Originally posted by babea
In the market for some new studded tires for a 03' Outback and need to know what is the best size and brand. What do the numbers on the tire mean?
Numbers are usually for passenger tires:
Where NNN is the tread width in millimeters
YY is the sidewall height in percentage of tread width
HH is the wheel radius
For example, for more recent Outbacks:
225mm tread, sidewall height is 55% of tread width, 17" wheel
For somewhat older Outbacks like my parents' 2004 base model, and from the looks of it the same for your year (at least for base models):
225mm tread, sidewall height is 60% of tread width, 16" wheel
So most likely yours are 225/60R16
For sizes, to be honest if you're asking what these numbers mean you should be sticking with tires of the exact same size as what came with your vehicle. About the only exception would be if you get a reccommended winter tire and wheel package from tirerack.com for your specific car, although it looks like unlike for the newer Outbacks that come with 225/55R17s, Tire Rack does NOT reccommend wheel undersizing (down to 16" for Outbacks that come with 17") for snow tires on Outbacks that come with 16" wheels.
Goodyear Assurance TripleTreds are extremely popular with many Outback drivers, and they get the highest ratings in their class on both TireRack's user survey and TireRack's own road tests. They unfortunately do supposedly reduce gas mileage a bit. (I don't know as I've had my 2009 for 2 months and so am still on the original Crapenzas and will be for quite a while except in winter)
Edit: Oops somehow missed that you were looking for studdeds. Firestone Winterforce are pretty cheap ($81 each) in P225/60R16 which is your size. Those are the only studdable tires in 225/60R16 on Tire Rack that have any survey results. Bridgestone Blizzak WS-60s are studless winter but are rated as good as or better than the Winterforces in nearly every category. Once you include the studding fee they are only $5 per tire more than the Winterforces.
- entries that are bold with a dot are available in 225/60R16
There are a few more choices in P215/65R16, which Tire Rack seems to think is an OK alternative size.