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Tires & Wheels

In-Depth Comparison: General Altimax vs Michelin Defender

General Altimax RT43 vs Michelin Defender
Last Updated on Aug 16, 2023 By Lillian Kazmierczak

When it comes time to upgrade or replace your vehicle’s tires, you might be confused about which ones are first-rate. Numerous brands claim that they are what you are looking for. Two of the top choices on the market today include the General Altimax RT43 and the Michelin Defender tires. They are both considered all-season touring tires that are chock full of safety features. The Altimax RT43 is designed for passenger vehicles and crossovers and drives year-round in various weather conditions. The Defender boasts excellent ride comfort, corning stability, and dry traction, allowing easy driving even in stormy conditions. Let’s look at both brands in-depth and see what will work best for you.

General Altimax RT43


  • Long tread life
  • High traction on wet/snowy surfaces
  • Features a low surface abrasion tech
  • It has a visual alignment indicator


  • Can be noisy
  • Considered to be pricey

Michelin Defender


  • Fantastic grip (wet ground as well)
  • Inhibits hydroplaning
  • High traction due to aggressive treads
  • Employs stable rubber compound


  • Can be expensive
  • Not a perfect tire for the snow

General Altimax RT43 vs Michelin Defender – How do they differ?

Best for car type

General altimax rt43 – This type of tire is suitable for a broad spectrum of vehicles, including sedans, coupes, crossovers, minivans, and smaller SUVs.

Michelin defender – This tire brand is great for most standard passenger vehicles and minivans.

Winner – It all depends on the type of machine you have. The Altimax is suitable for larger vehicles, whereas the Defender is good for most cars on the road today.


General altimax rt43 – General Tire designed this to be a high-quality and enduring tire that gives you a quiet, enjoyable ride in different types of weather.

Michelin defender – Michelin designed this tire for the “All American Family.” It’s suitable for all standard passenger vehicles and minivans.

Winner – Both are designed with specific cars in mind. It comes down to which vehicle you own.


General altimax rt43 – This kind of tire weighs in at 24.3 pounds and can carry a load of 1709 pounds (maximum).

Michelin defender – This type comes in various sizes to fit many different vehicles. It ranges in weight from 28 to 58 pounds. Its load capacity covers 1609 to 4080 pounds.

Winner – With such a large variety, the Michelin Defender wins in this category.

Corner Stability

General altimax rt43 – One of the cons to this tire is that it is lacking somewhat with corner stability.

Michelin defender – This brand has been appraised first-rate in corner stability.

Winner – With its positive appraisal in comer stability, the Micheline Defender is the clear winner.

Steering Response

General altimax rt43 – Has clean and responsive steering making you feel confident while driving.

Michelin defender – Toggling back and forth and cornering is easy with its good steering response.

Winner – Both tire brands have great steering responses. It’s a draw.


General altimax rt43 – Considered one of the quietest tires out on the market.

Michelin defender – People complain about the road noise with these tires. It’s only quiet on smooth roads or pavement.

Winner – If you want a nice quiet ride, then General Altimax takes this category.  

Speed Rating Comparison

General altimax rt43 – This tire has a speed rating of T, which means it can go up to 118 miles per hour (maximum).

Michelin defender – This tire has a speed rating of H, which means it can go at a top speed of 130 miles per hour.

Winner – The Michelin Defender can go faster than the Altimax.

Performance in Dry Traction

General altimax rt43 – They run evenly on rough surfaces, although if they hit potholes, they will vibrate minutely. The depth and pattern give excellent grip, which makes sense for the elevated cost of the tires.

Michelin defender – They are highly efficient for dry traction because of the tires’ 3D sipes and lateral grooves.

Winner – Both tires perform well in dry circumstances.

Performance in Wet Traction

General altimax rt43 – These tires work well in rainy weather because of their traction, allowing you to brake and corner with confidence even on wet roads. Hydroplaning is unlikely to happen as well.

Michelin defender – The grooves and ergonomic design resist hydroplaning while driving your vehicle in wet weather.

Winner – Both are excellent performers in wet weather. It’s a tie.

Performance in Snow Traction

General altimax rt43 – These tires handle extraordinarily well in snowy conditions. The treads rip through trails covered in ice and snow without slipping.

Michelin defender – These tries are great for highways, but they can only deal with light snow-covered surfaces. The grooves do not grip well onto heavy snow.

Winner – The General Altimax RT43 tires win this race, especially if you live in a heavily snowy area.


General altimax rt43 – Although the tires claim that they can survive a whole year of driving, many people report having to replace them after 10 months.

Michelin defender – It has a prolonged life because the tread doesn’t wear out fast because of the low-rolling resistance. Besides, a tire with a longer life saves you more over time.

Winner – With its long-life expectancy, the Michelin Defender takes it for ultimate durability.

Treadwear mileage warranty

General altimax rt43 – It has a 75 000 treadwear mileage warranty but rarely wore out before hitting that number.

Michelin defender – Has a 90 000 treadwear mileage warranty but doesn’t always live up to that number and fails much sooner.

Winner – Even though the Michelin defender claims a more significant number and extended treadwear warranty, it tends to fail before reaching that mileage. The winner, in this case, is the General Altimax RT43.

About the author

Lillian Kazmierczak

As far as I can remember, I would say I have been a car nut for my whole life. My father was a car dealer who used to change and repair his cars himself. This gave me the opportunity to get around all sorts of cars and get my hands dirty repairing vehicles from an early age.

A great fan of Japanese quality and German preciosity, my deep passion lies in older models that I believe have a flair that takes me back to my childhood! I also love their extraordinary durability and reliability when compared to today’s modern models.

When not out taking a ride, I enjoy socializing with fellow motorheads online and consuming any car facts and figures I can get my mind on!

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