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2012 Indigo Pearl Outback, with factory-installed Flux Capacitor
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82 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Central illinois was a mix of freezing rain and some snow. I was impressed by the ride. my Truck? needed 4wd or a full tank of gas and limited slip. Even then, easy to get it to spin about. The OB? nothing doing. Great ride, with highly confident handling and stopping. It was so good, I didn't realize how slick it was until my daughter pointed it out. Until then, it was normal driving. I did get it to spin tires a bit by flooring it to 4K rpm. Even then, it was all four spinning. Great car...:29:
 

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'13 OB, Black, SAP
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271 Posts
What tires do you have? It was raining today where I am and I just realized how poor the stock tires perform in wet conditions.
 

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2012 Outback 2.5 Premium - Former: Golf TDI
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457 Posts
What tires do you have? It was raining today where I am and I just realized how poor the stock tires perform in wet conditions.
Odd, I've never had an issue regarding wet handling with the ContiProContacts on any car they've been on. Snow is usually fine until they get about 25,000+ miles on them.

To the OP, just don't get too cocky, AWD won't do a d*mn thing to slow you down any faster. We're in St. Louis and got some of the freezing stuff, but everything was clear this am :29:
 

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2012 Indigo Pearl Outback, with factory-installed Flux Capacitor
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82 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
I have the stock tires. They do well enough for me. I live in a hilly subdivision, now full of icy roads. Going downhill was easy enough once I use those downshift paddles to regulate speed. Great car.

I really like the symmetric layout to the drive train--no torque steer. How do you tell the Subarus in Central IL? They're the one cars not in the ditch...
 

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2012 Outback 2.5 i Premium
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474 Posts
I had no trouble getting through heavy snow with the Conti's yesterday. It slipped a little here and there but went straight for the most part. Stopping only got hairy once and that was my fault for coming in too hot.

Great wagon. Reasonable tires.
 

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CARS will always be better in poor traction conditions over a high CG heavy truck with poor front to back weight distribution. Trucks simply have better ground clearance for things like high water - lots of snow etc.

We never take our truck out when conditions are horribly bad - given the Subaru has always been FAR FAR SUPERIOR.
 

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166 Posts
I have the stock tires. They do well enough for me. I live in a hilly subdivision, now full of icy roads. Going downhill was easy enough once I use those downshift paddles to regulate speed. Great car.

I really like the symmetric layout to the drive train--no torque steer. How do you tell the Subarus in Central IL? They're the one cars not in the ditch...
Central IL resident here (Champaign-Urbana area). Generally, in the rural area where we live, the first significant snowstorm it is precisely the AWD vehicles that are in the ditch. Way too many subdivisions out here full of people who've lived in the city all their lives, then they buy a McMansion out here and put a Denali and maybe a Grand Cherokee in the garage, and don't understand that there's no "traction magic" in buying something with 4x4 / AWD. You've got the tractive surface you've got, and whether it's 1 wheel driven or 16, if you break loose, you're goin' in. ;)
 

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2010 Outback Premium, 2.5, 6MT
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13 Posts
Snow and OEM Conti's at 35K

We had 10+" of snow here in central Iowa Wednesday night into Thursday. I took off plenty early for work Thursday morning so I could have some fun on the unplowed residential streets before going in. The original Conti tires now have 35,000 miles on them and they did just fine just as they have every winter I've had the car. I'm not sure why so many are unhappy with them. My OB has a manual transmission - maybe that makes a difference?

This is my first Subaru and I suspect it will not be my last. I love this vehicle. It's reminiscent of Superman - A mild mannered, unassuming four-cylinder cocoon that turns into a caped crusader snow muncher when the going gets tough.
 

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2013 Limited w/EyeSight
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352 Posts
I don't think these tires are as bad as people say.

We just had 20" of snow and blizzard. My 2013 was both much better and much worse than the gen 3 4Runner it replaced but no knocks on either. The 4Runner with 5 speed, electric lockers and AT tires was in a whole other league for big drifts and slow going.

I had no choice but to travel in the worst of the storm and I high sided the Outback on drifts twice where I knew the old 4Runner would make it. The problem if there was one was electronics and throttle control. I had to dig down with the avy shovel and get some traction where the all manual 4Runner would do better. This is not putting down the car. I know they're different vehicles.

When not deep the Outback and its automation make it better.

I've had dedicated snow tires before. Yeah, they are superior with ice but not so superior that I'm throwing away the OEM tires.
 

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2010 2.5i Outback, 2015 2.5i Legacy w/Eyesight
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589 Posts
I've had dedicated snow tires before. Yeah, they are superior with ice but not so superior that I'm throwing away the OEM tires.
Just because I think the world would be a better place to drive in the winter if everyone had snow tires, you don't have to "throw away" the OEM's to get snows (as I'm sure you know having owned them previously, but some others reading may not and I do not want them to mislead by the statement).

You can either swap out your tires on the same rims seasonally or a get a second set of rims (new from many places or used on craigslist, ebay, or the classifieds of the various subaru forums) and have the snow tires mounted on them.

Certainly, I do not think the ContiProContacts are a poor tire, but having dedicated snow tires makes worlds of difference in those hairy moments of driving in the snow.
 

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2012 Indigo Pearl Outback, with factory-installed Flux Capacitor
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82 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Central IL resident here (Champaign-Urbana area). Generally, in the rural area where we live, the first significant snowstorm it is precisely the AWD vehicles that are in the ditch. Way too many subdivisions out here full of people who've lived in the city all their lives, then they buy a McMansion out here and put a Denali and maybe a Grand Cherokee in the garage, and don't understand that there's no "traction magic" in buying something with 4x4 / AWD. You've got the tractive surface you've got, and whether it's 1 wheel driven or 16, if you break loose, you're goin' in. ;)
I think you're onto something. I saw two Grand Cherokees in the ditch. Are those 4wd or all-wheel drive? I think some forget to put their vehicle in 4wd, until it's too late. The Subaru? Nothing to set... The CVT seems to offer good low 'gearing' and avoids wheel spin...
 

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2010 2.5i Outback, 2015 2.5i Legacy w/Eyesight
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589 Posts
I think you're onto something. I saw two Grand Cherokees in the ditch. Are those 4wd or all-wheel drive? I think some forget to put their vehicle in 4wd, until it's too late. The Subaru? Nothing to set... The CVT seems to offer good low 'gearing' and avoids wheel spin...
I think your statement is exactly counter to what rico was saying. I took rico's statement to mean "it doesn't matter what fancy gadgets you have to control wheel spin, if you cannot get traction [TIRES] in the situations you need it, you will end up in a ditch no matter what you're driving." The CVT itself does not avoid the wheelspin, but rather the VDC (vehicle dynamics control, a brand of traction control system provided by Subaru on your vehicle) and where/when/how it limits power distribution to the wheels when it detects traction loss.

A good AWD system with traction control can help use the available tire traction from all 4 tires to get you moving and the traction control can give more predictable driving behavior in the event one or more tires loses traction. Ultimately though, the AWD system cannot do anything more for traction than the traction the tires themselves have. All a good traction stability control for 4 wheels will do when trying to stop is try to help you keep moving in the direction you are steering towards, but it will not stop you any faster (antilock breaks actually make your vehicle take longer to stop, but they give you more control over steering your vehicle in the process). Winter tires will help you stop faster in the snow compared to any "All Season" tire of comparable quality.

Also, engaging AWD can actually be counterproductive for cars without some form of traction stability control. In fact, if you ever feeling like spending a night in the ditch, turn off your VDC during a snow storm and drive like you normally would on the highway on a summer day. That's the hard way that many people learn that 4WD/AWD is not the cure-all for snow driving and traction.
 

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Question for all of you that live in the snow belt. Tomorrow we and our OB head into the snow for the first time. A couple of months ago I took the 32 psi Contis on my 2013 Limited and raised them to 35 to improve fuel mileage (which marginally helped, btw). Since the Subaru specs say 32 psi, would my traction be better if I was at 32 rather than 35 in snow/ice conditions?
 
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