Yokohama Geolandar CV G058 vs Michelin Defender 2

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Out of both, the Yokohama Geolandar CV G058 is a SUV Touring tire, while the Michelin Defender 2 comes in standard touring category. So there’s a lot of differences between these two all-season tires. Let’s find them.

Yokohama CV G058 snow testing (with Volvo XC90)
Yokohama CV G058 snow testing (with Volvo XC90)

Key Takeaway

So overall it all comes down to this. The Michelin tire is better at:

  • Superior braking and cornering in dry conditions.
  • Producing less noise and offering higher stability.
  • Longer tread life and greater fuel efficiency.

Review Defender in greater details:

Whereas the Yokohama Geolandar has the upper hand in terms of:

  • Better performance in wet conditions and light snow.
  • More effective water displacement.
  • Enhanced cushioning and flexibility in colder temperatures.

Review CV G058 in greater details:

Sizes and their Specs

SpecsYokohama CV G058Defender 2
Rim Sizes16″ to 20″16″ to 20″
Speed RatingsH and VH (on all)
Load RatingsSL and XLSL and XL
Tread Depth11/32″ (on all)10.5/32″ (on all)
Weight Range22 to 35 lbs25 to 32 lbs
Winter RatingsM+S (no 3PMSFR)M+S (no 3PMSFR)
Warranty65,000 miles85,000 miles
UTQG Rating740 A A800 A A

Overall Dry Performance

Dry road performance for tires is heavily reliant on acceleration, braking effectiveness, cornering strength, and steering sharpness. Let’s discuss these in detail.

Longitudinal Grip

The longitudinal or directional grip of a tire, is its traction in a linear or straight-line path. It’s determined by tire’s braking efficacy, and is dependent on tread’s footprint, mostly from its middle.

In this context, the Michelin Defender 2 emerges as a notable performer. On average, the tire showcases more than 5 feet shorter braking distances on multiple 60 to 0 mph tests.

Michelin Defender 2
Michelin Defender 2

This is because it comes with a more packed up tread design, ensuring a more consistent rubber-to-road contact.

Plus its wave-like sipes and lateral voids (which act as in-groove notches), add further to the tire’s overall longitudinal traction.

The Yokohama Geolandar CV G058 on the other side, lacks with its more voided up tread structure.

Additionally, its heavier weight increases momentum at high speeds, making it harder to decelerate compared to the Michelin’s tire.

Overall Handling

Handling is primarily influenced by lateral traction and steering feedback.

Focusing on lateral grip, it’s significantly affected by the tire’s shoulder area. Why? Well because during cornering, the majority of the tire’s weight shifts to the tread edges, making the shoulder footprint crucial.

The Michelin Defender 2 excels in this area, demonstrating superior average lateral g-forces due to its denser shoulder design, which enhances road contact.

On the other hand, the Geolandar CV G058 doesn’t provide as much of a cornering grip. Though the major reason why it lacks in overall handling is because of its lagging steering feedback.

Yokohama Geolander CV G058
Yokohama Geolandar CV G058

This sluggish response is attributed to its bulkier structure and increased weight from additional layers of polyester and nylon in its internal build, coupled with a thicker rubber surface.

And this added mass increases inertia during cornering, causing more lug flex and consequently, a delayed steering reaction.

In simple terms, the tire’s lugs (on the tread) bend more and take longer to revert to their original shape compared to the Michelin, and that time is translated in to the delayed response from wheels, when they are given with steering inputs.

Though keep in mind, that the tire’s lacking performance here is not really a surprise, as both these tires come from a very different categories.

Sure they both are all-season, but the Yokohama is a SUV touring tire, while Defender is a standard touring.

I explained it more here:

Wet Performance

Achieving optimal traction on wet surfaces hinges on a tire’s ability to effectively displace water. This process involves a critical interplay between sipes and grooves. Let me explain.

So grooves are like highways for water, providing prominent pathways for water to escape out of the tread, so the tire could avoid floating or I should say, hydroplaning.

Whereas sipes come in later handling water particles left out by grooves. They may seem as mere slits on the tread, but a lot of engineering go through them, as they technically create a vacuum, sucking up moisture in and later throwing it out as the tire rolls over.

Now in order for these sipes to work properly, they need to be flexible. And that’s exactly why the Michelin tire lacks here.

I mean although the Defender 2 offers a ton of full depth sipes, aimed at improving wet grip the tire still faces a lot of challenges due to its stiffer rubber composition.

Why? Well, because this rigidity hinders the sipes from functioning at their maximum potential.

On the other hand, the Yokohama CV G058 employs interconnected grooves, and greater tread depth which together work to throw out larger volumes of water, comparatively.

This means more water goes out in the first place, minimizing the dependency on sipes to begin with, by reducing the volume of water they need to clear.

And yes, its sipes are more effective on their own too because they don’t get stiffened up, thanks to its softer rubber composition.

Meaning the Yokohama tire offers sipes which create a more potent suction, removing leftover moisture form its tread in a better way as well.

So in essence, the Geolandar provides better overall wet performance here, offering not only superior wet grip and handling, but also resistance to hydroplaning.

Overall Comfort

Ride comfort is fundamentally associated with a tire’s effectiveness in softening road bumps and suppressing noise. Let’s delve into these two important factors.

Noise Reduction

Tire noise primarily originates from the interaction between air particles and the tread surface.

And here, the Geolandar CV G058 comes out as a louder tire with its relatively more aggressive tread design.

In contrast, the Defender 2 excels in this area, producing only a minimal hum that blends smoothly with background sounds, and not a louder two pitched tone heard with Yokohamas.

This quieter performance is partly due to Michelin’s innovative variable pitch pattern, which creates multiple interaction points on the tire lugs.

Basically, when air particles hit these points, they generate a spectrum of sound frequencies that cancel each other out, leading to a significant reduction in overall noise.

Impact Comfort

The effectiveness of a tire in dampening road vibrations hinges on its capacity to function as a secondary suspension system and provide a consistent, stable ride.

Now since this performance depends on the tire’s inner and outer (overall) construction, I can explain why both tires end up with similar comfort scores (through my subjective analysis and testing).

So the Yokohama tire offers superior cushioning abilities due to its softer rubber composition and deeper tread depth. This design enables the Geolandar CV G058 to more effectively absorb bumps before they reach the vehicle’s cabin.

On the other hand, the Michelin Defender 2 although reaches its flexibility limit sooner, not able to settle down bumps as effectively, it still offers greater stability.

I mean the tire feels more connected to the road, adding to the overall ride smoothness, and ending up with similar subjective scores at the end of the day.

Tread Longevity

Tread longevity is influenced by several factors, including tread compound, design, depth, and the tire’s structural weight.

Now this is where the Michelin Defender 2 shines. The tire not only outperforms Yokohama here, but actually is a leader in its standard touring all season category. See for yourself:

This superior lifespan is attributed to three main factors:

  • Lighter Design with MaxTouch Technology: The tire’s reduced weight ensures less pressure on the tread, thereby decreasing rolling friction and extending tread life.
  • EverTread Compound: Incorporating heat-resistant polymers, this compound significantly enhances the tire’s tread longevity.
  • Symmetrical Tread Design: This design promotes smoother rolling and keeps rolling resistance low.

On the flip side, the Geolandar CV G058, with its heavier weight concentrated on a smaller lug area due to its open tread pattern, experiences quicker wear. Technically speaking, this causes its lugs to bear more weight pressure as they rub against the road with greater force and friction, accelerating wear.

And yes, here the tire’s relatively softer rubber is further causing problems too.

MPG Efficiency

Achieving fuel efficiency in tires centers around minimizing rolling resistance, which is the frictional force opposing a tire’s motion across a surface.

And factors impacting this include the tire’s weight, its construction, and the tread’s chemical composition.

Considering these factors, the Michelin Defender 2 emerges as a leader in fuel economy, demonstrated by its superior average mpg readings.

As a standard touring tire, its relatively lighter structure and less aggressive tread design contribute to reduced rolling resistance.

The less aggressive design, coupled with a lighter frame, reduces stress on the tire lugs, enabling them to maintain their shape even under harsh conditions, thereby minimizing energy loss to heat or tread shape restoration.

In contrast, the Yokohama Geolandar CV G058’s heavier and more aggressive design leads to higher rolling resistance and, thus, less fuel efficiency.

Winter Tire Performance Assessment

Although neither tire carries the 3-peak mountain snowflake rating, indicative of specialized winter tires, the Yokohama G058 shows superior performance, particularly in light snow environments.

This is because this tire features uniquely angled gaps between its lugs, which effectively expel snow, aiding in forward movement and improved acceleration.

Moreover, the design of the tire also excels in retaining snow within these gaps, facilitating snow-on-snow traction.

This is particularly beneficial on softer snowy surfaces, where snow adhering to snow provides better traction than snow adhering to rubber.

Moreover, the Geolandar CV stands out for its flexibility in colder temperatures too. This means its softer rubber composition prevents the tread from hardening too quickly, which is advantageous for maintaining grip on slightly icy surfaces as well.

So overall you see a better performance on this tire, whereas the Defender 2 lacks with its relatively more rigid rubber composition.

Wrapping Up

Wrapping things up, it’s evident that it’s difficult to pinpoint an overall better tire, as each has distinct performance advantages.

The Defender 2 excels in dry conditions with superior braking and cornering, while the Geolandar CV G058 performs better in wet conditions and light snow due to effective water displacement and flexible rubber composition.

Moreover, the Michelin offers lower noise and higher stability, whereas the Yokohama provides better cushioning.

Additionally, the Defender has longer tread life and better fuel efficiency, which is largely due to its lighter design.

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