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Subaru Crosstrek Bigger Snow Tire Upgrade

In the last chapter of our DIY Crosstrek Camper build we installed a 2″ Rough Country Lift. This blog post will give you the run-down of what tire we chose as well as how it actually fit inside the wheel well and where we had to trim to get the bigger tire to fit. I’ve made a video about this crosstrek tire upgrade you may find helpful:

We chose to install Bridgestone Blizzak WS80 winter tires. We installed these on the stock rims as these will only be on during the winter and the stock 17″ rim size is a great size for this application. We will be upgrading our rims to a smaller size and a tire with a larger sidewall in the spring.

What do Tire Sizes Mean?

The bigger tires we installed are 225/65/17. Here’s a quick recap of what those numbers mean:

The first number, 225, is the width of the sidewall in mm.

The third number, 17, is the diameter of the rim in inches.

The middle number, 65, is the height of the sidewall expressed as a percentage of the width of the tire. This means… the height of the sidewall is 65% of the width of the tire (225mm).

I’ve also made a calculator that will do this calculation for you AND will let you compare the total heights of two separate tires for the sake of comparison. Here is that:

Tire Size Comparison Calculator

If you want any other functionality added to this calculator; leave a comment at the bottom of this page and I’ll see what I can do.

Trimming to Fit Bigger Crosstrek Tires

The first and biggest problem area where the tire was rubbing on the front fender liner was not TECHNICALLY on the fender; but was on the little mudflap thing in front of each of the front tires. Worse yet; when in reverse, the treads of the tire were grabbing the mudflap and pulling it up; making some terrible noise.

Fortunately, this mudflap can simply be removed without cutting anything. There are four trim clips that need to be removed that hold the mudflap to the fender. Remove these trim clips, remove the mudflap, and reinstall the trim-clips without the mudflap in place.

There was one spot on the passenger side fender liner where the tire was rubbing. It was only rubbing at FULL turn; and it was BARELY rubbing. Knowing this and knowing that the only time I’ll ever be at full steering lock will be at low speeds; turning into or out of a parking space, I’m going to leave this alone for now. If it bothers me further; a simple zip tie pulling the liner forward may be a better solution than cutting the fender.


Tuesday 13th of April 2021

So my 2019 Crosstrek has 225/60/17s on it and it seems to have a ton of room without a lift. If I lift it I'd have to imagine I could fit a bigger tire than one that's less than an inch bigger... What year is yours and what size tire came on your factory? I'm feeling like something is different... Thanks in advance!


Monday 25th of January 2021

I have hear when you get a bigger tire, you need to have 15mm offset. Stock offset for those wheels is 48mm. Have you considered a 25mm (1in) spacer?


Wednesday 27th of January 2021

@Nate Yarbrough, thanks for your reply! I really appreciate it. Where did you have to trim for the 225/75r15s?

Nate Yarbrough

Tuesday 26th of January 2021

Our winter tires (the one in this blog post) fit fine on stock wheels (48mm). If you used a spacer, a slightly larger size would be able to be used with some wheel well trimming. Our summer tires (225/75/15 Toyo Open Country) are mounted on some 15" wheels with a 15mm offset ( and I had to do some trimming to get those to fit.


Tuesday 15th of December 2020

Do you think these rubbing issues would have existed with this exact same setup without the 2'' lift? I'm looking at these exact tire for my crosstrek at stock height

Nate Yarbrough

Wednesday 16th of December 2020

Yes. Likely.

Lynn Sesco

Wednesday 25th of March 2020

Good read thanks for all the info. Having the Rough Country 2” lift installed on my 18 Crosstrek tomorrow. What year is your Crosstrek and now that you’ve had time to run the larger tire have you encountered any other issues?

How to Install a Lift Kit on a Subaru Crosstrek |

Saturday 8th of February 2020

[…] That pretty much wraps up the installation of installing a 2″ Rough Country lift kit onto a 2016 Subaru Crosstrek. I’ve put a few pictures below of the final project after we installed our bigger tires. If you want some more information about the tires we installed and how they fit/where we had to trim, you can check out that blog post here: […]