I am hesitating between the RAV4 XLE and the RAV4 SE. The RAV4 SE has really cool 18'' wheels and the RAV4 XLE has normal 17'' wheels. I want to get the SE (because of aesthetics), however, I'm afraid the bigger wheels can make my driving experience less pleasant.

I read here the ride becomes terrible due to the 18-inch wheels with aggressive low profile tires. The XLE with 17-inch is much smoother

Is this true? I test drove both, but can't see the difference. Especially with the dealer sitting next to me, I can't focus to try to listen to the extra noises.

I would really like to hear the experts opinion on this. The dealer says there is no difference. I understand he doesn't care which one I buy. I want to know the experts opinion

  • Another factor you may want to consider is check the price to replace each of the different sizes of tyres as this may be a consideration. May 10 '16 at 12:58

If you live in a place where the roads are smooth, you are less likely to ever feel the difference. On the other hand, lower profile improves handling, so if you like a more sporty drive (which I highly disrecommend in an SUV) you will find yourself better in the SE.


If you prefer the bigger wheels and you cannot feel a negative difference I'd plump for them otherwise I'd probably regret it every time I saw the car (except when purchasing new tyres!).

I used to be into customised cars a lot when I was younger and used to put big wheels on all my cars, I felt at the time that the styling and cornering grip outweighed any detrimental ride or tramlining. That said I have driven my father's Vauxhall (Opel) Cascada that has standard 20" wheels and rubber band tyres, I don't think the bigger wheels affect the drive at all.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.