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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey,

So I made a thread a while back criticizing the WRX for its rough transmission, and some of its weaker points. I was driving a 2016 TLX that was leased, and ever since shifting back to the automatic I realized just how plain boring the drive was. Mind you, I've always been a safe and cautious driver. I had the Acura for roughly 3 months before I finally decided to stop torturing myself and purchase the Subaru. It wasn't cheap, but I could have made out much worse. Found a dealer that wanted to play ball, and extracted a number that eased some financial tension from the situation.

I research things to death - the Acura was an impulse buy, and in the process I lost my 6M Accord, which was only a few years old. I had such anxiety about the Subaru. Will it be smooth enough. Are the features there. Premium gas. Snow tires. Cop magnet. The list more-or-less went on. I think most buyers are disciplined enough to understand their standards before purchasing. It really comes down to 1-2 vehicles. Having never owned a sports car besides my Integra, I didn't know what to expect.

Finally driving the WRX I understand some of the things I've read from here, heard from others, seen online. The experience isn't there until you finally have it, are behind the wheel, and feel the grip from the awd with the twin-scroll turbo kicking you back. I don't launch, or really push the car, but who cares - this is the most fun I've had behind the wheel of a car in a long time, if ever. Those issues I had with the transmission are just buyer's apprehension. Is it butter smooth like the m3 I test drove, no. But it doesn't need to be. It has distinctive notchy shifting which I have grown to love. It feels mechanical. Like a true driver's car. The sound the FA20 generates feel visceral and addictive. I find myself making up reasons to leave the house. I'm pulling 23.1MPG.. from an awd turbo.

Some drawbacks: Pandora (Apple) requires cable, doesn't connect via bluetooth - get random disconnects, maybe once a drive. The speakers are awful. I read reviews criticizing their capacity, but I didn't expect them to be that terrible. That's it.

My biggest takeaway has been just how different the car drives as you acclimate to the trans. clutch. It still plays hard to get, but I've more or less found the perfect shifting points, clutch releases, to really make the car drive like my previous manuals. No regrets.


Now, if you could help me decide on winter options. I'm considering either snow tires, or possibly a tire/rim package to avoid shop swaps every season. Which would you recommend?

Thanks for reading!
 

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welcome, good purchase!! I was going to just swap to winter rubber but kept my eye on craigslist and came across a good deal on wheels and blizzaks for the same price as only rubber.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
welcome, good purchase!! I was going to just swap to winter rubber but kept my eye on craigslist and came across a good deal on wheels and blizzaks for the same price as only rubber.
Thanks! I've considered Craigslist. How smooth was your transaction? First set you've purchashed through there? Any red flags I should watch out for?
 

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...
Now, if you could help me decide on winter options. I'm considering either snow tires, or possibly a tire/rim package to avoid shop swaps every season. Which would you recommend?

Thanks for reading!
I opted to buy a set of General Arctics on Enkei rims (note some folks here are very particular with wording and may refer to rims as wheels) from Tire Rack . . . my thinking was to buy a separate set to a) avoid any potential damage to the OEM rims by switching summer/winter tires twice a year and b) I can put on the winter set as soon as or as late as I want without having to make an appointment and then wait around for a shop to switch out. I would also say another possible advantage to owning a separate set would be the savings in not having a shop charge for the swap over, although Town Fair Tire offers this service for free.

I should note that I could have saved a chunk of change by buying cheaper steel wheels instead of the Enkeis, but I preferred the look of the alloy wheels and since I run my winter set up here in Maine for 5-6 months of the year I was willing to pay a little more (well double -- $70 for the steelies and $140 for the Enkeis).
 

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I opted to buy a set of General Arctics on Enkei rims (note some folks here are very particular with wording and may refer to rims as wheels) from Tire Rack . . . my thinking was to buy a separate set to a) avoid any potential damage to the OEM rims by switching summer/winter tires twice a year and b) I can put on the winter set as soon as or as late as I want without having to make an appointment and then wait around for a shop to switch out. I would also say another possible advantage to owning a separate set would be the savings in not having a shop charge for the swap over, although Town Fair Tire offers this service for free.

I should note that I could have saved a chunk of change by buying cheaper steel wheels instead of the Enkeis, but I preferred the look of the alloy wheels and since I run my winter set up here in Maine for 5-6 months of the year I was willing to pay a little more (well double -- $70 for the steelies and $140 for the Enkeis).
Same stories as above
Don't wait for snow I can't stress enough how bad the factory summer tires are on snow. I have driven on summer tires in winter before. The Factory tires were worse.

I went with Michelin X-ice3 on Sparco Terras from tire rack. I work a couple miles from one of their distribution centers so if I wanted no shipping charges I was limited by what they had in stock. (Wasn't my first choice combo). The combo looks cool but I haven't installed them yet.
The X-ice2 tires were great on my mini. I don't think you can really go that wrong any snow tire.
 

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Same stories as above
Don't wait for snow I can't stress enough how bad the factory summer tires are on snow. I'd has summer tire in winter before. These are worse

I went with Michelin X-ice3 on Sparco Terras from tire rack. I work a couple miles from one of their distribution centers so if I wanted no shipping charges I was limited by what they had in stock. (Wasn't my first choice combo). The combo looks cool but I haven't installed them yet.
The X-ice2 tires were great on my mini. I don't think you can really go that wrong any snow tire.
Guess that means you must be in Windsor or Windsor Locks? My brother in law lives in Stafford . . . mother in law in Ellington. My wife and I have flown out of Bradley before . . . a very pleasant experience.
 

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Guess that means you must be in Windsor or Windsor Locks? My brother in law lives in Stafford . . . mother in law in Ellington. My wife and I have flown out of Bradley before . . . a very pleasant experience.
Shhh you're giving away my secrets.

I could be in East Graby. I'm not but I could be. I also said work not live. People around here go for crazy long commutes. Of course I think I've stated I have a 4mi comute on the forum already...
Yeah It's nice having Bradley right there. It's a nice small but not too small airport.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Awesome tips, guys! Knowing Blizzaks aren't necessarily the go-to option is helpful. I think I'll scout pricing for wheel/tire combo, as the chances something goes wrong with my oem set is greatly reduced.

Thankfully Black Friday prices are around the corner, maybe I'll get lucky.
 

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Awesome tips, guys! Knowing Blizzaks aren't necessarily the go-to option is helpful. I think I'll scout pricing for wheel/tire combo, as the chances something goes wrong with my oem set is greatly reduced.

Thankfully Black Friday prices are around the corner, maybe I'll get lucky.
I'm betting if I polled my office in CT Blizzaks would be the most common. The rumor is that the Blizzaks compounds is a surface treatment and they loose some grip before it really shown in tread depth wear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Would anyone ever suggest all-seasons, for the sake of not swapping twice a year? I don't feel comfortable doing it myself, and don't own a garage.
 

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Would anyone ever suggest all-seasons, for the sake of not swapping twice a year? I don't feel comfortable doing it myself, and don't own a garage.
In general my experience with all seasons in the winter had been sketchy at best.

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IMO All seasons should only be used in an emergency in the snow or if you're in an area that maybe sees maximum of one week of snow if that.
 

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SO truth on blizzaks straight from a bliz tech is that they run a winter tread for about 2 seasons and wear down to an all season tread. That is why they lose grip, no more snow tire.
 

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Would anyone ever suggest all-seasons, for the sake of not swapping twice a year? I don't feel comfortable doing it myself, and don't own a garage.
All seasons will be adequate for the average driver. I recommend snows but if you don't have the storage all seasons will probably do you fine
 

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My wife has All Seasons on her Legacy. They're OK, but with her previous Legacy she definitely noticed the difference when I replaced her All Seasons with Snow tires in the winter. The snow tires made a huge difference in her opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I live in Chicago. Winters vary yearly - although the past couple were pretty bad. The streets are cleaned up relatively quickly, so would performance snow tires be the way to go, or are studless still preferred by WRX drivers?

Thanks!
 

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I bought some 2015 WRX 17" wheels, for snow tops, before I even had the car. I found them on "that other form" for $350 + shipping, in decent shape. I put General Altimax Arctic snow tires size 215/50R17, which are only about two tenths of an inch in outside diameter, than the OEM 18" Dunlop summers.
I'm pleased with them and drove about 400 miles on various snow and ice covered interstate and back roads, with no issues.


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welcome, good purchase!! I was going to just swap to winter rubber but kept my eye on craigslist and came across a good deal on wheels and blizzaks for the same price as only rubber.
Same experience here. Blizzaks too. So far I'm pleased, waiting for first real snow but they do fine in cold weather. A little noisy, but nothing to get too worked up about.
 

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I preferred my Blizzak LM60s to my Dunlop Wintersport 3Ds

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We finally got freezing temps and some freezing rain and sleet. I will say in general I like the altamax arctic. Compared to my old Firestone's they seem to have a more rigid carcass and steering feel is improved. However they still feel a little floaty, but I would guess that's to be expected of all winter tires as I haven't owned a set that haven't felt that way

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