SUV/Crossovers and light trucks need some beefy tires to handle their weight and performance. However, specialized tires like these can cost a lot, especially for large premium brands like Michelin.
In this article, we’ll compare the Kumho Crugen HP71 vs Michelin Defender to see if premium tires are worth it. We’ll see if the less-known brand Kumho can hold its own against the tire titan that is Michelin.
Since we’ll compare SUV/Crossover and light truck tires from Kumho tires vs Michelin, we’ll use the Michelin Defender LTX M/S as a contender from the Michelin Defender family.
|Tire Type||Crossover/SUV Touring All-Season||Highway All-Season|
|UTQG||640 A A||800 A A|
|Max Inflation Pressure||51 psi||44 psi|
|Max Load||2,149 lbs||2,149 lbs|
|Tire Weight||32 lbs||34 lbs|
Table of Contents
What Are They?
1. Kumho Crugen HP71
The Kumho Crugen HP71 is the successor to the Kumho Crugen Premium KL33. However, both tires are available on Kumho’s website, as Kumho might be disposing of the last of its KL33 stocks.
Like its predecessor, the Crugen HP71 is Kumho’s all-season touring tire for Crossover/SUV vehicles, but with improved wet and snow performance, as well as treadwear.
It does this through 4 wide circumferential grooves that effectively eject water away from the tread, allowing much better traction on wet and slippery surfaces. These are then aided by sipes and independent tread blocks for maximum efficiency in wet performance.
As for maneuverability, the tire relies on a stiff center rib and shoulders, which work together to offer a stable and wide contact patch, allowing even treadwear and optimized maneuverability. It also includes Kumho’s Variable Pitch Technology to suppress noise.
Now, on to the Michelin Defender LTX M/S.
2. Michelin Defender LTX M/S
The Defender LTX M/S comes from Michelin’s line of standard touring tires, the Defender series, along with the Defender2 and Defender T+H. The LTX in its name implies that it’s meant for light trucks and Crossover/SUVs, making it a good reference point for the Kumho Crugen HP71.
As expected from Michelin tires, the Defender LTX M/S is backed by the French brand’s state-of-the-art technologies.
While it has similarities with the Kumho Crugen HP71, like its 4 wide circumferential grooves for water ejection, the difference lies in the tire itself. The Defender LTX M/S is integrated with the Evertread Compound, significantly enhancing grip and durability.
It is then combined with Michelin’s MaxTouch construction, which further increases the tire’s durability by improving its contact patch with the ground, allowing more even treadwear and fuel efficiency.
So how does this tire compare to the Kumho Crugen HP71? Let’s find out.
To see how both tires fare against each other, we relied on personal testing and various consumer reports.
1. Wet Performance
Though the Kumho Crugen HP71 wasn’t terrible on wet roads, we weren’t exactly blown away, either. The tire still has a long way to go in order to keep up with the Defender LTX M/S’ superior traction capabilities.
However, aquaplaning was mitigated by the Kumho Crugen surprisingly well, which was a great plus.
2. Dry Performance
Similar to wet performance, the Michelin Defender LTX M/S takes the cake for the same reason—the Kumho Crugen HP71 was unsurprisingly average. And this is definitely understandable, considering the lower Kumho Crugen HP71 price point.
Cornering was fairly stable on moderate speeds with the Kumho Crugen HP71, and responsiveness was also relatively noticeable. Conversely, grip started to fall off at higher speeds, while the Defender LTX M/S was superb across all boards.
3. Snow Performance
This is where we started cheering for the Kumho Crugen HP71. Although it couldn’t beat the Michelin Defender LTX M/S, it was definitely a close one. Snow performance from the Kumho Crugen HP71 was almost on par with the Michelin Defender.
While traction on light snow was better with the Michelin Defender LTX M/S, the differences weren’t as apparent on heavy snow. Moreover, the Kumho Crugen even had a slight edge over the Defender LTX M/S on ice, which helped the Kumho tires rating.
Thanks to Kumho’s Variable Pitch Technology, noise suppression was great, as growls and hums were minimal, something we also experienced with the Michelin Defender LTX M/S.
Kumho tires noisy reputation was absolutely debunked on our tests, which makes it a worthy touring tire to compete with Michelin.
5. Price and Warranty
If you’re talking price between Michelin vs Kumho, the Kumho Crugen HP71 is a significantly cheaper tire. It comes in at $174.00, compared to the Michelin Defender LTX M/S’ at $233.99 for a 245/65R17 tire size.
As for warranty, the Kumho Crugen HP71 has a mileage warranty of 65,000 miles, while the Michelin Defender LTX M/S clocks in at 70,000.
Pros and Cons
- Decent snow performance
- Decent warranty
- Wet and dry performance could be improved.
- Excellent wet and dry performance
- Decent snow performance
- Decent warranty
- Michelin LTX M/S2 vs Defender: A Comparative Analysis
- Michelin Defender vs Kumho Crugen HT51: Latest Tested
In a Kumho Crugen HP71 vs Michelin Defender comparison, it definitely comes to personal preference. The Kumho Crugen HP71 is a great choice for drivers who are looking for decent tires on a budget.
However, if you can cough up the extra cash, you’ll undoubtedly have a significantly better experience with the Michelin Defender LTX M/S.