Ok, I am starting early. But I am doing my research and often it is easier to find bargains in this arena in July than in October when everyone up here is thinking snow tires (northern Vermont).
For my last 2 cars I had to purchase an extra set of steel wheels to put studded winter snows on. Both cars came with alloy wheels and “performance” tires -as in flat with relatively little tread new. And the cars were both front wheel drive (1999 Pontiac Grand Am GT, and 2007 Honda Fit Sport).
I just acquired a “new” -ish 2015 subaru impreza sedan this spring with regular steel wheels and good ol’ fat all season tires. The car had 2000k and a rebuilt title on it, so I am assuming the tires are the new default equipment it came with originally. They do not leak, look fine treadwise, etc… I love the car so far.
My father and my uncle are both saying I should try and run it as is when the snow flies rather than lay out for another set of wheels with studded snows.
I am noticing that new/used subaru wheels and new tires seem to be easier and cheaper to come by here than they were for my Honda. Except for the added expense of tire-pressure sensors and of having them reset whenever I change wheels. (I can otherwise do a tire change by myself thanks!) Of course, I am doing my research now in the summer and don’t know if prices will hold true in October/November.
This is my first 4 wheel drive car in this climate. I had a Japan market-only AWD subaru in Okinawa where it was superfluous (sub-tropical island).