Subaru Outback/Legacy Tires and Wheels

nelgigenflugennelgigenflugen Member Posts: 4
I have a 2001 Subaru Outback that has the Firestone Wilderness Tire but no one has them. They have to be ordered. Is it the best tire for this car or can I go for another brand tire?
«13

Comments

  • bpappasbpappas Member Posts: 2
    I recently purchased a '98 Legacy L wagon after test-driving several Outbacks. The Legacy has a manual, lower mileage, and was a cleaner car (with no leaking seals) than the Outbacks I drove. Plus, with slightly better fuel efficiency ratings, I am pleased with my purchase. However, one thing that attracted me to the Outbacks was the higher ground clearance and beefier tires. The reason for me moving from my trusty 240 wagon to a Sub was that I am moving to a mountainous area and want something that can hold the road better in winters. I am wondering if a regular Legacy can accept an Outback wheel and tire size - or if either the wheel wells do not allow enough clearance, or an Outback wheel needs mated with Outback suspension components. I am sure the brakes would require changing. I believe the Outback wheel is 16x5". Failing this, will the Legacy wheel accept a slightly wider tire? I once owned an Isuzu I-mark that would take a wider tire than factory, so I did this every time I replaced tires for about 6 high-mileage years. Any takers?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    The actual wheel will fit, yes, they're both 5x100mm bolt pattern.

    The brakes are OK, going to a bigger wheel just gives you more room, even though you don't need it.

    The tires may not clear the rear strut base, though. The Outback's raised suspension leaves more clearance for the bigger tires.

    I thought Outbacks had 205/70R15 tires back then, though. I thought they went to a 225/60R16 on a 16" rim for MY2000. What is your stock size? 205/60R15, something like that?

    Use this tool to see how much the diameter will increase:

    http://www.miata.net/garage/tirecalc.html

    You can probably go 10mm wider (6mm more radius on a 60 series tires), but not much more than that. There isn't much "slop" in a Subaru, they're relatively precise, so you have less wiggle room for that type of thing.

    -juice
  • bpappasbpappas Member Posts: 2
    thanks, juice. i'm going to ask a dealer anyway, as i have to check w/ one about a couple of other minor things (how to secure a front licence plate bracket on a car w/o one - i'm not certain about the screwholes). i'm pretty sure the stock tire size is 185/70-14. i didn't write it down before posting, but searched it online and that jibes w/ my memory of what the sidewall indicated.

    you're right. the 16" spec i gave is actually, as it turns out, 2K up.

    the tire calculator gave no difference for the speedo - but the real problem, as you said, may be the struts or something else - just eyeballing, it doesn't look like it would have enough space to accept a 205/70/R15.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    If it is indeed 185/70R14, the radius of the tire grows by a full inch.

    Take a peek at the rear wheel well, the distance from the top of the tire to the base of the springs. My guess is you don't have anywhere close to a full inch of play in that area.

    I had a stock size tire on a Foreser and went 10mm wider. That's less than half an inch, though, and only 6mm wider, and even then it's 3mm on each side.

    Yours would be 205-185=20mm wider, 10mm wider to each side, so nearly half inch closer to the suspension plus an inch higher. My guess is it would not clear.

    -juice
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Any issue with taking some studded tires from my '97 Outback (205/15R70's) and moving them to a similar vintage Legacy? There didn't seem to be a whole lot of clearance with the M+S's on the Outback:

    imageSee more Car Pictures at CarSpace.com

    Steve, Host
    SUVs and Speed Shop
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    There might be - the overall diamater of the tire is bigger, and the Legacy lacks the taller springs that the Outback has. You might get some rubbing in the wheel wells.

    -juice
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Thanks Juice!
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Turned out the tires were for his wife's car, which is a Legacy Outback. :shades: I decided to get rid of my studs/wheels and went back to the compact space (hoping the new Yoko's won't get a flat anytime soon).
  • shrinermonkeyshrinermonkey Member Posts: 58
    Try the several online retailers like TireRack. They all have search engines that allow you to enter your model and will bring up all the tire options that are available.
  • dliboirondliboiron Member Posts: 10
    I bought a '97 Subaru Legacy Outback last May and I'm considering my future tire options when the set on the car wears out in the future.

    1. What kind of winter tires would you install

    2. What kind of all season tires would you intall and are winter tires overkill for an AWD?
  • shrinermonkeyshrinermonkey Member Posts: 58
    Are the original tires still on the car? If so, replace them now because they are too old. Wear isn't the only factor when replacing tires as rubber gets very harder and dryer as it ages. 6 years is a good benchmark maximum age for tires.

    1) Depends on where you live and how you drive and what you are looking for as far as performance. Is comfort and quietness a high priority or is grip?

    2) AWD is only as good as the tires. If you can't get traction, then having AWD does no good, you just end up with 4 tires spinning instead of 2. AWD will make poor tires perform better, but only to a point. Again this also depends on where you live and how you drive. For me living in Iowa, snow tires are overkill because I just don't drive in snow that much, a good all season tire works just fine.
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    Pirelli Sottozero are my favorite 3-season winter tire. I run them from Nov to March on my cars.

    -mike
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    The italian name alone makes it cool. ;)
  • nelgigenflugennelgigenflugen Member Posts: 4
    I live in the south--Charlotte NC. Most of my driving is inner city--I only have 36,000 miles on the car and the original tires. We have mild winters-no snow or ice storms the past 2 years and from what they say of global warming that we can go buy palm trees now and plant them. Summer our temps are in the 90--100 during summer. 101 today. I would like a smoother ride primarily
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    Sumitomo HTR+ is going to be the best all-season tire you'll find out there for the money.

    -mike
  • shrinermonkeyshrinermonkey Member Posts: 58
    Sounds like you could get by with a summer tire but many of those are performance oriented and tend to be noisey, stick with summer touring. If comfort is your priority, I would look on TireRack for a quiet touring or grand touring tire ignoring the snow/ice traction ratings.

    It also depends on how much you want to spend. Searching on TireRack for a 97 Outback yielded 24 tires with a price range of $46 to $107 each.
  • cptpltcptplt Member Posts: 1,075
    when I went from FWD cars with all seasons to AWD all season tires I thought it was great in the winter in the midwest, then I put on snowtires on the AWD and I have never used all seasons again in winter. the traction and braking are so much better.
    one great option is to use Nokian WR tires which are winter snowrated but can be run all year round. I use them as winter tires on my Legacy and all year round on my Tribeca and a minivan.
    The Turanza LS (NOT the ELs) are very good all seasons.
  • dougb10dougb10 Burlington, Ontario, CanadaMember Posts: 185
    I second the suggestion of Bridgestone Turanza LS-H tires.

    I have had them on our '05 Outback Limited ...dumped the original Potenza's after 1,500 kms.....love the Turanza's. They give a smooth ride and are excellent in the rain and snow.

    Doug
  • ddunbarddunbar Member Posts: 31
    Subaru and TireRack recommend replacing the OEM Bridgestone Turanza RE92s on our 2003 Legacy Wagon with other high performance tires. Since the fastest we've ever driven the car is 80 mph, is it worthwhile to consider a T rated tire given the price differentials compared to some of the better H rated tires?
  • cptpltcptplt Member Posts: 1,075
    there once was a time Legacy/outbacks came with T rated tires (my 92 L did) but not for about a decade now! Its not just a question of how fast you drive but what extra "reserve" capacity do you want. Many retailers will not put a lower rated tire on a car than what came as OEM for legal reasons. Its probably safe enough, after all, many winter tires are Q rated. Its your dime and your call but if you do a lot of highway driving especially in hot climates I would stick with H. IMO almost as important as speed rating is to try get something with an A temperature rating. The ideal tire from a safety viewpoint should be A traction and A temp rated.
  • ddunbarddunbar Member Posts: 31
    Thanks. We're in Chicago and so snow/wet traction is more of a concern than heat.
  • cptpltcptplt Member Posts: 1,075
    if you want great snow /ice traction and not want a seperate set of winter tires, get some Nokian WRs. They will be more expensive than a T rated all season but they last a long time too and you won't regret it and even in the summer they are better than many all seasons. I'm in the NW burbs and I've used them on 4 vehicles. Suburban Tires carries them and they are all over Chicagoland.
  • ddunbarddunbar Member Posts: 31
    I was considering those or the Goodyear Assurance TripleTreds which get great reviews on Tirerack.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaMember Posts: 16,134
    I had a set of Goodyear TTs on my '96 Outback. They had great traction characteristics in all weather, year round, but I did take a noticeable hit to my fuel economy (~5%?). With an 80K tread wear warranty, they were destined to give me 3+ years of solid service (at 20K+ miles per year).
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • ddunbarddunbar Member Posts: 31
    Thanks. Are the Nokian WR likely to do better on the fuel economy?
  • cptpltcptplt Member Posts: 1,075
    dunno about that, haven't really noticed much difference in mileage with them compared to whatever all season they replaced
  • pathtomaxpathtomax Member Posts: 215
    Here in NH I am on my second set of the Bridgestone Turanza. I am at about 114,000 miles (45k on the original Wilderness, 55k on the first set of Turanzas)
  • ddunbarddunbar Member Posts: 31
    Thanks.
    How many miles have you gotten out of a set of the Nokian WRs?

    We've gotten over 47K from the OEM Turanza RE92s.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaMember Posts: 16,134
    For what it is worth, regarding the Goodyear TTs, I estimated about a 5% drop in economy because during highway trips the summer after the tires were installed, I consistently received 24.5 mpg, whereas it was right at 26 the summer prior. Nothing was different except the tires (and an extra 20K miles on the car).

    So, there really could be other factors at play there, but I still suspect the tires were the most significant one with their aggressive tread.

    I do think it was worth the trade, though.
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • cptpltcptplt Member Posts: 1,075
    On a Windstar (which may eat up tires more than a Subaru because of its weight) I have put on almost 40K in all year driving with WRs and 2 tires were down to the 4mm tread markings, the other 2 still show the 6mm marks (they have "engraved" into the tread the depth in mm -4,6,8).
    On my Legacy with the NRW (WRs predecessor) as a winter only tire I have put on 5 seasons and they are only half worn. probably about 30-35k miles on them (at least 6/32in tread still left) .
    On a Tribeca with WRs all year round with 26K they still show all the 6mm marks and you can just about make out some 8s.
    I have a small RV with 22K miles with a truck Nokian and they have over half tread left.
  • conger14conger14 Member Posts: 25
    how did you find this tire and what made you decide to buy it? Also, why do you think its the best tire out there?

    I'm looking to replace OEM for 05 legacy gt wagon and I live in Northern NY in the Adirdonack Mtns where not only does it snow a lot, but often sub zero temps for days on end. I need a tire that can handle the snow and I previously had continental contacts extreme on my 04 wrx. Great tires for the snow but I dont have that car anymore and based on tirerack, I could do better. Please, let me know your thoughts. I drive spirited sometimes but most of the time with two kids and my wife, things are more reserved.
  • nelgigenflugennelgigenflugen Member Posts: 4
    I can do that.
  • nelgigenflugennelgigenflugen Member Posts: 4
    Thanks all for the input. I ended up getting Yoko Avid TRZ and I love them and its like riding on air. I cannot believe the rough ride I had with the Firestone Wilderness Tire. Can't believe Subaru would put such a tire on a car..."what were they thinking?"
  • snowbeltersnowbelter Member Posts: 288
    Think about the Nokian WR. Its an all-season tire, but also rated as a snow tire. My wife has them on her Outback and zips through heavy snow and ice. (We're in CNY). Had them on my Outback which I traded in. We run them year round. Downside is the price (around $170 mounted an balanced per tire) and the wear (around 35-45K). The tires that came on my 07 Outback are terrible in the snow, and I'm thinking of getting a set of Nokians for my current Outback.
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    I'd vote for the Nokian Hackapolitas (sp?) they are the ones that my buddy had on my LGT before I bought it from him and he lives up in Lake George in the Adirondacks. I travel up to the Southern Dacks often and would say they are great tires for the winter for the car.

    -mike
  • snowbeltersnowbelter Member Posts: 288
    We've found the Nokian WR more than adequate for getting through winters that average 150 inches or more of snow. But a dedicated snow tire is even better if you don't mind dealing with an extra set of tires/rims and the tire pressure monitoring system.
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    You'd be suprised what a 98 Legacy will fit.

    I've run some weird tires on my 94. In stock format I went from something like 195-60-15 to 215-45-16

    Try em out and see if they fit, you'll know right away if they won't fit.

    -mike
  • conger14conger14 Member Posts: 25
    thanks for the info. I plan on buying in a month or so as the weather here is getting cold!
  • conger14conger14 Member Posts: 25
    We don't want to go with a snow tire as we feel the legacy does quite well with the AWD and a nice set of all seasons. Usually if its heavy snow, we don't travel but if the need arises, I'm comfortable in driving in all seasons. I had a set of continental contacts on my previous 04 WRX which I thought did very well against the OEM on those and living in NY my whole life, I'm comfortable with driving in snow. Granted the added traction would be great for studded snow tires, I just know I would have a hard time convincing my wallet.
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    I'd go for the Sumitomo HTR+ for an all-season tire. Also check out the Pirelli Sottozeros, they are great snowish-allseasonish tire.

    -mike
  • somainersomainer Member Posts: 6
    After looking at websites, I think TireRack's Winterforce M+S Studdable 215 60SR 16 may be the best buy for a winter studdable snow (Maine, icy roads, mountains, etc). I'm planning on buying steel wheels for the snows. Does anyone have experience with the Winterforce M+S on the Outback? Also, any suggestions about 215 vs. the original 225 size?
  • evilleprechaunevilleprechaun Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 Limited wagon with 16 inch wheels. Would like to buy extra wheels for winter. Will 15 inch Legacy or Outback wheels work? Will they clear the calipers? Thanks
  • cptpltcptplt Member Posts: 1,075
    they should, the 2000 Legacy L had the same size brake rotors 10.7/11.3 and had 15in wheels.check the tech specs for the model years and also the tire/wheel section at cars101.com
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    2000 Outbacks did change rotors or calipers or pads during that model year, midway through. Not sure if it effects the rims or not.

    -mike
  • thepaulistathepaulista Member Posts: 4
    Hello, I've replace the OEM tites on my Subaru 2005 outback, with auto trasmission, with Yokohamas 225/60VR16 Yokohama AVID V4S back in Nov 2006. Now my 2 back tires are bold after about 50,0000 miles. I did rootate them once.My question is did I get the right tires? Should I've gotten more mileage on these tires? Any suggentions Thanks VL
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    You should have rotated them 10x in 50k miles!

    Also generally your tires aren't going to last more than 50k miles. That's a lot of miles. I'd just replace all 4.

    -mike
  • thepaulistathepaulista Member Posts: 4
    Thanks Paisan,
    I've replaced the 4 tires with Yokohamas V4s, the same tires I had before, now I will rotate them evey chance I have. I was thinking about getting snow tires for the winter here in Massachussets, any recomendation? Thanks thepaulista
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    My car came with the Nokian Hakkapolitas and they've been outstanding. I'm not sure about the price on em though. I liked the Pirelli Sottozeros on my 94 Legacy Turbo. I also have seen good things with the Blizzak W60s that are out now too.

    -mike
    Motorsports and Modifications Host
  • mountainwalkermountainwalker Member Posts: 40
    Best all-season tire for 2000 Subaru Outback for W Coast and winter ski trips to mountains? Yokohama Avid TRZ’s?

    I’m about to purchase a 2000 Subaru Outback and it turns out on inspection that the rear and front tires were not matched for tread type or tread wear, and no more than a 2/32 difference is recommended in tire size/tread, and all tires should be matched for tread. So I will have to replace them. Planning to drive the car on the W Coast in N California after relocating now from the NE, mostly for drives of 5 to 45 min during the work week, and occasional weekend trips, including ski trips to the mountains in winter. I’m looking for a top quality all-season tire that will handle well in summer and winter conditions.

    I’d sincerely appreciate your advice as I’m very careful about tires every since I bought my first car in college, a 7 year old Volvo, which had tires that checked out well enough, but in a medium rain storm, driving 30 mph on a Cliffside with one lane in each direction, with no sudden acceleration or steering moves, the car fishtailed 180 degrees, and I was lucky to “land” the car in my lane close to the inside of the road against the mountain. Some oil leaking down from a town above the road may have caused the road to be slick, but as soon as I put brand new top end all season tires on the car, it handled 10x better and safer. Never experienced that kind of slippage again.

    In response to this question on Yahoo Answers, this poster below who owns 2 subarus recommended Yokohama Avid TRZ’s http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Yokohama&tireModel=AVID+TRZ . I checked the reviews on Tirerack and the TRZs have an average overall rating of 8.52 out of 737 reviews, which is very good.
    http://www.tirerack.com/survey/SurveyComments.jsp?additionalComments=y&tireMake=- - - Yokohama&tireModel=AVID+TRZ&tirePageLocQty=&commentStatus=P
    He was negative on Michelin for value and quick wear:

    “I'm not sure if they're available in Australia, but I ran Yokohama Avid TRZ's on my 98 Outback.. they have a 700 treadwear rating, and the rain/ snow traction is excellent (I know not a lot of powder down there, but in a sudden downpour, they are amazing).. I drive mostly on-road, over 60 km one-way to work, and have taken them off road on occasion.. really surprising for an all season car tire. From my experience here stateside, Michelin is way overpriced, and the treads are too soft to get any real life out of; they do handle well though. Had nothing but bad experiences with Pirellis, may be just me. I'm currently running Dunlop Dirrezas on my 07 WRX.. and they have been wonderful so far. Stick like glue, and good in the rain. They are a summer- only tire though” * 4 weeks ago Source(s): 17 years in the repair trade, employed with a national tire distributor; owner of two Subarus.

    Also, any suggestions on best place to pick tires up in the Silicon Valley area?
  • mountainwalkermountainwalker Member Posts: 40
    I spoke with Tirerack.com and these 2 tires were their top pics for performance + value for all-season tires for the 2000 Subaru Outback Ltd Wagon:

    Bridgestone Turanza Serenity 225/60R16 $126 H sped rated - rated for 70,000 miles, supposed to offer just a little more responsive handling and a drop quieter ride than the Yokohama Avid TRZ, thanks to the stiffer tire, rated as a grand touring tire. There are less reviews for this than for the Yokohama Avid TRZ, but it appears well rated, though winter/snow ratings appear a little lower than the Yokohama Avid TRZ. Rated to 130 mph (as if I'd drive a 2000 Subaru Outback even close to that speed).

    Yokohama Avid TRZ 225/60R16 $94 T speed rated4/ - rated for 80,000 miles - rated as a touring tire. Very large number of ratings and very highly rated, both for summer and winter conditions. Considered an excellent mix of quality and value. The Yokohama Avid TRZ also got a very good review in Yahoo Answers.

    I have to decide in 2 days (by Monday evening) in order to take advantage of a $75 rebate for four Bridgestone Turanza Serenity Tires, if I want them. The Bridgestone rebate brings the cost of a set of 4 Bridgestone Turanza Serenity very close to the cost of a set of Yokohama Avid TRZs.

    I'd sincerely appreciate your advice - I'm a first time Subaru owner and haven't had to keep a car for a few years now, so haven't bought tires in years.
Sign In or Register to comment.