The size of the tires of our car has a considerable influence on its aesthetics and image, but also on its behavior and its operating parameters. Therefore, it is important to assess these details when changing the tires of our car for larger ones.
Virtually all cars on the market, especially the most modern, have the ability to mount tires and tires of different diameters. Something that is related to the wide existing equivalences, as well as a complete market offer, which puts at our disposal all kinds of products adapted to the style that we want to give our car. However, when we look for the best tires ( by clicking this link you can find tires s ) for our car, we should really ask ourselves if the use of larger tires has an influence on the vehicle’s operating parameters. A mystery that we will reveal throughout this article.
This same question we have raised is what journalists of the Car and Driver magazine faced in their American edition: how tire size influences the behavior of the vehicle. So to solve it, they got behind the wheel.
The vehicle chosen was a Volkswagen Golf 2.5, equipped with a five-cylinder in-line engine and a power of no less than 170 horses. To tame so much power and transfer it efficiently to the asphalt, this vehicle had a wide versatility of tires and tires. As much as to be able to mount from 195/65 tires with 15-inch tires to a curious size of 235/35 with 19-inch tires, which is not especially frequent to see on the roads but to exist, exists.
Thus, in each of the different tests that were carried out, the same type of tires were mounted, of the ASA GT1 model, in sizes from 16 to 19 inches, maintaining the original metal wheels of 15 inches for the first test. Likewise, these tires were equipped with Goodyear Eagle GT M + S tires.
A particularity of the test is that these tires are used for snow and in Spain they are not usually used, although it is not foreseeable that the use of conventional or summer tires can greatly modify the results.
What was measured
To make this test as complete as possible, different driving parameters were determined, although some were more typical of a conventional test bench. Specifically, the test evaluated aspects such as acceleration from 0 to 96 km / h (the equivalent of 60 miles), acceleration from 0 to 160 km / h (100 miles), lateral acceleration, fuel consumption, loudness or the weight of the set.
These parameters were measured by previously changing the tires and tires of the vehicle, so that all tests were done in the same way and under the same conditions for each type of tire.
Obviously, a wide range of results were obtained from this whole process, although they all pointed in the same direction. The smaller the tires and tires, the better the results of such tests used to be. As shown, in the case of acceleration from 0 to 96 kilometers, the original 15-inch wheels were 0.3 seconds faster than those of 19 inches and around 0.2 seconds compared to 17-inch ones. The same happened in the acceleration up to 160 kilometers, or 100 miles, with a difference of no less than 1.1 seconds in favor of the tires of 15 versus those of 19, which stays in 0.4 seconds in the tires of 17.
Where the biggest tires did get a slight advantage, due to the larger size of the surface in contact, it was in braking. In this case, the braking distance of 96 kilometers to 0 went from 39.6 meters on the 15-inch wheels to 38.4 meters on the 19-inch wheels. Just 1.2 meters, which reflect a greater grip of these bigger tires. Something similar confirmed the skipad, which measured the grip during taxiing, although in this case the difference, of just 0.05 G in favor of wider models, could have more to do with the type of compound of the larger diameter tire , for having a higher speed code.
Regarding the rest of the parameters, the different tires analyzed offered similar results. Something that also happened with the noise level (just 1 decibel of variation) or the speedometer error level, which was also negligible. Where there was a difference was in the weight of the tire and tire assembly. A difference that could reach 7 kilos per tire, 28 in total on larger tires compared to smaller ones.
Once we have the data, it is time to draw conclusions. As we have seen, the use of large (16-17 inches) or especially large (18-19 inches) tires does not contribute anything especially important to the vehicle beyond its image. Moreover, the use of huge tires can even penalize the consumption and acceleration of the vehicle. Something that is due to the greater effort that the engine must make to move a larger and heavier tire and tire assembly, as we increase its diameter.
Additionally, for those who want the best tires for their car, it is necessary to consider the price. Some large tire combinations mount tires that are not especially frequent in the market, which translates into a higher cost compared to other more common tires. In the mentioned study, a 235/35 R 19 tire of the first brand can reach 200 euros of cost per unit, which is almost four times the cost of a 195/65 R 15 wheel of the same manufacturer.
As a final tip, before making any changes it is essential to review the vehicle’s technical data sheet and verify which tire measures are compatible with our vehicle. Something for which we may also need an equivalence table, in which all the tire and tire combinations suitable for a vehicle are indicated.