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Discussion Starter #1
We have a 2015 Outback Limited 2.5 with the OEM 18” wheels. The car is going to Denver with our daughter for college in a few weeks and will need new tires. Want to replace the tires with Nokian WRG3, and am close to pulling the trigger on the 225 60r18 size of this tire. I do see that a lot of people switch to a 17” rim, which if I did I could then use the 225 65r17 WRG3 in the SUV version.

My question is whether the car would drive safer in adverse weather with the 17” wheels and tires so as to justify the cost and hassle of ordering new wheels.

Thanks.
 

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'18 OB 2.5 Ltd, No Eyesight, No Nav
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I was faced with the same decision and went with the Nokian WRG3 225/60R18. It got high ratings in both winter (snow) and summer. I travel to ski resorts, and so performance in the snow is important to me. I have not had many complaints so far. If your daughter drives off the road with these tires, then she has a driving problem that no tires will fix. The only complaint I have so far is the tread is advertised as 12/32”, but my tires came with 11/32” tread.

I cannot imagine the WGR3 225/65R17 performs that much better to justify the expense. Heck, they might not even be better for your driving needs and style.

If I were going to buy a whole new set of wheels, I would place winter specific tires on the new wheels and then keep the stock wheels and tires for summer.
 

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If your sole concern is safety, I don't think there is much difference between 17" and 18" wheels.

If you are concerned for other reasons, the '15 Premium came with 17" wheels. Run an ad on Craigslist. Probably not too hard to find someone that would swap a set of Premium wheels for a set of Limited wheels.
 

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'18 OB 2.5 Ltd, No Eyesight, No Nav
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Please let me know if you are selling your Limited wheels. I would use the extra wheels to get winter specific tires in a couple years. I am sticking with 18” wheels across the board.
 

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Honestly I would stick to the same size wheels if I was you. I have 4 vehicles and 3 of them are 16 inch wheels. I prefer to have just one size so I can swap tires around here and there wherever I want.
A smaller wheel with the same diameter of tire is going to flex a bit more in your maneuvering. Good for off road where you need to air down for a bigger contact patch I imagine but doubt that will be an issue for her.
A bigger wheel for the same diameter makes for a stiffer tire when it comes to cornering. Hence the reasons you see these ricer jokers running around with 22 inch wheels and a 24 inch tire diameter. There basically is no sidewall to flex and thus they presume themselves to be awesome racers. Well right up till they throw some groceries in the back and get hung up on the parking lot speed bump.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Please let me know if you are selling your Limited wheels. I would use the extra wheels to get winter specific tires in a couple years. I am sticking with 18” wheels across the board.
I finally decided to just get the 18” Nokian WRG3 like you:wink2:

I thought I had them ordered about two weeks ago but the shop finally told me they couldn’t get them, but I did get them ordered today on simple tire.com during their cyber Monday sale. Should arrive Friday and get installed Monday.

Chris
 
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