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Hi all.

So, I've bought a 2005 2.5XT and it current has all (17") season tires on it. They've got life left in them (another 20k perhaps?), but I'm a big fan of winter tires (from NY and I'm a fan of winter sports. That generally gets me into snowy places). They really make an immense difference.

Anyway, I'm looking to buy wheel and tires. It saves me money in the end because I can just change the wheels myself. I want to use the stock wheels for the winter tires and then new wheels on the all seasons (until they wear out and then I'll get summers).

But I really don't know what winter tires to buy, and more importantly, what size to get. I know the tires I have (and I believe stock tires as well) are 225/55/17. Should I go for the same on winters? Go narrower and get 215? What is the preferred size?

And although this is a question for the future... for summers... what would you recommend for size? Same as stock? Or perhaps go a bit wider (235) for more traction? Although increased performance will be nice, I don't want it to be at the detriment of any "off-roading" I do. Which to me means unpaved dirt roads and such that are off the beaten path... no rock crawling or anything crazy.


Any help appreciated. Thanks!!

Also, while I'm at it... when looking at rims for the summer, what are brands that have a good value? Obviously looks being a concern (looking to go with a 5 spoke, I actually like the stock rims for the most part, beefy spokes are nicer than thin ones on this car IMO), but wouldn't mind if they were on the light size and provided some performance benefits.

Anyways, sorry for all the questions!
 

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2011 Outback 3.6 Premium
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721 Posts
I'd go with the stock size in winter tires, the 225-55-17. That way you're assured of a proper match for your car in terms of load rating, brake clearance, wheel well clearance, and diameter.

Winter tire choice depends on its use. If you travel alot of unplowed roads, the Firestone Winterforce is a good choice. If you travel on dry roads or on packed snow & ice, then a less aggressive tire such as the Michelin X-Ice is a good choice.

Fof the summer, I'd stick with an all-season tire in the stock size. Especially if you plan to sometimes venture on unpaved roads.

I'd look at tire websites, such as Tire Rack - Your performance experts for tires and wheels, for helpful info on choosing tires.
 

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2007 Outback XT Ltd
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847 Posts
If you truly want good performance off- pavement, browse the many posts at SubaruOutback.org about All Terrain tire choices. I recommend the Geloander A/T-S.

I really like the Sport Edition (store brand) wheels at Tire Rack. I have bought three sets over the years and been very happy with the quality, relatively light weight and high "bang for the buck". I put a set of 16 x 6.5 Sport Editions and A/T-S tires on my '07 for summer use, and they have been excellent. I use the OEM wheels with stock sized X-Ice 2 tires for winter (packed snow and ice). I like the higher sidewalls of the Geolander for rocky roads, and the lower sidewall of the X-Ice tires compensates a little for the squoooshy rubber compound to improve handling.

You might like these F7s since you like a beefy five spoke style - they closely mimic the OEM wheels:

Sport Edition F7 Silver Painted

If you plan to carry a full sized spare (and you SHOULD) then read up on the threads here before picking a tire size, or it might not fit in the tire well.....



If you have a Discount Tire nearby they will order these wheels at a good price - they won't match the online price, but will match a "shipped" price - figure around US$65 extra for shipping a set of four..

John Davies
Spokane WA USA
 
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