Are 17 Inch Wheels Better?

Whether 17 inch wheels are better depends on what you need and want. They offer better handling and a smoother ride, but can be harder to drive and repair.

When it comes to choosing the right set of wheels for your vehicle, size matters. Many drivers are drawn to 17-inch wheels for their increased performance and style, but is the extra size always the best option? In this blog post, we will explore the advantages and disadvantages of 17-inch wheels, the factors to consider when choosing 17-inch wheels, the impact on ride quality, and the overall benefits they offer.

Advantages of 17-inch Wheels

Let’s explore the advantages of 17-inch wheels to understand why they are so popular.

Improved Handling

The improved handling that comes with 17-inch wheels is a major advantage. Due to their larger diameter, 17-inch wheels provide more stability and cornering ability. This improved handling means that vehicles are better able to take corners with greater speed and precision, allowing for a more enjoyable, safe, and sporty driving experience. Additionally, the improved handling can reduce the risk of skidding or slipping when driving in wet conditions. This is due to increased contact with the road, as well as better distribution of weight on the wheels. The larger diameter also allows for larger brakes, which helps to increase stopping power. All of these advantages are important considerations when choosing the right wheel size for your vehicle.

Enhanced Traction

One of the key advantages of 17-inch wheels is the enhanced traction they provide. This is because the larger size of the wheel increases the contact patch, which in turn increases the amount of contact the tire has with the ground. This increased contact area provides better grip and improved traction, which is especially beneficial when driving on wet or icy roads. The increased traction also makes it easier to brake and accelerate quickly, as well as cornering more efficiently. Furthermore, the larger wheel size allows for a greater range of tire treads and designs, which can further improve traction and handling. In short, 17-inch wheels offer improved performance and greater safety on the roads.

Increased Tire Selection

One of the primary advantages of 17-inch wheels is the increased tire selection they offer. With 17-inch wheels, drivers have far more options when it comes to choosing the right tires for their vehicles. This increased selection allows drivers to find the perfect tire for their vehicle, based on their individual needs and preferences. Additionally, the increased selection of tires that 17-inch wheels offer can improve performance and safety. Drivers will be able to find tires with the perfect tread pattern, durability, and design for their vehicle, allowing them to get the most out of their driving experience.

Customization Options

When it comes to 17-inch wheels, one of the main advantages is the range of customization options available. From the materials used to the design and style, 17-inch wheels offer a wide selection of choices to match any vehicle. The materials used can range from standard steel to high-end aluminum or carbon fiber, while the design and style can range from classic to ultra-modern. Whether you’re looking for a subtle or flashy design, there’s a 17-inch wheel option to suit your needs. Additionally, 17-inch wheels are often available in a variety of colors and finishes to further customize your look. With all these customization options, it’s easy to see why 17-inch wheels are a popular choice for those looking to upgrade their vehicle.

Aftermarket Options

When it comes to upgrading the look and performance of your vehicle, aftermarket options for 17-inch wheels are some of the best available. Not only can they provide a more custom look, but they can also improve the overall performance of your vehicle. Aftermarket 17-inch wheels often come with improved materials, such as forged aluminum, which are much lighter than standard steel wheels. This means that your car will be able to accelerate faster, as the lighter wheel will reduce the overall rotating mass of the wheel assembly. Additionally, aftermarket 17-inch wheels can provide improved handling and cornering abilities, due to their larger size and improved wheel design. Finally, many aftermarket 17-inch wheels are designed with a more aggressive look, providing your car with an enhanced aesthetic appeal.

Advantages in Off-Road Conditions

17-inch wheels provide a number of advantages when it comes to off-road conditions. The larger size of 17-inch wheels compared to smaller diameter wheels provide higher ground clearance, allowing vehicles to traverse more difficult terrain. Additionally, the larger diameter wheels also provide increased traction on uneven terrain, allowing for better grip and maneuverability. Lastly, 17-inch wheels are more durable and can handle the increased shock and vibration associated with off-roading, providing a smoother and more comfortable ride. All of these benefits can help to make off-roading safer and more enjoyable.

Disadvantages of 17-inch Wheels

Despite the potential benefits of 17-inch wheels, there are several drawbacks to consider as well.

Reduced Fuel Economy

When it comes to choosing between 17-inch wheels and smaller wheels, reduced fuel economy is one of the biggest disadvantages of 17-inch wheels. This is because larger wheels require more energy to turn, leading to increased fuel consumption. This means that a car with 17-inch wheels will have lower gas mileage than one with smaller wheels. Additionally, larger wheels require more tire pressure, which can also affect fuel economy.

It is important to consider the pros and cons of 17-inch wheels before making a decision. While they may look more aesthetically pleasing and provide a smoother ride, their impact on fuel economy should be taken into account. If fuel economy is a priority, then smaller wheels may be the better option.

Increased Cost

One of the primary disadvantages of 17-inch wheels is that they can be more expensive than smaller wheels. The cost of 17-inch wheels will vary greatly depending on the make, model, and quality of the wheels, but generally 17-inch wheels will be more expensive than those of a smaller size. Additionally, tires for 17-inch wheels will also be more expensive than for smaller wheels. When considering whether or not 17-inch wheels are right for you, be sure to factor in the increased cost of both the wheels and the tires.

Maintenance Requirements

The major disadvantage of 17-inch wheels is that they require more maintenance than smaller wheels. Due to their larger size, 17-inch wheels are heavier, resulting in increased wear and tear on the suspension and steering components. Additionally, the larger size and weight of the wheels can make it difficult to rotate or replace tires. This means that the tires will need to be replaced more frequently, resulting in increased costs for maintenance. Finally, the wheels themselves may require more frequent cleaning, waxing, and polishing to keep them looking their best.

Noise Level

One of the major disadvantages of 17-inch wheels is their increased noise level. The larger size of the wheel means it has to rotate faster to achieve the same speed as a smaller wheel, which creates more friction and noise as the wheel moves around. Additionally, the tires on 17-inch wheels are typically thicker than those on smaller wheels, which can also increase the amount of noise emitted. This increased noise level can be particularly noticeable when driving on rough roads, which can cause the tires to vibrate and create even more noise.

Weight Considerations

When it comes to 17-inch wheels, one of the most notable disadvantages is the increased weight of the wheel. This can have an adverse effect on the overall performance of the vehicle, as the heavier weight of the wheel can cause the vehicle to be less responsive when accelerating or braking. Additionally, the extra weight can also cause the vehicle to consume more fuel, as the engine needs to expend more energy to turn the wheel when accelerating or decelerating. This increased fuel consumption can lead to increased costs for the vehicle owner.

Factors to Consider When Choosing 17-inch Wheels

To help determine whether 17-inch wheels are the best fit for your vehicle, let’s consider some of the factors you should consider before making a purchase.

Vehicle Type

When choosing 17-inch wheels for your vehicle, one of the most important factors to consider is the type of vehicle for which the wheels are intended. Different vehicles may require different wheel sizes, depending on their weight, size, and other specifications. Additionally, some vehicles may not be able to accommodate 17-inch wheels due to their size or other design considerations. As such, it is important to make sure that the type of vehicle for which the wheels are intended is compatible with the size of the wheel. Additionally, it is important to research the specific requirements for 17-inch wheels for the type of vehicle in question, as improper wheel size can affect performance, fuel economy, and handling.

Driving Conditions

When deciding whether 17-inch wheels are better for your vehicle, it’s important to consider the driving conditions you will face. Larger wheels can provide better performance and handling on the roads, but they may be unsuitable for off-road driving. 17-inch wheels are more suitable for areas with smoother roads, as their increased contact patch can lead to more grip. However, on rougher roads, the larger wheels can be more susceptible to damage from potholes and other hazards. Additionally, 17-inch wheels can also increase the vehicle’s fuel consumption, as the larger wheels create more friction with the road.

It’s important to consider the type of terrain you will be driving on and the climate you’ll be driving in when choosing 17-inch wheels. In areas with warmer climates, larger wheels may be more suitable as they can provide better performance and handling. In colder climates, however, the larger wheels may be susceptible to cracking in extreme temperatures. In any case, no matter the size of the wheel, it’s important to ensure that the tires are suitable for the type of terrain you’ll be driving on.

Finally, it’s important to consider the aesthetics of the wheels and the overall look of the vehicle. 17-inch wheels can provide a more aggressive look, but they may not be suitable for all vehicles. Consider the size and shape of the wheel and how it will affect the overall appearance of the vehicle before making your decision.

In conclusion, 17-inch wheels can provide better performance and handling on smoother roads, but they may be unsuitable for off-road conditions. Additionally, they may increase fuel consumption and be susceptible to damage in rougher roads. Consider the terrain, climate, and aesthetics of the vehicle before deciding whether 17-inch wheels are better for your vehicle.

Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)

When choosing 17-inch wheels, one of the most important factors is the tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). TPMS is a technology that alerts drivers when the pressure of the tires is too low or too high. This helps to ensure that the vehicle is operating safely and efficiently. TPMS is a great tool for keeping your vehicle running smoothly and avoiding unnecessary wear and tear on your tires. It also helps to improve fuel economy, since tires that are properly inflated can help reduce rolling resistance and improve fuel economy. TPMS is a great feature for 17-inch wheels, as it helps to ensure that your tires are running at the optimal pressure for your vehicle.

Wheel Alignment Requirements

When it comes to 17-inch wheels, one of the most important considerations is wheel alignment requirements. As a result, it’s important to understand the effects of installing 17-inch wheels and how they will affect the alignment of your vehicle.

When you install larger wheels, such as 17-inch, it can cause your vehicle to become misaligned. This means that the angle of the wheels may not be in their optimal position for driving. This can lead to decreased handling and increased tire wear. To ensure that your vehicle’s performance isn’t affected, it’s important to have the alignment checked and adjusted when installing larger wheels.

In addition to ensuring that the alignment is correct, it’s also important to make sure that the tires are properly inflated. When installing 17-inch wheels, the recommended tire pressure will be higher than with smaller wheels. This is because larger wheels require more air pressure to hold their shape and provide support. Failure to inflate the tires to the right pressure will also lead to decreased performance and increased tire wear.

Ultimately, before you install 17-inch wheels, you’ll need to take into account the wheel alignment requirements and make sure that the tires are properly inflated. Doing so will help ensure that your vehicle performs optimally and that you get the most out of your 17-inch wheels.

Impact on Vehicle Stability

When it comes to choosing 17-inch wheels for your vehicle, one of the most important factors to consider is the impact on vehicle stability. With the larger wheel size, you may experience a change in the vehicle’s handling and the stability of the ride. Depending on the suspension setup, 17-inch wheels could provide a stiffer ride with more body roll, as well as a higher center of gravity that could lead to more oversteer. It’s important to understand the implications of larger wheel sizes, and to choose the right wheel size for your vehicle and your driving style.

Compatibility with Suspension Components

When choosing 17-inch wheels for your vehicle, one factor to consider is compatibility with suspension components. 17-inch wheels require a greater offset than smaller diameter wheels, so it’s important to check fitment guidelines to ensure your wheels will fit correctly with your vehicle’s suspension. Additionally, you’ll need to consider the size and weight of your wheels, as larger, heavier wheels can affect the performance of your suspension. It’s also important to select wheels with the correct hub-centric design, as some suspension components, such as struts, can be damaged if the wheels are not properly centered. Ultimately, choosing 17-inch wheels that are compatible with your vehicle’s suspension components will ensure the best performance and maximum lifespan of the wheels.

Effect on Braking Distance

When it comes to choosing 17-inch wheels for your vehicle, one of the key factors to consider is their effect on braking distance. Larger wheels increase the unsprung weight of the car, which can lead to increased braking distance. This means that the car will take longer to stop when the brakes are applied, as the heavier wheels require more energy to decelerate. Furthermore, larger wheels can also reduce the weight of the car on the contact patch of the tire, which can also reduce the effectiveness of the brakes.

For this reason, it is important to consider the braking distance before selecting 17-inch wheels. If your car is primarily used for city driving, then the increased braking distance may not be a significant factor. However, if you plan to use the car for higher-speed driving, then the increased braking distance could be a major concern that should be addressed.

Ultimately, the decision of whether 17-inch wheels are right for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences. If you want the aesthetic appeal of larger wheels, then you should ensure that you balance this with the increased braking distance and reduced effectiveness of the brakes.

Comfort and Ride Quality

When it comes to comfort and ride quality, it’s important to consider the size of your wheels. Many people opt for 17 inch wheels in order to gain a smoother ride and improved handling. But is this the right choice for everyone?

When choosing the right wheel size, it’s important to consider both the size of the wheel and the type of tire you’ll be using. Larger wheels can offer a smoother ride, as they are able to better absorb road bumps and other imperfections. Additionally, larger wheels also offer improved handling, as they are able to better grip the road in turns. However, larger wheels also come with the disadvantage of increased weight. This can result in decreased acceleration and braking performance, as well as increased fuel consumption.

So, are 17 inch wheels the best choice for everyone? Not necessarily. Those looking for improved comfort and handling should consider 17 inch wheels and the appropriate tire size, as this can provide a smoother ride. However, those who prioritize acceleration and braking performance may want to opt for smaller wheels. Ultimately, it’s important to consider both your driving style and the type of terrain you’re driving on when selecting the right wheel size.


In conclusion, 17-inch wheels can provide a variety of advantages and disadvantages depending on the type of vehicle, driving conditions and individual preferences. While the cost and weight considerations can be off-putting, the improved handling, enhanced traction, increased tire selection, and customization options make 17-inch wheels a great option for many drivers. Additionally, the comfort and ride quality offered by 17-inch wheels are superior to those of smaller wheels. Overall, 17-inch wheels provide a great balance of performance, style, and value.

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