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  Should I get 15" or 16" wheels?

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Author Topic:   Should I get 15" or 16" wheels?
posted January 14, 2001 10:05 AM           Edit/Delete Message Reply w/Quote
I have a 98 Mazda 626 with 14" tires. The factory tires are not so great (surprise!) and I plan on replacing them. I figure since I need new tires, why not spring for larger wheels as well while I'm at it. I'm trying to figure out the benefits/disadvantages of going to 16" vs 15" are. Obviously, handling improves with a larger tire, but doesn't MPG go down? Also, the price difference between 15" tires/wheels and 16" is sizeable...so I could stand to save a couple of bucks by just going to a 15".

Finally, can you guys/gals recommend any good 4 tire/4 wheel packages? Seems like you can save some $$$ this way.


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posted January 15, 2001 09:31 AM           Edit/Delete Message Reply w/Quote
MPGs won't necessarily go down because you can end up with the same diameter (overall height) as your existing 14 whether you go 15 or 16 inch by varying the size tire you end up getting.

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posted January 15, 2001 11:09 AM           Edit/Delete Message Reply w/Quote
yes handling is better with larger wheels and wider tires. 16" will fill the wheel well better, looking nicer, may or may not improve handling over the 15" rims depending on tires, wheel construction(solid versus 3 piece design), suspension geometry(angles at which the weight and flex reach various parts of your suspension-springs, struts/shocks, U-joints). Also, total body weight will affect handling too. Anyway, I would say that if you plan on keeping your car for a while then go with the 16" rims. tires.com, tirerack.com and victoriatire.com all have nice combinations where you will save a lot of money. Oh, 16" rims will tend to slow your car down a little bit due to unsprung weight. You probably will not notice it though. Use powerdog.com to see which 15" and 16" tire sizes will keep your overall diameter the same so you will not change your mpg. My e-mail is diacovone@aol.com if you have any other questions. Hope this helped you out.

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