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2009 Forester XT Auto
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Discussion Starter #1
I've done a lot of searching, but I've decided to just make my own thread since I don't live in the snow like most of you. So my situation is different.

I have a 2009 Forester XT limited with stock 17" wheels and tires. I would like to upgrade this spring. I think I'm going to be keeping my stock wheels. I live in Southern California and most of the driving I do is highway and streets. Every winter I go on a ski trip for a week and every summer I do some light off-roading on my fishing trip (both in Mammoth). So I would like to have a tire that is very quiet and handles well for the streets, and one that is capable of light off-road and snow.

I have been researching on tirerack.com and here. I like Michelins since I can get a good deal on them at costco, and have had good experiences with them in the past. I don't know which category I should be in though. Passenger or light truck/SUV. Grand touring all-season, highway all season, high performance all-season, ultra high performance all-season, ect.

Thank you for your time.
 

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MY08 Forester 2.5XT
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Sounds more like Highway All Season. But I end up taking the Geolandar A/T-S 225/60/17 all terrains. Kinda more capable with them than the all seasons, especially off road.
 

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2009 Forester XT Auto
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Discussion Starter #4
Sounds more like Highway All Season. But I end up taking the Geolandar A/T-S 225/60/17 all terrains. Kinda more capable with them than the all seasons, especially off road.
If you could post a picture of those tires on your stock 17" rims it would be much appreciated. :)
 

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2009 Forester XT Limited
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These get high marks and some here ride them happily. Falken Ziex ZE-912 tires - Reviews, ratings and specs in the Orlando Area - Discount Tire/America's Tire
They should do OK for light snow and the offroading you will be doing and will give you better performance for the majority of your driving. I don't have them yet but they are in my top 2 as OEM replacements. The size of the tire is almost dead on to the OEM's so the speedo will not be off much if any. Maybe 1 mph either way + -, not sure.
 

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2004 Forester XT Premium 4EAT
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I have been researching on tirerack.com and here. I like Michelins since I can get a good deal on them at costco, and have had good experiences with them in the past. I don't know which category I should be in though. Passenger or light truck/SUV. Grand touring all-season, highway all season, high performance all-season, ultra high performance all-season, ect.
Michelins are fantastic. Expensive, but well worth the money, IMHO. With an XT I would go with nothing less than a high performance all-season tire - I ran a couple of sets of the Pilot Sport A/S on my 04 XT and they were amazing. Would buy them again in a heartbeat, but they're out of my price range for the time being.
 

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2009 Forester XT Ltd
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Please excuse me for thread-jacking, but Ahmad, are you actually running those tires now? Do you have pics? I've been thinking of doing the same thing, since they're about the only reasonable choice for an A/T on my stock wheels.
 

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2016 Outback and WRX CVT
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These get high marks and some here ride them happily. Falken Ziex ZE-912 tires - Reviews, ratings and specs in the Orlando Area - Discount Tire/America's Tire
They should do OK for light snow and the offroading you will be doing and will give you better performance for the majority of your driving.
^ *VERY* light snow....

The 912s are rather horrible when it comes to wintry-precip. performance, even as compared to their older 512 replacements.

There have been more recent reports of people sipping the 912s, and getting noticeably better winter-weather traction, but still, if snow's at all a possibility, I'd be hard-pressed to go the route of these tires, particularly as there are so many others that are comparable in price and clear-road performance, and will be so much better than these tires in terms of wintry-precip.

Based on the OP's needs - those occasional ski trips - I would not consider these tires, unless siped.

I'd almost go the way of the 512s, but given their rather poor wear characteristics, I honestly don't know if they'd be a good choice for the OP's needs, either.


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I would go with nokian wr G2 SUV. 225/55R17
these are all-weather tires NOT all season crap.
Not a bad idea, particularly as they are much more winter-capable than virtually any other "all-season" tires of equal performance ratings.

As a compromise, they certainly don't rank too highly, in terms of pure winter performance, but still, their winter capabilities are going to easily exceed that of the vast majority of "all-season" tires.

I don't know how the WR "G2 SUV"-variant wears.... Our locals are typically quite happy with the wear of both their WRs as well as WR G2s, even when used within a true 4-seasons/all-seasons daily-driver context - but in various rating/testing of tires, the WR and WR G2 tend to come in mid-pack, if that, for this particular concern, too.


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Michelins are fantastic. Expensive, but well worth the money, IMHO. With an XT I would go with nothing less than a high performance all-season tire - I ran a couple of sets of the Pilot Sport A/S on my 04 XT and they were amazing. Would buy them again in a heartbeat, but they're out of my price range for the time being.
The winter performance (and heck, just overall performance, PERIOD!) of the rather everyday-common MXM4s in the following C&D comparo of 4 of Michelin's most popular offerings really, really impressed me (in a good way):

2009 Winter Tire Test - Comparison Tests

I don't know if there's a proper sizing/fitment for our Foresters, with this tire, but if there is, it's certainly worth a look, I'd say.

Oh, and a fellow LGTer, a known-quantity on LegacyGT.com and someone whom I really trust, is currently having excellent luck with his new Pilot Sport A/S+, including in light snow.
 

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^^^
TSI........If you read his post as I did he stated he does A ski trip a year. I don't think living in Southern Cali I would give up everyday performance and handling in wet and dry for 1 trip in the snow and 1 camping trip but that's me. I would go off-road (my version---mild), and I would prefer to have performance tire that would get by. Also I take into consideration, when I look at reviews, that people that rate these tires are not in a FOZ and my feeling is that it improves the ability of the tire to have AWD especially symmetrical traction. Most are lucky if they have 2 wheels with complete traction. I know you are trying to be objective so please don't feel like I am bashing you here. These are just my opinions and observations.

I agree with Silke on the Mich Pilot Sports A/S's, I had them and they are fantastic, but there is the snow issue again and the $$$ issue. Another tire that I have looked at is the General Altimax HP. It also gets high marks for everyday performance and wear-ability, probably the same in the snow as the 912's but the tread pattern is very similar to the A/S's. Take a look:
General Altimax HP
Michelin Pilot Sport A/S
Anyway that my .02.
 

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04 Forester 5MT
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These get high marks and some here ride them happily. Falken Ziex ZE-912 tires - Reviews, ratings and specs in the Orlando Area - Discount Tire/America's Tire
They should do OK for light snow and the offroading you will be doing and will give you better performance for the majority of your driving. I don't have them yet but they are in my top 2 as OEM replacements. The size of the tire is almost dead on to the OEM's so the speedo will not be off much if any. Maybe 1 mph either way + -, not sure.
I'm gonna say do not get falken 912s if you are going to encounter snow AT ALL. You will slide with them, you will engage ABS with them, you will not have confidence while driving in/on winter precipitation. I'm speaking from personal experience. Now if you don't see winter precipitation then sure, 912s are a good cheap tire.
 

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SG9 Forester XT Stick Shift
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I have very bad experience with Ziek 912 on snow. I would highly recommend against it if you even thinking you will need some snow capability.

I just bought my 912 last summer after all the good review here and found out it sucks big time first time it snows a few months ago. I got lucky once, I hit a curb but only damaged a wheel a little and no damage to suspension or body part and that is actually after I got it siped at discount tire. Braking and acceleration improved significantly but directional control still sucks big time.

I bought a dedicated snow wheel and tire set since its about the same price as my insurance deductible and a lot less hassle and aggravation. Not to mention my family safety worth million times the price of the winter tire and wheel set.

If you would never encounter snow I highly recommend the 912. Its a very good tire in other area and the price is right too.
 

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2004 Forester XT Premium 4EAT
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I agree with some of the other posters re: the ZE912's (and also the ZE329's, which are basically the directional version of the same tire). They are very summer-oriented... Ok in rain, but do not grip so well in temps below 40 degrees and especially in snow. We're running the 912's on our 98 Forester, and they like to be nicely warmed up to exhibit their best grip. Awesome tire for California weather, EXCEPT for that one snow trip...
 

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Get summer tires and get a set of cheap wheels for winter tires! =)

I run Goodyear Eagle F1 GSD3 in the summer and Dunlops Wintersport 3Ds in the winter. ;)
 

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2016 Outback and WRX CVT
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^ :wink:

^^^
TSI........If you read his post as I did he stated he does A ski trip a year. I don't think living in Southern Cali I would give up everyday performance and handling in wet and dry for 1 trip in the snow and 1 camping trip but that's me. I would go off-road (my version---mild), and I would prefer to have performance tire that would get by. Also I take into consideration, when I look at reviews, that people that rate these tires are not in a FOZ and my feeling is that it improves the ability of the tire to have AWD especially symmetrical traction. Most are lucky if they have 2 wheels with complete traction. I know you are trying to be objective so please don't feel like I am bashing you here. These are just my opinions and observations.
No, no, please don't misunderstand - I'm actually from the same camp as you: I'm among those who think that the choice needs to be up to the end-user, in terms of whether they want tires that satisfy them for the 75% of their usual commute, or if they want to sacrifice, in some way or another, during that 75%, for performance/capabilities for the remaining 25%.

It's never an easy choice to make, and I truly believe, in my core, that it's something that only the end-user can fairly judge. :smile:

Like you, despite my living in the Snow Belt of Cleveland, Ohio, I choose, specifically, "Performance Winters," giving up a bit of wintry-weather traction so that I can still have some good fun in the clear. I feel that the trade-off is worth it. Others may not.

As such, I completely understand what you're saying, and I am inclined to agree with you, based on how you specifically reasoned/predicated your specific outlook, your specific "take."

Indeed, as you said, I was simply examining the issue in a purely objective manner, based on recognized reviews (Stateside, with CR, for starters, which reviewed this tire on the year of its introduction) of the 912, and especially as compared to their immediate predecessor, the 512. And it is based solely in this context - one in which that the wintry-precip. performance of the 912s is judged solely on its own, without an external framework (i.e. the end-user's personal preferences) to fit into, if you will - that I bring up the shortcomings of this tire, as well as my recommendations on siping the tire, if wintry-precip. is something that this tire is going to be expected to see.

Here in NE-Ohio, in the early '00s, the Falken ZIEX-ZE512 were highly regarded in terms of their affordability-to-overall-performance quotient, and that included wintry-weather capabilities. As a matter of fact, both my '05 LGT as well as my wife's '05 WRX (which was replaced by her current '09 FXT, upon going off-lease) each spent one winter with the 512s, and the tire fared very, very well, for "high-performance all-seasons."

However, as you can see, both in terms of professional/published reviews as well as our own userbase, the 912 revision did not improve on this portion of the equation, over the 512 - and it can even be said that the 912s are more suited to a fairer-weather setup, while the 512s suit the "light snow" category a bit more.

I agree with Silke on the Mich Pilot Sports A/S's, I had them and they are fantastic, but there is the snow issue again and the $$$ issue. Another tire that I have looked at is the General Altimax HP. It also gets high marks for everyday performance and wear-ability, probably the same in the snow as the 912's but the tread pattern is very similar to the A/S's. Take a look:
General Altimax HP
Michelin Pilot Sport A/S
Anyway that my .02.
The Pilot Sport A/S's winter performance is supposedly improved upon by its new replacement this season, the A/S+. Given the comparative review from this past December's C&D, as well as early reviews from fellow Subaru enthusiasts, indeed, I think that it could be a very viable "light snow" performance "all-season."

In a lot of ways, these new "evolutions" are spreading throughout the "tire-dom." Look at the new revision of the Pirelli P-Zero Nero, the "A/S" variant, as opposed to the previous-generation "M+S" variant, of which also garnered some rather severe criticism for their relative lack of wintry-precip. traction (with some of the most stinging commentary coming from fellow Subaru owners).

It will be very interesting to see what the OP finally decides on - particularly as time goes on and the tires wear.

For, as you well pointed out, with such occasional ventures to ski-land, the simple fact that from one season to another, the OP could see noticeable differences in tread-depth, which will, itself alone, greatly affect the capabilities of the vehicle in both powder and slush.
 

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MY08 Forester 2.5XT
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Please excuse me for thread-jacking, but Ahmad, are you actually running those tires now? Do you have pics? I've been thinking of doing the same thing, since they're about the only reasonable choice for an A/T on my stock wheels.
Yes I have been running it for about 6months and the Foz is loving it. I will post pics soon, cos wifey got to drive it daily now. Yes, its the only size of A/T tires suitable on our stock FXT wheels :biggrin:
 

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MY08 Forester 2.5XT
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These are the pics I took. Kinda dark cos its night time in an enclosed car park. As you can see, our rear wheel well are very limited, it fits just nice. Don't think it can fit 225/65/17 though.

Front wheel:


Rear wheel:


Side % Front view:


 

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Nothing to worry about. I would say averaging about 3-4km/h difference. Yes, I'm on 1.4" spacer lift. It's pretty obvious on the side view pic.
 
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