15 Legacy - New Tire Search

gathermewool

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Based on responses to my other thread and after some thought, I'm going to replace all four tires. I've also rethought my priorities and listed them below. I'd appreciate any and all recommendations.

Vehicle: 15 Subaru Legacy 2.5i

Currently installed:
Wheels: 18X8.5 Enkeis (off of an STI)
Current Tires: 245-45R18 Continental DWS

Stock (not installed currently):
Stock Wheel Size: 18X7.5
Stock Tire Size: 225-50R18

Driving style:
99% easy driving. My commute is only 11 miles, so mileage/tread wear isn't much of a concern.
1% aggressive driving. Hard cornering through on/off ramps is pretty much the only aggressive driving I do

Priorities:
1. Dry/wet traction (safety)
2. Ride comfort

NOT Priorities:
1. Treadwear rating
2. Noise (to a certain extent)
3. Winter traction. I have dedicated snow wheels/tires.
4. MPG
5. Cost (to a certain extent)

Questions:
1. Is wider better?
-----More contact patch = better grip
-----Lower tread wear rate due to wider distribution of weight...maybe?
-----More aggressive look
-----Lower MPG

2. Will 225mm width tires fit/look OK on 18X8.5 (1" wider than stock) wheels?
-----The 245's look great on the Enkeis

3. When do rebates usually happen during the year?

Finally, after just a small amount of research I'm leaning toward Yokohama Avid Ascend GT, which I have installed on the Forester and can't complain about, and the WAY more expensive and higher performance Michelin Pilot Sport 4S, which have many positive reviews.
 
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leaning toward Yoko
My wife had the same Yokohamas installed on her Audi A4 quattro. The Tire Racks ASAP install service installed them which I made a thread about. Great tire in terms of ride and handling predictability. Wet traction could be better and that is my main complaint. Even at that, I bet they still have better wet grip than the General Rt43 which is a herd favorite on here. The previous tires on the Audi we’re General GMax AS05’s which are a ultra high performance all season tire and of course should have better wet grip.
 

AZjeff

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Sounds like the Pilots would be for the cool factor to go along with the Enkeis. Nothing wrong with that. OTOH you have good experience with the Yokos and they cost less. 225s are spec'd for 6-8" wheels, 245s 7.5-9".

245s and decide if the Pilots are worth $40/tire more for the (y).
 
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Take a look at the Nankang NS-25. I have a set on my AWD Suzuki and they are surprisingly good in all aspects. Very reasonably priced. Got them from Discount tire. They price matched from an internet ad. 235/45/18 for $69 each. Made in Taiwan, not China.

images
 
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Ride comfort will be better on the OE size than what you have on now due to having more sidewall. They will also be better in the rain.

You might like grand touring summer tires, such as the Michelin Primacy 3 if you still stick with 245/45-18

Does Enkei make those same wheels for your Legacy in the 7.5 width? :unsure:
 
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Finally, after just a small amount of research I'm leaning toward Yokohama Avid Ascend GT, which I have installed on the Forester and can't complain about, and the WAY more expensive and higher performance Michelin Pilot Sport 4S, which have many positive reviews.
Those tires are on completely different ends of the spectrum.

If you are satisfied with the Ascend GT then you should be happy with most Grand Touring Tires.

Is low-temp performance a priority?
 

gathermewool

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OK, based on the responses, a few thoughts:

1. Based on @AZjeff post and what the interwebs say, 245's is likely the way to go for 8.5" wide wheels.
a. @slacktide_bitog: I'm not sure if these Enkeis come in a smaller width. I got these wheels with the DWS tires and TPMS for a grand. I couldn't pass up on the deal! I think you're right about the 225mm tires being the best option for comfort, but I don't mind maintain the current 245 size if it will sit better in the wheel.
2. I think I've settled on a GT tire, but that's not set in stone yet. @The Critic I'd love to have UHP AS tires, but I don't think the trade-off in ride comfort/noise is worth it; however, I've already had a great experience with the currently installed DWS's.

Anyway, you'll note that noise wasn't my priority, but ride comfort is, and those two seem to go hand-in-hand. While cost isn't much of an issue due solely to this being a durable good (not in the traditional sense, but you know what I mean) I'm not Mr. Moneybags, so spending a grand on tires doesn't seem very appealing, considering other options that I'll likely be just as happy with. Some of those other UHP AS tire options ARE cheaper (than, say, Pilot 4S's), without many trade-offs (for me).

3. Some options:
a. Yokohama Ascend GT:
My top pick so far. I have these on my Forester XT and like them (not love them). I took the to near the limit once and they were very twitchy as all get out; however, 99.99% of the time they're good/have good manners. @skyactiv mentioned wet traction is a concern. They're also a little more expensive than other options, but there's currently a $50 rebate, which helps.
b. General RT43: I don't think so. One comment that stands out on Tirerack is that the ride might be too soft for some. That immediately turns me off.
c. Conti ExtremeContact DWS: This is a known quantity that I like already (they're currently what I have installed). I have not taken these tires to the limit (kind of shows you my driving style), but maybe 70% and they were extremely predictable while cornering. Very confidence-inspiring! I've also been happy with the ride comfort and noise, which i was surprised to find these tires to be pretty darned quiet. Not that it's a priority, but noise is also not a concern with these. I've never had any other tire on this car, so experiencing a quieter GT tire might change my mind on that and be overall more pleasing to me.
d. Pilot Sport AS: I don't think so. As @AZjeff mentioned, these are probably just for the cool factor and not a practical option.
e. Nankang NS-25: shows as discontinued, though these would be the cheapest option I've seen so far.
f. Michelin Primacy 3: these are on close-out on TR, with only 1 available. I'd rather not risk getting an old tire with an older design, if possible. Whatever I choose will likely last a long time.

Thanks for all of the comments and suggestions. I've got a lot to think about. I'll likely wait until I get that shift work/back-shift pay check before committing. Please keep the recommendations coming. I'll continue to research in parallel. Remember, I'd rather not get a lower-rated compromise of a tire. I'd rather spend the money to get a great tire instead.
 
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You may want to check out this test report by Tire Rack on the various Michelin offerings by segment. I was surprised by how similar the performance was between the various tires for some categories:


I have installed and recommended the CrossClimate 2's to a few of my friends. They drive surprisingly well for an A/S tire and better than any of the Ascend GT's that I have driven on. Super quiet, too. The current Costco pricing can also make them semi-affordable.
 

gathermewool

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You may want to check out this test report by Tire Rack on the various Michelin offerings by segment. I was surprised by how similar the performance was between the various tires for some categories:


I have installed and recommended the CrossClimate 2's to a few of my friends. They drive surprisingly well for an A/S tire and better than any of the Ascend GT's that I have driven on. Super quiet, too. The current Costco pricing can also make them semi-affordable.

I’ll consider them. Would that tread pattern lead to tramlining on uneven roads?
 
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I’ll consider them. Would that tread pattern lead to tramlining on uneven roads?
I specifically selected the Michelin Cross Climate 2 tires for our MKC, to avoid the tramlining issues that I had encountered in a previous set of Continental Cross Contact LX25s. They are excellent tires.
 
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Based on responses to my other thread and after some thought, I'm going to replace all four tires. I've also rethought my priorities and listed them below. I'd appreciate any and all recommendations.

Vehicle: 15 Subaru Legacy 2.5i

Currently installed:
Wheels: 18X8.5 Enkeis (off of an STI)
Current Tires: 245-45R18 Continental DWS

Stock (not installed currently):
Stock Wheel Size: 18X7.5
Stock Tire Size: 225-50R18

Driving style:
99% easy driving. My commute is only 11 miles, so mileage/tread wear isn't much of a concern.
1% aggressive driving. Hard cornering through on/off ramps is pretty much the only aggressive driving I do

Priorities:
1. Dry/wet traction (safety)
2. Ride comfort

NOT Priorities:
1. Treadwear rating
2. Noise (to a certain extent)
3. Winter traction. I have dedicated snow wheels/tires.
4. MPG
5. Cost (to a certain extent)

Questions:
1. Is wider better?
-----More contact patch = better grip
-----Lower tread wear rate due to wider distribution of weight...maybe?
-----More aggressive look
-----Lower MPG

2. Will 225mm width tires fit/look OK on 18X8.5 (1" wider than stock) wheels?
-----The 245's look great on the Enkeis

3. When do rebates usually happen during the year?

Finally, after just a small amount of research I'm leaning toward Yokohama Avid Ascend GT, which I have installed on the Forester and can't complain about, and the WAY more expensive and higher performance Michelin Pilot Sport 4S, which have many positive reviews.
Another possibility might be the Goodyear Eagle Sport All Season, which seems to occupy a “high performance” middle ground between the Grand Touring and UHP categories. I’m considering these as replacements for the Michelin Energy Saver A/S tires on my Fusion.
 
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gathermewool

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I'm really liking the Cross Climate 2's now; however, $256/tire on TireRack!

Maybe a couple of hundred extra dollars is worth it for a top-rated tire on TR and CR.

If I get these they'll be the most expensive tire I've ever purchased. Do you guys think high tire prices are here to stay or will they calm down in a year or so. I'm tempted to put the stock wheels/tires on and wait for a good deal, instead of 3 STI wheels and 1 stock, which is what I currently have on.
 

gathermewool

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Based on your top priorities, I’d go with with the Continental PureContact LS ($215/tire) or the Vredestein Quatrac Pro ($185/tire). I have the Continentals on my Subaru and they are phenomenal in all conditions and are by far the quietest tires I’ve ever had.

Thanks for the suggestions.
I actually really liked the reviews of the Quatrac Pro, but TR says the steering is “unnatural and non-linear” but crossover drivers probably won’t notice. That’s a bit disconcerting for the price. It did rank at the top of all tests (compared to several other tires, one of which was the Cross Climate 2), though, and the reviewer in the video said the driver praised the handling on the track. I’m not sure how the first quote jives with the second observation.

The Quatracs are definitely a contender now.

If I’m going Conti I think I’ll stick with a known quantity, the DWS I currently have installed, which I like a lot. The price is lower for the DWS, as well.
 
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Let us know how you like the new tires. I have two coworkers with them, they both love them but one has commented that they have a constant/intrusive hum. He is still thrilled with them because of their wet weather performance characteristics.
 

gathermewool

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Let us know how you like the new tires. I have two coworkers with them, they both love them but one has commented that they have a constant/intrusive hum. He is still thrilled with them because of their wet weather performance characteristics.

I certainly will. With my short commute I don’t think some noise will bother me. However, we’re planning a road trip to FL some time soon and that might change my mind.
 
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Thanks again for all of the suggestions.

I ended up going with the Michelin Cross Climate 2s for $1006 installed from Costco.

They are running a $150 off promotion and I have both their credit card and I’m an executive member. That‘s an additional $20 in points for each.
I think you will be happy with them. Which size did you go with?
 
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