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2018 Forester Manual
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302 Posts
The best set of snow tires I've had was a set of studded Hakkapeliitas. The second best set (and not by much) was a cheap set of GT Radial snow tires.

Best advice I can give is to do reviews. Some studdable tires (Winterforce, Hankook IPike) don't work well unless you stud them. Some work great unstudded (GT Radial IcePro, General Altimax Arctic). Some are designed to be studless (Blizzak) and work great as they are!

I've heard great things about Sumitomo Ice Edge, but I can't say anything as I've never used them..
 

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2003 Forester
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104 Posts
About 12 y ago, I used Nokian WRs on my 4-motion Passat and Blizzaks on my 2003 Forester in S. Dakota. Now I live in Ohio, and all our Subarus have continued to wear progressive generations of Nokian WRs. They have saved me valuable garage space and provided excellent year round service. I have 51K on a set of WRG3s that have about 4/32 tread left. Looking forward to the GR4s...

Sent from my moto x4 using Tapatalk
 

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2011 Forester 2.5X Automatic
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66 Posts
Dunlop SP Wintersport 3D gave me a very good run for the last 6 Winters. I got lazy and did not swap tires for non Winter tires during last 3 years because of driving the Summer car. The tires did not burn up quickly in warm weather, I drove it almost the entire year during 2018 and 2019. They cannot be found anymore at tire shop sites, I noticed Dunlop tires size options are more limited now compare to 5 years ago. I ordered mine from Sam's Club back in Dec 2012. These tires are still on my car, but now the treads are down to 3.5/32 to 4/32. The hard compound on Winter performance tires made the tires last longer than Winter tires. I'm shopping for new one before we get tons of snow and ice in MN Twin Cities. Dealer Walser Subaru in South St Paul quoted me VikingContact 7 $656 out of the door (tires, mount & balance, alignment, disposal fees, tax). There is a mail-in rebate prepaid master card deal of $75 good until 10/31. Also service advisor told me this tire is pretty new so there hasn't been a lot of customer feedback on it yet. I will be working with a local tire shop in my neighborhood North Country Tires & Auto and if they can get Dunlop WinterSport 4D or even WinterSport 5 for my tire size, then I will go with them. Else I will probably end up with a set of x-ice3 from the Michelin man.
 

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2019 Forester Touring cvt
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27 Posts
Dunlop SP Wintersport 3D gave me a very good run for the last 6 Winters. I got lazy and did not swap tires for non Winter tires during last 3 years because of driving the Summer car. The tires did not burn up quickly in warm weather, I drove it almost the entire year during 2018 and 2019.
This is what I did this past year with my wife's 2015 Outback 3.6R which has Blizzak WS80. She has only put on 13k miles since new and only a couple thousand of that this past year.
Back when I was putting 30+k miles a year on my sequential Foresters, I would put on fresh Blizzak at the start of the winter season and just leave them on. TireRack had advised me that once they get down below ~5/32 it is a harder all-season compound and you are losing true snow viability.
If anyone has put on and used the new Blizzak WS90 series, either answer here or please post a reply on a dedicated WS90 thread I started (https://www.subaruforester.org/threads/2019-anyone-use-blizzak-ws90-yet.806447/). It has lots of lookers but no responses yet.
krh
 

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2019 Forester Touring cvt
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27 Posts
I bit the bullet and just purchased for my Ice Silver Metallic 2019 Forester Touring the new Blizzak WS90 for 17x17.5 MSW Type 48 Black Machined Face from Tire Rack.
I will attach their mock-up picture of what it will look like on my vehicle along with a screen shot of my actual order so folks can see what the setup cost. I saved 3% by buying it through the Rakuten ebates app.
krh
524986

524987
 

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2011 Forester 2.5X Automatic
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66 Posts
Has anyone had Continental VikingContact so far? I added the URL in below

Also, anyone know how come Dunlop SP Wintersport series like 3D, 4D, and 5 for 16inch size (215/65/R16) are not found on Tirerack website anymore? It seems like Dunlop is either not shipping lot of tires to US or maybe not even producing the tires in many sizes. I think 4D and 5 are still being manufactured, can anyone confirm? The Wintersport 3D set I special ordered from Sam's Club in 2012 were manufactured in 2007 and 2008, shame on Sam's Club for selling 4 to 5 years old tires.
 

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2019 Forester Limited CVT
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90 Posts
Has anyone had Continental VikingContact so far? I added the URL in below

Also, anyone know how come Dunlop SP Wintersport series like 3D, 4D, and 5 for 16inch size (215/65/R16) are not found on Tirerack website anymore? It seems like Dunlop is either not shipping lot of tires to US or maybe not even producing the tires in many sizes.
The Wintersport 3D and 4D are still available from Tirerack, but not in any sizes we could use. Don't think they were available for either of our cars last time I was shopping for winter tires 4 years ago. Not sure why Dunlop doesn't sell the 5D in the US, especially since the Winter Maxx WM01 is often last place in most tests.
Only reasonably priced performance winter tire available from Tirerack for the 2019+ Forester is the Pirelli Scorpion Winter.
 

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2011 Forester 2.5X Automatic
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66 Posts
Thanks. I got the Dunlop 3D from Sam's Club in 2012, the 4D was available for our size few years ago. I think I'm gonna try either dedicated Winter like altimax arctic 12 or the all weather Nokian wrg4suv
 

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23 Posts
Tire Rack recommended Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2 for my 2017 Forester. Ordered them on a set of Radius wheels. I plan on putting them on this week. We had a touch of snow last night.
 

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2018 Forester Touring XT
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50 Posts
Regarding wheel size, unfortunately it was tough finding 17" OEM wheels (I prefer hub-centric) on eBay, so I went with 18" OEM touring wheels. Once my 17" stock all-seasons are worn, I'll probably swap to using 17" winter wheels and 18" summer.

Similarly, I've pretty much narrowed down to the Cooper Discoverer True North and the VikingContact 7. While True North was the top pick by CR, the VikingContact 7 won quite a few European comparisons (http://autohullut.fi/etusivu/talvirengastestit-2018/). My only hesitation is the XL load rating, but it looks like Continental mostly makes this tire in XL only (including both 225/60R17 and 225/55R18). Also, it's still P-series (it's not going to be nearly as bad as running an LT tire on the Forester).

That said, comparing Tire Rack's performance vs. non-performance winter tire tests (https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tests/testDisplay.jsp?ttid=181 and https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tests/testDisplay.jsp?ttid=193), it seems like performance may be a better bet. You lose a bit of the ultimate snow performance, but get much better dry and wet performance (which for the northeast, where I live, is probably more important). It's not clear where the VikingContact 7 fits in, though, as it replaces the WinterContact SI.
technically ignorant question- whats the hesitancy with the XL load rating- what impact does that have?
 

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2003 Forester
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104 Posts
I'm having the dealership install the Viking Contact 7 on our 16 Outback on a set of 17" locally sourced Subaru wheels. They are offering a free wheel alignment with the purchase of a set of tires. Might as well...

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2011 Subaru Forester
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102 Posts
technically ignorant question- whats the hesitancy with the XL load rating- what impact does that have?
Just means it has a stronger sidewall, and the car can handle more load. It will make your suspension feel slightly stiffer. No real negatives except for the increased cost for a vehicle that does not require them.
 

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2019 Forester Limited CVT
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90 Posts
Ordered 17" MSW Type 85 wheels & Vikingcontact 7 winter tires from Tirerack. Picking them up on Saturday.
Having a local Subaru shop install cloned TPMS sensors so I won't have to reprogram them. The sensors are a little more expensive $70 each vs $47 from TR, but it's worth it for the convenience.

Sing it with me: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=RDM29n9_6VK58
 

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Do you need good winter tires for the forester???? My first car with AWD and i've had blizzacks and icex on my old fwd suv which were amazing. I know a few guys who run all seasons on their awd suv(rouge and cherroke). Curious if its even necessary to buy blizzacks or ice-x's anymore???
It depends how you drive, and actually what kind of snow you get, or have at the time. I ran my stock all-season tires on my Subaru Crosstrek last winter. I drove through snow over a foot, and over 2 feet in some areas around Seattle last year after a major snow storm. I had no issues. I drove mostly below the speed limit, and maybe at the limit on plowed roads. Turning, starting was no problem. Of course I gave myself plenty on room between cars. The only real issue I had when I stopped in some real thick slush and snow to check my mail. My wheels did spin, and I had to rock myself out of it 2-3 times but got out. I am considering the Viking Contact 7's this season though. I can, and could see how I could need them. Be it that, people who drive AWD vehicles get white knuckle moments too.
 

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Speaking of "Rocking". After 40 yrs of 4 wheel drive pickups I have "rocked" myself out of a few ruts. I have been wondering though, Is that a good idea with a CVT transmission ? My understanding was don't go from DtoR or vise versa without coming to a complete stop. Just wondering.
 

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2017 2.0 FXT-Touring CVT
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Speaking of "Rocking". After 40 yrs of 4 wheel drive pickups I have "rocked" myself out of a few ruts. I have been wondering though, Is that a good idea with a CVT transmission ? My understanding was don't go from DtoR or vise versa without coming to a complete stop. Just wondering.
Hmm, I haven't got stuck yet. I usually just drop it into X-mode and work my way through it. "Rocking" a vehicle is something I've don't with a standard/manual transmission, never did it with an automatic.
 
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