Michelin Defender LTX M/S Review

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Michelin Defender LTX M/S Review
Bottom Line

The Michelin Defender LTX M/S takes the well-regarded and still available Michelin LTX M/S2 (Est. $185) and upgrades it with a new tread compound that promises up to 10 percent longer life. Otherwise the tires are nearly identical, and that's a very good thing. Experts and owners absolutely loved the predecessor for its performance on everything save snow and ice, and early returns indicate that the same is true for the Defender LTX M/S. 

ProsSmooth, comfortable highway ride, Excellent traction; handling, Six-year, 70,000-mile warrantyConsNot ideal for heavy duty off-roading, Mediocre performance on snow or ice

Breaking it down

Performance

Excellent all-around performance. The Michelin Defender LTX M/S is based on Michelin LTX M/S2, a top-rated tire with experts and a long-time favorite with owners. The tread pattern is identical, so performance should be as well, and initial feedback indicates that it is. That translates to a tire that handles and brakes exceptionally well on dry and wet roads, and acceptably for occasional off-road treks. It's decent on light snow as well, but -- like virtually all all-season tires -- things go south as the inches add up, and with any amount of ice, so you'll want to use a dedicated snow tire in its place when the temperatures plunge and the white stuff flies.

Comfort

Smooth and quiet ride. Reviews say the Michelin Defender LTX M/S is a good pick for drivers wanting a polished highway experience. "They don't sing, hum or make other uncouth noises," says Craig Cole at AutoGuide.com. "On neatly manicured asphalt, they're about as quiet as you could ever hope," he adds. Users posting at TireRack.com largely agree, and give the tire a Superior rating for both ride quality and noise.

Durability

Even longer tread life. With the best treadwear rating and warranty in our report, the Michelin Defender LTX M/S can outlast a lot of other truck tires. Michelin's tread warranty covers the tires for up to six years or 70,000 miles. Owners raved about the durability of this tire's predecessor, the LTX M/S2, and the most significant change in this upgraded version is a new tread compound that should extend useful life by about 10 percent, the manufacturer says.

Our Sources

1. AutoGuide.com

Michelin Defender LTX M/S Tire Review, Craig Cole, Sept. 2, 2015

Craig Cole takes the Michelin Defender LTX M/S on a tour of twisty Vermont mountain roads, and then up a ski slope on an unpaved access trail. The tires are tested using a variety of vehicles as well. Cole comes away impressed. The tires are "well-mannered" and "street friendly," yet when taken off road, "They even seemed to laugh at jagged rocks that threatened to slice open their sidewalls like a fisherman gutting his catch."

2. Tire Rack

Michelin Defender LTX M/S, Contributors to TireRack.com, As of March 2016

Though it's racked up far fewer reviews than its predecessor, the Michelin Defender LTX M/S has rocketed up the charts to land in the top spot among highway all-season tires for light trucks and SUVs. It earns user scores that land in the range of Superior in all aspects save for deep snow and ice traction.

3. ConsumerReports.org

Michelin LTX M/S 2 tire, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not Dated

The editors at ConsumerReports.org have not evaluated the Michelin Defender LTX M/S but have extensively tested its predecessor, the Michelin LTX M/S2. Since that tire is identical save for a more robust tread compound, those findings are helpful.