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If I were to jump from 15" rims to 17" or 18" rims - but didn't go with low profile tires - would the car just be way too high? I don't want to sacrifice ride quality if I can avoid it... I want the ride to be smooth.. In this case, would the bigger rim size do anything positive for handling?
 

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Sal my friend did a similar thing with his passat and even with low profile tires you ride too high, you need to be lowered. Going from 17-18s i have had an enormous difference in ride quality, i think its a less smooth but more agressive and fun ride but u may see it as annoying....its hard to guess
 

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Sal,
You don't have the room in the wheel wells for both larger wheels AND OEM size rubber. Besides, the aftermarket wheels will be too wide for the OEM tires. In order to get the better handling you want, you need wider wheels and tires but unless you tub-out the wheels wells, there's just not enough room. On my car, I used 55-series tires to try to maintain as much of the ride quality as possible.
 

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If you go with a 17" rim and a 255-50-17 tire (there are a TON of choices now) then the O.D. of the tires is very close. IIRC, it's within a half inch or so, which is essentially nothing. And believe it or not, my car rides better on the 17's (50's) than it does on the winter 15's (75's)!!! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So it sounds like I may get away with 17" 50's or 55's OR 16" 50's or 55's?

To be honest, I'm really not so disappointed with the way the car handles. It really isn't that bad. But, if I decide to get aftermarket rims, maybe it would be a good idea to get a larger size. They look better and handle better...
 

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This one is easy Sal...

Factory Tire:
Goodyear Eagle GA 235/70R15
Overall Diameter 28", 9.5" sect wid, 7.4" tread wid.

My suggested replacement:
Goodyear Eagle RSA 255/55HR17
Overall Diameter 28", 10.4" sect wid, 8.9" Tread wid.

 
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