Planning to purchase a set of brand-new tires for your hatchback? Or perhaps your pickup truck?
Most people in your position will happily settle for 18 inch rims and tires of the same size.
However, there is a growing number of customers who are choosing to tread the ‘oversizing’ avenue. They are people who believe that bigger wheels and tires (20-inch models) will provide them with more comfort and more navigability on any surface.
That latter claim is unsubstantiated.
Yes, oversized rims from the likes of Asanti Wheels and several more major manufacturers are in vogue; they have been in style for over 3 decades now.
But does using bigger 20-inch wheels and tires actually provide you with some extra benefits?
Let’s dive a bit deeper.
A word on oversizing wheels
The fact that almost all passenger cars that ply in the United States can use 18 inch rims and the bigger ones interchangeably is one major reason why many automobile enthusiasts use bigger models.
This is something that all leading aftermarket rim manufacturers worldwide realize; that is why Method Wheels, Fuel Wheels, Enkai and other premier custom rim companies have several different models that consist exclusively of 20-inch tires and wheels.
Do remember that plus-sizing your rims (and replacing the OEM ones) have no impact on the tire in any manner.
Some common jargon used vis-a-vis oversizing tires and rims include ‘plus one’, ‘plus two’ and so on. When you move from 18-inch rims to 20-inch ones, and also equip them with larger tires, that’s ‘plus two’ oversizing.
20-inch wheels and tires: advantages and disadvantages
Before you make up your mind on using bigger rims, please have a look at your vehicle-owner’s instruction manual. You will find several tips there.
There are a few practical advantages which using bigger, 20-inch tires provide. They include:
- Enhanced visual appeal
Perhaps the main reason car lovers turn to aftermarket wheels is for the sheer style and the oomph quotient they provide. Method Wheels and its competitors realize this pretty well; each year, they launch new models with cutting-edge designs and enhanced durability while striving to bring down the gross weight using advanced R&D and innovative engineering.
Given that 20-inch tires have relatively slimmer sidewalls, they’ll provide a much better view of your bigger and better Asanti Wheels or whichever brand that suits your fancy.
- You have better control of the vehicle
Unlike the 18-inch ones, these bigger tires have smaller sidewalls with a slim profile. These two aspects allow you to have a far better driving experience punctuated by better control even on hairpin bends and tricky roads.
If you thought 20-inch tires were faultless and almost perfect, think again!
- Affects acceleration negatively
These are bigger and heavier tires. Couple them with the right set of Fuel or Method Wheels, and you will have a hard time pushing your car to its limits.
- Decreased fuel efficiency
This should not come as a surprise as bigger wheels require more power provided by the engine to move ahead and to pick up pace. In doing so, the engine sips fuel far more frequently.
18-inch rims and tires: advantages and disadvantages
Let’s quickly guide you through the basic points.
- Makes every ride more comfortable
As you have probably realized by now, 18-inch tires have a much more pronounced sidewall. These models are used by some of the most premium cars across the world. This means more rubber, which leads to far more comfortable rides as you will hardly feel any jolts while cruising over bad roads.
This is a significant functional advantage that is often overlooked.
- Helps keep your car in good shape
Regardless of whether you are using Asanti Wheels or Vision or American Racing Wheels, these smaller tires will have a positive impact on your car’s suspension system, increasing its active life. Plus, the brakes do not wear out as fast as they do when you drive on 20-inch tubes.
- More function, less style
18-inch rims are widely regarded for their superlative functional prowess. But when it comes down to aesthetics (one major differentiating factor which plays on the customer’s minds), they are nowhere close to their bigger cousins. For the sheer love of style, you have to choose from among the multitude of 20-inch models available at a retailer near you.
So, you now know that bigger wheels and tires provide better handling. On the other hand, their smaller counterparts deliver on performance.
It appears that there’s a stalemate!
Here are 3 tips experts dole out.
- First, go through the manufacturer’s manual and determine if your passenger car will work with 20-inch models instead of their factory-fitted 18-inch rims. If it does, you can hop over if better on-road handling and navigability are more essential for you.
- Have a chat with professionals at your local retailer. They will be able to help you make up your mind.
- Finally, if you are driving a heavy vehicle (like the pickup truck we started off with), it is always better to go for 20-inch wheels and tires.
Still confused? Please get in touch with the local showroom of your car company- be it a Honda, Toyota, Chevrolet, Ford, Volkswagen, or BMW.
Company representatives might just enlighten you further.