not have silica. Despite such, it has 3D active sipes, which are equally effective in delivering a good grip on wet surfaces. 

Meanwhile, both Premier AS and LTX have silica and sunflower oil on their tread. Sunflower oil is a great material, which combines flexibility and traction. It is combined with silica, which makes the tire less flexible and not easily prone to wear. 

Dry Road Performance 

The braking and adherence capabilities of tires are important in evaluating overall performance. It affects stopping, steering, and controlling. Even beyond the summer season, you need tires that will perform well on dry roads. Thankfully, Michelin Defender and Premier are equally notable. 

Even if you try the two tires side-by-side, you will see that they both do great on dry traction. Especially when you are driving at a normal speed, the traction is more than enough for your needs. 

If we have to choose only one, however, we would pick Michelin Premier. It has a higher grip on corners. To add, it delivers better acceleration and stopping power when you are on dry roads. The difference is only noticeable during a high-performance drive. 

The Premier AS comes with hidden grooves, which will replace the visible ones after they deplete over time. This is responsible for creating a safer and more seamless driving experience in dry conditions. The Premier LTX, meanwhile, has a robust sidewall, which is beneficial when you are going fast on a dry road. 

Wet Road Performance 

Driving on wet and slippery roads can be a challenge. Not to mention, it is unsafe, especially when you do not have high-quality tires. Luckily, Michelin is known for having top-of-the-line tires that do well even on wet roads. It will prevent you from losing traction and gliding, so you can stay safe. 

Like in dry traction, both are great when it comes to wet road performance. If we have to name one winner, however, it would be Michelin Defender. 

The T+H model has built-in IntelliSipe technology. It provides the tires with zigzag sipes, which maximizes road contact by interlocking on a wet surface. 

The Michelin Defender LTX MS, on the other hand, has lateral and circumferential grooves, which also help on wet road performance. They channel water out of the treads, minimizing the chance of hydroplaning. 

Even if the Defender does better, the Premier lineup also has some great features for wet roads. It has hidden grooves that expand upon contact with water. The strategic positioning allows water to escape. It also has a high-grip rubber. 

Snow Performance 

Snow tires are designed to do well when they are used in the winter. It has tread compounds that stay soft and flexible even when it is cold. As a result, it improves handling, control, and traction, even when the temperature is extremely low. Some may even have studs, which are perfect for icy roads. 

Both Michelin Defender and Premier are all-season tires. It means that they are for most road conditions. You can use them year-round. Nonetheless, they do not have innovations that are specific for winter driving. 

As with all-season tires, you can use both only when there is light snow. As ice becomes thicker and the temperature becomes harsher, both tires won’t be able to keep up. You will need something with more innovative features. 


Handling refers to the response of the car to the different actions of the driver, such as braking, steering, and accelerating. It is important for safety and comfort. Without proper handling, the tires can be the culprit for an accident. Not to mention, it will hurt your driving pleasure, making a vehicle hard to control. 

Overall, the two tires have great handling. However, we would like to point out that Michelin Defender does better if stability is your main concern. This is especially the case when it is pulling a hefty cargo. This is unlike others that can be prone to wobbling, which can increase the possibility of an accident. 

Meanwhile, Michelin Premier has a slight advantage in terms of steering response. This is noticeable when you are cornering. It has a solid center rib, which is one of the many features responsible for its great handling. 

Ride Quality 

There are two most important things when it comes to how tires impact the overall ride quality. The first one is noise. Some tires are louder than others, which can be annoying when you are driving. The overall construction of the tires, including their materials, can have an impact on this. 

Another factor that affects ride quality is the comfort of both the driver and passenger. You will feel more comfortable when tires have excellent shock absorption, so the ride won’t end up being bumpy. But take note that such isn’t a function of the tires alone. It also depends on other factors, such as the vehicle’s suspension. 

The Michelin Defender offers a smooth ride with low noise. Nonetheless, when you are on rough pavements, there is minimal but noticeable noise. For most people, this isn’t bothersome. 

On the other hand, the Premier tires are quiet in almost all environments. Thanks to the rubber compound with a combination of silica and sunflower oil, it is soft and quiet. It has great shock absorption capabilities, resulting in a smoother ride experience. 

Mileage Warranty 

Before buying tires, you must look at the mileage warranty. It is the brand’s promise, which reflects how confident they are of the quality of their product. If the tire tread expires before the end of the warranty coverage, you will receive a credit on a new set of tires. 

The Michelin Defender LTX MS has a treadwear limited warranty of 50,000 miles for speed rating R and 70,000 miles for speed rating T and H. On the other hand, Michelin Defender T+H has a treadwear limited warranty of 80,000 miles. 

Meanwhile, for the Michelin Premier models, both LTX and AS have a treadwear warranty of 60,000 miles for all speed ratings. 


A lot of people will consider the price of the tires when deciding what to buy. Michelin tires are far from being the cheapest in the market. Nonetheless, the cost is justifiable. From its performance to comfort, you can get the best bang for the buck. 

The price of the Defender tires can range from $100 to $200, depending on the specific model that you will buy, as well as the size. On the other hand, the Michelin Premier Tires cost anywhere from $110 to $270. They are more expensive because they have more innovative features. 

Michelin Defender vs Premier: The Winner 

If we have to choose one, we would go for the Michelin Premier. It is more expensive, but it has more technologies that make it reliable. The tire is great on dry roads, and equally impressive on wet surfaces, even on snowy conditions. It has great handling, especially in terms of steering response. It is also quiet and comfortable.