While most companies are all about making sales, Michelin is among the few companies that value quality. The French company has dominated the industry for decades, and that can only mean one thing; they’re doing everything right.
Recently, the company took everyone by surprise with the invention of their airless tires. These tires cannot be punctured and are of the highest standard. Two of their models run the game, Michelin Defender T+H and the Premier a/s. But the popular question still remains, which of these two should you own in 2021?
I currently own the Michelin Defender although I did purchase the Premier A/S sometime last year. I have never regretted both purchases. Today I review Michelin Defender t+h vs. Premier a/s. looking at all their features and specs.
Is this the battle of supremacy? I prefer calling it a Michelin showdown.
Summary of the Features on A Scale of 1-10, where 10 is Highest
Passenger Vehicles, Crossover
Both the Defender T+H and Premier A/S include touring tires. The only difference is that the Defender is more of a regular all-season touring tire while the Premier is an all-season grand touring tire. What’s the difference between the two?
Grand-touring tires are large in size (up to 19-inch diameter) and have higher speed ratings. This means that they are designed for fast cars. Touring tires, on the other hand, have a maximum 18-inch wheel diameter and are not as quick as grand touring tires.
With this, touring tires are suited mostly for regular vehicles while grand-touring tires are for fast premium cars. But this isn’t to say that you can’t fix your Premier on a Chevrolet and Defender on a Mercedes Benz.
Every Michelin tire I have driven on gave me a positive driving experience. The company designs its tires with high responsiveness and a good steering feel. These two are no exception either.
With that said, there is a huge difference between the two tires. Premier A/S will provide you with a much better steering feel and responsiveness. Not to say that the Defender is awful, they are actually amongst the best, but the Premier performs better in this category.
Again, Michelin tires show their prowess in the rain. And once more, the difference between the two tires is visible, although slightly. Both tires are incredible in the rain and fare relatively well. You seriously need a Michelin tire in the rain, with the Premier A/S leading the race.
Their aquaplaning is also outstanding and kudos to the manufacturers for this. Even in a heavy downpour, they’ll easily cut through water puddles. Their cornering grip is outstanding, stopping power excellent and traction one to admire.
What’s even more impressive is the tires feel in the rain. With their high traction, you can easily push forward with confidence.
Like the wet traction, these tires also shine in dry roads with minimal difference between the two. If you drive them side by side, you’ll seldom notice any difference.
At normal speeds, the tires are excellent cornering grip with good traction. But the premier performs better. The difference becomes noticeable when you push the tires to the max. Premier A/S has better acceleration traction, offers higher grip in corners and stops better.
Remember that the difference is only felt in high-performance driving. For normal driving, both tires are excellent.
When it comes to snow and ice, both these tires line close together, even though they are not the best choice for icy surfaces. This is because the tires feature an all-season tread compound that isn’t suited for harsh winter conditions.
If you live in an area with freezing winter conditions, you may want to consider other options. Michelin has numerous excellent options such as the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3.
Between the two as expected, premier performs slightly better in snow. It is more controllable and has shorter braking distances. In ice, the performance is the same in the two tires.
I have no complaints whatsoever when it comes to the levels of noise and comfort provided by these two tires. Their ride quality is excellent without the softness of cheap tires. The only noise you’ll hear is that of a slight tread growl, which is from the wind noise and engine. And this is only noticeable when driving around a quiet environment.
The Premier is slightly quieter and feels better than premier. This is especially evident when driving on bumpy roads and through smooth highway pavements.
Even though the Defender lags overall in wet conditions, it won’t disappoint you. Note that both ties come with the EverTread compound used to keep the wet traction longer.
For me, it’s never about the price, but what a tire brings to the table. Even so, the price of a tire still plays a huge role in the final purchasing decision. On average, the price of the Michelin Defender T+H is roughly 20% more than its counterpart.
This is expected since more work was put on the defender. The difference isn’t significant though, and you can always add extra cash to get the Premier. However, if you’re tight on budget, the Defender T+H is still a great choice to go with.
A tire’s durability is another key factor to keep in mind when making your purchase. Always consider the tread life, durability and warranty of a tire. Premier A/S is more comfortable with better performance but less durable.
Michelin manufacturers designed the Defender T+H tire with longevity and cost in mind. Premier A/S comes with 60,000 miles’ warranty with the Defender having an amazing 80,000 miles’ warranty. This makes it more clear that the Defender is more durable than the Premier.
Despite the numerous differences between the two tires, one thing is for sure: you can’t go wrong with either tire. These are unarguably the best tires in their respective categories. They are of high quality and long-lasting.
Which of the two tires are you purchasing?