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Tire Recommendation | Yokohama YK580 or Michelin Defender

Hi all

I am in desperate need of new tires for my 2004 Honda Accord, 4cyl. I’ve visited many sites and stores and have read many reviews and I think I have come down to 2 tires. Yokohama YK580’s or Michelin Defender’s. I was wondering if anyone had any experience with any of these tires? Currently I’m running Michelin Primacy MXV4 and have not been very impressed by them. Wet weather traction is fair at best, snow/ice is horrible. Dry weather they’re fine. I’ve also worn them down in about 35k so the longevity of them is not very good. In the past on all my other cars I have always leaned towards Yokohama’s and I have never had any issues. The Michelin Defender’s are highly touted in reviews, but I’m a bit weary of the brand since I haven’t been very impressed with the Primacy’s. So I come to my friends in the Car Talk forums to ask for advice. Does anyone have any experience with either of these tires? Or are there other tires that I may want to look at and have possibly skipped over.

Thanks in advance!!!


Sorry, I should also add that I am looking for a good all around all-season tire. Not a winter/summer specific tire. Thanks again!!

1st I’d tend to stick with what I know, and for you that means Yokohama. Me I’ve done well with Michelin’s, but there can be significant differences based tire models, the size of the tire, the car they are mounted on, and the driver.

I have no experience with the Defender offering from Michelin. I recently put a set of 4 Michelin X-Ice 2 on an '03 Honda Civic. Great tire for a winter tire. Very quiet (and that is great for Honda’s which tend to transmit tire noise into the cabin), great smooth ride, softens the bumps and expansion cracks well, great dry and wet traction. Snow and Ice are yet to be determined since have not encounter those conditions yet.

My guess is the Defender is using a similar base with different rubber compounding and tread design. I’d expect it to be a good tire. Since Michelin is pushing the number of miles they will go, that would not help winter performance due to harder rubber and less open tread. I’d expect a good 3 season tire of the Defender, but not very good performance in snow and ice conditions.

CR Mag Rates The Defender # 1 Overall, Out Of 20 All-Season Tires They Tested In Nov/12 Issue. It Was Rated A “Good” In Snow Traction, Whereas 7 Others Rated “Very Good,” None Were “Excellent.” A “Good” In Ice Braking Matched 4 Others With This Highest Rating. “Excellent” In Tread Life, The Defender Was One Of Five Of The 20 Tires Evaluated To Receive A “Recommended” Mark.

By the way, they were “Very Good” in dry braking, wet braking, hydroplaning, handling, and noise.

I’m looking at them for my next tire purchase.


Like CSA, I have also identified Michelin Defenders as the probable tire for my next purchase.
In addition to CR, Tire Rack ranks it #1 in its category, based on surveys of tire owners.
In the past, I have never seen CR and TR agree on the rating of a tire, so my feeling is that this tire must be very good.

Incidentally, if you decide to buy the Defenders, Costco carries them.
When you factor in the road hazard guarantee, plus free lifetime balancing, repair, and rotation, all of which are included in their pricing, nobody else can touch Costco’s price on these tires.

That is one thing that I’m considering as well. Where to purchase the tires. I purchased my last set at Costco and they’ve been great. No pressure sales, open on Sunday’s, not extremely busy and usually can get in and out within 2hrs, can shop while tires get rotated. Our other cars tires are from Discount and there’s always a sales pitch when I go in there, takes all morning or afternoon just to get a rotation done because they’re so busy, etc. Definitely something I’m keeping in mind.

I found most of the reviews pretty unreliable and just went with the local tire shops recommendation of the General tire. So far they have been a good tire. Haven’t much snow yet to try them out. I believe the Yoks are made in Korea and the Mich in the US but you’d have to check the code on the tire to see for sure.

A lot of Michelin tires are made in Spain.

Mark me down as a fan of Yokohama tires. I’ve had several sets on several vehicles and never had problems. They’re fairly cheap and have good wet traction, grip, and other important tire characteristics.

Last November I got a set of Avid TRZs for my 2007 Fit, which would be similar to your Accord. They’ve been great so far.

Good luck.

The Mich I’ve got were made in South Carolina but they have plants all over. The Yoks are made in Japan, not Korea. You really don’t know until you check the plant code on the tire.

I’ve had good luck with both brands. If I was going for max miles I might go for the Michelins.

We got defenders for our equinox. Had Firestone destination le before. Got 40k miles. Old tires wore perfectly even and rode great. We’re almost bald but had good traction feel. Defenders has a ton of tread depth. But no miles yet

I have Yokohama Avid ENVigors on my 2005 Accord EX V6 and like them a lot. These are high performance all season tires, and are attractively priced. They rate high in Tire Rack’s customer surveys and also rated high in Tire Rack tests.

I just bought some new tires for my car, decided to go cheaper, did not go with Michelin, but long trail TA. I have lost 2 mpg, and figure over the life of the tires the extra $200 for the michelin would have been worth it. The ride is rough and I wish I had sprung the extra bucks.

I’ve got a couple Yokohama AVID Touring S on my 2001 Accord. They ride well and are fairly quiet, and handle well. Nothing amazing, but certainly a good tire.

I’ve had a few sets of Michelins in the past
I got 80000 miles out of my last set of Michelin Symmetry tires. The wear pattern was perfect, and were a good all-around tire, for me at least.
They were pricier than other tires, but worth it in the long run, because they lasted so long.
By the way, I replaced them because the sun had degraded them, not because of wear.

Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I do have another question. What are people’s thoughts of going to a different size. Stock size is 205/60-16, what about a 215/55-16? There seems to be a few more options at that size. Thoughts?

If you live in an area that gets a lot of snow you want to stick with the 205. Skinnier tires are much better in snow then wider tires. But in general those tires are very close in size. The 215 is just a little wider…and they are both about the same height. You shouldn’t have a problem. When you start going crazy with different tire sizes is when problems can occur.

The Defender is the successor to the Michelin Harmony. I am now on my second set of them, and have been extremely happy with them. Sometimes you can get the best price at Tire Rack (.com).
I got my son Hankook Optimo H727, a lower price, and they are doing fine as well.

I’d stick with the stock tires. This is an Accord, after all. It is not a sports car.