Michelin X Tour and Michelin Defender T+H are identical twins, created almost in the same manner with nearly identical make-up, but slightly not.

Choosing tires from the same brand that will be perfect for your vehicle and adventure ride can be confusing.

It is too early to pick between the Michelin X Tour and Defender T+H.

So, we give you a detailed guide to help you decide, so read along!

Overview of the Michelin X Tour

Image Source: Michelin

The Michelin X Tour is an all-season tire with outstanding value and advanced technology to boost tread life, fuel efficiency, and safety.

This is exclusive for Costco members who enjoy the latest technology of Michelin tires.

Particularly the intellisipe technology that helps give better traction in bad weather, at the same time, increases the tread life.

The good thing? Michelin X Tour is proven to be 15% to last longer than the previous generation of Michelin Defender XT tires.

The touring tires utilize a specialized rubber compound to operate in a broad range of temperatures.

It expanded the amount of silica in the tread compound to make it more flexible in winter conditions.

You can inquire at their website for availability at Michelin.

Features & Specifications:

  • Michelin’s intellisipe technology for wet condition
  • Specialized materials and architecture
  • Designed with four circumferential grooves and lateral sipes to displace water efficiently.
  • Its small biting edges aid in sustaining traction and grip in harsh situations.
  • The zigzag tread pattern helps with its snow performance.


  • Longer tread life
  • Low rolling resistance that lessens fuel consumption
  • Shortest distance braking on wet and dry surfaces
  • Cornering stability and better handling


  • Higher price
  • Noticeable road noise
  • Not widely available

Overview of the Defender T+H

Image Source: Michelin

The Michelin Defender T+H is an all-season touring tire for drivers of small crossover vehicles and light trucks who want a comfortable and long-lasting tire with all-season traction.

The Defender has a MaxTouch Construction design that establishes the tire contact forces to be evenly distributed, thus, its longer tread life.

It also incorporates intellisipe technology to optimize the biting edges of the tire for a better grip and control in all seasons.

Its comfort control technology makes it distinct, making your adventure cozy and reducing road noise.

It uses intellisipe technology of zigzag sipes to escalate tread block rigidity and, at the same time, maximize the tire’s contact with the road.

This new generation Michelin tire has high silica content in the tread compound to help wet roads.

You can get this at Amazon for 215.99.

Features & Specifications:

  • Safety performance
  • MaxTouch construction
  • Durable EverTread compound for a long-lasting reliability
  • Exceptional rain grooves to assist in avoiding hydroplaning
  • Improved steering response, tire life, and durability


  • Quiet and comfortable ride
  • All-season traction in the dry, wet, and light snow
  • Biting edges for traction in harsh situations


  • Less traction for severe snow-covered roads
  • Some experience tread separation

Michelin X Tour vs. Defender: Let’s Compare the Two Tires

The two Michelin all-season tires have a lot in common, from brand, specifications, and benefits.

This section will examine the similarities and slight differences between X Tour and Defender T+H.

1) Benefits and Technology

The Michelin X Tour and Michelin Defender had almost the same features and technology, but one slight difference is that the Michelin X Tour is Costco exclusive.

They both have intellisipe technology that aids in providing tractions on wet roads, dry surfaces, and light snow.

MaxTouch Technology Construction’s design ensures that the touring tire’s contact forces are evenly distributed for extended tread life.

Both have high silica content in the tread compound to improve wet traction and are pliable for winter conditions.

Also, the circumferential grooves and zigzag sipes evacuate water productively.

The difference is that the Michelin X Tour is proven 15% to last longer than the previous Michelin Defender XT tire generation.

However, the Michelin Defender T+H also has distinct comfort control technology. So, for this one, we’ll give a tie.

Winner: Tie

2) Performance in Dry and Wet Conditions

The X Tour and Defender is a tie for road performance on dry and wet surfaces.

The Michelin X Tour and Defender T+H nearly have identical tread compounds and grooves to maintain traction in any weather.

They have exceptional grip and quick steering response for dry and wet surfaces.

Winner: Tie

3) Snow Performance

The Michelin Defender T+H has a better performance as a winter tire compared to the Michelin X Tour, which falls short in this category.

Both tires are more reliable traction served as summer tires, but they can still cope as winter tires.

They are M+S rated, which means they are preferable to non-M+S rated tires but are not as ultra-high level as the 3PMSF-rated tires.

They have dependable traction as a summer tire and are not created to endure severe snow conditions, but can still cope as winter tires and do the dirty work.

The Michelin defender is rated as an all-terrain M+S tire and the gold standard for touring tires and is more competent for snow driving due to its advanced biting edges.

Winner: Michelin Defender T+H

4) Comfortable

The Michelin Defender T+H has its comfort control technology that decreases road noise. However, the same technology was not used for the Michelin X Tour.

So, the clear winner for a comfortable ride goes to Michelin Defender T+H.

Winner: Michelin Defender T+H

5) Price Match

The Michelin X Tour has a higher price than the Michelin Defender T+H.

One of the drawbacks of the Michelin X Tour is its availability. Even Costco members had a hard time finding the tire.

So, in this category, the Michelin Defender T+H wins.

Winner: Michelin Defender T+H

Things to Consider When Choosing Between Michelin X Tour vs. Defender

If you are still confused between the all-season tires Michelin X Tour and Michelin Defender, here are some things to consider before purchasing:

1. Performance

Consider the value and overall performance.

Examine its work in wet and dry conditions, as well as in winter situations, and even the tire uniformity. Ensure that you are buying fit for the surfaces you are driving on.

Though both tire models had almost the same technology, the Michelin Defender has an upper edge regarding comfortability and winter conditions.

It’s a plus if you can get an eco-friendly and fuel-efficient one where you can save from the vehicle’s energy expenditure.

2. Treadwear Warranty

Tire manufacturers usually provide a tire warranty, but they can be limited, and a list of defects might not be covered.

Different brands also give distinct periods for warranty, so while shopping for your tires, consider the security that offers good coverage.

All Michelin tires have their standard tire manufacturer limited treadwear warranty.

The X Tour and T+H have the same warranty, which shelters deformities in workmanship and manufacturing for the life of the original usable tread.

The warranty lasts six years from the date of purchase, depending on which comes first.

They are also covered by the same warranty Michelin offers which is 80,000-mile tread wear.

3. Handling and High-Speed Ratings

All-season tires that have better handling and high-speed ratings mean that they are ones with high performance and durability.

You can know about the speed rating since this is the last letter indicated on your tire label. This represents a specific speed that you can find on the speed chart.

A higher speed rating indicates a better dry grip and stopping power capacity. So, if you want to drive your car fast, choose a tire that can handle a high speed.

4. Treadwear

Tread depth is significant because the tire is the vital bond between the vehicle and the ground. The tread will grip the road as you drive.

However, if it is not deep adequately, the car may lose traction and put up with extended braking times.

To add, shallow tread grooves will result in harsh handling of the vehicle, especially in wet weather.

It is advisable to check the tread depth to secure your safety consistently. If the tread wear indicators are flushed with the level of the tread, then it is time to replace your tires.

The good news is that both Michelin X Tour and Defender tires are designed to work for a long time, making them reliable.

5. Availability

By this time, you probably know what tire model is more accessible.

You can easily purchase the Michelin Defender T+H from a dependable tire shop, through a tire rack, or even online.

However, with the Michelin X Tour exclusively available through Costco, even their members cannot sometimes get this tire.

Price tag-wise, the X Tour is not as accessible as the Defender, so they tend to be more expensive than the Defender T+H.

Final Verdict: Which Among the Two Tires Should You Pick?

The Michelin X Tour is almost the exact same tire as the Michelin Defender.

All-season tires with all-season traction with almost the same workup on dry and wet surfaces had the same technology and warranty.

But they have slight differences in how they operate in winter, with some technology, comfortability, and availability.

Choose the Michelin X Tour If…

You are a Costco member and want to enjoy its latest technology.

This touring tire has the shortest distance braking on wet and dry surfaces. It will also help in reducing fuel consumption.

So, if you want an exclusive but a little pricey, go for it!

Choose the Defender If…

You are looking for more available and cheaper tires.

You can rest assured and get confidence in its safety performance. It also acts better in winter situations.

If you also crave a cozy ride while you are on your way to your next adventure, its comfort control technology will definitely fit you.


It is often tough to pick with better grip, better uniformity, and solid handling.

The tire you choose will be your connection to the ground, thus deemed vital.

The Michelin X Tour and Defender offer your cars the same value, technology, and benefits.

But, they differ slightly in several aspects, so you must be meticulous before adding them to your vehicles.

Anyhow, Michelin is keen and quite fine.

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