LAST UPDATED: October 31, 2019
Best Tires for a Subaru Outback: Picks for All-Terrain Driving
The best tire offers safety and comfort driving on all terrains while saving fuel
The Review Team
How We Decided
The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links. Read more.
PUBLISHED ON October 31, 2019
The Subaru Outback is a family wagon that features impressive all-wheel-drive system technology for all-terrain driving. With these fantastic on- and off-road capabilities, it requires a matching set of tough tires. However, choosing the right tires can be challenging. In this buying guide, we have assembled the three best Subaru Outback tires on the market.
Why Trust Us
All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of Tires for a Subaru Outback
- Safety. A set of good tires will keep you safe and ensure that you have peace of mind on the road while driving. Tires provide a cushion while you drive your car. They also help in supporting the braking forces so you can avoid accidents. Tires also help in absorbing road shock.
- Support vehicle load. Tires can support a vehicle 50 times heavier than their weight. They do this by holding air inside them, which helps in carrying the vehicle load. It is important to note that it is the air inside the tire that helps in supporting the weight of the vehicle and not the tire itself. However, the tire is made in a structure that will enable it to carry the air inside of it.
- Better driving. While the driver is responsible for changing the direction of the car, the tires are responsible for administering the activities of the driver. The rubber patches on the tires are responsible for allowing the driver to control the vehicle any time he or she needs to.
- Better braking and acceleration. Tires help in transmitting the braking and acceleration on the road. However, the braking efficiency and the acceleration capabilities of the tire depends on its make and its speed ratings.
Types of Tires for a Subaru Outback
This type of tire is designed to withstand any type of road. They are built tough to endure the difficulties that come with driving a vehicle on the road. They are surprisingly engineered for self-cleaning such that they can easily fling away rocks and debris found on the road. They are designed to withstand rocks or uneven surfaces on the road for a comfortable ride when the vehicle hits the trail. They are also designed to resist hydroplaning, keeping the vehicle safe while driving in wet conditions. These tires also offer near-perfect braking and cornering on the road, therefore providing the driver with excellent control on gravel and muddy trails.
These types of tires are designed to cope with any kind of season or weather. They are useful in providing traction in the winter as well as in the summer. With this type of tire, you can drive on wet or dry pavement or a snowy path. The tires are built with an asymmetric tread pattern, which helps in absorbing water on the road.
A high-performance tire is one made with a soft rubber that enables the tire to sink into the surface of the road when driving at high speeds. Unlike most tires, high-performance tires have a wider surface for enhanced stability. The sticky rubber and the broader surface of these tires help in stopping the car as quickly as possible so that you and other motorists are safe.
These are the types of tires that are built explicitly for winter weather conditions. They mainly increase traction on snowy roads. They are made with a soft rubber compound that enables them to stay flexible even as the temperatures continue to drop. The soft rubber compound helps the tires conform to the changes of the temperature and of the road. They have a tread pattern that is unique, and also a full groove design that helps in maintaining traction on both snow and ice by adequately providing excellent channels for expelling snow and rainwater.
Michelin is a famous French tire manufacturing company. Michelin was founded by two brothers, Andre and Eduard Michelin, in 1989. The company has been producing quality tires over the years. It boasts the ability to offer a wide range of tires for bicycles, cars, motorcycles, and scooters. Two of its best selling tires are the Michelin Defender LTX M/S All-Season and the Michelin Premier LTX All-Season Radial Tire.
Goodyear is an American company founded by Frank Seiberling and is based in Akron, Ohio. It is known for manufacturing high performance and durable tires. The company produces superior quality tires for SUVs, airplanes, farm equipment, race cars, and heavy earth machines. Examples of its best tires include the Goodyear Eagle RS-A Radial Tire and the Goodyear Eagle LS Radial Tire.
Continental is another leading tire manufacturing company. The company offers a wide range of original and replacement tires. Continental combines its tires with high-performance, fuel-conserving, and environmental friendliness qualities. Apart from tires, the company also makes interior electronics, brake systems, and other auto parts. Some of its best tires are the Continental Extreme Contact DWS06 All-Season Tire and the Continental Extreme Contact All-Season Radial Tire.
Dunlop is another popular tire manufacturing company. It is a company with a long history since it was started in the late 18th century in the UK by John Boyd Dunlop. With many years of experience, the company offers tires for many car brands worldwide, such as Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Honda, and others. Some of its quality tires include the Dunlop Direzza Performance Tire and the Dunlop Direzza DZ102 245/40ZR20 Tire.
Tires for a Subaru Outback Pricing
- Under $100: In this price range, expect to have excellent quality tires with rubber patches that are strong for the car to brake quickly. They have a low-speed rating and while the tires in this price range do not last long, they are suitable for changing the tires in an emergency.
- $100 to $150: Tires in this price range are of better quality such that most of them are all-weather tires and are sometimes fuel-conserving. Most of these tires have a rough material that enables you to drive safely on the road. They are also more durable.
- Over $150: These are the best tires built for all-weather conditions and able to withstand various surfaces. They have specialized features such as superior traction in snowy conditions, high-speed rating, sidewalls, shoulder blocks, lateral grooves, reduced road noise, and circumferential grooves. Most of them are also very strong and come with a treadwear warranty.
Any tire out there on the market comes with a traction rating. A traction rating tells you if the tire will maintain a tight grip on the road while you are driving. For Subaru Outback, traction is very crucial, especially if you are to drive on different terrains and different types of landscapes. You can ask your tire dealer about the traction rating of the tire you intend to purchase before you make a final decision.
How long a tire lasts is very important, and you need to know how long a tire can last before making a final decision to purchase it. A tire's design and quality can determine how long a tire can last. How you take care of the tire will also determine the longevity of the tire. It is essential to ask your tire manufacturer how you can take care of the tire and how long it can last.
Few people seem to know that tires can influence fuel consumption. This is a fact that you should never ignore when you are planning to purchase new tires. The friction on the road, or better known as rolling resistance, is what determines how much fuel the tires will help consume. Some tires are built with materials that help in reducing the rolling resistance, thus reducing fuel consumption.
Before you decide to purchase tires for your Subaru Outback, you should consider the size of your tires. This can be found in the manufacturer's manual. The manual will list all the necessary information that will best fit your tires. The measurements will look something like this: P255/60R16.
- Your Location. What you require in a Subaru Outback tire will be significantly affected by your location. For instance, if you are a rural driver, you will need an all-terrain tire and an all-weather tire for your vehicle.
- Grip. How well a tire will grip the road is an essential factor that a driver should consider. Since it is not easy to know the grip of a tire by looking, you should carefully look at the reviews from other buyers.
- Comfort. If a set of tires makes your ride very bumpy and noisy, it could be very uncomfortable and distracting. Ensure that the set of tires you purchase will be comfortable for your journey.
Best Tires for a Subaru Outback Reviews & Recommendations 2020
This Kumho Crugen Tire is built from an advanced tread compound geared towards reducing the rolling resistance, thereby improving the quality of the ride while still saving on fuel consumption. Its design features wide circumferential grooves that enable it to disperse off the water and maintain excellent traction on wet road conditions. Also, its unique asymmetric construction provides enhanced handling even when driving at high speeds.
The advantage of having this tire is that it is optimized for all-season driving, thanks to its sophisticated tread compound and state of the art design. Additionally, this tread compound is resistant to wear, making this tire extremely durable. The tire design also ensures steady traction in any weather and road condition while still ensuring a noise-free and comfortable ride.
These tires have their share of disadvantages too. One of their main drawbacks is that they have just average performance in icy and snowy conditions. The tire is not suitable for off-road use since it is prone to early wear if used in harsh terrain conditions.
For a pocket-friendly yet high-performance and durable tire, the Pirelli Cinturato P7 is a good choice. Its construction features high silica and low oil tread compound that enhances all-season traction while still boosting braking capabilities. Endowed with longitudinal and lateral sipes, this tire evacuates water from the treads, ensuring excellent wet traction and comfortable handling.
Using this tire on your Subaru Outback ensures enhanced, sporty handling and cornering capabilities, thanks to its continuous outboard shoulder. Also, its inside shoulder features multiple inboard tread blocks that have variable pitch sequencing to reduce vibrations and tire noise, thus ensuring a quiet and smooth ride. Additionally, its low rolling resistance design enhances performance and fuel economy.
As much as this tire is extremely durable and has excellent performance, it does not work well in dense snow and is therefore better on dry roads or in light snow conditions. Its braking ability on wet pavement is not so good, and its performance in off-road conditions is also questionable.
The Michelin Defender LTX is one of the best tires for people who intend to drive in wet conditions. The tire features a max-touch and biting edges tread design that enhances grip on any road, ensuring comfortable handling and prompt braking. To further enhance the braking and wet traction, its construction features special rubber compounds and lateral water evacuation sipes.
For those who live in snowy conditions, this tire will offer an excellent grip, thanks to its enhanced tread compound and design. Also, the tire provides exceptional fuel economy, excellent cornering, acceleration, and braking capabilities, while still ensuring a quiet smooth ride. Additionally, it offers enhanced appearance of your Subaru Outback and still ensures safe driving in snow and wet conditions.
Despite the tire being so exceptionally manufactured, it’s not suitable for rocky roads. It is also one of the priciest tires around, which means you really have to dig deep into your pockets to purchase a set.
- Before buying a tire, consider where you live so the tire is the best fit for your climate and road conditions. For example, rural dwellers need all-weather and all-terrain tires to cope with their local roads.
- Since it is not possible to tell a tire's grip and traction by looking at it, read a couple of independent reviews before deciding which one to buy.
- Rotating tires regularly helps spread the weight, thus ensuring each tire wears evenly. This improves performance and extends the tires’ lifespan.
Q: Can I Install tires on my own?
A: Yes. With the right tools, it is possible to change your own tires. However, if you’re less mechanically inclined you may want to consult a mechanic for proper installation.
Q: How often should I rotate my tires?
A: Most manufacturers recommend rotating tires every six months to ensure an increased lifespan and optimized performance.
Q: When should I change my tires?
A: If you frequently drive on wet roads, consider replacing your tires when they reach 4/32" of remaining depth for better and safe driving.
Our top pick, the Kumho Crugen Premium KL33 all_ Season Radial Tire, is durable and provides quality performance without sacrificing fuel.
If you are looking for something to provide you comfort at a budget-friendly price, we recommend the Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus Performance Radial Tire.