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My dad wants to lease a brand new 2017 Outback Premium (they have some incredible deals right now). He loves the car and is expecting it to perform very well in the snow. With winter fast approaching, I am a bit concerned about some of the reviews I have been reading about the 2015+ in the snow. I believe they still but the Bridgestone tires on the 2017 premiums. With a lease, he obviously doesn't, and shouldn't, have to dump money into a set of snow tires on a car that isn't his. Anyways, should he be fine in the snow for 3 years on the stock tires? He is coming from a fwd Jeep Patriot.
 

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2015 Outback Premium
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It's been a great car in the snow for me and I'm leasing. I don't drive too much though so my tires don't have as much wear on them as others may have.

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I should preface my reply with saying that I live in Canada and have extensive experience in driving vehicles, both with and without winter tires, in nasty winter conditions.

I don't understand the logic of not having to pay for tires on a vehicle that isn't his. If you are driving a vehicle in the snow, or ice, or in cold climates, and wish to keep yourself or others as safe as possible.......... Buy the winter tires.

Subaru has designed the outback with an impressive AWD system, and winter tires help to harness the vehicles full potential.

If cost is a worry, buy a set of winters tires on rims and then sell them at the end of the lease. It's really not a massive expense in the grand scheme. . Look at it as cheap insurance.
 

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2016 OB 3.6R - Carbide Gray
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My dad wants to lease a brand new 2017 Outback Premium (they have some incredible deals right now). He loves the car and is expecting it to perform very well in the snow. With winter fast approaching, I am a bit concerned about some of the reviews I have been reading about the 2015+ in the snow. I believe they still but the Bridgestone tires on the 2017 premiums. With a lease, he obviously doesn't, and shouldn't, have to dump money into a set of snow tires on a car that isn't his. Anyways, should he be fine in the snow for 3 years on the stock tires? He is coming from a fwd Jeep Patriot.
Both of mine have been great in the snow on the factory Bridgestones. I never had any issues getting around. I'm sure that true snow tires would have done much better, but for the 1-2 snow showers we get here (1-3 inches, usually at most) it has never been an issue. I think the last one we got was about 4 or so inches.

 

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In snowy areas every second or third car is a Subaru. Most of the non-Subarus have either AWD or 4WD.

A lot of people put Subaru's snow performance down to just AWD, when their traction control, slip diff design, power delivery train, and also ABS deserve almost more credit for keeping you safe. AWD helps you maintain power during snow and ice. But having AWD meant Subaru made other changes to their vehicles, which is where the "secret sauce" really is.

A vehicle will snow tires will always outperform the same vehicle without snow tires. For a vehicle with factory all weather tires, Subaru is likely in the top ten for snow performance. It is definitely safer than a 2WD vehicle, maybe even some WITH snow tires.
 

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If the Jeep had regular all season tires and the performance was acceptable to him, then the Outback should be an improvement. If the Jeep had snow tires, then it might not be. I think it also depends on where he lives. If he lives in a place that gets frequent snowfall or has to go out in hazardous conditions, then investing in snow tires would seem to be worth it. If it only snows a little bit or he can postpone driving until the roads are clear, then maybe the stock all seasons are all that is needed. Personally, spreading the cost of decent snow tires over three years (maybe 600$ minus whatever you can sell them for after that) seems like an easy choice.
 

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My dad wants to lease a brand new 2017 Outback Premium (they have some incredible deals right now). He loves the car and is expecting it to perform very well in the snow. With winter fast approaching, I am a bit concerned about some of the reviews I have been reading about the 2015+ in the snow. I believe they still but the Bridgestone tires on the 2017 premiums. With a lease, he obviously doesn't, and shouldn't, have to dump money into a set of snow tires on a car that isn't his. Anyways, should he be fine in the snow for 3 years on the stock tires? He is coming from a fwd Jeep Patriot.
You didn't mention what climate you live in, but my '15 has 35k on the stock Bridgestones and the snow performance has been just fine... good enough that I haven't bothered with snow tires. A different climate may result in different performance, but for reference I live in Portland, OR where it doesn't snow all that much, although we had a pretty epic winter this year w/snow on the ground for a couple weeks straight. I also took the Subaru skiing numerous times and never had any concerns. Maybe somewhere that gets real (subzero) cold may have worse performance due to the all season rubber getting hard in the cold.
 

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We have a '16 with a 19" sway bar and I just love driving it on snow. It sticks to the road and when it doesn't it will simply lose the rear a bit like a proper car should, letting you to correct it without going mad with slamming on breaks on different wheels like a Volvo. It takes effort not to want to drive too fast and slide into corners. Swiss highlands are Subaru country, and they are almost twice as expensive here as they are in the US.

Having said that, I would not drive in winter with the stock tires. I also don't wear shorts when it's snowing outside.
 

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My 2016 Outback Limited has been excellent in snow even with the OE Bridgestone tires. Go to Northern New England and you will see Subaru's everywhere.



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My dad wants to lease a brand new 2017 Outback Premium (they have some incredible deals right now). He loves the car and is expecting it to perform very well in the snow. With winter fast approaching, I am a bit concerned about some of the reviews I have been reading about the 2015+ in the snow. I believe they still but the Bridgestone tires on the 2017 premiums. With a lease, he obviously doesn't, and shouldn't, have to dump money into a set of snow tires on a car that isn't his. Anyways, should he be fine in the snow for 3 years on the stock tires? He is coming from a fwd Jeep Patriot.
You didn't mention where your Dad lives, but I believe some northern latitude dealers offer winter tire packages. Perhaps he could add that tire package to the initial lease down payment for the Outback?
 

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2017 OB 2.5 Lim/ 2005 STI 400 WHP
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non studded winter tires can stop the car at half the distance on snow or ice as all season tires. From 60 mph that can be the difference between no crash and a 40 MPH crash.
 

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2016 Outback 2.5 Limited
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I grew up around Jackson hole WY, never have bothered with snow tires. My suby's (current is a 16 outback) have always been phenomenal in hte snow despite all season tires, it could be better but to me it's not worth the expense. My mom's are the same way and she lives up a steep curvy hill and she rarely has issues getting home. My biggest issue was only getting about 20k out of the stock tires, I didn't want to go into winter w/ 3/32 tread left so I replaced them.
 

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With stock tires the OB is only fair in snow for an all-wheel drive. I had a Forester before the OB is it was better and more confident.
 

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My 2017 does great in snow with oem bridgestones. As others have said, get snow tires if you live in serious snow country.
 

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Buy the snow tires. Won't regret it.

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Another echo of Scrapper's sentiment here. I just leased a 2017 this week and live in Lake Placid. There is NO way I'm not putting on a dedicated set of 17" with 3MPSF tires. That's just me, maybe. I don't wear the same shoes in January that I do in July.

Regardless of whether you drive a Buick or a Bugatti, the only thing separating your butt from the asphalt (or gravel) is the very small contact patch on your tires. Make sure they're the right tool for the right job. I have never had a car, regardless of drive system that I did not run the best tire I could get for the terrain and conditions I was operating in. There's no reason to be penny wise and pound foolish.

There's a robust enough secondary market to resell the tires if/when he no longer needs them. Also, if he does run a winter set, the stock tires may still be good enough to return at lease end without having to buy another set just for lease return. Might as well enjoy the benefits of the right tire/tread now.

just my $0.02
 

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2017 Carbide Outback 2.5 Premium, 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee, 2004 BMW 330i ZHP
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These are the tires that will come on a '17 Outback:

https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tire...17&autoModel=Outback&autoModClar=2.5i+Premium

They're expensive and poorly rated, particularly on snow and ice.

Subaru has a phenomenal awd system, but it cannot physically generate traction the tires don't have. I will always recommend putting winter tires on a car in wintery conditions. They make such a phenomenal difference in treacherous conditions that it's hard to argue against them. Plus, they usually are going to cost you less than your insurance deductible.
 
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