Bridgestone Turanza QuietTrack vs Michelin Defender 2

Leave a comment

The Michelin Defender 2 is a robust standard touring tire known for its exceptional tread life and efficiency, while the Bridgestone Turanza QuietTrack stands out as a premium grand touring tire, offering superior comfort and all-season traction. Let’s see which of these is for you.

Defender 2 on Audi Q5
Defender 2 on Audi Q5.

Bottom Line

So overall, the Turanza QuietTrack excels in:

  • Superior wet and ice traction.
  • Enhanced snow performance with better groove patterns.
  • Greater comfort with thicker cushioning.
  • Effective ice grip with specialized siping.

Detailed Discussion of Bridgestone’s tire:

Whereas the Defender 2 offers better:

  • Longer tread life with advanced construction.
  • Improved MPG efficiency due to lighter build.
  • Stronger dry performance with consistent road contact.
  • Quieter ride with innovative groove design.

Detailed Discussion of Michelin’s tire:

Specs of Sizes

SpecificationTuranza QuietTrackDefender 2
Wheel Size15 to 20 inches16 to 20 inches
Speed RatingsH and V onlyH (on all)
Load RatingsSL and XLSL and XL
Tread Depth9 to 10/32″10.5/32″ (on all)
Weight Range19 to 33 lbs25 to 32 lbs
Treadwear Warranty80k miles85k miles
UTQG Rating800 A A800 A A
Winter RatingsOnly M+S (no 3PMSFR)Only M+S (no 3PMSFR)

Dry Performance

Dry tire performance is primarily segmented into three crucial categories: dry grip, handling, and steering responsiveness.

Let me discuss each of these aspects one by one.

Directional Grip

The tire’s directional grip, is its traction while running on a straight line and is measured by braking. Moreover, this grip mostly depends on the tread’s footprint from the middle, (as this areas meets the most with the road, while the tire rolls linearly).

That’s why here, its not a surprise that the Turanza QuietTrack isn’t able to outperform the Michelin’s tire, lacking behind, by an average distance of more than 8 feet on my braking tests (from 60 mph).

Why? Well, this is because the Bridgestone’s tire design incorporates both lateral and longitudinal voids within the tread pattern, diminishing the amount of rubber that directly contacts the road and, consequently, lessening the grip.

Bridgestone Turanza QuietTrack tread
QuietTrack’s central ribs are relatively more voided up.

Moreover, its comparatively heavier and softer compound adds to the momentum inertia, posing a slight challenge to stopping as quickly.

Conversely, the Michelin Defender 2 excels, achieving an optimal balance between braking capability and acceleration. Its superior performance can be attributed to its three continuous central ribs, ensuring consistent road contact.

Moreover, its not only significantly lighter with its only single polyester casing (in its internal construction), but also features reinforced foundations underneath all its lugs, providing enhanced directional stability with faster braking.

But I guess, you saw this coming, as being a standard touring tire, its no wonder it offers better braking, compared to a grand touring tire, the QuietTrack. For more info on this, I’d suggest you check this out:

Handling and Steering

“Handling” refers to how well a tire maintains control when steering, influenced by lateral grip (how well the tire holds the road during turns) and steering responsiveness (how quickly and accurately the tire responds to driver inputs).

Now here, the Michelin Defender 2 once again, performs significantly better in both of these aspects.

Michelin Defender 2
Defender 2 showcasing more compacted up tread design.

Its superior handling is attributed to well-designed shoulders, and sidewalls, along with a sturdy internal structure, and a specific rubber composition.

The tire’s lighter weight and stiffer rubber prevent the tread lugs from bending excessively, which improves grip and responsiveness.

On the other hand, the Turanza QuietTrack falls behind in overall performance here, where on my comparative tests, it shows over 2 seconds slower handling lap times, on average.

And this is particularly due to the tire’s heavier build and softer rubber, which although proves to be advantageous in snowy conditions, cause excessive flexing of the its lugs.

With this flexing/bending of the lugs, the tread takes time to recover back to its original shape, and that time is translated in to the delayed response/feedback from the wheels.

Tread Longevity

The longevity of a tire’s tread is influenced by a combination of design factors, such as the compound used, tread pattern, depth, and the tire’s overall structural weight.

And here we have a clear winner, the Michelin Defender 2.

The tire not only excels in comparison to Bridgestone’s tire here, but is actually the best in the whole all-season category. (You can check out the list of all the all-season tires I’ve reviewed so far here).

So what makes this tire, the best here?

Well, a lot of factors.

Primarily, its construction includes a lighter framework which, when integrated with MaxTouch Construction technology, ensures even distribution of the forces from acceleration, braking, and cornering. This uniform distribution helps prevent premature wear.

Additionally, it features the advanced EverTread compound, designed with specialized polymers that exhibit natural resistance to heat, a prevalent factor in reducing tread life.

On the other hand, the Bridgestone Turanza QuietTrack, while pretty appreciable within its category, can’t compete with a standard touring tire.

I mean, it has a heavier build and a more aggressive tread pattern, which potentially shorten its lifespan. Though you should know that it still ranks as the longest-lasting tires among the top grand touring all-season options.

In fact, I ranked it exactly for this very reason, in my list of top touring tires. See here:

Wet Performance

Superior wet grip relies fundamentally on two factors: extensive siping and sufficient tread flexibility.

But what makes these elements crucial?

Well, this is because sipes work on a micro-level, methodically displacing water. They twist and create a suction effect, drawing in water particles not removed by the grooves.

Furthermore, without adequate flexibility, sipes can’t effectively evacuate water.

This is precisely where the Michelin Defender 2 falls behind. I mean, despite its numerous wave-like siping and their full depth designs all over the tread, the tire’s wet grip is still very disappointing. And this is mainly due to its stiffer rubber composition.

This inflexibility prevents the sipes from absorbing water efficiently, diminishing their ability to provide sufficient suction. Consequently, wet traction is this tire’s most significant shortcoming.

On the other hand, the Bridgestone Turanza QuietTrack, with its softer composition and a mix of linear and interlocking sipes, stands out in wet conditions.

And yes as the tire comes with a more voided up design, with better inter-connectivity of its circumferential grooves, it takes out more water in the first palce, leaving less water burden behind on sipes.

Meaning, you not only get better wet traction on Turanza but also a greater resistance to hydroplaning as well.

Overall Comfort

Touring tires are primarily crafted to deliver a serene and effortless journey, excelling in absorbing bumps and reducing noise.

Let’s discuss both these factors one by one.

Noise Reduction

In terms of road noise, both tires produce comparable decibel levels and are excellent options within their respective categories.

The Defender 2 features J-shaped grooves on the edges of its tread, primarily designed to prevent air particles from entering the tread.

This is significant because these air particles enter through shoulder voids and collide with the walls, generating noise.

On the other side, although the Bridgestone Turanza is more voided up, which technically should make it a louder tire, its still saved here, thanks to its QuietTrack Technology.

This technology combines a specialized composition and tread design for a quieter ride. Its composition includes a rich blend of polymers, notably polybutadiene and silica, recognized for their ability to reduce road noise.

Moreover, its tread design incorporates a variable pitch construction, allowing the lugs to interact with incoming air at different angles. This creates a variety of sound tones and frequencies that don’t collectively amplify.

So overall, while the Defender 2 is one of the quietest options in its standard touring category, the Turanza QuietTrack stands out as one of the quietest options in the grand touring all-season category, each performing very similarly here (showcasing similar decibels on reading tests).

Must Read: What are different types of all-season tires?

Impact Comfort

Ride comfort is largely determined by a tire’s ability to cushion against road imperfections, and here composition and structure of the tire, are very crucial aspects.

Now out of both tires, its not a surprise to see Bridgestone Turanza QuietTrack being grand touring, taking the lead here, as a more comfortable tire option.

The tire simply has more layers in its internal construction, and thicker skin on top, and both of these provide relatively better cushioning against the road bumps.

Defender 2 on the other hand, has a stiffer rubber, and just a single ply polyester casing, which although offer great on-road stability, also contributes to a somewhat jittery ride, which is felt particularly during cornering.

MPG Efficiency

The pursuit of fuel-efficient tires hinges on the challenge of minimizing rolling resistance, (the frictional force that opposes the motion of a tire rolling on a surface).

Key factors influencing this resistance include the tire’s weight, its internal and external structure, and the chemical makeup of the tread.

Taking all this into account, the Michelin Defender 2 clearly stands out here, showcasing much better MPG readings (on tests) compared to Bridgestone QuietTrack.

As a standard touring tire, its relatively lighter build and more subdued tread design contribute to reduced rolling resistance.

The less aggressive tread pattern is straightforward in its benefits, while the lighter structure reduces the strain on tire lugs, allowing them to maintain their shape even during intense maneuvers, thereby conserving energy that would otherwise be lost to heat or tread shape restoration.

On the flip side, the Bridgestone Turanza tire, being heavier and featuring a more aggressive tread, experiences greater rolling resistance, negatively impacting its fuel efficiency.

Snow Performance

Now, both boys here, do not come with that 3 Peak Mountain Snowflake ratings. Though they’re still pretty decent in their own league.

I mean, sure, they’re not going to outdo all-weather options, like the CrossClimate 2 for example, but they hold up alright when you compare them with other tires in their group.

And between the two, the Bridgestone Turanza is a better option here, as it takes the lead in almost all aspects/metrics of snow performance.

This edge mainly comes from its intricate secondary groove patterns, (those bits at the base meant for cutting down on noise and scooping up snow).

These groove biters are key for boosting that crucial snow-to-snow contact.

And this contact is super important in lighter, fluffier snow, as snow sticks better to itself than to rubber, so the Turanza gets a leg up in those softer snow conditions.

Plus, since the tire’s got more space in its tread and deeper grooves, it’s better at shoveling snow out of the way and creating a relatively greater forward push, or what you might call snow acceleration.

In Closing

In conclusion, when it comes to tread longevity, dry performance, MPG efficiency, and overall comfort, the Michelin Defender 2 emerges as a top contender in the all-season category, outshining the Bridgestone Turanza QuietTrack in several aspects.

Its lighter structure, advanced MaxTouch and EverTread technology, and efficient design contribute to its superior longevity, better fuel efficiency, and quieter ride.

However, when the roads get wet or snowy, the Turanza QuietTrack takes the lead with its intricate groove patterns and superior wet and snow traction, offering a safer and more comfortable drive in adverse conditions.

So at the end of the day, it all comes down to your specific driving needs, and conditions.

Leave a Comment