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I had a wonderful 2004 Impreza which was equipped with 195/60 R15 tires. Recently I purchased another Impreza, 2010 which has Bridgestone P 205/55 R16 tires. When I first began driving the car it had a very rough ride and the back end tended to “walk” a bit on slightly bumpy turns. We discovered the tires had 42 lbs of pressure in them! We lowered it to about 32 and the ride is much better however, I find that in slush and snow these tires do not track as well as the ones on the 2004 Impreza. Am I imagining things? My friend says these tires are considered to be low-profile". Correct? Will tracking be improved with “regular” tires and can I change to these with the present rims?

You are not imagining things… Going back to the original size tyres should bring you back to the same better ride and also take care of the winter snow and slush stuff.

Joseph–Read the post again.
The OP did not change tires on the same car, but instead he changed cars.

OP–Bridgestone makes many models of tires, ranging in winter traction from downright treacherous to very good. You failed to include the specific name of the tire model that your new Impreza is equipped with.

I can tell you that, in the past, Subaru has fitted many of their cars with Bridgestone Potenza RE-92 or 92-A tires, and that model is essentially USELESS in winter conditions. How about filling in the blanks by copying the model name of that mystery Bridgestone tire and telling us specifically what it is?

The tires on your new Impreza are slightly lower in profile than the tires on your old Impreza, but the problem is related to the tread design of the tire, not to its profile.

Thank you for the reply. One further question. Will I be able to get “regular” tyres for those R 15 rims?

Do a search on tire size calculators, and you can find several calculators which can help you identify what other tire sizes might fit your 2010 car. may also show you alternate tire size options for your car, using the same rims.

Thank you for the reply. The old car is gone and I don’t know what model tyres it had, just the size. The new car has Bridgestone RE 92A tyres. One further question: Will I be able to buy “regular” tyres for those R 15 rims?

I’ll give it a try. Again, thanks!

RE 92’s are notoriously poor, regardless of aspect ratio.

You need to define “regular tires” to answer your question. If you mean 65 or 70 aspect ratio vs 55, then the tire size calculator will let you know whether the change is within reasonable tolerances. Then you will need to inspect wheel well clearances on the car to make sure all is OK.

If you have an Impreza 2.5i, the 205/55-R16s are OEM tires. Any change you make regarding width or aspect ratio will result in handling that is different from what Subaru intended. Your friend is not correct when he says these are low profile tires. They are “regular” tires, because that’s what Subaru provides from the factory for this car. Don’t go to the 15-inch rims. They were not intended for this car. Why spend a lot of money on 4 new rims? Look around for new tires that meet your needs. You can research tires at

You may be stuck with 16 rims because of the brakes, suspension clearance and limited clearance around the wells may limit your profile %. Check with the dealer for available options. If you go to a narrower tire with higher profile and maintain your outside diameter, you gain nothing but a little better winter traction. As jtsanders suggests, you may just have to research brands in the same size. Good luck.

My suspicions have been confirmed.
The Potenza RE-92 and 92-A are garbage–at least when it comes to winter traction. Additionally, on my Outback, I found them to be noisy, fast-wearing, and prone to hydroplaning, even when fairly new.

I used the first puncture as my excuse to trash those tires and replace them with B.F. Goodrich Traction T/A tires in the same size. The B.F. Goody tires, although technically not as highly rated for overall performance, were far superior to those crappy Bridgestones in every way.

If you take some time to research tires for your car on the Tire Rack website, you will be able to easily find tires from several manufacturers that are superior to the ones that you have currently. Personally, I think that Subaru should be ashamed to have specified these tires.

Change the tires first, over to a different brand and model of tire that has better comfort and snow ratings, in the same size, and I bet you will enjoy the car more.

Go to a site like tirerack and research your current tires, and compare their survey ratings with other tires, to find the ones you want to try next.


20 years ago, a 55 aspect ratio (the “55” in your tire size) was considered low profile. Since then, the trend has gone towards lower profile tires, so a 55 series tire is pretty much the norm these days. I would recommend NOT changing tire or rim size, but looking for a better winter tread design.

The Impreza is a fairly heavy car, and 205 width tires are not overly wide, so it should be good in the snow if you have tires with a good winter tread.