Best Tires for Subaru Forester
The Subaru Forester is easily one of the most versatile vehicles on sale today. Compact but spacious, enjoyable to drive and yet almost excessively practical. We love the low-down torque of that boxer engine. And you have to love the performance of that turbocharged XT model!
If you’re shopping for new tires for your Forester, we’ve put together a list for all your possible different needs, from winter tires, to off-road tires, to tires on a budget and, most importantly, the best all around tire.
Subaru Forester Tire Size
Below is a list of each Subaru Forester trim level along with the tire size for that trim from the factory.
- Base 225/60/17
- Limited 225/55/18
- Premium 225/60/17
- Sport 225/55/18
- Touring 225/55/18
Best Tire for Subaru Forester
Continental Cross Contact LX 25
Designed for as much year-round use as an all-season can be, there are deep grooves and lots of sipes to evacuate water, while giving some winter capability. Dry weather handling and braking are right near the top of the class thanks to reinforced shoulder blocks that hold up well under hard cornering.
Plus, Conti backs it with an 70,000 mile tread life warranty as well as one year of free road hazard replacement and three years of roadside assistance – which includes either a free tire change to your spare or a tow of up to 150 miles. For what this tire delivers, pricing is even reasonable.
Best Tire for Subaru Forester (alternative)
Michelin Defender T+H
The Michelin Defender T+H is similar in many ways to the Continentals above. Designed to be a versatile all-season tire, Michelin put extra emphasis on wet weather performance. The tire was also designed to ensure even contact with the road over time resulting in even wear. It’s for this reason that they come with an 80,000 mil tread life warranty. (Like the Contis).
The only real reason not to pick these tires is generally you’ll pay a premium because they are Michelins, however, if you can find them for a good price (Check for current tire deal offers here) we wouldn’t hesitate to pick up a set.
Best Long Lasting Tire for Subaru Forester
Goodyear Assurance MaxLife
If your key criteria for a new set of tires is getting the most miles out of them, then look no further.
Topping all other tires on the market (in this segment anyway) is the Goodyear Assurance MaxLife which guarantees 85,000 miles of tread life over the life of the tire. The tire even coms with built in wear gauges in the tread so you can track its life yourself.
As a premium touring tire you also get a ride quality that’s comfortable and quiet, while handling is above-average as well due to shoulder tread blocks that fit together in a way that increases stability in corners.
Longest Lasting Tire for Subaru Forester
Hankook Kinergy PT
Not to get too confusing with the tire above, while we do recommend the Goodyear Assurance MaxLife as our best long life tire, if having the longest tread life is your number one priority, then you can’t top these Hankooks.
Rated for up to 90,000 miles they’ll last you for years and years to come. Overall performance is decent, though not fantastic – certain compromises have to be made to hit that high mileage number.
Best Off-Road Tire for Subaru Forester
Falken Wildpeak A/T Trail
Designed specifically for the crossover crowd, the new Falken Wildpeak A/T Trail is a new concept in all-terrain tires. As the name suggests, it’s designed for off-roading, but in the less-extreme sense. In other words, if you don’t need the wild capability of a true all-terrain tire or it’s ability to withstand really harsh conditions, why would you buy one? Instead, this tire offers great off-road traction for regular light-off road use. In other words, it’s designed to be used off-road regularly, not not in any extreme circumstances. Built with this in mind, it’s able to offer better on-road manners and performance, and Falken can also back it with a 65,000 mile tread life guarantee.
Best Budget Tire for Subaru Forester
General Altimax RT43
If you were looking at those Continentals named at the top of the list, then maybe you’d be interested in saving a few bucks for a mild compromise. General Tire is a budget sub-brand of Continental and the Altima RT43 is one of that brand’s most versatile offerings.
With solid all-season performance and excellent wet weather performance its not a touring tire though, so the more expensive alternatives will be a touch quieter and more comfortable, although we’re betting very few folks will ever notice.
The milage guarantee isn’t quite as high as some others on this list but at 75,000 miles it’s still very impressive.
All that and you’ll save a significant percentage compared to some of the Tier 1 brands.
Cheapest Tire for Subaru Forester
Laufenn G-Fit AS
Can you find a cheaper tire for the Subaru Forester than this? Sure.
Will it be junk? Almost certainly.
Laufenn isn’t a well-known brand but it is a relatively new sub-brand of Hankook. So we have an inherent trust with everything from durability to tread life.
It’s a solid yet relatively low-tech tire without any fancy bells or whistles. Summer performance is actually quite good, it’s passable in the wet and not great in snow. The tire’s summer performance mostly comes from the stickier tread compound, with the down-side of that being a shorter 45,000 mile tread life warranty.
It will, however, cost about half of some of the other tires on this list.
Best Performance Tire for Subaru Forester
Pirelli Scorpion Verde
This tire is a little bit of everything. It’s a touring tire, an eco tire, an all-season and even a bit of a performance tire. (Would you expect anything less from Pirelli).
With a unique tread design, it looks very much like a performance tire that’s been divided up with all sorts of sipes to give it better all-weather performance And that’s basically what it is.
Delivering on premium characteristics of a touring tire like comfort and noise levels, it’s also built for excellent dynamic capability with several solid tread ribs to ensure immediate response and stiff shoulder blocks that allow your vehicle to corner.
All this, and it’s built with low rolling resistance characteristics in mind to reduce fuel consumption, and is even manufactured using new, greener processes.
Best Winter Tire for Subaru Forester
Nokian Hakkapeliitta SUV 8
If you’ve gone through the process of determining that a Forester is the best machine for you, then that same process applied to winter tires will bring you here: to the Nokian. Just like how you didn’t buy a Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4, which by all accounts are fantastic vehicles, you’ll skip over the Bridgestone Blizzak and Micheline xIce tires.
To truly go our own path, the Nokian Hakkapeliitta are the perfect tire and will definitely not leave you stranded. The winter tire experts at Nokian have developed these tires to not only deliver world-class grip in the snow, but to also deliver a stable yet responsive ride on snow. Plus, they resist extremely cold temperatures and continue to grip when other winter tires give up.
How Long do Subaru Tires Last?
Neither of the factory tire options on the Subaru Forester come with a milage guarantee from the factory so it’s not easy to give an expected tire life for the vehicle. However, a set of factory tires on a Subaru should last approximately 50,000 miles. This is often due to the fact that many factory-equipped tires combine a unique combination of handling, comfort, noise quality and tread life. When it comes time to replace these tires, many of the top offerings last roughly 70,000 miles, so you should be able to get an additional 1.5 to 2 years out of a set of premium replacement tires.
Do AWD Tires Wear Faster?
Generally speaking, tires equipped on an all-wheel drive vehicle wear faster than front or rear-wheel drive vehicles. This is due to the fact that all four wheels now have to handle the torque load from the engine. The front tires are still more likely to wear faster as they also handle the majority of the braking effort, while also handling all of the steering effort. To maintain long life, proper tire rotation on an AWD vehicle is critical.
What tires come on the Subaru Forester?
Depending on what size wheels the Forester have, it comes equipped with a different set of tires. All trim levels offered with the 17-inch wheel package come with Bridgestone Ecopia HL 422 Plus tires, while those with 18-inch wheels come fitted with the Falken Ziex ZE001 AS.
Tire Buying FAQ
Where can I find the best price on tires?
There is no one answer to this question unfortunately. Sites like Tire Rack and Discount tire offer deals all the time on specific brands. You can also find deals on Amazon though they are much harder to find and often only apply to a specific size or group of sizes. Visit our Tire Deals page for more info.
When is the best time to buy tires?
It’s common that many shoppers buy tires once its already too late. At that point you don’t have a lot of choice and can often over-pay. If you’re planning ahead, generally, retailers offer significant tire deals around major holiday weekends (especially in the summer), as well as Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
How much is Shipping?
Shipping is often included when you purchase tires online. Many retailers offer free shipping if you get your tires shipped to an installer that they recommend. Even if you ship to your home, Tire Rack offers free shipping on purchases over $50. And if you’re buying new tires, that won’t be hard.
How long does shipping take?
Shipping can take just a few days, or over a week in the worst cases. Often it depends on where you live. anyone in a larger urban center or living closer to a tire distribution center can get them quite quickly.
Does anyone offer mobile tire installation?
Depending on where you live, there may be numerous local mobile tire installers available. If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of tracking one down, TireRack offers its own service. You don’t even have to purchase tires from TireRack to use it.
While it’s more expensive than bringing your tires to the shop, it’s also a lot more convenient. Prices start at $25 per tire.
How much does it cost to install a tire?
Generally you’ll pay between $25 and $50 per tire for installation services. This includes mounting and balancing, while using the latest tools so your rims don’t get scuffed or scraped.
Do I need to replace the tire pressure monitoring system when I change tires?
It’s not necessary to replace TMPS sensors when you change tires, but you may want to consider it. The units can fail over time due to damage or corrosion. Also, most units contain a battery and as a sealed unit, they must be replaced when the battery wears down. While most tire installers will handle sourcing these parts for you, you can also buy your own here.
Do online tire retailers offer rebates?
Absolutely! In fact, rebates are offered by most brands (even premium ones). Often these incentives are offered with other deals including up-front discounts and credit card offers.