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Hi, I have 21" wheels on my 2016 LWB. They came with 275/45R21 Goodyear Eagle F1 All-seasons... I'm not a huge fan of the style of my current wheel, so I want to make them my winter wheels. I'd like to get 22" wheel for my summer (3 season) wheel. (7018 or 5004). Is it that much safer to go down to a 19" or 20" wheel for winter tires? Or will 21" winter tires be just as safe? (Forget about pricing and that larger profile tires will save some wheel rub damage). Will a higher profile tire give you better grip/braking/handling in a snow tire? I'm looking at 2 options. Put Nokian R3 on the 21" wheels for winter and buy 22" for summer OR buy a 19" or 20" winter wheel with Nokian R3 and replace the 21" all-seasons with summer tires. I live in Toronto Canada, and I am a big proponent to using winter tires. Love to hear your comments, cheers York.
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I do not know what size brakes you've got but the 6 piston brakes are a problem. Not sure 19's would work at all, some 20's don't fit either. I just setup my winter tire package, got 20" style 502 (they fit with the 6 pistons) running blizzaks (I personally think they're the best snow tire) Ideally you want a narrower tire and more sidewall to smooth out the ride. The problem with the 21/22" wheels is they're 9.5" wide and want roughly a 275 to fill out the wheel. You want to go narrower so you can cut through the snow vs riding up on it (not to say 255 is narrow but it's about the smallest you can go on this car). The 20's are 8.5 which is about the best you're going to do. I went with 255/55/20 which keeps the overall diameter of the wheels.

You could do snows on the 21/22 9.5" wide wheels, but if you're going to bother with snows and buying more wheels, might as well go with smaller rim, a bigger sidewall and narrower setup. I'll also add dropping down to a 20" wheel has made the car ride SO much better, it is ridiculous how much more comfortable the ride quality is. My summer wheels are 22" turbines and they might not make it back onto the car. I'll probably buy another set of 20's and an A/T type tire for summer.


here they are fit 20" style 502 blizzak 255/55/20
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I am running Continental 275-45-21 snows. I am very pleased. If I were to do it over, I would have gone with dedicated 20in wheels and Nokians for the winter and kept the 21s for the summer. (But I have no interest in 22s because of the ride). I do have the 6 piston brakes.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for your input. You bring up interesting questions.
I guess my question should have asked - In snow, does a higher profile snow tire with the same contact patch give you more grip? (braking / acceleration) Or is there no significant difference?
Example: 275/45R23 versus 275/65R19 (forget about ride comfort / pothole damage... etc) Assuming they have the same contact patch, would they both brake at the same distance (everything being equal)? I have been biased towards using larger profile tires, just like my dad. Maybe because you couldn't get smaller profile winter tires decades ago. I just assumed they were better for grip, but now I think there might be no significant difference... any thoughts? (Safety/performance comes first, ride comfort and appearance fight it out for second, and price pokes it's ugly head in fourth... usually...lol)
 

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low profile tires should yield similar performance as far as grip... I prefer higher profile for winter driving for the reasons you mentioned, softer ride over damaged winter roads/compacted snow/ice. In those situations the higher profile might add some performance and be the difference between damaged rim/flat tire... or just driving over the obstruction unscathed.
 

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I also bought a set of the style 502 wheels for my Sport. I normally have style 504 22" wheels. I am running Michelin Defender LTXs, which while they are not specifically snow tyres, they have a very aggressive siping and tread and IMO run better than my 255/55r18 Blizzaks on my D2.

I will be going with Nokians next winter. These Defenders came on the wheels. The wheels were $800 from Facebook Marketplace. An absolute steal IMO.
 

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Told by Nokian that 21” R3’s are not in stock. 20” available . I purchased a set of take off 20”s and went with R3’s. They work great and no worries with scratching a wheel. Price for wheels, tpms sensors and tires not much more than cost of 21 R3’s if you could get them.
 
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