Right now I own a 2004 Hyandi Accent. This car has 13-inch wheels. I am considering buying a 2009 car that has 16-inch wheels. Can anyone tell me the advantage between a 13-inch wheel and a 16-inch wheel with regard to driving the car and ride-comfort? Thank you. abfunex

Bumps, railroad tracks and potholes won’t be as traumatic for larger wheels as less of the wheel actually enters the hole. Generally larger wheels will provide a smoother more confident ride. They can also be quieter as the do not have to turn as fast as smaller wheels.

It’s mostly style. Larger and larger wheels are being put on more and more cars. The larger wheels may be heavier than the smaller wheels, but if they are alloy it might cancel out.

The wheel/tire/suspension combination will determine ride quality, comfort, and noise. Larger is not necessarily “better.” A car with larger wheels and tires can have a more comfortable, quiet ride, or it may have a stiff, noisy ride. It all depends on the car.

The car the wheels are mounted on means much more than the size of the wheels. What 2009 car are you shopping for?

Well we need more information. You say larger wheels. You talk about 13" and 16" which is a rather large change. You also need to think about the tyres. Is it possible to replace 13" wheels with 16" wheels and with the one tyre might result in a tyre with the same outside diameter. It also might mean a tyre with a larger overall diameter.

The tyre 16" rim combination giving you the same outside diameter, will not change any gear changes, but it will mean a skinny (in terms of the distance between the wheel and the tread) which will greatly increase the chance of road hazard damage to the tyre and the wheel. It will also likely give more road feel and a harsher ride. It might even give you better handling. So it is a mixed bag.

The other way of using a tyre that will result in a larger outside diameter will give more normal handling and feel, but it will will be heavier, may have clearance problems and the higher effective gearing may increase or decrease mileage and may reduce acceleration.

In general consumer grade alloy wheels are more expensive and more easily damaged than OEM steel wheels. If you want to pay for the really expensive true racing wheels, they will be lighter and stronger.

You may want to read my saga on the 2006 Nissan before getting too large or rims.

You need to consider the aspect ratio of the tires, too. If you have the same aspect ratio (sidewall height:tread width), the larger tire will provide a more comfortable ride. Large rims with a low aspect ratio mean that the tire won’t give as much before you strike the rim when you hit a pot hole.

16" is actually on the smaller side for most cars built today.
and, as was said, the aspect ratio is more important than the size. A 205/35-16 will have a bit harsher ride than a 205/55-16, and may be more susceptible to rim damage

Off subject:

Hey, bscar, you buy that bike yet?

The newer car’s bigger wheels will allow for bigger and more powerful brakes. Since the car is likely bigger and heavier also you may not notice a difference in braking performance.

Otherwise the larger wheels mean larger tires which should last a bit longer, give more traction, and a better ride over bumps. The very big wheels, 20", with the narrow sidewall tires give great traction but they ride very harshly. You feel every bump and those tires are very expensive to replace. Get 16" wheels but remember the fancier they are the more expensive they will be when you whack a curb or hit a pot hole.

I think there may be some confusion between wheel size (rim size ) and overall tire diameter. Larger wheels with tires of the same overall diameter have low aspect tires with narrow sidewalls; they offer better handling but a harsher ride and more potential for rim damage. Smaller wheel rims with the same diameter tires and high aspect ties with taller sidewalls offer decreased handling but a smoother ride with better pothole cushioning. My 265/65/17 alloy wheel rim tire combination has the nearly (<1%) same overall diameter as my winter tire 265/70/16 on steel rims. The winter tires actually ride better and handle potholes better with definite loss of handling on my 4Runner with NO affect on abs/speedo error.
It’s a balance between looks, cost, ride and handling. Other than looks, IMO, larger wheel rims are over rated except where max handling is required.
If the outside diameter remains constant, the tire revolutions per mile remains the same and you’re free to experiment w/o regard to abs and speedo error. Larger wheels do not necessarily mean larger tires…only by choice within the limitations of your brake and suspension components. larger rims with a constant overall diameter and tread width mean “smaller” tires by weight. With larger tires/diameter wise, you have the fitment problem in the wells to be concerned with.
Confused ?

not yet, I’m probably gonna forgo the bike right now in favor of a small-ish SUV and save the bike for down the road