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Looking for VW Ameo highline (released in India) or polo/vento - 4 tyres (front & rear) comes with 4 alloys - good but spare wheel tyre as Steel. The dealer quoting that all cars - Hyundai, Honda, Maruti, Toyota - all have spare tyre in steel wheel. Is it true? and Why?

  • A steel spare wheel is still a lot more useful than the can of expanding foam they are putting in the majority of UK vehicles. If you particularly want an alloy spare, providing there is space to fit one (often the steel spares are slim line), insist the dealer includes one, the cost is certainly within the bounds of the dealers margin – Steve Nov 1 '16 at 11:08
  • They're often "low profile" spares too - much narrower tyres. You only use a spare to get to a garage, so it doesn't matter, surely? – pjc50 Nov 1 '16 at 12:33
  • Yes, in general they are steel even in the US. A steel rim is cheaper than alloy so they provide a steel one. It is possible that higher-end cars like an $80,000 Mercedes will have a spare alloy instead of steel. You can usually get a matching 5th alloy wheel but you will pay extra or if you are a smooth talker then get the dealer to give you one for free. – MonkeyZeus Nov 1 '16 at 12:47
  • For what it's worth, my 2001 Infiniti QX4 has a full-size alloy spare but similar-year Pathfinders (essentially the same vehicle) seem to have steel spares, so trim level and/or brand definitely seem to factor into what you get. The full-size alloy is handy for me because I use it as a fifth tire when I rotate them. This extends the lifetime of a set of tires and ensures the spare is in the same condition and has the same diameter as the others. – atraudes Nov 1 '16 at 19:49
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I wouldn't say "all" of them use steel spare tire wheels, but the vast majority of them will. The main purpose of this is to save on cost. It's a lot cheaper for steel wheels than for alloy. If you keep up maintenance on your vehicle's tires, the spare will rarely if ever need to be mounted on your vehicle. There may always be the odd flat tire, but all in all, it rarely happens. Given that, it doesn't make sense to put a more expensive rim in the trunk which will rarely see the light of day. It makes it cheaper for the manufacturer as well as cheaper for the consumer.

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    Just as a point of reference, older (pre '08 or so) Honda CR-V's have a spare wheel that matches the rest of the wheels, as it's mounted on the back of the car, where everyone can see it. Kinda goes with the whole "rarely sees the light of day" thing, as it's actually visible, so they put the little bit extra into making it "pretty" as well. – Andrew Leap Nov 1 '16 at 13:49

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