Wondering which are the best tires for the Subaru Outback?
Sure, your SUV already has its own factory-stock tires.
These tires are Yokohama GT tires, and were chosen by engineers for several reasons.
The question, though, is if these reasons are the same as yours.
For instance, you might want tires that are built to save fuel, tread on difficult terrain, or work well on snowy or icy ground.
In this case, you might want to change your Subaru Outback tires.
But which ones should you pick?
How can you tell if a particular set of tires is right for you?
In this blog, we’ll take a deep dive into this topic, including:
- The 5 best tires for the Subaru Outback
- How to pick the best tires for your lifestyle
- Why you should change your tires (and how often you should change them)
- And more
Let’s dive right in.
Best Tires for Subaru Outback: The Top 5 Based on Rating
To me, the question, “Which tires are the best?” doesn’t really make sense.
The truth is, there aren’t any “best” or “perfect” tires out there.
What it all depends on is you.
What’s your lifestyle like? Where do you plan to drive your Subaru Outback? Are you on a budget?
Sure, you can jump online and find a long list of Subaru Outback tire recommendations.
But I don’t want you to go through all that trouble.
That’s why I’ve narrowed it down to only five, so you can quickly and easily find which tires match your lifestyle, avoiding the information overwhelm.
Without further ado, here are the five best tires for your Subaru Outback.
Best for Convenience – The Subaru Outback’s OE (Original Equipment) Tires
Do you have to replace your Outback’s tires?
Of course not.
The truth is, the Outback’s original tires were carefully selected to fit it.
So if they fit you as well…it’s totally OK to stick with them.
Sure, tires don’t last forever.
This means that sooner or later (depending on how much you drive your Outback), you will have to replace them.
Now, if you’ve been happy with your current tires, the easiest option is to replace them with exactly the same tires.
Doing so is convenient, quick, and basically a no-brainer.
Now, as you know, Outback models come with two sizes of wheels: 17-inch and 18-inch wheels.
If you’ve purchased the Outback 2.5i Base Premium, you’ll need Yokohama Avid GT tires in 225/65R17 102H.
On the other hand, if you own an 18-inch wheel model, you’ll need Yokohama Avid GT tires in 225/60R18 100H.
Best for Snow and Rain – The Yokohama Geolander G015
If you live in an area with deep freezes and a lot of snow and ice, you’ll need a durable, non-slip tire that won’t wear out easily.
In this case, the best recommendation is the Yokohama Geolander G015.
What’s great about these tires is that they come in sizes 16-22, meaning you can get these no matter whether you have 17-inch or 18-inch wheels.
A great bonus is that these tires are great for touring.
If you love to be on the road and don’t want to worry about constantly replacing your tires, these are the ones for you.
Best for Budget – Riken Raptor Tires
Tires wearing out?
If you’re on a budget, you might not want to break the bank even for your Outback’s original equipment tires, which cost $196 each.
However, you don’t want to sacrifice quality for price and have a downgraded driving experience with your new tires.
If this is you, these Riken Raptor tires are for you.
They come in 15-18 inch sizes, so they’ll fit both 17-inch and 18-inch wheels.
Of course, you’ll have to sacrifice a little because of the cheaper price you’re paying.
That’s because these tires are only rated “fair” for snow driving.
However, if you live in a dry area and don’t plan to do any off-roading, you won’t feel any difference between these tires and your Outback’s original ones.
Best Moderately-Priced Tires – Goodyear Assurance Comforted Touring
These tires are in the moderate range, meaning you’ll get a good enough experience for your investment.
While they’re twice the price of the Riken Raptors, they’re much better for driving over snow and rugged terrain.
Although they wouldn’t be called high-performance tires, they provide a balanced, smooth, and comfortable ride.
They come in 16-18 inch sizes, meaning they’ll fit your 17-inch or 18-inch wheels.
Best Higher-Tier Tires – Michelin CrossClimate SUV
Looking for tires that come closest to the “best”?
You’ll love the Michelin CrossClimate SUV tires.
These tires are good for almost everything – wet and dry performance, snow performance, and comfort performance.
They’ll fit both an 17-inch or 18-inch wheel Outback.
Sure, they’re a tad pricier than your other options.
But if the price isn’t an objection to you and you want the most durable and high-performing tire out there, you should go for these Michelin CrossClimate SUV tires.
Here’s a quick wrap-up of the best Outback tires according to category:
|Best Tires for Convenience||Subaru Outback’s OE (Original Equipment) Tires|
|Best Tires for Snow and Rain||Yokohama Geolander G015|
|Best Tires for Budget||Riken Raptor Tires|
|Best Moderately-Priced Tires||Goodyear Assurance Comforted Touring|
|Best High-Performance Tires||Michelin CrossClimate SUV|
Why You Should Change Your Tires (2 Foolproof Reasons)
Of course, not every car owner needs to change their tires.
You can use factory-stock tires for years and enjoy a relatively good experience.
However, there are situations in which new tires will be better.
Here are two of them:
- Your Tires Are Worn Out
Tires aren’t made to last forever.
To make things even harder, tires don’t last as long as your vehicle does.
This means that sooner or later, you’ll need a new set to continue enjoying a great driving experience.
But when should Subaru tires be replaced?
To give you the best answer, I’ll give you two factors to look out for.
- Tire mileage
- Tire age
These two are important, as they indicate how much tread life your tire has left, and how much chemical breakdown it’s had throughout time.
In most cases, a set of tires will last 30,000 to 40,000 miles. So depending on how much you drive, you’ll want to replace your tires when they hit the 30,000-mile range.
Now, what if you barely take your car out? What if it’s your extra car, sitting unused in your garage for weeks at a time?
In this case, you’ll want to look at tire age.
Generally, it takes five years for chemicals in a tire to start breaking down, making the tire unsafe to use.
So as a general rule of thumb:
- Replace your tires every 30,000-40,000 miles OR
- Every five years
Of course, there are other considerations.
For instance, higher-quality tires will last longer than cheaper ones.
When purchasing tires, you’ll want to look at their durability, traction, and temperature rating.
Durability is rated with 100 as the control, while traction and temperature are rated AA, A, B, or C.
So if your tires have a 500 AAA rating, they’re practically indestructible and will last you much longer than a tire rated 100 BC.
The higher a tire’s score, the longer it’ll last without having to be replaced.
You Have a Specific Goal in Mind and Want Tires to Fit It
Age isn’t the only reason you might want to change your Outback’s tires.
There’s also preference.
There are also your lifestyle choices and your budget.
For instance, if you want to travel a lot over rough terrain, you’ll want to go with durable, high-performance tires that can stand excessively high temperatures.
If you’re on a budget and don’t want to splurge when your tires wear out, plus you live in a relatively cool, dry place…you can go ahead and purchase cheaper tires.
Of course, there are tradeoffs as well.
A high-performance tire that’s excellent for rough terrain may have a shortened lifespan and rougher handling feel.
Touring tires are great for all seasons, but don’t provide the safety that dedicated winter tires do.
Here’s a quick chart to show you the pros and cons of different types of tires.
|Touring Tires||Smooth ride, long tread life||Not great as winter tires|
|Performance Tires||Sporty feel, great wet and dry traction||Shorter lifespan, not that smooth to handle|
|All-Terrain Tires||Best for offroading||Less comfort on smooth roads|
|Winter and Snow Tires||Perfect for deep freezes, snow, and ice||Reduced comfort during the dry season|
How to Pick Tires for Your Subaru Outback (3 Questions to Ask Before Buying)
You’re almost ready to purchase new tires for your Subaru Outback.
But with all the information above, you’re probably feeling overwhelmed right now.
I mean, how do you determine which tires are perfect for your specific lifestyle?
Here are three quick questions to ask yourself before buying.
How Much Can I Afford?
This sounds like a no-brainer question, but it’ll help you narrow down your list considerably.
Remember, cheaper tires don’t always mean more savings in the long run.
If you buy lower-rated tires, you might need to replace them even sooner than the five-year timeframe I mentioned earlier.
My recommendation: if you can afford it, go for moderately-priced or higher-tier tires.
However, if you’re OK with buying cheaper temporary tires and changing them in around three years, then go for it.
What Kind of Driving Will I Be Doing?
Choose your tires depending on your area, climate, and habits.
If you love going on long road trips over rugged terrain, I suggest all-terrain tires. These don’t last very long, but will give you an enjoyable experience off-roading. As a bonus, they do pretty well in snow and ice.
On the other hand, if you live in a dry climate without much snow and ice, you can go for all-terrain tires. These are long-lasting tires that give you a smooth, confident, comfortable ride.
With tires, there will always be a tradeoff. The key is to ask yourself what kind of driving you’ll be doing most of the time, then go for tires that fit it.
How Durable Are the Tires I’m Buying?
Now that you’ve narrowed it down to a few tire options, you’ll want to check their quality.
Remember, the higher the tire’s rating, the better the tire.
A tire rated 400 AA is better than a tire rated 200 BB.
Best Tires for Subaru Outback: Which Is the Best Option for You?
Time to change your Subaru Outback tires?
I know, it can be confusing.
There are a ton of options to select from, and if you’re not a tire guru, your head might be spinning right now.
Don’t worry, though.
There’s no perfect tire, and the type you pick depends on who you are, where you live, and what kind of driving you love to do.
So go back over the five options I’ve listed for you above. Consider them carefully and ask yourself whether or not they’ll be the right fit for you.
If you don’t find anything that suits you there, go over my recommendations for picking tires based on budget, performance, climate, and habits.
If you choose your Outback’s tires with care and patience, you’ll end up with a driving experience that suits you perfectly.
All screenshots taken by the author, October 2021.