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2017 Forester & 2019 Forester
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I decided to try out the new Falken Wildpeak A/T Trail 225/65/17 tires with a day trip on a mix of highways, local roads, and a powerline corridor/forest road. The off-pavement portion varied from a few kms of straight flat gravel road with the rest twisty steep inclines and declines on a mix of gravel, dirt/mud, rock/shield rock. Roundtrip was about 300kms highway, 75kms local, and 30kms unpaved.

First of all, the ride and grip feel much better to me on the Wildpeaks than on the stock Bridgestone Ecopia 422 Plus 225/60/17 tires. On the pavement the Wildpeaks aren't noticeably louder or rougher, with maybe a bit more fuel consumption than on the Ecopias but a bit less than on the Michelin XI3 X-Ice winter tires I run about 5mos of the year here, but more time & distance will give a better idea of fuel consumption. Off pavement, although I'd only had a few kms of that on the Ecopias just from chance/ location, they can't compare to the Wildpeaks, which were much better than stock Yokohama Geolandars (225/55/17) on the 2017 Forester (wife's daily drive/my former weekend warrior drive) which performed adequately over hundreds of kms off pavement. I've also done hundreds of kms off pavement on the X-Ices, which were maybe a bit better at that than the Geolandars but beat by the Wildpeaks for sure. I'll be interested to test drive the Wildpeaks in a bit of ice and snow--they are marked with the "mountain&snowflake"symbol/3PMSF rating, so will be interested to compare winter weather performance with the X-Ices, and will be looking for road test reviews/ratings for that once more of that kind of information is available for Wildpeak Trails.

I even did a bit of super mild rock crawling and raw terrain traversing, and the Wildpeaks definitely gave more confidence with more tread, grip, and sidewall, than I would have had with any of the other aforementioned tires. They definitely look better, more suited to a Forester that won't be sticking to pavement.

Here are some photos...
 

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2020 Forester, Crystal While Pearl, Saddle Brown Leather
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55 Posts
@JoshG777 Curious if you had to engage X-Mode during the off road portions and how that compared to your other vehicles. And if you did use X-Mode, did you also use the paddle shifters to hold the transmission ratios?
 

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2017 Forester & 2019 Forester
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10 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I didn't engage X-Mode, didn't feel the need to. I've used it in the past on the 2017 Forester, sometimes in conjunction with the manual shift mode/paddle shifters, in various circumstances. Maybe it's my imagination--or I just haven't encountered the right situation yet to use X-Mode on the 2019--but it seems like the slight increase in power (and perhaps "gearing" change?) in the '19 compared to the '17 is a real performance boost, maybe not very substantial but still significant. The manufacturer numbers show more horsepower and torque, and with the SI drive option in the '19, it seems to have more low RPM power, better throttle application, etc. It seems like that difference in the '19 showed offroad too, as I've taken the '17 on that whole offroad stretch as well and, if I recall correctly, used X-Mode and/or manual shift at times. I'll definitely do the run again and will use the X-mode and manual shift to try to see any difference between not using it on the '19 and compared to the '17. I anticipate the AVH feature on the '19 (not on the '17) may be a help offroad too...
 

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2017 Forester & 2019 Forester
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10 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
My experience with the tires so far has been entirely favourable. The only issue is the speedometer and odometer readings being slightly off, which I was aware would happen and take into account as needed. I've experienced no rubbing that I'm aware of, and have taken the tires off pavement a fair bit and even completely off road a little bit already, which required full wheel turn and substantial horizontal movement in the wheelwell.
 

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Hi there. Great info, great pics, great look. I plan on doing the same to my Forester with the same exact tires. I just haven't picked a tire yet. I do know, that I'm choosing between Wildpeaks, TOC AT3's, and Scorpions.

If I may ask, when you went off-pavement/roading, was your Forester loaded? With camping gear, cooler, people, equipment, etc.

Thank you for sharing.
 
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