When it comes to fuel-saving tires, comparisons between Michelin Defender vs Bridgestone Ecopia are always on top.
We inspected the Bridgestone Ecopia vs Michelin Defender and learned that Bridgestone Ecopia tires have a competitive mileage due to their low rolling resistance design. However, Michelin Defender has superior performance in wet, dry and snow conditions.
|Snow and Ice||Below Average||Usable in Light Snow|
Table of Contents
What Are They?
1. Bridgestone Ecopia
Ecopia is Bridgestone’s flagship for eco-friendly passenger tires. It was constructed with:
- NanoPro-Tech, a unique compound that reduces carbon dioxide emission and improves fuel efficiency by lowering the tire’s rolling resistance
- Fuel Saver compound molded in the tire’s sidewalls for enhanced fuel economy
This lineup has two tire designs:
- Bridgestone Ecopia H/L 422 Plus – all season tire for CUV, SUVs, and minivans with a mileage warranty of 70,000 miles
- Ecopia EP422 Plus- a grand touring all season tire for sedans and minivans with a 70,000 mileage warranty
2. Michelin Defender
Defender is Michelin’s most popular tire line that provides long-lasting tread life and excellent all-season performance.
It has three tire models:
- Michelin Defender 2 – is a standard touring all season tire introduced in 2022. It was primarily built for CUVs with brand support of 80,000 miles.
Now, its tire sizes also support coupes, sedans, and minivans. All the SUV tire sizes will be fully released in 2023.
- Michelin Defender T + H – is a standard touring all-season tire designed for coupes, sedans, minivans, and small CUVs with a mileage warranty of 80,000 miles
- Michelin Defender LTX M/S – is an all-season tire developed to provide vans, pickups, SUVs, and shuttles reliable wet and snow performance on the highway.
Among the three tire designs, the LTX M/S was developed with Green X technology, which makes it fuel-efficient.
Differences Between Bridgestone Ecopia and Michelin Defender
In this comparison, the tire size used was 215/65R16, except for the Defender LTX M/S. The nearest tire size available was 215/70 R16.
Michelin Defender 2 has the highest treadwear rating. Meanwhile, Bridgestone H/L 422 Plus and Defender LTX M/S have superior traction and temperature ratings (AA).
Since the LTX M/S is the only tire in this comparison that was designed as truck tires, it is natural for this tire to carry a load as heavy as 1764 pounds. However, this capacity is surprisingly lower than that of the H/L 422 Plus.
The Bridgestone tire can accommodate as much as 1874 pounds, which is the biggest load among passenger tires in this matchup.
Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 has the same load index of 1653 pounds as the Michelin Defender 2 and T +H.
|Tires||UTQG Rating||Load Index||Tread Depth||Max Speed||Mileage Warranty|
|Bridgestone Ecopia H/L 422 Plus||700 AA||1874 pounds||10/32 in||149 mph (V)||70,000|
|Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 Plus||640 AB||1653 pounds||10/32 in||118 mph (T)||70,000|
|Michelin Defender 2||840 BB||1653 pounds||11/32 in||130 mph
|Michelin Defender T + H||820 AB||1653 pounds||10/32 in||130 mph (H)||80,000|
|Michelin Defender LTX M/S||720 AA||1764 pounds||10.5/32 in||130 mph (H)||70,000|
The Ecopia tires have the same mileage warranty as the Defender LTX M/S. The Defender T+H and Defender 2 have a mileage promise of 10,000 miles more.
If you’re buying Michelin tires at Costco, you might run into an exclusive model for passenger and minivans, the Michelin X Tour A/S T+H. Consumers say it performs like the Defender T +H but with 15% more mileage warranty, at least in Canada (130,000 miles).
Michelin’s Defender 2 is a newly launched tire in 2022, so there’s not enough consumer feedback to compare.
Michelin Defender LTX M/S is the only tire that can handle off-roading in this comparison. It performs well in wet, dry, and light snow conditions with a high level of comfort and minimal road noise.
|Bridgestone Ecopia H/L 422 Plus||7.8||8.5||5.7||7.6||6.5|
|Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 Plus||6.9||7.7||4.9||7.3||7.0|
|Michelin Defender T + H||8.8||9.2||7.4||8.8||8.8|
|Michelin Defender LTX M/S||9.2||9.3||8.4||9.2||9.1|
The wet performance of the Ecopia H/L 422 Plus lags behind the Defender tires. Even among Bridgestone models, you can find better options like the Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza, Bridgestone Turanza Quiettrack, and Bridgestone WeatherPeak.
Even if we consider the H/L 422 Plus, the Defender tires still have better wet braking ability and dependable grip on slippery surfaces because of
- full depth 3D Sipe lock technology (Defender 2)
- Rich silica content and Intellisipe technology incorporated in zigzag sipes (Defender T+H )
- Evertread compound with 3-D Active sipes (LTX M/S)
The Ecopia EP422 Plus has the lowest rating while the H/L 422 Plus has good dry performance.
Defender tires, however, still have an edge. They can tackle dry roads with good traction, handling, strong braking and cornering. The Defender 2 remains stable under high heat and at a speed of 65 mph, while the Defender T+H runs safely up to its limit of 130 mph.
6. Noise/Comfort/Ride quality
Defender T +H is one of the quietest tires in the market.
Defender tires deliver a smooth and comfortable ride because they have dedicated noise reduction technology.
The Defender 2 can minimize road impact through Piano Acoustic Tuning technology, while the Defender T + H and Defender LTX M/S rely on Comfort Control Technology.
The rolling resistance of the H/L 422 Plus is great, but it is loud on highways and the handling is average.
In some reviews, the Ecopia EPP422 Plus is loud even if you don’t drive fast on the highway. It squeals when you hit rough surfaces.
7. Snow and Ice
The H/L 422 Plus is an M+S rated tire, meaning it can be used in mud and snow, while the EP422 Plus is a non-snow rated model that relies on a wide-groove tread to handle light snow surfaces.
However, their snow performance is subpar compared to the Defender tires. The Defender 2 and T+H are not snow-certified, while the M/S in Defender LTX M/S signifies capability in mud and snow.
They can confidently handle light snow conditions, but cannot match a winter tire’s performance in deep snow.
In the case of Bridgestone vs Michelin, tire prices are tricky as they vary from one seller to another.
In this price comparison, the Ecopia line is the cheapest tire at $119.96, while the Defender2 is the most expensive all-season tire.
|Bridgestone Ecopia H/L 422 Plus||From $119.96|
|Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 Plus||From $119.96|
|Michelin Defender 2||From $161.99|
|Michelin Defender T + H||From $143.99|
|Michelin Defender LTX M/S||From $154.99|
Pros and Cons
Is Bridgestone Ecopia a quiet tire?
Bridgestone Ecopia tires are not exceptionally quiet. For instance, Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 Plus emits audible hums at higher speeds while the noise level of the Ecopia EP150 was higher than average.
What tire is equal to Michelin?
Based on 2022 tire brand rankings, Michelin remains as the leading tire manufacturer, but there’s always the challenge of being replaced by top rivals such as Bridgestone, Continental, and Goodyear.
After comparing Bridgestone Ecopia vs Michelin Defender, the results revealed that Defender tires have the upper hand in wet, dry, and light snow performance. They provide excellent rides for a long time no matter what the season is.
It is quite challenging for Ecopia tires to prove their value as a fuel saver, since their all-season performance is not that impressive.
If you are curious about other Bridgestone Defender tires compared to other brands, check out our featured list.