Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max vs Michelin Defender 

If you are looking for the best tire suitable for all your day-to-day drives, Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max vs Michelin Defender are two of the most attractive choices. They offer efficiency in different ways: Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max claims to be able to help you save lots of gas, whereas Michelin Defender claims to be the longest-lasting tire in the competition.

Below, we are going to compare various aspects of these two great tires, including:

  • The construction and special features of each tire
  • The comparison of their performance on dry roads
  • The performance of Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max vs Michelin Defender in rain and snow
  • How quiet these tires are when driving on highways
  • The comparison of their fuel economy throughout a year

Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max vs Michelin Defender: Tire Structures and Features

Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max is designed as an all-season tire with one specific advantage: it claims to be able to improve your car’s fuel economy, while at the same time being affordable and budget-friendly. No matter if you drive a sedan, coupe, crossover, or minivan, you can save gas worth up to 2,600 miles thanks to the special tread compound used on this tire. Read also: Cooper Discoverer Vs Evolution.

If we take a look at the tread pattern of Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max, we can see a combination of solid shoulder blocks with a continuous center rib and circumferential shoulder grooves. The tire also features dual water channels that are intended to oust water from the tire, along with micro grooves in a zig-zag pattern and center tread notches that create lots of biting edges and resistance. Inside the tire are two steel belts enhanced by nylon strips and a polyester cord ply, which is very strong and durable. The tread life warranty is valid for 65,000 miles.

Michelin Defender is also meant to be an all-season tire that provides durability and reliability to all kinds of consumer cars. It is available in two versions, the Defender LTX M/S for SUVs, crossovers, and light trucks (the tread life warranty goes up to 50,000 miles or 70,000 miles depending on the speed rating), and the Defender T + H for passenger cars (80,000-mile tread life warranty). The company claims that this is the longest-lasting tire in the market segment.

For traction, Michelin Defender uses a silica tread compound combined with a special siping pattern from the IntelliSipe technology. The tread blocks provide a lot of grip but remain rigid to ensure low rolling resistance and efficient fuel economy. Four circumferential grooves and plenty of lateral grooves ensure that water is expelled out properly from the tire. The internal structure of the tire also relies on a pair of steel belts enhanced with a polyester cord.

Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max vs Michelin Defender: Dry Performance

When we compare the performance of these tires on a dry road, we can notice some notable differences. In general, Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max is a very good tire with a decent amount of traction, but Michelin Defender is simply better with more precise handling and stronger braking power.

Note that Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max is very good. In normal driving, the tires feel solid with decent grip. They are stable and can follow your steering smoothly. The performance remains pretty good even when the speed increases. Making turns and cornering feel fairly confident. So, this is still a valid choice as a year-round tire.

However, Michelin Defender is simply better in terms of dry traction. This is apparently because the tire has even more biting edges. Nonetheless, the tire seems to respond to steering more quickly and precisely, and they have very good stopping power. The tire consistently helps the car to stop from a highway speed a little bit more quickly.

Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max vs Michelin Defender: Wet Performance

Again, in terms of wet traction, Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max is very good, but Michelin Defender feels a little bit better. But the comparison is more difficult this time because Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max can perform quite well on snow and icy roads, whereas Michelin Defender struggles in such conditions.

Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max is one of the tires with the very best hydroplaning in the market segment. It has a lot of grooves that expel water very efficiently. Driving on these tires in a heavy rain feels safe, as the tires still manage to provide a sufficient grip. The braking distance on a wet road with this tire also tends to be shorter. While the performance on snow and icy roads is not stellar, it is good enough to make driving possible.

The drive on Michelin Defender actually feels better and more confident. This is because the tires seem to provide even more grip than Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max during a drive with a normal speed, even on a wet road in a rainy day. However, the braking distance tends to be a couple of meters longer, showing that even though there are lots of contact points, they don’t bite very deep into the road. But the main issue with Michelin Defender is the very low snow traction, which makes driving in the winter feels somewhat unsafe.

Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max vs Michelin Defender: Comfort and Fuel Efficiency

One small issue with Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max is the noise. It is not very noisy, to be fair, but it does produce audible noise. This becomes most noticeable when driving at a highway speed.

That said, Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max holds its promise well. The tire seems to help reduce fuel consumption. The tire has low rolling resistance, which means it requires less energy to move forward. After one year with a set of the tires, the total gas consumption is about 6 or 7 gallons lower.

Michelin Defender is the more superior product in terms of ride comfort. The tires are quiet, and they don’t vibrate much at highway speeds.

The fuel economy is good, but Michelin Defender still can’t beat Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max. With a set of Michelin Defender, the total gas consumption in a year is slightly higher, about 6 – 7 gallons more. Nevertheless, one must note that it is almost impossible to measure this precisely throughout the daily life in a year.

Goodyear Assurance Fuel MaxMichelin Defender 
- Good dry traction, pretty good handling- Very good dry traction, very good handling
- Acceptable snow performance- Poor snow performance
- Noisy, especially on highway speeds- Quiet and comfortable ride
- Excellent fuel economy- Decent fuel economy


In general, Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max is more recommended because of two reasons. First, it offers good performance not only on dry roads, but also in rain and snow. Second, it is quiet effective in reducing gas consumption. However, if you want a quiet set of tires, and you don’t really drive in snow, Michelin Defender can be a more comfortable alternative.