A/T tires - Go bigger, or go "smaller"? (225/55R18 vs 215/65R16) - Mazda CX3 Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 11-07-2019, 04:13 PM Thread Starter
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A/T tires - Go bigger, or go "smaller"? (225/55R18 vs 215/65R16)

2019 CX-3 Touring with 18" wheels, planning on switching to the Falken Wildpeak A/T Trail. I know I can put the 225/55R18 on - folks here have done it, and folks on the FB group have done it. That'd increase my overall tire diameter about 1.2"/4.5% - over the 3% generally considered "safe". Alternatively, I can go for new wheels and tires and get 215/65R16 - a modest 1/2" / 1.9% change. Would cost a little more, but the cheaper tires and ability to sell the old wheel/tire combo might offset that a bit. I'm leaning toward the 225, but the biggest factor stopping me is how the size difference might mess with the automatic trans shift points. That was easy enough to adjust on my Jeep, but not so much on the CX-3.

What do you guys think? Make my decision for me!

225/55R18 + Stock Wheels
Pros:
-Don't need new wheels
-Ground clearance
-Will look bad ass with a lift (and oh yes, I will lift)
-Proven combo for mild trails (Thanks, richyboycaldo)
Cons:
-Greater than 3% change (speedo/shifting)
-Less sidewall
-More expensive tire to replace eventually

215/65R16 + New Wheels
Pros:
-Sidewall
-Can sell stock wheels/tires to offset cost
-Look bigger/meaner due to big tire/small wheel
-Cheaper tire
-Closer to stock size
-More faux-flex once lifted (though I'm pretty sure that's a non-issue)
Cons:
-Less ground clearance
-Have to buy new wheels, so...
-Will be more expensive regardless
-Limited on wheel selection due to offset and bolt pattern

Last edited by WebDevDan; 11-07-2019 at 04:47 PM.
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post #2 of 7 Old 11-07-2019, 04:57 PM
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Personally I would go for 16+new tire combo and not just because I already did so lol. The regular bigger sidewall difference and then going even bigger tire is a feast for the eyes and also comfort(as comfortable as a/t tires can be anyways) on trails/ingeneral etc. It does cost a bit more to start but the worst thing will be getting something for the 18(which is pricier depending on brand) and then realizing you want to try something else or wish the sidewall looked/was bigger etc. Also you could find a larger size than mine(which I think I have the same you listed) to match the same diameter as the 18's so you have that elevated ground clearancr as the 18s diameter.

The main thing will be the wheels you buy. I went with a cheap set that looked decent because I had to downsize anyway but I can see people going for brands like sparco terras adding another 800+ easily to the bill. I think mine were like 300 on clearance. This is going to be your own doing on how much the bill will run in the end. Do you go for fancy brand name or just something to use thats not a steelie and doesnt look like something a honda boy has on their 94 civic in a city.

Also if you look at my tire thread, I caught a nail randomly within 7months lol. Just bad luck on my end probably but already had to replace one tire. Gotta love random unexpected expenses :/

Edit: Also when getting new wheels you can get smaller than 50mm offset (i think yours is still 50mm oem ?) so it sticks out a bit more for a better visual package.

2016 CX-3 GT AWD - Crystal White Pearl Mica.
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Last edited by SlyCoopers; 11-07-2019 at 05:01 PM.
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post #3 of 7 Old 11-07-2019, 04:57 PM
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Also LIFT WHEN PLS

2016 CX-3 GT AWD - Crystal White Pearl Mica.
My wants-to-grow-up-to-be-a-rally-car car
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post #4 of 7 Old 11-07-2019, 05:23 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by SlyCoopers View Post
Personally I would go for 16+new tire combo and not just because I already did so lol. The regular bigger sidewall difference and then going even bigger tire is a feast for the eyes and also comfort(as comfortable as a/t tires can be anyways) on trails/ingeneral etc. It does cost a bit more to start but the worst thing will be getting something for the 18(which is pricier depending on brand) and then realizing you want to try something else or wish the sidewall looked/was bigger etc. Also you could find a larger size than mine(which I think I have the same you listed) to match the same diameter as the 18's so you have that elevated ground clearancr as the 18s diameter.

The main thing will be the wheels you buy. I went with a cheap set that looked decent because I had to downsize anyway but I can see people going for brands like sparco terras adding another 800+ easily to the bill. I think mine were like 300 on clearance. This is going to be your own doing on how much the bill will run in the end. Do you go for fancy brand name or just something to use thats not a steelie and doesnt look like something a honda boy has on their 94 civic in a city.

Also if you look at my tire thread, I caught a nail randomly within 7months lol. Just bad luck on my end probably but already had to replace one tire. Gotta love random unexpected expenses :/

Edit: Also when getting new wheels you can get smaller than 50mm offset (i think yours is still 50mm oem ?) so it sticks out a bit more for a better visual package.
Yeah, they're 18x7 + 50. I like the look of the 16x7 +45 RTX Force that Drake has. There don't seem to be a lot of 16x7 +45 out there - there are always those Sparcos, like you said, if I want to pretend to be a Subaru. I'll have to look and see what other taller options there are in the 16" Falken (or KO2) but big tires AND small rims start getting out of the realm of what I am really willing to pay. I like richyboycaldo's look with the Yokos on the stock 18s... very subdued... which is why I think I'd be okay with the "look" on the stocks. Honestly I have to remember that this is not a Jeep anymore and I won't be off-roading, I just want the dang thing not to get hung up on my friend's dirt driveway and be able to clear a couple of inches of snow. My biggest worry about going taller is the affect on the shiftpoints.

Last edited by WebDevDan; 11-07-2019 at 05:28 PM.
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post #5 of 7 Old Yesterday, 11:37 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by SlyCoopers View Post
Personally I would go for 16+new tire combo and not just because I already did so lol. The regular bigger sidewall difference and then going even bigger tire is a feast for the eyes and also comfort(as comfortable as a/t tires can be anyways) on trails/ingeneral etc. It does cost a bit more to start but the worst thing will be getting something for the 18(which is pricier depending on brand) and then realizing you want to try something else or wish the sidewall looked/was bigger etc. Also you could find a larger size than mine(which I think I have the same you listed) to match the same diameter as the 18's so you have that elevated ground clearancr as the 18s diameter.

The main thing will be the wheels you buy. I went with a cheap set that looked decent because I had to downsize anyway but I can see people going for brands like sparco terras adding another 800+ easily to the bill. I think mine were like 300 on clearance. This is going to be your own doing on how much the bill will run in the end. Do you go for fancy brand name or just something to use thats not a steelie and doesnt look like something a honda boy has on their 94 civic in a city.

Also if you look at my tire thread, I caught a nail randomly within 7months lol. Just bad luck on my end probably but already had to replace one tire. Gotta love random unexpected expenses 😕

Edit: Also when getting new wheels you can get smaller than 50mm offset (i think yours is still 50mm oem ?) so it sticks out a bit more for a better visual package.
What are your thoughts on 205/60R16? Tall and narrow... Pizza cutters. On 16x6.5 wheels with +35 they'd sit just a hair further out and they're just at that magic 3% mark. Unfortunately the only a/t in that size is the Falken.
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Depends how you feel about it really. Personally I feel like my tires are already too narrow. If I could reorder I would try to get them a little wider. Its really noticable once you have the mud flaps on where the flap is like a foot+wide but the tires are hiding on the outer edges of its coverage. Going even narrower would feel like I have nissan versa tires, basically bicycle tires.

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post #7 of 7 Old Today, 04:18 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by SlyCoopers View Post
Depends how you feel about it really. Personally I feel like my tires are already too narrow. If I could reorder I would try to get them a little wider. Its really noticable once you have the mud flaps on where the flap is like a foot+wide but the tires are hiding on the outer edges of its coverage. Going even narrower would feel like I have nissan versa tires, basically bicycle tires.
I think I found a winner. 235/50R18. Wider (I like wider), Taller - 27.3" tall (exactly 3% taller, same height as 215/65R16), and I won't have to buy new wheels.
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