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Discussion Starter #1
I finally gave up living with the road noise of the stock Continental tires and stopped at my local Discount tire. Very good experience. I was going to get new wheels (16's) but I honestly just don't care that much although I did move up 2 sizes to 215/60/15's from the stock 195's. I asked which were the quietest tires available and he said the AVID's or Michelin MXV. The AVID's were 20.00 each cheaper each so I went with them. He also told me I could trade up to the Michelins for the cost difference if I didn't like the AVID's. Then they gave me 50.00 each trade-in on the Continentals- they have 23K miles on them. They had it all done in less than 30 minutes. Extremely good service.

My first impressions- they are definitely quieter but not miraculously quieter. They definitely ride better and handle better- but incrementally better not amazingly better. I may try the Michelins but I don't know if they will be any quieter and I would really not want to spend the extra money and not gain anything. Anyone else have experience with which tires have the least road noise?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
After 2 days driving in the rain with these Yokohama's, I'm going to take advantage of Discount Tires free trade policy and get the Michelins. After reading the Tire Rack review (and watching the video) I know why the Yokohama's are not so good in the rain. As the guy in the test video points out, it's all a trade off. But I think that as usual, the Michelins have the best of all worlds.
Testing Michelin's New Defender All-Season Tire - Doc's advice on tires | Tire Rack
 

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You will be in a great position to compare the Yokohamas against the Michelins once you have the Michelins installed on your car. Please keep us posted; I am approaching a similar point of decision, and I would like to use the quietest tire I can find. Specifically, I would like to know if you find the Michelins to be quieter than the Yokohamas.....
 

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H2O in hydrant - K9P out
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Ya bro, keep us posted. If you want less cabin noise you could consider adding dyno mat.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
These are definitely quieter than the Conti's but The Tire rack review claims the Michelins are a little better. I downloaded a sound level meter app for my phone so I'll give it a try on the same section of road and see if there is a measurable difference in the 2.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Soooo, I got the Defenders put on (replacing the Yokohama AVID touring S) and I really like them. They aren't "broken in" yet and still have nubs on the tread but my initial impression is good. I did a noise comparison with a decibel meter app on my phone and they are definitely quieter. On the same section of I-20 which is real loud rough pavement, the AVID's were 73-74 dB at 67 mph. The Defenders are 71-72 dB. That is a huge difference since the decibel scale is logarithmic. My hearing bears this out too. Noticeably quieter. Since the AVID's were quieter than the Conti's, I would have to recommend getting these if road noise is an issue for you. It was a big issue for me.

Handling is excellent. Both the AVID's and Defenders handle significantly better than the Conti's but I did go up 2 sizes to 215/60-15 over the Conti's so it is not an apples to apples comparison. This is well worth the extra 3.00/tire. I've always run 33-35 psi in my tires and I can say that the AVID's have a better ride but are not as sharp turning in as the Defenders. Don't know about mpg yet since my car always get noticeably worse gas mileage (about 2mpg) when it is cold.

Discount tire was great about swapping them out. No argument at all. I just paid the difference in tire price. With the new Michelin rebate, the Defenders are actually cheaper than the AVID's. I've gotten all my tires from Discount for the past 10 years and will continue to do business with them. Good service.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Can't tell you how much I like these Defenders... It rained buckets here today and even driving on I-20 (concrete) with lots of standing water, they never felt the least bit like they were going to hydroplane or lose traction. Well worth the upgrade.
 
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