Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: The Ozarks
Car: 2010 Outback 2.5i Limited
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Yet another tire question
Hi all--gotta love this forum. I think I've read nearly all the pertinent posts here and on several other forums as well. And I've poured through reviews and tech sheets and everything I can find.... yet still haven't decided on which set of tires! Probably means they are all equally as good.
The situation: 2010 Outback 2.5i Limited, nearly 60K on the original ProContacts. They still have quite a lot of tread, but going into winter...time for new shoes. Preferably ones that are on the quiet side.
The terrain: very hilly and curvy. Can't buy a passing zone. Wife soon to have a 17 mile commute to work. Most of our driving is on 2-lane blacktop, very little gravel (except the 1/2 mile driveway--but snow on that isn't a problem, my full-sized road grader takes care of that!), and highway. Did I mention the 2-lanes are very hilly and curvy? Not uncommon to see a car in the trees. Literally.
The weather: Winter is on the milder side (at least the last 10 years) with more ice and slush than deep snow. An 8" snowfall isn't too unusual (every few years), but the roads are plowed and salted in a day or four. Bigger issue is the ice of all sorts (black, freezing rain, sleet, refrozen snow-melt) and greasy slush. Summers can be hot (a month of upper 90s). But the other big concern is rain. We do have torrential rains (2" or more an hour) several times per year.
The choices: I've totally ruled out dedicated snow tires as our winters are mostly clear, dry pavement. The 225/60-17 tire size really limits the options, so I've been looking at 235/55-17 (smaller) and 215/65-17 (larger). The 215s are closer in size and my understanding from folks on here is that both the smaller and larger sizes will fit. Other problem is local availability--all of the tires here have to be special ordered or purchased online!
The tires I like best: (smaller/larger/same refers to size availability)
Continental ExtremeContact DWS (larger)--supposed to be terrific in rain, really like this tire
Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus (same)--fairly new so not too many reviews, but it is the only tire on TireRack's surveys to have ALL excellents.
Nokian WR G2 (smaller), G2 SUV (same), and G3 (smaller and larger)--I really like the idea behind the G3, and am very, very tempted to order it, but which size?
I've also considered the Cooper CS4 Touring, Michelin Defender and Primacy MXV4, among others. I know they are all great tires, but comments about hydroplaning and so forth have pushed them down the list.
So.... anyone have any comments or suggestions? If I go with the WR G3, which size is more practical? (235--better handling, 215--better on snow and closer to original size?) Is there something I'm totally overlooking or should I just close my eyes and pick? The cost isn't too much of a concern. Not that I don't want a good value--but I'd rather have a good tire. Oddly enough, if I order a tire through a local dealer (Nokians are NOT available here), the Pirelli's are the best deal!
If you've gotten this far--thanks for reading a too-long post!