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2009 Forrester 4 speed auto
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am not going to get a set of pure snow tire and put them on steel rims. I thought about it but decided it was more hassle than I am willing to put up with.

I am looking for a set of all seasons with deep tread to provide good snow and off road traction. Many of the tires I see are such shallow tread that just by looking at them I know they are useless in snow or mud. I don't care what the tire makers say, if the tread is only a 1/4" deep when new, they are garbage for snow. Seems obvious but I have had tire shops telling me how they would be fine. I walked out because I don't have time for that non-sense. You guys probably have real first hand experience that trumps everything.

So, my main desire is for an all terrain that will be biased toward snow and of course have enough tread to do some light off roading.

Truth is, I will drive on pavement 98% of the time and I will only need good snow traction for a few days a year when the trucks haven't cleared yet. I live in the city and drive in the city. By that description I should be fine with the stock all terrains that came on my forrester but I didn't buy an AWD SUV with 9" of ground clearance to run street tires. I bought it for the few days when we had snow. Call it insurance. 95% of the time! I won't need the extra tread but I'm will to pay extra and sacrifice some things just to have that tread when I need it.

I don't care about noise, tire life, road handling, cost or looks. I just want an aggressive all terrain that will be good in snow for the handful of days we have it. I know it doesn't make sense but that's what I want.
 

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2006 2006 & 2010 Forester automatic
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We put the AVID Envigor on our '10 and it handles 6" of snow fine. Any deeper than that(where the car has to practically bulldoze it) you shouldn't be out there...if you aren't on winter tires.

By the way, our '10 is used to traverse corn fields and is routinely driven down gravel roads. No we don't venture far into a wet field(we have 3/4 and 1 ton trucks for that)...but there is nothing, within reason, the AE can't do. Much better than the G95A that was on it.
 

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2019 Crosstrek 2018 Forester XT
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I am looking for a set of all seasons with deep tread to provide good snow and off road traction
I don't care about noise, tire life, road handling, cost or looks. I just want an aggressive all terrain that will be good in snow for the handful of days we have it. I know it doesn't make sense but that's what I want.
Really not possible...IMHO

Since you don't care about noise or life..just get a snow tire.
 

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2018 Forester XT Touring
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So, my main desire is for an all terrain that will be biased toward snow and of course have enough tread to do some light off roading.

Truth is, I will drive on pavement 98% of the time and I will only need good snow traction for a few days a year when the trucks haven't cleared yet.
Sounds like the Yokohama Geolandar A/T-S would be a great fit for you!
 

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2006 2006 & 2010 Forester automatic
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The Geo a-ts is available 215/60/17.

On our '10...that size actually makes the speedometer correct, over the stock 225-55-17.
 

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2010 Forester Premium X AT
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Goes to show how different peoples' opinions can be. I got yokohama envigors on the forester when they first came out and thought they were absolutely terrible in the snow. The tread block is tight and they would just slip and slide right over any snow. I would have to take my civic out when it snowed they were that bad.

Also worth noting, I've always seen people commenting that Yokohama Geolandar A/T-S turn into hockey pucks when cold and the tirerack reviews seem to support that. Wonder if there's any truth to it.
 

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2006 2006 & 2010 Forester automatic
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Around here(20 miles off Lake Michigan) our snow is usually lake effect. Meaning heavy frozen slush.

It is rare that our roads aren't in constant state of plow. What we have to contend with, mainly, is blown slow...again...heavy, not fluffy.

Have had no issues with that kind of snow. But, again...we constantly get plowed.

But both Sub's are owned by my idiot cousin and his wife. They think "winter tires are a joke on the consumers"...even though, 3 years ago...he got a ticket in Colorado for getting stuck in the snow and he didn't have winter tires.(yes the county where our cabin is has "snow road use rules")

I've used winters for years. All of mine(Miata, Sprite, F250 and Astro) have them.
 

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2009 Forrester 4 speed auto
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8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Really not possible...IMHO

Since you don't care about noise or life..just get a snow tire.
What's not possible? Getting an all season tire that is as aggressive as possible? I'm sure it is possible because I'm just looking for the best of what's out there. The tire I want is already out there, I just don't know the name of it.

I expect a I will get a couple of names and models which are recommended and I will just go with one of them. It's actually quite possible and quite easy. It's not rocket science.
 

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BF Goodrich KDWS.

Just be prepared to buy them every 30,000 miles.
 

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2016 Outback and WRX CVT
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I am not going to get a set of pure snow tire and put them on steel rims. I thought about it but decided it was more hassle than I am willing to put up with.

I am looking for a set of all seasons with deep tread to provide good snow and off road traction. Many of the tires I see are such shallow tread that just by looking at them I know they are useless in snow or mud. I don't care what the tire makers say, if the tread is only a 1/4" deep when new, they are garbage for snow. Seems obvious but I have had tire shops telling me how they would be fine. I walked out because I don't have time for that non-sense. You guys probably have real first hand experience that trumps everything.

....

Truth is, I will drive on pavement 98% of the time and I will only need good snow traction for a few days a year when the trucks haven't cleared yet. I live in the city and drive in the city. By that description I should be fine with the stock all terrains that came on my forester but I didn't buy an AWD SUV with 9" of ground clearance to run street tires. I bought it for the few days when we had snow. Call it insurance. 95% of the time! I won't need the extra tread but I'm will to pay extra and sacrifice some things just to have that tread when I need it.

I don't care about noise, tire life, road handling, cost or looks. I just want an aggressive all terrain that will be good in snow for the handful of days we have it. I know it doesn't make sense but that's what I want.
I think only the most aggressive "summer" tires (short of those specifically slated for or are shaved for racing use) can even come close to the 8/32" of tread that you're specifying here.

But in reality, even most modern passenger All-Season tires start at but 9.5 to 10/32" inch as they come out of the mold, and most modern passenger winter tires are but 11/32". Certain L/T and SUV models come in at 12/32", but you're really going to have to look towards A/T tires to get type of tread-depth you're looking for.

However, if you are indeed on cleared pavement for the majority of time and will not venture off-road, there will be NVH as well as handling compromises when you step to an aggressive A/T tire. Similarly, with L/T, SUV, and A/T tires, the "snowflake on the mountain" symbol designating "Severe Snow Duty" may be of less value given the reference tire they are mated with (various North American auto-enthusiast and consumer-advocate authors have pointed this out in the past) may be themselves much less capable of handling wintry conditions than comparable passenger "All Season" tires. Manual siping may increase these tire's abilities in wintry precipitation, but may lead to even further degradation of road manners (including considerations of treadblock integrity as well as secondary considerations such as treadwear or road-hazard warranties).

In terms of what I have highlighted above in your OP, you started out saying that you want plenty of meat on the tires so that they'll have snow traction: you know that a part of the winter traction equation is simply how much tread you have, and that you can never have enough. Yet, you later contradict yourself and state that you do not care about tread life.... I think your expectations may be too high, particularly as you lead-off with the confession that you will only run one set of tires year-round. Where will your mileage and tire-wear go?

You're right, it's not rocket science, but it is simple logic. You will need to compromise somewhere, and the only place that will be will be, as schan1269 pointed out, the need to replace tires quite often.

My cousin is actually like you - he replaces his tires *every* fall. He's on Nokian's latest "All Weather" tires, and that's where I would advise you to look as well as how I would recommend you to proceed. It'll retain much of the wear, handling, and NVH characteristics of modern passenger "All Season" tires, while significantly increasing the wintry-weather capability envelope. He's in the DC area: typically no significant snowfall at all, but once every three years or so, he'll face "Snowpocalypse" or "Snowmageddon," and that's where he wants to be able to get where he needs to go - so that's the compromise he's made.

Replace your tires at every 6/32" interval - not so much for the fact that it will have significant decreases in the ability to move winter precipitation (which is what the marketing folks would have you believe, simply because it's easier to think of things in this rather most obvious way), but rather for the decreases it will see in the ability to resist hydro- and slush-planing. Severely discount your outgoing set so that you can both put your conscience at rest as well as give another community member a great bargain, and you'll also take a significant chunk out of your replacement cost.

You'll note that I've recommended passenger tires - the reason for this is mainly because the SH-Forester isn't really a heavy-SUV, and because passenger tires are a bit more standardized, with more reliable results when it comes to what the "Snowflake on the Mountain" symbol means. Stay within this category and buy one of the top-tier offerings, and you'll be guaranteed a good winter result. With you, given that I'm pushing you towards an "All Weather" tire, there really is only one manufacturer that's really at-play here, and that's Nokian.

Why not a super-aggressive A/T tire?

Because tread-depth and tread-pattern are only parts of the equation. Yes, the high-void self-clearing A/T patterns can be great for moving fresh powder and cutting through slush, but that's not what they're optimized for. If you looked at the good winter tires, you'll note that their tread patterns differ significantly from that of A/T tires, and the reason is that wintry precipitation isn't just all fresh powder, and even under slush, there can exist more than just groomed pavement. The "All Weather" tires hybridize the winter capabilities of specifically-designed-for-purpose winter tires with some of the considerations of year-round-driven "All Season" tires - not great for off-road use, but if you don't do any off-road stuff, that's an easy call.

It's not necessarily that I don't think you'd be happy with something like the popular Geolandar A/T-S or even more aggressively off-road aimed tires: certainly, I think you'd be more than happy with their tread-depth, and these type tires typically are quite capable in wintry conditions...but you should ask yourself why some of these tires are not designated with the severe snow duty branding. It's more than just about tread depth.

Finally, you said that this is "insurance." That 95% of the time, you don't need the extra capabilities of the tire, but that you'd like to have it when/if you need it.... By not going with two sets of tires, you'll be burning tread - no matter what tire you have on the vehicle - no matter when you need it or not, and you just may find yourself in a situation where you've burned through most of the tread when you need that tread-depth most. This is unfortunately infallible logic, and the only way around this is to buy new tires with the onset of every winter season.
 

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2006 Forester XT 4EAT
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We have had good luck with the Continental extreme contact DWS on my wifes car, scion xb.

I have always used winter tires on my cars but she didn't want to hassle with it. Next year I will be putting winter tires on it regardless. Nothing compares and if you live where it snows, you won't regret it. Plus discount tire swaps them back and forth for free so it just takes an hour of your time every six months.
 

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2015 XT premium The one without the fun pedal
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Sounds like the Yokohama Geolandar A/T-S would be a great fit for you!
+1 on this. These tires are rated very well and will improve on your Forester's off roading ability while not sacrificing on road performance when compared to the stockers. I understand they are good in the snow as well. I'm looking at these in a 225x60x17 which will also give my Forester an inch of height while improving ride quality (more sidewall to eat up potholes/rough roads). At @ $158.00 a tire they seem to be a great value.
 

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I'm going to offer a different tire for consideration, namely the Bridgestone RE970AS. From my experience, this particular tire has performed excellently for an all season tire in the snow and off the road. For comparison, I currently use a Pirelli Pzero Nero AS, and while it is ok in the snow, it is nowhere near as good as the RE970AS was. You can find similar thoughts on NASIOC and really anywhere. For your dollar, the RE970AS is the best all season tire you can buy, with possible exception to the Michelin Pilot Sport AS.

Tire Rack review on best All Season in the snow:
http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tests/testDisplay.jsp?ttid=147

While all tires reviewed were similar in performance, TR insiders the RE970AS the better snow tire.

As far as the Yoko geolandar is concerned, I think it is a very good tire for light off road and snow use, however i think it is average AT BEST on the road. Also, I found that the geolandar for whatever reason accepts chains very well.

But if you're driving through heavy snow on the reg, consider a set of snow tires, an accurate torque wrench, and a jack.
 

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2015 Highlander AWD XLE 6AT
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So, my main desire is for an all terrain that will be biased toward snow and of course have enough tread to do some light off roading.
The Firestone Winterforce UV tire may be worth considering.

HTH,
Jim / crewzer
 

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2016 Outback and WRX CVT
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Nokian WR-G2 or WR-G3s are fantastic all season snow tires that fit on the Forester. They have slightly lower treadwear than a traditional all season tire, but they are really sporty in the summer and handle snow fabulously.
They're "All Weather" tires. :wink:

They're very, very good tires to run year-long in that they offer comparatively not insignificantly more wintry traction than "All Season" tires while maintaining much of the subjective handling characteristics of UHPAS tires, but make no mistake, they're a compromise.

In most tests of true winter tires, they tend to come in at the lower half if not lower third, even when the test is populated by only the mildest of the winter tire sub-genres, "Performance Winters." Similarly, they will not offer the ultimate levels of grip that aggressive summer tires can.

That remember that comparisons are relative - no tire can do it all. :smile:

They're a great - maybe even excellent - compromise for most of us here in the Lower 48, but make no mistake, they're still compromises.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well, I'm kicking myself. I put off buying tires because I got busy with the holidays, work and had some health issues and in the meantime we have had the worst winter ever. Lots of snow and cold temps. I really wish I got some new tires that were better in snow.

My stock tires were not good when new and now with 30K miles on them, they are basically worthless in snow.

I got my wife some Geolanders and they were pretty good in the snow but they were loud on the road. It was for her Saturn Vue. They were very reasonably priced I thought. Something like $100 a tire which was better than most others at the time. Can't remember the size if her rims or tire size.

I think there is still enough winter left to do new tires. I was thinking if I got through this winter that next fall would be a perfect time for new tires. My tires are fine for summer use they are just not aggressive enough to be good snow tires.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I think I'm going with the Yokohama Geolander ATS. They seem common enough to find most places. Are they ok?

My tires are 225/55/r17

I'm thinking I can go 215-225 and maybe get a taller tire to increase ride hight a bit and provide some extra cushion for potholes. I don't care if my speedo is off since I use gps for speed anyway.
 
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