Subaru Forester Owners Forum banner
1 - 20 of 40 Posts

·
Registered
2005 Subaru Forester Manual
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I live in Vermont which is infamous for its hazardous slippery winter roads. I own a 2005 Subaru forester and I need advice on the best winter tires I can get for a decent price. Thanks for reading!
-Krista
 

·
Supporting Vendor
Tire & Wheel Specialists
Joined
·
1,112 Posts
If you are looking for winter tires for your stock wheels here's a link to some options. I'd recommend looking at the Hankook W419. This tire offers great winter traction and is available with or without studs. Shipping is FREE: Tire Products - Discount Tire Direct

Let us know if you are interested in a winter wheel and tire package. We have some excellent options for that and we'd be happy to help you more.
 

·
Registered
2006 STI
Joined
·
6,975 Posts
I am having my winter tyres fitted tomorrow; Hankook W310.

We don't get winters like you I'm guessing. :biggrin:

Either way, good reviews and a keen price. Hoping they live up to expectations.
 

·
Registered
2016 Outback and WRX CVT
Joined
·
2,551 Posts
Hi, I live in Vermont which is infamous for its hazardous slippery winter roads. I own a 2005 Subaru forester and I need advice on the best winter tires I can get for a decent price. Thanks for reading!
-Krista
Define best.

There's no one tire that will be "best" in all conditions.

You'll have to first decide if it's the more average 75% of conditions that you're trying to prepare for, or if it's the worst 25%.

Keep in mind that just because the tire is "best" for that worst 25% doesn't mean that it will weather through the most average 75% of your commutes just as well - winter tires, even with modern technology, are still a tremendous compromise, and for the capability to weather the worst, it's well possible that you're going to be giving up some performance and handling traits when the roads aren't covered in the slipperiest of stuff.

What does this mean, on the most visceral level? That you're going to be trading "safety" in one sense for "safety" in another. An "All Season" will not stop or perform as well in the snow or on the ice than a winter tire, but it's also just as true that a winter tire will not stop or perform as well as an "All Season" tire in the clear. Even as you dissect through the different sub-genres of winter tires, all the way from the least winter-capable (comparatively) "All Weather" tires to "Performance Winters" to "Studless Ice & Snow" to the most hardened studded winter tires, these compromises continue to exist on that same sliding scale.

There is no best, only what better or worse fits your unique driving needs and wants.

Some past threads to consider:

http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f72/winter-tire-recomendation-2-5x-touring-209290/
http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f72/winter-tire-2013-x-233666/
http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f72/all-weather-216698/
http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f72/best-tires-rain-some-snow-220210/
http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f72/snows-st-louis-218154/
http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f72/winter-tires-extreme-cold-225802/
http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f72/snow-tires-2014-2-0xt-forester-233066/
http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f72/moving-alaska-snow-tire-227762/
http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f72/winter-tires-200554/
http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f72/seasonal-winter-change-235433/
 

·
Registered
2006 STI
Joined
·
6,975 Posts
Interesting.

I have never yet encountered the view that a winter tyre is a "tremendous compromise". My understanding was that the key to how the compounds operate was the temperature, rather than there being ice on the road, for example.

With this in mind, below that "magical" temperature, your winter tyre (note, not a snow tyre) comes into its own.
 

·
Registered
2016 Outback and WRX CVT
Joined
·
2,551 Posts
^ That's what the marketing types want you to believe. :wink: That there is some magical temperature (to-note that this temperature is typically based on the fact that in most of the rest of the world with the exception of the North American marketplace, the "All Season" genre does not exist - t the 7 deg. C./45 deg. F. switch-point is much more applicable to the compounds found in what we here in North America would attribute to dedicated "summer tires") or that winter tires are suitable for all your winter commuting needs. It's simply not true.

From as early as 2005, our Russian brothers and sisters have said that there's no safety to be gained in switching to winter tires too early nor delaying their switchover in the spring to a later date: the real decision point comes in the form of whether/when there will be frozen precipitation on the roadway itself.

To support this assertion (which was itself based on quantitative data), years later, we're presented with data from a North American publication. Check out this old Car & Driver cross-comparison of Michelin's All-Season versus winter tires of different sub-genres:

2009 Winter Tire Test - Comparison Tests

Take note of the raw data, and note that this is a cross-spectrum test of just one manufacturer's offerings - it's thus self-validating.

Look at the temperature at which the tests were conducted.

Also pay attention to the different raw data I've linked to and cited in the in-linked posts above.

It's always a compromise - increased safety (greater performance envelope) in the wintry stuff simply means that when the roadway surfaces do not carry such a covering, even when it is cold, the performance envelope will not be there: so in order to ostensibly be "safe" under such conditions, you'll need to modify your driving to take into account the decreased performance capabilities of that tire. In terms of winter tires, this means to mind the performance of the tire not only in the wet, but also in the clear.

No one single tire can do it all.

At least not yet. :smile:

And here, you mention "snow tire."

That is outdated vocabulary. :wink: Over the past decade and a half or so, the industry and automobile as well as tire-enthusiast communities has come to sub-divide winter tires into several sub-genres here in North America, as based on a sliding scale of their relative merits and weaknesses when it comes to handling various wintry conditions:

  • - "All Weather"
  • - "Performance Winter"
  • - "Studless Ice & Snow"
  • - "studdable winter"

In the rest of the world, terminology is a bit different in terms of the last three sub-genres, but nevertheless, the performance spectrum remains.

Each sub-genre represents a compromise of some performance characteristics for another, and as you progressively steer away from one side of the spectrum, the more you're going to be compromising.

Here in the United States, for example, the full spectrum is represented by:

  • - Racing tire (I'm lumping this category, which has sub-divisions of its own, as this is probably as far as anyone would get in terms of roadgoing tires, with a US Department of Transportation "DOT-legal" racing tire)
  • - "Extreme Performance" summer
  • - "Max Performance" summer
  • - "Ultra High Performance (UHP)" summer
  • - "UHP All Season"
  • - "High Performance All Season"
  • - "Grand Touring All Season"
  • - "All Weather"
  • - "Performance Winter"
  • - "Studless Ice & Snow"
  • - studdable "Winter"

Different parts of the world will have different names for tires that exists along this spectrum, but the compromises always remain the same. :smile:
 

·
Registered
2004 Forester XT 5 Speed
Joined
·
740 Posts
We just bought a set of blizzak ws70s for my fozz. My dads used them for about 10 years (3 sets I think) on his FWD van and loves them. My friends put blizzaks on their outback and golf TDI, never had a problem with snow.

Sent from my Nexus 4
 

·
Registered
2012 Forester X 5 MT
Joined
·
881 Posts
I'm going to get my self in a lot of trouble with this post but...

I just sold my '91 Volvo 240 wagon which has to be the very worst snow performer, other than an old pickup truck.

In my 22 years of ownership here in NH, I always used just regular all-season radials. I got stuck once in those 22 years - in my own driveway. My wife pulled me out of the ditch that I slid into with her '09 Outback (also with 4-season radials). And I didn't just drive on cleared pavement - sometimes I got stuck out in a storm. Wise driving and a MT kept me out of trouble.

Now I drive a Forester with its high clearance and AWD. The thought of needing special snow tires makes me snicker. Sorry.

Of course, those that need to (or choose to) drive through deep snow can certainly justify using snows but, for the average suburban commuter, nah.
 

·
Registered
2004 Forester XS Auto
Joined
·
150 Posts
I've been happy with the Michelin x-ice I have mounted on steelies. I live in southern Ontario and it does seem to make a significant difference in winter handling.
 

·
Moderator
2004 Forester 4EAT
Joined
·
5,465 Posts
I'm going to get my self in a lot of trouble with this post but...

I just sold my '91 Volvo 240 wagon which has to be the very worst snow performer, other than an old pickup truck.

In my 22 years of ownership here in NH, I always used just regular all-season radials. I got stuck once in those 22 years - in my own driveway. My wife pulled me out of the ditch that I slid into with her '09 Outback (also with 4-season radials). And I didn't just drive on cleared pavement - sometimes I got stuck out in a storm. Wise driving and a MT kept me out of trouble.

Now I drive a Forester with its high clearance and AWD. The thought of needing special snow tires makes me snicker. Sorry.

Of course, those that need to (or choose to) drive through deep snow can certainly justify using snows but, for the average suburban commuter, nah.
I've read more than one review that said awd was pointless, and the reviewer would rather have a fwd with good snow tires than awd. No one ever answered the question of would they ultimately want awd AND snow tires. You are probably right; if the roads in your area are well maintained, snow tire may not be needed. But if they are not, or you get lots of ice, having the right equipment might be more than just a luxury. Last year I made it through the winter with General Grabber AT2's. It did fine, but my wife slid it into a hedge once or twice. Always because of ice, not snow. This year, we will be running studded WS70's.

One thing to remember when driving this winter; AWD means nothing when you're trying to stop. Leave more space!
 

·
Registered
2016 Outback and WRX CVT
Joined
·
2,551 Posts
I'm going to get my self in a lot of trouble with this post but...

I just sold my '91 Volvo 240 wagon which has to be the very worst snow performer, other than an old pickup truck.

In my 22 years of ownership here in NH, I always used just regular all-season radials. I got stuck once in those 22 years - in my own driveway. My wife pulled me out of the ditch that I slid into with her '09 Outback (also with 4-season radials). And I didn't just drive on cleared pavement - sometimes I got stuck out in a storm. Wise driving and a MT kept me out of trouble.

Now I drive a Forester with its high clearance and AWD. The thought of needing special snow tires makes me snicker. Sorry.

Of course, those that need to (or choose to) drive through deep snow can certainly justify using snows but, for the average suburban commuter, nah.
I don't think you're out-of-line, at all.

The truth of the matter is that if you can stay within the envelope of the tires you're on, you're golden. A lot of it is just how well any one particular driver drives in the wintry stuff.

With that said, the other aspect of the equation is those emergency or otherwise unforeseen circumstances where the driver puts the tires over their performance envelope without intent (or with purest intent otherwise!).

Assuming that we're all wise enough to avoid the good o'Subris, appropriate tires simply allow for a greater margin of error and leaves more room for emergency handling.


----


I've read more than one review that said awd was pointless, and the reviewer would rather have a fwd with good snow tires than awd.
AWD is definitely far from pointless, but yes, FWD with good winter tires will most likely far exceed AWD in all but a few very, very extreme circumstances.

It's all about getting traction at the contact patches. In wintry conditions, properly matched-for-conditions winter tires will have traction where there will not be, for tires less well matched.

It's really as simple as the physics, which you alluded to here:

One thing to remember when driving this winter; AWD means nothing when you're trying to stop. Leave more space!
:smile:

This year, we will be running studded WS70's.
? :confused:
 

·
Registered
2010 Forester Premium X AT
Joined
·
1,000 Posts
FWIW, my Civic SI with performance winter tires (Blizzak LM-25) handled far better in the snow than the forester on new all-seasons (yokohama envigors). I found that AWD has a tendency to understeer if the front tires dont grip well, I believe because the rear wheels push through the turning radius. However, once I got performance winter tires on the forester, it was definitely a game changer and was far better than the FWD civic in the snow.
 

·
Registered
2006 STI
Joined
·
6,975 Posts
One thing to remember when driving this winter; AWD means nothing when you're trying to stop. Leave more space!
:lol:

Yep, the laws of physics cannot be broken, regardless of how many wheels are driven!

You should try telling that to the average BMW X5 driver where I live. They also think their four-wheel drive will magic them round corners in the snow!
 

·
Registered
2016 Outback and WRX CVT
Joined
·
2,551 Posts
^ Here in the US, the popular radio talk-show hosts "Click and Clack: the Tappet Brothers", on National Public Radio's Car Talk segment, calls those Subarus in the ditches cases of "Subris," which I mentioned earlier.

None of us are immune to the laws of physics. :smile:
 

·
Registered
2016 Outback and WRX CVT
Joined
·
2,551 Posts
Interesting.

I have never yet encountered the view that a winter tyre is a "tremendous compromise". My understanding was that the key to how the compounds operate was the temperature, rather than there being ice on the road, for example.

With this in mind, below that "magical" temperature, your winter tyre (note, not a snow tyre) comes into its own.
Getting back to this one for a little. :icon_biggrin:

Êàê çàêàëÿëñÿ ëåä

^ Look, for example, at where the typically top-ranked Michelin Xi-3 ended up on the slushplaning resistance test.

Even within one specific category of tire, there's compromises to be made. Choose the tire that best fits your specific driving conditions - and remember that those conditions are not just based on temperature, but also the types of precipitation seen (but here, you'll find that it can again go back to being temperature-dependent, in my links above, you'll find Russian tests which show how studded winter tires versus "Studless Ice & Snow" winter tires fare on icy surfaces - and their performance is highly temperature dependent).

Tires are a very cool part of the automotive hobby. There's lots of complexities involved, it's ever-changing (how well the Bridgestone WS70 fares this year as compared to its performance last year is a good example, as the makers will typically tweak their invisible factors such as compound formulation over the years), and a lot of intrigue, too (Continental Tires, years ago, submitted specially formulated "ringer" tires to various European testing groups - what a scandal that created). :cool:
 

·
Registered
2016 Outback and WRX CVT
Joined
·
2,551 Posts
^ In the North American market, I completely agree.
 

·
Registered
14 Forester XT CVT
Joined
·
339 Posts
I have conti ewc on my Legacy and love them. The forester is getting brand new altimax artics.

I've driven rwd, fwd, 4x4 and awd in the snow. I'll take my subie with winter tires anyday over the other options. In real deep snow a good 4x4 like a jeep is better, but all else the subie is imo

Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 
1 - 20 of 40 Posts
Top