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Old 12-30-2012, 12:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Forester Snow Performance

Hello,

Looking for input on how the 2013 Forester performs in snow. One of the main reasons I am considering trading my current vehicle is due to poor snow performance without snow tires. I would like to find a vehicle that will perform well with an all season tire.

Thanks!
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Old 12-30-2012, 01:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I just bought my 2012 in June, and now that I live in maryland, I love it. I do have bridgestone blizzacks on mine, but with the snow tires I'm unstoppable. I was the only one to dive in to my 12'' deep parking lot at work, as well as I was able to travel 50 miles on the interstate in freezing rain and blizzard like snow. The forester almost gives you a false sense of security... you forget that you could be driving on ice and just drive normal ( as my girlfriend pointed out) but yes, If you want a car that is good at EVERYTHING... Buy a forester.
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Old 12-30-2012, 03:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by spencer2.5x View Post
yes, If you want a car that is good at EVERYTHING... Buy a forester.
snow tires is the key and you will love your forester more and u will indeed be unstoppable as mentioned by spencer2.5 . Cheers, happy holidays!!
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Old 12-30-2012, 04:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by critterlover View Post
Hello,

Looking for input on how the 2013 Forester performs in snow. One of the main reasons I am considering trading my current vehicle is due to poor snow performance without snow tires. I would like to find a vehicle that will perform well with an all season tire.

Thanks!
Quote:
Originally Posted by spencer2.5x View Post
I just bought my 2012 in June, and now that I live in maryland, I love it. I do have bridgestone blizzacks on mine, but with the snow tires I'm unstoppable. I was the only one to dive in to my 12'' deep parking lot at work, as well as I was able to travel 50 miles on the interstate in freezing rain and blizzard like snow. The forester almost gives you a false sense of security... you forget that you could be driving on ice and just drive normal ( as my girlfriend pointed out) but yes, If you want a car that is good at EVERYTHING... Buy a forester.
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snow tires is the key and you will love your forester more and u will indeed be unstoppable as mentioned by spencer2.5 . Cheers, happy holidays!!
Snow tires on a FWD/RWD over all-seasons on a 4x4/AWD.

AWD/4x4 with dedicated winter tires =

Take a look at this thread.
what AWD does and doesn't do in snow? (merged thread)

There are countless more like it on the this forum and others that basically some up what I typed above. Tires set your available traction level on any given surface. You control the tires on your vehicle.

AWD/4x4 isn't a substitute for crappy tires, even top of the line all-seasons.
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Old 12-31-2012, 06:26 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I'll chime in since I live in Ohio and Dedicated snows are useful about 5 days a year if we get lucky. I have an 03 XS 5 MT with Goodyear assurance triple treads. (the one on the left in the Goodyear ad that is sometimes at the bottom of the page)
The car is flat out amazing in snow. Doesn't slip unless I want it to. Drives straight up my ice covered driveway like its dry, even when I can barely walk up it. Subaru + good all seasons are great. We've had 8 in of snow so far this winter and I havn't found anything that the subie wont tackle with ease. Add true snows and
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Old 12-31-2012, 06:27 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by critterlover View Post
I would like to find a vehicle that will perform well with an all season tire.
My forester is awesome with a set of Continental DWS. They're as as close to a snow tire in a A/S package.
In 2010, my family and I drove the day after Christmas from Rochester, NY to Brooklyn, NY. About an hour before hitting the Pocono's, snow began to fall and that was the beginning of a blizzard which would dump 18-24 inches of snow of the white stuff and if that wasn't bad enough, there was ice under the snow. The ride was treacherous and there were numerous accidents on the expressways, including an Outback with it's windows blown out and airbag deployed. I'm not sure if it was the cause of an accident or someone's else's fault, but the sight was certainly humbling. Needless to say that we eventually made it home. My greatest fear was not getting stuck, but getting rear ended or side-swiped by another vehicle.
The DWS tires are true A/S tires and the only time I got stuck was when I attempted to go over a snow mound which was much higher than the Forester's clearance.
They're reviewed favorably here: Tire Test Results : Winter Testing at the Arctic Circle: Ultra High Performance All-Season
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Old 12-31-2012, 06:30 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Put Nokian 4-season WRG2 tires on it and call it a day. Nokian (tire maker in Finland, where they know snow) calls them 4 season instead of all season but they have the snow flake emblem on the sidewall for snow performance. I have 7000 miles on my WRG2SUV's and they kicked butt in the recent snow we've had here.
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Old 12-31-2012, 06:40 AM   #8 (permalink)
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To better answer the OP's question than my above post which was more about tire selection and that was not the OP's actual question, let me say that yes that given the same tire installed on the other brand of vehicles as is on the Forester, the Forester will out perform the competitors in the snow. Subaru's symetrical all wheel drive system is optimal for winter driving. It continuously drives each wheel all the time as opposed to many competing systems that drive only two front wheels until rear wheel spin is detected then the so called "intelligent" all wheel drive of that brand sends power to the axle that just experienced a tire spin. Colloquially known as a "slip 'n grip" awd system. It is inferior to any continuous all wheel drive system such as Subaru's where both axles receive power 24/7.
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Old 12-31-2012, 07:08 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I went through my first winter with the stock Bridgestone 687, ok but really a summer tire,
Have General articmax snows and can walk through most any thing now. Went skiing Saturday with 4 inches heavy slush on the roads, grip, control, no problem, best car in the snow I've driven.
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Old 12-31-2012, 07:44 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daveg3588 View Post
I went through my first winter with the stock Bridgestone 687, ok but really a summer tire,
Have General articmax snows and can walk through most any thing now. Went skiing Saturday with 4 inches heavy slush on the roads, grip, control, no problem, best car in the snow I've driven.
I'm on the same wheels and love them in bad weather. Very secure. Consumer Rep (for whatever it's worth) thought they were great.
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Old 12-31-2012, 10:14 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I thought the forester was terrible in the snow on alleasons. Getting going is not the issue, it's stopping and maintaining control. I felt safer in a honda civic than the forester on allseasons. I constantly was fearful of sliding through intersections with the forester when it was a non issue with the civic.

I have since purchased snow tires for the forester and only then do I think it's better in the snow than other cars.

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Originally Posted by flstffxe View Post
AWD/4x4 isn't a substitute for crappy tires, even top of the line all-seasons.
I think Subaru's marketing is downright deceptive to a lot of people because they always fail to mention this.
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Old 12-31-2012, 11:24 AM   #12 (permalink)
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It sounds like this is a great tire thread
But back to if the forester is great in snow. Look at the all wheel system vs others on.youtube for example. On dry, wet and snow the low boxer engine and all wheel drive system capable of giving power to the non slipping wheel does it for me.
The ground clearance and storage of the forester brought me to it after looking at the legacy, outback, and wrx's.
I worked at a toyota dealership up until a few months ago and it made my decision even easier after driving the Toyota's every day.
So with a subaru forester if you need the space. XT if you kike going fast and non turbo if you want a manual shift or more options for your buck.
Go drive one. Make sure to bring your trade a cleaned out haha.
Good luck, post a pic when you buy one!
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Old 12-31-2012, 11:27 AM   #13 (permalink)
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does anyone know how this tire should do in snow compared to dedicated snow tire? it seems to work well for me here in ND...but I never had a snow tire nor an AWD car before so I have no reference. isn't some of best features of snow tire the sipping and durometer? (correct term?)

mine have no sipping and not sure the compound hardness of these KM2's compared to snow tires

thx
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Old 12-31-2012, 11:40 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inspector View Post
I thought the forester was terrible in the snow on alleasons. Getting going is not the issue, it's stopping and maintaining control. I felt safer in a honda civic than the forester on allseasons. I constantly was fearful of sliding through intersections with the forester when it was a non issue with the civic.

I have since purchased snow tires for the forester and only then do I think it's better in the snow than other cars.
To me this seems like a purely common sense issue. AWD/4x4s offer no better braking or lateral traction than a FWD/RWD with the same tires. As you so nicely pointed out AWD/4x4 will help get you going.

The Forester is likely heavier and has a higher center of gravity then the Civic. Can't cheat physics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inspector View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by flstffxe View Post
AWD/4x4 isn't a substitute for crappy tires, even top of the line all-seasons.
I think Subaru's marketing is downright deceptive to a lot of people because they always fail to mention this.
There are several mentions of snow/winter tires in the Owners manual. Many in "CAUTION" fields when related to the VDC system and directly on page 8-10/8-11 under "snow tires"
  • Section 7-25 of the 2010 Owners manual:
  • Even if your vehicle is equipped with Vehicle Dynamics Control system, winter tires should be used when driving on snow-covered or icy roads; in addition, vehicle speed should be reduced considerably. Simply having a Vehicle Dynamics Control system does not guarantee that the vehicle will be able to avoid accidents in any situation.

    Section 7-26
  • Even if the vehicle is equipped with
    a Vehicle Dynamics Control system, it
    is important that winter tires be used
    when driving on snow-covered or icy
    roads.
    (All four wheels should be fitted
    with tires of the same size and brand.)

    Section 8-10
  • When replacing original tires with
    winter (snow) tires, make sure
    you use only the same size,
    construction and load range as
    the original tires listed on the tire
    placard. Using other sizes and
    construction may affect speed-
    ometer/odometer calibration and
    clearance between the body and
    tires. It also may be dangerous
    and lead to loss of vehicle con-
    trol.

    On pages 8-10 and 8-11 under the heading snow tires.
  • Your vehicle is equipped with “all season
    tires” as original equipment, which are
    designed to provide an adequate measure
    of traction, handling and braking perfor-
    mance in year-round driving. In winter, it
    may be possible to enhance performance
    through use of tires designed specifically
    for winter driving conditions.

    When you choose to install winter tires on
    your vehicle, be sure to use the correct tire
    size and type. You must install four winter
    tires that are of the same size, construc-
    tion, brand and load range and you should
    never mix radial, belted bias or bias tires
    since this may result in dangerous hand-
    ling characteristics. When you choose a
    tire, make sure that there is enough
    clearance between the tire and vehicle
    body.
    Remember to drive with care at all times
    regardless of the type of tires on your
    vehicle.


Seems to me Subaru covered it quite well. Not only do they tell you that all-season are not the best tire for winter driving they tell you
Quote:
winter tires should be used when driving on snow-covered or icy roads
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Old 12-31-2012, 11:52 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mx_599 View Post
does anyone know how this tire should do in snow compared to dedicated snow tire? it seems to work well for me here in ND...but I never had a snow tire nor an AWD car before so I have no reference. isn't some of best features of snow tire the sipping and durometer? (correct term?)

mine have no sipping and not sure the compound hardness of these KM2's compared to snow tires

thx
BF Goodrich MK2


Blizzak WS70


NOKIAN HAKKAPELIITTA 7


Mud tires don't do well in snow/ice. They do OK in fresh powder where they can shovel the snow from in front of the tire to behind it. On the street in the real world, not to well.
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