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2015 Outback 2.5i Premium
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Group -- this is my first post. I just bought my first Outback. It's a 2011 2.5i. We're an active family with two kids, who loves to camp, ski, hike, climb, etc, and I spend a lot of time on dirt tracks navigating my way to kayak put-ins and take-outs. So I'm looking to slowly upgrade the car's off-road capabilities. This is my first time ever going down this rabbit hole, so please forgive me if I err in forum etiquette, or ask questions that are somehow silly.

My very first step is going to be to replace the tires since it needs new tires anyway. I've tried to find the best tires that combine good off-road performance with solid on-road performance, that have a high snow/ice rating, and of course, that look cool . So i've narrowed it down to either the Cooper Discoverer A/T3 or the Geolandar A/T G015.

So here are my questions:

1) Do those seem like two reasonable choices?

2) I'd like to get new wheels at some point. My motivation for doing so is primarly aesthetic, but if there are performance considerations to think about, then I would obviously not ignore those. I've been wondering whether it makes sense to consider upsizing from the stock 16" wheels to 17" wheels. From what I've read, it seems like the performance pros and cons of such a move boil down to, 16" wheels better off-road, 17" wheels better on-road. I am sure that's a vast over-simplification. Can anyone help me think more clearly about the pros and cons of this decision?

3) Finally, a question about tire size. I'll preface this question with a question about forum best practices. I read in another post on here about tire size, and the author of that post said to the effect of, "i know never to ask about tire size on here, but..." He didn't explain why it's considered bad form to ask about tire size. So, if this next question is in bad form, then accept my apologies, and perhaps someone can explain to me why that is. If not, then i'm wondering about the pros and cons of getting a larger tire size, say a 225 or a 235, etc.

Thanks in advance for any and all help.
 

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2010 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium (The Superoo), Graphite Gray Metallic, CVT, Yoko Geolandar G015 AT 225/65R-17
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236 Posts
I'm no expert, but I hate seeing a new persons post just dangle out there with no reply. Unfortunately, a bit of searching around here will likely answer your questions which is probably why the responses have been non-existent.

1. Yes. Many threads reporting good experiences with those tires. IMHO, the G015 is the better all-around choice.

2. Depending on the wheels, they can be just for show or they can have performance benefits. Wheels like ones from Sparco or Method are lighter and stronger than the OEM wheels. You'll find those in other threads on the forum. I would go with the 17" wheels as both the tires you mentioned come in that size.

3. 225/65 will fit perfectly, 235 will likely have a little bit of rubbing with stock wheels. More if you have wider aftermarket wheels. There is no "bad form" in asking this question. It's just a highly subjective one with lots of variables and people will argue back and forth about it forever.

Welcome to the forum, there's a ton of solid advice and guidance on here in regard to just about anything you could think of relating to your car. Hang around here enough and you will save a ton of money, and then you will be introduced to many ways to spend it. :p
 
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2013 OB 3.6R (former)
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Well, if the question is about offroad tires, then you should consider yourself lucky to be able to fit 16s! I am not sure what tire options and exact size are available to you since I have 17s.

In general, oversize tires will diminish street performance. How much depends on the tire. Some might noticeably impact only acceleration, while others might also impact braking. So, unless the extra clearance is truly needed or there is no decent tire in the stock or near stock size (like 235 60 17 to 225 60 17), the oversize tire will only have downsides.

If you want to go for two sets of wheels, then you can consider having two distinct sets of tires. Of course, the cost will be significant so this is not really worth it unless you really need that special purpose second set.

I have oversize TA KO2s on a set of aftermarket wheels and I am going to get Continental Terrain Contact AT in stock size for my stock wheels.

But if you are not going on designated 4x4 roads, then having a stock size/near stock size good all-around tire like the Terrain Contact AT should be best. Putting it on lightweight (but strong) wheels will help with road performance without the expense of a second set of tires.
 

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2005 LL Bean 3.0
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39 Posts
Solid choices, but do yourself a favor and just go for the straight Geolander A/T-S. I believe the factory tire size for your car is a 215/70R16, correct? If so, here you go: https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tire...ewall=Blackwall&partnum=17SR6GEOATS&tab=Specs

I had these on a off-road inspired 97 Outback and even temporarily on my very much off-road inspired 99 Cherokee. They are fantastic and offer a more aggressive dose of traction compared to the seemingly more street friendly G015. They are epic in the snow and surprisingly grippy on the rocks. Their street performance is just fine - sometimes a bit loud but nothing compared to mud terrains. They are very good in the wet.

Another option I'd like to throw at you are the BFGoodrich KO2s. They make them in your size! https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tire...R6KO2RWL&vehicleSearch=false&fromCompare1=yes

In my opinion, these are some of the best street off-road tires out there. The same Jeep I had with the Geolanders had a set of these (and a set of the original BGF AT) and they were fantastic in the snow, gravel, wet pavement, and dry pavement. Just meh on rocks - I preferred the Geolanders honestly.

Regarding size - I say unless you plan on lifting it, or adding more power, stick with the factory size and go aggressive pattern. Subaru engineers probably knew what they were doing when they fitted that car with 215s. Going bigger will decrease your car's performance, efficiency and handling. I always giggle at people in the off-road community who go bigger tires first without accounting for the extra steering, suspension and drivetrain load - and end up with a one-trick pony rather than a properly engineered machine.

Oh, and with that small a tire size overall, stick with 16s. The more sidewall will mean more comfort and performance when off-road.
 

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2015 Outback 2.5i Premium
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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you all for the input. Small change in my situation. I didn't wind up getting the 2011. I wound up getting a 2015 Outback 2.5i Premium instead. The dealer agreed to sell me new tires at cost since the tires on the car were close to worn out. I was somewhat limited in options based on what his supplier could get. I wound up getting the Geolandar A/T G015.

Now I'm wondering about wheels. I'm having a hard time getting a grasp on what it's worth paying for when it comes to new wheels. It seems like nearly everyone on these forums goes with some variation of the ENKEI. The RPF1 seems like a particularly popular wheel on these forums. That said, i can't seem to find much explanation as to WHY they choose the wheels they choose. The RPF1 looks like a great wheel, but it's also $250 a wheel. Why should i go with that instead of an American Racing wheel, for example, that costs only $110/wheel?

I'm not necessarily against spending the extra money if it's justified, but I want to understand if it makes sense to do so. I gather weight and durability are going to be the biggest differences. So let me ask...

Does a 6lb difference per wheel between the American Racing and the Enkei RPF1 make a substantive difference? What do people think of the American Racing wheel in general? What else should I be thinking about?

Many thanks...
 

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2010 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium (The Superoo), Graphite Gray Metallic, CVT, Yoko Geolandar G015 AT 225/65R-17
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236 Posts
Subaru Rally Team USA specs Method Racing MR502 VT-Spec wheels. Hard to go wrong with those.

Subjective take: Don't put off road tires on a street racing wheel. Those RPF1's look like ricer wheels. Instead look for off-road/rally styled wheels. The MR502 is an example. American Racing doesn't show anything good in a size that fits. Sparco Terra is another good rally inspired wheel.

A moderately nobby tire needs a thicker looking wheel, either by having thicker spokes, or a larger diameter solid center (shorter spokes). It needs to look as strong as it looks fast.

Now, that's just styling (I'm a graphic artist, so I care about this stuff). If you're just wondering about performance, I doubt you would notice a 6lb difference in your wheels. You're not going to be tracking this car. Reducing the weight of the wheels more than the factory wheels can help the wheels track better over rough terrain at speed since the reduced inertia allows the suspension to respond faster. I guess theoretically the reduced rotational inertia could also allow the traction control to respond better to low traction situations, but I bet the difference is imperceivable.

Lets be honest though, you're mainly getting new wheels to look cool! B)
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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updated thread title to reflect that you got a 15 and not a 11.

and moved to the tire / wheel section.

(in there is also a tire subsection, http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/90-tire-discussion/

and if you really want the bases covered in slushy / icy CT.

get real snows.

AND a set of 3 season off road tires.

each set on their own rims.

I run studded snows in upstate NY. some run sticky studdless ice tires, but they kind of loose their stickiness after 2 seasons and I keep mine a lot longer then that.

even under USDOT ideas, about the 6 year rule of tire ownership, this 6 years is about actual use.
not storage off the car sitting out of the sun on a cart inside a garage / shed/ basement. So both sets last you a lot longer,




...best tire prices are around in November. when people are buying real snows or new all seasons for the coming winter.

and watch out for what you buy in rims. a 2015 has a 5x114 (?) type rim, whereas most subaru rims before that were 5x100.

______

but hey, you got the geolanders, give them a try on snow. 3 snow season might suck though.
 

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Brucey
'17 3.6
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get real snows.

AND a set of 3 season off road tires.

each set on their own rims.
Just do what I did. Dedicated snow tires, dedicated off road tires, dedicated summer tires.

All on their own wheels.

A good compromise otherwise is modern snow tires and run them year around. If you don't drive a lot the times when it's too hot for them won't matter.
 
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