Michelin Defender vs Primacy: Test & Comparison (2024)

Michelin Defender vs Primacy: Test & Comparison (1)

Michelin is no doubt a good brand for buying tires that are excellent for long drives. But a little problem in choosing Michelin is that they offer multiple touring tires, making it harder for us to decide which one to buy.

In this article, we are going to compare two well-known touring tire families. We’ll try to weigh their all-season performance, comfort, and price. For sure, Michelin Defender vs Primacy tires would be a tight matchup.

Michelin Defender vs Primacy: Test & Comparison (2)

Table of Contents

  • Michelin Defender
  • Michelin Primacy
  • Differences Between Defender and Primacy
    • 1. Performance
    • 2. Comfort
    • 3. SUV, Crossover, and Truck Tires
    • 4. Cost
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Conclusion

Michelin Defender

The Defender tire family from Michelin is made to ensure safety and comfort with its balanced handling and quietness. It is also equipped with decent traction on wet and snow surfaces so it is good for all seasons.

Here are the tire models that are included in this family:

  • Michelin Defender T+H

Michelin Defender T+H is an all-season passenger car tire made for safe and comfortable driving.

The silica compound and asymmetric tread used were working very well in providing great dry-road traction and braking. It also offers an impressive tread life.

  • Michelin Defender LTX M/S

With being able to support trucks, SUVs, and crossovers, the Michelin Defender LTX M/S is known to be one of the most powerful tires in the market. It is also available in a wide range of sizes specifically from 15 to 22 inches in diameter.

Michelin Primacy

Michelin Defender vs Primacy: Test & Comparison (3)

Built by Michelin with comfort on the top of mind, the Primacy tires will give you smooth long drives whether it is on dry, wet, or snowy surfaces. Primacy tires are available for passenger cars, SUVs, and light trucks.

Here are some tire models that are included in this family:

  • Michelin Primacy Tour A/S

The Michelin Primacy Tour A/S is one of the best grand touring all-season tires in terms of performance. It is also a very comfortable tire to use as it has excellent noise reduction technology. It also gives a decent snow performance compared to its competitors.

  • Michelin Primacy LTX

The Michelin Primacy LTX is a tire for light trucks that gives excellent fuel efficiency with its low rolling resistance. You could also expect great traction on wet and dry surfaces, and a comfortable ride with reduced noise.

  • Michelin Primacy XC

With its capability to go all-terrain, Michelin Primacy XC is surely one of the most versatile tires in the market. This tire offers a great off-road grip while not sacrificing the on-road performance.

  • Michelin Primacy MXV4

The Primacy MXV4 is the predecessor of the Primacy MXM4. Despite being an old design, you can still expect longevity and excellent all-season traction in this tire. With these, Primacy MXV4 can still be a dependable year-round tire.

Differences Between Defender and Primacy

Michelin Defender vs Primacy: Test & Comparison (4)

To further give details for Michelin Primacy vs Defender tires, I will compare some of the tires in these product families. To have a better outlook, I checked out consumer reviews coming from retail sites and online communities like Reddit.

1. Performance

Both of these touring tire families are impressive in terms of performance. If we look at the Primacy Tour A/S and Defender T+H, we will see close scores in terms of handling, braking, and traction.

The off-road grip and extreme weather traction are mostly all-season tires problems.

  • Between these two, the Defender T+H is more suitable to drive on most terrains but the Primacy Tour A/S is better in terms of snow traction.
  • When it comes to speed durability, the Defender T+H has only a speed rating of H while the Primacy Tour A/S has H and V. This means that the tire from the Defender could only handle up to 130 mph while the Primacy can go up to 149 mph.

2. Comfort

For this category, we will look at the smoothness in terms of grip and steering capabilities together with the quietness of the tires while driving. We will compare Primacy MXV4 vs Defender T+H this time.

Both of these tires are offering almost the same levels of comfort despite being in different tire families.

The Defender T+H is designed to have better tire contact with the surface and an even distribution of pressure which makes it better in controllability.

Both are convincingly quiet tires but I think the Primacy tire has a slight advantage. With these, we can say that the Defender vs MXV4 is closely matched in terms of comfort. It would go down to the preference of the customer to choose.

3. SUV, Crossover, and Truck Tires

It would also be interesting to see which family tire would have better tires to offer for SUVs, crossovers, and trucks. One remarkable truck tire from Michelin is the LTX AT2, but for this comparison, we can look at the Primacy XC vs Defender LTX M/S.

Between these two, the Primacy XC is the one that shows a better grip off-road.

However, the Defender LTX M/S provides an even treadwear which is what the Defender family is known for. Both are not recommended during winter as they are both low with grip on ice.

Another matchup can be Michelin Defender vs Primacy LTX. Both offer excellent grip on wet and dry surfaces although the tire from Defender has a slight edge on all-terrain performance.

4. Cost

As these tire families are from a leading brand like Michelin, expect that its tires are priced higher compared to the other brands. In these two tire families, the Michelin Primacy is slightly more expensive than the Defender.

The Primacy can get up to 300 USD while the Defender is up to 250 USD, depending on the tire model that you are going to buy. However, with their excellent features, these tires are surely worth their price.



  • Offers more options
  • Comfortable driving experience
  • Available for grand touring
  • Excellent wet and dry traction


  • Treadwear could be better
  • Low snow performance



  • Comfortable driving experience
  • Even treadwear
  • Excellent wet and dry traction
  • Lower price


  • Fewer options
  • Low snow performance

Frequently Asked Questions

Michelin Defender vs Primacy: Test & Comparison (5)

Is Michelin Primacy a good tire?

Michelin Primacy tires are good all-season touring and grand touring tires. It offers a wide variety of tire models for you to choose from such as Tour A/S, MXM4, and XC.

Is Michelin Primacy MXV4 discontinued?

The Primacy MXV4 will be phased out by Michelin and will be replaced by the Premier A/S. This means that the MXV4 will be hard to find now.

Related: Read now quick comparisons between Michelin defender vs premier right here!

Are Michelin Primacy tires discontinued?

Aside from the Primacy MXV4, there are no other Primacy tires that have been discontinued. The Primacy Tour A/S, MXM4, XC, and LTX are all still available in the market.

Are Michelin Defender tires worth the money?

With their excellent overall performance, the Defender tires are worth the price. There are other tires in the same class that are cheaper but don’t have the same traction and comfort level that the Defender offers.


As expected, the Michelin Defender vs Primacy would not produce much difference in terms of tire quality. The Defender turned out to be better in treadwear and durability while the Primacy is slightly above when it comes to off-road performance and comfort.

In other features, they can be seen as equal. Now you just need to ask yourself what type of experience you would like. Don’t worry too much as you cannot go wrong between these two tire families.

4.6/5 - (60 votes)

Michelin Defender vs Primacy: Test & Comparison (6)

Henry Speciale

I’m Henry, the content writer for PPMC Transport. We build our site entirely on experience and extensive market and customer research. My goal is to create a trusted platform where people can go to determine what is best for their vehicles in terms of safety and convenience. Keep an eye out for our useful guide!

Michelin Defender vs Primacy: Test & Comparison (2024)


Did Michelin discontinue the primacy? ›

Are Michelin Primacy tires discontinued? Aside from the Primacy MXV4, there are no other Primacy tires that have been discontinued. The Primacy Tour A/S, MXM4, XC, and LTX are all still available in the market.

Did Michelin discontinue the defender? ›

The Defender tire was discontinued by Michelin in 2017 to be replaced by the Defender T+H, an improved version of the original Defender tire with a new tread compound for longer wear and a higher speed rating.

Is Michelin Defender a smooth riding tire? ›

First time for MICHELIN Defender and I am very happy with the price and ride. I have a High Country truck and the tires that were on it after 5 years became a bumpy ride. The MICHELIN Defender gave me a very smooth ride like I was in a car. Michelin for the WIN!

How long do Michelin Primacy as tires last? ›

Michelin tires last between 45,000-85,000 miles or 72,400-136,800 km. In detail, how long do Michelin tires last? Its lifespan is about 5-10 years.

Why is my Michelin tires wear out so fast? ›

Overinflation issues:

On an overinflated tire, the center of the tread bears most of the load and wears out faster than the outside edges. To prevent overinflation, always check tires when they're cold or before they've been driven. Or, check tires at least three hours after they have been driven.

Are Michelin tires the same at Costco? ›

Michelin tires are considered better than others for a few reasons. They last longer, they handle well in all weather conditions, and they provide a comfortable ride. The Michelin tires at Costco are the same as the ones at a regular tire shop.

Why was the Defender discontinued? ›

Production of the final Land Rover Defender was cheered by workers at the JLR factory with its lights flashing and horns blaring. JLR decided to axe the legendary 4x4 due to difficulties in maintaining safety and emissions standards.

Are Michelin Defender tires quiet? ›

A Quiet and Comfortable Ride

The MICHELIN Defender2 tire is designed for smooth, even wear, so the last mile is as comfortably quiet as the first mile.

Why was the old Defender discontinued? ›

Why was the old Defender discontinued? Following a continuous production run for 67 years, the Defender was discontinued in 2016 due to rising irrelevance and the costly EU emission standards.

Do Michelin defenders ride rough? ›

Comfort and Road Noise

The tire is very quiet, even at higher speeds, with a low-pitched noise that's not disturbing at all. Moreover, the ride quality is very smooth, even on models with LT-metric specifications.

What are the disadvantages of Michelin tires? ›

The only major drawback with Michelin tires is the high price point. Drivers on a budget may need to consider other options.

What is the tread life on a Michelin defender? ›

Michelin rates the Defender for tire wear at 90,000 miles.

What is the best month to buy Michelin tires? ›

The best time to buy tires is during April and October. These two months have been tracked as being the best time of year to purchase new tires. The reason for the deals in April is because it's right before vacation season. Travel is big during the summer months, and many people choose to take road trips.

How often do you need to rotate Michelin Primacy tires? ›

Tires should be rotated every six months or 6,000 to 8,000 miles. For additional details regarding tire rotation, please reference the Tire Rotation & Replacement section on page 14 of the Michelin Owner's Manual.

What is the difference between Primacy 3 and primacy 4? ›

According to the marketing text, Primacy 4 is able to dissipate much more water (20%) compared to primacy 3 even when the tires are worn.

Does Michelin have the best tires? ›

Are Michelin Tires Good? Michelin tires aren't only good, but they're excellent. They provide high-performance tires for every type of vehicle and every type of use. Coming in second from Bridgestone as the largest tire company in the world, Michelin tires are still one of the best tires out there.

Do you need to break in new tires Michelin? ›

Just like a new pair of shoes, your tires need to be broken in. Your tires are comprised of many layers of rubber, steel and fabric. Because of these different components, new tires require a break-in period to ensure maximum performance and ride quality.

Why do new cars come with bad tires? ›

Though they may be brand new, it boils down to the fact that the tires you get when you buy your new car usually aren't designed by a major manufacturer brand like Firestone, Michelin, or Goodyear.

Why are Michelin tires considered the best? ›

One of the best things Michelin has going for them is how well their tires wear. Even under heavy loads, they're designed to maintain their shape and distribute the weight evenly throughout the tire to ensure even wear. When a tire wears uniformly, it lasts longer.

What rank is Michelin tires? ›

“We aim to create the best experience for all types of drivers, so it's exciting and humbling for Michelin to earn our 98th and 99th J.D. Power Award for customer satisfaction in the tire category,” said Katelyn Berry, vice president of marketing for Michelin North America, Inc.'s business to consumer products.

Does Costco have a rebate on Michelin tires? ›

Save money on your next set of Michelins by taking advantage of a Costco tire deal. Multiple times throughout the year, Costco members will automatically get $70 off a set of four Michelin tires. Check out the monthly Costco Coupon Book to see if there's an active deal right now.

Why is the Defender so popular? ›

It Was a Great Off-Roader

The first reason why the Defender is so good off-road is its underpinnings. Land Rover equipped this vehicle with solid axles both front and rear, coil-sprung suspension, and suspension geometry that gave it insanely good wheel articulation.

Why is the new Defender so popular? ›

So, why is the Defender so popular? For one main reason, it is extremely functional. And the emotional appeal has made the Defender withhold its iconic British presence around the world for the past 70 years.

Why Defender is so expensive? ›

They are seen as a symbol of adventure, exploration and exclusivity. The exclusivity and desirability of these vehicles has made them highly sought-after, and this has helped to drive the market for vintage Defenders to new heights.

Are Michelin defender tires good in the rain? ›

Therefore, the Michelin Defender T+H is well-deserved as one of the best tires for rain you can find today. However, the tread design is not strong enough to use the product on harsh snow terrain. To drive through heavy snow, you should still choose winter-specific tires to ensure safety.

What are the disadvantages of Michelin airless tires? ›

Despite being nigh un-puncturable, airless tires usually come with some downsides. Due to their having an internal structure comprised of rubber and compressible plastics, they tend to be much heavier than pneumatic tires.

What tires did Michelin Defender replace? ›

However, the Michelin Defender LTX replaced the Michelin LTX M/S2 and improved on many features such as EverTread technology and IntelliSipe.

Does the new Defender hold its value? ›

When sold at two years old, the Defender and Discovery both maintain an average of 73% of their initial purchase value, whereas the Range Rover can drop 50%. The depreciation for the Range Rover then slows down, keeping 32% of its initial value when sold at five years old.

What's new in Defender 2023? ›

What's New for 2023? A Defender 130 variant joins the lineup this year, with a body that's been extended to fit a third row of seats, upping total passenger capacity to eight riders.

How many versions of Defender are there? ›

Land Rover Defender is available in 30 different versions.

Do Michelin defenders have a snowflake? ›

NOTE: The Defender LTX M/S Highway All-Season tire is NOT a dedicated winter / snow tire. It does NOT meet the severe snow traction requirements and is NOT branded with the three-peak mountain snowflake (3PMSF) symbol.

What is difference between Michelin Defender and Defender 2 tires? ›

In conclusion, while both the Michelin Defender T + H and Defender2 demonstrate robust mileage performance, the Defender2 is projected to offer slightly better mileage based on UTQG treadwear values. However, both tires come with the peace of mind provided by Michelin's 80,000-mile warranty.

What is the load rating of a Michelin Defender? ›

Speed Rating: R (106 mph) Load Index: 120.

Which tires are better Michelin or Continental? ›

Continental Truecontact is one of the market leaders in wet traction, while Michelin Defender tires are commendable on dry roads. They are both usable in light snow. They both have noise reduction ability, but TrueContact has a slight edge in overall comfort. Both brands are usable in light snow.

Are Michelin tires made in USA? ›

The main Michelin factory and head office are located in Clermont-Ferrand, France. The company has tires made in 26 countries, including tires made in USA. This shows that many countries can be named when answering, “where are Michelin tires made?”

Do Michelin stars have anything to do with Michelin tires? ›

Interestingly, the invention of the Michelin Star rating coincides with the invention of the automobile. The first Michelin Guide was compiled in 1900 by Michelin Tire founders and French industrialist brothers Andre and Edouard Michelin.

How long is the warranty on Michelin Defender tires? ›

Michelin offers exceptional treadlife/mileage warranties on many of their tires. The Michelin Defender, for example, is warrantied up to 90,000 miles. This means if the tire tread expires (less than 2/32-inch) before the treadlife/mileage warranty is reached, Michelin will offer you a credit toward a new set of tires.

Are Michelin defender tires all season or all weather? ›

The Defender T+H tire is Michelin's Standard Touring All-Season tire developed for the drivers of coupes, family sedans, minivans and small crossover vehicles looking for a long-lasting, comfortable tire that delivers all-season traction in the dry, wet and light snow.

Can Michelin tires last 10 years? ›

Ten years is a maximum

If the tires haven't been replaced 10 years after their date of manufacture, as a precaution, Michelin recommends replacing them with new tires. Even if they appear to be in usable condition and have not worn down to the tread wear indicator. This applies to spare tires as well.

What time of year is cheapest to buy tires? ›

Buying pattern experts, like Consumer Reports and API Service Centers, report that the two best times of year to buy tires are the spring and the fall. Specifically, these buying pattern resources recommend purchasing new tires around April or October.

How often should Michelin tires be replaced? ›

Ten years is a maximum. If the tires haven't been replaced 10 years after their date of manufacture, as a precaution, Michelin recommends replacing them with new tires. Even if they appear to be in usable condition and have not worn down to the tread wear indicator. This applies to spare tires as well.

What time of year is best to buy tires? ›

Although you should get new tires any time they need to be replaced, in general, the best month to buy tires is either October or April.

How long will Michelin Primacy tires last? ›

Michelin tires last between 45,000-85,000 miles or 72,400-136,800 km. In detail, how long do Michelin tires last? Its lifespan is about 5-10 years. A number that's been specified by the Michelin tire age recommendation.

Should I rotate my tires even if only two are new? ›

“When two new tires have been installed on the rear axle, the recommended rotation pattern requires keeping the tires on the same axle, but rotating them from side-to-side,” he said.

Is it OK to rotate tires every 10000 miles? ›

Most manufacturers typically recommend rotating your tires every 5,000-10,000 miles, or at the same time as your regularly scheduled oil changes.

Is Michelin Primacy a quiet tire? ›

The MICHELIN Primacy™ Tour A/S has the quietest tread design among leading competitors. Enhanced ComfortControl with PIANO Noise Reduction Tuning combines frequency cancelling shoulder grooves and block chamfers with ultra smooth belts resulting in an exceptionally quiet ride.

Are Michelin Primacy tyres quiet? ›

Positive - Excellent wet grip with very short wet braking and good wet handling, very high aquaplaning resistance, low noise, high levels of comfort, low rolling resistance.

Is Michelin Primacy 4 summer or winter? ›

The MICHELIN Primacy 4 and Pilot Sport 4 summer tyres perform best on dry and wet roads during hot weather. They have an excellent lifespan, as can be expected from the MICHELIN brand. The MICHELIN CrossClimate+ tyres are an all season tyre which perform well in both summer and winter, even in snow.

What is Michelin Primacy? ›

The MICHELIN® Primacy™ Tires combine all-weather handling and traction for a quiet and comfortable ride. You can trust that our Primacy™ tires are safe, reliable, and durable, with fuel efficiency and great traction. Experience the smoothest all-season or summer tires no matter where you are going.

What is the difference between primacy and primacy tour? ›

The Primacy LTX was designed solely for light trucks, while the Primacy Tour A/S can be fitted on both passenger vehicles and SUV Crossovers.

What is the difference between Michelin Primacy 4 and Primacy 4+? ›

The Michelin Primacy 4+ updates the hugely successful Primacy 4 with better braking performance when worn. The new Michelin EverGrip technology combines two layers of rubber to offset the loss of tread depth when worn. This tyre replaced the Michelin Primacy 4.

Why are Michelin tires out of stock? ›

The issue is the capacity of production. “The main difficulty is that the machines are at full capacity because we have big demand, especially from Hypercar. The machines are working 24 hours a day, seven days a week. “We are producing tires to be able to supply WEC and IMSA next season.

Where are Michelin Primacy made? ›

Michelin e. Primacy belongs to the Premium segment and is made by a manufacturer from France. However, this particular model is made in Italy/Spain. It is made in total of 107 sizes, 165/65 R15 being the smallest and 225/45 R21 the largest.

Is Bridgestone better than Michelin? ›

Bridgestone and Michelin tires are the best of the best, and both are at the top regarding performance. The only noticeable difference between Michelin and Bridgestone cars is their performance on dry roads. Michelin tires are much more responsive and can give drivers sleeker handling when traversing dryer areas.

What is the difference between Michelin Defender and Premier? ›

The Defender is more of a regular touring all-season tire instead of a grand one, so it's not as quick and has a smaller wheel diameter, maxing out at 18 inches. The Premier is a grand touring tire, meaning that it's meant for fast cars with higher speed ratings and wider wheel diameter.

Are touring tires better than all season? ›

Touring tires, also called Grand touring tires are designed to deliver a comfortable ride and reliable all-season traction, with the addition of more responsive handling. They generally have a higher speed rating than all-season tires, and often feature an asymmetrical tread pattern.

How long do Primacy 4 tyres last? ›

According to Michelin, on average, Primacy 4 tyre lasts on average 18,000km than other competing brands in the same class.

What is the difference between Primacy 3 and 4? ›

According to the marketing text, Primacy 4 is able to dissipate much more water (20%) compared to primacy 3 even when the tires are worn.

Are Michelin Primacy all season tires good in snow? ›

The Primacy A/S is designed to deliver a premium driving experience combined with all-season capability, even in light snow. Characteristics: Premium Precision Handling. Quiet and Comfortable Ride.

Are Michelin tires made in China? ›

Are Any Michelin Tires Made in China? Yes. The Michelin Group has a large presence in China that began in 1989. The company's Chinese manufacturing facilities are in Shenyang and Shanghai provinces.

Are all Michelin tires made in USA? ›

The main Michelin factory and head office are located in Clermont-Ferrand, France. The company has tires made in 26 countries, including tires made in USA. This shows that many countries can be named when answering, “where are Michelin tires made?”


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