Yet another tire question - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums

SubaruOutback.org is the premier Subaru Outback Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old 10-30-2013, 11:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: The Ozarks
Car: 2010 Outback 2.5i Limited
Posts: 8
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Default 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!
Karst is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 10-31-2013, 12:58 AM   #2 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Looby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Philly 'burbs
Car: 2013 Legacy Limited CVT Car: 2011 Outback Prem 6MT Car: 2006 Mazda MX5 GT 6MT Bike: 2003 Honda GL1800ABS ** Reunite Gondwanaland! **
Posts: 2,636
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Default

Ignore Tire Rack's "Surveys" and pay attention to their "Tests."
The survey responses come from folks who haven't driven any
new tire recently except the one tire they bought. Without direct
back-to-back comparisons, survey rankings are meaningless. A
low survey response is like an admission that: "I was stupid."

Just compare the results of this TireRack on-road test, (i.e., some
actual measurements), to the survey rankings for the same tires.
The customer survey and on-track test results directly contradict
each other -- especially regarding performance in wet and snow.

One measurement is worth a thousand "expert" opinions.

Looby
__________________
All-time favorite boxers (chronological order):
2013 Subaru Legacy ...…... 2.5L H4
2011 Subaru Outback ...…. 2.5L H4
2003 Honda Goldwing ...… 1.8L H6
1960 Porsche 356B S90 …. 1.6L H4
1942 Muhammed Ali ...…... 6'3" H2
Looby is online now   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-31-2013, 05:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Car: 2005 Subaru Outback VDC Limited, currently has: AEM air filter, osram 65w low beams, HIR high beams, and AMICO 5630 smd LED for the map light (6 smds) and reverse lights and cargo light (25 smds), Moda 12 wheels, BFGoodrich rugged terrain 235/60r16
Posts: 162
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Default

I would disagree about tirerack's surveys. They are important when choosing a tire but are meant to be used as a guide. Saying one tire has handling 9.8 vs 9.1 is like saying one lollypop is sweeter than the other. You can count on the reviews, but remember to not use them as a hard set guide for the tire. You just have to keep in mind that these are hard set measurement but to be used as a guide. Now these can be used to help buy a better tire and are of good use because the amount of reviews that is present. If there are really good reviews for one tire that has a zillion reviews vs. a tire with really good reviews that has a small amount of reviews but have the same survey results. All this can say is that the tire with more reviews one can be more confident in the quality of product and will be more assured that the tire is a good tire. Review surveys are there to help the consumer or else tirerack wouldn’t have such a system. If 2 tires had the same amount of reviews but one tire's surveys are significantly lower than the other one can be assured the better surveyed tire will be better. Now when the survey results are close then it is up to you to determine which tire to get. By this I would use the sidewall load data the tread depth data for tread ware etc. Is one tire better in the wet than the other etc.? Choose a tire specific upon your needs. Use the survey to help.
Your wants steer you toward which tire you wish for. You said no snow tires so all season are good. You say the car will be driven upon the road more than the dirt roads. With this I would say stay away from on/off road tires because these tires will compromise on "on" road performance to better the off road performance aspect. Stay with the street tire. Your winters are mild as in maybe a few inches of snow on the ground at times so width of tread doesn’t matter. As long as the temperature doesn’t stay below freezing for months on end then wide tires will do fine. Seems like 80% summer and 20%winter. The design of tire will be biased in the summer months as most of your driving will be in the summer on dry/wet roads.>>
Ultra high performance tires are just that. Ultra high road performance sacrifices road comfort and quality of ride for maximum grip.>>
Grand touring are luxury comfy squishy tires that do well in harsher winters due to softer rubber and are not as great in the handling department from being squishy.>>
Tire width. The narrower the tires the less control and planted feel on corners and curvy roads. The wider tire will help with these. And since you say you have curvy roads I would suggest using 235/55r17 size tires. Stock would be just fine but you would notice the planted feel and better performance out of a wide tire.>>
The wide tires will do fine in mild winter conditions/gravel too. You have an outback so believe in the AWD the car came with. Use it to its advantage and don’t be afraid if the car wheel spins in very harsh snowy and off road conditions. >>
The ice and slush conditions of winter tell me a tire designed for wet over snow/ice would be best along with your downpours of rain. Getting a tire that is wide yet good in the wet would be best in my mind.>>
>>
Nokian tires I don’t recommend as they seem to be winter designed tires.>>
Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus in 235/55r17 or stock size would not be my recommendation. There are only 49 surveys as of when I wrote this article.>>
Primacy MXV4 would be a great choice too. Tons of surveys and would be more confident that the tire would perform well. 235/55r17>>
Continental DWS in 235/55r17 would be my recommendation over the MXV4 and Eagle F1 Asymmetric in same size. >>
The DWS would give planted feel for the summer with good wet traction handling.>>
The diameter difference between stock and 235 is 0.4” difference. http://rimsntires.com/specs.jsp>>
Wide tires would wear down steering components faster than stock widths. I have 235 on my 05 outback and I don’t feel much difference in steering control. I do feel more planted though which helps. Lots less body roll when zig zagging. I’m not concerned much by the adverse effects. >>
cybertiberium is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-31-2013, 05:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 16,954
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Default

I have never met anyone that bought a second set of Pirelli's EVER! Including my self and several family members. I wouldn't touch that brand with a 30ft pole.

Like all online reviews you simply use them as one of several reference points to make your decision.

You don't need over the top super duper tires for your application especially on the subaru. If you were driving a RWD Ford Crown Vic I'd say get the best possible top rated all season possible - but since we are talking very sure footed Subaru any decent quality all season tire with decent reviews will be a pretty good option.
subiesailor is online now   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-31-2013, 05:17 PM   #5 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Car: 2005 Subaru Outback VDC Limited, currently has: AEM air filter, osram 65w low beams, HIR high beams, and AMICO 5630 smd LED for the map light (6 smds) and reverse lights and cargo light (25 smds), Moda 12 wheels, BFGoodrich rugged terrain 235/60r16
Posts: 162
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Default

Also looking at the tire reviews of other tires but the same brand give an idea of quality for that brand and how confident the buyers are. Subarus have **** near perfect AWD systems so relying on the AWD is not a bad thing.
cybertiberium is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-31-2013, 07:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: The Ozarks
Car: 2010 Outback 2.5i Limited
Posts: 8
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Default

Thank you all for your comments. Regarding reviews, as a scientist I value data over opinions, but not everything is measured or tested--and sometimes the "expert reviews" are very subjective. When I read reviews or tireracks surveys, I try to focus on the comments which have more mileage on the tires and compare them to other tires. I also look for a common theme--if one tire has 1 in 10 posters mentioning hydroplaning but other tires have only 1 in 20 or less--I tend to think the first tire really does have a problem with hydroplaning.

This is my fourth Subie--my first was an 83 GL wagon--loved that little car and I took it places most wouldn't take a truck. I've learned over the years that 95% of the time the tires really don't matter, more so with a Subaru than most other cars. It's that 5% why we look for the best tires! At least hree times my wife or I came very close to accidents ( though they would have been minor) ABS or no simply because of tires not having enough traction even with less than 20K miles. A grand for tires pays off really fast if they prevent even a fender-bender. The DWS are at the top of the list.
Karst is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-31-2013, 07:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Looby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Philly 'burbs
Car: 2013 Legacy Limited CVT Car: 2011 Outback Prem 6MT Car: 2006 Mazda MX5 GT 6MT Bike: 2003 Honda GL1800ABS ** Reunite Gondwanaland! **
Posts: 2,636
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by cybertiberium View Post

Is one tire better in the wet than the other etc.?
So, which tire is "better in the wet?"

a) Michelin Defender: Measured wet stopping distance 122 ft, Survey score 8.8

b) ProContact EcoPlus: Measured wet stopping distance 108 ft, Survey score 8.3

Your choice …tape measure or anonymous opinion?

Looby
__________________
All-time favorite boxers (chronological order):
2013 Subaru Legacy ...…... 2.5L H4
2011 Subaru Outback ...…. 2.5L H4
2003 Honda Goldwing ...… 1.8L H6
1960 Porsche 356B S90 …. 1.6L H4
1942 Muhammed Ali ...…... 6'3" H2
Looby is online now   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-31-2013, 07:54 PM   #8 (permalink)
Registered User
 
jp1203's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: New England
Car: 2011 Tacoma TRD Sport Double Cab Long Box
Posts: 2,847
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Default

The DWS is a very good tire. My sister has it on her Legacy GT. For an all season, it does much better in the snow than I would have ever expected it to. Wear seems pretty good as well.

Only downside is the super-soft sidewall which seems to be a trait of many Conti tires.

I'd expect the Nokians would give you significantly better snow handling while giving up some dry pavement and rain handling, but since I've never had them on anything I can't say for sure.
__________________
RIP Outback: 2008 3.0R LL Bean "Senior Citizen Gold" 99,150 miles

Current Vehicle:
2011 Toyota Tacoma Double Cab Long Bed TRD Sport 4x4
jp1203 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-31-2013, 08:22 PM   #9 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: The Ozarks
Car: 2010 Outback 2.5i Limited
Posts: 8
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Looby View Post
a) Michelin Defender: Measured wet stopping distance 122 ft, Survey score 8.8
b) ProContact EcoPlus: Measured wet stopping distance 108 ft, Survey score 8.3

Your choice …tape measure or anonymous opinion?
Looby
Unfortunately, without statistics--especially a Welch's t-test--"122 ft" and "108 ft" may well be equal.... at least within the difference of 8.8 and 8.3. It would be interesting to delve into the tire rack tests to see if they do repeats on the same tire at different times...
Karst is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-31-2013, 08:39 PM   #10 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Looby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Philly 'burbs
Car: 2013 Legacy Limited CVT Car: 2011 Outback Prem 6MT Car: 2006 Mazda MX5 GT 6MT Bike: 2003 Honda GL1800ABS ** Reunite Gondwanaland! **
Posts: 2,636
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Default

So, you quibble about the variance of actual measurements, but
accept arbitrary, dimensionless, anonymous, survey "scores" at
face value?

….yeah, that's the ticket!

Looby
__________________
All-time favorite boxers (chronological order):
2013 Subaru Legacy ...…... 2.5L H4
2011 Subaru Outback ...…. 2.5L H4
2003 Honda Goldwing ...… 1.8L H6
1960 Porsche 356B S90 …. 1.6L H4
1942 Muhammed Ali ...…... 6'3" H2
Looby is online now   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:56 PM.



Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.3.2
Copyright 2009-2010 SubaruOutback.org. All Rights Reserved.