The Subaru Outback is a dependable, sporty, performance-focused vehicle that’s begging to be customized and modded. Some vehicles are just designed to get future performance components – and the Outback is one of those. If you happen to own an Outback and you’re looking to spend some of your extra dollars to quickly improve it, you should seriously consider sourcing the best tires for your Subaru Outback. With the right set of rubber, your Outback will take you to places it was meant to go and perform the way you envisioned it to go.
The Best Tires for Subaru Outback Are: MICHELIN Defender LTX M/S All Season Radial Car Tires
The MICHELIN Defender LTX M/S is a game-changer. It’s almost as if this tire was crafted with the Outback in mind. Because of the tire’s design, the already top-tier acceleration and handling of the Subaru Outback are boosted even more, as these tires grip the surface like no other. This leads to a longer-than-normal life of these tires, and the parallel grooves allow the Defender to cut through snow and rain with little effort.
|MICHELIN Defender LTX M/S All Season Radial Car Tire for Light Trucks, SUVs, and Crossovers||
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|Falken TRAIL All- Terrain Radiatire’s design02H||
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|Vercelli Strada 1 All- Season Radial Tire-225/65R17 106V||
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|Pirelli SCORPION ALL TERRAIN PLUS All-Terrain Radial Tire - 225/65R17 102H||
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|Bridgestone Blizzak WS90 Winter/Snow Passenger Tire 225/65R17 102 H||
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|Mastercraft Stratus AS All-Season Tire - 225/65R17 102H||
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|Toyo Tires Extensa a/s ii P225/65R17 102H all-season tire||
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What Are the Best Tires for Subaru Outback?
We put various brands and models of tires to the test to craft a list of seven tires that lend to the performance and excitement of the Outback. That said, we tested with the understanding that Outback tires must boost performance, increase traction and handling, improve travel in inclement weather, take a decent beating, and have a decent tread life.
1. Michelin Defender LTX M/S All Season Radial Car Tire – Best Overall Tires for Subaru Outback Owners
The Michelin Defender LTX M/S is a top-tier tire that sets the bar high for other tires in its category. We all know about the trademark Subaru longevity and durability. If there were ever a tire created to match the personality of the Outback, these Subaru Outback off-road tires would be the ones.
What makes the Defender ideally suited for the Outback is the conditions that it was made to handle. It’s not just your typical rain, snow, or particularly inclement weather. Instead, we’re talking about harsher conditions like hard, dry ground, lots of dust, sharp rocks, and other unforgiving landscapes.
The MaxTouch construction used on each tire is quite groundbreaking. When the tire is subjected to trauma and jolts and impacts that normally cause damage, its construction disperses most of the damage, leading to less wear and tear on your vehicle.
Michelin also states that using the Defender will save you 65 gallons of fuel annually. While we didn’t test this theory throughout the year, there was an improved fuel economy while riding with these Michelins. We can confidently say this is one of the best tires for the Subaru Outback.
With the proper care and correct maintenance, there’s no reason to think these workhorses won’t go well over the 100,000-mile mark. Even though we had no problem trekking in the snow, one thing to keep in mind is that all-season tires aren’t designed for particularly deep snow levels.
Despite the efficiency of the Defender, if you’re expecting snow steadily throughout the season, you may want to think about switching to a tire specifically crafted for long-term winter weather. Otherwise, these are the best all-season tires for the Subaru Outback.
- Efficient tire for all four seasons
- Does excellent in bad weather
- Makes handling and cornering even better in
- Comes at a slightly higher price point than others
2. Falken WILDPEAK A/T TRAIL All- Terrain Radial Tire-225/65R17 102H – Most Versatile Tires for Subaru Outback Owners
The Falken WILDPEAK A/T Trail tire is an extremely well-rated versatile tire that holds up in a number of different conditions. Typically, the go-to choice would be the Michelin above because it’s compatible with the driving we usually do in a Subaru. They’re just the perfect Subaru Outback off-road tires.
That said, The Falken WILDPEAK are the best snow tires for the Subaru Outback. This model is precisely crafted and rated for performance in the snow and ice, and the specs back that up. The WILDPEAK has a 3 Peak Mountain Mountain/Snowflake rating for severe winter weather.
Another advantage these tires have is that, from a manufacturing standpoint, they’re created specifically for crossover SUVs, just like the Subaru Outback. The tread design on the WILDPEAK All-Terrain is efficient enough to handle most unforgiving off-road terrain and specifically protects you during the wettest conditions.
Rain, snow, or dry pavement, you’ll notice immediately the difference in traction and stability these tires give your Outback. Your attention will also turn toward the noticeable difference in the road noise on these tires. You’ll enjoy a much quieter ride than the stock set or your regular discount tires.
If you’re in an area that expects substantial snow, you might want to consider a backup for the Michelin tires. These would be the ideal backup in a snow-plagued area of the country with the longest, harshest winters. This is one of the best tires for the Subaru Outback in the snow.
- Excellent for rainy, icy, and snowy conditions
- You’ll experience a noticeable improvement in handling
- Offers a more quiet, smoother drive overall
- Could be prone to flats or punctures on rocky terrain
3. Vercelli Strada 1 All- Season Radial Tire-225/65R17 106V – Best Valued Tires for Subaru Outback Owners
The Vercelli Strada 1 All-Season tire is a one-of-a-kind offering thanks to its meager price. You usually get what you pay for, but don’t let this tire fool you – it doesn’t perform as lousily as your typical budget model.
The tread designs on these bad boys keep you gripping the road with plenty of surface contact regardless of how much precipitation you’ve experienced. These tires do an excellent job at maintaining traction and control even in the worst rainstorms.
It’d take you some effort to hydroplane your Subaru Outback in these tires, unless of course you’re willing your car to really slide on water. The traction just leaves drivers feeling incredibly safe and in control. You’ll notice the stability even while gripping the steering wheel. You just feel more in control with less wobbles and jerkiness especially in the wet.
Overall, the Vercelli Strada 1 delivers a stable and comfortable ride. As with most all-season tires, you don’t want to use this for any measurable amount of snow. However, this is one of the best tires for the Subaru Outback if you’re on a budget.
The only complaint we have is the tread warranty is a bit low. Otherwise, you shouldn’t have any issues making it the specified 45,000 miles unless you shorten the life by driving in significant snowfall or other particularly harsh terrain.
- Great protection against hydroplaning
- Noticeable control improvement
- Provides a stable and comfortable ride
- Not very efficient in the snow
4. Pirelli SCORPION ALL TERRAIN PLUS All-Terrain Radial Tire – 225/65R17 102H
The Pirelli Scorpion All-Terrain Plus is built for the most demanding on and off-road conditions. With an intimidating tread pattern that imposes its will on the most unforgiving landscapes, you can tackle any backcountry terrain and still expect balanced performance on hard surfaces and highway thoroughfares.
The beautiful thing about this tire is that it’s designed for areas with extreme heat but can also handle the harshest winters. A deep tread cut has conical stone ejectors for desert-style driving, but you’ll also benefit from the three-peak snowflake rating if you’re in for a long winter or unexpected snow-filled drive.
These tires have a high resistance to cutting or chipping, so your chances of a blowout are pretty low. You’ve got all the fixings for an extremely durable tire with an advanced tread compound.
We feel it’s more efficient in the snow, but the wet handling isn’t too bad either. This makes it an excellent tire in any driving conditions on any surface.
Our only complaint about this tire is its durability and performance. We’d like to see a bit longer of a warranty. Depending on the driving you expect to do on your Subaru Outback, don’t be surprised if this Pirelli outlasts the 50,000-mile warranty.
- Excellent in the snow and other winter conditions
- Solid off-roading tire
- Balanced performance on all surfaces
- Relatively short warranty (50,000 miles)
5. Bridgestone Blizzak WS90 Winter/Snow Passenger Tire 225/65R17 102 H
The Bridgestone Blizzak is a studless tire made for snow and ice. These tires include a design with increased block stiffness that allows for a higher level of control during winter conditions.
In weather where slipping is a risk, the design of the Blizzak allows for responsive steering, allowing you to easily steer out of a slide without overcorrecting. One of the most significant advantages of installing these tires is the increased contact area. Because of this increase, your braking distance reduces substantially, even in the most slippery conditions.
Usually, when you drive on ice, a thin layer of water develops between your tire tread and the ice. These Subaru Outback tires feature a multi-cell compound with bite particles that removes this thin layer of water, providing additional grip on unstable surfaces. In addition, silica enhancements provide another layer of traction in the ice and show.
While these tires are suitable in the worst winter conditions, they’re still efficient enough in dry weather for year-round use. Because of their durable build, you should have no problem getting plenty of life out of these Bridgestone tires.
The only knock against these tires is that on the dry pavement, they can feel slightly off-center, which leads to a bit of noise and additional bumps. However, it’s nothing that affects the safety of your drive. This is easily one of the best tires for Subaru Outback owners who drive in moderate to heavy snow.
- Excellent grip during ice and snow
- Allows for more responsive steering during a slide
- Compounds remove the layer of water between tire and ice
- Drive can be a little rougher on dry pavement
6. Mastercraft Stratus AS All-Season Tire – 225/65R17 102H
The Mastercraft Stratus AS All-Season is an affordable tire with some unique features. It’s designed as an all-season performer, so they’re more efficient in an area that doesn’t get massive snow. That said, you’ll enjoy the benefits of hydroplaning resistance on rainy days. Yet, it’s on dry roads where these tires shine.
When traveling at high speeds (think interstate driving), most tires are at the mercy of the increased heat, causing them to expand around the middle of the tire. This puts you in danger in two ways. First, you lose surface contact with the road, so losing control means great difficulty if you attempt to correct it. Second, the expansion puts you at risk of a blowout, which is why you see many vehicles pulled over with tire issues on interstate highways.
The overwrap on these tires preserves stability and reduces heat-induced expansion. When you’re traveling at high speeds on dry roads with these tires, you’ll also notice the improved steering and excellent handling. A durable build also reduces the risk of cracking or chipping, and the life span of the tread is exceptionally long.
Overall, these tires provide a quiet and comfortable ride with superb cornering and control on dry surfaces. The only complaint is the below-average performance in the snow. We don’t recommend using this tire in any mentionable snowfall.
- Quiet and comfortable ride
- Excellent handling at high speeds
- Long tread life
- Below average in the snow
7. Toyo Tires Extensa a/s II P225/65R17 102H All-Season Tire
The Toyo Extensa A/S II is another all-season offering with more of a focus on operating on rain-covered roadways. Toyo took several measures to ensure an efficient all-season tire that works effectively on hot summer roads, winter roads, and wet, slick surfaces.
Wide grooves across the tire’s surface are perfectly optimized to expel liquid when precipitation begins covering the road surface. Lateral sipes ensure any additional water funnels toward the side and off the edge of the tire, allowing the tire to maintain contact with the pavement.
The tread design on the Extensa A/S II leads to even wear over time, extending the life of these Subaru Outback tires. With this even distribution, your car will also experience much shorter braking distances, increasing the safety of your ride.
Although this tire won’t perform in the rain like other top-rated all-surface options, it does a great job at preventing hydroplaning. Overall, this model does a decent job of maintaining your car’s stability during heavy rain.
Vibrations are kept to a minimum as you’ll enjoy a comfortable, quiet ride with this selection. From scorching hot surfaces to cold, these truly are all-season tires. You won’t have any issues if the cold surface is dry – however, the snow performance is subpar. You’ll manage in light snow, but anything substantial is highly discouraged.
That said, you’ll enjoy an extended tread life with these tires for your Subaru Outback – backed by a 75,000-mile warranty, which is solid.
- Avoids sliding on wet roads
- Decreased brake times even in the rain
- Comfortable, quiet ride
- Sub-par in snow
What You Should Know Before Buying Best Tires for Subaru Outback
Now that you have a general idea of the best types of tires for the Subaru Outback, there are a few additional points you should consider. These characteristics and features regarding Subaru Outback tires should always be on your mind when weighing your options for potential tire purchases.
When you see “tire type” in the context of tires for sale, it describes the type of surface/climate/conditions the tires are optimized for. That’s not to say they CAN’T drive in other conditions – they’re just best suited for the environment they’re labeled for.
All-terrain tires use deeper treads to provide additional traction on and off-road. The wider grooves allow them to sink deeper into mud, gravel, and sand to power through various off-road surfaces. These tires are efficient on wet and dry surfaces and sometimes light snow.
Summer tires are optimized for – you guessed it, the summertime. These models are ideal for high-performance vehicles, optimized for high speed and situations that require agility. Tread patterns have less grooving, putting more rubber in contact with the pavement. This delivers a maximum hold when you’re driving at high speeds.
Winter tires are optimized for winter conditions like deep snow, moderate snow with lower than 45-degree temperatures, and pure ice. These tires have deep treads with many sipes and grooves cut into the block to expel snow as they move forward.
Touring tires provide a comfortable ride in every season with efficient handling. They’re not great in inclement weather but are rated better for speed because of their responsive handling.
All-season tires are efficient for any season, including the winter. However, if snow reaches significant depth, or you experience sub-45-degree temperatures or sleet and freezing rain, you’ll want a winter tire.
High-performance tires are generally made for hard, dry surfaces. They have a broader surface to provide better performance. However, high-performance tires are now made available for winter tires as well.
Uniform Tire Quality Grading
The UTQG (Uniform Tire Quality Grading) system allows consumers to compare tires based on tread, traction, and temperature characteristics. From highest to lowest, the grades for each are:
- Tread Wear – Treadwear is a rating based on tire wear after driving on a closed course. A reference tire with a 100 rating is compared to the test tire. For example, a tire rated 500 is expected to take five times as long to wear down as the reference tire. Anything 350 and above is considered a high-quality tread wear rating.
- Traction – Traction is rated using AA, A, B, C, and D. Ideally, you want a tire rated at least a B or above. However, if you’re driving in winter conditions, an A or higher is recommended.
- Temperature – The temperature rating is A, B, or C. A means the tire will perform at temperatures of 115 or higher. B is between 110 and 115, and C is below 110. You should seek an A rating in this category.
Your tire warranty indicates its expected lifespan in miles. This mileage is a distance guarantee regarding how long the tire lasts before the treads wear down. There’s also:
- Limited Road Hazard – Covers the tire for the first year or 2/32 inches of the tread against potholes and other road hazards.
- Workmanship and Materials – This covers tires for the first five or six years against manufacturer defects
- Uniformity – This covers against excessive vibration or rides disturbance for the first year.
What’s the Perfect Tire for Your Lifestyle?
It’s challenging to select one “best tire for Subaru Outback.” The best tire for you is the one that operates the most efficiently based on driving conditions and road surfaces. If it’s in the budget and you’re a rolling stone who travels in all conditions and terrains, buy several sets of tires with different ratings. This ensures you’re covered during all seasons, regardless of road surface or weather conditions!