Subaru Forester Off-Road Tires – Detailed Guide

Many people well know the Forester as a practical everyday driver. However, it makes surprising that also more competent, especially if you add some all-terrain tires to the mix. To get out of your symmetrical all-wheel-drive system, ditch the original street tires and replace them with some competent all-terrain tires. Not every tire on this list will completely fit the factory tire size on your Forester, so double-check before purchasing. Some may be bigger than factory tires, while others may need special rim sizes.

What are off-road tires?

Do you intend to drive your vehicle, truck, or SUV off the Trail? The tires on your wheels will have to deal with a whole new set of problems. Off-road wheels still need a good grip on wet and dry roads, but other characteristics, including off-road grip, puncture resistance, and vehicle load ratings, are also important. Off-road tires can transport vehicles over rocks, stones, sand, dirt, snow, mud, and uneven terrain. The tread patterns on the wheels’ tires will be uniquely created, and the grooves between the tread blocks will be more comprehensive. Off-road tires will also have strengthened sidewalls to increase puncture resistance.

On the other hand, Off-road tires cannot compete with a strong pair of summer tires for pure tarmac performance. Because off-road tires have a minor contact patch, the wheel makes less touch with the road surface as it turns. They’ll provide your truck with less grip and generate more noise if you use them in urban or suburban terrain, there will be a significant reduction in fuel economy. It is also worth noting that off-road tires have a shorter tread life. This is due to the softer rubber compound used in off-road tires to ensure that they function well on various terrain and trails. The average mileage is not less than 40,000 miles, although specific models may deliver up to 70,000 miles.

How can you modify your Subaru for off-roading?

It is popular to buy a Subaru or other all-wheel-drive crossover and modify it to seem like it can go off-road. That is a ridiculous trend. Let’s see why such changes are so bad for your automobile and then speak about what you can do to fix it.

When I lived in Los Angeles five years ago, I acquired a Subaru Outback and immediately set about equipping it with all-terrain tires, flashy wheels, a few protective components, and a massive roof rack. The ultimate result was an automobile that could be used for camping vacations while still simple to drive in a congested city and on extended road journeys. The piece I wrote on the adjustments became one of the most popular I’ve ever written, and I still get inquiries about it virtually every day. Many individuals have imitated that project, judging by the amount of curiosity and the number of cars I go through on the road and on Instagram modified virtually identically. But they haven’t quite nailed it.

Tires were the most significant difference between my intention and their actuality. Subaru’s low-cost all-season road tires aren’t designed for more than a leisurely commute. On the other hand, tires are the most critical component of any vehicle since they are the most significant deciding factor in its capabilities on the road, off the road, and in adverse weather. So, I installed a pair of lightweight all-terrain tires to boost off-road grip, puncture resistance, and wet-weather performance. What I incorrectly used and then wrote about a tire—the Maxxis Bravo 771—that isn’t available at most mainstream shops, online or offline. As a result, most readers purchased something different, such as the BFGoodrich K02. I had a set of K02s mounted on the old Outback for about a month before ripping them off and remounting the 771s at the first opportunity. Why? Because they completely destroyed the vehicle.

How can you choose suitable tires for your Subaru?

Do you prefer driving your Crosstrek, Forester, or Outback up the rutted dirt road to the mountain base camp instead of trekking to your site when you go camping for the weekend? 

Whether you’re looking for a capabilities boost, customizing your wheel and tire configuration can help. However, getting bigger isn’t always the best option, and deviating from the original equipment tire specs comes with costs.

Off-road

Subaru crossovers with all-wheel drive and high ground clearance inspire off-road confidence, but the correct tires may look forward to a whole new world of possibilities. A decent pair of all-terrain tires will get you where you want to go with less worry about punctures. According to Drew Howlett, product manager for light truck and SUV tires at Falken Tires in Rancho Cucamonga, California, you’ll want an all-terrain tire made particularly for crossovers, not light trucks, to improve off-road capability in your Subaru Crosstrek, Forester, or Outback.

“Most all-terrain tires are designed for trucks, so the size won’t work,” explains Howlett. “And the design elements aren’t well suited to a crossover platform.” Another consideration for an all-terrain tire is tread design. According to the manufacturer, you want tires with a “lugged-type design with more void and deeper grooves,” according to the manufacturer. That tread pattern would be capable of engulfing rocks and removing sludge. “A ribbed [all-season] tire would slip on those surfaces,” Howlett explains. Durability and puncture resistance is also dependent on the sidewall and inner architecture of the tire. Thicker rubber and a more challenging, more durable polyester ply are required for the tires. Finally, all-terrain tires are known for having better winter traction. Simply check the tire’s snow rating, denoted on the sidewall by the 3-Peak Mountain Snowflake symbol.

The tires on your Subaru came from the manufacturer built for most customers who only drive their car on the road. Those tires are constructed with greater attention to weight, noise reduction, and rolling resistance to increase fuel efficiency. Falken wanted to maintain the importance of the Wildpeak A/T tire for crossovers as near the factory tire as possible while developing it. The resultant tire is the same size as the original but weighs somewhat more. Although fuel economy and road noise drop, the driver will gain significant traction off-road and in the snow. “There’s no need for a lift, huge weight gain, or brake and suspension changes,” Howlett adds of the Wildpeak tire for crossovers. “We’re thinking it’ll be one of those practically plug-and-play items.”

Track performance

Tire size does play a factor in improving performance during autocross and track days in your WRX or BRZ. In general, a wider tire will provide better grip since a bigger surface of the tire is in contact with the road. However, breadth is not the most critical issue. According to Steve Calder, product category manager for high-performance tires at Michelin in Greenville, South Carolina, “tread compound may have significantly greater influence than tire width.” Take the Subaru BRZ, for example. Michelin’s PrimacyTM HP high-performance summer tire serves as the OEM tire. Although Calder claims that its dry grip isn’t exceptional, it’s a great tire. They replaced the BRZ tires with the Pilot® Sport 4 S during testing at Michelin’s 2-mile road course in South Carolina and noted “a substantial gain in lateral grip.” It’s a tire that’s more competent in the dry.” Lap timings were four to five seconds faster due to the lateral grip.

Check how the tire’s lateral grip is graded due to the tire compound. A performance tire’s sidewall should also be firmer, albeit this will result in a somewhat harsher ride. Calder also emphasizes proper tire pressure while employing specialty performance tires. The idea is to check tire pressure while the tires are still warm. While it’s hot, you want the tire pressure to be at the recommended pressure for street use, implying operating the tire at a lower pressure when it’s cold. For example, a complex measurement in the upper 20s may be required to attain a target tire air pressure of 34 to 38 psi for a hot tire amid a sweltering summer day. Whether you’re driving a sports car like the BRZ or a sport utility vehicle like the Crosstrek, it’s critical to know what tire pressure you need. The psi numbers on the sidewall indicate the tire’s maximum pressure tolerance. The appropriate pressure for your vehicle is shown on the tire inflation placard inside the driver’s door, which is generally determined by whether or not you’re transporting goods. Find your model in the Subaru Vehicle Resources area of subaru.com for further information on tire inflation. Calder claims that a taller tire aids straight-line acceleration more.

What are the disadvantages of changing tire sizes, aside from the loss of fuel economy? A big tire may interfere with brakes and vehicle stability systems and reduce the car’s turning radius, depending on how big you go. “ABS braking systems are adjusted for a certain tire slip range and tuned with the original tire,” Calder explains. Calder would strongly advise against increasing wheel size (because of the added weight) or using extra-wide tires that extend way beyond rim width. Calder adds, “That’s horrible for the tire.” “When you go too broad, the contour of the contact patch starts to distort.”

Are tire changes worth it, whether you’re going off-road or ripping up the track? You may see a substantial improvement in what your Subaru can do if you’re clever.

How to drive your Forester off-road?

So the big day has arrived: you’ve Googled “off-road SUV,” “all-wheel drive,” and “AWD SUV,” read every article you can find, and watched every video you can find. And don’t they appear to be a lot of fun?

You’ve been sufficiently motivated to go out and buy yourself a fresh new off-road SUV, and you can’t wait to put the all-wheel-drive system to the test on some rugged terrain. Then the panic sets in. You may have the book smarts to get behind the wheel of an off-road family car like an AWD SUV, but do you have the practical abilities to drive this beast without appearing like a rodeo clown attempting to ride a bull? The good news is that current AWD SUVs, such as Subaru’s perennially popular Forester, are wonderfully intuitive and far from the fearsome, tank-like off-road SUVs of the past, terrifying to drive as they were to look at.

Knowing the fundamentals of what your Forester off-road SUV can accomplish and how to handle different driving conditions when you’re behind the wheel of your new AWD SUV. The Forester’s X-Mode optimizes the car for off-road situations, including Hill Descent Control for particularly slippery descents. Depending on the version, you may pick the correct model for whatever terrain you face.

Conclusion

When it comes to adventure, saying yes to everything is crucial. Put your faith in your vehicle’s ability to function and enjoy the journey. The Forester’s interiors have been meticulously designed to provide optimum comfort on and off the road. It also has improved external elements, such as a Subaru Forester off-road bumper, that make off-roading safer and more sturdy. The Forester’s safety features and high-quality technological systems also guarantee that it runs admirably even in the dirtiest of conditions. Find out more about the current Subaru Forester demo offers, or talk to your local dealer about the Forester’s most delicate features and capabilities for your family.