mini rant... Winter packages on new cars

So… Picked up my Wifes new Subaru Outback yesterday. 3.6R Limited. Wow what a car. It’s loaded. Closer to a space ship than a car. For where we live, we got the winter package. Oh, heated seats, all weather floor mats, windshield wiper deicer, heated mirrors. We ordered it. Did not get it off the lot.

How about putting decent tires on new vehicles? I would gladly pay for it. Make it an option. But no… that’s not an option. So we are stuck with bullshit ‘All Season’ tires. We will struggle through the rest of winter with these crap tires, and get real tires next October when winter starts again. What a waste.

HELLO. Winter Package? How about some snow tires?

If they put winter tires on it, what would you do in the summer? Winter tires are generally considered unsuitable for year round use due to increased road noise, more rapid wear, and other compromises. Although I’ve run them year round myself when I was young and poor.

Out of curiosity, what rough percentage of people in Colorado use snow tires? I have no clue whether it might be 15% or 90%.

Ya know - I’d just about bet that the dealership would have been delighted to sell you an extra set of wheels and install any kind of tires you wanted on them.

With their mark-up, they should include mounting and balancing at no extra charge.

maybe, if you order the extra wheels with the car purchase, the price is included in the loan amount.

Winter lasts October till April. And it’s not unusual to get snow in June and July. August is the only month I have not seen snow. It’s pointless for us to change over to summer tires. Oh, I know that snow tires wear fast. And are more noisy. Heh, had a CJ7 soft top with studded BFG Mud Terrains for the first few years I lived here.

I just think it would be nice to have the option to buy GOOD tires. Especially on a winter package. ‘All Season’ are bullshit for us. We have tried them on Grand Jeeps, Pathfinders and now my Wife’s new Outback, that got stuck trying to get up the driveway its first day home. March 18th. We managed to back it out, I did not have to fire up the plow and winch it out. We where lucky.

An option for some Blizzaks would be nice. Or Hakkapeliittae. I’ll gladly pay for the upgrade. Instead, we throw away bullshit ‘All Season’ tires with 5,000 miles on them. Don’t suggest Craig’s list, I don’t go there.

And we have no need or desire for an extra set of tires and wheels. We run snow tires year round. We need to.

Doesn’t anyone else think that purchasing a new car should give you an option for an upgrade to decent tires?

You have very out-of-the-ordinary needs. They seem completely routine to you, because they are completely routine … to you. And to the other 100th of 1 percent of the US who both live in serious year-round snow country and who buy new cars.

I have lived all over this country. Including I places where it snows in the winter. I have never had the slightest use for snow tires.

Even options that are rarely sold cost money for them to create and stock. So as a factory option it’s a total non-starter.

If your local dealership sells many cars to high mountain folks I would not be surprised to find out you could have gotten serious tires & suitable wheels from the git-go. But once you started driving on the factory tires you’re sorta stuck. They can’t sell those as new anymore. NOr are they in the business of selling used tires.

Best of luck sorting out a cost-effective solution. In your shoes I’d be thinking hard about getting those real snow tires you say you need right away, rather than getting stuck every few days for the next month-ish. Far worse than getting stuck is sliding off the cliff-side. Respect the risks you run. You need the special gear because of those special risks.

True snow and ice tires are lucky to last 20K miles especially if you drive them when the temps are above 50°F. They are made of a very soft rubber to get good grip in those conditions.

I have a set of Blizzaks snow and ice tires that I got from They cost me about $1000 including 4 nice wheels, 20 lug nuts, and TPS sensors delivered. They were already mounted and just need a little air in them before I install them. If you want the tires already mounted on wheels, you have to pay for the TPS sensors. Evidently the government made it a law.

BTW: I don’t bother to sync up the TPS sensor. I just leave the little yellow light on the dash stay on and check my tires at least once a month. The light goes out after I reinstall the ‘normal’ tires.

Wait, did you ask the dealer and they told you that they refused to sell you winter tires? Or are you unhappy that the factory doesn’t have a winter tire option, so you were either surprised when your car came without such tires, or you didn’t even bother asking the dealer about it?

Because I’m pretty sure the car dealers around here would be happy to up-sell any customer for anything they want. Within reason.

Just a WAG, 85%. It is not a SWAG. I did not count the folks east of Denver, as they get little snow. They really are just in Western Kansas.:slight_smile: If we include them, my WAG becomes 72%

For those that say snow tires are not necessary in the Rockies should spend a winter here. I note that at least one of them is in Florida. Lots of snow there I know.:wink:

I grew up in the PNW, the snow there is different from the snow in the Rockies. Just because you were able to drive & live, without snow tires in some other area, does not mean that they are of no use in the Rockies. Get a grip!

I also run snow tires almost year round. I do put on “summer” tires in early June & I take them off in September. I only do this on our daily drivers. The 1948 Willys CJ-2A has only had snow tires on it its entire life.

The number of people who live in a climate where winter tires are used year-round is EXTREMELY limited. Nearly non-existent, I imagine.

It makes no sense for manufacturers to offer that.

On top of the obvious, leaving winter tires on during the warm summer months is a bad choice as the handling is awful, and braking distances are much longer than all-seasons in warm temperatures. That’s on top of the very fast wear and noise.

I’d suggest you buy another set of wheels with some Blizzaks/Hakkas, and run the all-seasons during the summer months.

My (used) truck came from the US. It was equipped with “all season” tires when I bought it. But whoever decided that the tires were “all seasons” had obviously never seen a Canadian winter. I slipped and slid the first winter I had that truck.

At the first opportunity, I replaced the tires with “Canadian all-seasons,” and have had few problems since. They work through winter’s ice and snow, and don’t impact my mileage in summer.

My advice? Ask your tire dealer if the tires would work in Canada in January. If not, they’re not really “all-season” tires. There are tires that work in both winter and summer, in all conditions and temperatures, but you have to ask. Here in Canada, it’s a no-brainer question; in the US, maybe not so much. So, ask your tire dealer.

I was the Florida commenter and I see I didn’t make my point clearly enough. Let me try again.

Yes, you’re right that snow is 99.999% unheard of here. But here’s what I actually said, typos and all:

Translated into shorter sentences: Yes, I lived where it snows. Yes, for many winters. No, I never needed snow tires there and then. Yes, I don’t need them now. No, that doesn’t matter. No, I never lived in high mountain country.

My point was that it makes no sense for the factory to offer a High Mountain / Alaska Bush tire package. They won’t sell enough nationwide to make it worthwhile. Neither would it make sense for *the factory *to offer a Hurricane Evacuation package with 1000 mile fuel tanks & armored windows; much as I might like to buy that.

Yes, as I said later on, enipla’s needs are real. Needs which he or his local car dealer or local tire dealer can readily handle. Because where he lives his needs are common. Local solutions for local problems.

Thank you.:slight_smile:

Never heard of the winter package on cars. I just bought a Subaru and it sounds like you just got the premium instead of the base model. I got my car as the base model and it still came with all weather floormats by the way, I didn’t ask for them they just handed them to me when I bought the car.

Subaru’s choice of tires for their cars leave much to be desired for quite some time. Not that they are all season, I would expect that, even with the winter package, but their choice is a much less aggressive tread pattern then many other all season tires.

I expect some of this may be that more aggressive tread = more road noise.

I would not expect a set of snow tires however as part of the winter package, It would appear of more of a burden to many due to switch over/storage requirements, but OK to sell as a option. I would perhaps like a more aggressive tread, I was happy when my Subie needed new shoes and could chose what tire I put on and could get what I wanted. It really made a huge difference, never considered snow tires past that.

Factory tires have always been pretty much afterthought cheapies on all makes on pretty much every model except the real performance cars. And even on those cars you can usually find aftermarket tires two or three steps higher than what the factory installs as long as you want to spend disproportionately extra for them.

Tires don’t sell new cars. Or at least the factory thinks that.

When I bought my 2004 Outback I was told all Subarus sold in New England where I live had the winter package (heated seats, heated windshield, heated side windows) and my current 2010 has the same thing, although I didn’t buy it from the dealer. I was told (didn’t verify since I wanted the package) that all trim levels came with this package which was not required for cars sold elsewhere in the US.

The dealership actually said that the tires that came with the car where crap. As far as upgrading, It would cost me the full value of new tires as the tires with 5 miles on them are now used.

I know that snow tires don’t last as long. I buy a new set every two seasons. It’s worth it to me to not have to hassle with summer tires for our fleeting season. Also, the snow tires are at least some what better than summer tires for off road. They handle and stop fine. Never been an issue.

This has happened every time we buy a new car. I just would like the option for good tires to start with.


I can’t agree with the OP. The OP is complaining because his new car came with general-purpose all-season tires – i.e.- he is complaining that his car came with essentially the same tires that I drive on all the time, year round, as do most of us. How is this a problem? Granted, most of us don’t live in the Colorado Rockies. So the complaint is basically that Subaru doesn’t adapt its option packages to individual microclimates, but I don’t know of any car maker that does. They do adapt cars to the general climate of the broad geographies where they’re sold, but unlike something like heating or cooling equipment that can be included without any downside, snow tires are a specialty seasonal item that are unsuitable for summer almost everywhere in North America. If so used, they are being driven outside manufacturer’s specifications.

Good advice. Also, if I were the OP, I would use those so-called “crap tires” as summer tires. They’re probably fine quality all-seasons and would be much more durable and safer than using winter tires in the summer.

You have that option. Tell the dealership you want the vehicle delivered with XYZ tires on it. Make it part of the purchase contract.

This sounds like an invitation to negotiate. And you’ve also reminded me why I hate buying cars: because every damn thing is a negotiation.