Finding the difference between 17-, 18- and 19-inch tires

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There's a balance to be found when you're on the hunt for a set of wheels and tires for your vehicle.

Do you prioritize comfort over performance? Are you looking to increase the handling capability and feel of your car? Perhaps you want to wind up somewhere in the middle of the two ends of the spectrum.

To help you understand how different size wheels and tires affect these parameters, we have a video showing a test of three separate sizes and the results are pretty clear.

Using a Volkswagen Golf GTI as a test vehicle, the appropriately named Tyre Reviews sets out to find the differences between three different sizes of rolling stock. We're working with a 225/45 R17, 225/40 R18 and a 225/35 R19. This means the section width is essentially the same, it's the sidewall and tire height that are changing as is the size of the wheels to which they're wrapped, of course.

All three sets of tiers are Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 3, and all three sets represent an available option size for the Golf GTI. The car is driven on a wet handling and dry handling course and the numbers are... close. All three tires present objectively similar data points. On the dry course, the larger tire was slightly faster while the opposite was true in the wet.

It comes down to more subjective measures, apparently. The smaller 17-inch tires represent the most comfortable ride thanks to the larger sidewall. The 18-inch tires create a bit more road noise, and this is further exacerbated when the car jumps up to the 19-inch wheels and tires. On the performance front, the 19-inch tires reportedly allow for sharper turn-in and more mid-corner balance, whereas the 17-inch tire felt more vague.

This back-to-back-to-back examination of tires on the same course under the same car is the perfect way to test a set against another.

 
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