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17" Or 18" Wheels - Any Real World Differences


wish4_rx350
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Subjectively its looks better.....but then thats your choice....

You might find there is a better range of tyres (tires!) in 18".....certainly it will feel a little better on the road in response and handling....but the offset might be slightly more road noise and harshness, again dependant upon tyre choice.

For a couple of hundred quid I'd go for it!

Best regards David

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Subjectively its looks better.....but then thats your choice....

You might find there is a better range of tyres (tires!) in 18".....certainly it will feel a little better on the road in response and handling....but the offset might be slightly more road noise and harshness, again dependant upon tyre choice.

For a couple of hundred quid I'd go for it!

Best regards David

Thanks for the feedback. All things being equal, will an 18" have more road noise vs 17"? Anyway, I'm not concerned about mileage as I only drive 9K miles a year. I don't need super sticky tires, but at least one that is quiet, smooth and avg/better than average traction. It's NOT going off road and I'm not going to take it on the track. Just freeway driving up and down the southern california coast. I have been known to take corners on my regular car faster than normal though :D

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17-inch wheels will ride better and quieter, and your tires will cost far less at replacement time. My wife's former 2000 RX300 AWD had 16-inch wheels while her current 2004 RX330 AWD has 18-inch wheels. There's no question that I'd rather have 16-inch wheels on her current vehicle. Go with the 17-inch wheel choice - the vehicle will ride better and the tires will cost you much less in the long run....

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The 17" will have a higher sidewall tire which should give a softer ride and a narrower contact patch for reduced noise. Both of those are going to depend on the brand of tire.

Your option are: 225/65x17S or 235/55X17V in Goodyear or Michelins I believe.

From what Ive read on different post, people are not happy with the low mileage of the Goodyear tires.

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The 18" will have more contact patch all things being equal. Is the traction/handling negligible at this point between the two choices? This is an SUV though they say it drives like a car.

Look at the different wheels and pick the one you like the looks of best.

"This is an SUV though they say it drives like a car."

They can say anything. Don't forget, it's taller and heavier than a car.

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Keep in mind that the RX series is essentially a "pretend" SUV. There is nothing performance-oriented about it - period. Don't kid yourself otherwise. All things being equal, the slightly greater contact patch in the 18-inch tires will be negligible and will not even be a factor 99.9% of the time. What IS important will be your tire selection. There are a handful of great all-around tires out there, and there are also a lot of mediocre and just downright lousy tires as well. The Bridgestone Alenza is one of the best, but it is pricey. The Firestone Destination LE is almost as good, it's Firestone's version of the Alenza, and it is about half the price of the Alenza in most applications (check out TireRack.com). But the Destination LE is NOT available for 18-inch rims because Bridgestone/Firestone wants to sell the pricey Alenza to the larger-rim market since they know that most people will pay the price without complaining about it. The Destination LE is, however, available for 17-inch rims. I have the Alenzas on my wife's current 2004 RX330 AWD because it has 18-inch rims. I had the Destination LEs on her previous 2000 RX300 AWD with 16-inch rims. I would have purchased the Destination LEs for her current vehicle if they had been available - again, they rival the Alenzas in design and technology used at about half the price. Her Destination LEs had more than 53,000 miles on them when we sold that vehicle a year ago. The new owner put another set of Destination LEs on the vehicle and remains extremely pleased with them....

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Well....that clears your question up then! :lol::lol::lol:

As others have said......its a fine line between the two......take a look at two vehicles in a dealers with both options, pick the one you like the look of.

Either choice will be the wrong choice for several reasons.....and the right choice for the other reasons!

Best regards David

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I went from a 2000 with 16s to a 2008 with 18s and I didn't notice any difference at all. Not sure how you could tell with out having both sizes and changing back and forth in size on a track for a real world test.

Jeff

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Well, just picked up a CPO RX330, low mileage, single owner car, full docs with regular maintenance history. It came with factory 18" wheels, and Cooper Zeon Sport A/S all season tires. The the reviews are limited on the Internet, I do think they are a bit loud (though nothing to compare them to except Nissan Sentra passenger tires) LOL

Anyone have any experience with these tires?

From what I have read on the net, the tires are quiet. In any case, when they tire wear out, I'll go for a more hwy oriented tire to see if there is less noise. Thanks for all the input.

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