('14-'18) Why I went with 235/60 R17 on my stock '18 XT. Cooper Discoverer AT3 4S to be exact. - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 07:29 PM Thread Starter
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Why I went with 235/60 R17 on my stock '18 XT. Cooper Discoverer AT3 4S to be exact.

After switching to a Forester late last year from 3 previous WRX's, I really wanted to get a beefier tire. I hadn't been too active on NASIOC anymore so I was happy to come across SubaruForester.org.

I did the obligatory search and came across plenty of threads with stock Foresters running a beefier tire. The two threads I gravitated towards however were Boone's 2014 Forester XT Touring & Boone's 2018 Forester XT Touring. I must admit I really loved SuBooneru's setup. Well, that and he had some great photographs. The '18 setup was exactly what I was looking for. 17" wheels with bigger rubber, a better look, some improved off-road capability and keeping the OEM suspension.

I looked at various different wheels. On Friday morning, I headed to my local Discount Tire. Like always, they worked up some magical deal on the wheels and tires. In the end, I decided on the same Drag DR-31's with a +35 offset that Boone had. Well, why stop there? I've always had good luck with Hankook Dynapro's so I ordered some 235/65 R17's. I did go with the newer Dynapro AT2 RF11 though. It's their newer version, and a bit better for the street. I live in Texas, Houston to be exact. I'm on roads nearly 95% of the time, and I like to road trip long distances to National Parks. So a bigger tire would be nice for the crappy roads here and the few times I'm exploring off-road.

Done, they're on order and I'm departing for a 3000-mile road trip to Colorado & Rocky Mountain National Park in 1 weeks time with the wifey. I was on the fence at the time about a lift and was considering a Subtle Solutions setup, something from 1 1/2" to 2". Since I was there at Discount Tire, I decided to call Subtle Solutions. I mentioned I had ordered some 235/65 R17's and was still on the stock OEM suspension setup. I could be wrong, but I felt as though they pitched some dire situation of constant rubbing during our road trip if I went with the 235/65 R17's. I had this feeling like it was a high-pressure sales pitch. One, the lift was really not in the budget, and two I just didn't want to wrench 1 whole day right before my road trip. All this after I had seen multiple posts about that size tire working on a stock Forester. What I hadn't seen though was how that tire worked with a loaded down Forester with 2 bikes on the back.

This was really in my head quite a bit. I talked to the manager at Discount Tire but I already knew they would recommend the more conservative size. I shot Boone a PM but don't think he ever saw it. I really wanted to know if he ever had his Forester loaded down with gear and if the tires rubbed. I couldn't really find an answer regarding that so I started a new thread search for other tires sizes that would surely work with no issues on a stock Forester. It came down to two really, either a 225/65 R17 or a 235/60 R17. I hit up a wheel offset visualizer to see the difference of various combinations. Indeed I think the 235/65 setup would work but it was pushing things very tight. On the other hand, the 235/60 setup was pretty close to stock. So, I could get a beefier tire, off-road tread and the speedo would read about the same.

Tire choices at this size are nill so I went with the Cooper Discoverer AT3 4S. I can honestly say, this tire is awesome. I didn't notice much of a drop in MPG in the city if any at all. On my 3000-mile road trip, I really can't give an accurate measurement. The first part of my trip about 300 miles through flat land, I noticed about a -1 MPG difference. Keep in mind, my Forester was loaded down, had a roof rack now, cargo basket and loaded cargo bag. That along with a Thule rack on the back with 2 mountain bikes. When my Forester was new I went to Lubbock, TX and back (about 1100 miles) and averaged 24.5 MPG. This trip, I did about 3000 miles, hit the mountains, 1 tornado warning storm, 1 blizzard, a desert and averaged 21.0 MPG. The Coopers have no additional road noise, they felt great in the rain and way confident in the snow and ice. I'm definitely a Cooper convert now.

In the end, I'm 100% happy that I went with the 235/60 R17. I experienced absolutely no rubbing, even at full lock tight turns, off-road loaded down with gear and the tires look great. Hope this helps anyone trying to decide on which tire size to go with on their stock setup.

https://tiresize.com/wheel-offset-calculator/

Comparison between 235/65 R17 and 235/60 R17 vs the stock XT setup of 225/55 R18:





The new Drag DR-31's with Cooper Discoverer AT3 4S (235/60 R17)







Setup on unloaded Forester





Setup with loaded down Forester with bikes on the back





Closeup of the clearance when loaded down



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Last edited by hotrodguru; 05-28-2019 at 01:59 AM.
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 07:30 PM Thread Starter
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Some additional pics showing the car and tires in various conditions











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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 07:31 PM Thread Starter
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delete please

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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 07:33 PM Thread Starter
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 07:34 PM Thread Starter
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 04:03 AM Thread Starter
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Man, I came to this Forester forum from NASIOC. Sent 2 PMs to peeps, 1 to a moderator and no response. No replies to comments or questions on threads. Thought this was an active forum?
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 09:46 PM
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Looks great man! Giving me ideas.

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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 02:03 AM
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Without any type of A/B test, it would be difficult to determine if the changes that you made improved the handling or were just for looks.. Were any comparisons made before your trip and what did all of the changes cost?
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 06:17 AM
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I was going back and forth on tire brands and sizes recently. In the end, on my '19, I went with the Discoverer AT3 4S as well but in 215/65R17 and on Drag DR-66 in 17 x 7 +40. The overall weight was a match to the OEM setup and the height only increased by 3/8". Next time, I might go with them in the 235/60R17 fitment. The Cooper tire has been great, in my limited amount of miles on them so far (just over 1K). The ride quality is excellent and noise level, as far as I can tell, hasn't changed from stock.

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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 07:09 AM
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Could you speak a little about why you decided to go with 235/60 R17 over the 225/65 R17? Just to stay closer to stock wheel diameter?

I went with the 225/65/17s (Geolander G015) on my '18xt to counteract the loss of clearance after I put on the primitive racing skid plates. I don't plan on doing anything crazy - mostly a daily driver - but I want to feel more comfortable driving to dispersed camping sites on BLM/Forest service/National parks.

The Discoverer looks a little more aggressive tread wise, too. Whats your opinion on the wider tire now that you've driven it for awhile?

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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 12:18 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pnwchuy View Post
Looks great man! Giving me ideas.
Thanks man! And yay, this thread is alive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by danornan View Post
Without any type of A/B test, it would be difficult to determine if the changes that you made improved the handling or were just for looks.. Were any comparisons made before your trip and what did all of the changes cost?
Well I didn't expect the changes to improve the handling. I simply wanted a bit better off-road capability and of course I like the look. The only type of A/B testing I did was a few road trips. My Forester is still relatively new so had only done one long trip with the OEM setup.

Quote:
Originally Posted by coregrind View Post
I was going back and forth on tire brands and sizes recently. In the end, on my '19, I went with the Discoverer AT3 4S as well but in 215/65R17 and on Drag DR-66 in 17 x 7 +40. The overall weight was a match to the OEM setup and the height only increased by 3/8". Next time, I might go with them in the 235/60R17 fitment. The Cooper tire has been great, in my limited amount of miles on them so far (just over 1K). The ride quality is excellent and noise level, as far as I can tell, hasn't changed from stock.
Same here, the ride quality is excellent. I'm also happy I dropped down a wheel size for some crappy inner city roads.

Quote:
Originally Posted by uhuhuh View Post
Could you speak a little about why you decided to go with 235/60 R17 over the 225/65 R17? Just to stay closer to stock wheel diameter?

I went with the 225/65/17s (Geolander G015) on my '18xt to counteract the loss of clearance after I put on the primitive racing skid plates. I don't plan on doing anything crazy - mostly a daily driver - but I want to feel more comfortable driving to dispersed camping sites on BLM/Forest service/National parks.

The Discoverer looks a little more aggressive tread wise, too. Whats your opinion on the wider tire now that you've driven it for awhile?
Correct, once I decided I wasn't going with the 235/65 R17 I decided to stay close to the OEM wheel diameter. And your reason for BLM/Forest service/National parks, etc... is the exaxt reason I wanted to change the setup. The wider tire feels a tad bit heavier on the steering response but nothing too noticeable. And as aggressive as the tires look, I really can't tell the difference between them and the OEM ones. I can tell you they worked EXCELLENTLY in snow, ice and in heavy rainfall.

Another reason for going with a 60 instead of the taller 65 was the fear of rubbing when loaded down. I also want the primitive racing skid plates but I do think I'll lose a little ground clearance. Especially if loaded down for camping. I am thinking of a small lift just to counter the loaded down drop.
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 06:12 AM
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Thanks for this thread. Looking to change a 2019's wheels and tires and this thread has the best explanations of the trade offs in a comprehendible manner that I've come across yet.

Any link to the wheel visualizer in the first post?
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 06:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotrodguru View Post
Man, I came to this Forester forum from NASIOC. Sent 2 PMs to peeps, 1 to a moderator and no response. No replies to comments or questions on threads. Thought this was an active forum?
Welcome to the forums and nice first thread..... I thought that username was familiar.... ex old school Nabisco person here too. (SCIC, don't hate)

This forum is active and the mods do respond. The lack of response may have been from XYZ life reasons...

I think the necessity to have the mods babysit the threads like those on Nasioc isn't as pressing here. But I can understand any frustration if you were looking for answers in a time crunch.

Thanks for sharing the pictures/feedback. The Coopers have a great following and were on the list for me when I ended up going with Michelin LTX M/S.

And of course...

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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 07:42 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for this thread. Looking to change a 2019's wheels and tires and this thread has the best explanations of the trade offs in a comprehendible manner that I've come across yet.

Any link to the wheel visualizer in the first post?
Thanks! And ask and you shall receive - https://tiresize.com/wheel-offset-calculator/

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeyChris View Post
Welcome to the forums and nice first thread..... I thought that username was familiar.... ex old school Nabisco person here too. (SCIC, don't hate)

This forum is active and the mods do respond. The lack of response may have been from XYZ life reasons...

I think the necessity to have the mods babysit the threads like those on Nasioc isn't as pressing here. But I can understand any frustration if you were looking for answers in a time crunch.

Thanks for sharing the pictures/feedback. The Coopers have a great following and were on the list for me when I ended up going with Michelin LTX M/S.

And of course...
Haha, got it man. I updated my profile a bit. So when can I group all the photos under the original post instead of having like 4 separate replies? And to hotlink the photos do I need one of those optional memberships?
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 07:47 AM
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hotrodguru. welcome to the forum. Excellent post on your tire/wheel choice and fitment. We know there are a lot of choices when it comes to tires and wheels these days, we appreciate you sharing your buying experience with Discount tire.

Thank you for posting the awesome photos as well. That was a ton of snow in a couple of them. Glad to hear you are happy with their performance.
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