16 vs. 17 Inch Wheels: Comparison & What’s Better

There are many different types of car wheels available on the market today. Some popular choices are 16-inch and 17-inch. This article will compare these two types of wheels, so you can decide which one works best for you and your vehicle’s needs.

16 vs. 17Inch Wheel: What’s Better?

16-inch wheels are much smaller than 17-inch ones, which means there are positives and negatives for each type of wheel. Deciding which is better depends largely on your vehicle type and what kind of driving you will do.

16-inch wheels fit the needs of many drivers, and they offer a good balance between fuel efficiency and performance. However, some people dislike the smallness of these tires because it reduces ground clearance when going off-road or over rougher terrain.

The sections below will take an in-depth look at the most important areas of comparison between these two types of wheels. It’s important to know the factory recommendations for wheel size for your car because it will affect performance and safety.

Also read: Are Cheap Tires Worth it? Are They Safe?

16 vs. 17-Inch Wheel: Fuel Consumption

One of the main benefits of using 17-inch wheels is that they offer less rolling resistance than 16-inch ones, which can lead to improved fuel economy. In general, you can expect a decrease in gas mileage of around two percent between 16 to 17-inch wheels.

One of the main benefits of using 16-inch wheels is that they consume less fuel than larger ones. This is because there is less rotating mass, so your engine doesn’t have to work as hard to move the car. With 16-inch wheels, less rubber is touching the road, which means there’s less friction. This can add up to a few extra miles per gallon.

Another thing to take into account is the surface of the tire. Tires with a more rugged surface tend to have better grip but more and require more rolling resistance. The more rolling resistance, the lower the gas mileage of a vehicle.

On the other hand, many 16-inch wheels are often paired with low rolling resistance tires. On low rolling resistance tires, the traction is designed to have less resistance when driving on the road; this combined with the smaller width equals better fuel milage with 16-inch wheels.

If better fuel economy is your main goal, 16-inch wheels are the best choice for you.

16 vs. 17-Inch Wheel: Smooth Ride

When it comes to buying a car with a smooth ride or improving the ride of your current car, wheels are one of the things that have the greatest impact on ride quality. In general, a 17-inch tire means a rougher ride. This is because the tire’s sidewalls are smaller and don’t cushion bumps in the road as much.

If you live in an area with poor quality roads or like going off-road from time to time, 17-inch wheels might be right for your vehicle. These tires are often designed to be rigid and provide traction for unpredictable terrain.

However, the increased size and traction bring a rougher ride. The larger wheels also have tires that touch more of the road, so there is a higher possibility of the tire hitting any uneven surfaces on the road. If you’re looking for a smooth ride, 16-inch wheels are the better option.

16 vs. 17-Inch Wheels: Grip and Traction

17-inch wheels have better grip and traction than 16-inch tires. This is because the contact patch, or the amount of rubber on the ground at any given time, is larger with a 17-inch tire. With more rubber on the ground, there’s more traction and grip to keep your car from slipping when accelerating or braking.

One of the most important aspects of a tire is how well it grips the road. This determines your car’s handling and stopping power in adverse conditions such as rain or snow. 17-inch wheels are generally wider than 16-inch wheels, which means the larger wheels offer more control when driving in dangerous conditions. They can even help reduce the risk of hydroplaning by channeling water efficiently throughout the width of the tire.

However, the tire connected to a 16-inch wheel is smaller and offers less traction than a 17-inch one. This means that it takes more effort to keep your car from sliding in wet or snowy conditions or when going around curves at high speeds.

When it comes to grip and traction, 17-inch wheels are the clear winner.

Also read: 17 vs. 18-Inch Wheels: Full Comparison

16 vs. 17-Inch Wheel: Off-road

If you’re looking for a tire that can handle off-road conditions well, look no further than a 17-inch wheel with all-terrain or mud-terrain tires on it. These wheels are great for off-roading because they provide more grip and traction than a 16-inch wheel. They also have a bigger contact patch, meaning they can handle bumps and obstacles better.

Another benefit of 17-inch wheels for off-roading is that the sidewalls are shorter, so you have better, more responsive handling while driving over rough terrain. Additionally, 17-inch wheels allow you to put larger breaks on your vehicle. This can help when off-roading if you need the power to stop or slow down while driving up or down steep surfaces.

Bigger wheels also mean bigger tires. So as long as the wheel well has enough room, a bigger wheel allows you to raise the height of your vehicle without expensive lift kits. With a higher vehicle, you have greater clearance over off-road obstacles.

The downsides of 17-inch wheels for off-roading are they are more expensive than 16-inch wheels and the larger wheels put extra strain on the suspension system because of their weight.

16-inch wheels also have some unique benefits for off-roading. 16-inch wheels have larger sidewalls, which means there is more cushion when going over bumps, rocks, and ruts. The larger sidewall also allows drivers to let more air out of their tires. This helps gain more traction over certain kinds of terrain. The benefits of 16-inch wheels also come with the downside of worse handling.

When compared together, 17-inch wheels have the edge over 16-inch wheels when it comes to off-roading.

Also read: The Top 5 Best German Wheels Brands

16 vs. 17-Inch Wheel: Braking

In general, 17-inch wheels require more braking power and sometimes even bigger brakes since they are larger and heavier. 16-inch wheels are easier on car brakes because they are lighter and thinner.

17-inch wheels are usually wider than 16-inch wheels, so moving from a 16 to a 17-inch wheel can cause premature brake wear on your vehicle. This happens because a larger wheel means the brake pads have to work harder than before. Most brakes are designed for the factory wheels. So if the hub is not designed for a bigger wheel, you could encounter problems.

17-inch wheels also take more effort on your part during braking because of their weight and width. This can be especially hard when you need to stop or slow down quickly in heavy rain or snow. The bigger wheel and tire mean it might take longer for the car to stop.

16 vs. 17 Inch Wheel: Appearance

Wheels come in all shapes and sizes, and with a variety of finishes. So whichever size you choose, make sure you pick a style that complements the look of your car. Deciding what wheel looks better will depend on your style preference. Do you prefer a flashy, chrome wheel, a rugged design, or a more conservative look?

Many people think 17-inch wheels look better than 16-inch ones. If you want your vehicle to have a sportier look you can get 17-inch rims with thinner tires, or if you want an off-road look, you can find 17-inch wheels with knobby, sturdy tires. They give a more aggressive, sporty appearance that can enhance the overall style of your vehicle.

For 16-inch wheels, there are more options for wheels since they are a more common choice. So if you want a wider variety of things to choose from, 16-inch wheels are the go-to choice. Though most styles of 16-inch wheels are more conservative and practical for highway or city driving.

16 vs. 17-Inch Wheels: Tire Wear

A narrower tire on a 16-inch wheel will wear slower than a wider tire on a 17-inch wheel. This is because when you have a bigger, wider tire, it puts more strain on the sidewall which can cause them to wear down quicker.

Another thing to watch out for is if the width of the wheel. 17-inch wheels tend to be wider than 16s, so there is the potential for the wider tire to rub against the wheel well. This can cause bald spots on the tire and also damage to the car.

Always refer to your vehicle’s manual and seek professional advice when considering if you want 16 or 17-inch wheels.

Also read: Wider Car Tires: ALL Pros and Cons

16 vs. 17-Inch Wheels: Price

17-inch wheels are almost always more expensive than 16-inch wheels. This is because they are bigger and more expensive. Cars with 17-inch wheels also will usually be priced higher than those with 16s, even if the car model is older or base model.

If price is an important issue as you consider your vehicle, keep in mind that 17-inch wheels will be more expensive to put on your vehicle and also will be more expensive to replace once they wear out.

The Verdict

So which wheel is better for you? Ultimately, it comes down to what you value most when driving.

If you want a smoother, more fuel-efficient ride, 16-inch wheels are the way to go. But if you’re looking for better handling and performance on or off-road, 17-inch wheels are a great option for you.