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2011 Forester 2.5x Premium
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking at buying a 2011 Subaru Forester X. I currently have a 2000 Toyota Rav4 that I love dearly for it's extra inch or two of clearance - I drive a lot of BLM and forest service roads that are not exactly ATV trails, but significantly more rugged than your average graded gravel road.
I have read that people run P215/70/R16s on the forester, which happens to be what I have on my Rav. The Rav needs new tires before the Subaru will get to me, and I'm wondering if I can get an AT or burlier all-season tire for my rav and then move them to the Suby when the time comes.

I'm not mechanically inclined and am totally overwhelmed by all the options I see in these forums. Getting good MPGs (above 27 on the highway) is also important to me. Does that make bigger tires out of the question? Will I need to have the shop grind down some plastic if I put 215/70/16s on? I'll have to put on bigger wheel rims, right? Are those expensive? Are there other impacts I should expect? And what tire would you recommend in that size, if at all? I have a budget of about $800.
 

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2004 Forester XS
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57 Posts
I can point you in this direction: Lifted Subaru Tire Charts

Which shows the 215/70/16 to be the "max" for a lifted 2011 before major modification or rubbing.. That being said, any time you add a larger, heavier, rougher tire, you're going to lose MPGs on the Highway.

Adding circumference messes with how Miles, speed, and MPGs are calculated for a vehicle as it will have fewer rotations per mile, using a calculator like this against the stock size can help with those calculations: Tire Size Comparison

And while I cannot speak on the particulars of going up sizes, I can say that the MPG difference for a stock tire size on my 2004 between even just an All season and an A/T dropped my average about 2-3 MPG depending on external forces on the Highway; and with a moderate 1-1.5" lift and A/Ts I've not yet encountered a trail in a national/state forest that I've had issues with ground clearance on (I went from ~ 7.5-> ~ 8.5-9" ground clearance) and am running the stock size.
 

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2001 Forester S, 4EAT
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@mtcorunner The minute you put on any kind of AT tire you will sacrifice some MPG. Tread pattern, combined with extra mass. Plus you are wanting to increase the height of the vehicle for Off-Road use, that also creates more drag also hurting your MPG.
 

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2004 FXT 4EAT
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You can use a phone app like Waze to determine what your actual speed is (because what you will see on your speedo will no longer be accurate. Your actual speed will be higher))
 

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2017 Foz 2.5i CVT
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I ran 215/70x16's for 100,000 miles on my non-lifted '09 Foz. On the stock steel wheels with hubcaps, with no contact problems whatsoever. Not really room for much bigger than that, and a lift would not help the space at the front of the rear wheel well. If you go with a streetable tire like the Michelin LTX M/S, which is the tire I used, MPG was not affected after correcting for the larger diameter (3%) BUT with either the 5 speed manual or 4 speed automatic transmission in that vintage car, you may not get 27 mpg on the freeway no matter what.

Tire shops will generally not grind down plastic parts for you.

If you change the wheel offset, you might have additional problems.

The 2011 Forester was the first year of the new FB engine and there were a lot of oil burning problems through 2014. You may want to research that aspect also. In general, I would not recommend a used 2011-14 Forester over the same year RAV4, for instance, because of this problem. Tire size is not your major problem IMO.
 

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2011 Forester 2.5x Premium
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I ran 215/70x16's for 100,000 miles on my non-lifted '09 Foz. On the stock steel wheels with hubcaps, with no contact problems whatsoever. Not really room for much bigger than that, and a lift would not help the space at the front of the rear wheel well. If you go with a streetable tire like the Michelin LTX M/S, which is the tire I used, MPG was not affected after correcting for the larger diameter (3%) BUT with either the 5 speed manual or 4 speed automatic transmission in that vintage car, you may not get 27 mpg on the freeway no matter what.

Tire shops will generally not grind down plastic parts for you.

If you change the wheel offset, you might have additional problems.

The 2011 Forester was the first year of the new FB engine and there were a lot of oil burning problems through 2014. You may want to research that aspect also. In general, I would not recommend a used 2011-14 Forester over the same year RAV4, for instance, because of this problem. Tire size is not your major problem IMO.
Yes, it's at a dealership and just got the cam shaft replaced. From what i've read that doesn't go out unless you're not staying on top of oil changes, so I'm guessing the previous owners weren't paying attention. Are there other issues I could expect as a result of their oil ignorance?
 

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check your oil weekly for a few months to make sure nothing is off, then check it monthly (keeping track of miles) get a good baseline of oil consumption and find a happy medium i.e. you'll find out your car has an average of x amount of oil per 500 or 1k or 2k miles and check it appropriately.

I run a 215/65r16 general grabber at2 and it sucjed 2mpg instantly. I can't complain because they are meaty and heavier than most all seasons. We have harsh/long winters and I hate swapping tires every season with I have good ATs on my pickup all year around so it was a worthwhile trade off. IF you have winters they make a new category or tires that are much better than all seasons but wont get squishy in the heat like winter tires.

All weather tires
Goodyear assurance weather ready
nokian wrg4
Toyo celsius
firestone weathergrip
michelin cross climate 2

I was waiting for more inforation on them before purchasing and now im thouroughly convinced they work after speaking to personal owners. So it may be a good tire for you if you dont want to loose 1-3mpg going with a traditional AT tire (not all ATs are winer rated too so look carefully). Im much more interested in nokian wrg4s for the next set but these general grabber at2s are not wearing at all lol... 25k miles and im telling you it looks like they haven't worn at all. I rotate every 5k almost religously with oil changes and check the air every couple of months but mostly right before or after winter.
 

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2014 2.5i Limited CVT
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What's the stock tire size on the 2010 Forester? Some research shows me there were 2 sizes available, based on model/trim.

2.5X (base) ran with 215/65-16 and the rest (Premium, Limited, Touring, XT) all ran 225/55-17s...

The tire size is broken down like this -
215 - width of tire
65 - aspect ratio - the percent of sidewall height compared to width
17 - inside diameter (wheel diameter).

Use one of the tire size calculators referenced by others to see how much bigger the tire (outside diameter) may be and how it can impact your MPG, odometer and other aspects.

Generally, a taller sideway WILL give you a bit smoother ride as there is more rubber to absorb the bump/impact before transferring to your suspension.
 

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19' Limited
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@mtcorunner The minute you put on any kind of AT tire you will sacrifice some MPG. Tread pattern, combined with extra mass. Plus you are wanting to increase the height of the vehicle for Off-Road use, that also creates more drag also hurting your MPG.
Plus what doesn't get talked about much is road noise. Even the quietest AT tires are pretty loud at 60+ and Foresters aren't known for their quietness. I had them for a few months and they were great off-road (and handled fine on road), but that's like 3% of my time so it just wasn't worth the noise imo.
 

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2017 Foz 2.5i CVT
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What do you mean by this?
If your tire is 3% larger than the stock tire, your odometer readings will under-read by 3%, and your gas mileage will therefore under-read by 3%. So you add 3% to your calculated fuel mileage (miles*1.03/gallons).
 

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Yes, it's at a dealership and just got the cam shaft replaced. From what i've read that doesn't go out unless you're not staying on top of oil changes, so I'm guessing the previous owners weren't paying attention. Are there other issues I could expect as a result of their oil ignorance?
If it killed a camshaft because it was low on oil, replacing the camshaft will not solve the oil consumption problem, only the camshaft. So all you have left to worry about is every other moving part in the engine. Worn bearings, leaky rings, bad cylinder walls. With the age of the vehicle, they are not going to warrant oil consumption and this repair pretty much says the engine is an oil burner. The FB engine was sketchy in its early days. Our '17 has the FB and it has been wonderful but this was after Subaru changed its piston ring materials.

I love Subarus and don't hesitate to recommend them, but they had some serious problems in specific years and the 2011-14 FB engine is one of the worst problems. Some people had engines replaced twice under warranty.
 
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