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Premium Member
2015 Highlander AWD XLE 6AT
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4,259 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've pretty much decided to order a set of four 215/65R16 98H Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D performance winter tires pre-mounted on 16 x 6-1/2 50mm offset steel wheels for our '09 Forester.



Our winter road conditions in the northern VA area cover a broad range from dry to wet to snow to ice, and I may have business travel to PA and the Northeast this winter and next. I'm thinking about using the winter tire package from the end of November through the middle of March.

I'd be interested in comments from anyone with experience with these tires. Reviews on Tire Rack are generally quite good.

Thanks!
Jim / crewzer
 

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Former Foz Dude
2010 WRX STI SE STI 6-speed, yo
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1,376 Posts
I've used them for one Winter so far and I really like them. Super grippy in the snow!
 

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2009 Forester, auto
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57 Posts
I've used those and the M3s for years on four different cars. A 2001 Forester S, Golf TDI, Passat variant 2.0T and Jetta TDI. They work great in the rain, snow, slush, ice. They also wear and handle well. Also quiet.
 

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Buy with confidence

I am buying my second set of these for this winter. My last set lasted me 3 winters, and 2 summers! They have great snow traction, and perform quite well in wet and dry too. I live in Jackson, Wyoming. We have extreme winter conditions from November until April every year. I have driven through snow high enough to pour over the hood, and passed SUV's like it's my job in icy conditions. It's nice not having to change my tires when I decide to take a road trip to California. Great all around tires.:cool:
 

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Premium Member
2015 Highlander AWD XLE 6AT
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4,259 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
All,

Thanks for the quick and informative feedback. It was pretty much what I was expecting to hear based on Tire Rack's owner reviews and survey results, but it's especially useful getting the info directly from Subaru owners. Multi-season use and repeat purchases are pretty powerful endorsements!

Ken: Great pics!

Whatnxt: Lake Stevens, eh? I've done work up in Smokey Point / Arlington, and my colleagues passed on many exciting stories of last winter's snow storms in your area.

Wyoutback: Jackson Hole, eh? Beautiful area... my wife and I really enjoy Grand Teton NP, and we were able to visit briefly this past August (see attached pic). We own property just outside of Lander, and our younger son is at school at LCCC and UWyo in Laramie.

Thanks again, all!

Regards,
Jim / crewzer
 

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Premium Member
2015 Highlander AWD XLE 6AT
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4,259 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
New winter boots mounted and balanced on steel wheels arrived yesterday afternoon from Tire Rack... thanks again for your comments!

We already have a similar set for my wife's Honda Accord SE, so we should be good to got for our winters, especially if I have to travel up into PA and New England.

Regards,
Jim / crewzer
 

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2001 Forester S, auto
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471 Posts
Yeah the WinterSport 3D's are a good choice for your needs, it sounds like. I've been running Blizzak WS60's for the past two years but they're rather overkill cuz it doesn't snow that often to warrant them, so a performance winter tire like the WinterSport sounds like the way to go since they give up a little ice performance for more dry handling.

I'm also excited to see how our Mazda3 fares with the Nokian WRG2's we put on it.
 

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Premium Member
2015 Highlander AWD XLE 6AT
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4,259 Posts
Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Installed the Forester's winter wheel set on Nov. 30. New tires seem to handle fine, but they're a bit noisier than the OEM Geolanders. Curious, as the same tires (but different size) on my wife's Honda Accord are quieter than the regular a/s tires.

We had ~4 inches of snow yesterday. I ran a few errands in the afternoon, and Forester handled wonderfully!

A picture taken this AM is attached; the wheel covers on the steel rims are from Tire Rack.

Regards,
Jim / crewzer
 

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2016 Outback and WRX CVT
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2,589 Posts
I'm late to this thread. :redface:

I think you made a very good choice - these tires have pretty darned nice treadwear, and are also very stable at highway speeds. Plus, they pretty much handle like a good set of all-seasons, in the clear.

Just use due-caution when the snow gets really deep - that's not their strong-suit, per-se. Given the Forester's ride-height, though, unless you really get caught-out and get yourself high-centered, you should never have a problem with them. Let's put it this way - my 1"-dropped '05 Legacy 2.5GT can *_reverse_* through a nearly 2-ft. deep "no man's land" area of piled snow (from the difference between the private snowplow guys' working the driveway and the municipal plowing of the city streets) without much trouble. :wink: I think you'll be just fine. :smile:

In terms of their one true weakness, it's ice, as to be expected. Even though they are typically rated rather highly, in terms of traction on ice, they're still a far, far throw from their more specialized for winter-weather "Studdless Ice & Snow" counterparts, when it comes to this specific danger - and, of course, of modern premium studded tires, too.

In terms of NVH, I think that might just be the difference between the two vehicles' soundproofing.

Tires that are completely quiet in my '05 Legacy, when I've switched them to my wife's then-'05 WRX (we replaced that with her current '09 FXT, after the lease was up) showed tremendous differences in this respect, and it was due much to the difference in soundproofing between the two vehicles.
 

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Premium Member
2015 Highlander AWD XLE 6AT
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4,259 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
T+W,

I appreciate your useful comments.

Thx,
Jim / crewzer
 

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2016 Outback and WRX CVT
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2,589 Posts
^ NP. :smile:

Just wanted to share my experiences - I got the tires specifically because I wanted to retain good clear-weather performance/fun-factor, while increasing my wintry-precip. safety envelope. These tires were everything advertised. :smile:
 

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Premium Member
2015 Highlander AWD XLE 6AT
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4,259 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
:icon_cool:

Thx,
Jim / crewzer
 

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Premium Member
2015 Highlander AWD XLE 6AT
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4,259 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
The rebate check for my four German-made Dunlop winter tires arrived today. :icon_biggrin:

Interestingly, the check is from the "Goodyear Redemption Headquarters" in Cincinnati, OH, and it bears the logos for Goodyear-, Kelly-, and Dunlop tires.

Regards,
Jim / crewzer
 

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2010 Forester 2.5X LTD
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27 Posts
Hey crewzer, sorry to bump this old thread, but I have a quick question with regard to your winter package purchased from Tire Rack last year.

I'm about to order my winter package from Tire Rack - Continental ExtremeWinterContact + 16X6.5 New Steel Wheel. The steel wheel selected is their only model, so I assume you have the same one.

As far as I know, you cannot use the nuts from alloy wheels on the steel wheels. Does the package comes with the installation kit?

For example, on Discount Tire Direct website, they are adding the Wheel Installation kit by default (extra cost).

My car has the OEM 17", but for the winter I would like to go with 16".

TIA!
 

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Premium Member
2015 Highlander AWD XLE 6AT
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4,259 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
frt,

I suspect I have the same black steel wheels: 16" x 6.5", 5 x 100mm bolt circle, 50mm et, 56mm cb.

The winter tire set for our '06 Honda Accord came with new lug nuts for the steel wheels; no extra charge. However, the winter tire set for our '09 Forester (16" steel wheels) did not. The lugs nuts from the OEM 17" alloy wheels seem to have the correct conical seat shape, and they worked just fine last winter {2,213 miles (~3,579 km) road use}. I plan to install our winter tire sets next week.

I also have a full-size spare for the Forester. It too is on a 16" steel wheel from Tire Rack, and the OEM lug nuts again appear to be compatible. I've tested the f/s spare for mounting and fit, but I've not had to use it.

DTD may be using steel wheels with different specs.

Interesting timing on your question: There was 5 cm (2") of snow on the ground when I flew out of YVR yesterday morning. :icon_cool: It took over an hour to get our plan de-iced. :icon_rolleyes:

HTH,
Jim / crewzer
 

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2012 Forester XPremium 5MT
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10 Posts
Jim,

I just got my steel wheels from Tirerack.com and Nokian Nordman 4 tires from Tiresbyweb.com. Having them mounted on Thursday. Your information in various threads was most helpful with my purchase decisions. I am also planning on the FS spare. Cheers!
Steve
 

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Premium Member
2015 Highlander AWD XLE 6AT
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4,259 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Steve,

I'm glad that you found my posts to be useful. Many people on the forum were helpful to me when I first joined, so I consider my "contributions" to be "paying it forward".

I hope you enjoy your new winter tire set... We'd love to see some pix!

Regards,
Jim / crewzer
 
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