Altimax RT43 vs Michelin Defender

Tire is not something that will last for a very long time and chances we have to replace them every few years. For those who don’t live in a place with extreme terrain and weather, an all-season set like General Altimax RT43 vs Michelin Defender should work for the whole year for both summer and winter as well as in between. If you are also eyeing these models, go see what they can offer below so then we can shop better.

In this article, we are going to give you information about:

  • Which Tire to Purchase
  • What are General Altimax RT43 and Michelin Defender
  • What Compound and How the Tread Design of General Altimax RT43
  • What Compound and How the Tread Design of Michelin Defender
  • How are the Performance of General Altimax RT43
  • How are the Performance of Michelin Defender
  • Altimax RT43 Vs Michelin Defender

All-Season or All-Terrain

We drive everywhere and it is hard to imagine having to walk or use public transportation in places where they are not very much reliable. In some places, having a car or personal vehicle is the same as staying alive because the terrains may not allow much interaction to take place in the area. For the majority of us, the vehicle is a tool to move from one place to another and to be more convenient when having to carry lots of belongings.

As important as the main function, our car also need a proper care and routine service to make sure they can run smoothly and reliably when we need them. Besides changing oil, another routine process we have to complete from time to time is changing the tire because they are made of rubber and as time goes by being used to roll on the road, the rubber will become thin and apparently not useful anymore for your application since they will lose the initial performance.

Tire is available in several types and all of them have their own bright point in terms of application which means we have to make sure that the option we choose to install on our car is exactly what the condition they are designed to handle. Two of the most versatile tire to install if you don’t have time or patience to change them every season especially in winter are all-season and all-terrain tires but as the name suggests, they are not exactly the same tire made for the same application.

If you wonders which tire will fit the application the most, the first question you may want to answer is whether the stock tire is an all-season or all-terrain because we probably want to stick with the company’s choice since they must put the type suitable for the vehicle and where they are mostly used. Second is do you often go off-road or the condition in your place is more suitable for off-road vehicle because if yes then an all-terrain like Hankook DynaPro ATM Vs Falken Wildpeak AT3W are what mostly fit the application. 

This is because they are designed for both smooth road and in the wild with benefits mostly on traction especially against loose surface such a deeper snow and mud. The third question is do you put road noise and driving comfort at the top because if the answer is yes then all-season is the more ideal choice. This tire mostly have smaller lugs and subtle tread pattern which makes them feel comfortable and doesn’t generate much sound when you drive on the highway.

 Altimax RT43 Michelin Defender
Product Dimensions 28 x 9 x 28 inches
26.3 x 1 x 8.5 inches
Item Weight 22 pounds
23.9 pounds
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About General Altimax RT43 and Michelin Defender

There are several other tire types out there but they are specifically built for certain conditions and to give certain benefits. If you are here then chances the all-season type suit the type of situation where you are going to drive the most. This tire should be able to handle any month of the year and versatile enough for those who don’t want to change their tire as the season change too but in general, most of them are not excelling in certain performance as well.

We have so many good all-season tires out there and many of them are affordable as well so we don’t have to think much when getting a set. Among those options, General Altimax and Michelin are two ideal choices to consider because they are always offering good quality products and what we love the most from these brands is not only they perform reliably but also competitive in price depending on what the tire is supposed to deliver.

For those who are driving in a place where the winter is not too extreme as well as mostly driving on a smooth road, the RT43 and Defender in this case Defender T+H will be the best choice. Both of them are a well-known radial all-season tires and offer attractive value for your budget but still perform well. Despite the affordable price, you don’t have to worry about their quality since they have been used and loved by many as an alternative for those at higher market.

They are ideal for your minivan or most passenger car especially the RT43 because this tire is boasting the wide size choices and wide application to fit your car type and wheel size. As a daily driver, they are praised for being a long lasting and perform nicely in every season while also maintaining the comfort when you drive on the smooth road. In addition, they come with 6 years warranty and coverage for 75000 and 80000 miles respectively.

General Altimax RT43 Compound and Tread Design

Every tire models are designed differently depending on their main application and it is the same with these two. Let’s start with the former first, this tire is made with Twin Cushion Silica Tread Compound which place the dense, all-season compound reliable for an all year traction as well as last longer with little wear above the low-density foundation to absorb the road vibration when being used and this is what promotes both performance and comfort in General Altimax RT34.

As you can see on the sample picture above, the tread compound is molded into a symmetric design with continuous center rib and independent tread blocks that uses sound wave suppression technology for a quieter ride. In addition the circumferential grooves combined with its Anti-Slip Sipe will improve the tire’s performance in traction above slippery roads.

Michelin Defender Compound and Tread Design

Moving to Defender, this tire is using a new all-season compound from the company which is focused on improving the durability and makes the tire even more long lasting compared to the previous tire from the same line. Different from RT43, thus tire is using an asymmetric pattern for the tread design because it is increasing the smooth and quiet operation. Combined with Michelin’s IntelliSipe technology or the zigzag sipe we can see on the sample picture above, this tire has an improved tread block rigidity as well as better tire’s contact with the road’s surface.

The new compound is made with high silica content to aid the wet traction as well as lateral notches and circumferential grooves to effectively channel the water away from your footprint which is great for avoiding hydroplaning. Additionally, there are independent tread blocks with zigzag sipes to create the biting effect and help with traction even on slippery road.

General Altimax RT43 Performance

Putting all the fancy features and explanation about their materials, what’s most important about a tire is their performance because this what affect our decision the most. Starting with General Altimax first, this tire is working good on road and by no means designed for off-road application because they don’t give enough traction and it is also surprisingly has a nice handling response for the price point as well as excellent traction despite being used on vehicles with more powerful engines.

Grip is nice as well and RT43 is actually fun to have for those who are in the market for grand-touring tires. Braking with this tire is issue-less and compared to many in its price range, the tire does work better. As for driving on wet roads, this tire resist hydroplaning well while still maintaining the traction when facing a puddle of water and braking is still good as well for either light or heavy rain.

Michelin Defender Performance

Checking the latter Michelin Defender, in this case the T+H model which is meant for road application, this tire is also a reliable option for your vehicle but in terms of price it is slightly more expensive as well. Similarly, the tire does performs well on dry road and what’s most people complimented is their comfort because it is better than most in the price range as well as able to hold the pressure longer yet the gas consumption seems to be an issue for some people.

While it is nice in dry road with enough grip and traction as well as good response and fast braking, Defender is not consistent on wet surface because the tire tend to stutter when you have to cornering even at safe speed range, making the tire somehow hard to predict. As for winter, it is still great for few CMs pile of snow despite not being rated for the application.


General Altimax R43 and Michelin Defender are two ideal choices if you are looking for a reliable all-season tire but comparing them from the performance, the RT43 is actually a better player in this range because it maintains good performance both on dry and wet road as well as still being comfortable and quiet. It is however, may not last as long as Defender and also has slightly shorter mileage warranty in comparison.

Altimax RT43 vs Michelin Defender

- Tire Size: 225/65R16
- Load Index: 100 / Speed Rating: H = 100H
- Black Sidewall
- Longest-lasting premium all-season tire
- Designed to deliver a quiet, comfortable ride
- 80, 000 Mile Manufacturer's Treadwear Limited


All in all the decision is all yours to make because we may have different opinions but, if we are to choose, the General Altimax RT43 is a better tire to pick since it performs nicely as an all-season and more affordable as well than Defender.