The 10 Best Tires for Subaru Outback

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As a proud owner of a Subaru Outback, I spent many hours researching and reading reviews trying to find the best tire for my car. Ultimately, I found the Michelin Defender LTX to be the best tire for the Subaru Outback.
 
There are so many options on the market for the Subaru Outback. By following our buyer’s guide listed below you can find the best tires for the Subaru you own. Once you understand what features are most important to you, it will be much easier for you to pick the best tires for your Subaru Outback.
 
The Michelin Defender LTX has improved tread life in the most severe conditions. It performs amazingly well in both wet and snowy conditions, and it is eco-friendly. This all-in-one tire delivers an excellent level of long-lasting performance.
 
I have also looked at various other best of tires for Subaru vehicles. You can find all-season, winter, and off-road tires below. If you live where the weather can be sunny one day, then snowy the next, take a peek at our best all-weather tire, the Goodyear Assurance Weather-Ready. Or maybe you need a touring all-season tire or tires for your Subaru 17 inch or 18-inch wheels.
 
If the tire’s cost concerns you, consider checking out the best budget tire or the best mid-priced tire.
 
Keep reading to find out more about the top tires for your Subaru Outback.
#1

Best Overall

Michelin Defender LTX

michelin defender ltx

Performance Ratings

Off-Road Performance
0%
Dry Performance
0%
Wet Performance
0%
Winter/ Snow Performance
0%
Comfort
0%
Treadwear
0%

Pros

Cons

I have found the best overall Subaru Outback tires to be Michelin Defender LTX. These tires truly have a performance made to last. I personally like how impressive they handle on the highway.

With a tread life that will last a long time, this set of tires are made with the Evertread compound that offers shorter wet stopping distances and much better traction and grip than its competitors.

Max Touch Construction will also allow you to save dough at the pumps! You can save 65 gallons of fuel on the lifespan of this brand of the tire when compared to other brands!

These tires come in 15 inches to 22 inches. And if your Subaru needs to handle heavy loads, you can rest assured that it will be durable and strong enough to do so with the twin steel belts used as an internal structure.

#2

Best All-Season Tire

Michelin CrossClimate

michelin crossclimate

Performance Ratings

Dry Performance
0%
Wet Performance
0%
Winter/ Snow Performance
0%
Comfort
0%
Treadwear
0%

Pros

Cons

Bite the bullet when looking for the best all-season tire. Michelin CrossClimate allows you to get where you need to be safe. This luxury performance touring tire is one of the best tires for Subaru Outback vehicles. The V-shaped tread pattern with emerging grooves and 3-D full depth sipes give outstanding traction in not only snow but wet conditions as well.

I found it refreshing that in the blink of an eye you can go from braking on dry roads to wet roads. The bevel-edge tread blocks help to optimize the grip, providing you with the best experience.

If you live in an area where the weather changes frequently, these tires would be perfect for your Subaru Outback.

#3

Best Winter Tire

Continental WinterContact SI

wintercontact si

Performance Ratings

Dry Performance
0%
Wet Performance
0%
Winter/ Snow Performance
0%
Comfort
0%
Treadwear
0%

Pros

Cons

Don’t miss the boat on this best winter tire. The Continental WinterContract SI is an awesome winter tire for rain, snow, and ice. This tire is best for passenger cars, touring, and winter driving.

The Continental WinterContract SI has PolarPlus+ Technology that retains tread flexibility in cold temperatures. It grasps better in winter conditions and stops shorter on snow and ice-covered roads. The +Silane additives contribute a notable advancement in grip over summer tires by supporting the tread compound to stay pliable when temperatures consistently drop under 45 degrees Fahrenheit. 

To provide the best handling and tire performance, Continental WinterContract SI tires should only be installed in sets of four. A warranty guarantees that tires will be covered up to 80,000 miles on select products. Continental’s RoadHazard will replace the damaged tires for free within the first 12 months of purchase. And if the tires should become unserviceable in the first year, they will also be replaced for free.

A huge benefit of these tires is that  WinterContact SI is around 50 percent worn, a winter tread depth indicator molded into the tread design lets the operator know that the outstanding tread is approaching the end of its capacity to implement useful snow traction. These tires satisfy the industry’s severe snow service requirements and are marked with the mountain/snowflake symbol.

#3

Best Winter Tire

Continental WinterContact SI

wintercontact si

Performance Ratings

Dry Performance
0%
Wet Performance
0%
Winter/ Snow Performance
0%
Comfort
0%
Treadwear
0%

Pros

Cons

Don’t miss the boat on this best winter tire. The Continental WinterContract SI is an awesome winter tire for rain, snow, and ice. This tire is best for passenger cars, touring, and winter driving.

The Continental WinterContract SI has PolarPlus+ Technology that retains tread flexibility in cold temperatures. It grasps better in winter conditions and stops shorter on snow and ice-covered roads. The +Silane additives contribute a notable advancement in grip over summer tires by supporting the tread compound to stay pliable when temperatures consistently drop under 45 degrees Fahrenheit. 

To provide the best handling and tire performance, Continental WinterContract SI tires should only be installed in sets of four. A warranty guarantees that tires will be covered up to 80,000 miles on select products. Continental’s RoadHazard will replace the damaged tires for free within the first 12 months of purchase. And if the tires should become unserviceable in the first year, they will also be replaced for free.

A huge benefit of these tires is that  WinterContact SI is around 50 percent worn, a winter tread depth indicator molded into the tread design lets the operator know that the outstanding tread is approaching the end of its capacity to implement useful snow traction. These tires satisfy the industry’s severe snow service requirements and are marked with the mountain/snowflake symbol.

#4

Best Off-Road Tire

Yokohama Geolander A/T G015

yokohama geolander at g015

Performance Ratings

Off-Road Performance
0%
Dry Performance
0%
Wet Performance
0%
Winter/ Snow Performance
0%
Comfort
0%
Treadwear
0%

Pros

Cons

Get the best of both worlds when you install the Yokohama Geolander A/T G015 on your Outback. This tire fares well in colder climates, even in snowy conditions.

The chip- and tear-resistant Triple Polymer tread compound is formed into an intrusive, symmetric tread design. This permits easy cross-rotation while providing enhanced wear properties.

Decreased noise levels improve ride comfort due to the tread block pitch variation. The optimized tread pattern emphasizes wide circumferential grooves for water removal and hydroplaning protection. The 3D sipes and lug grooves expand the number of gripping edges for all-season traction, even in moderate snow.

These tires come in 15 inches to 22 inches.

#5

Best All-Weather Tire

Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady

goodyear assurance weatherready

Performance Ratings

Dry Performance
0%
Wet Performance
0%
Winter/ Snow Performance
0%
Comfort
0%
Treadwear
0%

Pros

Cons

There is no sense in cutting corners when looking for the best all-weather tire. And when you purchase the Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady tire for your Outback, you will not be!

This Goodyear tire offers 20% more cushion than the leading tires and outperforms its competitors in ride comfort. It has a stylish tread pattern that removes water when weather conditions are less than perfect. The all-season tread compound has been infused with soybean oil, which Goodyear utilizes to make the rubber more pliable, even when exposed to cold temperatures. These tires have also been severe snow-certified.

The Assurance WeatherReady tire has outstanding road-gripping and offers short wet braking. I like how you are provided with a 30-day pledge on top of the 80,000-mile tread life limited warranty.

Evolving Traction Grooves shift from deep channels to wide grooves as the tire wears down to accommodate the displacement of water on the road. I felt confident as Goodyear’s Weather Reactive Technology coupled with the Evolving Traction Grooves and Tredlock Technology enable the tread to lock together while cornering and open for more gripping edges when one requires improved wet traction.

#6

Best for 17-Inch Wheels

Hankook Dynapro HT RH12

hankook dynapro ht rh12

Performance Ratings

Dry Performance
0%
Wet Performance
0%
Winter/ Snow Performance
0%
Comfort
0%
Treadwear
0%

Pros

Cons

If you want to put 17-inch tires on your Subaru Outback, the Hankook Dynapro HT RH12 is the one for your ride!

These wheels come with a 70,000-mile warranty. They feature a unique all-season purpose optimized cap tread that is manufactured from low polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon. This offers long mileage, better braking performance, and stops chips, abrasions, and cuts. There is also a reinforced under-tread protective layer that diminishes damage done from any impact.

I feel these tires are perfect for your Outback as even wear is promoted and the noise level is low. The steering response is solid and traction is increased in both wet and winter conditions due to the lateral notches. The tread is composed of zigzag sipes which improve the number of gripping edges for enhanced friction when riding on snow- or ice-covered driving surfaces.

#7

Best for 18-Inch Wheels

Bridgestone Dueler H/P Sport

bridgestone dueler hp sport

Performance Ratings

Dry Performance
0%
Wet Performance
0%
Winter/ Snow Performance
0%
Comfort
0%
Treadwear
0%

Pros

Cons

If you are looking for a set of 18-inch wheels, Bridgestone Dueler H/P Sport is the way to go. These tires come complete with an o-bead that improves ride comfort and uniformity with a single continuous strand.

Most Subaru Outbacks will have either a 17 inch or an 18-inch wheel. That is not to say that you can not size up or down. In fact, there are several advantages to doing either one.

If you decide to downsize, you will see the better quality in the ride. You can guarantee that the tire will most likely cost you less.

However, if you decide to go up in size, you may have better control over handling. And I feel that a bigger tire just looks better. Plus, you have better braking.

You can also maximize tire performance by optimizing the tread design, casing shape, construction, and materials used. With a low rolling resistant sidewall compound and circumferential grooves, these tires can help fuel efficiency.

Long link carbon can assist the tread wear while stopping chipping, cracking, and tearing utilizing a long carbon structure.

While this tire is on the more expensive side, you will be able to quickly handle the changing weather with it.

#8

Best Budget Tire

Sumitomo HTR Enhance LX2

sumitomo htr enhance lx2

Performance Ratings

Dry Performance
0%
Wet Performance
0%
Winter/ Snow Performance
0%
Comfort
0%
Treadwear
0%

Pros

Cons

If you are looking for a budget tire, consider the Sumitomo HTR Enhance LX2.  I know that you will be as happy as a clam because your wallet will not feel the pain like some of the other tires on the market!

I feel like you get a  bigger bang for your buck when you purchase the Sumitomo HTR Enhance LX2 tires.  They have all-season traction with responsive handling.  Each tire comes with a 2-ply polyester casing under two steel belts. A high modulus bead insert assists in the steering response while the tightly wound, nylon reinforcement improves high-speed stability.

Many have commented that they love these tires because not only are they highly affordable, but they an advanced compound used for increased traction.  They also feel that warranties are excellent. Those tires that have  H and V speed-rated sizes have a 75,000-mile limited treadwear warranty while T speed-rated sizes have a 90,000-mile limited treadwear warranty.  Those with a W speed-rated size have a 55,000-mile limited treadwear warranty.  The tires also come with a free 45-day test run and two years, 24/7 roadside assistance.

#9

Best Touring All-Season

Continental ContiProContact

continental procontact

Performance Ratings

Dry Performance
0%
Wet Performance
0%
Winter/ Snow Performance
0%
Comfort
0%
Treadwear
0%

Pros

Cons

If you are looking for the best touring all-season Subaru Outback tire, you will hit the nail on the head with the Continental ContiProContact.

I appreciate how the Continental ContiProContact tires come with no less than 800 arched edges per tire. What does this mean for you? Well, if there is a demanding terrain you are traveling on, it will grip better. And the tread pattern will transition sleekly from side to side. Due to this Proactive Edge technology, a comfortable and quiet ride can be maintained.

These tires also come equipped with a unique notched center rib design. This provides superior traction with great stability with an excellent steering response.

I mentioned that this all-season touring tire does great on snowy and icy roads, but it is also ideal for dirt roads or light trails.

If you are looking for a very fuel-efficient tire, the Continental ContiProContact is the way to go. It is manufactured applying a low rolling resistance tire composite and tread design with a balanced allocation of the driving pressure along with the entire tread space.

#10

Best Mid-Priced Tire

Goodyear Assurance Comforted Touring

goodyear assurance comfortred touring

Performance Ratings

Dry Performance
0%
Wet Performance
0%
Winter/ Snow Performance
0%
Comfort
0%
Treadwear
0%

Pros

Cons

There’s no need to spend an arm and a leg when looking for Subaru Outback tires.  The Goodyear Assurance Comforted Touring tires are the best mid-priced tires I could find. 

The moderately asymmetric tread design is coupled with shoulder blocks that have center ribs to assist in both dry and wet road handling.  Under the tread, four grooves remove water so the traction can be further enhanced.  

I personally like how well the steering performs on this tire.  It is very precise and quick, and the cornering is tight too. 

These tires come in 15 inches to 20 inches.  

Subaru Outback Tires: Buying Guide

How should you buy tires?

When buying tires for a Subaru, you have the choice to purchase them online or in-person. Each one has pros and cons associated with them. Both of them may provide rebates, coupons, or discounts.

Online

When shopping online for Subaru Outback tires, be sure to look for a reputable dealer. One of the best ways to find out if they are a reliable and legit dealer is to look at reviews left. Or you may also go to review sites or their social media pages to read any reviews left there.

Pros:

  • prices are very competitive
  • you may have more choices online
  • better able to customize what you are looking for

Cons:

  • you may have to pay to ship
  • you will have to put the tires on yourself unless you send them to a shop
  • shipping can take 2 to 5 business days
  • more difficult to return if they are not what was expected
  • you can not control if there are shipping delays

In-Person

Buying tires in-person can allow you to ask the mechanic or shop owner questions about which tire they feel is best for your Subaru. Most likely, your mechanic will know the driving conditions you drive in daily or weekly.

You may wish to ask the tire shop about the warranty of the tires you will be purchasing for your Subaru Outback, as well as if the tire will be economic in terms of fuel.

Buying tires in-person can allow you to ask the mechanic or shop owner questions about which tire they feel is best for your Subaru.  Most likely, your mechanic will know the driving conditions you drive in daily or weekly.

You may wish to ask the tire shop about the warranty of the tires you will be purchasing for your Subaru Outback, as well as if the tire will be economic in terms of fuel.  

Pros:

  • many shops will install the tire as this is already figured into the price
  • you are more likely to get your tires the same day
  • returns are much easier than online ordering
  • direct contact for customer support

 

Cons:

  • your selection may be limited based on what the shop carries

What should you look for?

There are various factors to look at when purchasing tires for Subaru Outbacks.  These elements will help you make the best choice for your needs.  You will need to decide if you want all-terrain tires, snow and winter tires, touring or all-season tires, or performance tires. Based on where you live and how you drive can assist you in picking the right ones for your Subaru Outback.

Tire Size

Tires do not come in one size.  When it comes to wheels for your Outback, there are several sizes of different models that will fit your car. 

Depending on the model of your Subaru Outback, you may have a 17 inch or 18-inch wheel.  This is generally the size of this make of vehicle.

Traction Rating

A traction rating is a grade a tire is provided after determining the ability to stop on wet pavement.  The higher the grade, the shorter the stopping distance will be.  The highest rating a tire can have is an “AA” rating.  This is followed by an “A” rating, then a “B”, and finally a “C” rating.  

Of the current tires on the market, 3% are rated with an “AA” rating while 75% have an “A” rating.  “B” ratings account for 22% while “C” ratings have only been given to one line of tires. 

Tire Comfort

One of the best things I have found for tire comfort is to ensure that your tires are properly inflated.  No matter what surface you are driving on, from a paved road to a dirt road, you want to be comfortable.  Before purchasing your tire, take into consideration how comfortable it will be for your Subaru Outback. 

You will most likely be more comfortable if you pick a quieter tire as well.  I have never heard anyone say that when they think of tire comfort, they think of loud tires.  Many high-performance tires will decrease the road noise while many touring tires provide the smoothest ride. 

Original Equipment Tires for Subaru Outback

The current-generation of the Subaru Outback has several original equipment (OE) tires. Each is dependant on the trim level preferred. The 2.5i base and premium designs have 17-inch wheels while the other trims have 18-inch wheels.

The Outback 2.5i Base, Premium came with Yokohama Avid GT tires in 225/65R17 102H.

All Outback models with 18-inch wheels, including the 2.5i and 2.4T models, were sold with Yokohama Avid GT tires in 225/60R18 100H.

There is nothing wrong with using original equipment tires on your Subaru Outback. This takes the guesswork out of finding a tire that works for your vehicle. However, there are many other elements that you may wish to look at when trying to determine which tire is best for your Outback. Some times will be more fuel-efficient, while others may be safer for you to drive in snowy conditions. By shopping around, you can find the best value for your Subaru.

FAQs

Which is better for my Subaru Outback: all-season or touring tires?

Both all-season and touring tires will provide a comfortable ride for your Outback. Each has a long tread life and good wet traction. The winter traction on both is nothing to sneeze at either.

However, if you use your Subaru as an everyday driver on asphalt roads and rutted paths, go with touring tires. Likewise, if you are a sporty motorist, opt for the all-season tires as they can have definite control with a surefooted grip.

What is the correct tire pressure for the Subaru Outback?

There is a white and yellow sticker on the inside of your Subaru door indicating what the correct tire pressure is. There will also be a hot and cold rating designating what the proper temperatures are in those temperatures. Generally, the recommended amount is 32 PSI.

When should I rotate the tires in my Subaru Outback?

Rotation intervals should generally occur every 5,000 to 7,000 miles. Many individuals will have this completed at every oil change. Your Subaru owner’s manual will have recommendations for how often this should be completed. Subaru recommends having the tires rotated every 7,500 miles. This is the same for a synthetic oil change.

I have found that the best Subaru Outback tires change kit is the factory-issued scissor jack and lug wrench. I believe it is also a good idea to carry emergency triangles to notify other motorists and a flashlight that is freestanding. Always make sure you have a spare tire. It may be a good idea to keep a 12 V air compressor in the trunk as well, just in case the spare has lost air.

Do Subaru vehicles need special tires?

No, the Subaru does not need special tires. However, I have found that when picking tires, look at how you drive and where you drive. If you live in snowy areas, you might wish to pick a set of tires that is geared towards snow. Like to travel on dirt roads or rocky terrain? Then you might want to look at an all-terrain tire. By considering these, you can find the best Subaru Outback tires.

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