Michelin Agilis CrossClimate vs Defender

TireHungry.com is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no added cost to you

Most cars these days come out of the factory wearing all-season tires because these are the ones that tend to satisfy most people’s needs from the get-go. You are always able to opt for a more dedicated tire on your own, but if you don’t need to do so, a high-quality all-season tire is likely going to suffice.

Michelin Agilis CrossClimate Vs Defender

Michelin is one of those brands that tend to echo throughout the automotive industry as they are deeply rooted in many automotive segments. The Michelin Pilot Sport tire series is one of the best performance-oriented tires on the market while the Michelin X-Ice is one of the best snow and ice tires on the market.

If you spend most of your time driving trucks, SUVs, shuttles, and vans, you should focus your attention on the Michelin Defender or the Michelin Agilis CrossClimate. These two seem to have captured the imagination of most customers in this segment, but if you had to choose between them, which one would you choose?

You can find the answer to what we would choose in this Michelin Agilis CrossClimate Vs Defender comparison. It’s safe to say that both of these are impressive, which means that most people would do just fine by opting for either of them. Even so, some differences between the two are indeed worth looking into.

Bottom Line Up Front: Tire Rack has some of the best selection of tires on the planet.  They offer a more seamless, low stress buying experience. And since they are an online-only shop, Tire Rack can deliver a better quality product at a lower price compared to other name brands.

Click here to see the current tire offers from Tire Rack.

Michelin Agilis CrossClimate

The Michelin Agilis CrossClimate tire was released back in 2015, and ever since then, the tire has managed to continuously deliver no matter the situation. The Agilis is a true premium touring tire which means that it needs to be comfortable and able to maintain traction no matter if it’s wet or dry.

The Agilis is also rated for commercial use which further broadens the tire’s breadth of ability. It is also backed by numerous Michelin proprietary technologies that tend to sharpen the tire when it comes to durability, traction, tread, comfort, and noise levels. 3PMSF-rating is there to make sure that the tire performs admirably in the snow.

No matter if you drive a van or a truck, Michelin will offer you the right type of Agilis tires for both purposes. By combining the benefits of many previous Michelin products, the Agilis has become one of the best Michelin products to date. However, is that enough to beat the longstanding touring champion, the Michelin Defender?

Michelin Defender

The Michelin Defender has been for quite a while one of the most successful Michelin all-season touring tires. The newest Defender model is available for coupes, sedans, crossovers, minivans, and trucks.

The reason why the Defender is so successful is that it manages to strike the right balance between qualities usually associated with more dedicated tires with a fairly manageable price tag.

The internet is brimming with loads of satisfied customers who praise the Defender to be the true jack of all trades as it delivers in almost every category. The Defender aims to maximize the comfort levels without suffering when it comes to off-roading and snow driving.

As far as basic all-season tires go, it’s difficult to make a mistake if you go for the Defender. Now it’s time to go a bit more in-depth about why both of these tires are so evenly matched, and why you should consider these as your next all-season touring tire purchase.

What Are The Features Of The Michelin Agilis CrossClimate?

Michelin has really gone all out on the new Agilis CrossClimate tire which means that they did not hesitate to include all the necessary technologies and manufacturing techniques that made the tire what it is. It is a true premium all-season touring tire that also comes with the 3PMSF-rating which means that it can easily tackle snow and ice.

The Agilis is designed to withstand daily abuse thanks to Michelin CurbGuard technology that protects the tire from curb-related damages. The tire is also further reinforced with nylon layers even more so than the rest of the Michelin all-season tire fleet. The Agilis also utilizes the SipeLock technology that enhances wet driving capabilities thanks to specially designed grooves.

In order to make the tire stick to the ground without wearing too much, Michelin has also included the StabiliBlock technology that helps to maintain the tire’s optimal temperature which ensures better traction and longer-lasting tread. Michelin MaxPressure takes care of proper weight distribution which also benefits even treadwear.

Finally, the Agilis is being offered in many different sizes with both direction and non-directional grooves depending on if you own a truck or a van.

What Are The Features Of The Michelin Defender?

The Michelin Defender is a true festival of precise engineering as the latest Defender tire is backed by loads of clever technical solutions that make the tire capable in almost every environment.

Probably the most advertised technology found in the Defender series is the Michelin EverTread technology that aims to significantly improve treadwear and traction no matter the time of year.

The Defender is known to be a great all-weather capable tire thanks to the Total Performance Package that improves the tire compound both for wet and dry surfaces.As far as dry conditions are concerned, the Defender is made with symmetrical patterns in mind that also feature 3D sipe technology and independent blocks. Stiffer tread blocks are meticulously designed to improve handling.

Four circumferential grooves are also added to make the tire resistant to aquaplaning while the materials used emphasize comfort, no matter the surface. Even though the Michelin Defender is not a 3PMSF-rated tire, it does feature a specially designed tread pattern that bites into the snow and makes the tire stick better than most all-season touring tires.

What Are The Differences Between The Michelin Agilis CrossClimate And The Michelin Defender?

Now it’s time to put these two in a head-to-head matchup in order to decide which one comes out on top. We are going to compare these on the road, off the road, and in the snow. We are also going to decide which one of these is the more comfortable tire. Finally, we are going to compare their warranties, prices, and treadwear.

At the end of our Michelin Agilis CrossClimate Vs Defender comparison we are going to tell you why one tire is better, and by how much.

On-road Performance: Michelin Agilis CrossClimate Vs Defender

The Michelin Defender is a capable tire when it comes to dry conditions as is the case with all the tires from this market segment. The traction is great in most instances while some more powerful trucks are likely going to break traction on higher RPMs.

The Agilis is very much the same, but the differences are apparent when it comes to handling and responsiveness where the Defender is the more capable tire.

When it comes to wet conditions, these two are even more closely matched as they tend to maintain traction even in deeper water. As such, if you are worried about aquaplaning, both of these are likely to suffice. However, the Defender does seem to offer shorter braking distances and is as such a better-wet tire, by not by much.

Winner: Michelin Defender

Off-road Performance: Michelin Agilis CrossClimate Vs Defender

When it comes to off-roading, the Michelin Agilis seems to have a more consistent performance due to added nylon layers that protect the tire from within. This makes the tire more durable when it comes in contact with larger rocks and it is also backed by the Michelin CurbGuard technology that also helps when it comes to tire flexing.

The Michelin Defender is also a decent tire when it comes to off-roading, especially when you consider that both of these are not designed for off-road use. The fact that the Agilis is rated for commercial use also further indicates that the tire is able to distribute and withstand weight better without flexing or bulging.

Winner: Michelin Agilis CrossClimate

Snow Performance: Michelin Agilis CrossClimate Vs Defender

When it comes to snow driving, the Agilis CrossClimate takes it with ease because it is a 3PMSF-rated tire after all. The 3PMSF-rating is only given to a tire that has been scientifically proven to withstand all the challenges that arise from snow and ice driving. This means that the Agilis is able to catch and throw snow a lot better and thus it also maintains traction better.

The Michelin Defender is not a 3PMSF-rated tire, but rather a more standard M+S tire which means that it is rated for snow and mud, but not to the degree a 3PMSF tire is. Even though the Defender does come with specially designed treads that bite into the snow a lot better than most all-season tires, it is still not as capable as the Agilis.

Winner: Michelin Agilis CrossClimate

Comfort: Michelin Agilis CrossClimate Vs Defender

Touring tires are designed for on-road use primarily which means that they spend the vast majority of their life on the road. As such, a true premium all touring tire needs to be able to both provide a subtle ride and to do so quietly. The Agilis is a bit more reinforced which means that it tends to be a bit stiffer and noisier when compared to the Defender.

This is a dealbreaker to some as many people believe that the Agilis is too noisy for a premium touring tire. The fact of the matter is that a tire like the Defender is simply too good, and when such a tire is compared to a decently quiet tire like the Agilis, it makes the Agilis seem too loud, even though it truly isn’t all that bad.

Winner: Michelin Defender

Treadwear And Durability: Michelin Agilis CrossClimate Vs Defender

When it comes to durability, the Agilis CrossClimate seems to take the cake as it does offer a substantially more reinforced construction. These methods of making a tire do sometimes make it a bit louder, but such qualities play a huge role when it comes to proper weight distribution and overall durability.

Treadwear should also go in favor of the CrossClimate as it prioritizes weight distribution. When a tire is perfectly balanced, the weight is distributed evenly across the entire surface of the tire. This means that tires such as these should in theory have a longer-lasting tread.

Winner: Michelin Agilis CrossClimate

Warranty And Price: Michelin Agilis CrossClimate Vs Defender

Knowing that the tire you go for is backed with a treadwear warranty means that you can be sure that the tread is going to last a certain amount of time. In the case of the Defender, the 70,000-mile treadwear warranty is actually one of the best in this segment. These also start at around $150 for 15-inch sizes and go up from there.

The Agilis CrossClimate does not come with a warranty which is often the case with commercial tires. However, we have already discussed that the Agilis should be able to last a long time either way. Pricing is similar to the Defender, but the Agilis tends to start at around $100.

Winner: It’s a tie

Why Should I Opt For The Michelin Agilis CrossClimate Over The Michelin Defender?

  • Better off-road
  • More durable
  • Cheaper
  • Better in the snow

Why Should I Opt For The Michelin Defender Over The Michelin Agilis CrossClimate?

  • Better on-road
  • Quieter
  • More comfortable
  • Longer warranty coverage

Wrap Up

At the end of our Michelin Agilis CrossClimate Vs Defender comparison, we can safely say that these tires are fairly evenly matched. The differences primarily come from the fact that the Agilis is a commercial-rated tire which means that it can withstand heavier loads while also being able to offer an off-road and snow performance that is much better than most touring tires.

On the other hand, the Defender is mostly tailored to paved environments which means that it is able to stand its ground in the dirty stuff, yet is also more enjoyable on a daily driver.

The warranty coverage on the Defender is better, but the pricing of the Agilis does seem to make up for it, especially when you consider that the Agilis should last a long time anyway.

One Comment

  1. I purchased the 285 60 r20 Michelin Agilis Cross-Climate and they were excellent, got about 50k miles is all but I drive with max payload most of the time on my 2017 ford f250 power stroke. Recently tried the Michelin Defender 285 65 r20 which I am returning for replacement because they don’t ride well on the highway. The Agilis cross-climate was much better. Now I know. I’ve had the Defenders on my truck for over a week but thanks to the Michelin 100% satisfaction, I’m going to switch back to the Agilis cross climate tires.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *