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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've searched quite a bit and haven't seen anyone simply use a taller tire in a stock width to gain ground clearance. I'm happy with my 3 season set up (225/45/17) which is the stock diameter but if I could run tires one inch taller I would pick up a half inch of ground clearance which would actually help a lot in snow. Just wondered if anyone has run a 205/60/16 or 205/55/17 or similar.
 

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I assume you realize that 1 inch taller tires = 0.5 inch increase in ground-clearance.

With taller tires, you may find clearance problems as well as other issues.

Increasing tire-diameter will make the final-gearing taller. The speedometer will become inaccurate (display LOWER roadspeed than actual) and you will experience less-robust acceleration due to taller gearing.

All of the above for 1/2 inch more ground clearance?

If you really WANT more ground-clearance, trade your Impreza for Crosstrek. (A Crosstrek is the same as Impreza with more ground-clearance and some fender-flares.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Only want to do this for 2 months a year, the rest of the year I want a standard sized tire and ride height. The Crosstrek is not an option. If I wanted a jacked up car with big tires I would've kept my 17 Forester, it had the 2.5 and was only a few inches longer. Instead of having a car that's better 2 months a year I got one that's better 10 months a year. A half inch would help in Winter and I plan to buy some tires anyway for next winter. I'm not worried about gearing, can't accelerate hard in Winter anyway. On a side note the Wife will likely trade her 15 Forester for a new Crosstrek next week, she'd destroy an Impreza the way she drives.
 

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I've searched quite a bit and haven't seen anyone simply use a taller tire in a stock width to gain ground clearance. I'm happy with my 3 season set up (225/45/17) which is the stock diameter but if I could run tires one inch taller I would pick up a half inch of ground clearance which would actually help a lot in snow. Just wondered if anyone has run a 205/60/16 or 205/55/17 or similar.
205/60/16 will clear plenty and any lack of performance some claim will be negligible at best, especially as you stated in winter. At work using 7/8" keystock I went all the way around my tires inside top and there is plenty of clearance between the struts and fenders. And as for the speed being off, if the speedometer is like most newer cars (as I have been told by many at least) or in my car, the speedometer from the factory is calibrated so your actually going slower then the speedometer shows, for me I am 1 to 2 mph slower actual speed then the speedometer shows, verified by a local police officer as well. It goes without saying as I am sure you already know, any minor tire change size is going to be a minor difference in any facet of the car, small height change, minimal handling affect, minimal mpg change, speedometer change varies depending on tire size, and very minimal performance change. Personally I would go either with a 205/60/16 for a little height or a 215/55/16, which would also give you a slight height increase as well as a small with increase, still not enough to be noticeable in the real world unless racing everywhere, even then minimal at best.
 

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I've searched quite a bit and haven't seen anyone simply use a taller tire in a stock width to gain ground clearance. I'm happy with my 3 season set up (225/45/17) which is the stock diameter but if I could run tires one inch taller I would pick up a half inch of ground clearance which would actually help a lot in snow. Just wondered if anyone has run a 205/60/16 or 205/55/17 or similar.

And to add to my last post. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, or Seasonal wishes in whichever manor you wish.
 

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Just to be 'clear'...

When I said "clearance issues" above.... I was thinking of winter-driving when several inches of ice build-up around the tires within the wheelwells. Even with stock tires, I often have rubbing when I turn the steering-wheel due to the ice build-up.

My vehicles are outside all the time so there is never an opportunity for the ice to melt off.

I prefer to not use chisel or crowbar on my cars.... but sometimes, when the ice gets too thick around the tires, I have to resort to careful chiseling of the ice.


I would expect that larger tires would exacerbate this problem.
 

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Just to be 'clear'...

When I said "clearance issues" above.... I was thinking of winter-driving when several inches of ice build-up around the tires within the wheelwells. Even with stock tires, I often have rubbing when I turn the steering-wheel due to the ice build-up.

My vehicles are outside all the time so there is never an opportunity for the ice to melt off.

I prefer to not use chisel or crowbar on my cars.... but sometimes, when the ice gets too thick around the tires, I have to resort to careful chiseling of the ice.


I would expect that larger tires would exacerbate this problem.
Most think that but having routinely run larger then stock tires on all my vehicles, unless you run into heavily packed snow or excessively large tires I have never had snow build up any more then it would on stock tires. The bigger problem is snow packing in the rim between the brakes axle and wheels. Not outside the wheels
 

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I've searched quite a bit and haven't seen anyone simply use a taller tire in a stock width to gain ground clearance. I'm happy with my 3 season set up (225/45/17) which is the stock diameter but if I could run tires one inch taller I would pick up a half inch of ground clearance which would actually help a lot in snow. Just wondered if anyone has run a 205/60/16 or 205/55/17 or similar.
We have one model above base (Touring in Canada) that came with 205/55R16 Continental tires. For winter we have 205/60R16 Goodyear Winter Nordic tires. The taller aspect ratio makes the speedometer close to accurate now and certainly doesn't reduce the ground clearance. Although I did the math from the full tire specs ove a year ago, I can't recall how much we gained, maybe 0.4 of an inch. I'll try to remember to measure when I rotate back to summer tires in the spring keeping in mind two seasons of winter wear which will be greater than on the summer tires. We stayed with the standard section width since wider tires theoretically would float above the snow and slush sooner.
No way of knowing if we gained any other advantage beyond peace of mind but they were also less expensive than the correct spec tires.
Seems like a no brainer to me :wink2:.

Here is a summer tire ground clearance comparison between a '17 and a '99 ...
 
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I assume you realize that 1 inch taller tires = 0.5 inch increase in ground-clearance.

With taller tires, you may find clearance problems as well as other issues.

Increasing tire-diameter will make the final-gearing taller. The speedometer will become inaccurate (display LOWER roadspeed than actual) and you will experience less-robust acceleration due to taller gearing.

All of the above for 1/2 inch more ground clearance?

If you really WANT more ground-clearance, trade your Impreza for Crosstrek. (A Crosstrek is the same as Impreza with more ground-clearance and some fender-flares.)
If only it were fiscally responsible to just trade in a vehicle if it had 1 minor inconvenience.

It would be even more beneficial to just install strut spacers that would give the clearance while not sacrificing gearing or tire clearance

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
If only it were fiscally responsible to just trade in a vehicle if it had 1 minor inconvenience.

It would be even more beneficial to just install strut spacers that would give the clearance while not sacrificing gearing or tire clearance

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
The strut spacers would be ideal but installing and uninstalling them for only 2 months of use isn't going to happen and the lowered suspension is why I traded my 17 Forester for an Impreza. After 12 years of high riding trucks and suvs I wanted a daily Driver that can handle well. Buying my Impreza is one of the best decisions I have ever made, it handles like a sports car and still rides smooth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
We have one model above base (Touring in Canada) that came with 205/55R16 Continental tires. For winter we have 205/60R16 Goodyear Winter Nordic tires. The taller aspect ratio makes the speedometer close to accurate now and certainly doesn't reduce the ground clearance. Although I did the math from the full tire specs ove a year ago, I can't recall how much we gained, maybe 0.4 of an inch. I'll try to remember to measure when I rotate back to summer tires in the spring keeping in mind two seasons of winter wear which will be greater than on the summer tires. We stayed with the standard section width since wider tires theoretically would float above the snow and slush sooner.
No way of knowing if we gained any other advantage beyond peace of mind but they were also less expensive than the correct spec tires.
Seems like a no brainer to me :wink2:.


Thank you for this info, this is exactly what I was hoping to hear. A half inch would help a lot, it would take me from barely ever scraping to almost never scraping.
 

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Thank you for this info, this is exactly what I was hoping to hear. A half inch would help a lot, it would take me from barely ever scraping to almost never scraping.
To be honest, I think our next set of winter tires will be 205/65R16.
Or maybe not ... we are in the car at the moment and the speedo is reading 80 kph while the phone GPS is indicating 81 kph.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
To be honest, I think our next set of winter tires will be 205/65R16.
Or maybe not ... we are in the car at the moment and the speedo is reading 80 kph while the phone GPS is indicating 81 kph.
Do you really think those would fit? I was getting the 205/60/16 next winter but a 65 would be even better.. I don't need the taller tire but it would help quite a bit.
 

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Do you really think those would fit? I was getting the 205/60/16 next winter but a 65 would be even better.. I don't need the taller tire but it would help quite a bit.
I'm sure they would fit OK. The issue would be speedometer error and I expect there is a gadget like an OBDII tuner that could adjust it but if you were going back to 55s for summer you would have to reset the speedo each time you switch.

As you can see there is still quite a bit of room here ...


I'm sure some of the other members can advise on speedo adjustment.
 

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We have one model above base (Touring in Canada) that came with 205/55R16 Continental tires. For winter we have 205/60R16 Goodyear Winter Nordic tires. The taller aspect ratio makes the speedometer close to accurate now and certainly doesn't reduce the ground clearance. Although I did the math from the full tire specs ove a year ago, I can't recall how much we gained, maybe 0.4 of an inch. I'll try to remember to measure when I rotate back to summer tires in the spring keeping in mind two seasons of winter wear which will be greater than on the summer tires. We stayed with the standard section width since wider tires theoretically would float above the snow and slush sooner.
No way of knowing if we gained any other advantage beyond peace of mind but they were also less expensive than the correct spec tires.
Seems like a no brainer to me :wink2:.

Here is a summer tire ground clearance comparison between a '17 and a '99 ...
With the new SGP platform the center of gravity has been lowered and the car actually sits lower than previous Subarus
 

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With the new SGP platform the center of gravity has been lowered and the car actually sits lower than previous Subarus
That may be although I think the smooth, flat underside of the 5th gen car may be at the same ground clearance as the low hanging fruit on the older car :surprise:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
You don’t have to change your speedometer for the Winter tires as long as you remember to drive a bit slower which happens anyway in the winter. They read low so taller winter tires will probably balance out the extra miles that you normally log. We are talking about a very small amount.
 

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Based on personal experience, how is the tire flex on the 205/60r16 when cornering? I was wondering how much worse they get compared to standard 205/55r16...
 
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