What sizes of snow tires would work with my 15 Impreza Sport?

Asked by Nov 07, 2015 at 08:46 AM about the 2015 Subaru Impreza 2.0i Sport Premium Hatchback

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

My tires are currently 205 50 R17 and I'm looking to put snow tires on (and
save my rims from the winter potholes.) I don't full understand which
numbers matter the most when looking at tires. I understand that I should be
looking in the range of 200-215 for the first number, but not sure about the
2nd and 3rd numbers.
Thanks in advance!

2 Answers

43,415

If that is the size on your car go with that. 205/50/R17. You have 17" rims on there.

3,270

Hi. You have the sportier 50 series rubber on 17". Base model Imps have the SAME HEIGHT 205/55 16 setup, which is clearly more comfy on rough or snowy roads. So if you REALLY need snows I'd pick up some cheap alloy or steel 16" rims and mount the 205/55 16. It's your best option. You COULD go with ultra-knobby skinnier 195/60 16 tires for deep snow or ice, but you'd feel more handling compromise in normal driving on dry surfaces. The skinnier 195 will simply bite a BIT deeper in snow. But do NOT mount SHORTER HEIGHT tires, as you'll defeat your purpose. I also wouldn't go taller (like 205/60 16) because of possible clearance issues. (If you're unaware of scaling, just multiply the width of the tire (205 in this case) by the aspect ratio (50 or 55) to get the sidewall HEIGHT, then add it to the radius of the wheel (8 or 8.5" x 25.4mm/in) Hence 205x50+(25.4 x 8.5)=205x55+(25.4x8). The former handles more crisply, the latter more comfy, assuming the tires are the same characteristics and "personality". With snows always go cheaper (16 vs 17) and softer (55 vs 50) for comfort in the rough stuff.

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