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I'm new to this message board. So far I have been impressed with the knowledge of alot you have about subarus. I would like to know what is the best all season tire for a 2004 OB wagon? Please keep in mind I live in an area of ice and snow during winter months. Thank you for your input.

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An all season is a mediocre tire at best, what i'd reccomend is to get a second set of tires/wheels that are a dedicated winter tire, you'll be much happier with them in the winter, and you can switch back to your regular tire in the summer.

 

Probably not the answer you were going for :rolleyes:

 

Others could probably help you more, i'm running super swampers, an offroad tire, so my tire needs are much different than yours.

 

 

Welcome to the board.:banana:

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I'm new to this message board. So far I have been impressed with the knowledge of alot you have about subarus. I would like to know what is the best all season tire for a 2004 OB wagon? Please keep in mind I live in an area of ice and snow during winter months. Thank you for your input.

 

alot of my friends up in VT use the nokians for their winter needs.

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An all season is a mediocre tire at best, what i'd reccomend is to get a second set of tires/wheels that are a dedicated winter tire, you'll be much happier with them in the winter, and you can switch back to your regular tire in the summer.
I would agree, dedicated snows are the best.

But for a single tire I have been happy with BFG Traction TAs.

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If you live North or West of Manchester, there is only one passenger All Season tire that has the Mountain/Snowflake designation: the Nokian WR.

 

I had Michelin Hydroedge on my 97 OBW, which in the CR All Season test were one of two top rated tires for ice and snow. The Goodyear TripleTred performed poorly on ice, according to CR (whose tires reviews in general are kind of lame). That said, most All Seasons are OK in snow the first season.

 

We put WR's on our Mazda MPV for year-round use. In the Norwegian Motor magazine tire test, the WR did not do as well as the top-rated Nokian RSI or the 2nd place Michelin X-Ice, but it was within 20% - and it has a 50,000 warranty.

 

We buy Nokians at Johns & Sons Tires in Manchester.

 

Reviews: http://www.canadiandriver.com/articles/hl/nokian.htm

http://www.snowtire.info/TireReviews/2nd%20Annual.html

 

n a word, WOW. Not only did the Nokian WR out perform the Villager's former all-season tires in the snow, it out performed them on the dry. The Villager's primary driver, my friend's wife, immediately took a liking to them. Her first comment was that they felt better then the tires that had been on the Villager. They were not as spongy and had a better feeling of control. Something worth noting because she had yet to drive them on the snow. In the snow, they were incredible. My friend was the first one to drive them in anything looking like snow. The snow was more like fine grains of ice then snow, and conditions were definitely slick. As he ventured out, he phoned me with his report: [He uses a hand's free phone in the car. We don't feel it is safe to have one hand on the wheel and the other on a cell phone.]

I had to do some errands today, and since it snowed, I took [my wife's] van. Wow. It hardly feels like there is any snow at all.... Hang on, I got to turn onto [the main road].... It pulled out without a problem. There was a school bus behind me, and he is still spinning his rear wheels trying to pull up that little hill onto the main road. He's going the other way and no one is coming, let's test the steering.... Wow. It just followed how I turned. No sign of slipping. Now the brake test, oops, just a little bit of slipping, but nothing like the other tires.... These are great!

Since Nokian markets this tire as an All-Weather Plus tire, we decided to run the tire all year round and see how well it does. I had a chance to drive the WR on a 90 degree (Fahrenheit) day in summer and walked away impressed. While it does not handle like the slicks on my race car, or even the summer performance tires on my daily driver, it handles quite respectably.

Another area of concern with any tire is tread wear. Many snow tires wear very poorly in summer weather. This is due to the fact that the rubber compounds used are designed for cold temperatures. This often means that the rubber gets quite soft and wears quickly in hot weather. The Nokian WR, which is designed as an All-Weather tire, does not suffer from this problem. The tires have been on the vehicle for just over 10 months, and show normal tire wear.

At this time, if I was looking to outfit a Light Truck, Mini-Van, or SUV with one tire for use throughout the year, I would definitely get a set of Nokian WR tires.

I also posted a thread on LGT and the people who have them like them. Some are using them strictly as winter tires, to maintain good handling on dry roads.

 

Much better choice than the popular all-seasons, at about the same price or a little more than Tripletreds or HydroEdge.

nokianwr.jpg

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The one comment I have heard on the Nokian WR tires is that they are on the hard side in terms of ride, and a bit noisy. Personally, I didn't want either of these attributes, so I ended up going elsewhere. Additionally, I was looking for higher tread wear rating as well.

 

Having said that, they apparently are the ultimate "all season" tire.

 

Commuter

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Yesterday, I replaced worn-out Michelin Harmonys with Nokian WRs. This is on a '99 Outback wagon. Here's my personal experience.

 

The Harmonys were OK in snow when new, they were not so good last year with 40+ Kmiles on them. On ice, they were no better than any other all season tire. They did very well in the rain and on dry roads. Ride was smooth, and handling was good. They were quiet when new, but got very noisy as they wore. They are supposed to be 80K mile tire, but at 60Kmiles, they were nearly worn out.

 

One of my Harmonys developed a leak, and with winter approaching, I needed to repace them anyway. I went with the Nokian WR because we get a mix every kind of weather here in Northwest NJ, and I often travel to the mountains in PA. My brother, who lives in the Pocono Mountains in PA, raves about his WRs so I decided to give them a try.

 

The WRs have a slightly harsher ride than the Harmonys. The handling is not quite as precise, but they are acceptable. They are not a high performance tire, but dry road handling is FAR better then Bridgestone Blizzaks. I have no experience with them in snow and ice yet, but others say they work well.

 

For dedicated winter tires, we run Bridgestone Blizzaks on our minivan. My wife insists on them. They are good in snow and amazing on ice. On two different occasions, the only reason I knew the road was icy was because other vehicles were sliding off the road. Our van did not slide, and the ABS never kicked in - just incredible performance from the Blizzaks. However, Blizzaks are very squirrely on dry roads. Definitely a winter only tire.

 

-Ron

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You have to run the tires 500 miles or so to really learn how they'll perform. New tires often have mold release on them and seem squirrely until broken in.

 

Worn tires have the most responsive steering and dry grip, so most new tires seem a little unprecise.

 

We've never bought Blizzaks because I didn't like the idea of having a different tread compound once they've worn down. We have Nokian RSI's on a V6 Accord and 06 Outback. We use Michelin X-Ice on our other van. A little known fact - Bridgestone owns Nokian.

 

Here's what the Nokian RSI tread looks like.

nokianrsi.jpg

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i used to sell bridgestones in the northeast pa area and blizzaks were sworn by everyone around here (that used snows). the ws-50s put a lot of green in my pocket. we had people ordering them in june! personally i never used snows since i ran BFG AT T/A KOs on my old Grand Cherokee and never had 1 problem w/ em. Never put snows on any of my soobs and honestly, never felt that i needed them, but that is all a matter of personal choice and security.

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i used to sell bridgestones in the northeast pa area and blizzaks were sworn by everyone around here (that used snows). the ws-50s put a lot of green in my pocket. we had people ordering them in june! personally i never used snows since i ran BFG AT T/A KOs on my old Grand Cherokee and never had 1 problem w/ em. Never put snows on any of my soobs and honestly, never felt that i needed them, but that is all a matter of personal choice and security.

 

Scranton PA gets half or one third the seasonal snowfall of northern NH (depending where he is) and is not mountainous, so he's facing a different scale of problem than you.

 

The Blizzak LM25 did about as well as the Nokian WR on the ADAC test (http://www.adac.de/Tests/Reifentests/Winterreifen/195_65_R15_T_10_2005/default.asp?ComponentID=127017&SourcePageID=8979#) on snow and ice, and a little better in dry conditions, so it is aging gracefully.

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