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2010 Outback Premium 2.5
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68 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I just put some Defenders on my '10 OB today. With the Defenders being so new, I haven't really seen any thoughts on how they'll handle snow.

I live here in Denver and go up to the mountains for snowboarding. Last season I had the Conty OEM tires and didn't have any problems with traction, but with my tread getting so low on them I didn't want to run the risk of another season but without any tread.

The Defender seems to rank highly, except as a wet tire (thankfully doesn't rain here much) - but how do you all think it'll compare with the Conty this winter?

I'm not a tire thread pattern expert, so hopefully I'm being overly cautious when I look at the patterns.

My OB was a billy goat in the snow last year with those older tires, will it still billy goat up the mountain? I don't hit enough untracked snow, nor do I have the budget for snow tires.

Thanks, guys.
 

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'14 3.6R Outback
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2,345 Posts
I was going to make this easy for you, but I changed my mind. :p

Use the search and type: "Defender" you will get more info than you ever wanted.
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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12,385 Posts
yes - tire questions can generally be answered via Tire Rack reviews, other online tire stores, or google.
 

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2010 Outback Premium 2.5
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68 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
I did that search and also looked at the reviews on Tirerack. The reviews are great on Tirerack.com but most of them point to road noise and handling on the highway etc. I don't have questions on that. Heck most of the tirerack reviews are by people driving them for either short periods of time or with a Honda Civic or other vehicle warm climates.

I had also seen the review on Tirerack comparing them against a few other tires, including the Conty. But that review also said "pending winter driving".

I'm more curious based on what people know about tire thread design on whether they'll be better or worse than the Conty on the snow. That's where I was hoping to find some input.
 

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Car: 2008 Tribeca, 2010 LGT, Sold: 2005 XT Limited
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You'll be fine, but it won't give you the go and stop of a snow tire that you really need here in Colorado where they let the sunshine plow the roads CDOT. But, as you said, you can't afford a separate set of snow tires, so you'll make due.
 

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2010 Outback Premium 2.5
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68 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I like the "let the sunshine plow the roads" comment. That describes my neighborhood when I get to drive "first tracks". I'm guessing in Lyons there's a lot more of that type of "plowing". Here in Littleton and on the way to the major ski resorts I won't get to drive in many two foot drifts.

I spoke with a tire guy this morning and just asked him what tires he'd recommend based on my driving habits and without mentioning the Defender and it was one of the two he brought up. The other being a proprietary tire. He confirmed that with the thread pattern and full depth siping that it would do better than the Conty. He worked in Boulder and with the OB being AWD and the tire having the extra "amenities" it would do great in the snow.

Of course not as well as a pure snow tire, but for my purposes it should be great.
 

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2010 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited with Navigation, Satin White Pearl
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341 Posts
According to Consumer Report, November 2012 under T rating on page 60 Michelin Defender is rated as good for snow traction, and ice braking, and ride. Very good on dry braking, wet braking, handling, hydroplaning, noise, and rolling resistance. On tread life they have an excellent rating.

The only tire that I see that is close to the one that came on the 2010 OutBack is Continental ProContact EcoPlus and that top the Michelin Defender with a rating of very good in snow traction, and ride. It also has an excellent rating in wet braking.

I also put Michelin Defender tires on my 2010 Outback two weeks ago.

:)
 

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22,802 Posts
I think the OEM tires are pretty standard / average M+S rated tires so any decent all weather tire will be fairly comparable. I just replaced ours at 40,000 miles with the BFG touring tires which have a stiffer sidewall bit stronger built tire very similar tread pattern to the Conti's - however I have about 500 miles on them now and they are FAR FAR FAR superior to the Continental's regarding smooth ride and not getting bothered by curbing the tire etc. Our continentals had major problems holding balance needing sizable weight changes about every 9000 miles and they would wobble bad after curbing a tire.

So far VERY HAPPY I put the BFG's on the car. As for snow performance I expect the BFG's to perform as well as the continentals which when they had decent tread were decent all season tires in the snow.
 

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Car: 2008 Tribeca, 2010 LGT, Sold: 2005 XT Limited
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The issue in Boulder (where I work) is the lack of road prep, then all the drivers getting out and compacting the snow down. By 3 pm it's an ice rink. Snow tires make the world of difference. Plus I don't mind spending $600 on a set of tires that might save my life because I don't slide in to the intersection. Money well spent in my opinion. It's not like out east where the salt the roads and they are dry even while the snow is falling.

Tom
 

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2011 Outback Limited/2.5L/CVT
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390 Posts
The Defender has a very hard rubber compound (tread wear of 820), so I'd expect its designed more for a smooth ride and long tread life rather then ultimate performance in cold snowy conditions. Tire design is based on a series of conflicting requirements (ride, handling, tread noise, durability, wet/dry performance, puncture resistance, etc) and it's impossible to make a tire compound that excels in all areas. I would think the Conty's (540/A/A), would be a slightly better performance and snow tire, if a less durable one than the Michelins. The Michelin MXV4 is probably a more comparable tire to the OEM rubber.

TS
 

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2004 Outback Wagon, 2.5, 4EAT, All weather package.
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The Defender has a very hard rubber compound (tread wear of 820), so I'd expect its designed more for a smooth ride and long tread life rather then ultimate performance in cold snowy conditions. Tire design is based on a series of conflicting requirements (ride, handling, tread noise, durability, wet/dry performance, puncture resistance, etc) and it's impossible to make a tire compound that excels in all areas. I would think the Conty's (540/A/A), would be a slightly better performance and snow tire, if a less durable one than the Michelins. The Michelin MXV4 is probably a more comparable tire to the OEM rubber.

TS
Not sure if you are aware, but those treadwear numbers are useless. They are not standardized, you can use them to compare a Michelin to a Michelin and a Continental to a Continental, but not a Michelin to a Continental.

I think the Defender will do well in the snow because it has a good tread design... lots of blocking with some zig zag grooving. Should work well.
 

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2011 Outback Limited/2.5L/CVT
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SE95,

I did some research and you are indeed correct about the tire ratings.

I did go and get a set of Michelin Defenders for my 2011 outback. Very happy with them so far, but no snow yet down here in Dixie.

TS
 

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2011 3.6R KIA 2/26/14///2014 2.5 Premium
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278 Posts
The issue in Boulder (where I work) is the lack of road prep, then all the drivers getting out and compacting the snow down. By 3 pm it's an ice rink. Snow tires make the world of difference. Plus I don't mind spending $600 on a set of tires that might save my life because I don't slide in to the intersection. Money well spent in my opinion. It's not like out east where the salt the roads and they are dry even while the snow is falling.

Tom
I live in Broomfield so I feel you there...during the winter I switch to a dedicated set of X-Ice's....Boulder and Denver are only a few miles apart but it's a world of difference.
 

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2011 Subie 3.6R Limited 2013 Cmax e=nergi PHEV
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821 Posts
Defenders on SNOW and ICE???

I just put some Defenders on my '10 OB today. With the Defenders being so new, I haven't really seen any thoughts on how they'll handle snow.

I live here in Denver and go up to the mountains for snowboarding. Last season I had the Conty OEM tires and didn't have any problems with traction, but with my tread getting so low on them I didn't want to run the risk of another season but without any tread.

The Defender seems to rank highly, except as a wet tire (thankfully doesn't rain here much) - but how do you all think it'll compare with the Conty this winter?

I'm not a tire thread pattern expert, so hopefully I'm being overly cautious when I look at the patterns.

My OB was a billy goat in the snow last year with those older tires, will it still billy goat up the mountain? I don't hit enough untracked snow, nor do I have the budget for snow tires.

Thanks, guys.
According to Consumer Report, November 2012 under T rating on page 60 Michelin Defender is rated as good for snow traction, and ice braking, and ride. Very good on dry braking, wet braking, handling, hydroplaning, noise, and rolling resistance. On tread life they have an excellent rating.

The only tire that I see that is close to the one that came on the 2010 OutBack is Continental ProContact EcoPlus and that top the Michelin Defender with a rating of very good in snow traction, and ride. It also has an excellent rating in wet braking.

I also put Michelin Defender tires on my 2010 Outback two weeks ago.

:)

Are they living up to the ratings?

My contis are shite at 38k in Salt Lake and the Cottonwoods now and looking for a 4 season replacement with reasonable snow and ice capability. Thanks.
 

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2010 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited with Navigation, Satin White Pearl
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According to Consumer Report, November 2012 under T rating on page 60 Michelin Defender is rated as good for snow traction, and ice braking, and ride. Very good on dry braking, wet braking, handling, hydroplaning, noise, and rolling resistance. On tread life they have an excellent rating.

The only tire that I see that is close to the one that came on the 2010 OutBack is Continental ProContact EcoPlus and that top the Michelin Defender with a rating of very good in snow traction, and ride. It also has an excellent rating in wet braking.

I also put Michelin Defender tires on my 2010 Outback two weeks ago.

:)

Thought I quote myself. I was hoping for longer mileage than what I ended up with. Bought the tires above from the Subaru dealer where I bought the car. Did all the service of the tires at the dealer. The Michelin Defender is a 90,000 miles, did I get 90,000 miles?.. Nope. I have 33,991 miles on the tires and the bars are just a hair from showing.

Went to the dealer and ask if they prorate the tires, and I received a song and dance from them with them saying they do not do that. (They just change the people in the service department) Then they went on and said there are two warranties on the tires which is correct "they said one is 90,000 and five years and you are over the five years." and this is not correct it is 90,000 miles and 6 years. The tires went on the car 11/01/2012 and today is 3/20/2017 which is 4 years, 5 months + or -

:frown2:

Anyone running on tires that does well or fair in the mountains?
 

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2010 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited with Navigation, Satin White Pearl
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I just had a set of Continental TrueContact all-season tires 225/60R17 installed, will see how they do. Found a nice tires shop not far from home.

Just could not bring myself to get another set of Defenders after they did so poorly in this area.
:smile2:
 
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