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  1. #1
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    New tire buying help (2017 S trim)

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    I just bought a 2017 S with about 24k miles (pic below). I really like the car. It's quite an upgrade from my 2003 Forester I was previously driving.

    Unfortunately, the Falken tires are worn and I need to buy new ones. I live in St. Louis and only occasionally drive to Colorado in the winter, so no need for snow tires, just a good all-season model.

    I know very little about cars and/or buying tires. So:

    1. What tire do you recommend?
    2. Any advice on where or how to buy them?

    Thanks!
    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Member Arm&Hammer's Avatar
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    I'm also a previous Subaru owner, a 2003 Outback. I like driving this Alltrack but not as reliable in the past 6 months as my 15 year old Subaru. I hate the Falken tires. Mine are not worn out at 4000 miles, I don't drive much, however, if I leave it parked for a week or so it seems to develop flat spots. The flat spots seem to go away after a while but a pain to drive with humming and slight vibration. Anyway stay away from the Falkens. Maybe I'm overly sensitive to tires, but my 10 year old Michelin tires on the Subby never gave me a problem even before I got rid of the car.
    I've been researching tires and you'll get lots of advice here I'm sure, by changing sizes and aspect ratios to get more choices. In summary there is not much choice in the 205/55R17 size. I thought about about going slightly larger 215/55R17, slightly increases the diameter which gives you a lot more options/brands. You can go even larger and increase to 60 series but it affects your speedo, you can gain 0.5-1 inch, more clearance, which looks cool. There are recalibration tools to recalibrate your speedometer but it's more work.
    Bottom line go with Michelin or Continentals all the rest are crap for our car and maybe go to 215 size if your shop/installer agrees and you will have more choice in brands.
    Let us know what you find.
    Good Luck.

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    Did you end up making a decision? I have a SE with 40K miles and I loathe the Falkens. Thinking hard about changing to 215 55 r17 even though at the dealership that's anathema. I can't believe no Michelins. The Michelins with VWs are great, I was ready to get back into Michelin Primacy MX and it was crushing to hear that the options are so limited. Can anyone point me to a thread whereby someone went to a 215 55 r17 and lived to tell about it / VW gods didn't strike you down? Thank you!

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    After significant time searching and shopping recently installed General G-MAX AS-05 Ultra High Performance All Season 225/50ZR17 from tirebuyer.com installed by pep boys. OE 205/55-17 Falkens wore evenly and lasted 32k miles could have gone a couple k miles if I had been a bit more strict with tire rotations. These new General tires are 2 cm wider but more critically they are the same overall diameter as the stock tires so odom-speedo accuracy change is practically nil. These new tires fit perfectly with plenty room to spare. The price w/rebate was so inexpensive I got a 5th tire and a refurbished matching factory alloy wheel to make a spare tire set replacing the compact spare which I don't like. Golf is not equipped with TPMS makes this task even simpler. Still able to achieve 31-32mpg on my work commute.

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    Member Arm&Hammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chllr View Post
    After significant time searching and shopping recently installed General G-MAX AS-05 Ultra High Performance All Season 225/50ZR17 from tirebuyer.com installed by pep boys. OE 205/55-17 Falkens wore evenly and lasted 32k miles could have gone a couple k miles if I had been a bit more strict with tire rotations. These new General tires are 2 cm wider but more critically they are the same overall diameter as the stock tires so odom-speedo accuracy change is practically nil. These new tires fit perfectly with plenty room to spare. The price w/rebate was so inexpensive I got a 5th tire and a refurbished matching factory alloy wheel to make a spare tire set replacing the compact spare which I don't like. Golf is not equipped with TPMS makes this task even simpler. Still able to achieve 31-32mpg on my work commute.
    Looks like the 225/50R17 is a good choice to keep the size the same. Did you notice any difference in ride or how the car behaves?

    I was at a tire shop this weekend looking at tires. The Michelin Defender 225/50 looked a lot wider ( about 1 inch), very nice tire, the Michelin Premier 215/55 was similar to the OE Falkens in width but about half inch taller. I also looked at 215/55 Yokohama and some other cheaper options and the sidewalls on all the cheaper ones were very flimsy, whereas the Michelins were rock solid.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arm&Hammer View Post
    Looks like the 225/50R17 is a good choice to keep the size the same. Did you notice any difference in ride or how the car behaves?

    I was at a tire shop this weekend looking at tires. The Michelin Defender 225/50 looked a lot wider ( about 1 inch), very nice tire, the Michelin Premier 215/55 was similar to the OE Falkens in width but about half inch taller. I also looked at 215/55 Yokohama and some other cheaper options and the sidewalls on all the cheaper ones were very flimsy, whereas the Michelins were rock solid.
    Right now, I'm running snow tires that are 215/50 17 on the stock SE wheels. Imho, I wouldn't go wider than that w/o moving up to a wider wheel. I plan on going to 235/40 or 45 18s in the spring on an 8" wide wheel (also adding some other upgrades). Lots of opinions about tires, but I've really like the Toyo snow tires I have on the AT and our other car, as well as a more all-season type during the other seasons.
    2018 VW Alltrack SE | 2013 VW Tiguan SEL

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arm&Hammer View Post
    Looks like the 225/50R17 is a good choice to keep the size the same. Did you notice any difference in ride or how the car behaves?

    I was at a tire shop this weekend looking at tires. The Michelin Defender 225/50 looked a lot wider ( about 1 inch), very nice tire, the Michelin Premier 215/55 was similar to the OE Falkens in width but about half inch taller. I also looked at 215/55 Yokohama and some other cheaper options and the sidewalls on all the cheaper ones were very flimsy, whereas the Michelins were rock solid.
    hey arm&hammer 225-205mm approx = 0.78inch ~ 3/4 inch which gives the car a slightly more muscular look...fits perfectly on stock 7" wide wheel etc. Yes of course Michelin is a top tier brand (top price too) with which you can't go wrong. The OE Alltrack SE size 205/55-17 seems to be a very scarce option on the tire market for some reason but the Golf MK7 platform is offered with several different sized tires and wheels which vary in performance feel and of course price. I guess everyone has their unique goals & criteria etc when tire shopping...one of my favorite activities for some weird reason so I do a lot of research to find what I hope is the best fit/deal. Here in FL rain on highway is a big factor during spring and summer, thankfully road surfaces are in decent condition. On a relatively small moderately powered daily driver like this I like to keep the ride height, odom-speedo, wheels, etc. stock (at least till warrantee runs out). I hunt for good (less expensive but not cheap crap) brands with which I've had good experience often middle-budget-level models minimum UTQG 500 that meet or exceed the OE speed and load ratings, one vendor TireRack does excellent test reports and spec sheets...also on my checklist is lower tire weight which I've noticed can vary as much as 4-5 lbs each depending on brand for the same size tire (yes I do weigh them). In stop and go traffic less rotational inertia (tire/wheel weight) equals slightly better mpg. Im not racing this car and too old now for 85 mph interstate off-ramp shenanigans, smooth and quiet tires are good for me. Ive only had these new tires on a couple weeks they seem somewhat quieter and smoother than the factory Falkens. Time will tell...Dry grip seems a bit better. No rain yet. Still good for up to 32.5mpg on commute home from work. tire rebate should be arriving soon...luv when I can mount a full set of decent rubber that'll last at least 40-60K miles for ~ $400 plus install

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    we are currently on our 4th Subaru a 2018 Crosstrek (Saab 9-2x Aero counts as a Subie WRX) and our 3rd VW a 2017 Alltrack which replaces my beloved 2015 Sportwagen TDi which was flooded in hurricane Irma . I drive about 30k miles/per year in FL. I tire shop online filtering for OE specs looking for rebates on brands/models I expect will provide decent service. Michelin jumps to mind for long lasting trouble free service but they normally cost double what I want to pay. Im not a brand snob nor brand loyal therefore hunt for the best budget friendly deals...such as Continental, General, Pirelli, BFGoodrich, Cooper, Hankook, Kumho, Toyo, way many too brands and even much more models to mention...The factory Falkens lasted me about 32kmiles and probably could have gone a few more ks if I had rotated more religiously. Those Falkens performed okay for my commuting nothing to rave about but no problems or issues. Avoid the bargain basement stuff if you can for several good reasons. Ive bought online from TireRack, Tirebuyer, TiresEasy, SimpleTire, PerformanceTire, Walmart, DiscountTireDirect etc. I used to ship them to my home and Id install them myself but lately I'll just have them shipped to a nearby installer of my choice (most recently PepBoys $16/tire). See a few posts down below I just installed General tires ($50 rebate) and they are just slightly quieter and feel a bit more planted on the road but that's just subjective not scientific. Installed Pirelli P7s (with $70 rebate) from Tirerack on the wife previous Subaru and she wouldn't stop raving on the huge ride and quietness improvement those made. yes I'm a car enthusiast so tires are very interesting to me.

  9. #9
    Member Arm&Hammer's Avatar
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    I was at the VW dealer getting my first oil change today. While waiting I looked at the new Jetta. The OE tires that come with the Jetta are the Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 Plus in 205/55R17, same size as our car. Those Bridgestones look to be a better quality tire as compared to the Falkens, but the tread is the typical highway tread that may not be as good for rain/snow or off-road. Doing a quick search they are $108 at Walmart which is a good option instead of the Falkens if you don't mind the tread pattern.
    The specs are also better: 540-treadware, A-traction A-temperature. I've never owned Bridgestones so others can chime in...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arm&Hammer View Post
    I was at the VW dealer getting my first oil change today. While waiting I looked at the new Jetta. The OE tires that come with the Jetta are the Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 Plus in 205/55R17, same size as our car. Those Bridgestones look to be a better quality tire as compared to the Falkens, but the tread is the typical highway tread that may not be as good for rain/snow or off-road. Doing a quick search they are $108 at Walmart which is a good option instead of the Falkens if you don't mind the tread pattern.
    The specs are also better: 540-treadware, A-traction A-temperature. I've never owned Bridgestones so others can chime in...
    Bridgestone Ecopia was the same model tire factory installed on my dearly departed 2015 VW Sportwagen TDI S with 16? wheels. Tires wore well had good grip in Florida daily driving duty. Never had any tire related issues. That?s a good price you found. That?s slighly better price than I found when replacing that cars donut spare. I suspect that model tire ought to outlast the Falkens by at least several thousand miles based on my experience with both. Plus I think (you may want to fact check the following cuz many months have passed) those BStones Ecopias are designed to provide you some lower rolling resistance to improve your mpg.

 

 
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