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VW B5 Passat TDIs This is a general discussion about B5 Passat(>98 (2004-2005 in North America)). Non TDI related postings will be moved or removed.

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Old September 23rd, 2004, 18:36   #1
LUV_MY_V_DUB
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Default Passat 15 inch VS 16 inch VS 17 inch factory rims

My new Passat TDI is on it's way to my dealership but the dealer offered me a Passat with the 17 inch wheel package that is in stock currently. I'm wondering how the ride and feel of the car is changed with the larger rims?

How do they compare? Has anyone driven all three???????

I've only been behind the wheel of a 04 Passat with the 15 inch setup. I seemed to handle nicely and ride well.

My concerns for the 17 inch are that they may be too wide for snow country? That the treadware life expectancy is less than the 16inch, and the the ride may become too harsh on broken pavement in city driving.

The standard 16's look great and seem well porportioned to the car- I think I'm going to go with the 16's as they are a good compromise for traction, ride, longevity and looks.

Please tell me your thoughts and observations.

Thanks! Joel in Wisconsin (Soon to have Stonehenge Grey Passat GLS Sedan w/grey leatherette)

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Old September 23rd, 2004, 19:04   #2
tomo366
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Location: Kensington, Maryland USA
Fuel Economy: Old Passat 40 Mercedes 20
Default Passat 15 inch VS 16 inch VS 17 inch factory rims

I like my 16"s no loss of fuel economy or performance!
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Old September 24th, 2004, 06:35   #3
Greg_Barrontine
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Default Passat 15 inch VS 16 inch VS 17 inch factory rims

I was wondering about that myself. I have an 05 ordered as well which comes with the 16's. I've found an 05 just like the one I have ordered but it has 17's. What's the general concensus?
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Old September 24th, 2004, 06:55   #4
audimotion
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Default Passat 15 inch VS 16 inch VS 17 inch factory rims

This is my take on the 15, 16, and 17" wheel/tire package. You will get the best mileage out of the 15 and 16" and they are considerably cheaper to buy. 15-16" tires will last ALOT longer than a 17" tire and they give a far better ride. Handling and look are what the 17" will get you. I prefer the 17" look and also the improved handling. I own a 02 Audi Avant A4 w/ Sport package and 17" wheels and 235-45-17" tires. The car handles and looks like a dream, but is worthless in snow, even with quattro, unless you have a all season ultra high performance tire. The car came with summer tires, and since I live in MN, I had to fork out $700+ for new all- seasons, and they only lasted about 15K miles. If I had to do it again, I would go with the 16". They still look good, and buying tires every few years instead of every year is easier on the pocket book. One more thing, when the 17" tires start to wear down...like after 8-10K miles, they get VERY loud. This is my 3rd vehicle with 17" and they all act the same...hope this help.
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Old September 24th, 2004, 10:04   #5
vw4life
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Fuel Economy: 7.4 L/100km 75% city (~32 MPG US)
Default Passat 15 inch VS 16 inch VS 17 inch factory rims

I'm sure the dealer will assist you with a tire/rim trade down package. Try asking
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Old September 24th, 2004, 11:14   #6
texasdoc
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Default Passat 15 inch VS 16 inch VS 17 inch factory rims

I have a 2005 Passat with the 17" wheel/tire package. I suspect the major advantages for the 17s are looks (a LOT cooler in my opinion) and handling/cornering. The treadwear rating on my tires is 300, so I suspect they won't go 40,000 miles, but of course that depends a lot on how you drive and take care of them. So far I think they ride nicely and noise is minimal. I suspect fuel economy is lower, but probably a minimal difference. So, in summary, I would go for the 17" tires if you really like the looks, and any tradeoffs will me minimal. If treadwear and economy are more important, and you like the 16" wheels, then go that route. In the end I don't think it's worth agonizing too much over the choice.
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Old September 24th, 2004, 11:39   #7
vwlogue
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Default Passat 15 inch VS 16 inch VS 17 inch factory rims

Just my 2c.. when I got my B5 gasser 6 yrs ago, the first thing that came off were the 15" alloys OEM and got 16" Borbet, and replaced the brake pads at the same time (mostly for less dust). I like the handling and braking of the 16" much better. I do urban parking a lot, and don't want to worry too much about curb rash on the 17". Upgrading my Golf TDI to 16" is on the list, but too many other things on the list still.
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Old September 24th, 2004, 12:01   #8
mies8
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Default Passat 15 inch VS 16 inch VS 17 inch factory rims

In the winter i`am driving around with 15 inch kaboedel,
and in the summer with 16 inch Montreal`s see here:
http://www.tdiclub.nl/pic_display.asp?id=118

The driving, steering and braking is better with the 16" iso the 15"

Ciao
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Old September 24th, 2004, 13:42   #9
vw4life
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Default Passat 15 inch VS 16 inch VS 17 inch factory rims

I would like to see a pic of the 2005 17's, anyone got one to post?
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Old September 25th, 2004, 18:24   #10
Neel
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Default Passat 15 inch VS 16 inch VS 17 inch factory rims

I've got a Passat with stock 15" wheels. I like the way it drives, handles, etc. I have driven another with 17" wheels; it did seem to corner a little better, but with slightly harsher ride. Never driven one with 16's. I guess I am happy with what I have, no desire to change.
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Old September 27th, 2004, 13:49   #11
schipperke
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Default Passat 15 inch VS 16 inch VS 17 inch factory rims

We bought the 2004 with the 15" wheels. Would have liked the 16", but I rationalize having 15"ers is just fine. They will handle snow better, and cheaper when replacement time comes. With typical US highways, the ride is just fine. Handling? I'm not a race driver, would rather have a snappier handling airplane...
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Old September 28th, 2004, 05:53   #12
muffin
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Default Passat 15 inch VS 16 inch VS 17 inch factory rims

My 2pence (UK no US) :

I have had Audi A4 / A6 with 16" and 17" rims.

16" - Comfortable, handle well, cheap to replace not so good in snow, but winter tyres not an option in the UK we dont get enough snow.

17" - Look top $$, cornering like on rails, but ride is a lot harsher and firmer, on motorway they are fine but on bad roads shake your fillings out....and expensive to replace as 17" tyres not as common and do get slightly noisy as they come to EOL but more rubber on road so to be expected... Winter coming will let you know (unless missus lets me upgrade to allroad before)

Chris
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