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2020 Outback Onyx XT, 2007 Outback 2.5
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Discussion Starter #1
I'm sure there are at least a few of us on here who live in places where it snows. What do you have/like/recommend? I'm looking at the new Cooper Discoverer True North and the Continental VikingContact 7. I have no experience with either, and both are pretty new tires so not a lot of info about them online.

This is the only review I can find of the Coopers:
This is the only review I can find of the Continentals: Continental VikingContact 7 test ans review of the Continental ContiVikingContact 7 | AllTyreTests.com

During the winter, I have a long daily commute in all manner of weather -- dry, wet, slush, ice, hardpack, fresh snow, and floamy/soapy/frothy/whatever you want to call churned snow, and my personal favorite slush over ice -- and looking for a good all-around tire. I've considered going back to studs, but the noise can grate after a while and they can swim/wander on magnesium chloride. Blizzaks are OK, but they tend to really struggle on warmish dry roads when new. Michelin X-Ice are great in dry and wet, OK on ice, mediocre in snow and really bad in slush, so they're not really on the top of my list. They make a great all-season tire and I might consider a set if the price was right, but they tend to be expensive, and IMO not worth it.

I fully understand that tires are a collection of compromises. You decide what single condition you want to optimize for and give up on the rest. Most winter tires are optimized for ice (and are useless in everything else) or use studs for ice and then give the tire a more open tread, which makes for a great general winter conditions tire, but they are extremely loud in the dry. Of the tires I've run, the Blizzak DM-V2 is probably the best all-around winter tire I've used if noise and comfort are important, and the studded Hankook iPike 409 is best if you discount noise. That said, time and technology march on. It's been years since I've tried Nokian, Gislaved or Vredestein and I'm sure they've all improved.

So what have you got? Any experience with Cooper or the new Continental?
 

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2020 Onyx Outback
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125 Posts
I've honestly never bothered to run a true snow tire or studded tire and I live 6400 foot up here in the foothills. Slapping on the Falken Wildpeaks Friday though to replace the factory junk. A lot of guys around my area seem to run either Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2's or Blizzaks for dedicated snow tires.
 

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Over the years I have had Nokians, Michelin X-ice, Blizzak WS-series in various iterations. On my '16 Forester I have used the DM-V2's for 3 winters and hands down they are the best in true ice & snow. Tire Rack testing is a great resource and supports this. However, they only have an S speed rating.

On my upcoming '20 Outback Limited XT I'm looking at the Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3 which have a H speed rating and have a more balanced performance on dry or wet cold roads. Tire Track and Consumer Reports ratings support this conclusion. They are pricey but what is the value of Life?!


The Continental Vikings also look interesting, but only have a T speed rating. No, I'm not going to break speed records in the winter (or summer, either, for that matter) but if you want to adhere to Subaru's stricture to use only specified speed rating, they are ruled out.
 

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2005 Outback Wagon 3.0 L.L. Bean
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If your state allows studs and you don't mind the noise then studded tires can't be beat. I've used regular winter tires and while better than all seasons, they didn't stop or turn to my expectations. I was bummed. I replaced with Nokian Hakka 8s then Hakka 9s. When you brake they really dig in. The bite and safety is worth the noise.
 

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2020 Outback Onyx XT, 2007 Outback 2.5
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Discussion Starter #6
If your state allows studs and you don't mind the noise then studded tires can't be beat. I've used regular winter tires and while better than all seasons, they didn't stop or turn to my expectations. I was bummed. I replaced with Nokian Hakka 8s then Hakka 9s. When you brake they really dig in. The bite and safety is worth the noise.
Do the studs last the life of the tire or does driving on dry pavement wear them down?
 

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2005 Outback Wagon 3.0 L.L. Bean
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Studs last the life of the tire.
 

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I live in upstate ny, avg winter snowfall 120 inches sometimes more, I have never used snowtires. Just drive as conditions allow
 

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2020 Outback Onyx XT, 2007 Outback 2.5
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Discussion Starter #9
Studs last the life of the tire.
Thanks. I’ve read several reviews of Hakkapeliita 8s where people said that the studs were worn smooth in 5,000 miles of driving on dry pavement. Generally the stud is a harder material surrounded by a softer material so fresh studs are always available as the tire wears. The assertion was that because of the Nokian factory studs, this was not the case.
 

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2005 Outback Wagon 3.0 L.L. Bean
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Not true on Hakka 8s studs wearing smooth. The stud has a carbide center. So do the Hakka 9s. I've owned both models and they do not wear smooth driving on pavement.
 
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2020 Outback Onyx XT, 2007 Outback 2.5
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Discussion Starter #11
Not true on Hakka 8s studs wearing smooth. The stud has a carbide center. So do the Hakka 9s. I've owned both models and they do not wear smooth driving on pavement.
Thanks for the confirmation.
 

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I have had MIchelin X-Ice and the Cooper Evolution snow tires; I would recommend them both but Coopers are just as good and a lot cheaper.........
 

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2020 Outback Onyx XT, 2007 Outback 2.5
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Discussion Starter #14
Costco is having a tire sale right now. I may just run another set of Blizzaks (WS90 this time) on the new Outback and Michelins on the old Outback. We’ll see.
 

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Costco is having a tire sale right now. I may just run another set of Blizzaks (WS90 this time) on the new Outback and Michelins on the old Outback. We’ll see.
For your new '20 Onyx, I don't believe that the WS-90 is made in the standard size of 225-60 R18
 

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2020 Outback Onyx XT, 2007 Outback 2.5
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Discussion Starter #16
For your new '20 Onyx, I don't believe that the WS-90 is made in the standard size of 225-60 R18
That may be true. I was planning to go 225/65-17 instead. Tires are a bit less expensive in that size, roads tend to get ugly in the winter, and a second set of wheels makes life easier.
 

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2020 OB Touring - Canadian version
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Hi
While we are on snow tires. Anyone can provide info on fitment of oem alloys from other car manufacturers? Such as RAV4 wheels on 2020 OB for example. I know there are many sites that list oem tire/wheel info. But what was tried and tested and works? I really do not care if i have toyota alloys for the messy winter driving in Canada.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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2020 Outback Onyx XT, 2007 Outback 2.5
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Discussion Starter #18
I think the wheels are 5 on 114.3. Realistically most wheels with that bolt pattern should work. I think you need 17” wheels to clear the brake caliper, but not sure is anyone has tested smaller.
 

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I have my Copper Evolution mounted on Toyota 16" steel rims; was planning on using those this winter but I dont know if 16" rim will work or not on '17 OB..........I know the lug pattern is the same but might not clear the brake calipers. I heard you can get spacers from Primitive to enable you to run 16's but not sure if anyone has tested........
 

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Just like the other members here, I am also a fan of Cooper Evolution winter tires. I use it to replace the ridge grappler of my Ranger during the winter season. The stability that this tire provides on deep snow is really impressive. I haven't tried to run a set on my Outback yet, since I am using an all-weather tire as of the moment.
 
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