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Luxury Performance Sedans

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  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    True. If VW could only shave about 5K off the price of the V6 when loaded they'd rack up some serious sales IMO. I guess the Passat has to be compared with the Avalon, 300, Maxima etc.

    M
  • I think that the Passat is a good prototype for discussion of CR's influence.

    I don't know anyone who bought a car solely in the most simple-minded act of "I want a family sedan and CR says Camry is best so I ordered one even though I don't like the way it looks or drives."

    I routinely hear, however, people say some variation of "I'm looking for a car in this price range" or "I'm looking for a car in this category," and then immediately mention the ones that CR reports as reliable (and so the ones they will investigate more) or immediately eliminate one because CR says it's not very reliable (and so, they are not going to test drive it) -- even, at times, adding something such as "too bad; I like the way it looks."

    I've also been on test drives with friends who have wavered in this way: "I really like X. This one we're driving now is good too, but it doesn't light me up the way X does. However, CR says this one is the most reliable car in the whole class. I'd hate to buy X and then have something go wrong. I'd feel like an idiot for not having listened to CR (and/or JDP)."

    If CR's attitude toward the Passat (total fantasy, I know) was some variation of "You'll pay 20% more and you might have to ask them to fix a few niggling things when you bring the car in for routine maintenance, but it might be worth it if you value innovative engineering and the engagement/fun factor of car ownership. So, we include it among the models we recommend" would that raise Passat sales? If CR was willing to write that, I'd be willing to make a wager that sales increase for Passat in the months immediately following CR's annual auto issue hitting the newsstands.
  • pg48477pg48477 Posts: 309
    Let’s put it this way, most of the people will not be able to tell the difference in driving dynamics between Accord and Passat, may be Camry (because it’s softer). Passat belongs in family sedan category, the emphasis is on FAMILY, therefore little difference in road feel will not make any difference. Why would anyone pay 4K more for potentially unreliable VW? And what innovative engineering, same old FWD FAMILY sedan, just like anything else out there?

    The problem with Passat is not CR it’s the price. VW priced the car in entry luxury segment and expecting it to sell like Accord, whoever is in charge of pricing and marketing has to be fired?
  • I agree, mostly.

    I guess I didn't frame my post clearly. The intent of "total fantasy" was to alert forum participants that I was about to make up a statement about a car (not my assessment of the car) that, if CR published it, would have an impact on its readers. The point was, and this I believe to be true, is that CR's withholding recommendation (which it gives almost totally on basis of counting number of repairs) pushes some readers to eliminate a car. I was offering that as an alternative to framing a discussion of CR's influence in the language of "does or doesn't anyone buy a car only because CR tells them to?".

    Also, while I agree that VW would have to lower its price to compete with Accord and Camry, I don't agree that no one buying a "family" sedan would factor in fun-to-drive. Nor do I know how we could really decide how many buyers can or cannot tell the difference between how a Passat drives and an Accord drives. Certainly, all the auto mags depend on readers believing that their (the auto mags') differentiations among comparo cars' driving dynamics will be felt by those readers (although that doesn't tell us how many consumers would make those same differentiations).

    Anyway, I wasn't really intending to catalyze a discussion about the Passat.
  • sfcharliesfcharlie Posts: 402
    The last half dozen or so posts, taken together, probably paint a more accurate picture of car buying than any one alone. Some people might buy out of pure passion for one car, some out of brand habit/loyalty, some as a result of test-driving all the cars in a particular category. Similarly, some will not consider the Passat, if they find it priced $5K above the Camry and Accord, but some will, because the look and feel is compelling to them.

    I doubt that we'll identify "the" car buying strategy that non-enthusiasts will employ unless an enthusiast takes them on a test-driving tour, or for that matter, even "the" decision-making process that "lot buyers" would eventually use if a more flexible and/or knowledgable friend took them around and they test-drove all the LPS cars.

    That's why I agree that CR, while unlikely to be the 100% deciding factor in any car purchase, probably plays a significant role in the decision-making process of one segment of car-buyers.
  • Help! I have a 2005 Caddy STS4 (all wheel drive) with the luxury performance package. Here's my problem: I can't find any snow tires to fit because the car has different tire sizes front and back. Front is 255/45ZR18; back is 235/50ZR18. what can I do? The stock tires turn on a dime on dry pavement but are utterly useless in Minnesota snow.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Check back on your first post: mnjasper, "Snow/Ice winter tires" #531, 20 Oct 2006 8:10 am. You have some replies there. You also may want to visit our Cadillac STS/STS-V board.

    Welcome to the Forums.
  • mariner7mariner7 Posts: 509
    The problem with Passat is not CR it’s the price. VW priced the car in entry luxury segment and expecting it to sell like Accord, whoever is in charge of pricing and marketing has to be fired?

    VW made many, many mistakes Toyota and Honda never ever make. As you said, pricing is wrong, VW can't make up its mind whether Passat should compete in the Camcord segment or ES/TL/A4 segment.

    Second, remember how long VW left the previous Passat on the market. Eight years, I believe, double the Camcord cycle.

    I think the current Passat's styling is terrible. It looks more Buick-like than Camry. Styling used to be VAG strength. A4 used to be the most stylish in its class, but not anymore.

    The Japanese automaker VW most resembles in NA is Mazda. Very good, quirky cars that find loyal fan base, but never a threat to the big boys! Blame VW, don't blame CR!!!
  • carnaughtcarnaught Posts: 1,593
    I think the current Passat's styling is terrible. It looks more Buick-like than Camry.

    Looks are completely subjective. You're right though on Passat resembling Buick (Lucerne). But, the Lucerne came after the current Passat.
  • Hmmm ... I was wrong. I had posted something. Someone had mentioned the Passat in their response. I replied that the Passat was a good example. I was wrong about that. It's not turning out to be a good example to make the point I was originally trying to make.

    I don't believe CR makes or breaks any car. I do believe CR is an active ingredient in the decision-making process of a significant number of car buyers.

    The bigger point is that the "literature" on cars is not just entertainment. Nor does is it science, as in "just telling it like it is." It's opinion. It's slanted and it skews the collective consciousness about cars, in general, and increases or decreases the good/bad status of some cars in ways that might not be consistent with how many people would have ended up enjoying "the total ownership experience" of a certain car, if what they read about it hadn't led them to not seriously consider it.

    I think that what some people read in CR, or Car and Driver, or USA Today contributes to which cars they'll seriously consider and that it cannot be assumed people might avoid a certain car only if it really is a "bad buy."
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I think the current Passat's styling is terrible. It looks more Buick-like than Camry. Styling used to be VAG strength. A4 used to be the most stylish in its class, but not anymore.

    The Japanese automaker VW most resembles in NA is Mazda. Very good, quirky cars that find loyal fan base, but never a threat to the big boys! Blame VW, don't blame CR!!!


    I don't think the Passat looks awful. There are certainly cars in that segment that look much worse. That enormous rear overhang is definitely a problem though, it makes the car look big and clumsy. VW needs to push the wheels to the corners.

    Mazda is pretty different from VW. With the exception of the Miata and the RX-7, Mazda made very bland, forgettable cars that had nothing to set them apart from the competition. They didnt have any kind of real focus as an automaker until 2003. Mazda's sales have been flat in this country for about 10 years, but now that they have a real product portfolio, they have a chance to finally break into the big leagues.

    VW had the cars, but they went on a buying spree, decided they wanted a piece of the S class, and left them on the market for a decade.
  • sfcharliesfcharlie Posts: 402
    "VW had the cars, but they went on a buying spree, decided they wanted a piece of the S class, and left them on the market for a decade."

    Lexusguy, I agree. Former CEO Ferdinand Piech steered Volkswagen off course in the 1990s by trying to take the VW brand upmarket to challenge Mercedes. At the same time, as Business Week put it, "he took his eye off the company's core business in small cars, and failed to grapple with VW's growing productivity gap. With a domineering Piech sitting on the supervisory board, successor Bernd Pischetsrieder didn't dare do a U-turn, and many problems festered."

    Volkswagen's started a further turn downward in 2001, but management has been slow to do anything. Now, despite the new models of the last two years, VW's promised rebound doesn't materialize.

    The alleged coming turnaround remains a prediction that VW struggles to keep the PR fire under. At the beginning of the year Bernhard promised ten new models by 2010. Then, in July, he moved the target date up to 2008.

    Nonetheless, last December, a report by Morgan Stanley warned of a pretax profit plunge of 41% in 2006.

    Not sure how well VW is doing financially as the year comes to an end.

    Meanwhile, Audi fights for its piece of the international LPS pie from a quasi-independent position within the VW empire. Audi performs strongly outside the U.S. According to Fortune Magazine: "Its brand is strong in Europe, where Audi's are seen as equals in image and performance to its better-known competitors and command similar prices. Audi has also moved aggressively overseas and has become the most popular luxury car in China. Overall, the company expects to sell 890,000 cars this year and is aiming for 1.4 million by 2015 - a position from which it might be able to claim luxury car leadership."

    In the U.S., Fortune points out, "it takes more than good products to succeed. Audi's reputation for quality lags that of its competitors. 'You pay for your sins for a long time,' says Johan de Nysschen, the head of Audi of Americas. Quality is getting better but older ones remain a problem. Audi ranked well below average in the latest JD Power dependability study of 2003 model cars." Nonetheless, unlike VW, Fortune's prediction for Audi in the U.S. in optimistic: " Audi is making another push with several new models. It is introducing a small SUV, the Q5, a small coupe, the A5, and a $130,000 mid engine sports car, the R8, over the next year and a half . Its goal: to boost unit sales from 83,000 in 2005 to 100,000 in 2008. Assuming the economy holds up, its targets look reasonable. Both BMW and Mercedes sell more than twice that many vehicles here."

    VW has to do something completely different.
  • The Detroit News (about VW and Audi): "It's losing big money in the U.S.; bloated European workforce won't be easy to slash; could successful upscale Audi be sacrificed?"

    According to investment banker Morgan Stanley's Adam Jonas, Audi as a stand-alone business is worth more than VW: "I value Audi at standalone at roughly 60 euros ($77). VW is roughly 54/55 euros ($69/71) now," said London-based Jonas." The "bloated" European workforce is a big reason (although not the only one) why VW can't match prices with Toyota and Honda. A recent article in a German newspaper, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung, cited VW sources saying that at least 40,000 of the 100,000 people employed in its parts and assembly plants were superfluous.

    Another thing (about Audi), which a number of financial-auto analysts have said: Audi has to completely separate its U.S. dealerships from VW dealerships. I experienced the truth of that, first-hand, while shopping A4s a while back. An Audi Brand Specialist at an Audi/Porsche dealership responded to an off-hand comment, made one of the boys I had with me, about the Audi being sort of like his brother's Passat. The German-accented salesman said: "Only until you drive them." By contrast, a salesman at a VW/Audi dealership commented (when I mentioned that I might consider an A4 with 2.0 turbo for better-mpg commuting): "Waste of money. You'd be better off getting a Passat with the same engine -- more car for your money."
  • The problem isn't in buying the same size tires, but in buying harder snow rubber. Go to www.tirerack.com. If you can't find it, ask. They are very helpful.
  • RE: VW has to do something completely different.

    Sheesh, if you have been watching them as a company, you may realize that VW has made statements with their wallets that most car companies only dream about. They have stakes in Uber car factories such as Porsche, among others. They invest in their primary brand the segment they wish to capture, in others they partake vicariously. In all, VW is making a killing.
  • Sheesh, if you have been watching them as a company, you may realize that VW has made statements with their wallets that most car companies only dream about. They have stakes in Uber car factories such as Porsche, among others. They invest in their primary brand the segment they wish to capture, in others they partake vicariously. In all, VW is making a killing.

    I thought it was pretty clear (to me anyway) that the comment you quote and criticize was not speaking about VW as an entire company, but providing some figures and analysis specifically about the VW brand, within the larger VW company. You're talking about one thing (the whole VW company) and the last few comments about VW are talking about another (the VW brand line), unless you mean to imply that they're making so much money on their stakes in Porsche and Audi that they've decided to drain off some of the profits by mismanaging their original brand line ;)
  • Since you did not mention wheel size, I assume you want to use your stock wheels, year round.

    Why do you think you can't find tires since the fronts and rears are different? You can buy two tires at the same time from virtually any retailer I can think of.

    The Tirerack is very helpful -- here is what they might "suggest": minus zero sizing. For instance, they may suggest 235 x 50 x 18 tires if you tell them you want to keep 18" wheels (using the rears as an example.)

    I found 4 WINTER tire brands/models in that size in about 45 seconds on Tirerack. And buying 2 was possible too.

    You could opt for 4 winter tires of the same size, or you could minus zero the 235s you have too.

    Here is what you may consider if you want status quo but with winter tires:

    Matched tire sets for Cadillac STS V8 18 Inch O.E. Standard Wheels:

    Front: 235/50-18
    Rear: 255/45-18

    Bridgestone Blizzak LM-22 (V rated) just under $900 for all four.
  • dollar for dollar in the U.S. when the Euro is worth more than the U.S. Dollar and Japanese Yen and make huge profits?

    Any auto company can only lower the price so much before you mess with resale at the least and have soaring production/manufacturing costs to cover.

    VW in the U.S. only has 4 vehicles that are more value priced for the income of the general pop., and even then they are still more expensive overall compared to however many the Japanese competition have vehicle for vehicle...i.e. Civic/Corolla to Jetta or Accord/Camry to Jetta/Passat. Until I see a high volume, high priced, high profit auto company, I'll say it will remain an oxymoron.

    And who's lining up for a Beetle or expensive hatchback?

    Now outside of the U.S. is a totally different ball game...
  • For some time the Japanese, despite the "advantage" you cite, didn't quite have the "driving pleasure" thing figured out.

    Probably a lot of folks still think that no matter how high up the price ladder the Japanese cars go, they are kind of like that Hertz commercial "not qutie."

    To me, Infiniti may be -- to keep the car rental analogy alive for another paragraph or two -- like Avis "we try harder."

    The G and M cars are remarkably close to that taught, rides on rails German driving sensation. Some folks thinks they have cracked the code completely in fact.

    Lexus, on the other hand, seems (to me) to not even try to emulate the German driving FEELING, rather Lexus seems to build cars of almost impossibly high reliability and some even think of German quality. Driving some of the cars from Lexus, on the other hand, is like driving the nicest sofa you've ever had seat time in/on.

    Yet, Lexus cars continue to be thought of -- by most -- as members in good standing in the LPS class.

    Acura -- hmmm, perhaps the Japanese Saab or Volvo? I dunno. The TL is a very nice piece, the new RDX, too seems to push a lot of the right buttons, but damn if the RL seems to have trouble "getting respect."

    The Germans ride -- in the US -- and rest somewhat on their laurels. But, a back to back to back drive of a couple of Germans and a couple of Japanese cars will point out some differences.

    At this stage of evolution, the cars are far more similar than dissimilar. Yet, subtle as the differences may be, there will be BMW bigots and Lexus bigots and even Cadillac bigots one would assume.

    Perhaps "loyal fans" would be a more appropriate word than bigots.

    My wife has been totally converted from Audi to BMW and after a weekend of test driving Japanese cars, Korean cars and made in America Japanese cars, she is convinced that the Japanese cars are SUPERIOR when sitting still and that the Germans (particularly BMW's) are SUPERIOR when you are driving them.

    I suspect -- and the LPS sales numbers seem to support this -- that might be representative of a lot of folks opinions.

    The RDX, for instance, has everything you could want in a modern car that mere mortals can afford. The comparable BMW, even for an additional $10,000 is, relatively, a "strippie." Then, when you drive them for perhaps longer than a typical test drive, the differences emerge.

    From my perspective, the Japanese and somewhat even the Americans continue to nip at the heels of the German cars.

    The differences are getting harder to cost justify, but still -- obviously -- can be justified (as the sales figures month after month, here in LPS land, demonstrate.)

    The Germans do seem to be threatened -- but the competition seems to suit them, for they still make the cars people apparently WANT to DRIVE.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Acura -- hmmm, perhaps the Japanese Saab or Volvo? I dunno. The TL is a very nice piece, the new RDX, too seems to push a lot of the right buttons, but damn if the RL seems to have trouble "getting respect."

    Whats funny about the TL is that even though it is often the whipping boy of the entry-sport class because of its drivetrain, it owns the segment in sales, at least in the US. BMW NA wishes they could move 3s like Acura moves TLs. If Acura gives it SH-AWD, and fixes the balance problems, (and that SUV-like turning circle) watch out. It already has the engine and 6-speed, all it needs is the drive wheels in the right place.

    I think Acura's biggest threat to Germany right now is the new MDX. The RDX isn't bad, but there seems to be some misses with it that are hard to ignore, that god-awful fuel economy for one. A Hummer H3 does better than that.

    The RL hasnt gotten "respect" since day one, 1996. The Legend was a great car. That RL was not. Acura needs to bring the Legend name back, and put it on an out-of-this-world car if they really want to break through that $40K glass ceiling. It needs a V8, a 6-speed, and its own dedicated platform. Otherwise they might as well stay home.

    BMW should keep a careful eye on that '09 Infiniti FX. If they do it right, it should pose a more serious challenge to the X5 than the ML and Q5 will.
  • Does anyone know if there's a website that lists the average transaction prices of the number of vehicles sold per manufacturer? Including Lease, Finance, or cash purchase?

    It doesn't matter how well the Japanese cars handle, they'll never be German, their cars just don't have that German car smell, feel. Japanese cars all drive the same and feel the same to a degree, from Honda, Nissan, Mazda, Toyota, Acura, etc, not that it's a bad thing, but it's not particularly great either. If the Germans were as reliable as the Japanese, would that make the Japanese cars obsolete? Should the Japanes car companies be worried?
  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,857
    I sure agree with you..A good use of the English language Tony
  • Speaking as a German car fan, if not outright bigot, I would think the phrase, "never say never" springs to mind.

    And saying Japanese cars all drive the same, while apparently your observation, is really not the case.

    Drive a Lexus GS and an Infiniti M back to back -- insert an A6 SLine (6 or 8) or a 5 series or E class even in the test. Drive the exact same route over and over. The M is very close to the German feel.

    Now smell is another matter. The smell of new BMWs and Audis is different. A new Mercedes always, to me, smells like that super duper leather scent you get a car wash.

    The Japanese cars -- especially the Lexus -- seem to have taken a page out of the current Cadillac book (not that that is a bad thing.)

    My Audi (2005) A6 if it were to be a representative of reliability from this point forward has been "the best ever." Those of you who know it is my 28th Audi will surely point out that it is relative to my previous experience which, I admit, was less than Lexus-like.

    There must be folks who don't like the German driving feel -- Lexus couldn't exist otherwise, don't you think?

    There are folks who riding or driving my German cars think they are stiff, harsh and "bumpy."

    It takes all kinds.

    Isn't the Camry near the top or at the top of sales?

    The Camry, even the new ones, is hardly rewarding to drive. But, it is predictable.

    I have both Honda and Toyota as clients -- they are keenly interested in quality and value. Driving pleasure, if it is in the top 10 reasons for being, must be below 5.

    My Toyota client in Kentucky is on the verge of adding a third shift, just to keep up with demand.

    The Japanese companies that I deal with don't even think about German cars as far as I can tell -- they seem much more concerned about the Koreans and other Japanese makers. German car companies NEVER come up, in fact.

    They just are too small in a competitive sense to make a difference. Now, maybe if I had insight into Acura and Lexus, I would be seeing and hearing different data points.

    The Honda guys are always busting on me for driving Audis, suggesting that I should consider Acuras instead.

    The Toyota guys, believe it or not, seem to think America cars are actually better "values."

    Of course the top guys all drive Lexus cars.

    Probably perks, don't you think?

    :confuse:
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 29,199
    Porsche owns 20% of VW.. not the other way around.

    MODERATOR
    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • sfcharliesfcharlie Posts: 402
    Pat, good catch.

    The move by Porsche, last year, was thought, by some analysts, to have been forced by concerns that a European court might have been getting ready to overturn a law protecting VW from takeover.

    As a major parts supplier, Volkswagen is obviously incredibly important to Porsche. Porsche doesn't want to see Volkswagen in new hands, and Porsche wants to buy the requisite 25.1 percent of Volkswagen stock to give it control.

    Porsche shares the rest of the stock with Volkswagen and the Government of Lower Saxony. Once the approval of the takeover plan was granted, Porsche became legally allowed to purchase the remaining 3.5 percent needed to gain a controlling interest and stop worrying about a hostile takeover.
  • Japanese cars all drive the same, not handle the same. There's a difference and I'm not talking about 10/10ths driving which the majority of Camry owners, hell even BMW owners don't do.

    I said, "Japanese cars all drive the same and feel the same to a degree," I didn't say they were an exact copy of each other.

    If you sit, feel, & touch the inside of a Camry, it's not much different from an Accord, or Altima, or Civic, or Sentra or Scion and the driving experience is not much removed either.

    I can tell the difference in quality, feel, and handling when I'm in the 350z or TT. When I'm in my coworkers CLK or ML and that "difference" I can't quantify it, but it's there in the Germans and the Americans and/Japanese don't have it.

    you said:
    There must be folks who don't like the German driving feel -- Lexus couldn't exist otherwise, don't you think?
    There are folks who riding or driving my German cars think they are stiff, harsh and "bumpy."

    my reply

    I never said anything about people who didn't like a German driving feel. There is nothing wrong with vehicles that don't have a "firm/smooth" ride, but the Germans are the ones being targeted by every carmaker. Go figure. It's funny and ironic.

    (Acura, Cadillac & GM, Honda, Infiniti, Mazda-Ford, Lexus, Nissan) apparently feel that if they copy the "German" driving experience to their cars, then mission accomplished.

    Oh and another thing, if I get/got a Lex as a perk, I'd drive it as well.. :-)
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    It doesn't matter how well the Japanese cars handle, they'll never be German, their cars just don't have that German car smell, feel. Japanese cars all drive the same and feel the same to a degree, from Honda, Nissan, Mazda, Toyota, Acura, etc, not that it's a bad thing, but it's not particularly great either. If the Germans were as reliable as the Japanese, would that make the Japanese cars obsolete? Should the Japanes car companies be worried?

    Japanese auto faces a very, very uphill battle in Germany's backyard market. There's slightly less of an incline in the UK auto market. In this market though, Japanese auto has nothing to worry about. Corolla\Camry makes for over 700,000 sales a year, and Civic\Accord is over 600,000. VW will never match that, and certainly the rest of the German companies won't come within a country mile.

    For Subaru, Nissan, and Mazda, the situation is a little different. Toyota and Honda seem invincible to market shifts, but Nissan is hurting quite a bit right now, and I think the short term outlook for Subaru is only mediocre. It will be interesting to see what kind of approach Toyota takes to managing their new investment. GM used a hands-off approach with them, and it didn't really work. Then again GM's hands-on efforts seem to come out worse (Saab, Isuzu).

    In the US, the only place where Japan really seems to lag behind Germany is in the LPS arena. (I'm talking just sales, not performance). The TL and G outsell the German competition at the entry level, and the LS outsells the competition at the high end level. The GS and M still get hammered by the 5 and E though. Clearly more improvements need to be made there.
  • In the end, thanks for everyone's advice. The Blizzak LM-22 is the only tire I could find that comes in the standard sizes that came with the car. Lots come in one or the other, but finding four tires of the same model in the different sizes was a problem. When I put the car model in Tirerack, I did not find any. But when I seperately put in the sizes, I came to the Blizzak LM-22s. That is the decision I made. I didn't want to buy two of one model tire and two of another model tire because the winter tires all say to not mix and match.

    I have a question, though. What do you mean by "minus zero the 235s"? I could find no one, including the Cadillac dealer, that could tell me if it would be bad for my all-wheel drive to put four of the same size all around.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    As a general rule it is best to "Minus-One" (i.e. down one inch in wheel diameter) and go with the same width or slightly narrower tire than what is mounted on the front from the factory, hence the recommendation to use the 235 section width tires. By buying winter tires that fit your factory wheels you are significantly compromising your cars' winter capabilities.

    The best bet (and over the course of two or three years the least expensive) would have been to follow the TireRack recommendation of 235/55 R17 tires. Is it too late to change your order?

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • Minus or plus sizing -- minus zero, minus one, minus two -- simply means keeing the size of the tire that the "computer thinks" is on the car the same.

    For instance, if your car comes with 225 x 55 x 17 tires, you can PLUS ZERO size them to 245 x 50 x 17, gaining a wider tread, a lower profile and retaining the 17" wheels. The distance the tire travels per revolution is "very close" to the factory set up, so everything continues to function normally.

    Plus One in this case could be done and you could go to a 245 x 45 x 18" tire/wheel combo and again potentially gain improvements from this change. Appropriate tire ratings, capabilities, compounds and design, too, will effect the outcome of such a Plus sizing. Some folks plus size ONLY for appearance sake, but often a performance boost (handling) can be gained too.

    Minus sizing -- is usually done for winter driving.

    You could minus zero or one your tires/wheels on your Cadillac. If you minus zero your wheel size will not change, your tread width will narrow and your aspect ratio will increase.

    If you minus one size, your wheel size will decrease by one inch.

    Why your dealer wasn't conversant about this is another matter.

    Tirerack has help on their site on this subject.

    I have often plus zero'd my tires on my cars to gain a bit of improvement in "turn in." Such an approach is not expensive since no new wheels are required.
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