Top 5 Best Tires For Subaru Outback [2022 Review]

By Tire Expert, Ryan Nichols
By Tire Expert, Ryan Nichols

Subaru Outback is in a class of its own.

Don’t skimp when buying tires for your Subaru Outback. You and your Outback deserve a safe, comfortable ride especially if you plan on driving in the backcountry whether it be dirt or snow—which is the reason why most people buy Subaru Outbacks.

When buying Subaru Outback tires, don’t listen to promotional tire reviews like an idiot. Also, don’t be swayed by nasty comment sections because customers don’t know how to set tire pressure, let alone maintain the suspension or pay for an alignment.

Listen to me because I have experience with tires. Come on, I’m not gonna make any hipster jokes about your Subaru (just lightly jab) because the truth is these are probably the most epic wagon of our current generation. The safety, all-wheel-drive performance, and versatility of the Subaru Outback are just unreal. I would compare it to the old Volkswagen Beetle in terms of practicality.

What are the best tires for Subaru Outbacks? In reality, there are plenty that will do the trick. Here are my top picks for your Subaru Outback without sugarcoating anything:

Our Top Pick
Yokohama Geolandar AT G015
Yokohama Geolandar
4.0/5
4.0
Best Budget
Starfire Solarus AS All-Season Tires
Starfire Solarus
3.5/5
3.5
Best High End
BFGoodrich Advantage T/A Sport LT
4.0/5
4.0
Most Economical
General Altimax RT43
General AltiMAX RT43 Radial Tire
4.0/5
4.0
Best Tread Life
Falken WildPeak A/T3W Tire Review
Falken Wildpeak All-Terrain Trail
4.0/5
4.0

Updated as of December 2, 2022

Yokohama Geolandar

Yokohama Geolandar AT G015
Our rating:
4.0/5
4.0/5

Pros and Cons

Ratings

Wet Traction:
4.0/5
Ride Handling:
4.0/5
Dry Traction:
4.5/5
Ride Noise:
3.5/5
Snow Traction:
3.5/5
Ride Comfort:
4.0/5
Tread Life:
4.0/5
Value For Money:
4.0/5

Travis Pastrana uses Yokohamas on his Subarus, and so should you! But seriously, look closely at the tire treads of these Yokohama Geolandar tires, and you’ll notice how well Yokohama mixes continuous rib all-season treads with all-terrain tread blocks. These Geolandars are unique tires if I may say so myself (in a good way), and they’re perfect for Subaru owners because they allow for the freedom and versatility to drive on whichever road conditions you damn well desire.

Let’s compare these to a similar popular tire, the Falken Wildpeak. I like Falken Wildpeak for sure, but I don’t think they’re for the Outback (maybe the Wildpeak Trail). Why? Because these Yokohamas are a bit smoother on the highway, and I think most Subaru Outback owners drive a bit more on the highway than they think they do. Just sayin’.

Now, some might say that Falken Wildpeak tires out-do the Yokohama Geolandar for the Subaru Outback, but if you study the tread patterns, you might notice that Yokohama Geolandars cater a bit more to the crossover style of specifically the Subaru Outback. Let me just point out right out of the gate that these are technically all-terrain tires, so go with Yokohama Avid tires for a more road-friendly style.

Weighing out your pros and cons is always smart. Some negatives to look at are a slight loss of fuel economy and inferior handling when compared to high-performance or high-end all-season tires. You’ll also likely experience extra ride noise because of the beefy treads compared to an all-season tire, but nothing drastic. You also might want to keep snow chains around for extreme snowy conditions as these aren’t dedicated snow tires.

Some upsides of Yokohama Geolandar tires? One quality that stands out about Geolandars is their deep circumferential grooves that you’d typically see on all-season tires. Yokohama does a fantastic job at creating versatility from on-road to off-road with these tires.

Their speed rating is also a ‘Y’ (that’s the fastest speed rating) which means these tires will safely bomb up to speeds of 186 MPH (300 kilometers/hour), so that’s perfect for all of you Subaru driving hell raisers out there on the salt flats.

I like the way these maintain control when hydroplaning on wet roads, and I’ve noticed they perform better in wet conditions than most all-terrain tires (when comparing them to all-season tires), so that’s why I’ve put them in the top spot for your Subaru Outback. But don’t take my word for it, do your research! It all depends on personal preference.

Starfire Solarus

Starfire Solarus AS All-Season Tires
Our rating:
3.5/5
3.5/5

Pros and Cons

Ratings

Wet Traction:
3.5/5
Ride Handling:
3.5/5
Dry Traction:
3.5/5
Ride Noise:
4.0/5
Snow Traction:
3.0/5
Ride Comfort:
4.0/5
Tread Life:
3.5/5
Value For Money:
4.0/5

Starfire Solarus is by far the best deal you’re going to get on tires for your Subaru Outback. Are they good tires? Meh. They’ll do in a pinch. In other words, they’re not so completely unreliable as to put you in danger while driving, but I wouldn’t expect to see any type of performance enhancement when buying the cheapest tires on the rack.

To be fair, if you’re a cheap commuter who drives an old Subaru, absolutely put these on your old Suby! These Starfire Solarus will safely travel up to 130 MPH (‘H’ speed rating), and they’ll do just fine on the highway in dry conditions.

Where you’ll need to be careful with these tires is driving on dirt roads in your Subaru. Ya, I get it, Travis Pastrana and Ken Block can rally the pants off of their co-pilots on dirt roads in their Subarus, but they’re using performance equipment and have unlimited income.

Just don’t drive over rocks at high speeds. And when I say that, I mean drive slooooowww on dirt roads. I’ve been stupid enough to rally a cheaper set of tires in the backcountry, and yes, I had to limp back to camp and find some flat rocks to jack the car up onto. Not fun.

On the positive side, you can always install snow chains when it gets gnarly out there. Your old (or new) Suby will get it done either way with its impressive all-wheel-drive capability.

Right, so why pay more than a hundred bucks a pop when it comes to your Subaru Outback? I guess to add ride comfort, traction, and handling stability. In the meantime, mount up these cheap Starfire Solarus and keep blazing!

BFGoodrich Advantage T/A Sport LT
Our rating:
4.0/5
4.0/5

Pros and Cons

Ratings

Wet Traction:
4.0/5
Ride Handling:
4.0/5
Dry Traction:
4.0/5
Ride Noise:
4.5/5
Snow Traction:
3.5/5
Ride Comfort:
4.0/5
Tread Life:
4.0/5
Value For Money:
3.5/5

Want high quality without paying too much? These BFG Advantage T/A Sport are the bomb. There’s a reason why BFGoodrich tires are some of the most used tires in races like the Baja 1000—because they perform reliably. Are these the right tires for your Subaru? Yes, but only if you drive mostly on the road.

These babies come with a great warranty (60-70 thousand miles depending on which speed rating), and again, they’re a great pick for mostly road drivers who do a bit of weekend offroading (AKA most Subaru owners).

Choose from H, V, or T speed ratings depending on what you’re looking for in your ride quality. For example, if you want ultra-tight cornering and 100+ smoothness, go with the V speed rating. If you’d like a softer feel over the bumps, go with the H-rated BFG Advantages.

Some other reasons you might like these BFGoodrich Advantage tires is because of their attractive tread design and hot handling skills. These might not handle as well as other tires when offroading or managing poor weather conditions, but they will dominate those long, steep, and curvy passes through the Oregon pines in dry conditions. Short stopping distances, excellent steering response, lower rolling resistance and even tread contact are a few advantages of Michelin’s Evertread tread compound.

The only downsides to these touring tires are that they are a bit firm over the bumps and that wacky tread design does add a bit more ride noise into the mix—just keep that in mind. You might compare these to Goodyear Assurance Weatherready.

These tires will also stay nice and grippy during light snow conditions when compared to cheaper all-terrain options (see above). All in all, I appreciate this tread pattern because of its strong shoulder blocks and continuous center rib that will give your Subaru a nice sporty feel.

General AltiMAX RT43 Radial Tire

General Altimax RT43
Our rating:
4.0/5
4.0/5

Pros and Cons

Ratings

Wet Traction:
4.0/5
Ride Handling:
4.0/5
Dry Traction:
4.0/5
Ride Noise:
4.0/5
Snow Traction:
3.0/5
Ride Comfort:
4.0/5
Tread Life:
4.5/5
Value For Money:
4.5/5

I highly recommend these General Altimax by Continental for your Subaru Outback, and here’s why:

For one, these tires are some of the most mounted in tire shops across the USA because of their economical price and incredible mileage warranty. Not to mention they last for the long run.

Secondly, these tires are incredibly user-friendly. They have treadwear indicators on the sides to help identify suspension and alignment issues, they have letters printed that will say ‘replace tire’ when it’s time to switch them out, etc.

One thing you’ll notice when switching out to General Altimax RT43 tires is their softness over bumps and smooth ride quality. Plus, you’re not going to have to worry as much about ugly blowouts and premature tire wear because these are built to go the long run.

The slightly asymmetrical pattern on these tires means they’re labeled ‘inside’ and ‘outside’, so don’t forget to clarify with the tire shop which way they go. This same asymmetrical design is intended for extending tire life, expelling water, etc.

No, these aren’t directional tires, so you can technically rotate them to any wheel position on the Outback, but the best move is to simply keep the inflated properly and rotate them every 3-5 thousand miles for the best longevity.

I also dig the sipes on these tires because they’re a simple complexity. They don’t have any special design for visual appeal, but rather a function that works for hydroplane prevention and decent offroad/snow traction when necessary. You’ll still want to keep tire chains around, but these will interact great with them during the winter because the rubber stays nice and soft. So slap those skis, mountain bike, kayak, surfboard, or whatever it is you use to move on to the Suby confidently and send it to the fun zone better with your new tires.

See my complete review of the General Altimax RT43 to learn more.

Falken Wildpeak All-Terrain Trail

Falken WildPeak A/T3W Tire Review
Our rating:
4.0/5
4.0/5

Pros and Cons

Ratings

Wet Traction:
4.0/5
Ride Handling:
4.0/5
Dry Traction:
4.5/5
Ride Noise:
3.5/5
Snow Traction:
3.5/5
Ride Comfort:
4.5/5
Tread Life:
4.0/5
Value For Money:
4.0/5

Put the granola in your step with these Falkens that grip dirt and sand firmly but also manage to handle road performance at higher highway speeds. Falken Wildpeak is a solid pick for you adventurous Subaru Outback owners who like to rally in the dirt.

Would I put these tires on my Subaru Outback? Hell yeah! They make it look like you’re going to dinner with trail runner shoes on instead of big burly hiking boots (full all-terrain tire) or inadequate running shoes (all-season tires). These Wildpeak All-Terrain Trail tires also have an ‘H’ speed rating which I’m also a big fan of. Their top speed is 130 MPH, meaning they’re plenty fast enough to keep up with your Subaru boxer engine, but they’re not overly stiff over the bumps like racing tires.

All in all, expect a nice and comfortable feel when driving on these tires with maybe just a smidgen of ride noise and vibration on the highway when comparing them to an all-season tire.

Let me specify, that the Wildpeak A/T3W tires are a bit too beefy for the Outback and are intended for trucks and full-size SUVs. No, what you want are these Wildpeak All-Terrain Trails because they cut back on the aggressive offroading tread and add a bit more versatility for highway driving.

You’re gonna like the 3D Canyon Sipe technology that features additional tread depth for snow control. These are the kind of tires that you could interchange for summer tires/commuting tires or just keep them on all year round without worrying about unnecessary treadwear (some Outback owners like to keep an extra set of wheels and tires for a quick switch when winter time hits.)

And remember, even though these Wildpeaks have the snowflake symbol, these aren’t dedicated snow tires, so you’ll still want to carry snow chains/snow socks with you during the wintertime, just in case.

At any rate, their 65 thousand-mile treadwear warranty is about the best you’ll find for any crossover tire capable of rallying the dirt. Keep them properly inflated and rotated, and these will serve you and your Subaru Outback well.

What To Look For When Buying The Best Tires For A Subaru Outback?

Here are a few things to look for when improving your Subaru with a new set of tires:

On-road/Offroad Capabilities

Since most people buy the Outback for the freedom to rally down dirt roads while maintaining decent fuel economy, I recommend you buy tires like my top recommended Yokohama Geolandar or Falken Wildpeak.

Michelin Crossclimate is also a super badass tire that fits the style and grace of your Subaru Outback.

Outstanding suspension/Alignment issues

Since I suspect you’ll be buying tires online (the smart idea), your Subaru may not get the proper inspection needed for identifying problems that can reduce tread life.

It’s worth saying, you should always make 100 percent sure that the car is in perfect alignment and that all suspension parts are in full order.

Rebates

Don’t forget to always keep an eye out for rebate deals. Sometimes the brand doesn’t matter as much if you’re going to get a killer deal on a specific set of tires. The Subaru Outback is a pretty common vehicle, so don’t expect to find much as far as killer deals, but you never do know. Most of the time tires get cheaper because there is less demand for them, just FYI. And that won’t ever be the case with the Subaru Outback; their most common tire size will always be in demand.

Tire Type

Since Subaru Outbacks are used eclectically, it’s important to think about exactly which type of tire you want for your Outback.

For example:

  • All-season

I recommend all-season tires for most sedans, but the Subaru Outback is a bit different case. These wagons just happen to be super badass at backcountry access, and I’ve been surprised to see them in places where I wouldn’t think they would be able to get to.

I still recommend all seasons all the way with the Outback, but if you want to step it up notch traction, go with an all-terrain choice as we recommended in our top spot above.

You might still want to use snow chains with all-season tires, depending on where you live.

  • Touring

Touring tires are kind of a mix between performance and all-season tires. That might not do as well in the rain compared to all seasons, but they bring it with the performance in dry driving conditions.

Just don’t expect your touring tires to do well on dirt roads, and don’t expect them to be that smooth over the bumps like all-terrain tires and all seasons.

  • All-Terrain

All-terrains are surprisingly a recommended option for the Subaru Outback. I recommended the Yokohama Geolandar set as my top pick, but you could also go for brands like Toyo (Ken Block uses Toyo), Falken, etc.

You might still want to use snow chains with all-terrain tires, depending on where you live.

  • Summer tires/Ultra-High Performance

There aren’t many Subaru Outback drivers that use summer tires, but there is that occasional city dweller that likes performance summer tires on their Outback. Nothing wrong with that! Summer tires are great for highway trips, but don’t expect them to be as smooth over small bumps when compared to an all-season tire.

You wouldn’t find my Outback with summer tires in a million years, but it’s still a possibility. The upside of high-performance tires is their ability to handle fast speeds. And sure, the Outback is pretty damn fast.

  • Snow tires

Some high rollers choose to own two sets of tires and wheels to switch from summer to winter tires, and the reason is usually that they live clear the f*ck up in the mountains and need the studded/ribbed traction that snow tires offer to fend off the icy conditions.

Try Michelin X Ice, Bridgestone Blizzak, Pirelli P Zero Winter, and other tires similar for your Subaru Outback.

Speed rating

Tires have specific speed ratings based on their performance, and that’s something you’ll most definitely want to keep an eye on if you’re worried about rallying hard. Typically, tires with faster speed ratings will be safer at faster speeds, but softer tires are much more comfortable on the bottom when going over road bumps.

Sidewall Height

You do have a slight amount of wiggle room when it comes to sidewall height on your Subaru Outback. Just as a reference, the middle tire size number (i.e., 225/65/R17) is the aspect ratio that determines how tall the tires are. Sportier tires have a smaller aspect ratio while all-season tires have higher sidewalls that tend to ride a bit smoother over potholes and whatnot.

My best advice is to plug in your Subaru’s year and submodel into Tire Rack’s system and let the tire size recommendation machine work its magic. Choose the fitting aspect ratio for your driving style.

How Much Do Tires For A Subaru Outback Cost?

Such a loaded question! Okay, so to be honest, you could always just choose the cheapest possible option (Starfire Solarus). There’s nothing wrong with that honestly.

The low price for Subaru Outback tires is anything under a hundred bucks a tire. The high price luckily is anywhere just under 200 bucks a tire (that’s lower than other cars).

In my opinion, if you spend over 200 bucks a tire for your Subaru, you’re blowing it. Buy economical, because you never know when you’ll blow one out, and it’s never pleasant when the service advisor tells you that you need two new tires instead of one on your Outback sporting symmetrical all-wheel-drive.

That’s right, this ain’t no Honda Civic. You’ll need to replace your Outback tires in pairs.

Four New Tires

On the low end, four new tires for your Suby will cost you around $360 for tires + the cost of installation at your local mom-and-pop tire shop. Expect to pay $50-$100+ for a low-end tire mount and balance.

On the high end, four new expensive tires will cost you around $800 for the tires + a heftier fee if you take it into your local stealership. (dealerships typically charge a couple of hundred bucks + for mount and balance).

Two New Tires

Two new tires will cost around $180 plus about $50 bucks for installation on the lower end of things. On the higher end, expect to pay at least $500 for tires and installation when buying two new tires for your Subaru Outback.

Single Tire

The only single tire you should be buying for your Subaru Outback is the spare. Don’t mess up the drivetrain system by mounting up a new tire on one wheel and leaving the old one on the other side of the axle. You want to keep your front tires twins and your rear tires twins.

A spare tire (with wheel) will cost you anything from $50-$300+ depending on how you acquire it.

What Tire Size Is Best For A Subaru Outback?

I always recommend the stock-size tires and wheels for optimum performance (try to match the existing tire size). In my opinion, putting tires that are too big or too small for your Outback will cause side effects like reduced fuel economy, AWD drivetrain issues, etc. that you don’t want.

How Long Should Your Subaru Outback Tires Last?

It all depends on which tires you choose. The overall trend for the Subaru Outback is around 50 thousand miles as far as warranties go, but you’ll notice that some of these tires have 60 thousand+ mile warranties.

Your tire longevity also heavily depends on your ability to maintain the tires and the vehicle suspension/alignment. I highly recommend filling your tires up with Nitrogen because it eliminates flat spots and prevents tire deflation. Most tire shops have a nitrogen machine.

When To Replace Tires On Your Subaru Outback?

Always be checking the tread wear on your Outback. This is an all-wheel drive vehicle, and some of the older Outbacks have funky stuff. Treat it like a four-wheel drive truck or SUV.

There’s a pretty funky (but awesome) lateral link system in the older Subaru suspension systems that can cause premature tire wear if they get knocked out of wack.

Of course, the rule of thumb is to replace your tires when they get past 2/32” (two thirty-seconds of an inch), or 1.4 mm.

And then again, you can always stick a penny inside your tire treads and decide whether or not the top of Abe Lincoln’s head is still showing when inserted face down into the crevice.

Does The Brand Matter For A Subaru Outback When Replacing Tires?

Sure does! Different brands that make tires that fit Subarus bring in a wide range of options.

For example, our top choice (Yokohama Geolandar) makes a super versatile offroading tire that also happens to perform quite nicely at higher speeds. It’s like the perfect mix you would need for a Subaru Outback (go figure, Yokohama is also a Japanese company).

Wait, isn’t the international speed limit only 100 km/hour in Japan? So why are these guys so damn good at engineering fast cars and tires then? They’re doing a great job at it.

I do recommend tires made in Japan for your Subaru. I think they fit the style and function the best, so look for brands like Toyo, Yokohama, Falken, etc. because they make great all-terrain tires for crossovers and whatnot.

Some other tire brands, and models you might want to check out are our Michelin Crossclimate, Michelin Defender LTX, anything Pirelli, Goodyear Assurance, etc. I don’t recommend putting Chinese tires on your Outback because that’s supposedly what the Russians did with their military vehicles, and look how well that turned out for them! They ended up with a bunch of vehicles immobilized because of flat tires.

And I’m not saying Chinese tires won’t work just fine for your Subaru. China is coming along nicely with its technology. Just don’t rely on them at all. Like if you buy Chinese or any other type of off-brand tires, you should be defensive driving in the right or middle lane expecting a blowout at any moment.

Frequently Asked Questions
A common question many car owners have is what PSI number they should fill their tires too, and the most accurate answer is to look in the driver’s side door panel of your Subaru. Believe me, I’ve seen high-rolling general managers incapable of even connecting a tire inflator to the air compressor. Aside from manufacturer recommendations, a good rule of thumb is to inflate your Subaru tires to around 40 PSI in the summer, and around 35 in the winter. You can go a little bit lower in extreme conditions like snow and heavy rain, but don’t go any lower than 30 PSI or you’ll start to have uneven tread wear on the insides and the outsides of your tire treads—and on the contrary, overinflating your tires past 40 PSI will cause the middle of the tire treads to wear down significantly faster. I also recommend filling your tires with nitrogen to help prevent deflation and flat spots.
Yes. The first Subaru Outback from the year 1995 has 16-inch stock wheels, while the newer Outbacks have 17 and 18-inch wheels. 27 years is a long time for a specific car to be in production, and there are so many changes that are made between submodels of the Subaru that anything is possible. Familiarizing yourself with the stock tire/wheel size will help you make the best decision when buying tires for your Outback. And according to phenomenal technicians who have been doing it for 20+ years, the stock tires and wheels always perform better on the road.
It depends on how high your local suspension shop is willing to lift your Subaru! I would recommend only putting a 3-inch lift. You might be able to fit 20-22 inch wheels on a lifted Subaru just fine. I recommend lifting your Subaru. I once put a 3-inch lift on one, and it made it to the North Pole in the summertime, no problem. Boom.

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