What To Look For When Buying The Best Tires For Subaru Forester?
Okay Dr. Seuss/Where’s Waldo, here are some things to spot when buying tires for your Subaru Forester:
Since the Subaru Forester has a masterfully designed symmetrical all-wheel-drive system, you want to capitalize on maximizing your offroading ability, and that’s exactly why ‘I’ve recommended some boss tires like the Yokohama Geolandar and Falken Wildpeak with tread designs that allow you to shred dirt roads and fast highway speed at the same time.
Sure, all-season tires will work great on the Forester, just drive slow over rocky roads. Also, be careful of buying beefy all-terrain tires that will wear out fast on the highway and drastically reduce your gas mileage—find the happy medium. Michelin Crossclimate is another sweet hybrid-type tire that would go nicely on your Forester.
Mileage warranties on Forester tires vary drastically with my recommendations. For example, your cheapest option (Mastercraft Stratus) is nice and cheap, but they only come with a 50-thousand-mile warranty.
On the other hand, General Altimax RT43 is only a tad bit more expensive, and they’re guaranteed about 50% longer tire life (75 thousand mile warranty).
Sometimes the best tire brand is the one on sale. Take advantage of deals when you see them. Your Forester doesn’t need the nicest tires if you’re driving it mostly on the road.
Aside from mileage warranty, look for durability. For example, all-season tires with slower tire speed ratings have soft rubber that punctures easily when driving above 30 MPH on most dirt roads. Just because Yokohama Geolandars and Falken Wildpeaks have lower mileage warranties doesn’t mean they’re less durable. They’re in fact much more durable, and it just so happens that the manufacturer likely cuts the warranty mileage because of the fact that drivers ride all-terrain tires much harder than all seasons.
Summer/Winter tires Swap
Some Forester owners like to buy a separate set of winter tires and wheels for an easy swap when winter comes. I like the idea, and it also allows for a more aggressive set of summer tires/wheels. Something to consider. Slap some Pirellis or Michelin Sport tires for the summer and Bridgestone Blizzak or Pirelli P Zero tires for the winter.
How Much Do Tires For Subaru Forester Cost?
The cheapest you’ll pay for new Forester tires is one hundred dollars a tire. And that’s by going with the Mastercraft Stratus I recommended above. You could also try Starfire Solarus as a cheap option for under a hundred bones a tire.
On the other hand, a high-end tire for the Subaru Forester shouldn’t cost you more than 200 bucks a pop. Spending more than that would be foolish because there are some phenomenal tires for about a buck eighty.
Four New Tires
$400 bucks is a reasonable price for four new tires for your Subaru Forester (Mastercraft Stratus or Starfire Solarus). You’ll need to factor in shipping and the cost of mounting/balancing in your local tire shop, so leave a bit of wiggle room.
Expect to pay about $800 for a quality set of tires when buying online. We’re talking brands like Yokohama/Falken all-terrain hybrids, Pirelli, Michelin, Goodyear, etc. Again, factor in the cost of shipping and local installation.
Two New Tires
$200 is a good price for two new Subaru Forester tires at the low end of things. $400 is reasonable for two tires but plan on spending more like $500 for two ultra-nice tires for your Forester.
Since these are all-wheel drive vehicles, you’ll want to replace the tires in sets. Either replace both the front or both the back tires if you’re on a budget. The only single tire you might buy would be the spare tire, and that might cost you anywhere from $100-$300 depending on the quality and if you need the wheel included.
What Tire Size Is Best For A Subaru Forester?
You’ll find stock sizes like 225/60R17 and 225/55R18 on Subaru Forester crossovers. That means they come with either 17 or 18-inch rims.
How Long Should Your Subaru Forester Tires Last?
Anywhere from 30-80 thousand miles depending on the tire.
Your Forester tires will last a long time or only a short period of time, and it all depends on how you treat them.
As a friendly reminder, always keep your tires inflated to spec (see the inside of your Forester’s driver’s door panel), and rotate your tires every 3-5 thousand miles for the best results. It’s also never a bad idea to inspect your treads during every oil change to identify possible suspension/alignment problems.
And of course, sometimes you drive out of the shop with new tires only to run over a nail in the sidewall of the tire—this is usually covered under warranty.
When To Replace Tires On Your Subaru Forester?
The general rule of thumb is when the tread depths are down to 2/32” (1.6 mm). You could also stick a penny in there and see if Lincoln’s head shows completely through.
I might replace Forester tires sooner than later because I know you Forester drivers are adventurous. Don’t get stranded out there with a flat because of old tires. This ain’t no Toyota sedan.
Does The Brand Matter For A Subaru Forester When Replacing Tires?
Yes, brand matters. I think that Japanese tire brands (like Yokohama, Sumitomo, Toyo, etc.) make the best tires for the Forester and any other Subaru for that matter.
These Japanese tires aren’t for the autobahn but rather for even performance basically anywhere you decide to drive at reasonable speeds—they’re practical and very effective, so that’s why I like them.
Does the Year of Your Subaru Forester Matter When Buying New Tires?
Sure, I say don’t spend as much on tires for a Subaru that has over 200 thousand miles on it. Remember, these Subaru boxer engines are awesome, but guess what? They have aluminum blocks. FYI, a Japanese aluminum engine will last reliably until about 300 thousand miles, then its toast. It’s not like those cast iron Mercedes engines that last up to a million miles, so unless you’re willing to undergo an engine swap, prepare for your older Subaru to crap out on you after at least 250k miles.
For your newer Subaru Forester owners, buy some nice ass tires for your Suby. It will raise the curb appeal and overall value of the vehicle for the buyer if you ever decide to sell.
What Are The Biggest Tires I Can Put On A Subaru Forester?
You could maybe pull off 20-inch wheels and tires if you were to put a 3-inch lift in your Forester, but I wouldn’t recommend it. (the rim size is the third tire size number aka 225/55/R18).
I recommend plugging in your Subaru Forester model and year into Tire Rack’s website and choosing from the different sizing options they give you. It’s that simple. Tires with a higher middle number will have a higher sidewall while lower middle numbers might be sportier and surely lower to the ground.