4 Rugged Wheels For your Subaru That won't break the bank
Get that aggressive off-road look without spending thousands
If you want to fit a bigger, more aggressive tire on your Subaru, chances are that you will need to upgrade wheels and tires. (For a guide on which tires might be best for you, check outthis helpful article.)
This short guide should give you some great options for wheels that will work great for trail driving in your Subaru. This article focuses on 15 inch wheels for maximum off-road performance.
Here's a few reasons why you should consider changing wheels:
Durability – Running a smaller than stock wheel will allow you to fit more rubber under your fenders. A taller tire sidewall will be able to handle the extra abuse off-road and give more cushion against road noise. This will also protect your wheel from taking as much abuse on impacts.
Availability – There are a wide range of all-terrain tire options in 15 inch
Clear Brakes – With larger tires, you often need a wheel that pull the tire further from the struts, brakes, & fender liners. Stock wheels usually don’t do this.
Aesthetics – Let’s face it. We just want our car to look good and there’s nothing wrong with that!
You’ve no doubt seen people running the Method MR502 on their Subaru’s. That’s an amazing wheel, and we love it! But maybe you want to save a few bucks and try something that’s more unique. Spending $200-$250 a piece can be hard to stomach when you’re just planning to beat them up. Here’s a few wheels that will perform great, leave your wallet intact, and look aggressive. Hopefully this list gives you a great starting place.
Made to withstand the abuse of intense wheeling, the Pro Comp 51’s will gladly take what you throw at it. They are available in a few sizes, but 15×8 is perfect for Subaru drivers who want a great, functional fit. The best part of all, this wheel is usually very affordable at most places.
One thing to remember is that any steel wheel is going to be somewhat heavy. Be prepared for slightly slower acceleration when running a steel wheel.
NOTE: Please keep in mind that this wheel comes in a 5 on 4.5 bolt pattern (5×114.3) so you will need to purchase adapters to fit these to most Subaru’s. This wheel may also require that you have them balanced at a shop that offers lug-centric balancing.
A rally inspired wheel with a functional full face design. The MR139 not only looks great, but it performs fantastically. Weighing only 19 pounds, it won’t bog down your Subaru and take away from the functionality. A great option for anyone who’s considering the Method MR502 but wants to save a little extra money.
The Bassett racing wheels look great, handle a load of abuse, and don’t weigh a ton. On top of all that, they are relatively inexpensive and come in 5×100.
Many people love the classic red stripe and D-hole pattern on the Bassett steelies. They can be purchased with a 4 inch backspace that creates a mean, aggressive look without sacrificing function. They are DOT approved and ready to take whatever trail-abuse you throw at them.
When purchasing Bassett Steelies, you need to remember a couple of things:
They must be balanced on a special machine as they are lug-centric wheels.
You will need to purchase 45 degree lug nuts and tighten them carefully upon installation.
The 45 degree tapered lug nuts are ESSENTIAL. Do NOT try to use regular nuts. The tapered ones are usually expensive, and I was getting pissed when I realized I would have to spend around $60 on lug nuts alone. However, I was really happy when I found the Allstar Performance lug nuts on Amazon. They are way cheaper and come in a pack of 20 to save you a bunch of money.
We have used the Bassett Racing Steelies and they held up really well. It was surprising how good they felt despite being a steel wheel. At about 21 pounds, they don’t add much weight at all. They also looked pretty good:
The Motegi MR148 only weighs 16.8lbs in 15×7. If you want a wheel that looks good, is affordable, and won’t weigh down your car, this is it. With an MSRP of $135, this should be on your shopping list. We highly recommend this one for anyone who’s concerned with aesthetics, and anyone who does a lot of city/freeway driving in their Subaru.
You might want to consider that this wheel has a very open face design. So if you plan to be in deep mud, debris may enter into the brake components a little easier.
NOTE: Please remember that many of these wheels come in a 5 on 4.5 bolt pattern (5×114.3) which is great for many new Outbacks, WRX and other models. But most older Subarus require a 5×100 bolt pattern. Double check your pattern and don’t forget to check and see if you’ll need a wheel adapter.
Always Check With A Professional
If you’re considering moving up in size to a non-stock wheel, it’s best to check with a tire shop to ensure proper safety. Your wheels are a vital portion of your vehicle’s operation. Don’t cut corners with them.
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