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2006 Forester 2.5 XTEN Manual
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When I say "3", clearly I'm not considering fitting a car with anything less than 4 Winters! :) .....I think I've narrowed it down to a trio of tyre types based on their reviews and price.

Which do you prefer on your Forester?

Nokian WR A3
Vredestein Wintrac Extreme
Hankook iCept Evo W310

All 3 weigh in at very similar money.

We live down a mile long farm track so they need to be able to handle mud here at home and down the road at the livery yard where Mrs R's horse lives (and chews through our savings ;-))

Snow tends to drift across the fields onto the tracks, so that's a consideration.

She'll be using the car (Mrs R, not the dobbin) to commute on cold wet, icy, slushy roads to work and obviously through snow at some point.

Fuel economy and road noise are the least of my priorities.

Hopefully anything other than the Geolanders currently fitted will make the ride a little firmer too. Certainly did on last Winter's 3.0Rn Outback anyway!
 

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I have just put the Hankooks on, but too early to comment I'm afraid.

However, they were notably cheaper than the other two at my local tyre place... by notably, I mean fitted price was about £100 or so different.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Just when I thought I'd made a decision, two different online suppliers' prices have taken me back to the drawing board.

Nokian WR A3 215 55 17 - £102 each delivered
Hankook Icept Evo W310 - £112 each delivered
Vredestein Wintrac Xtreme - £114 each delivered
3 days delivery from both firms who will drop at my local Kwikfit - Fitting and balancing on top is £10 per wheel.

Has anyone found a deal to beat that?
 

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2008 GRB 20th anniversary 6 MT
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Had the Nokians so far and have put on the Vreds, will not know how they compare until I put them on at the end of the month. Will keep you posted.
Tyrereviews show them both being pretty similar.
 

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00 I've had allsorts both
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I had the iCept Evo's on the FSTi and the following year on the Legacy 3.0ltr R...they were superb..so much so i left them on right through till the spring and beyond!!

They are a little more performance orientated i would say..for your purpose i would go for the Vred's...i have just put the Wintrac Extremes on my Rav4 for this winter...more aggresive tyre pattern..can't comment yet, it is still relatively mild!

Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

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I did what fildigger did but I used Nokian WRG2s which were before the a3s. I thought they were amazing. Fit in autumn so they're pretty worn the next spring ready for use as summer tyres. I got 20k miles out of a set!
 

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2006 forester 2.5 xt manual
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Wr a3

Hi, I've had the WR A3'S on for about a year now and i think they are a great Tyre in the wet, and even using over the summer they still have a lot of tread left, but as far as mud and snow is concerned I'm not a fan, had a few moments!! don't think i will use again when worn out, ill probably go back to Geolanders or Bridgestones which i never had any problems with.
 

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One nice thing on Nokians though is the tread depth indicators.
 

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2008 GRB 20th anniversary 6 MT
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WRG2s have tread depth indicators for snow, they can be used on snow down to 4mm.
The Vreds don't have snow tread depth indicators, just normal worn indicators and when you are down to them they will be dangerous on snow.
 

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MY07 Forester 2.0X, 2.5XT 5M, 4EAT
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WRG2s have tread depth indicators for snow, they can be used on snow down to 4mm.
The Vreds don't have snow tread depth indicators, just normal worn indicators and when you are down to them they will be dangerous on snow.
winter tyres are useless when down to 4mm and already quite impaired when down to 6-5mm, which is usually when sensible people, on the continent change them...and here one can then get this "bargain"- pre owned, "almost new" (and almost useless) winter tyres with the whooping 6mm tread left from Germany...
 

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We don't get the same drier snow they have abroad. Our wet mush is easily tackled on 6mm tread on any tyre. Winters help a lot but not essential. Last winter I used summers all through snow and had no worries. I have fitted winters this year though as they feel more secure.

If you don't go far why spend the extra dosh? I'll do 10k plus miles this winter so I can justify the cost.
 

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Just remember that:
- new winter tyres have 10-15mm of tread- there is a good reason for it when you consider how they work and what they are supposed to cope with...
- the performance of winter tyres starts to deteriorate rapidly when the tread wears down to ~6mm. At this point many drivers in Europe decide to get rid of them and it is advisable to change winter tyres at tread depth 6-4mm.
- winter tyres are considered completely worn when the tread reaches 4mm. In some jurisdictions (for instance Austria) it is a motoring offence to use winter tyres with less than 4mm of tread left. The performance of a winter tyre with 4mm of tread on the snow/slush could be compared to the performance of a summer tyre with 1.6mm tread in the wet- dangerous...
It's not a necessity to have them on here but looking at previous winters it does make sense if one can afford it etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for everyone's replies on tyre choice - Think I might try the Vredesteins this time....I'm being swayed by the aggressive pattern which looks like it might "do" mud a bit better than the Hankooks. Still interested in the Nokians but I think it may be they are better on snow and ice than they are on mud and slush???

With experience of both, and at the risk of sounding like I've got my soapbox out, I can agree entirely with posts about the difference between no Winter tyres, part worn and new - It's like the difference between dark and light.
They're not just for stopping you getting stuck, but so that you are able to get around at a reasonable speed for the conditions rather than a gingerly crawl and safely both for yourself and your passengers and without compromising the convenience and safety of the other road users to do the same.

I tried part worn (5-6mm allegedly) Wintracs on a Saab 9-3 Aero Auto Convertible the other half had a few years ago. I also put new budget Winters (Infinity) on the same car the following year.
Both were a different world compared to Summer tyres.

Then I put brand new Hankooks on Mrs R's recently departed BMW 120d MSport Auto last year. Spanking new IceCept Evos on the fronts and Icebears on the larger rear wheels turned a car that should probably have got stuck at the sight of the first flake, into a snowmobile. It really was quite incredible in any situation. Snow, ice, cold standing water, cold damp roads. The only thing that stopped it was any more than 3 inches of truly fresh virgin snow because of the low ground clearance. It would then bank up on the nose and cover the grill which obviously wouldn't have been good for the cooling system.

I accept that we are talking 4 wheel drive with a Forester rather than rear wheel drive and we've had a different back-up Subaru every Winter for the past 4 years, everything from Impreza WRX Estates to last year's Outback 3.0Rn.
The difference between Summer and Winter tyres on all has been ENORMOUS. Far too much of a positive to ignore.

Lived in Germany for a number of years and still make the drive across to Berlin 3 or 4 times a year. Again in a couple of weeks actually by which time the first significant snow may well have fallen. Almost certainly the ambient temperature will be below 7 or 8 degrees. Not risking the Forester on a 9 hour drive, particularly there. If it's still dry and above freezing, no speeds limits for the most part once over the border and 600kms to dispense with, it's always too tempting to open the taps!

Anyway, Das Germans operate the October to Easter rule there. There's no law stating you HAVE to wear Winter tyres in that time - It's what they call a "Rule of Thumb".

However if there's snow, ice or slush on the road, or you get caught holding up traffic without them the Police will fine you. If you cause an accident without them the fine is larger and usually accompanied by a ban (Incidentally, their speeding bans are amusing - They usually last a week and you can take them whenever you like within a 12 month period. So most people take them whilst they are out of the country on holiday.).

It's widely accepted that having good +5mm depth Winter tyres on your car means you're far less likely to get stuck, be delayed and more importantly far less likely to have an accident that might cause an injury to others.
Despite it not being law, I have never come across a German who wouldn't have Winter tyres on their car. It's just part of the cost of motoring, like having a working engine. They know it's the safest most convenient thing to do for themselves and their passengers and the most considerate thing to do for the safety and convenience of other drivers sharing the roads with them.

Winter tyres here are still a growing market, although I'm really pleased to see how many more mainstream stockists there are every year - Kwikfit now even offer a German-style "Tyre Hotel" to leave your out of season set of wheels and tyres in.

However, still relatively few people use Winter tyres or think they're worthwhile despite the data, despite those countries who rule and legalise for them, and despite the first hand accounts from those who do use them.

So the biggest problem for those of us who do use Winter tyres in the Winter remains - Getting stuck behind someone dangerously slithering around or crawling along at 10mph hanging onto the steering wheel as if they've conceded all control of their own car to the weather....Those who drive too fast for the conditions and their tyres (including those who think Winter tyres make them invincible), and those at the other end of the scale, without a clue, who think the middle pedal is the answer for any potentially slippery obstacle up ahead.
 

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Just remember that:
- new winter tyres have 10-15mm of tread- there is a good reason for it when you consider how they work and what they are supposed to cope with...
- the performance of winter tyres starts to deteriorate rapidly when the tread wears down to ~6mm. At this point many drivers in Europe decide to get rid of them and it is advisable to change winter tyres at tread depth 6-4mm.
- winter tyres are considered completely worn when the tread reaches 4mm. In some jurisdictions (for instance Austria) it is a motoring offence to use winter tyres with less than 4mm of tread left. The performance of a winter tyre with 4mm of tread on the snow/slush could be compared to the performance of a summer tyre with 1.6mm tread in the wet- dangerous...
It's not a necessity to have them on here but looking at previous winters it does make sense if one can afford it etc.
I don't know where you got the figures of 10-15mm of tread in new winer tyres.
They have 8mm of tread new, at least that was the case in the ones I have tried (Michelin Pilot Alpin PA3, Nokian WRG2 and Dunlop Wintersport 4D).
And yes to be used in snow they need a minimum of 4mm of tread.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I don't know where you got the figures of 10-15mm of tread in new winer tyres.
They have 8mm of tread new, at least that was the case in the ones I have tried (Michelin Pilot Alpin PA3, Nokian WRG2 and Dunlop Wintersport 4D).
And yes to be used in snow they need a minimum of 4mm of tread.
Your "winer tyres" typo made me smile....Accurate if we're talking about Infinity Winter tyres.....Whine is exactly what mine did....Loudly!
 

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I don't know where you got the figures of 10-15mm of tread in new winer tyres.
They have 8mm of tread new, at least that was the case in the ones I have tried (Michelin Pilot Alpin PA3, Nokian WRG2 and Dunlop Wintersport 4D).
And yes to be used in snow they need a minimum of 4mm of tread.
Have to agree with the above.

Never heard of 10-15mm.... I guess all the winter tyres I have ever bought must have been half worn and came with markings saying 8mm on them !!
 
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