What are Best All Season Tires for a Subaru Forester: Technical Review

The Subaru Forester is one of the most popular family crossovers on the market. With so many safety features and a quiet, smooth ride, it is perfect for people who want the best in comfort, reliability and performance. However, because it is so popular, it can be difficult to narrow down the best all season tires for a Subaru Forester. With so many choices on the market, it can be a little bit overwhelming to say the least.

Figure 1: The Subaru Forester is a popular crossover that combines performance and safety. Source: DiscountTire.com.

Since the Subaru Forester is an all wheel drive vehicle, all season tires are a welcome addition to its already solid weather capabilities. They are designed to deal with many different conditions and can help to enhance the safety and handling features that come stock with it. However, in order to pick the best all season tires for a Subaru Forester, they must be designed to work in tandem with these features and not against them.

Luckily, that’s what today’s article is all about. We have put together a short list of the best all season tires for a Subaru Forester in order to help you pick the ideal set. By choosing from our list, you can be sure that you are getting the best possible combination of safety and performance that you can get with your crossover.

Sources: KBB.com; Subaru.com.

What Makes a Great All Season Tire for a Subaru Forester?

We spoke to a tire specialist at Les Schwab who told us that “all season tires usually come stock with the Forester, but you can find some that may work better depending on the conditions you drive in. They make high performance all seasons that can be good for the Forester since it has the all wheel drive. You can afford to lose some of the grip that goes away with the high performance tires without getting rid of the weather capabilities.”

Figure 2: The best all season tires for a Subaru Forester will have a good mix of traction and low rolling resistance. Source: DrivingPress.com.

The best all season tires for a Subaru Forester will usually have some kind of high performance design elements that come with them. This will include things like specialized blends of rubber compounds that the tires are molded out of. These blends will be enhanced with additives like silica, and in some cases, sunflower oil in order to react to the road conditions as they change. This allows them to harden or soften depending on the temperature of the actual asphalt and be suited for the conditions as they change in real time.

The tread patterns on the best all season tires for a Subaru Forester will also be less complex and more shallow than on a traditional grand touring all season tire. Because of the Forester’s all wheel drive, you do not need as much grip on the road. This allows you to have a lower rolling resistance, which results in more responsive steering and a lighter, quicker feel in the car’s handling.


In order to counteract this lower rolling resistance, the best all season tires for a Subaru Forester will have many biting edges along the circumference of the tire. This can be in the form of sipes or circumferential grooves that help move water and other debris out from the bottom of the vehicle’s contact patch. By utilizing these biting edges, you can get better cornering traction without having to increase the amount of resistance the tires have on the road. Instead, it gives you grip where it counts and where you need it most.

Sources: TheTireDigest.Michelin.com; TireReview.com; BridgestoneTire.com; Interview with Les Schwab tire specialist conducted 1/9/2021.

How Did We Pick The Best All Season Tires for a Subaru Forester?

Our short list of the best all season tires for a Subaru Forester is made up of sets that meet all our qualifications above. They all fall under the performance category, but still have all season capability that will deliver that performance in wet conditions and even in light snow. This makes them a great choice if you are someone who regularly drives in less than ideal conditions year round.

Figure 3: Performance enhancing additives allow tires to react to the road and give you the best performance no matter the situation. Source: TireDeets.com.

The tires on our list all use proprietary blends in their rubber compounds as well as performance enhancing additives. These additives are what gives them optimal performance no matter what the weather or terrain is like. They react to the temperature of the road and change the consistency of the tire based on it. If the roads are cold, they will soften up to give you more grip in ice and snow. If they are warm, they will harden in order to give you a lighter, more responsive feel instead of softening.


Our list of the best all season tires for a Subaru Forester also includes tires that use unique tread patterns to move water and slush from underneath the vehicle. This helps prevent hydroplaning and allows the tire to maintain a healthy grip on the road beneath any water or snow that may be covering it.

Sources: Eastman.com; TireProfiles.com.

1.   Sumitomo HTR A/S P02

Figure 4: Sumitomo’s HTR A/S P02 uses many design features to give you comfort and responsive cornering. Source: TireRack.com.

Sumitomo’s HTR A/S P02 is designed for drivers of sedans and crossovers that want a nice mix of high performance and reliability in tough weather. They use high tech materials and design techniques to give you the best of both of these worlds in one set of tires. The asymmetric pattern of the tread design is meant to give you a quiet ride at high speeds by pushing air out from the grooves. This eliminates any of the persistent high frequencies that can arise if air gets trapped in the tread blocks at high speed.

The HTR A/S P02 uses a silica additive to react to the road and work in conjunction with the asymmetric tread pattern. This gives you solid wet traction on top of the Forester’s all wheel drive. The shoulder blocks are notched to provide biting edges all along the outer rim of the tire, enhancing cornering and giving you solid traction in ice and mild snow. Combined with the snow packing abilities of the tread slots, this is a great choice for people who want high performance, even in moderate winter conditions.

Source: TireRack.com.

2.   Michelin Premier LTX

Figure 5: Michelin’s Premier LTX is an all season tire designed specifically for crossovers and sedans. Source: TireRack.com.

The Premier LTX all season tire by Michelin is a perfect addition to your Subaru Forester. Developed specifically for crossover drivers, this tire is leading in the category of wet grip at all stages of tread wear. This means that no matter how old this tire is, you will still be getting superior traction due to its Emerging Grooves technology. These grooves become wider and deeper as the tire wears down, allowing them to whisk away water even as the tread blocks begin to shorten.

They also use a blend of silica and sunflower oil to soften up in wet and below freezing temperatures. A softer consistency allows the tread blocks to flex with the road and adapt to ice and snow as they are presented. Since they can adapt to all kinds of terrain, these tires give you total performance year round so you don’t have to sacrifice one feature for another.

The symmetric tread design uses a continuous rib in the center to push water and snow out from the contact patch. Combining this with the Emerging Grooves technology described above allows the Premier LTX to give you the widest possible surface area on which the tire rolls along the road.

Source: TireRack.com.

3.   Cooper Zeon RS3-G1

Figure 6: The Zeon RS3-G1 by Cooper is a high performance tire with an asymmetric tread pattern to give you a quiet ride. Source: TireRack.com.

Cooper’s entry into the high performance all season world is the Zeon RS3-G1. Originally developed for sports car drivers, this tire is also a fantastic choice for drivers of crossovers and SUVs like the Subaru Forester. It’s responsive handling and superior traction combines with that of the car itself, making it one of the best all season tires for a Subaru Forester.

The silica based tread compound is molded into an asymmetric pattern that is designed to enhance cornering and give you better stopping power in slippery conditions like snow and ice. With wide notches along the lateral axis and circumferential grooves, it pushes debris and water out from the bottom of the vehicle for enhanced grip in rainy weather.

Using 3-D micro gauge sipes, the RS3-G1 has many biting edges that grip the road in the corners by locking together. As pressure mounts on the tread blocks, these sipes push them against each other while turning and separate as you straighten the vehicle out. This kind of dynamic performance is what makes the Cooper Zeon RS3-G1 one of the best all season tires for a Subaru Forester on the market.

Source: TireRack.com.