SO you drop the wheel size when running the winter tires? I was thinking about doing this, but am not sure what is best to get. What size tire and rim are you running? What are the advantages and disadvantages for running 16 vs 18?
Advantages of runner 16" winter tire setup
- Much cheaper tires
- Cheaper alloy rims
- Can use even cheaper steel rims
- Taller sidewall, a much more comfortable ride
- Less likely to suffer from damage hitting a pot hole, which can be hard to spot in winter
Summary: Cheap, Comfortable, and more Durable
Advantage of 18" winter tires
- 18" rim and tire combo looks better
- In theory 18" tires will offer better corner handling in dry conditions
- 18" tires should also offer a more direct steering feel.
Summary: Looks better, handles sharper in the dry, better steering feel, but more expensive and likely to be damaged by pot holes.
I run 18" summer tires and 16" winter tires on steel rims. The 18" summer tires definitely offers a better and more solid steering feel. But the Continental Extreme Winter Contact are doing a pretty good job all around. I don't feel the handling of the car being compromised in dry winter conditions. Of course with my 18" summer performance tires the handling is even sharper.