If you own a Subaru Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, or Ascent, you are probably asking the question, “Why do I need snow tires if I have all-wheel-drive?” Or can I get by with the all-season tires that came on my new car? It all depends on where you live and how much extreme winter weather you will experience.
If you live in a northern climate, you want the “stickiest” tires on your vehicle to get the Subaru’s Symmetrical all-wheel-drive power to the ground. They will also give you improved braking and steering. Here are the highest-rated winter/snow tire brands from Consumer Reports. Each tire manufacturer has different winter tires, and you can choose what’s best for your vehicle from the 10-best tire brands list below.
photo credit: Brilliance Subaru
Winter tires combined with Subaru’s Symmetrical all-wheel-drive are the perfect match. You may be asking the question, “Why do I need snow tires if I have an all-wheel-drive vehicle?” Or can I get by with the all-season tires that came on my new car?
Not all tires are best for driving on snow and ice, and you want tires (known as snow or “winter” tires, which better describe their function since they perform better in cold temperatures, not just on snow). Your new Subaru Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, and Ascent models come equipped from the factory with “all-season” tires, and they are fine for mild winter weather, but they are not the best for severe road conditions.
photo credit: Subaru of New England - @bordeau.photo
Just like you wouldn’t wear flip-flops when there are snow and ice on the sidewalk, you wear shoes or boots to give you the best footing. It’s the same idea as your tires. If you live in an area where snow and ice regularly accumulate, winter tires will noticeably reduce wheel spin and sliding on slick surfaces.
The Subaru Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, or Ascent will perform admirably with all-season tires in various temperatures and conditions. But take them off and put on a good set of winter tires if you want the best traction, especially if you live in a climate where you encounter severe weather.
photo credit: Subaru of New England
When shopping for winter rubber, look for an Alpine pictograph (a snowflake inside a mountain) on the tire’s sidewall. You know it meets more stringent winter traction performance requirements when you see the icon, including snowy, slippery roads and low temperatures.
What are the best winter tire brands for your all-wheel-drive Subaru?
Consumer Reports arrives at its best tire brands ranking from winter/snow tire testing at its Auto Test Center and regional ski mountains and does braking tests on the controlled surface of a local ice skating rink. They also compiled results from 15,000 owner surveys who bought tires in the preceding 12 months and asked them about their overall satisfaction.
The 10-Best Tires brands in owner satisfaction in alphabetical order are listed in the image below. You can check out the 28 Most and Least Satisfying Brands for Winter/Snow Tires by checking out the complete report here.
photo credit: Consumer Reports
Be aware that winter tires have softer rubber for maximum sticky grip, so they will wear out quicker when driven on dry pavement.
Make sure you get four winter/snow tires of the same size and identical category to maintain optimal driving performance. Buying the right winter tires can give you instant “bolt-on” traction, confidence, and control for your 2022 Subaru Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, or Ascent all-wheel-drive SUV.
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Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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