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The Best Tires For Your AWD Subaru This Summer

Choosing the best new tires for your Subaru Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, or another all-wheel-drive Subaru model this summer is a crucial decision. Let's explore the top picks to ensure you make an informed choice.

Check your tires before your road trip. 

Many Subaru owners will be heading out for a road trip this Fourth of July week, and your tires could make or break your trip. AAA says nearly 71 million people are expected to travel over the Fourth of July week. 

Before embarking on your road trip, it's crucial to check your tires. This simple step can prevent potential issues on the road, ensuring a safe and smooth journey.

AAA predicts a significant increase in travel this Fourth of July week, with nearly 71 million people expected to hit the road. "This is a 5% increase compared to 2023 and an 8% increase over 2019, making it one of the busiest travel periods of the year," says AAA. 

It's why you drive a Subaru. 

Many Subaru owners use their all-wheel-drive vehicles to escape the city. Subaru vehicles are designed for all-season performance, making them a reliable choice for summer driving conditions. Whether you're heading to the mountains or the beach, your Subaru will get you there safely and comfortably with the right tires. 

I have covered the best winter tires for your Subaru all-wheel-drive Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, or another Subaru model. You can read my report here. For summer driving, which are the best tires for your vehicle when the roads are warm or hot? 

All-season tires are a good choice. 

At higher elevations, rain or even snow could also occur, so it's important to be prepared for all conditions. 

Consumer Reports (by subscription) updated its list of the best all-season tires for 2024. I've listed which are best for your particular Subaru model. 

CR says, "Tires look simple and can easily be taken for granted, but their design can be quite sophisticated, from the rubber compound chemistry to the tread design."

Their experts have examined the data from its extensive tire test program to select the best car tires in several key categories, from all-season to performance winter/snow tires. 

Here are the results.

The Best All-Season Tires

These tires will be best for any Subaru SUV, Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, or Ascent. 

Michelin Defender T+H - Price: $179

CR says, "The Michelin Defender T+H is the best all-season tire. It delivers good dry braking and handling performance, resistance to hydroplaning, and snow traction. Plus, its projected tread life is an impressive 85,000 miles. It has average or greater performance in every test we conduct."

A Good Alternative

CR says the General Altimax RT43 is a good alternative, with a similar Overall Score and a much lower price. "It provides solid performance across the board. Its predicted tread life is shorter than the Michelin's at 70,000, but that's still a solid distance, and the cost savings more than compensate."

Best Performance All-Season Tires

For driving enthusiasts who want a better performance tire, the Continental PureContact LS is the best choice for any Subaru SUV, Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, or Ascent. 

Price: $171.99 - $176.99

CR says, "The Continental PureContact LS stands out as the best performance all-season tire with its good grip in most conditions. It rates better than average in several key areas, including dry braking, wet braking, handling, hydroplaning resistance, and snow traction. The predicted tread life is 75,000 miles."

Another Good Choice

"The Hankook Kinergy 4s2 is another good choice that scores nearly as well as the Continental PureContact LS. This tire does trail the Continental in noise and tread life at 55,000 miles."

The Best Ultra-High-Performance All-Season Tires for WRX and BRZ performance cars.

Michelin Pilot Sport All Season 4 - Price: $189

CR says, "The top UHP all-season tire is the Michelin Pilot Sport All Season 4. This tire gets top marks for dry braking, hydroplaning resistance, and noise. It delivers above-average handling, snow traction, and braking performance on wet surfaces. The key shortcoming is rolling resistance, which earns our lowest score, meaning its fuel efficiency is less than most tires."

"The BFGoodrich G-force Comp-2 A/S plus ties that Michelin for Overall Score, but its sub-scores reveal different strengths and weaknesses. The BFGoodrich earns top marks for dry braking and handling, with wet braking, hydroplaning resistance, snow traction, ice braking, and noise all being above average." 

Both tires are projected to have 60,000 miles of tread life, good for this category.

Best Ultra-High-Performance Summer Tires for WRX and STI

Michelin Pilot Sport 4s - Price: $232.99

CR says, "The Michelin Pilot Sport 4s stands out, with excellent handling and impressive braking. It excels in particular for dry braking, handling, and hydroplaning resistance. Rolling resistance and ride comfort are low points." 

Second and Third Best

"Overall, this tire commands a significant lead over the second-rated Continental ExtremeContact Sport 02. The third-ranked General G-Max RS is the value choice in this category."

Buying the right summer tires can give you instant "bolt-on" traction, confidence, and control for your Outback, Crosstrek, Forester, or another Subaru vehicle.

I am Denis Flierl, a top Torque News reporter since 2012. I’ve invested over 13 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role, working with every major car brand. I am an experienced Rocky Mountain Automotive Press member. You'll find my expert Subaru analysis here. Follow me on my X SubaruReportAll Subaru, WRXSTI, @DenisFlierlFacebook, and Instagram.

Photo credit: Subaru


Nicholas Braia (not verified)    July 1, 2024 - 5:49PM

I replaced the OEM Yokohama tires on my 21 Outback with Vandersteen tires and they absolutely transformed the handling of the car. I now have about 20,000 miles on them and they still look pretty fresh.

The Eagle (not verified)    July 2, 2024 - 11:40AM

How about for us who need a tire that can handle Off Road conditions. In Phoenix I'm not concerned with winter tires. Currently running Falken Wildpeaks, but curious if any other company has come out with an AT tire for small SUV's.