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Starting to shop around for my future 5-door 2.0i Limited and looking for recommendations along with what everyone here plans on running. From my search the following interest me as they are good in price, speed rating, etc.

Let me know what you think!

  • Blizzak WS80
  • Wintercontact Si
  • Winter MAXX
  • X-ICE XI3
  • Iceguard IG52C
 

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Just stock tires for me in ND

I've lived in North Dakota my whole life and never had winter tires. But then my attitude towards snow around here is that if the roads haven't been plowed yet, I don't go out unless I have to. AWD or not, if you don't have a big 4x4, trying to go out after a big snow is not a good idea. There have been a few times where I almost got stuck with my current FWD car, but that's because I was going a bit too fast for the conditions and started sliding. As long as you're being careful and leave plenty of distance between the other vehicles, I've never had a reason to use anything but stock tires.

I'm still waiting for my Impreza Premium from the factory.
 

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We lived in SE Alaska for 7 years, near a glacier. Lots of days with snow, slush, black ice, etc. We had Blizzaks on the 2005 Forester, Michelin XIce on the 2000 Odyssey. Both worked well. Winter tires really do make a difference on icy roads, in my experience.

PS: we swapped for all-season tires in the spring
 

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Blizzaks have always seemed to be my go to. Usually the first ones sold out as well where I'm located from the big retailers as well so you really gotta get them ahead of time. Fairly priced too at $170ish per
 

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I bought some General ALTIMAX ARCTIC snow tires for my high-mileage 2003 Forester that I use as my spare "snow car", only driving it the few weeks out of the year that I need it (the weather we have here in Virginia is fairly mild). These tires work unbelievably well for me (I have to drive up on top of a mountain to get to my neighborhood, passing many 4x4 trucks that have slid off of the road into a ditch). Anyway, I am planning on buying a Impreza Sport 5-door as soon as the manual transmission version becomes available later this year, and once my "main car" is a Subaru, I will probably sell the Forester.

Anyway, I was wondering if anyone knew if the base model 16 x 6.5-inch steel wheels (or those from a 3rd-party wheel manufacturer) could be purchased as a part to fit these 215/60R16 Altimax Arctic tires that I already own as I probably only have about 2000 to 3000 miles on them. Does the Sport model with the larger stock alloy wheels have bigger brakes or anything that would preclude me putting 16" wheels on it in the winter? I'd hate to have to buy new snow tires if I don't need to...
 

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Anyway, I was wondering if anyone knew if the base model 16 x 6.5-inch steel wheels (or those from a 3rd-party wheel manufacturer) could be purchased as a part to fit these 215/60R16 Altimax Arctic tires that I already own as I probably only have about 2000 to 3000 miles on them. Does the Sport model with the larger stock alloy wheels have bigger brakes or anything that would preclude me putting 16" wheels on it in the winter? I'd hate to have to buy new snow tires if I don't need to...
Hello @RBrian Taylor. I don't have the part number of my rims, but according to my dealership, 16" wheels will not fit on the new Sport models with 18" wheels. That's why they installed 17" wheels instead. I think it had to do with the bolt pattern/sizing, but don't hold me up to it.
 

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Hello @RBrian Taylor. I don't have the part number of my rims, but according to my dealership, 16" wheels will not fit on the new Sport models with 18" wheels. That's why they installed 17" wheels instead. I think it had to do with the bolt pattern/sizing, but don't hold me up to it.
Yeah, I was wondering if the brakes or structure of the Sport model (that comes with 18 x 7.5-inch wheels) was different that the 2.0i and 2.0i Premium models (that come with 16 x 6.5-inch wheels) and Limited model (17 x 7.0-inch wheels). According to your dealer, there apparently is... Thanks!
 

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Have Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2s on my limited (205/50/17) now, and I love them. I used to run Blizzaks, then local tire shop convinced me to give the Nokian a try on my last car (15' WRX). Haven't looked back since.

Snow performance is leaps and bounds over the Blizzak WS80, while ice and slush handling is about the same. Subjectively, I think they're quieter and get better MPGs as well (but I don't have any definitive proof).
 

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I have used the Michelin x ice 2 and 3 on other cars and liked them. Saw good traction and highway ride with no tire noise. The seem to wear well too but I traded the cars before they were worn out. I plan to get 17 inch but may wait for the fall.
 

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I have the Sport with 18" rims as well. I like the style of the rims, but honestly wish that they were 17" instead. Tires would be cheaper, rims would be less prone to scuffing/pothole damage, snow traction would be better.

I've thrown around a few ideas - from selling the existing rims, getting a separate pair (good to know that 15" or 16" steel rims may not fit the Sport!) to ripping the 17" rims off of my VW Golf TDI before the dieselgate buyback date and throwing the crappiest set of steel wheels/tires I can on that car to hand to VW. I mean, the Golf has pretty nice rims - they'd make good winter wheels :-D
 

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Have Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2s on my limited (205/50/17) now, and I love them. I used to run Blizzaks, then local tire shop convinced me to give the Nokian a try on my last car (15' WRX). Haven't looked back since.

Snow performance is leaps and bounds over the Blizzak WS80, while ice and slush handling is about the same. Subjectively, I think they're quieter and get better MPGs as well (but I don't have any definitive proof).
LOVE Nokian's too. If you are going to have two sets of tires/wheels, and really need the best winter tires, the studded Nokian Hakkapeliitta 8's are worth looking into -- getting a set for my wife's front drive Mazda 3 (again as a separate winter only set), though have not confirmed yet that they will fit 2017 Imprezas, and if they do, which models.
 

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Wish I could run studded tires down where I am but unfortunately they're not legal in my area. Although we don't get a lot of snow all the time, On the days there are... it would be a great help.
 

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Starting to shop around for my future 5-door 2.0i Limited and looking for recommendations along with what everyone here plans on running. From my search the following interest me as they are good in price, speed rating, etc.

Let me know what you think!

  • Blizzak WS80
  • Wintercontact Si
  • Winter MAXX
  • X-ICE XI3
  • Iceguard IG52C
I had a set of the Blizzak WS80 on my previous car, 2006 Mitsubishi Eclipse & they worked out pretty well. A little pricey but I don't mind paying the extra few bucks for something that'll actually work. The eclipse didn't have TRC so it sucked stopping at a traffic light & having to take off again, there would be some slippage on snow. I would love to see how they respond on my Impreza but not gonna spend $900 on a new set for my Impreza.
 

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Not sure how to add to my previous reply so.... I bought the 205/55r 16 Continental Wintercontact Si on Sport Edition A10 Silver wheels for my 2017 Premium Impreza from TireRack. They had road test videos that had them the bad weather equal to Bilzaaks and I'm not a Bridgestone/Firestone fan. Less expensive than the X-Ice tire that I have had good results with. No recent Consumer Reports on them but their other tires seem to compare favorably by CR to Michelins.

On the car, drives great and quiet for a snow tire but I'm now dealing with the goofy TPMS - black tape? Computer reset is $$ ???? Have a guy, good but not cheap, so at this point I'm not back to the dealer for the service. Light snow predicted this weekend.

At one time I had read on TireRack that the narrower tire, say from the base trim of a car model often offered advantages in the snow and ice performance and that is what I had been using on other cars since 2004 or so. The higher sidewall also helps with the road hazards of potholes here in Pittsburgh. Bent two wheels (got repaired) and lost another factory alloy wheel and one tire (all "non-winter" low profile) to potholes here in the last 4 years - and I really drive only around 10k miles a year!
 

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Just made a TireRack purchase for a 17 Premium Impreza 5-door of 16x6.5 inch Sport Edition A10 and went back to site to check on the Limited and Sport models. They show 16 inch wheels identical to those they delivered to me. Bolt pattern and offset all identical. I have a lot of clearance for the brakes on my Premium.

Hmm... TireRack or dealer - who to believe?

Liked the A10 wheel as you do not need to use a dumb narrow wall socket adapter to work the lug nuts!
 

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Well, with only 750mi on the car I already scraped one of my 18" rims on a curb when going around a turn. I knew this would happen :-(
If I dent a rim to the point it needs to be replaced, I'll probably sell them and go with 17", or maybe even 16" if they'd fit, because even my 17" rims on my last car got pretty beaten up. I suspect the Sport won't feel that much less sporty on smaller rims. :) At some point, it needs to be practical.
 

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I have the Sport with 18" rims as well. I like the style of the rims, but honestly wish that they were 17" instead. Tires would be cheaper, rims would be less prone to scuffing/pothole damage, snow traction would be better.

I've thrown around a few ideas - from selling the existing rims, getting a separate pair (good to know that 15" or 16" steel rims may not fit the Sport!) to ripping the 17" rims off of my VW Golf TDI before the dieselgate buyback date and throwing the crappiest set of steel wheels/tires I can on that car to hand to VW. I mean, the Golf has pretty nice rims - they'd make good winter wheels :-D
Have you gone through a winter in the Sport? I'm curious as to how the 18" all seasons fare in snow - reason being my daughter attends school in MA, I wonder if she needs winter tires at all...
 

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I had Michelin X-Ice XI3 on my Honda Fit when I lived in Maine. They did rather well for commuting and ski trips. Good tread wear. I now live in the Northern Kentucky / Cincy area and bought a Impreza Premium 5 door. Based on this past winter, I probably don't need snow tires here, but one of the reasons I bought the car was to do a winter road trip to Utah and Colorado to ski. I'll probably get another set of Michelins for my car. They make a big difference on traction and stopping on snow and ice covered roads. Besides, sometimes they don't let you drive up Little Cottonwood Canyon without them.
 

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Michelin X-Ice XI3

Getting closer to winter again and I'm thinking about winter tires.

Can anyone share their experiences?
I also have had Michelin X-Ice XI3 and XI2 "ice tires" and was pleased with their performance on both a front wheel drive Mazda and a Mercury Montego AWD. No real drawbacks to the tire that I could observe - only a minimum of extra tire noise. I do recommend them as a brand and also recommend getting the new winter tire type in general if you live where it freezes or ices or snows. I think these great all-wheel-drive cars can give you less warning when things are getting "slippy" and make the skidding when braking and cornering more unexpected.

I was made a convert years ago when I slid down a "surprise" un-plowed un-salted Pittsburgh hill with city bus traffic crossing in front of me. Not me here - but here is a U-tube sample of our winter fun in the Burgh.

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You also have a full size spare tire and wheel to use when the road hazard takes a tire and/or wheel. You can shop around for the replacement for a few days instead of relying on that nasty space saver spare and an emergency purchase of new equipment.

The single aggravation I have with doing a wheel switch on our 2017 Subaru Impreza is getting the TPMS to work. So at this point I'm waiting for a software update for the ATEQ Quickset to let me do the TPMS reset without a dealer visit and charge. The Quickset did not work for me last late winter. A full winter season with black electrician tape on my dash will irritate me.
 
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