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At last, the factory tires wore out and I finally had a reason to get new tires for the CR-V. While excitement to spend hundreds of dollars on new tires isn't common, I was ready. I pondered Goodyear’s and Michelins and anything from TireRack.com with a good rating.

It comes at no surprise to me that the factory installed Bridgestone Ecopia tires were not listed with a good rating.

While I didn’t have much of an opinion about their noise level or dry handling, I cringed every time it snowed or roads became icy. The Bridgestone tires had an M+S rating (Mud and Snow) but even with a light dusting of snow, the CR-V’s traction control system and ABS was overwhelmed. Cornering, stopping, starting and anything in-between was a nail biting experience with only patchy spots of snow on the pavement, add in a freezing mist and you might as well just plan on walking, it would be safer.

The Bridgestone tires were also nearly at the wear bars with 26,500 miles. The dealer said they had about 4/32 or so of tread left when I brought the car in because it smelled of gas when idling after short drives and few other things.

Tire Synthetic rubber Automotive tire Tread Auto part


These tires had a warrantee of either 65,000 miles or 70,000 miles, but I didn't want a replacement Bridgestone because of my experience with them in the winter.

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The only aspects of these tires I really liked were their ability to go through mud when they were new (once they started to wear, traction became an issue) and the gas mileage the car achieved.

I would routinely get 34 to 36 miles to the gallon at 60mph on the highway. That is between 1 and 3 mpg higher than EPA estimates if you trust the cars on-board mpg calculator.

The main reason I bought the CR-V was the estimated gas mileage on an AWD vehicle, so when looking for new tires, I wanted to make sure I didn’t compromise that feature.

I really liked the Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady tires, they had a good price and reviews, and were rated as an all-season tire that had a true snow tire performance marker, but this was also their downfall for me. Between concerns about decreased gas milage and excessive tire wear, something with the 3PMSF markers (true snow tire) became less desirable.

I really wanted a tire brand I had on my previous SUV (newer gen Ford Explorer), the Michelin Defender LTS M/S; up until about three weeks ago, they were not available for the 18 inch rims on the CR-V online. I was able to drive my old SUV through anything and never worry about loosing traction, but I noticed my gas mileage on that vehicle decreased with these tires by about 1 mpg.

I gave the Michelins a chance on my CR-V because I had such an overall good experience with them on a past vehicle and if I lost 1 mpg, so be it.

I had a Michelin tire shop installed them at about $180 per tire and $30 for mounting and balancing. The rims on the CR-V look very delicate, but the tire shop did a good job and I don’t notice any marring from the de/mounting process.

Tire Automotive tire Synthetic rubber Tread Auto part


The tread on the Michelins are the first thing I noticed; they are a beefy looking tire. These tires really grab the road on turns, the noise doesn’t sound different from the Bridgestones and the ride seems to be slightly improved. Best of all, my gas mileage so far is largely unchanged with the Michelin tires (so far, the average is actually up .5 mpg but time will tell if this tendency holds up, I've put about 1,000 miles on them).

I think there was a bit of a break-in period - a hundred miles or so – where the car rode stiff and handled a bit strange, but once that passed I couldn’t be happier.

While I haven’t driven through snow yet, I did take the car down a muddy road just to see how well the tires bite when traction loss becomes an issue. I parked the car in the middle of a mud puddle, the tires sank about two or three inches into the saturated dirt, I gave the car some gas and it pulled itself out with no issue. While I didn’t put myself in a situation were I could easily get stuck, I could tell these tires were much better in the mud than the aged Bridgestone. Michelin really earned the 'M' from the M+S rating in my book.

So far, my only complaint is these tires sometimes feel unsettled on city streets at lower speeds. If the road is uneven or distorted in some way, you can feel the tires grab at the road and pull the car left or right until the road evens back out. I don’t really mind this, but it is noticeable; I wonder if as these tires wear down a bit if this will be less of an issue. At highway speeds, I don't notice this.

After my first experience in snow with the CR-V and it’s stock Bridgestones, I actually considered buying new tires on my new car (with less than 8,000 miles on the odometer), but quickly found I didn’t like the selection. What I found so disappointing was there were very few tires sold online that had a tread to handle mud and snow, still achieve good gas mileage and have a warrantee exceed 45,000 miles. The Michelins Defender LTS M/S are a bit more expensive than other tires, but their warrantee is rated to 70,000 miles.

These Michelin Defender LTX M/S tires seem to fit all my needs.
 

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I only buy Michelins these days, and plan a new set soon on my newly acquired CR-V, which currently has Pirelli Scorpions on it, which I find loud and stiff but seem to be wearing well. As far as mileage warranty goes, I've noticed this year Michelin has lowered the numbers on most tires by a considerable amount. On my current set of Michelins - on my F250 4x4, they had a 90k warranty, but it looks like they will barely make 40 to 45k. I've always kinda thought they were a little overenthusiastic with that anyway. But they have been excellent tires, quiet, smooth, excellent traction in all conditions both on and off road. I can't really comment on mileage as that beast gets ten mpg, period. Which is why I am selling it, and why I got the CR-V.


I would recommend getting your alignment checked. Or, making the mental allowance for the difference in geometry between the worn out tires and the new ones, which are larger in diameter and have no wear, uneven or not. You might find that the factory alignment is a little off anyway. I seriously doubt they run them onto an alignment machine off the production line, so, while it might meet a certain tolerance, that doesn't necessarily mean it is dead on. Could easily affect handling and wear.


Nice tires, though. Very.
 

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2016 Pilot EX-L...changed to Michelin Defenders at 36K. Car drove better than when it was new. Just traded it in on a '18 CRV EX-L and the tires still looked brand new at 60K. I replaced factory Duelers with Michelins on my 2014 Tacoma...same experience. My Tundra now has Michelins and my son's 2014 Corolla just got Michelin Defenders last week. My 2013 Si has Michelin's. My wife's new '18 CR-V has 350 miles on it and I'm partly considering just putting Michelins on it right now.
 

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Why didnt you go for the Primacy MXV4s instead? The Defenders are more suited for heavier SUV and body on frame trucks. As to our super light tiny engined CR-Vs seems like the weight of the vehicle (roughly 3,300-3,500lbs) where the Defenders are rated at roughly 3,300lbs per tire.
The Primacy are rated around 1,300-1,700lbs per tire. Which could help explain why your tire seems to grab uneven pavement since the weight of these CR-Vs cant keep the tires planted due to the light weight nature of our vehicles.

I could suggest lowering your PSI by 1-3 but it could cause uneven wear but gain better traction. It could also throw up a incorrect PSI warning indicator on the dash.

Then again if you're hauling heavy things in your CR-V (like bars of pure gold) I could see the benefits of the Defenders in the long run.

Hope this helps & I too am a huge fan of Michelins! My other car has Pilot Sports AS/3 on them and they ride like they're on rails.
 

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just FYI never judge a brand and its tires based on what comes on your vehicle new. They are NEVER the same as what you buy aftermarket. Michelin tires that have come on new vehicles have gotten the exact same response and complaints. The treadlife warranty doesnt exist because the tires dont last, traction goes to hell in the first 6 months because of the crappy hard rubber compound used for the tread.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 

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Your load rating info is off. You may have been looking at the Defender LTX. The regular defender series is virtually the same load rating as the Primacy MXV4. 1874 max load vs 1929. Both passenger tires. If you get into the LT tires, the Defenders load ratings go way up. Both the Primacy and (passenger) Defenders are recommended for family sedan, crossover and minivans.
 

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When these Hankooks give me an excuse Michelin Premiers or other Michelin will go on. Premiers have given us great service.
 

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Just switched from Hancocks on 17 CRV Touring awd with 19,000 miles tp Michelin Premiers A/S. Hancocks had thread left but way to noisey and distracted from a great vehicle. Ride and handling is better and road noise is gone. I'm glad I did not wait any longer to swap them out.
 

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I had Nokian WRG2s and WRG3s on my previous small SUV (2006 Rav4 v6) and loved them. All season tires that handle like snow tires in winter (and they have earned the snowflake emblem). I think they are the perfect tire for the urban Northeast. I'll see how my factory tires handle the upcoming winter, before I pull the trigger and replace what are still pretty new tires.
 

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Interested to read your comments on the Ecopia. I got that feeling when I put them on my old Pilot. Reminded me of the factory fitted Goodyears which had "limited" grip in rain and snow. Those tires were constantly panned by owners unless you lived in a dry arid desert in the southwest of this country.
 

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I had Nokian WRG2s and WRG3s on my previous small SUV (2006 Rav4 v6) and loved them. All season tires that handle like snow tires in winter (and they have earned the snowflake emblem). I think they are the perfect tire for the urban Northeast. I'll see how my factory tires handle the upcoming winter, before I pull the trigger and replace what are still pretty new tires.
I am 50/50 between 2019 Rav4 and 2019 crv for our next vehicle. I will immediately
replace the oem tires with the nokian all weathers and sell the oems on Kijiji. We have had great experiences with previous Nokians on an XTrail and my daughter’s Yaris.
 

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I am 50/50 between 2019 Rav4 and 2019 crv for our next vehicle. I will immediately
replace the oem tires with the nokian all weathers and sell the oems on Kijiji. We have had great experiences with previous Nokians on an XTrail and my daughter’s Yaris.
Sounds like you're in an area with a real winter. I'd look long and hard at the RAV4 Hybrid with its electric i-AWD system. Its going to be a step up from anything in the class that uses mechanically driven AWD.
 

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These Michelin Defender LTX M/S tires seem to fit all my needs.
I have these on my Grand Cherokee and love them - but that's a ~5300 lb car vs the ~3500 CRV, so I'd imagine they're somewhat different applications.

As you say the LTX M/S Defender has just appeared in the CRV's 18" size. There's also something called a Defender T+H with a similar treadwear rating...am wondering what the difference is between these in use.
 

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Michelin makes their tires in "lines." Each line has multiple models, designed for the various different vehicle classes, sizes, etc. Each model has different load ratings, speed ratings, sidewall thicknesses, etc., to cover different vehicles. A little research will allow you to look at the different Defender models and designations to choose the one that works best for your use on your vehicle. That's after you choose the line. By the time you look at all the lines, and narrow your choices down there, then look at all the models each of your chosen lines contain, and figure out which specific tires within all that work best for you, you may be cross-eyed. I wish they would provide a tree chart that shows everything, it would make the process easier. But no. That would make too much sense. Oh, well. It would also be nice to know what T & H means. I know M/S is mud and snow. I know LTX means light truck/ big SUV. A/S means all season. What is T - H? There are more I also don't know.
 

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Michelin makes their tires in "lines." Each line has multiple models, designed for the various different vehicle classes, sizes, etc. Each model has different load ratings, speed ratings, sidewall thicknesses, etc., to cover different vehicles. A little research will allow you to look at the different Defender models and designations to choose the one that works best for your use on your vehicle. That's after you choose the line. By the time you look at all the lines, and narrow your choices down there, then look at all the models each of your chosen lines contain, and figure out which specific tires within all that work best for you, you may be cross-eyed.
lol exactly. I suppose I'm interested in seeing people's subjective reports in comparison to the other options out there. The tables of numbers from Michelin don't tell me much. e.g. I can tell you that Michelin Primacy and LTX Defender are both available for the Jeep and that the numbers look similar. But real world experience is that the Primacys will wear nearly 50% faster for nowhere near that amount of increase in ride quality, grip etc. They're also much worse in adverse conditions IME.

I wish they would provide a tree chart that shows everything, it would make the process easier. But no. That would make too much sense. Oh, well. It would also be nice to know what T & H means. I know M/S is mud and snow. I know LTX means light truck/ big SUV. A/S means all season. What is T - H? There are more I also don't know.
If LTX means light truck (which makes sense as the Jeep is the same weight as a 1/2 ton truck)...then you can understand my confusion in seeing an LTX tire for our lightweight Honda compact crossovers. :)

It's the marketers fault, as usual.
 

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"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."

https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Michelin&tireModel=Defender+T+H

And here's the Defender's Tire Rack write-up:

The Defender LTX M/S is Michelin's Highway All-Season light truck tire developed to combine long tread life with all-season capabilities for vans, pickups and sport utility vehicles, as well as for commercial vans, shuttles and chassis cab vehicles using heavy-duty, light-truck sizes. The Defender LTX M/S is designed to combine a smooth, quiet ride with year-round traction in dry, wet and wintry conditions, even in light snow.
The bolded section makes me think...am i missing something? All the CRV has in common with those vehicles is 4 wheels and an engine. :confused2:
 

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I am glad people like their Mich. Defenders. I have to be honest, I was a staunch Michelin fan for decades....until I put a set of Defenders on my last CR-V (2012). I had nothing but issues with them and finally the dealer pulled them off and traded me for a different series of tire from the Mich. line. They were better but not without issue either. I was broken hearted after that. Fact is the OEM Bridgestone Duelers that came stock on my 2012 CR-V had been great tires. They still had tread on them when I replaced them after 60,000 miles. I wish I had gone with the same tire.

Now on my '17 I am faced with what to use. Based on current wear I would expect the factory installed Hankooks to go maybe 50,000 miles, give or take. I would change them out today due to the noise but honestly don't know what tire I would trust since my beloved Michelin's have now twice let me down. Hopefully within the next year I can find something as good as the Michelin of years ago when they were King.
 
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