225/50/16 or 205/55/16

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  1. #1
    Dj is offline
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Chicago, Il

    225/50/16 or 205/55/16

    I am thinking about switching tire sizes and wanted to know the experiences of those of you that have made the switch. Pros and Cons.
    Currently I am running the stock suspension but will be upgrading this weekend to EIbach Prokits and Pro-Dampers. (2000 Passat GLS) Unfortunately At the time I bought my wheel I choose 16's. If I had te chance to do it over I would have gotten 17's.

    - So what are the pros and cons
    - Will the tires rub when with the new suspension (when compressed)
    - Will it drive sluggish

    Also can those of you with and without suspension upgrade post pics of your rides with 225/50/16's

    Thanx in advance

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  3. #2
    2nd Gear
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    NJ Exit 98
    I made the switch from stock 15's to custom 17's and after installing the Eibach Pro System, I almost wish I went 18's! The Pro System performs great with the 17's.


    You may wanted to seriously consider bigger wheels. You'll be happier in the long run

  4. #3
    4th Gear (Wax on Wax off)
    Join Date
    May 2003
    B.C. CanaDUH-WDP TL
    Here is mine with 225/50/16. no detramental effects and the car actually responds a bit better. As far as rubbing goes once lowered I don't think it will be an issue. the 225 is only 3/4" wider than the 205 (3/8th on either side of the rim). I will be lowering it in April.

  5. #4
    1st Gear
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Dallas TX
    I have 225/50/16 on my non lowered 98 and they are great. I went with the Kumhos but I don't snow traction in Dallas.

  6. #5
    3rd Gear
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Tempe Arizona USA
    If you are lowering, be careful with the 225's. It depends on how much you are lowering, and what the offset of your wheels is.

    I'm lowered about 1.3-1.4" in the front with 35mm offset and the 205's rub on occasion if I'm not super careful. Mainly during sharp turns with people in the car. If you do decide to go with 225's, I would roll your fenders as to not damage your tires and not lower too much.


  7. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    santa rosa ,ca usa
    Early on, I upgraded to 16 inch wheels and 225/50s from the stock 15 inch rims. Handling upgrade was enormous, but the trade was a decline in fuel economy, about 1 to 2 miles per gallon, and a more sluggish acceleration. switched to 205s, in a z-rated Dunlop 9000, have enjoyed them, and will not go back to 225s.

  8. #7
    4th Gear
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    NJ USA
    If you don't plan on lowering go with 205-55-16's, they look better with stock suspension IMHO

  9. #8
    6th Gear
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    I don't understand how they look better... iirc, the sidewall height is almost exactly the same. The 205's do bulge a little less, but its hardly noticeable.

    Your biggest deciding factor should be wheel width. If you have 16x7's or any wider, 225s will work fine (I'd recommend 7.5" or wider if you have the choice). If you 16x6.5's or less, putting 225s on it might work, but its silly and you'll completely destroy your turn-in.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Bethesda, MD
    I have 225/50/16 on 16x7 wheels: 35mm offset. They did rub when I was running on H&R sport springs/stock shocks, especially over dips and also when the car was full of people. I'm currently running Eibach/Bilsteins now and rubbing is no longer an issue. The car doesn't corner as well but i'm happy with the balance in drop (appearance), comfort & handling.
    Regarding gas mileage, i noticed a considerable decrease in fuel efficiency but that will be determined greatly on the weight of your wheels.
    Regarding appearance, as stealthx32 mentioned the size of your wheel will determine whether the tires will bulge. 205s run flush with 7 inch wheels while 225s will bulge a bit. If you have 7.5 to 8 inch wheel width the 225s will be just fine. My tires bulge a bit since I have 225s on 7 inch wheels but they look fine to me. One advantage is that it protects my wheels from curb rash.
    Aside from width and wheel weight, performance will also depend on the specific tire you choose to go with. You may opt for all seasons since you're in Il. check out the tirerack.com website surveys for ratings on cornering, snow/wet/dry traction, etc.

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