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2015 Outback 2.5i Limited Tungsten Metallic
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Discussion Starter #1
Living in Ontario, winter is still months away, but deals on winter tires are starting to appear. CostCo has a $15 per tire discount in effect until October 4th for Bridgestone Blizzak WS80. They also show Michelin X-Ice Xi3 as compatible with my 2015 2.5i Limited. X-Ice list price is $30 more before the discount, so it is tempting to save $180 plus tax and get WS80s soon. But I have read some reviews that suggest X-Ice might be a better tire for Southern Ontario winters. If I was in a snow belt such as Buffalo or New Brunswick, I would consider Blizzak or Nokian as my best options.

I had Nokian Hakkas on my previous vehicle (2012 Venza FWD), and they were amazing in deeper snow, but I was not impressed by them on slick or icy roads. My concern is that the Blizzaks are more like the Hakkas -- better for deeper snow, but less effective on packed snow and ice, which is more the usual winter conditions here. And I also have heard for many years that Blizzaks wear out faster because they are softer. i.e. don't expect them to maintain their ability beyond the first two winters.

CostCo usually rotates their discounts or rebate programs through Michelin, Bridgestone and either Pirelli or other 3rd brand. Should I pass on the Blizzaks and hold out for Michelin going on sale in October? I know I will be better off with the OB AWD no matter, but wonder if those who had their 2015 OB through last winter could share their views on Blizzak vs. X-Ice, especially those of you with Limited Trim and 18" wheels??

Also, some people say the tires CostCo sells are not the same as what you can buy at real Tire Stores. On the other hand, if I don't like the tires, nobody will beat CostCo's return policy, in my experience.

Thanks in advance.... Jimbo
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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but less effective on packed snow and ice, which is more the usual winter conditions here.
get studded tires.

the performance of anything other than studded tires will depend, not on tire selection, but environmental and usage variables.

such as - how much that snow pack was driven on, how it was driven on, what kind of vehicles, exposure to sun, how much dark matter (debris, leaves, soot from exhaust) mixed with the snow to absorb heat, melted, and refroze...and how much traffic it got while refreezing... into a sheet of flat, slick ice....and at what point in time this happens in relation to when you drive on it. that's why it'll vary wildly on roads like that - it's not tires - it's a differential equation of physical variables.

if studded tires aren't an option then the differences between the tires you listed are likely marginal and minor in comparison to the physics of driving on snow pack/ice, i'd be comfortable using any three of those tires and just expect the Nokians are going to retain higher percentage of original traction for more years. and i also drive mountain roads that stay snow packed/ice covered for extended periods of time. they're steep enough that if you start sliding you can not stop, at all, zero chance....well until you hit the snow bank.
 

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2015 Outback 3.6 Limited Eyesight White
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Blizzak WS80 vs. X-Ice Xi3...

I have been researching snow tires and have narrowed it down to these two.

TireRack has a very good test review, and I think the price of the X-Ice is cheaper than Blizzak.
Read the test report... http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tests/testDisplay.jsp?ttid=193
See the test Video...... http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tests/videoDisplay.jsp?ttid=193

From what I understand, the Blizzak is slightly, but noticably better than the X-Ice at stopping, starting, and cornering in packed snow. Ice is too close to mention (ok, I will mention, the X-Ice was only very sightly better at stopping on pure ice).
The X-Ice has a better feel (more connected to the road) with clear conditions. According to the reports, these are noticeably quieter.

For my situation, I think the X-Ice will be better, the roads are more clear than they are covered.

If my roads were covered more than they were clear, I would go with the Blizzak.
 

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2016 2.5i Touring, Red/ivory
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I've had three sets of Hakkas and they are great.
One set has been on my 2003 Murano since new and have 50,000 kilometres or 30,000 miles approx. They are down 1/10th of an inch from the original 4/10ths.
I'm in ottawa and used them to get down a steep hill to cottage every weekend in winter and they never let me down. They will be going on my new Outback now on order.
Two years ago I saw ratings that put the x-ice above the R2s and bought a set for my 2013 Accord Sport. I like them better.
Not only do they perform on a par with the Hakkas but they give such a soft quiet ride that I regret returning to the 18" Primacys in the spring. Can't go wrong with either.
Know nothing about Bridgestone but I guess I will be finding out.
 

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2015 Legacy Premium, Eyesight
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...get studded tires.
Don't do that. They tear up the roads. The new high tech snows with silica tread are great on ice and snow.

Got the car in Feb, went right from the dealer to tire store to have Michelin Xice3's put. Fantastic tire. Had them on my FWD Prius and the thing was a snow mobile.

We never got any snow this year but they will make an AWD Subaru unstoppable.

Any of the top rated silica tread tires, Bridgestone Blizzaks, Nokians, Michelins, will be great. Besides not tearing up the roads and the noise of the studs, the silica based get better MPG.
 

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I bought last year, a replacement set of Cooper studded.
"cooper weathermaster st2" Noisey on bare pavement, but awesome in the worst conditions.

I bought a set of used plain snows on rims off another member, for my sunny day car, ...so it is not a 4 wheel spinner on 2" of snow

best prices I saw were around the middle of November for online stores, but they were gone before December 1st.

but I got Cooper studded ones locally for about the same price. (leftovers from last year, but oh well, its what I wanted).

because having the studs is better for the long term, then getting ice tires that dry out and don't actually stick after 2 years. (and I keep my studded snow tires for a long time as I use them sparingly).

I don't see the lady below climbing with 3 year old rubber body suit sticking to the ice.

 

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2015 Outback Limited 4 cyl. 19 m.m. rsb.
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I have had Blizzaks for years starting with the original WS50`s, 60`s. 70`s an will be getting the 80`s. I haven`t decided which wheels to get yet, narrowed down to 5 favorites on Tire Rack. I did try the General Altima Artic`s for my 13 XV but found them to have a very wide footprint which gave the impression of floating on top of the snow several times. The Blizzak`s have a narrow footprint which is better in snow.
BTW last year we had about 13 feet of snow !
 

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Just to point out that studded tires are not legal in southern Ontario where OP is from.

On the subject though, I'll probably go a similar route with Costco but Im also curious as OP is on whether buying tires somewhere else might be better option. (Not really interested in costcos service because it's not possible to make an appointment)
 

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Just to point out that studded tires are not legal in southern Ontario where OP is from.

On the subject though, I'll probably go a similar route with Costco but Im also curious as OP is on whether buying tires somewhere else might be better option. (Not really interested in costcos service because it's not possible to make an appointment)

I guess the best way to work with a place that does not do appointments, is to get there when they open so you are not waiting in line.

but no studded tires? its time to invade,

without studded tires there it should be easy.:wink2:

 

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You might find this Russian (use Google Translate) test interesting: Êàê çàêàëÿëñÿ ëåä

Nokian Hakka R2 were the top choice.
Michelin Xi3 did pretty well, except for the slush test - and slush planning resistance might be important for Southern Onterrible.

I had Hakka R on the old Legacy, and the OB runs studded Hakka 8 SUV - the only downside is you get used to being able to drive no matter what the road conditions are. Our office has a policy to rent cars for business-related travel, and boy it is hard to adjust...
 

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Don't do that.
Except that no snow tire can go up ice covered steep grades. EE's picture exaggerates but captures the idea.

Deep, lots of snow, snow packed roads - all of that is no big deal.
Flat land snow driving - cake.

Steep grades iced over....that's a completely different animal and far more dangerous than just getting stuck. When you start sliding down an iced over mountain you do not stop sliding no matter how awesome of a driver you are or what kind of 4WD or tires you have.
 

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I plan on getting a set of Continental WinterContact SI (successor to the well-rated ExtremeWinterContact) for my OB. Apparently there will be a $65 rebate on those starting Oct 15.
 

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Except that no snow tire can go up ice covered steep grades. EE's picture exaggerates but captures the idea.

Deep, lots of snow, snow packed roads - all of that is no big deal.
Flat land snow driving - cake.

Steep grades iced over....that's a completely different animal and far more dangerous than just getting stuck. When you start sliding down an iced over mountain you do not stop sliding no matter how awesome of a driver you are or what kind of 4WD or tires you have.
Well Michelin Xices without studs got FWD Prius up Mt.Hood Timberline road with packed ice while 4WD's with just all seasons slid into the guard rail.

The silica in the tread makes it like sandpaper, very effective on ice on steep grades.
 

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I plan on getting a set of Continental WinterContact SI (successor to the well-rated ExtremeWinterContact) for my OB. Apparently there will be a $65 rebate on those starting Oct 15.
I have Cont Extreme Winter Contacts on all 3 vehicles (two Outbacks and our Sienna Minivan) and very happy with them. Well balanced all-around performer suited to the wide swings in weather conditions we see in this part of NY.
 

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I run Blizzaks WS80's, no complaints from their performance. They do well in snow and ice around here, and last year we had a lot of ice!

There's the saying: the worst snow tire will outperform the best A/S, hard to go wrong.
 

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silica sounds neat, go michellin, i've always liked those guys.

as much as i like the silica idea - if a vertical smooth ice wall was incrementally stepped down by 1 degree while two vehicles, one with snow tires and the other with studded, tried to drive up it - which one will go up first?

none will go when it's 90 degrees...but eventually one will. seems to me most people would guess the studs.

Well Michelin Xices without studs
my guess is it wasn't as steep or as smooth ice as it could have been.

i agree - studded tires suck - they're noisy and tear up roads, driveways, and parking lots. but they have a place for certain people that have to drive in really bad roads/conditions.
 

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2012 winter tires

just bought an 16' ob premium,and prior to that had a set of 16" steel wheels/tires on my 12' would they match up to the 5th gen? or did they change the stud pattern on the 16's.
 

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just bought an 16' ob premium,and prior to that had a set of 16" steel wheels/tires on my 12' would they match up to the 5th gen? or did they change the stud pattern on the 16's.
Bolt pattern for Gen 5 is new -5x114.3. Old pattern was 5x100.
 
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