My experience with winter tires on my Mazdaspeed 3 is that they don't grip as well as summer tires. The ISF I'll be getting may come from a warm climate and not even have all-seasons. I don't want to risk damaging the wheels with twice yearly tire changes, so I'm looking at a Tirerack.com package with wheels, totaling about $1300. I can swap them myself in the garage. What do you think?
No new stock ISFs are delivered with All Season tires, all come with Max Performance Summer tires. Either Bridgestone RE050a or Michelin PS2. If you're buying used, then yes the former owner may have changed them to All Season.
As for dedicated Winter tires, yes, another set of wheels is the way to go. Many owners with dedicated winter wheels have used an 18" wheel with good success.
2008 ISF - Mercury Metallic - Mine
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