The Subaru Outback has a lot of advanced technology baked in, but to really use the maximum of it, you must choose the right tire. This can be a painful process with the plethora of tires available out there, so that’s why we’ll help with choosing the best tires for Subaru Outback.
Why we’ve chosen this particular vehicle you ask? Well, the Subaru Outback is one of the most popular crossover vehicles out there thanks to its symmetrical all-wheel-drive system, that can help the car tackle some really heavy terrains – more so than other crossovers out there.
And the best thing is, the Outback is great to drive on-road too – thanks to the lower center of gravity (Boxer engine), it’s both agile and comfortable. Add to that a spacious and practical interior, and you have one of the best family cars on the road today.
Here are my top ten picks for the best tires for Subaru Outback of 2019:
- Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady
- Michelin Defender LTX M/S
- Goodyear Eagle Sport All-Season
- Yokohama Geolandar A/T G015
- Continental WinterContact SI
- Nokian eNTYRE All-Season
- Kumho Solus TA31
- Toyo Extensa A/S
- Milestar MS932 Sport
- Mastercraft SRT Touring
What to look for when choosing a tire for the Subaru Outback?
If you think that the symmetrical all-wheel-drive system every Outback is equipped with can help with traction even with worse quality tires, you’ll be far from the truth. Good tires are essential to high-quality riding experience on and off-road, and they are also very important to better road holding and ultimately, higher safety for you and the other passengers. And to a vehicle like the Outback, a good tire can make the most out of the advanced all-wheel-drive system.
After we cleared that out, let’s talk about the different types of tires available. On the market, you can find summer tires, all-season tires, all-weather tires, snow tires, and even specialized off-road tires. When choosing the best tire for your Subaru Outback, you must ask the question – “where do I drive my car and how often, what’s the weather and what’s the quality of the road in my area?”.
Let’s say that you live in an area where it’s mostly sunny and you don’t plan to drive your Outback off-road, despite its great all-wheel-drive system. In this case, a good summer tire will suit you best. The best summer tires for Subaru Outback will be great on dry and hot pavement, but they will also be good on wet pavement.
If your area is colder and there is heavy snow through the year, you may need a snow tire. The best snow tires for Subaru Outback will have great traction on snow, but they will also be better on cold pavement compared to any other type of a tire out there, and they are also great on wet pavement. However, they don’t last as long in hot areas, because the rubber in winter tires is softer and has shorter tread life. If there are hot summer in your area, using the winter tires will be a short-term affair.
Off-road tires are pretty self-explanatory – they offer great traction when off-roading. That said, you’ll lose comfort on the road with these – off-road tires much louder than other types of tires out there. Off-road tires are also worse when it comes to performance on the pavement because they’re very soft and lose their shape when cornering. So, when choosing the best off-road tire for Subaru Outback, you should look into several different criteria – not just their off-road prowess. That is unless you are driving your Outback exclusively off-road (which we suspect you won’t).
Now we’ve come to the part when it starts to get confusing. All-season and all-weather tires are often misunderstood by the general public – most people think they’re the same. And believe us, they’re not! They cannot be more different in the way they function and the performance they offer.
All-season tires are closer to summer tires in performance, so that means that they’re at their best on hot and dry pavement, but they’re also good on wet pavement. That said, all-season tires are not nearly as good in snowy conditions, which means that they are a great choice for people who drive their Outback’s in areas with mostly warm weather. To put it briefly, the best all-season tires for Subaru Outback will be very good on hot and dry pavement, good on wet pavement and only marginal in snowy conditions. It’s safe to say though that they will be better than summer tires in the winter.
All-weather tires, on the other hand, are much better in the winter and offer better traction in the snow. The best all-weather tires for Subaru Outback are also great on wet pavement, and they even offer good performance in the summer, or in other words, hot and dry pavement. It’s safe to say that they will be even better off-road than both summer and all-season tires, albeit not as good as winter tires. That said, all-weather tires have shorter tread life than all-season tires, so take that into consideration if you want your tires to last long.
After taking into consideration everything we’ve said about all types of tires, we can start with the Top 10 list of the best tires for Subaru Outback. Of course, we’ll include every type of tire into the list, but please don’t choose by the position alone – always take into consideration the type of tire you really need, we have 5 premium tires and 5 budget tires for you.
Top 10 best tires for Subaru Outback
A. Premium Tires
1. Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady
Best all-weather tire for Subaru Outback
Regardless of the conditions in which you’ll drive your car, we find the Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady to be the best tire for the Subaru Outback. This excellent Goodyear tire will provide great traction in the summer as well as in the winter, on dry and wet pavement, and even on snow and light terrain. If you want the best tire for every situation, this is it.
There are several reasons why the Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady is the best all-weather tire for the Subaru Outback. First, the tread pattern is asymmetric which helps with better water draining and less aquaplaning. Then, the treads of the tire can lock together in a corner, which helps in dry conditions and in fast cornering. The so-called Treadlock Technology is what sets this tire apart from its competitors.
Last but not least, the Assurance Weather Ready can provide great performance even after it’s worn-out, thanks to its Evolving Traction Grooves that widen as the bigger treads wear down. With the help of this technology, the Assurance WeatherReady offer great performance in the wet even after thousands of miles.
With all of that said, the Goodyear Assurance WeatherReady can be expensive for some people with prices starting from $120, but on the other hand, the manufacturer offers long 60,000-mile tread life warranty.
2. Michelin Defender LTX M/S
Best all-season tire for Subaru Outback
Michelin Rebate Available
Michelin’s Defender LTX M/S is a great tire that’s specially constructed for Crossovers and SUVs, and even lighter Trucks. Its aggressive tread design and advanced compound help it achieve great traction in dry, wet and snowy conditions and even on the lighter terrain.
The best word to describe this tire is “tough”. The Michelin Defender LTX M/S has the new Evertread compound, that’s stronger than traditional compounds. Thanks to this, the Defender LTX M/S will last longer than other tires – they offer 80,000 miles tread warranty, which is something that simply can’t be touched by other tires.
Apart from the great longevity, the Evertread compound with its high-density 3D Active Sipes helps with traction on dry pavement and harsh weather, while the lateral grooves help with fast water draining. Last but not least, the MaxTouch Construction distributes the forces over the tire evenly, which helps with acceleration, handling, and braking.
If you thought that the deeper treads on the Michelin Defender LTX M/S would be detrimental to the comfort of your Subaru Outback, don’t worry – this tire is as quiet as any other premium tire out there. A real all-season solution.
3. Goodyear Eagle Sport All-Season
Best summer tire for Subaru Outback (with all-season capability as well)
Most of Subaru Outback owners only drive their cars in dry and warm conditions, with a little rain and snow here and there. And if you are one of them, the Goodyear Eagle Sport All-Season tires are the best choice out there.
This tire offers great handling performance in the summer – the cornering speeds your Outback will achieve with the Eagle Sport are much higher than other tires in this list. Together with the symmetrical all-wheel drive of the Outback, these tires will provide sporty performance and agile handling, while also being very stable at higher speeds. That’s no coincidence – Goodyear's RaceWrap Construction Technology is borrowed from the NASCAR.
Thanks to the innovative design and compound, besides the great performance in the summer and on dry roads, the Eagle Sport All-Season holds itself well in wet, snowy and icy conditions. Sure, the performance may not be as good as the first two tires on our list, but for most people, they will be good enough.
The best thing about the Eagle Sport All-Season tires is the pretty low price for the performance they offer. Goodyear offers a long 50,000-mile tread warranty, which is a big plus as well.
4. Yokohama Geolandar A/T G015
Best off-road tire for Subaru Outback
If you live in an area where it’s snowing often or plan on driving you Outback off-road, then the Yokohama Geolandar A/T G015 is the right tire for you. This tire is a serious heavy-duty product that will satisfy even the most demanding off-road aficionados.
All of this is to be expected by a tire that looks like this. Deep and aggressive treads, symmetric design and chip- and tear-resistant Triple Polymer compound offer traction even in the most demanding situations, while also being very durable. Thanks to the strong internal construction, the Yokohama Geolandar A/T G015 can even tackle a rocky terrain.
Apart from its great off-road performance, the Yokohama Geolandar A/T G015 offers very good snow traction – much better than all-season and all-weather tires. That said, this is a 3PMSF tire, which means it can’t replace a traditional snow tire in the most demanding winter conditions.
On the positive side, despite being a specialized off-road tire, the Yokohama Geolandar A/T G015 is very good on the road too. While you can’t expect comfort and drivability like in a summer tire or even an all-weather one, the Geolandar A/T is as smooth and quiet as an off-road tire can get.
5. Continental WinterContact SI
Best snow tire for Subaru Outback
The Subaru Outback is a very popular vehicle in areas with heavy snow thanks to its standard symmetrical all-wheel drive system. This system helps it tackle even heavy snow, but not without the right set of tires. We think that the Continental WinterContact SI is the best winter tire for Subaru Outback thanks to its combination of comfort and performance.
This excellent tire is equipped with the PolarPlus technology and +Silane additives. This helps the tire remain soft and pliable even at very low temperatures, which enhances grip. This not only means that the driver will get better grip and traction on snow but also much better performance on cold, wet and icy roads.
The aggressive directional tread design and high-density sipes help the Subaru Outback easily get unstuck from deep snow. They also help with braking in the same conditions thanks to the increased tread surface. One of the best things about the Continental WinterContact SI is that it shows you when it loses over 50% of its tread with a depth indicator. This way you’ll know when it’s time to change the tires to keep your vehicle in optimal driving condition.
That being said, the Continental WinterContact SI is not the best solution for summer conditions as it will get worn out fast.
B. Budget Tires
6. Nokian eNTYRE All-Season
While Nokian is mostly known for their excellent winter tire lineup, they started venturing in other categories with the eNTYRE model. This Nokian tire may not be the cheapest from the budget tires, but if you want good value for money, this is a great choice.
Being all-season tire, you can expect good traction from the Nokian eNTYRE in all conditions. In dry and warm conditions, for example, the Nokian eNTYRE offers very good traction, braking performance, and a smooth and quiet ride. In wet conditions you can expect very good traction and handling, but not on the level of the best tires for Subaru Outback out there. Still, all of them are much more expensive.
The Nokian eNTYRE regains its position when it comes to winter conditions. Thanks to Nokian’s expertise in building great winter tires, the eNTYRE is great in cold and snowy conditions, especially for an all-season tire.
These impressive characteristics are joined by a great tread life – the manufacturer gives 60,000-mile tread warranty and we can confirm that the Nokian eNTYRE can last you really long.
All of this justifies the slightly higher price than other budget products on this list - you really get an excellent all-rounder.
7. Kumho Solus TA31
The Kumho Solus TA31 is a great tire for Subaru Outback drivers that mostly use their cars in warmer climates, but it can still offer respectable winter driving performance. If you live in an area where it rarely snows (but it still happens), this is a great solution.
This inexpensive tire is pretty straightforward in its design. It has a symmetrical tread pattern, lateral notches and wide shoulder blocks that help with traction, handling and braking in wet conditions. Thanks to its reinforced internal structure with twin steel belts and spirally wrapped nylon, the Kumho Solus TA31 keeps its shape in hard cornering and provides sporty performance.
Also of a big importance to the Subaru Outback driver, especially those with families, are the comfort characteristics of a tire. If you fall into that category, the Kumho is very quiet and comfortable – a great long distance cruiser.
Despite being cheaper than premium tires, the Kumho Solus TA31 is still pretty durable and can last thousands of miles, while keeping its performance.
With all of that said, if you live in an area with snowier conditions and heavy winters, this tire might not be the best choice – it’s not bad on snow, but it’s not stellar either.
8. Toyo Extensa A/S
Toyo is known for offering great performance at affordable prices and the Extensa A/S is no exception to that rule. This is an all-season touring tire that will provide great performance in dry and wet conditions, while also being solid in winter conditions.
The Toyo Extensa A/S is best known for its comfort though. This is one seriously quiet and comfortable tire that’s a great companion for the Subaru Outback, especially for families that travel often and on long distances. You’ll really enjoy your ride with this one and the passengers will be grateful as well.
Other than its comfort, the Toyo Extensa A/S offers great stability and traction in dry conditions, albeit not at the level of a real summer tire. Wet driving performance is very good as well – you can expect short braking distances and a stable ride.
The Toyo Extensa A/S is not that good in the snow though, despite being an all-season tire. That said, it’s not bad either – you’ll still have control of your Subaru Outback in inclement weather.
For the price, the Toyo Extensa A/S is a very durable tire as well. The manufacturer offers 50,000 to 60,000-mile tread warranty and we can confirm that this tire will last a while before you need to think about buying a new set.
9. Milestar MS932 Sport
The Milestar MS932 Sport is one of the cheapest tires available for the Subaru Outback, but don’t let the low price fool you – this is still a very good tire in its own right. Sure, you can get a much better tire for your Outback, especially for winter driving, but in that case, you must spend a lot more money. If you are on a budget, we think that this tire will certainly do.
This inexpensive tire is at its best in dry and wet conditions but in warmer weather. As a matter of fact, for the price, we think it offers a great balance between dry road holding and wet road stability, which is achieved in most part thanks to the circumferential ribs and the advanced silica compound.
Milestar also promises great snow and icy condition performance thanks to the lateral siping on the MS932 Sport, but don’t expect miracles. This is a very cheap all-season tire and should be treated like one. If you live in an area with heavy snow, the Milestar MS932 Sport is a no go.
The Milestar MS932 Sport is also not the quietest tire out there, but on the other hand, it offers great tread life warranty of 50,000-miles, especially considering the price.
10. Mastercraft SRT Touring
If you want a budget tire for your Subaru Outback, but still want a quiet and comfortable ride quality, this may be a great option, unlike the Milestar MS932 Sport, which can be loud at higher speeds.
Seriously, despite the lower price than premium tires, there is nothing budget about how this tire feels on the road. It’s very quiet, even at higher speeds and comfortable as well. The Mastercraft SRT Touring also offers great traction, handling and braking performance on dry and wet road in warm conditions. It’s also very safe and stable at higher speeds, which is welcome for a tire at this price point.
Where it falls short of the best all-season tires out there is winter performance. It’s not bad by any mean – if it was, it wouldn’t have been on our list. But compared to the best premium tires, its winter and snow performance leaves a lot to be desired. Suffice to say then, if you live in an area with very cold and snowy winter, this is not the tire for you. On the other hand, you can expect it to last long, despite the lower price.
Choosing the right tire for your Subaru Outback can be very painful, but we hope that we’ve helped with our choice. To sum things up, generally speaking, the higher the price a tire has, the better the performance it offers. That said, most drivers will be satisfied even with a budget option – cheap tires these days really offer great bang for the buck. The most important thing is, always choose a tire type that’s best for the weather in your area and your driving needs. That way, you’ll be sure that your Subaru Outback will be safe in every condition you encounter.