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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2020 limited with the stock 18's, I live in suburban NYC drive mostly on paved roads, I want to upgrade to better tires and change from the stock rims, why would I go to 17's? meaning is there any reason for street driving to have 17's vs 18's?

I really dont know much about tires and dont feel like the tire stores are giving me the right advice, example: I LOVE the look of LP adventure (LP1s) however I had two different shops tell me I have to lift my car in order to get them and I think they were screwing me around - does any one have them with out a lift?

thanks in advance for any help
 

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2020 Outback Onyx XT
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I have a 2020 limited with the stock 18's, I live in suburban NYC drive mostly on paved roads, I want to upgrade to better tires and change from the stock rims, why would I go to 17's? meaning is there any reason for street driving to have 17's vs 18's?

I really dont know much about tires and dont feel like the tire stores are giving me the right advice, example: I LOVE the look of LP adventure (LP1s) however I had two different shops tell me I have to lift my car in order to get them and I think they were screwing me around - does any one have them with out a lift?

thanks in advance for any help
Is there a specific reason you want different tires?
 

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2020 Outback Limited XT Black on Ivory
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I got a price of $120/rim for powder coating locally when I briefly flirted with the idea.. There are some kits on Amazon that allow you to coat your own for a cheap fix. Then their are options to buy new rims and tires that quickly drive you into the $1200-$1600 range. Do a search here on "rims" and you'll find discussion.
To briefly answer your rim size question, 17" rims can give you more sidewall height which is important for airing down when off roading. No real benifits ( or detriments) for around town driving.
Personally, I'm good with the factory tires for every day driving. They are not the greatest but not anywhere near junk either. I'll replace them with something " upgraded " when I wear them out. For now, I have other things to spend the $800 on than for tires that I won't notice anyhow.
 

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2004 Forester 2.5XT 5MT PSM /2020 Outback Onyx XT AGM
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The main benefit of switching to 17’s in NYC is a higher profile tire for better riding over potholes. The downside is slightly less sporty handling. I’ve driven in Westchester, Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan, and live in NJ, and feel the tires are fine on NYC streets. Maybe because I’ve driven on the same streets in a 2004 FXT on 225/55/17’s and 215/60/16 so the Onyx rides like a luxury car by comparison.

A friend of mine recently had his tires powder coated in Staten Island and they did an amazing job. Good work in this area isn’t cheap.

Have a look in the Tire forum at you’ll find all sorts of threads on wheel and tire size. And stick with Subaru specialty shops.
 

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2020 Outback Onyx XT in Autumn Green Metallic
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I like the bronze better than the black on the Onyx for my color vehicle, but I run into a host of questions. To me, it might be worth doing if I could run 235/65r17 without a lift without any rubbing or fitment issues (have splash guards too and will fill wheelwell by extra 6 mm). That size would give me a bit more height and sidewall, bring the wheel out 1" (fender clearance?), and have me driving less than 1mph faster at 60mph than the speedometer reads. However, just rim replacement would run me about $1,350 for all 5 and then tires. If when my factory tires were done if someone wanted the Onyx rims for what the replacements cost me, I'd be tempted.

Notice the amount of ifs and buts in there.
 

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17" provide slightly more sidewall height which will provide a little more cushion when hitting potholes.
18" tire searches show me less options for tires compared to 17"
18" Searches for snow cables to fit the 225/60/18 has been difficult if not impossible.
17 vs 18, there is a difference in circumference of the two tires. This changes the rotations per mile numbers.

Powder coat requires a high temp bake so the tires will require unmount/remount, rebalance, removal of the current paint(?) and probably some other actions. Consider just painting the shiny part of the wheel with some good paint; maybe epoxy paint or just regular paint. Wheel repaint charges in my area a few years ago was quoted at $100-125 per wheel.
 

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17" tires will be able to take potholes better. 17" tires usually are less expensive.
18" wheels will be slightly better for cornering, and look a little better (that part is subjective though).
There is no one fits all. :)
 

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2020 Touring XT, 2013 Outback Lim SAP 270K, 2003 Outback Lim MT 2.5L, 241K..
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I really dont know much about tires and dont feel like the tire stores are giving me the right advice, example: I LOVE the look of LP adventure (LP1s) however I had two different shops tell me I have to lift my car in order to get them and I think they were screwing me around - does any one have them with out a lift?

thanks in advance for any help
there is screwing you around, and there is also the fact that SO many people in these types of places often have no idea what they are talking about. lol But I fully support having a skeptic's mindset.

I myself have considered changing the rims and would like better tires, but I will wait till these wear out.

Ron_br said:
"18" Searches for snow cables to fit the 225/60/18 has been difficult if not impossible."

Has anyone ever had to put cables on their Outbacks? I have driven outbacks since 2003 here in the snowy California mountains a great many times driving through the chain/cable stops (where they are forcing people to put them on) and they ALWAYS have let me through, sometimes asking if I have them in the car, but I have never been made to put them on. I am curious if anyone here has?
 

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there is screwing you around, and there is also the fact that SO many people in these types of places often have no idea what they are talking about. lol But I fully support having a skeptic's mindset.

I myself have considered changing the rims and would like better tires, but I will wait till these wear out.

Ron_br said:
"18" Searches for snow cables to fit the 225/60/18 has been difficult if not impossible."

Has anyone ever had to put cables on their Outbacks? I have driven outbacks since 2003 here in the snowy California mountains a great many times driving through the chain/cable stops (where they are forcing people to put them on) and they ALWAYS have let me through, sometimes asking if I have them in the car, but I have never been made to put them on. I am curious if anyone here has?
Let alone the Outback, I had chains in my Impreza of course but was never asked to put them on going through the Sierras or the Siskiyou Summit passes.
 

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there is screwing you around, and there is also the fact that SO many people in these types of places often have no idea what they are talking about. lol But I fully support having a skeptic's mindset.

I myself have considered changing the rims and would like better tires, but I will wait till these wear out.

Ron_br said:
"18" Searches for snow cables to fit the 225/60/18 has been difficult if not impossible."

Has anyone ever had to put cables on their Outbacks? I have driven outbacks since 2003 here in the snowy California mountains a great many times driving through the chain/cable stops (where they are forcing people to put them on) and they ALWAYS have let me through, sometimes asking if I have them in the car, but I have never been made to put them on. I am curious if anyone here has?
Lots of experience in CA with snow chain requirements because we had a vacation house in the mountains and drove there most weekends year round. Under R1 conditions you, by law, must carry chains. I have personally seen the CHP make drivers show them chains under R1 conditions and they also checked for M&S markings on the tire a few times. I even looked for the markings to verify the OB tires will make it through a check (see below) Since we are planning a trip to Yosemite during snow season I can't afford to have an entry problem and loose a reservation. Also, getting into an accident without using chains could be a problem. The tires on my OB are not near the LT M&S wide snow tires I had on my 4 wheel drive with locked front axle & rear positraction. I drove this vehicle in R1 and R2 conditions without installing chains, but always carried chains to be legal. The OB is not expected to be nearly as good in snow and ICE so may want the option of gaining traction.
M&S Tire.jpg

  • Requirement 1 (R-1): Chains are required on all vehicles except passenger vehicles and light-duty trucks under 6,000 pounds gross weight and equipped with snow tires on at least two drive wheels. Chains must be carried by vehicles using snow tires. All vehicles towing trailers must have chains on one drive axle. Trailers with brakes must have chains on at least one axle.
  • Requirement 2 (R2): Chains or traction devices are required on all vehicles except four-wheel/all-wheel drive vehicles with snow-tread tires on all four wheels.
    NOTE: (Four-wheel/all-wheel drive vehicles must carry traction devices in chain control areas.)
  • Requirement 3 (R3): Chains or traction devices are required on all vehicles, no exceptions.
 

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@josephine are you wanting tires that are more heavy duty, better in winter, etc? My all around favorite tire for the Outback is the Nokian WRG4 which I currently have on my 2018 Limited. They are a heavy duty all-weather (not all-season, all-weather is better) tire that is the next best thing to a dedicated snow tire that you can drive year round.

In all honesty I will say that they can be drone noise at highway speeds but aside from that they can take a beating. I have had multiple sets of Nokian tires over the past 16 years and they have always been excellent.
 

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I really dont know much about tires and dont feel like the tire stores are giving me the right advice, example: I LOVE the look of LP adventure (LP1s) however I had two different shops tell me I have to lift my car in order to get them and
The best place to learn about tires is Tirerack.com. There is a ton of information on the website and the charts on how each tire perform in their category is extremely helpful. Local tire stores try to sell what they have rather than what is best for you.

Tirerack
 

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2015 3.6R Limited w/ES
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I wouldn't concern myself much with the 17" vs 18" wheel, just go with whichever gets you the look you're after. I think the ride quality difference is marginal, and I've never heard of anyone having pothole issues with 18s in the NY metro area (and our roads stink). It's the really low profile tires, typically running on wheels over 18 inches, that tend to get into trouble around here.
 

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The best place to learn about tires is Tirerack.com. There is a ton of information on the website and the charts on how each tire perform in their category is extremely helpful. Local tire stores try to sell what they have rather than what is best for you.

Tirerack
I would even go so far as to say buy a set of wheels and tires from Tirerack. They will come mounted and balanced. Then, assuming someone who lives in suburban NYC could use snow tires, the OP could use the old rims for snow tires. To do that though the OP would really need a garage or some place to store the tire/wheels not on the vehicle.

Reading this I don't see a reason to switch sizes. It seems like all that is desired is different wheels and there's no real reason a different size is wanted. Switching sizes raises other issues, such as speedometer calibration and the Eyesight system. Also the stock size probably gives better handling than switching to a higher profile tire (apparently off-road isn't an issue).
 

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Discussion Starter #18
thanks for all of the info... my desire to switch is cosmetic, prob just a waste of money for me to switch for no real reason so I guess ill keep an eye out for people selling onxy wheels (they would fit with the current tires correct?) and when I actually need to replace tires I can worry about tires and new wheels then
 

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@josephine are you wanting tires that are more heavy duty, better in winter, etc? My all around favorite tire for the Outback is the Nokian WRG4 which I currently have on my 2018 Limited. They are a heavy duty all-weather (not all-season, all-weather is better) tire that is the next best thing to a dedicated snow tire that you can drive year round.

In all honesty I will say that they can be drone noise at highway speeds but aside from that they can take a beating. I have had multiple sets of Nokian tires over the past 16 years and they have always been excellent.
More about these tire versions can be found at Most All-Weather Tires Provide an Edge in the Snow
You guys think that the Nokian WRG4 would be better than say the Falken Wildpeak A/T Trail or the Geolandar A/T G015 for snow?
 

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You guys think that the Nokian WRG4 would be better than say the Falken Wildpeak A/T Trail or the Geolandar A/T G015 for snow?
I personally do not think there is a better all-weather or all-season tire for snow than the WRG4.
 
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