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What's the difference between a 18" and 19" wheels?

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by Walter, Aug 2, 2017.

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  1. Walter

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    Other than the look, what's the reason people select a larger wheel (and pay mo
     
  2. SoFlaModel3

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    A few reasons for me...
    1. Bigger wheels and thinner tires is a preferred look for me
    2. On Tesla's I have noticed the phenomenon that they make rims look small as is
    3. Specific to Model 3 -- I greatly prefer the look of the 19" sport wheel over the 18" standard aero wheel
    It's all really about what's important to you.

    If you have bad roads, smaller is often better.

    If you are averse to more expensive tires, smaller is often better.

    Technically the 18s could have a better ride than the 19s assuming they have identical tires (I don't think they do in this case though).
     
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    • JWardell

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      Here's my list of differences:

      1. Larger wheels look better (less black in the wheel well)
      2. Larger wheels tires are more expensive to replace
      3. Larger wheels usually have slightly better grip when corning, and occasionally better grip when accelerating or braking.
      4. Larger wheels may transmit more road noise and bumpiness
      5. Larger wheels may be more likely to be damaged when hitting a pothole
      6. Larger wheels are usually heavier, and the extra unsprung weight reduces your gas milage/efficiency

      For both cost of wheels and tires, and durability, I usually prefer to go with the smallest wheels available. I wish 17s were available!
      If I don't like the look of a rim, I can always replace with a wide selection of aftermarket rims (go play around on tirerack.com) and throw snow tires on the originals.
       
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      • Paul Hindle

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        I own a 1986 Porsche 911, the stock wheels are 15" and I have the larger 16" wheels. Race cars use smaller wheels. Larger wheels are for esthetics only. I plan on getting the standard 18" wheels.
         
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        • SoFlaModel3

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          The times have definitely changed.

          I remember my Audi A4 in 2002. The base wheels were 16" and the upgraded sport wheels were 17". Then the S4 came out in 2004 on the same body and the wheels were 18".

          It wasn't so far back that I thought 20" wheels were reserved for trucks and my dad's Model S has 21" wheels which seemingly do not look out of place at all.

          I think wheel size has a lot to do with the design of the car and I'm convinced Tesla's make wheels looks small.
           
        • Twiglett

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          I'm curious now. The 21's on the Model S ride harsher than the 19's
          Will there be a huge amount of difference from 19 to 18?
          Also, will the 19's on a Model 3 ride about the same as the 19's on an S?
           
        • SoFlaModel3

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          The variation between the tires on the 18s and 19s is probably a bigger variable than the move from 18s to 19s.
           
        • ModFather

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          I hope my T3 will make my butt look small too!
           
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          • tivoboy

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            #9 tivoboy, Aug 4, 2017
            Last edited: Aug 5, 2017
            larger diameter wheels almost always produce a slightly firmer and harsher ride.. moving to a lower profile tire will do that. One should get better handling and rolling, cornering and such as there is less sidewall and overall profile to move around - tire stays flatter on the surface. But, you get more feedback from poor surface conditions as well.

            The 19" do look nicer though, that's for sure.
             
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            • Sandy

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              19's for me. Not fond of the aero's and $1500 USD is reasonable for a wheel/tire upgrade. Necessary? No. I really like the design of the 19's. As well I live in a smaller town with great roads compared to nearby cities so the ride implications of the 19's are not a concern.
               
            • arnis

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              Larger wheel=smaller tire sidewall

              Bigger wheels usually result in heavier unsprung weight.
              Heavier tires mean more energy required to speed up.
              Heavier tires and smaller sidewall will both result in faster suspension wear/tear.
              Bigger wheels are less suitable for heavier loads, including fully loaded vehicle or towing.
              Bigger tires cost more. Though 18" is already big in case of small affordable vehicles.
              Wider tire profile is less suitable for bad weather (snow, rain), very bad efficiency, though
              both Model 3 options have 235mm of width, a lot for small vehicle.
               
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              • JBsC6

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                All the negatives of going to larger wheels is nonsense for cars going from 18 to 19 inch wheels.

                The 21 s on the model S are louder in my opinion of driving both wheeled vehicles is the tire compound...not wheel size...but the normal performance 19 inch tires were really quieter than the high performance 21 inch tires...

                With the model 3? 19 s inch normal compound tires will drive and sound just like the normal passenger compound tire that are 18 inch tires..

                The original primary purpose of larger wheels was to fit larger brakes ..as the brake rotors got larger,,,as the calibers got larger...the wheels had to get larger to fit over the rotors and calibers...

                That's the original reason for larger diameter wheels and tires...

                Fwiw race cars are often limited to exactly what the specs are by race officials...

                Although unsprung weight does exponentially affect handling, braking and ride (primarily up front) but it's minimal going from 18 to 19 inch..

                Saving money on options is cool so enjoy your perspective,

                Looks...the 19 s are better. The rear haunch of the model 3 does visually benefit from either 19 or even 20 inch rims out back,,,but 19s look good too..

                The 18s are a little small visually for the body style of the model 3
                 
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                • theyanman

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                  After a few google searches on this topic, I may be going back to the standard 18" aero wheels due to practicality. Anyone else wrestling with this decision?
                   
                • SoFlaModel3

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                  We're talking about a 1 inch difference. There is hardly a difference there. It's not like the upgrade wheels are 21" and much wider.
                   
                • SSonnentag

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                  For the ultimate in ride comfort you need to experience the 12" wheels on one of the early Geo Metros. :D

                  [​IMG]
                   
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                  • arnis

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                    Vehicle is not driving on wheels. It is driving on sidewalls and air(pressure).
                    There is less air inside 19" sets compared to 18" sets.
                    There is less flex on sidewalls that are smaller.
                    And sidewall is 12% reduced. 12% is actually a lot.
                    In case of 40% reduction vehicle is not drivable on normal roads.
                    4,2" sidewall is reduced to 3,7" with 19" option.

                    Let's be straight. 18" is a LOT for this class of vehicles.
                    Comparision. BMW 3-series (direct competitor)
                    Most basic models come with 16" wheels and 4,8" sidewall
                    Most popular version is medium set, 17" wheels and 4,4" sidewall.
                    M3 comes standard with 18" and 4,0" sidewall. (some opt that with lower version)
                    Possible upgrade to 19" with 3,5" sidewall.
                    Possible upgrade (some markets only) to 20" with 3.1" sidewall.
                    More than 90% of 3-series buyers take anything from 16 to 18".
                    Most popular choice is 17", then 16", and then 18".
                    19" is rare (something like 1-to-100). 20" is less than 1-to-1000.

                    Take note than 1" bigger wheels on Tesla reduces sidewall much more than 1" step on BMW.

                    There is also psychological problem well known by consumer experts.
                    People prefer the middle choice.
                    If there is a washing machine that costs 500€, another one for 800€ and another one for 900€,
                    majority will prefer one that costs 800€.
                    If we add two more options with 600€ and 700€, majority will tend to prefer 700€ option.
                    If we remove 900€ option and add 600€ option, people will prefer 600€ option.
                    Consumers rarely deep dive into specs and rarely understand the whole picture.
                    In case of 2 options things get wild as people also prefer to "tick a box" rather than "not tick".
                    If we had a choice to tick "turbine 18" wheel", majority would pick that. If we had a choice
                    of standard 18", turbine 19" and turbine 20". Majority would prefer 19".
                    If we had 17" as standard, 18" as 1000$ upgrade and 19" as 1500$ upgrade, half would take 18"
                    and less than 10% would prefer 19".
                    The fact that it actually rides harsh on 19" and 20" (3.2" sidewall) will be unacceptable, matters little.
                    Going back to the fact that most preferred sidewall on 3-series is bigger than biggest offered by Model 3.
                    Looks vs. practicality multiplied by simplicity definitely did some trouble here.
                    If we watch the video by Motortrend (1:17-1:27) we can CLEARLY see no comfort at all on 19" wheels.
                    http://www.motortrend.com/cars/tesla/model-3/2018/exclusive-tesla-model-3-first-drive-review/

                    And lastly. EV's have low center of gravity. My Leaf with 16" tires leans in corners much less
                    than my brothers 3-series on 17" wheels. There is less practical reasons to prefer smaller sidewall.
                    Thanks for attention.
                     
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                    • Twiglett

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                      I as going to get the 19's but have decided to get the 18's instead.
                      Was going to get white but settled on blue.
                      Main reason? Next time you're out on the road, look at the colors you see.
                      85-90% of the cars you see are silver, white or some shade of black. Actual colors aren't that common - therefore I'll get a color.
                       
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                      • JBsC6

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                        I've seen people play the game of telephone and miss the actual message...and that's what those who are scared of 19 inch rims are doing.

                        Going to the tesla store many moons ago..the tesla employees said go with the 19 s they ride good, don't make noise and don't get destroyed by potholes like the 21 s which I think cost an extra 4500 dollars..

                        That I agree with especially with the fact the 21 s came with high performance noisy tires...but when comparing 18 and 19 inch wheels and tires..

                        I think those afraid of the 19s are missing the message....

                        God luck...and for $1500 you can surely sell them for $1500 if you hate the ride...and buy or trade some chumps base 18s with tires...

                        Better yet I've heard that come sept or oct tesla will be allowing test drives locally for you to tell for yourself which you prefer..

                        At $1500 the 19 s are good value and the ride will be fine.

                        I want from 18/19 on my corvette to 19/20 s and the ride and handling improved...

                        I believe having 20s up front gave concern to tesla engineers on the model 3 as the low profile front tires can catch heavy truck grooves in certain roads like the cross Bronx here in NY off the GW bridge...

                        19s don't seem to tramline at all ..
                         
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                        • Twiglett

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                          That's fine, but Model 3 LR single motor isn't a corvette. It's a family sedan and daily driver that can be slightly sporty when you want, not a sports car.
                          Larger profile tires means more compliant ride which means happier occupants.
                          I've done the sporty handling go kart and have no desire to go back.
                           
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                          • JBsC6

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                            The 19 inch wheel size on the model S for comfort and luxury is the 19 inch wheel. The tires are.touring tires as well.

                            Do what ever your fears or preconcieved notions lead you to believe is.correct. I respect that is your insight.

                            Sorry you don't like my insight and driving impressions that included the Tesla model S with both 19 and 21 inch tires...comfort and high perfoance variants.

                            I took the time and test drove the model S on lengthy test drives on several occasions and.discovered that the 19 inch wheel and tire package was soft and compliant and the dealership said they were recieving excellent ownership reviews (on the 19)



                            I agree save your 1500 dollars...you will best served with the nice base 18 inch wheels and tires..

                            Me? I am.confident my wife who presently drives a soft sweet Cadillac will enjoy the luxurous ride of the model 3 with 19 inch wheels as we have both test drive the model S with both 21 inch and 19 inch wheels and are.confident.the 19 inch touring tires and wheels will offer a luxurious ride.

                            Best wishes to you..and.thanks for the.complement on my beautiful corvette ...

                            I love it..
                             
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