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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Those Crosstrek owners in colder/snowy climes - Do you use snow tires? Any recommendations? I've heard that snows can provide enhanced handling in deeper snow. I live in Maine and just bought a new Crosstrek
 

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I asked the dealer when I ordered my XV if I'd benefit from snow tires. They told me I'd be fine with the stock all seasons.
Granted, we don't get heaps of snow here (normally) but this year we're up to our tenth snow day or so already.
 

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I've had a few icy and cold days since I bought mine. The all seasons that come on the car are ok, but not great in the ice. I have found them a bit loose on occasion when it's very cold outside.
 

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I've had mine in some pretty horrible conditions with the stock tires and have been impressed by them. They still have some of the drawbacks of an all season tire but are better than most in the slippy slidey stuff. You live in a place where winter specific tires will make your life better though so it is an investment you should make. If you generally keep speeds low, ie: little to no interstate driving, try the General Altimax Arctic to save a few $$ or the BF Goodrich Winter Slalom KSi if you want a serious performer that is also fairly quiet. I have them on my wifes Outback and she says that they are very confidence inspiring in snow/ice and rain. If you do a fair bit of higher speed driving I can't say good enough things about the Dunlop Wintersport 3D. I had them on my Volvo C30 and they turned that car into a tank, absolutely nothing stopped it and they handled great on the back roads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the reply. Good info on specific tires. I had the Generals on a Mazda 3 and they worked great. My son, who has an Impreza Sport in Buffalo, also has good thoughts about both the General and the Goodrich
 

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I drive a lot of miles, so am replacing tires every 18 months or so. I always try to plan the new tires for the month of November so they are max traction the first winter. With AWD you can get away with not having quite as much tread. I don't do mountain driving though...I would have snows and studs for that even with AWD.

I don't know what tires I will put on my XV when it needs it though...we'll see how I like the Yokos. Normally I have Goodyear Assurance Triple Treads on my vehicles...not sure these will be the right tire for my XV though. The Triple Treds are a bit noisy but have great grip for my former FWD vehicles.
 

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Noooo! Stay away from those triple treds, they are horrible. You are one of the first people I've ever heard say anything good about them including me and the tire shop I bought them from. We had them on our 06 Outback for the last few years and in anything other than low speed rainy weather they are the worst tires I've ever owned. Loud, harsh ride and the absolute worst snow tires I've ever seen. I say had because they still have 10k or more miles left in them but there is just no way I'll put them back on the car in the spring, they're that bad. I've never tossed a set of tires with any life left in them before.

I too drive a ton of miles, about 30-35k/yr, and go through tires like crazy on my cars. I'm considering Nitto Motivo for the next (8 month set) for my car and will most likely go with a set of those KSi's for winter.
 

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That's funny - I have had at least 3 sets of them and they gave me the best traction in my FWD vehicles...I agree they are not quiet tires, that doesn't bother me...I want to stay on the road. I drive 100 miles a day....

Different strokes...
 

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Those are Legacy GT snowflakes painted black! One of the best old Subaru wheels out there. I've had a few pairs, my favorite was powder coated white on my black bug eye!
 

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Subir_roo said:
I've had a few icy and cold days since I bought mine. The all seasons that come on the car are ok, but not great in the ice. I have found them a bit loose on occasion when it's very cold outside.
Indeed. The tires can cope with snow, but icy patches are murder. I nearly did a 360 this morning on a crossroads that was just an icy plain. Then I drifted my way onto the highway from an ice covered on-ramp.
When I had to go through fresh snow, however, the tires gripped just fine.
 

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I'm hoping to find some take-offs wheels from a 2009-11 Outback for winter setup.... then I will go find tires.... Craigslist is my best friend.....


summer is coming and the take-offs will be posted up by all those guys and gals that NEED aftermarket wheels....
 

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Subir_roo said:
Those are Legacy GT snowflakes painted black! One of the best old Subaru wheels out there. I've had a few pairs, my favorite was powder coated white on my black bug eye!
Bingo, with some Chinese brand winters. Awesome in the snow.
 

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Check out some salvage yards in snowy areas of the country. After a relatively snowy winter like this one there should be a few wrecked Subies you can get the wheels from.
 

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Our traditional answer for snow tires has usually revolved around BFG on our Elements. Now that we are in the XV our Snow Tire selection is back to Nokian, http://www.nokiantires.com/product-group?group=1.01 .

We have been running the extreme Hakkapeliitta 7 on my mother's '08 Outback on the North West Jersey/South East NY State border. These are an overkill with the studs on most snowy days, but needed for their driveway that becomes an ice rink with freezing and melting. She absolutely loves the tires but recognizes that the studs will not be needed for winter tires when and if these eventually wear down.

This brand is not as readily available as most tires and you will most likely have to pay more for their treading. They are not as popular nor commercially available here in the US. If our next move takes us north back into the snow country we will invest in a set of Nokian tires for our XV.

Dan
 

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My ice race and rally experience tells me that the tires need to be selected based on the conditions you will encounter. If you get a lot of snow and driving in slushy conditions is the norm then something like Nokian Hakkas are best. If you will see a lot of icy conditions then a tire like a Blizzak is best. If you encounter snow and ice only occasionally then the all seasons will suffice. One thing about all season tires is that the will work in all seasons and will excel in no seasons.
 

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I'm almost a bit paranoid about what I've been reading on this site, as well as others about snow. It's my first Subaru, and will be my first winter. I live in PA, and just want to get through the weather. I do appreciate the site, and knowledge and experiences that are offered. Feedback seems to range from people saying that any Subaru is awesome, compared to other vehicles, to people criticizing Treks. Some people have said they are the worst vehicles in the snow, and worse than their Front wheel drive cars? I've never seen any vehicle that was good with ice. Any AWD or 4 WD vehicle can get going, but that's not going to make you stop or turn in ice or slush. We've all seen news stories, with 15 or 20 cars sliding on ice covered roads, smashing into one another with no control. I've also seen tons of videos, showing the prowess of Subaru's and detailed Trek demonstration videos from owners. I am very happy with my choice so far. Is this possibly a case where too much evaluation is not a good thing?


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I'm almost a bit paranoid about what I've been reading on this site, as well as others about snow.
Eric ...

Read what rallyace wrote above. It says everything you need to know. While the stock 3 season tires will get you just about anywhere you wish to go in the winter, they are extremely limited when it comes to stopping and cornering on slippery winter roads. They will also make you work harder at driving in winter conditions. I personally would not drive any vehicle (even my Subarus) without dedicated winter tires during the winter season. What winter tire to choose depends to the largest degree on the type of winter conditions you would typically drive in. Again, rallyace provided sage advice. I live in the snowbelt south of Lake Erie. Roads are usually well maintained, but ice is often a major concern (more so than deep snow). Therefore, my tires of choice are the X-Ice or the Blizzak. Have run both and have come to the conclusion that for me, prefer the Blizzak. That said, I have primarily owned Foresters (pre-2009 models). Excellent handling in all kinds of nasty weather. Our latest two Subarus are Crosstreks. They handle a little differently than the Foresters we had, but are still excellent in the winter weather. I would say that many negative comments you may have read about Crosstreks in the snow can be attributed to incorrect tires for winter conditions, problems with alignment, or the VDC system (I hate it when electronics try to intervene!!!).
 

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Hey, thanks for the reply and solid info! Where I'm at can always have the potential for bad weather, but is nothing like what you experience. I get it, that a dedicated set of winter tires for you, is common sense. I have navigated around, with a front wheel drive car that was less than stellar in the past. My age, driving experience, and common sense were my assets. I'm looking forward to a little less anxiety and white knuckles this season. I will give the stock tires a whirl, and maybe upgrade to something a little more aggressive when they need to be replaced. I have no issues with a little more of a truck feel. I had a Suzuki Samurai years back, that came with car tires. It was horrible in the snow. When I upgraded to off brand all terrain tires, I was able to play in the snow. That vehicle was an eccentric raw ride, that grew on you


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