Michelin Defender LTX or Michelin LTX Premier: Which is Right for You?

Michelin recently introduced two new tire lines, the Premier LTX and Defender LTX M/S. Both tires are available in some of the same sizes, so a common question is, "Which one is the better choice?"

For starters, these are both great tires and we expect many years of rave reviews to come. The Premier LTX features Expanding Rain Grooves and Emerging Grooves first introduced on the Premier A/S passenger car tire line. The benefit of these two features is the lessened drop off of wet traction as the tire wears when compared to the competition. This feature is what sets the tire apart from the Defender LTX. Where the Defender shines will be in longer wear, with a 70,000-mile treadlife warranty, as compared to the 60,000-mile warranty on the Premier. Snow traction will also be better with the Defender lineup according to Michelin.

Michelin Defender LTX M/S
Michelin Defender LTX M/S
Michelin Premier LTX
Michelin Premier LTX

In summary, if your need is for the best wet grip, take a look at the Michelin Premier LTX. If you're looking for good light snow traction and longevity, start your search with the Michelin Defender LTX M/S.


Thursday, November 24, 2016 by Rich

Which tire will provide the best ride? Which will tire will provide the quietest ride? I have a 2010 Honda Pilot.

Sunday, May 7, 2017 by dave

I have a 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe currently using Continental Tires that are noisy. My son has same vehicle 2016 with Kumho tires. Far less noise. I'm comparing Michelin premier vs Kumho. Live in desert, very little rain. Which will be quieter?
Tuesday, May 9, 2017 by Hunter Leffel

Hi Dave,
I would expect the Premier to be quieter than Kumho, especially as the tires wear
Sunday, June 18, 2017 by Mary

Which Michelin will provide quieter ride for my big Buick? Premier LTX or Defender LTX?
Tuesday, June 20, 2017 by Tire Rack Team


Go with the Premier, this tire will provide a better ride quality compared to highway all season.
Tuesday, June 27, 2017 by Bee Green

Which would be a better tire for me, the Michelin Premier LTX or the Defender XT? Currently have Michelin Harmony tires & was never impressed with the handling in wet or dry conditions.

Have a 2002 Honda CR-V w/105,000 miles. Also, have oversized tires/wheels, 215-65-16. Live in N. Georgia, so a lot of rain, heat, little to no snow. Poorly maintained roads, but rare to no off-roading. Mostly city driving w/moderate hwy. Wet road performance, turn/curve handling (wet & dry) are main priorities, followed by comfort, low noise & longevity.

Thank you for your help!
Friday, June 30, 2017 by Tire Rack Team


The Michelin Premier LTX fits all your criteria the best, except for the off roading but if where you went you could get through on the Harmony's these would be fine. The Premier LTX has great wet traction, even as it wears, good handling and ride comfort with a 60K treadlife warranty: https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Michelin&tireModel=Premier+LTX&partnum=165HR6PRLTX&vehicleSearch=false&fromCompare1=yes&affiliate=GU9
Sunday, July 2, 2017 by Matt

I have a 2015 Grand Cherokee Limited and am looking for all season tires that have the least amount of road noise but will handle well in moderate snow, (I live in NJ). The Premier LTX and Defender are at the top of my list, in terms of road noise, handling and driving in the snow which is the better choice?
Thursday, July 6, 2017 by Tire Rack Team


The Premier LTX would be slightly higher rated for ride quality between the two very good tires by category. Both good in the snow for all-season tires.

1. https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Michelin&tireModel=Premier+LTX&sidewall=Blackwall&partnum=66TR8PRLTX&tab=Sizes&affiliate=GU9
Wednesday, August 2, 2017 by MCS

I have a 2013 Honda CRV-EX-L. I wanted to know the difference between the Michelin Defender LXT and the Premier LXT
Tuesday, August 8, 2017 by Tire Rack Team


If you treat the CRV more like a car I would go with the Michelin Premier LTX, if you treat it more like a truck by towing and such I would go with the Defender LTX. Both great tires but that is a way to decide between them: https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Michelin&tireModel=Premier+LTX&partnum=265HR7PRLTX&vehicleSearch=false&fromCompare1=yes&affiliate=GU9
Tuesday, August 8, 2017 by Ray

I have a Mazda CX9 AWD and live in Boston. Btw Premier and Defender, which one will give an overall good performance considering snow traction, comfort, road noise, handling and traction? Thanks.
Friday, August 11, 2017 by Tire Rack Team


If you treat the CX9 more like a car I would go with the Michelin Premier LTX, if you treat it more like a truck by towing I would go with the Defender LTX. Both great tires but that is a way to decide between them: https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Michelin&tireModel=Premier+LTX&partnum=46VR8PRLTX&vehicleSearch=false&fromCompare1=yes&affiliate=GU9
Tuesday, August 15, 2017 by Richard Rasmussen

I have a 2012 Kia Sorento EX AWD 6 cyld. How would you rate the Premier LTX against the MX4. Have only gotten 35000 out of the set of Premiers that are on the car.
Thursday, August 17, 2017 by Chris

I have a 2011 Chevy Silverado 2WD, I live in FL so no snow options, I do not offroad at all. So which of these would be best for quiet comfortable ride, my driving is 90% normal roads/highway.
Friday, August 18, 2017 by Tire Rack Team


The Michelin Premier AS (the LTX is the SUV version) is the top rated grand touring tire, the Michelin Primacy MXM4 is an original equipment tire with older technology and not as good at wet traction. Both have the same treadlife warranty of 60K, if you are looking for the longest treadwear consider the Michelin Defender T+H at 80K: https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Michelin&tireModel=Defender+T%2BH&partnum=36HR8DTH&vehicleSearch=false&fromCompare1=yes&affiliate=GU9
Monday, August 21, 2017 by Tire Rack Team


If you treat the Silverado more like a car or SUV I would go with the Michelin Premier LTX, if you treat it more like a truck by towing or hauling I would go with the Defender LTX. Both great tires but that is a way to decide between them if they are both available in a size. -- seth@tirerack.com
Thursday, August 31, 2017 by Anish

I am looking for a tire for my 2009 Nissan rouge . The expectation is the tire should be soft like Bridgestone Duler H/L 422 Ecopia, but a slightly more responsive to acceleration and breaking.

From the blog I understand the one similar will be Premier LTX
Wednesday, September 6, 2017 by Tire Rack Team


The Premier LTX is the highest rated tire for ride comfort and all season traction and if you have the 225/60R17 on your Rogue it is one step up in speed rating at V so a little more responsive as well: https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Michelin&tireModel=Premier+LTX&sidewall=Blackwall&partnum=26VR7PRLTX&tab=Specs&affiliate=GU9
Tuesday, September 12, 2017 by kim

Would you go with the Michelin LTX vs. the birdgestone le2?

If wanting comfort and no off road - would i go with the LTX premier or the defender?
Wednesday, September 20, 2017 by Tire Rack Team


The highest rated tire for comfort and traction is the Michelin Premier LTX so I would go with that if it is available for your vehicle.
Thursday, September 21, 2017 by Michael Dobyns

I suppose the answer will be the same for my 2013 Ram 1500 with 20 inch option tires... Premier LTX for traction/ride or Defender if using as a truck for hauling/towing... correct?
Monday, September 25, 2017 by Tim

I have a 2016 Subaru Outback 2.5 Premium (4-cyl). Live in southern CA so mostly highway driving, comfort, good handling and tread life are top priorities. Currently have OEM Bridgestone Dueler H/P Sport AS. These only last about 33k miles. Decent on hwy but horrible in snow.
Wednesday, December 13, 2017 by Dominic

I drive a Mercedes ML350 D 2012 (255/50R19), in Canada, out of Michelin Premier LTX, Defender LTX or Cotinental Crosscontact LX which one is suitable for all seasons, Thanks
Sunday, December 17, 2017 by Leo

Toyota Highalnder, 245/65R17. Northeast.

2 questions -

1. Why Defender is better for snow?
2. Premier is 8.5/32 while Defender is 12/32. Which tire will be better when only 75%-50-25% tread is remaining? Premier seems to have an interesting reverse siping design, while defender has deeper tread grooves. So, with tire worn at 50-75%, will defender have better traction in snow?
3. Ride comfort - what exactly is different when comparing these two tires? The bumpiness? The road noise?

Monday, December 18, 2017 by Tire Rack Team

They are all capable all-season tires. The Michelin Premier would likely be the best overall recommendation for your ML350 for ride and all-season traction.
Tuesday, December 19, 2017 by Tire Rack Team

Leo: The Defender with its deeper tread depth with new/more siping would have a little better bite in snow and on ice. We test the tires when they are new and we are not aware of any head-to-head tests of these two tires at less than full tread depth, so we couldn’t tell you whether the Defender or Premier would be better at any specific tread depth from testing. The Premier is designed for ride comfort as a higher priority in design. A little smoother and quieter ride is the result.
Wednesday, December 20, 2017 by Leo

I got the defender installed today and it's not nearly as soft as toyo it replaced. I wish there was a way to test tires before buying them.

Tread depth is what ended up deciding factor for me. I don't know why Premier LTX tread is so different from Premier A/S

Tread on premier ltx is way too small, but if Michelin guarantees 60kmi and if premier ltx performs similarly to defender, it may be better choice for highlander.
Wednesday, December 20, 2017 by Leo

I don't if why my previous comment got lost. I clicked submit,it complained about captcha but didn't keep the text in this field.

I went with defender because of deeper tread depth, but the ride is bumpier than I'd like, much bumpier than toyos it replaced.

I wish Michelin LTX Premier had the same tread depth as PREMIER A/S.
Thursday, January 18, 2018 by Erik

I have a 2011 Grand Jeep Cherokee 4x4. Trying to decided between the Defender and the Premier. It's been a rough winter here I want traction for winter driving, but gas millage would be an important consideration too, and a nice ride would be my third factor. Which do you suggest?
Monday, January 22, 2018 by Tire Rack Team

Erik, both are good in snow with a slight advantage to the Michelin Defender LTX. The Premier LTX had the best low rolling resistance numbers from the test against other crossover/ SUV category tires but we do not have a head to head test to compare with the Defender LTX. Michelin rates the Premier LTX a little better though. Ride comfort is good with both but again a little better with the Premier LTX.
Tuesday, February 13, 2018 by TE

We have a Lexus RX350 FWD and trying to decide between LTX Premier and Defender. Lexus dealership recommends Premiere and tire shop recommends Defender. We want the safest tire - best on wet (rain or snow) and snow (very rarely) and quiet ride. Your suggestion?

Thank you.
Friday, February 16, 2018 by Joe

I would appreciate some advice as I'm down to two tires, the Michelin Premier LTX and Bridgestone Alenza Plus.

Vehicle: 2009 Ford Escape Limited (FWD, 16" wheels). Florida car, snow performance non-issue. Main considerations in order:

1. dry performance (including braking)
2. wet performance (including braking)
3. Rolling resistance
4. Tread wear
5. Noise comfort

Your guidance/insight is appreciated.

Also, curious as to why the Alenza Plus, a highly reviewed tire, has never been tested.

Suggestion: the ability to remove snow/winter performance factor from ratings.
Friday, February 16, 2018 by Tire Rack Team

TE, you could use either. Though if you want the one with the best wet traction, even-as-it-wears wear, and the most comfortable ride we recommend the Premier LTX.
Tuesday, February 20, 2018 by Tire Rack Team

Joe, you couldn’t go wrong with either of those highly rated tires. We have not tested the Bridgestone yet (hopefully this year) but both should be about the same in dry traction. I would expect the Premier LTX to have a slight advantage in wet traction and neither are listed as low rolling resistance tires. The Bridgestone would be the longer treadlife tire and the Michelin is getting a little higher rating for road noise.
Monday, February 26, 2018 by Pat

We have a 2014 Buick Enclave and I'm down to the Premier and Defender. We travel a lot (have 60,000 on original tires) and I want to keep the great ride we have with the Buick. I'm assuming from a previous post the Premier will be a better ride, correct??
Wednesday, February 28, 2018 by Tire Rack Team

Pat, one of the original equipment tires was the Michelin Latitude Tour. The Premier LTX is the newest Michelin tire in the category and would have better wet traction than the Latitude but is a little higher speed rating so it could feel a little firmer or sportier in ride. You may consider staying with what has worked well so far if that was the Michelin Latitute Tour. Follow the link for current pricing:

Friday, March 9, 2018 by Antoine

I have to buy 4 new summer tires 255/45/20 for my Lincoln MKT 2010.
Tuesday, March 13, 2018 by Lu

I drive a Volvo 2008 XC90 SUV. This car eats tires. I replaced the original Pirelli Scorpions at 27K miles with Bridgestone Dueler Alenza, and replaced those at 53k with same Bridgestone Alenza, then replaced those at 81k with Michelin Premier LTX and now at 102k trying to decide whether to go with Michelin Premier again or Michelin Defender or something else?? I do get them rotated, balanced, etc and am not an aggressive driver at all. A lot of city traffic and stop and go traffic in Atlanta. Thanks
Friday, March 16, 2018 by Tire Rack Team

Antoine, the Michelin Premier LTX is the highest overall rated all-season tire and the best recommendation for your 2010 Lincoln MKT. If you really want a summer only tire they are available but they ride firmer, wear out faster, and really meant for performance cars looking for maximum cornering grip and handling first.
Sunday, March 18, 2018 by Sevan

I’m between four different tires for my 2016 Land Cruiser. I’m looking for greatest comfort. I have a set of winter wheels/tires so snow traction is not a factor. I’m between Nokian Zline SUV 285/50/20, Nokian Rotiiva HT 275/60/20, Michelin Premier LTX 275/55/20 and Michelin Defender 275/60/20. Any input?
Wednesday, March 21, 2018 by Tire Rack Team

Lu, the Defender has the longest treadlife of the tires you are considering so that would be the best tire to try next.

Follow the link to see current pricing and offer:

Friday, March 23, 2018 by Tire Rack Team

Sevan, we do not carry Nokian tires to comment. In terms of tires we do carry, the Michelin Premier LTX would be a slightly better ride than the Defender LTX.
Monday, April 16, 2018 by Cooper

Any suggestion for a 2006 Lexus GX 470? Premier ltx or Defender Ltx? I live in Newport RI .
Thursday, April 26, 2018 by Tire Rack Team

Cooper, if you treat the 2006 Lexus GX470 more like a truck by towing you may want the Defender LTX as the highway truck tire, it also is a little better in light snow traction and longevity. If you are you are looking for the best ride quality and wet traction that would be the Premier LTX. Both are great tires just try to pick the one that meets your needs best.
Wednesday, June 13, 2018 by Susan

I have 2011 Ford Escape I bought used. Specs on SUV give option of either P225/65R17, P235/70R16. Currently it has P235/70R16 Michelin Latitude Tours on them. Need to replace and was thinking of either Premier LTX or Defender LTX. No towing involved, but some winter driving when weather is mild. And should I stay with the size that's on the car? Thanks

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