Do Larger Wheels Improve Ride/Handling? - Mondeo Man
A lot of manufacturers offer the cost option to to upgrade the standard fit wheels to a larger size - an example is the new Scenic which has 16 inch wheels, but can be fitted with 17 inch versions instead. Does anyone know if the larger size will significantly improve ride or handling? Or does it make things worse, for instance by improving one at the expense of the other? Is the fact that the suspension has been designed for one size of wheel factor? What effect, if any, would the change have on economy? I'd be interested to hear your views!
Thanks,
Mondeo Man
Do Larger Wheels Improve Ride/Handling? - Drew20
up sizing your wheels will reduce the amount of flexible rubber tyre wall between the car and the road. handling will improve but ride may be harsher.
also as alloy inches tend to beheavier than tyre inches then the weight of the wheels will generally increase

plus they look better!
Do Larger Wheels Improve Ride/Handling? - Garethj
It depends on the overall diameter, sometimes larger wheels come with even lower profile tyres to maintain the same rolling diameter.

If the diameter is bigger then you're right that the ride should be smoother, but I wouldn't expect much difference.

Importantly, the brakes will seem less effective, as effectively the ground is exerting a greater torque on the brake. You may only notice this if you swap wheels on a car that you're used to though.

Gareth
Do Larger Wheels Improve Ride/Handling? - Marcos{P}
A good example of this is as follows.

Both me and my dad have Merc E-320 cdi's. When we ordered I chose the optional 17" alloys and my dad kept the standard 16" alloys. Both cars were fitted with air-matic suspension so both are very similar.
Driven on rough roads they are completely different. Mine feels every little rut whereas my dad's is smooth. On most roads the drive is virtually identical but hit rough roads and the 16" wheels with higher sidewalled tyres are a godsend.
The only advantage is that my alloys look stunning and his just look ok.
BTW my dad much prefers his set up.
Do Larger Wheels Improve Ride/Handling? - Cliff Pope
With less cushioning, I would expect the larger wheels to be more vulnerable to damage from potholes and kerbs. So where you live might be a consideration.
Do Larger Wheels Improve Ride/Handling? - Drew20
I was assuming that bigger wheels meant lower profile tyres as a if you change the diameter of teh wheel then you're in all sorts of bother re getting wheel arches enlarged and speedos recalibrated

ie 185/65/14 has the same diameter (give or take) as 195/50/15

if these are a manufacturers option then the wheel diameter will (probably) remain unaffected (I would have thought)
Do Larger Wheels Improve Ride/Handling? - Marcos{P}
Bigger wheels do mean lower profile tyres hence the poorer ride as you have less cushioning.
Do Larger Wheels Improve Ride/Handling? - RogerL
The answer is - Yes and No !

If you fitted larger rolling radius wheels/tyres the ride would improve but speedo accuracy, engine gearing, brake performance and wheel arch clearance would all be adversely affected.

If you fitted larger wheels, with lower profile tyres to maintain the rolling radius, the ride would suffer because of the tyre profile.

It's sometimetime possible to use a different tyre homologation for the vehicle to achieve an improved ride. For instance 195/60 x 15 can sometimes be replaced by 185/65 x 15 to give a ride improvement, but only where the manufacturer has homologated both sizes for that model.

Do Larger Wheels Improve Ride/Handling? - Altea Ego
As has been pointed out, the rolling radius stays the same on munfacturer options. In the case of the scenic offered above the 17inch wheels come with lower profile tyres and the ride will suffer, tho handling will improve.
Do Larger Wheels Improve Ride/Handling? - Civic8
I cannot answer that.But have they mentioned what difference it will make to your speed.ie the wheels given to the motor.Say you are doing 40 mph.If you upgrade will the speed increase to 42 mph or above as you are driving.could make a difference if you do above the limit and your speedo is saying only 40 mph that can happen if you increase wheel/tyre size getting a wheel/tyre/size the same but different make can make all the difference but cannot tell you what to get.Hope you don`t mind the advice
 

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