When Subaru first introduced the Crosstrek it didn’t seem like there would be much demand for a high-riding Impreza.
The market was there, however, and the popularity of this machine has taken off, spawning models across multiple generations. (If only they’d launch a WRX version).
It’s no surprise that Subarus are more popular in snowy climates, like the North East. Or head anywhere there’s good skiing (like Colorado) and you’ll also find them to be as plentiful as Toyota Camrys.
The brand’s reputation and its symmetrical all-wheel drive system has a lot to do with that. However, the single most important thing you can do for winter grip is a set of proper winter tires. So with that in mind, here are our top picks for the best Subaru Crosstrek winter tires.
Best Winter Tire for Subaru Crosstrek
Bridgestone Blizzak WS90
For our top pick you really can’t go wrong with a set of Blizzaks. The WS90 is Bridgestone’s specific option for for everything from sedans, to hatchbacks, to crossovers – pretty much everything the Crosstrek is.
This tire features all of Bridgestone’s winter tire technology.
The tread itself makes use of a unique compound with microscopic imperfections that act to clear the thin layer of water that forms between the tire and the ice (or road), eliminating that slippery surface and offering loads more grip.
A infusion of silica into the tread compound also helps maintain grip in the wet.
Heavy siping across the tread blocks works to maximize grip on snow. This specific tire offers a 15% improvement in biting edges over its predecessor thanks to a unique layout, while the sipes are full-depth, meaning they’ll continue to offer the same high levels of grip throughout the tire’s life.
Beyond all this, the tire’s directional layout offers a densely-packed arrangement of tread blocks that delivers amazing stability on snow packed roads, with good turning response and a high level of control.
We couldn’t recommend these tires more!
Best Studdable Winter Tire for Subaru Crosstrek
General Altimax Arctic 12
There’s really only one way to get more grip than a set of Blizzaks and thats with studded winter tires. Our top pick in this category is the General Altimax Arctic 12.
A solid set of winter tires regardless, add on the optional TSMI #12 metallic winter studs and you’ll take this tire, and your Crosstrek’s grip, to the next level. This setup is ideal for anyone driving on snow/ice packed roads all winter long, with the mechanical grip of studs digging into the road surface offering an unbeatable level of grip.
In addition to all this, the Altimax Arctic 12 is an impressive winter tire even without studs. Loads of siping across the densely packed tread section provides plenty of grip against the snow. The sipes run laterally on the outside tread blocks and follow the directional pattern of the inner tread blocks for superior handling capability.
There’s plenty of void space between the tread sections, allowing for easy evacuation of slush – or water.
The same design has been engineered to wear better (and longer) over time. It’s no secret that winter tires wear rather quickly, and so General Tire is looking to give you a few thousand extra miles for your money.
And speaking of your money, these tires are also quite reasonably priced.
Cheapest Winter Tire
Firestone Winterforce 2
The fact that these tires aren’t higher on the page is a pretty obvious hint that they aren’t our top pick for your Crosstrek this winter. But that doesn’t mean they’re bad.
We live by the motto that any winter tires are better than no winter tires and with that in mind, a cheaper option might be ideal when you weigh both your needs and your budget.
The plentiful siping and custom tread compound that resists freezing in colder temperatures combine to give this tire a huge advantage over all-seasons. It handles snow covered roads easily, though doesn’t perform as well on ice as some of the top performers.
You will find the three-peak mountain snowflake (3PMS) logo on its sidewall, meaning it achieves a basic minimum standard to be certified as a true winter tire by the Rubber Manufacturer’s Association.
And if you’re looking for more grip, it can be had by affixing the TMSI #11 metal studs that the tire is designed to accept. These are ideal if you live somewhere with snow or ice-packed roads for much of winter.
Grip in slush is above average thanks to deep channels that help evacuate water from the contact patch.
This might not be the industry standard when it comes to winter tires but it does a solid job on all slippery surfaces and comes at an attractive price point.