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Michelin Defender LTX M/S Review

By: Carl Laron on March 28, 2017

Bottom Line

The Michelin Defender LTX M/S is a top choice for those who take their trucks and SUVs mostly over roads, but who also want a tire that won't leave them flat when the pavement disappears. Testing reveals it to be a competent performer for a variety of vehicles and over a variety of driving surfaces

Pros

  • Smooth, comfortable highway ride
  • Excellent traction; handling
  • Six-year, 70,000-mile warranty

Cons

  • Not ideal for heavy duty off-roading
  • Mediocre performance on snow or ice
Our Analysis
Specs

Breaking it down

Performance

Excellent all-around performance. The Michelin Defender LTX M/S is based on the Michelin LTX M/S2 (Est. $185), a discontinued (though still-available in limited sizes) top-rated tire with experts and a long-time favorite with owners. Like its predecessor, the Defender LTX M/S 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. Reviewers 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. Users posting at TireRack.com give it excellent marks for traction.

Our Sources

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."

Contributors to TireRack.com, As of March 2017

The Michelin Defender LTX M/S is the top-rated highway all-season tire for light trucks and SUVs at TireRack.com, based on nearly 100 reviews and over 1 million driving miles. It earns user scores that land in the range of excellent in most aspects, and good for off-road performance and winter/snow performance.

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.

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