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Love Those Big, Modern Wheels - 2015 Volvo S60 Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Posts: 10,059
edited September 2015 in Volvo
imageLove Those Big, Modern Wheels - 2015 Volvo S60 Long-Term Road Test

We love the 18-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels that roll under our 2015 Volvo S60 test car, especially when compared to the tiny stock 15-inch wheels on one of our personal Volvo wagons.

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Comments

  • Yep, looks great. Now, lets look at real life. Primacy MXV4 wheels. Those 15" tires cost $102 on Tire Rack with 620 Treadwear. 17" increases to $160 each and drops to 500 treadwear. 19"s will cost you $215 each also with 500 treadwear. Start burning through that rubber every few years and calculate what those "big modern wheels" are costing you.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Amen, give me the 15s all day long.
  • I like the smallest wheels that will clear decent sized rotors & calipers. For both of my cars that requires 16-17 depending on the design. Bigger sidewall also protects wheels against curbs and pot holes.
  • Put me in the camp that appreciates smaller wheels/more sidewall on my daily driver. It just makes more sense from a cost and a comfort standpoint. I mean, hell, I'm not driving to work daily and running errands on a track. Modern realities being what they are, running 18-19-20's on a Camry (or whatever) is downright silly.

    I'll go even further and state that I've grown sick of this fixation on wheels. Whenever a new car is released, there will inevitably be a grundle of comments on the forums addressing just the wheels. I suppose it's largely due to the fact that buying aftermarket wheels is the easiest way of personalizing one's car (nevermind the fact that generally everyone buys the same wheels, so it's a, "I'm different...just like everyone else!" sort of deal). The fact there are plenty of shops that offer their own credit/pay plans for wheels pretty much says it all. Not that wanting new wheels is a terrible thing, but that it's gotten to the point where that's all people see. They'll totally disregard other aspects of a car and focus almost entirely on the wheels.
  • Remember not THAT long ago when your standard options were ugly steel wheels with hubcaps? LOL. We're now driving works of art and pay the prices for them. There's definitely a "sweet spot" for a wheel. 15"-16" is likely it. You get nice look wheels with a lot of protection for the wheel, comfortable drive and save big $ when replacing them. When I look at those $500 (a piece!) tires on the P85D with 220 treadwear, I start wondering if you can get aftermarket SMALLER wheels.
  • iamthestigiamthestig Philadelphia, PAPosts: 85
    I'm also a fan of stock, smaller wheels. I have two VWs -- our Jetta came with 16" steelies, and when I "upgraded" it to OEM alloys earlier this year I chose 16" wheels (I kept the steelies for winter tires). My Passat runs on 17" wheels and I stayed away from the bigger options. Increasing wheel size has a huge impact on tire cost going forward, not to mention ride and handling. I am A-OK with 16" and 17" wheels.
  • I always thought those wheels on the V70 (and S70) looked good then, and still look good now. They're not "boring", they're classy!
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,870
    Big wheels with thin rubber BLOW! I'll take less wheel with more tire please.
  • I'm also in the camp of appropriately sized wheels. It looks like you're running 205/60 tires on 15" rims now... To maintain overall dimensions along with both visual proportions and driveability I wouldn't go larger than 16" wheels, maybe 17s if you're okay with a stiffer ride.
  • apparently smaller side walls have lower rolling resistance so they are put on the heavier high end trim levels to keep the MPG up.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    edited September 2015
    I wonder - "Manufacturers do not test every new vehicle offered for sale. They are only required to test one representative vehicle—typically a preproduction prototype—for each combination of loaded vehicle weight class, transmission class, and basic engine." (EPA)

    And larger wheels tend to be heavier, unless the base size are steelies, and that can zap MPG. (caranddriver.com)

    Methinks the bigger wheels with rubber bands around them are mostly for looks.
  • actualsizeactualsize Santa Ana, CaliforniaPosts: 451
    Not a fan of the "big, modern wheels" myself. Owing to the tires' low-profile construction, they're expensive to replace and they ride like poo. And I think 17 would be better than 18 here from a visual standpoint. I could use a tad more sidewall than this.

    I will give these newer wheels credit for a few visual tricks that the older wheel could have used to make itself appear larger and more agreeable.

    1) the spokes go all the way to the rim edge. They don't stop short, they're extended out as far as possible.

    2) the number of spokes is a multiple of the number of lug nuts. In this way the spokes can appear longer because they can run right into and envelope the lug nuts. This also subtracts visual mass from the otherwise-bulky central hub.

    3) the background elements are painted black. This further emphasizes the length of the spokes and de-emphasizes the hub and rim.

    Had the old wheel employed all of these, it would have appeared larger, less bulky and more open, possibly to the point where we wouldn't be having this discussion. I can imagine this Volvo with optimally-styled 17s that I'd like just fine. And it'd ride better on less-pricey tires, too. It might even have better steering feel.

    Twitter: @Edmunds_Test

  • Take that car on I-10 between Redlands and Palm Springs and see if you still like them. In my old S60 with 18s I expected to see the struts coming up through the hood last time I drove that cart track.
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