Making final decision on A/S tires for WRX Wagon - Subaru WRX Forum
 
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#1 Old 10-26-2012, 12:29 PM
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Making final decision on A/S tires for WRX Wagon

The rains have started, and I can no longer dither on a tire decision for my 2002 WRX wagon. I currently have P0 Neros M+S (205/55/16), which seem a little dodgy in the wet. The Potenza RE970AS has the highest rating on Tire Rack, but several negative comments have given me pause. I finally figured out that I should probably be looking less at overall ratings, and more at the comments of Subaru owners. So, in the interest of further analysis paralysis:

1. Bridgestone Potenza RE970AS Pole Position, $120/tire
Pros: Great overall rating in all categories
Cons: Several complaints about losing 3-4 MPG (I can understand 1-2 MPG…)
Loud thumping when hitting wash-board, potholes, etc.
Highest Subaru-owner score was only 8.5.

2. Continental ExtremeContact DWS, $112/tire
Pros: Very good overall rating in all categories
Several 10 and high-9 scores from Subaru owners
Cons: LOTS of complaints about soft sidewalls/floaty feel

3. Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S, $112/tire (with current rebate – H rated version)
Pros: Good overall rating in all categories
Lots of 10 and high 9 scores from Subaru owners
Cons: Not as good in snow as RE970s, but I only go to Tahoe twice a year

4. Michelin Pilot Sport A/S Plus, $136/tire (with current rebate)
Pros: Good overall rating in all categories
A few 10 and 9 scores from Subaru owners. Mostly 8s and lower.
Really cool looking tread
Cons: Doesn’t seem much better than the Exalto in the overall ratings.
A little more expensive than the other tires.
Noisy?

I know it’s best to have two sets of tires, but I’m too lazy/cheap to bother. So, I’m going to focus on trying to pick one of the above. BTW, I only drive to Tahoe twice a year, so wet/dry is more important than snow performance to me.

Any comments would be helpful (or add to my confusion :-) )

Thanks,
Jim
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#2 Old 10-26-2012, 01:37 PM
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First off, buy 225/50R16 (#3 is out). Second, you're being cheap on tires so I wouldn't consider the MUCH more expensive pilot sports which are $200 a set higher (#4 is out). Third, I'd say that while neither tire (1 or 2) is bad, the steering response on the DWS's is horrible.

I'd buy 225/50R16 970s.

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#3 Old 10-26-2012, 03:07 PM
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The Pilot Sports aren't spectacular in the snow buy they will have the highest dry traction. The 970s are probably the best all around tire.
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#4 Old 10-26-2012, 05:23 PM
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MOSC,

If the primary consideration for all season tires is performance on snowy roads when up in the mountains (I live at 25 ft above sea level so can't use winter tires), would you still recommend 225/50R16 for my 2002 WRX Wagon? If so, why?

Thanks!
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#5 Old 10-28-2012, 11:59 PM
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225 is not a wide tire. I would not worry about the added width having an adverse affect on snow handling.

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#6 Old 10-29-2012, 07:32 AM
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Some people have complained about added sidewall flex from 225s on the stock wheels. Others don't seem to mind. I've never run that size so I can't comment personally.
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#7 Old 11-01-2012, 03:27 PM
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they were probably using continental DWS's

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