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Discussion Starter #1
We pulled the trigger on ordering an SEL; it will be coming with the 17" rims.

I generally order a Tire Rack winter package of tires/rims. What the Tire Rack experts suggest for this application?
I've had Blizzaks in the past and like them very much.
Moon
 

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You can contact Miles our Tirerack rep directly at [email protected].

Narrower is better for a snow tire so I'd be looking for a 16 inch rim with a 205/60-16 tire (stock SEL is 215/50-17 if I remember correctly).

There's many excellent snows available. If you've got the bucks Blizzaks are great but there's a number of manufacturers offering tires just as good for a little less.There's also some good budget tires available if your cash challenged. The downside to Blizzaks is that they hate dry pavement and warm weather and cost an arm and a leg. Their really soft (but sticky) tread takes a toll on tread wear. I and lots of budget conscience FF members have had good luck with General Altimax Arctics. They do not quite have the same stickiness of the Blizzak but they still grip pretty good and they last longer as well (harder tread compound). Michelin X-ice is a nice tire as well and gets good reviews.

I'm sure we will be hearing about any new tires in the near future. Tirerack is pretty good at giving us a pre-season run down on new and improved offerings.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, Geezer. Can't say I've had issues with Blizzak mileage, but then I'm absolutely anal about not putting 'em on until it actually starts snowing, and taking them off again as soon as it looks like spring. One of the advantages of winters on rims, an air gun, good floor jack, and room to work and store things.
Agreed the Blizzaks ain't cheap, but if it keeps you out of the ditch, likely worth it.
I'll touch base with Miles to see what he says.
Moon
 

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Just thought I would list the response here in case some other people are considering the same thing...

"The best suggestion I have would be going to a 15'' package with the tire size 195/65R15. This will consolidate the weight of the vehicle on to the smallest contact patch while still safely carrying the weight of the vehicle. This is beneficial in the winter when the goal is to either create as much snow-on-snow adhesion as possible or work the tire through to the road.

Additionally the costs are better with a 15'' package opposed to 17's. That never hurts right!

We do normally see a lot of rebates come in September for people looking for put a winter package together. I would wait until the beginning of the month to place an order.

I still hold (and our tests show) that Bridgestone is making the best winter stuff out there. There are some manufacturers that are close in performance but no one beats the Blizzak outright. The new WS70 utilizies two rubber compounds to aid in the longevity of the tire since older Blizzaks have a reputation for wearing quickly (which is true of any winter tire because the compound is soft.) Other good options are the Continental Extreme Winter Contact and the Michelin X-Ice Xi2.

I've heard that the Focus can accommodate a spare as well and we can sell any of our wheels and tires as a single set if needed. Unfortunately I only carry a very limited selected of Ford wheels and haven't seen anything for the new Focus yet."
 

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^^^^^this is great advise as long as you have one of the foci that can use 15" rims. There are a few models that have larger front rotors and a 15" rim won't clear their caliper. Check your brake clearance/sizing before ordering.
 

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Great point. I am just referring to the 2012 SEL for this specifically.
 
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