Best Tires for Subaru Outback: What are the Options?

The Subaru Outback comes loaded with high-end technologies, but to make the most of them, you must select the right tire. This isn’t a straightforward process with the oodles of options on the market, which is why we’ll help our readers in selecting the best tires for Subaru outback.

How are we going to do that, you ask? Well, before this article appeared on the screen of your smartphone, we read dozens of online reviews and interviewed multiple Outback drivers and used their recommendations to identify the ten best Subaru outback tires recommended on the market.

And the best thing is we aren’t going to hide anything from you. We’ll reveal everything that we didn’t like about each tire in this review, as well as the buying guide criteria which helped us select the best Outback tires for you. So you’ll know everything about these tires before exiting this page.

Sounds like a good deal? Then scroll down to get the best Subaru Outback tires recommended

Benefits of Best Tires for Subaru Outback

Following are some of the reasons why you might want to invest in these tires:

  • Increase comfort level: Subaru refers to the outback as an SUV but most of its users consider it a station wagon. Regardless of which the two viewpoints you subscribe to, the best tires for your outback will take your drive comfort to a whole new level.
  • More enhanced traction: Almost all tires that you see in this review have an asymmetrical tread pattern and outside shoulders which enhance their traction on all surfaces.
  • Less road noise: While these tires would no doubt provide enhanced traction, they won’t do the same at the cost of the health of your ears.
  • No hydroplaning: The best tires for your outback have lateral grooves that work to channel water away from beneath the tire’s surface, thereby preventing hydroplaning.

Best All-Season Tires for Subaru Outback

Michelin Defender LTX M/S

Michelin Defender LTX M/S

The Michelin Defender LTX M/S is an all-season tire that reserves its best performance for dry tarmac, but you can also count on it to hold its own on moderately wet surfaces. Additionally, the price tag of this tire is such that you won’t have to rob a bank to afford it.


When it comes to providing equipping its tires with technologies, Michelin has never adopted a miserly approach. The Defender LTX M/S is a beneficiary of this approach as this tire comes loaded with three technologies that do wonders for its performance.

Of the three technologies, you’ll find the ‘EverTread’ Technology most helpful. It increases the tire’s tread life by reinforcing its inner substances to better withstand road abuse. Though the ‘Comfort Control’ Technology isn’t far behind in utility as it makes your riding experience smooth and noise-free.

Then there’s the ‘Intellisipe’ technology which is responsible for this model’s wet pavement grip. It makes sure that the tire doesn’t experience slippage by increasing the number of its biting edges. As a result, you can drive safely at high speeds with maximum control over the tire’s movement.

Furthermore, this is a durable all-season tire thanks to its internal structure. With twin steel belts reinforcing the tread, it doesn’t deform under pressure, thereby making sure that the tire outlasts its warranty period.

Lastly, since we’re already singing paeans about the durability of this tire, it would be amiss if its Max Touch Construction escapes our attention. This technology achieves a fine balance between the forces of braking, acceleration and cornering to make the entire tread area free of any abuse signs.   


  • Tough tread compound
  • Added grip on wet surfaces
  • Even distribution of various forces


  • Not for extra cold conditions

General Altimax RT43

General Altimax RT43

Provided you like what the Michelin LTX M/S has to offer – but are deterred by its slightly elevated price tag – the General Altimax RT43 comes across as a budget option. Its availability in multiple sizes means almost all models of Subaru Outback can find a fit.


One glance at the two-layered tread compound, and you can be sure that corners haven’t been cut to keep this model’s asking price in a budget. The upper layer has a high-density core which is responsible for providing traction in all-seasons, hence the classification of this model as an ‘all-season’ tire.

The low-density layer is slightly more flexible and helps the tire absorb vibrations to give those sitting in the cabin a comfortable ride. Equal praise has to go towards the way of the independent tread blocks whose partnership with the continuous center rib allows the tire to absorb road bumps.

While the asymmetric tread design of this model has taken care of vibrations, the onus of keeping the noise as low as possible is on the shoulders of its sound-wave suppression technology. The description of how this technology works is beyond the scope of this article but rest assured that it works!

Additionally, its Low Surface Abrasion Technology lets the tire enjoy three beneficial features. First, it increases the tire’s contact area with the road, thereby decreasing the surface abrasion which it experiences, which is the second benefit.

Thirdly, when the tire won’t undergo unnecessary friction, you don’t need us telling you that this feature will enhance the tread life of this model. Also, you get three visual indicators – Replacement Tire Monitor, Visual Alignment indicator, and tread wear indicator bars – to aid you in the tire maintenance.


  • Three tire indicators
  • Suppresses road noise
  • Keeps vibrations at bay


  • Not to be driven on snowy roads

Continental TrueContact

Continental TrueContact

The Continental TrueContact is one of those unique tires whose performance overlaps between an all-season and touring tire. That is, because, on the one end, it provides a brilliant grip on dry tarmac. On the other end, it displays outstanding wear characteristics and good grip on snowy surfaces.


Let’s start with the features of this tire responsible for its excellent performance on dry tarmac. Continental has equipped this model with a new tread compound which not only improves its treadwear but also has a positive effect on its fuel efficiency.

Unrelated to the tread compound, the symmetric tread pattern of this tire enhances its steering response on paved roads. As long as you drive close to the tire’s speed rating, the tread pattern will ensure that the TrueContact justifies its name and maintains excellent contact with the road.

As for its wet traction, that’s where the wide circumferential grooves make their presence felt. They work in tandem with its lateral grooves and provide a channel for water inside the tread to trickle its way out of the tire. This mechanism is crucial as it prevents hydroplaning from surfacing.

Provided you have gone north or the mercy has dropped below zero in your part of the woods, you won’t have to replace the TrueContact with dedicated winter tires. It comes with siped tread blocks and has unique traction grooves which help this tire maintain its biting edges in snow.

On top of everything else, you won’t have to worry that this tire’s multi-season utility will have a negative bearing on its treadwear. It is equipped with a 90,000-mile treadwear warranty and provided your driving style isn’t bordering on the aggressive, has all the traits to meet it with ease.


  • Better fuel efficiency
  • Good traction on slippery roads
  • 90,000-mile treadwear warranty


  • Pricey

Goodyear Assurance All-Season

Goodyear Assurance All-Season

Aimed at brand-conscious drivers, the Goodyear Assurance All-Season tire performs decently on dry, wet and snow conditions. It has a price tag that won’t blow a hole in your pocket and comes with a warranty which even the most travel-friendly drivers will find helpful. 


Although they work towards the same goal of making this tire a must-have, the all-season tread compound and the independent shoulder blocks work differently. The former makes its present count by joining its forces with an asymmetric tread pattern to empower this model with excellent year-round traction.

The independent shoulder blocks, meanwhile, perform two functions. Their direction connection with the steering means you get better handling on both dry as well as wet surfaces. Also, since they suss-out road vibrations, it will be they who’ll deserve your praise for a comfortable and seamless ride.

Though you won’t be able to have a peek inside the tire, you can still enjoy the utility which the two steel belts lying there have to offer. Supplemented with a polyester cord body, these belts are the reason why Goodyear was confident enough to provide this tire with a 65,000-mile tread warranty.

You also get four wide circumferential grooves in the tread area of this area. Their only purpose is to make sure that as the tire moves on wet pavement, the incoming water is forced out within no time. That means that it’s they who are responsible for this tire’s handling in wet surfaces.

Finally, while they won’t come to your rescue in deeper amounts of snow, both the sipes as well as the multiple biting edges of this tire will provide a more-than-decent grip on snow, slush, and ice. An optimized tread pattern, meanwhile, aids in lowering the road noise.


  • Excellent dry handling and traction
  • Comfortable riding experience
  • Low levels of road noise


  • Some drivers have reported of a less-than-mentioned treadlife

Best High-Performance Tires for Subaru Outback

Yokohama Parada Spec-X

Yokohama Parada Spec-X

The Yokohama Parada Spec-X is the Japanese company’s sport tire that is designed to become the replacement tire for SUVs, performance trucks and bigger muscle cars. Its availability as an inch-up filament has allowed this tire to be available in sizes ranging between 17 and 30 inches.


What should you expect when there’s a marriage of an all-season tread compound and aggressive directional tread pattern? Apart from being impressed by the resultant good-looking design, you should also embrace yourself to be blown away by the increased braking and acceleration forces on the road.

Yokohama has made sure that its high-end acceleration forces don’t steer the tire out of your control balanced things by equipping this tire with two continuous center ribs and reinforced shoulder blocks. Both of them add stability and increase the Spec-X’s steering response for better high-speed grip.

Inside the Spec-X there are two steel belts and a nylon cover which impart it durability and stability. Also present there is a polyester cord body that is responsible for absorbing road vibrations. Together, both of them help secure your ride comfort.

In the unfortunate scenario of the tires steeping onto curbs or other obstructions, its built-in rim protector will shield your wheels from damage. You would be hard-pressed to find many similarly-priced models on the market offering this feature.

Lastly, when the clouds gather overhead and pavements become wet, the lateral and the wider circumferential grooves will work in tandem to channel water from beneath the tire’s footprint and provide traction for a safe ride.


  • Good cornering performance
  • Responsive and crisp steering
  • Comfortable and smooth ride


  • Winter handling could have been better

Bridgestone Potenza RE97AS

Bridgestone Potenza RE97AS

Who says high-performance tires cannot offer all-season traction? The Bridgestone Potenza not only negates this myth but goes one mile ahead to provide you with comfortable and quiet riding quality. Hence the reason why it’s famous among drivers of passenger coupes, crossovers, and sedans.


In contrast to your average high-performance tire, the silica tread compound of the Bridgestone Potenza contains tread polymers. Due to them, you can be sure of having more-than-adequate grip and traction on both dry as well as wet surfaces.

To enhance the steering response time and balance the forces of braking, acceleration, and cornering, the symmetric tread design of the Potenza plays its part. It equips the tire with an optimized footprint and is supported by stiffer shoulder tread blocks which enhance this tire’s cornering performance.

Variable pitch sequence of the tire makes sure that whether you’re navigating around the city or driving at the highway at full speed, the noise level remains minimum. Though noise got a bit loud during the end of our test ride when the tread started to show some signs of wearing.

Stability of the Potenza is ensured by its spirally wrapped nylon and two inner steel belts. You also get four circumferential grooves which remove water from the tread area, and can get sizes in the range of 16-20 inches with two speed ratings (V and W).

One area where this tire could have done better is its wet weather performance. It was surprising for us to note that it has little to no edges for winter conditions. Apart from that, we didn’t notice any other questionable aspect of this tire.


  • Good braking performance
  • Excellent cornering and traction
  • Stable and comfortable


  • Poor winter performance

Laufenn S Fit AS

Laufenn S Fit AS

A wild-card entry among rows and rows of high-performance tires that we reviewed for this article, the Laufenn S Fit AS initially caught our eye with its cheap asking price. Fortunately, unlike other inexpensive tires on the market, it doesn’t use its low initial price as an excuse to lower down its quality.


Three features of the Laufenn S Fit AS convinced us that it was every inch a high-performance tire. They include its stiff chassis, rugged underpinnings, and a symmetrical all-wheel drive. All of them join their efforts to make this model a must-have for open highways and tight city streets.

Despite costing six times fewer than most Subaru Outback tires in this review, the Laufenn comes with 3-D intermediate notches and four wide circumferential grooves. This allows this high-performance option to excavate water from the tread area and offer a slippage-free ride.

What is more, you even get multiple sipes in the tread area. More commonly known as ‘biting edges’, they help this tire tackle light wet or snow conditions with ease. Its outer shoulder block has a semi-rib design which increases block stiffness to contribute to better handling of the tire.

At the edge of this tire are rib block sections that play their part to eliminate unwanted (and excessive) road noise. Internally, this tire contains two wide steel belts to erase all your doubts about its durability, and its tread consists of tie bars which help in the reinforcement of the shoulder tread.

In addition to doing that, the tread bar also connects the shoulder blocks located on opposite sides of the tire. This helps the S Fit avoid irregular wear and offer advanced gripping and cornering. The only negative aspect of this tire is the reduced range of sizes – as it comes in only 17 and 18-inch sizes.


  • Great traction on all surfaces
  • Responsive steering performance
  • Better treadlife than the competition


  • Reduced range of sizes

Continental ExtremeContact DWS06

Continental ExtremeContact DWS 06

Unlike the Laufenn S Fit AS high-performance tire, the Continental ExtremeContact DWS06 won’t weigh lightly in your pocket. Provided you can afford to bear its high asking price, this tire will justify the same with its ultra-high-performance.


Initially, we weren’t able to guess that the each letter of the ‘DWS’ signifies something important about the performance of this tire. For instance, the ‘D’ in the word means that this tire has an asymmetric tread pattern, one whose chamfered edges and grooves provide excellent grip on dry tarmac.

The ‘W’ meanwhile sheds light on its wet performance. This tire comes with Continental’s Sport Plus technology which joins its forces with its advanced silica tread compound and +Silane additives to provide it with extreme stability and steering response on wet roads. In other words, it won’t slip when it’s wet out there.

You might have guessed by now that the ‘S’ stands for snow. It’s there to tell you that this tire does come with traction grooves for freezing weather performance. Supplemented by circumferential grooves (which prevent hydroplaning), the traction grooves increase this tire’s biting power on snowy and icy roads.

The fact that it isn’t a dedicated winter tire means you’ve to be careful about the amount of snow this tire can handle. How can you make sure of that? By keeping your eyes fixed on the ‘S’ indicator on the tire area. As long as it’s visible, you can safely plow ahead.

In a final effort to further sweeten the deal, Continental has made sure that this tire’s noise won’t break the sleep of the passengers in the cabin. What it hasn’t made sure, unfortunately, is reduce the wearing of this tire, especially if you have an aggressive driving style.


  • Superior snow performance
  • Ultra-quiet ride
  • Brilliant handling


  • Wears quickly

Best Winter Snow Tires for Subaru Outback

Continental Winter Contact SI

Continental Winter Contact SI

Thanks to its pre-installed, all-wheel-drive system, the Subaru Outback is a popular choice for families living in areas that are heavily pounded by snow. To help you take full advantage of this system, what you need is a set of dedicated winter tires. And that’s why you need the Continental Winter Contact.


As you might have guessed by reading our decoding of the DWS06 tire, Continental loves couching the utility of its models in code words. It has done the same with this particular tire, whose SI term sheds light that this tire is dedicated to Snow & Ice.

Thankfully, Continental didn’t stop at naming this tire to attract drivers living in freezing environments. It equipped this model with PolarPlus technology whose proprietary tread compound is more than capable of maintaining its flexibility and keeps on providing traction in lower temperatures.

This winter tire comes with a directional tread design containing ridged grooves and a zig-zag sipe pattern. You can count on both these design elements to increase this model’s ability to bite into snow. And our experience with this tire found the ridged grooves improving this tire’s grip on wet roads as well.

Like most winter tires you see on the market, the Contact SI won’t maintain its winter traction forever. Unlike most of them, it comes with a winter tread depth indicator which lets you gauge the degree of the tread wear. As the percentage goes above 50%, you should know that the traction will start going down.


  • Excellent grip in ice and snow
  • Extended range of sizes
  • Winter tread depth indicator


  • Pricey

Best All-terrain Tire for Subaru Outback

Pirelli Scorpion ATR

Pirelli Scorpion ATR​

The Pirelli Scorpion ATR is an all-terrain tire designed for SUVs, crossovers and light pickups. It offers good stability and steering control on highway conditions and comes with lateral grooves which enhance this tire’s utility in wet weather conditions.


Due to our experience with all-terrain tires, we were reasonably excited at this tire using a silica-based tread compound and asymmetric tread pattern. Luckily, both these features didn’t disappoint. The former enhanced this model’s traction on wet surfaces whereas the latter offered stability on dry tarmac.

Its lateral shoulder grooves did everything we expected of them, and more. Apart from excavating water out of the tread area – which we expected them to do – they also lowered the braking distance of the Scorpion – which we didn’t expect them to do.

Although it comes handy on all types of off-roading activities, one area where the silica-based tread compound really shines is dust roads. It enhances the traction of this model and increases its load transitional characteristics on loose surfaces to give you a smooth and noise-free ride.

Had it not been for their average performance in mud, the Scorpion ATR would have received full marks in this review. There wasn’t any problem with the traction but the noise level was a few decibels higher than we expected. Other than that, we see no reason why it shouldn’t be a dedicated winter tire for your Outback. This is truly one of the best Subaru Outback off road tires on the market.


  • Great traction on rocks
  • Brilliant performance on dirt
  • Quiet riding experience


  • Performance nosedives on mud

How to choose the best tires for Subaru Outback

There are two factors that you need to watch out carefully when selecting the tire for your outback. All of them play a crucial role in the tire’s performance, so it’s recommended that you don’t adopt a lax attitude towards them.

Best tires for Subaru Outback

Type of the Tires

In general, four types of tires are mostly preferred by Outback drivers:

All-Season Tires

Nine out of ten times, a Subaru Outback driver will end up choosing an all-season tire. These tires cost less and provide the best of both worlds in summer and winter conditions. For instance, to justify their selection in hot conditions, they provide good braking, cornering and acceleration power.

As for their winter prowess, these tires have a reasonable grip which allows them to dig deep and slalom through moderate winter conditions. They also have lateral grooves that allow them to remove water from the tire’s footprint and their treadlife is the highest of all four types. 

High-Performance Tires

A minority of Outback owners want to test the ability of their vehicle at breakneck speeds. It’s for this reason that they end up choosing the high-performance (HP) tires, which have a soft rubber grip that allows them to grip the dry tarmac easily and increase the vehicle’s handling at high speeds.

Having said that, not everything is hunky-dory about the HP tires. Since they are going to handle more abuse, the treadlife of these tires is at least 10,000 to 20,000 miles less than their all-season counterparts. So you might have to replace them more frequently.

All-Terrain Tires

As their name implies, the ‘all-terrain’ tires are designed to handle rough conditions like mud, gravel, rocky surfaces and so on. These tires have an extra-large footprint which allows them to provide better grip, and their large tread pattern empowers them to absorb off-road vibrations.

On the flip side, the all-terrain tires cost more than the other two types mentioned above. Also, while their name suggests equal distribution of performance on all surfaces, these tires perform much better on difficult terrains than they do on paved roads. Owning a set of Subaru Outback off road tires is a necessity if you often travel on complex terrains.

Winter Tires

Take the UHP tire, increase the flexibility of its rubber by 10x, decrease the speed rating by up to 5x, add biting edges, and what you’d have is a winter tire. Their rubber is more flexible because it makes the tire easier to manage when the mercury falls.

Also, thanks to their biting edges (known as ‘sipes’ in technical jargon), these tires provide more grip on roads buried beneath layers of snow. Also, if you want winter tires, choose the one which comes with a ‘snowflake’ symbol, which is an indication that the tire can withstand extremely low temperatures.

Size of the Tires

Whether you own the Outback Base, 2.5i, 2.5i Limited, 2.5i Premium, 2.5i LL Bean, XT Limited, 2.0R Limited or 3.0 R LL Bean model, there is a specific tire size that will fit your Subaru. To find out what that is, check the manual attached on the road-side of the driver seat, on the car’s body.

Depending on your model, one or more of the following tire sizes might fit it:

  • P215/70R16
  • P225/60R16
  • P225/55R17
  • P225/60R17
  • P225/65R17
  • P225/60R18

Subaru Outback Tires – FAQs

Following are some questions which you may have about Subaru outback tires:

Q: Which tire is better for my Outback – All-Season or UHP?

A: If you want more tread life, normally drive well below the speed limit and don’t want to pay over the odds, go for an all-season tire. Conversely, if you want an increased speed limit, good handling at high-speeds and can afford to pay more at the front, UHP tires might be worthy of your money.

Q: What is the recommended tire pressure for my Subaru Outback?

A: Although the correct tire pressure depends on the trim level and model year of your Outback, the average tire pressure which Subaru recommends is 32 PSI.

Q: How can I extend the tread life of my Subaru Outback tires?

A: Follow these tips to enhance the tread life of your tire:

  • Always keep the tires properly inflated
  • Lower down your top driving speeds
  • Ensure that the wheels are properly aligned
  • Create a periodic tire inflation maintenance schedule


Since they are famous for their cross-country credentials, the Subaru Outback deserves tires that could match their tough performance. The market offers so many options that narrowing down the list seems more difficult than navigating the Crossback through a traffic jam.

That’s where this article comes in – all the ten tires that you saw above have what it takes to be a worthy replacement for the original tires of your Outback. Simply decide the environment you’re going to ride the tires in, and you’ll have a pair (or two) in this review that will exceed your requirements.

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