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Discussion Starter #1
I have 42K on my stock Continentals. I am down to 6/32. If we have a light winter, I plan to get another year out of them. If they don't handle well after our first snow, I may be shopping for tires in the next couple of weeks. I have been very happy with them, but so many reviews on Tirerack are horrible, it makes me wonder if I got a good set.

First, in KC, we have no need for winter tires, so looking for All Season.
I understand there is no perfect tire for every condition. The stock Continentals were great in Winter 1. No issue with grip. Winter 2 was so light, I can't really rate. Have had no complaints about Wet traction, in fact was impressed with them. Just playing around, I can't seem to get them to break loose, and the traction control light never comes on. I don't know how to rate dry traction, since I probably don't drive hard enough to test it.

I drive about 20k per year, probably 70% highway, and 30% city. Highway speeds are about 70-75 except for vacation, where you can open it up to about 80-85 without getting a ticket. I am looking for decent grip in snow and rain, resonalbly quiet, and low rolling resisteance would be a plus. I prefer something that is going to have a decent wear life.

Here is my dilema: I would probably put on Mich Hydro Edge, but I don't believe they are available in 17s. At least according to Tirerack.

My wife has an Escape with Goodyear Triple Treads. She likes them, but I would never put them on my Outback. Loud. When wet, if you barely touch the gas, they spin. Haven't used it in snow yet.

This adds to my dilema: I had a 2008 Outback that had stock Bridgestone's. I was reasonably happy with them, but I got a nail in the sidewall at about 30K, and had to replace all 4. Had no issues with the tires, but reviews were bad on them. Dealer recomended Hankook Avid tires. These tires were HORRIBLE. Don't know why they recomended Performance Tires, but if there was anything at all on the road, the anti locks would click like crazy trying to slow down from 20 - 30 MPH. Apparenly the dealer got so many complaints, they gave me 50% back and I ditched the tires. So a different dealer recomended Yokahama (I forget the model). These were slightly better, but still made the car feel unsafe in the snow. I ended up trading the car in on the 11 before having to put a different set of tires on it. Both sets were rated fairly good on Tirerack before I bought them, so it makes me wonder what they were using them on.

I don't drive like a grandpa, but am not cornering like a race car driver either. Just looking for a good all around tire. I have driven in the snow for 30 years in all kinds of vehicles. Snow doesn't scare me, but it was frustrating to have an 08 Outback that went from being great in the snow, to almost undriveable with the Hankook and the Yokahama.

I would appreciate any ideas.

Thanks,
 

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Based on tirerack.com and consumer reports, these are the tires I'm looking at. These tires would require you to go from stock 225/60-17 to 235/55-17. Many people on this site are running 235/55 without a problem. There just seems to be a much better tire selection in that size.


Serenity v purecontact v mvx4:
Tire Test Results : Testing Grand Touring All-Season Tires

DWS:
Tire Test Results : Testing Ultra High Performance All-Season Tires

DWS winter test:
Tire Test Results : Winter Testing at the Arctic Circle: Ultra High Performance All-Season

Pro contact v mvx4:
Tire Test Results : Even Grander Grand Touring Tires
 

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Replaced the contis at 41k basically bald. Had lots of balance issues with them beyond 25,000. We do about 15,000 miles a year. All road stuff with occasional trips to the sierras for snow. I went with the BF Goodwrench touring tires. Similar tread pattern to the contis little higher mileage ratings. Stiffer sidewall tire. I have about 1000 miles on them so far I wish I had replacd the contis with the bfg touring tires earlier. Much nicer tire discount tire put them on $705 installed.
 

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My sister has the DWSs on her Legacy GT. They are a very good all season even though the sidewalls are a little mushy. We have TripleTreads on a '98 Outback and I think the DWS is definitely the better tire.

I have Geolandars, but for a lot of highway driving and low rolling resistance they're definitely not what you'd be looking for.
 

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I simply cannot abide useless people.
2006 2.5i and 2002 3.0 wagons.
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I think the Primacy MXV4 or Goodyear Comforttread would be a good match for the OB.
 

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2007 Outback XT Ltd
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I think the Primacy MXV4 or Goodyear Comforttread would be a good match for the OB.
The MXV4s on my Acura were absolutely phenomenal in snow for the first 20,000 miles, and then they became scarey. The manager at my Discount Tire store agreed that they are pretty good until the tread wears a little, then they turn dangerous.

I really like them for most of the year, but they have now been "retired" from winter use in favor of X-Ice3 snow tires. I can NOT recommend them for year round use on your OB.

John Davies
Spokane WA USA
 

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I simply cannot abide useless people.
2006 2.5i and 2002 3.0 wagons.
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*shrug*

I have 30k on my MXV4, they're doing fine so far. Still have over 6/32 left. And oddly enough my local DT says they're one of the better AS tires on the market.

Can't say my experience mirrors yours. We're going to have to disagree on this one.
 

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2013 OB Limited, 2.5 w/Moonroof
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Michelin

I've read 2 different articles in both Road & Track plus another one from a tire industry dealers' web-site survey that show tire dealers generally acknowledge Michelin has the better overall value for price, but that dealers don't like selling them as much since they also command a higher wholesale price with resulting lower net margins. And this matches my experience over 25+ years of tire buying. Fortunately, Michelin seems to be more aggressive lately on their pricing with $70 or so off "coupons" to be more competitive on price.

As for the other brands, the tire review sites show every manufacturer has "good and bad" models of tires based on scientific testing and reviews by consumers. And this also matches my experience from running most of them (Michelin/Bridgestone/Firestone/Continental/Goodyear). The boring truth that's MOST important is to buy the right model of tire for your needs and to get a "lifetime rotation/balancing" in the deal so you really do rotate them religiously (at least as often as your oil changes) and keep tire pressures consistent. Amazingly, most tire drama ceases when folks do this. Case in point is we "ate" an $800 set of really good performing Michelins on an SUV due to lack of rotation. Those tires became scary at 20K and we learned an expensive lesson. Since then, we've had good experiences from most makes of tires (though not a fan of Goodyear generally but that's just me).

So bottom line, the Primacy MXV4 (or for less snow traction/slightly better summer use the MXM4) is where I'll go when the time comes. Look for the $70 off deal especially in mid-late December (fiscal year end where they want to move rubber). Don't expect them to be bullet proof, but do expect them to be quiet and last a loooong time with good performance if they are maintained.
 

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Honestly at work I experience a few things... if a customer is looking for a Michelin it is very hard to sell them on anything else. Conversely, if a customer doesn't want to spend a LOT of money, it is very hard to sell them on a Michelin.

The bottom line that I feel is that if you can afford to buy a Michelin you will always be happy with what you get. But that doesn't mean you can't spend a whole lot less money and still get an excellent tire. Case in point the Yokohama AVID Ascends I run on my Outback in the summer. I LOVE them. Quiet, smooth riding, excellent handling in dry and in rain. I bought them because they were much less expensive than both the Michelin Defenders I was looking at and the Goodyear Assurance ComfortTred Touring I was looking at, even with my employee discount. Basically I've had a lot of happy customers (including myself) by marketing the tire as what it is. A less expensive alternative to Goodyear and Michelin. Still very high quality, still an excellent tire.

Plus if you are interested in a set of those they are on a $75 mail in rebate from Yokohama right now.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks all

Thanks for all of the replies. So far we haven't seen a flake of snow, so maybe I am going to be able to sneak through the winter. It really comes down to how they react during the first winter storm.

3 quick questions:

(1) PT37 mentioned about possibly going to 235/55/17. Stupid question, but I would assume that I would have to change wheels to do that. I don't see myself doing that. If I was going to buy new wheels, I might as well buy some steel wheels and run snow tires. However, we don't get enough snow/slush to justify that. If somehow you can run 235/55/17 on the same wheel, that might open things up.

(2) The Continental Extreme Contact DWS reviews certainly sound like what I am looking for. Anyone besides jp1203's sister had good luck with them? However, I dont' see them available in the 225/60/17 on Tire Rack. Am I missing something?

(3) Subie Sailor Which BF Goodrich model of touring tire did you use. In the past I had a Ford Probe that I put Traction T/A's on that really worked pretty good in the snow. Only problem was low clearance.

I really wish the Mich Hydroedge was available in 225/60/17, then I really wouldn't have a descision to make. My mom has an 07 Outback with the Hydroedge, so I know how it handles etc.

Thanks again all,
 

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I think that the 235/55/17 should fit fine on the stock 17" wheels you have.

They Hydroedge is being discontinued, so probably not a good bet with the need to have matching rubber on all 4 wheels.
 

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(1) PT37 mentioned about possibly going to 235/55/17. Stupid question, but I would assume that I would have to change wheels to do that. I don't see myself doing that. If I was going to buy new wheels, I might as well buy some steel wheels and run snow tires. However, we don't get enough snow/slush to justify that. If somehow you can run 235/55/17 on the same wheel, that might open things up.

(2) The Continental Extreme Contact DWS reviews certainly sound like what I am looking for. Anyone besides jp1203's sister had good luck with them? However, I dont' see them available in the 225/60/17 on Tire Rack. Am I missing something?
All of the tires in my post are not available in the stock 225/60/17 size but are available in 235/55/17. 235/55/17 should fit fine on stock rims. Many people on this site run them without difficulty.

I think I'm leaning toward the DWS or Cooper RS3A. Both got really good reviews from consumer reports and other sites.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks again

Thanks again to all for their opinions/suggestions.

After hearing that the Hydroedge was being discontinued, someone else mentioned the Michelin Defender. After comparing it to the stock tires, The Continental Extreme, and the BF Goodrich Traction T/A it looks like it might be the tire for me. The only negative is that the light snow traction rating is slightly lower than the Continental Extreme, but still better than the stock Continental. All other rating are better including treadlife. Low rolling resistence is a plus (not sure how much though). I also wouldn't have the problem with changing the tire size and having the speedometer/odometer off by 4%. Someone also mentioned that my gas mileage would be lowered by changing to 235/55/17. Not sure if that is true or not.

So the winner is probably going to be the Defender unless someone changes my mind.

Thanks again all.
 
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