Does Car Wheel Size Matter?

car wheel size

Expanding the wheel size is a common car modification. The mod is sought after not just by car enthusiasts but by everyday commuters as well. Why the upgrade? Does bigger wheel size translate to better performance?

What the Study Shows 

The UK auto site Tyre Review put the theory to the test. The tester examined a Volkswagen Golf GTI on a Goodyear test track in France. The vehicle underwent trials using 17-, 18-, and 19-inch wheels.

The results? All three wheel and tire sizes performed nearly the same in both dry and wet road conditions. The tester, however, did note that the bigger, 19-inch, wheels seemed to handle better under dry conditions. Under wet roads, though, he pointed to the 17-inch wheels as offering more reliable handling. Of course, these are subjective opinions, albeit one from a professional tester.

Should You Upgrade Wheel Size?

The decision is entirely yours. Expanding wheel size may actually be beneficial for off-road vehicles. However, to accommodate the larger wheel size, you will also have to incorporate a lift kit to raise the ground clearance. While a more elevated ground clearance and larger wheel size improve off-road handling, the investment is also pricey. Bigger wheels may also slightly decrease gas mileage. 

For non-off-road car owners, expanding tire size is not a good idea because it may affect the speedometer’s accuracy. Instead, we suggest plus sizing, where you increase wheel diameter but keep tire diameter the same by reducing sidewall size. While this may slightly decrease acceleration, it may noticeably improve handling. Consider whether the trade-off is worth it.

We Service Modified Vehicles

Cars that enter our shop may include modified Mercedes, Porsche, and other European models. Modifications or not, bring your car to Northwest Imports. Expanding wheel size is a common upgrade that will remain popular for the foreseeable future.

European Car Repair Services in Austin

Serving Customers in Austin, Pflugerville, Round Rock, Cedar Park, Wells Branch, Liberty Hill, Jollyville and Anderson Mill