Subaru Impreza has a reputation for the best performance and handling, and its outstanding driving dynamics and handling can mostly be credited to its symmetrical all-wheel-drive system. But the mid-sized compact sedan that boasts an incredible 152 hp and 145 lb-ft has its great handling and driving dynamics coming from the tires.
No doubt Subaru is a superb vehicle, and you don't want to spoil it for its great dynamics with a poor choice of tires.
That means your Subaru will struggle to give you the best performance if you choose the cheapest tires you come across. This is not what you want.
But which are the best tires for a Subaru Impreza?
Best All-Season Tire for Subaru Impreza: Firestone Firehawk Indy 500
Firestone is an excellent manufacturer of top-performing tires, and nothing best highlights that fact than Firestone Firehawk Indy 500. Inspired by the brand's racing heritage, Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 has desirable qualities for Subaru drivers. Of course, Subaru drivers look as if they are always in a hurry to get somewhere, and they need a tire that accommodates this desire.
The tires boast a unique silica compound for good traction and control. Its asymmetric rib pattern combines long link carbon technology for good hydroplaning resistance and grip even in high rainfall.
In addition, Firehawk has a pulse groove channel to eject significant water amounts from under the tire effectively and quickly. According to Firestone, this tire achieves up to 20% better braking distance in wet weather. This is a considerable improvement and a great quality that a Subaru Impreza driver could use.
The tire performs well for those that crave high-speed cornering. The outer tread design accommodates aggressive cornering to keep your Subaru sufficiently grounded. Usually, the tire has wide shoulders that react and increase the stiffness of the tire to support dynamic cornering.
The tire utilizes a high turn-up polyester casing under a nylon reinforcement and high-tensile steel belts for durability.
However, Firehawk Indy 500 does not perform so well in near-freezing temperatures. Get something specialized for the weather.
Best Touring Tire for Subaru Impreza: Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season
With a good vehicle like the Subaru Impreza, you need an excellent tire that will match the car's performance on the road. Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season boasts a unique tread to promote longevity and durability. It may feel a bit premium-priced, but the tire pays back in kind, especially if you have a high-performance car.
The tire's stopping distance and stability in wet weather are better than most, and this improves your Subaru's driving experience. The tire also excels in rolling resistance to ensure a quieter ride and durable tire.
The year-round traction and silica-based tread compound push the treadwear to the maximum so that you can use the tire for longer. Other features that improve traction are broader shoulder blocks and a 5-rib tread pattern. These also ensure excellent cornering performance and stability.
For hydroplaning resistance, the tire has wide and effective circumferential grooves that channel the water away from the surface you are driving your Subaru on.
Pirelli supports eco-friendly products and sustainability. Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season is, therefore, fuel-efficient and helps save on gas. In addition, the tire uses 6% reduced raw materials to support the environment.
Best Grand Touring Tire for Subaru Impreza: Continental PureContact LS
Most of the Subaru drivers would do anything for a sporty steering feel. Unfortunately, it is not just any tire that provides this feel. Continental PureContact LS delivers not only this sporty feel but also year-round traction and responsive handling that your Subaru deserves.
The tire delivers all this quietly and uniquely to make your Subaru feel more premium on the road. Continental PureContact LS is designed to deliver an engaging drive and refined ride to make every moment in the vehicle enjoyable. When it comes to grip, the tire delivers the good on wet and dry surfaces.
An all-season tread compound and temperature-sensitive functional polymers enhance compound bonding and improve fuel efficiency. These materials also reduce treadwear so that you can use the tire for longer.
The tread blocks and asymmetric tread pattern provide high-speed handling and lateral grip. This gives you optimal freedom on the steering wheel to enjoy your driving.
The innovative Comfort Ride Technology uniquely reduces vibration in the cabin by using an underlay below the tread to isolate it from the tread. This acts like insulation that prevents vibrations and sound from travelling from the wheels to you.
The tire has functional additives to improve wet traction and reduce hydroplaning. The circumferential channels and sweeping grooves are quite effective in evacuating water from the tire's path.
Best Winter Tire for Subaru Impreza: Pirelli Winter Sottozero 3
Pirelli Winter Sottozero has sporting characteristics that every Subaru driver will appreciate. The tire's uniform footprint pushes its durability far and has a short braking distance and good grip on dry roads that a powerful vehicle like Subaru could use. The improved traction also does a lot of justice to your vehicle's handling and performance, and that is what makes the driving enjoyable.
The tire has low rolling resistance to improve fuel efficiency and enhance its durability. That means the tire is eco-friendly, saves money on gas, and you can use it a little bit longer with your Subaru.
The premium winter tire has rounded shoulders and deep grooves, among other features, to help with expelling water from underneath the water and improve wet traction. As a result, the tire has excellent handling on wet surfaces.
Handling snow is also better than most, and the tire has a short braking distance on wet roads.
On the downside, the tire has some drive-by noise that some will be uncomfortable with. It's handling on dry roads is also not so good.
Best Summer Tire for Subaru Impreza: Continental ExtremeContact Force
Designed for endurance racing, as the manufacturer says, this tire is one of the most responsive you can get for your Subaru powerhouse. The use of SportPlus Technology is what enhances the tire's responsiveness and grip on the road.
Continental ExtremeContact Force delivers consistent performance on track and optimal durability to take the abuse from your powerful Subaru.
The tire is also pleasing to the eyes and adds a sporty appearance to your Subaru.
Its wet and dry grip is excellent with various features, such as the endurance-focused tread compound and solid center rib. The tire has consistent longitudinal traction and quick steering response that comes in hand for fast Subaru drivers.
For hydroplaning resistance, the tire incorporates high angle lateral notches and inboard circumferential grooves to evacuate water and improve ground contact.
ExtremeContact Force's outboard shoulders are wide and low to improve contact with the ground for better steering and handling. An internal two-ply polyester casing and twin-steel belts improve the tires durability and handling on the road. A high-performance tire needs such a solid internal casing for safety and optimum performance.
You are free to try the high-performance manoeuvres and driving that you saw, and it's all thanks to a single polyamide cap ply.
The tires have tread depth pins that you can use to monitor wear quality and performance. These features are vital in high-performance driving environments.
The high-performance tire is not meant for freezing temperatures.
Best All-Terrain Tire for Subaru Impreza: Falken Azenis FK001 A/S
The beauty of having an ultra-high-performance tire such as Falken Azenis FK001 A/S is its high-performance appearance and all-season traction. The difference between the performance tire and all-season tire is so small that sometimes you cannot tell the difference. Of course, apart from the appearance.
This means that the high-performance tire can deliver through all the seasons, which is a good thing for the Subaru driver.
It is easy for most people to dismiss this tire as an ordinary touring tire, mostly because of its asymmetric tread design, but appearances can be deceiving. Most other performance tires carry an aggressive tread design, and Falken Azenis FK001 A/S does not. However, there is a good reason for this low profile tread design: comfort and low noise.
The responsive handling of the tires, combined with its durability, ensure the tire delivers for aggressive Subaru drivers.
The high-performance Falken Azenis FK001 A/S quality explains why it is the original equipment of many sports cars.
Best Tires for Subaru Impreza Buying Guide
As a Subaru Impreza driver, you must choose the right tires for the best performance. But that does not mean grabbing the most budget tires you come across. But why not budget tires?
You see, budget tires skimp on good research and use lower quality materials to still have a good margin after selling the tires at a low price. The result is a tire that isn't so good for your Subaru in handling and traction. In addition, the cheap tires will not last long, and you end up spending more than you anticipated.
Going with established brands may indeed cost you a little more, but it is worth every cent of the investment. It is better to get tires worth your powerful Subaru Impreza than compromise and get the worst driving experience.
Touring Versus Grand Touring for Your Subaru
A standard Impreza model has a reputation for reliability, comfort and efficiency. But they need tires that enhance these qualities, and touring tires tick the right boxes. They have everything that an Impreza driver needs, and to top it off; these tires are quite affordable.
Well, premium brands may cost a little bit more, but touring tires still beat most other types in giving you the best value for your money. But the lower price point does not translate to lower quality models. If anything, these are quite durable and can give you up to six years of Subaru driving.
Their wet and dry traction is also amazing for your Subaru, with brisk acceleration and braking sufficient for the symmetrical all-wheel drive. And if you are into street racing, touring tires will give you short braking distances and excellent traction.
However, the tires are not so good for hard corners at spirited speeds. Touring tires will struggle with traction if you own a more powerful WRX, especially when pushed to the maximum. Of course, powerful WRX owners are not so good at exercising road humility, which is okay with a good set of tires. So if you are a fast and aggressive Subaru Impreza driver, you may have to look beyond touring tires.
On the other hand, grand touring tires have a much better offer for your newer and faster Subaru model. It is as if the tires were designed for the aggressive Subaru driver. The tire's braking and handling are good, and they give you the freedom to exercise your personality on the road.
Their better grip, responsiveness and improved traction are better than touring tires, and their highway performance is what most Subaru drivers refer to as mouthwatering. Grand touring tires will give a plush riding quality for your powerful vehicle, and you don't have to worry about road noise.
What about High-Performance Tires for the Subaru?
High-performance tires are a level above grand touring regarding responsiveness and handling, especially for aggressive drivers. The tires have a high level of grip and traction, and they are simply fond of the corners.
But please note that high-performance tires are classified further, with ultra-high and max performance being better versions. High-performance tires may be excellent for dry traction, but they struggle with wet traction. The tires also have more noise on the highway, and they may not be as durable as their grand touring counterparts.
When buying your tires, you also need to consider your region's weather patterns for the best performance of your Subaru. This is because different tires designed for specific temperatures have a rubber compound best suited for the temperature.
For example, winter tires have a rubber compound that reacts well to freezing temperatures for a good response on icy or snowy roads. It is different if you use the same tires in a hot climate. The tires perform terribly in hot weather as they become too soft and responsive.
Most drivers choose all-season tires as a compromise because they have a rubber compound that responds well to different seasons. The tires do not become too soft when the weather becomes a bit hot, and they do not harden too much when it's chilly.
Even though the all-season tires perform well in wet, dry and cold temperatures, they struggle in freezing areas. But their all-weather variant performs a bit better on snow, but they are not so good in warm temperatures.
Summer tires, on the other hand, work their magic when the weather becomes hot. Their performance on dry and wet tarmac is excellent, and the tires' traction in heavy rain is above average. If you are into performance driving, where there is a good likelihood you are as a Subaru Impreza driver, then summer tires are great.
This explains why performance tires have a summer tread compound within.
The soft and pliable tread compound in winter tires is the secret behind their good performance in freezing temperatures. The tires feature a lot of siping, and their grooves are quite deep for the task at hand. As a result, winter tires have excellent ice, snow and slush traction.