My 2009 Subaru Forester has mags with P225 55R17 summer tires.

I saw a good deal on craigslist for alloy mags I could use during winter. On the picture, I see the seller previously fit some P225 60R16 tires.

So with both setup, the total diameter would be around 26.7 inches, except with my summer setup there would be more wheel and less rubber, while my winter setup would have less wheel and more rubber.

I know the physics of having bigger wheels can have impact on performance, but what about when the total diameter is the same size, just different material?

I'm also a bit afraid the brakes won't fit in 16 inches wheels when they are currently in 17 inches wheels.

  • 1
    Measure the gap between brake & inner wheel rim and see what is spare. Nothing beats fitting one of the 16” inch wheels though. So, take a jack and trial fit one before you buy...
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Aug 23, 2019 at 4:56

1 Answer 1


As Mike says, the best way is to try one of the wheels on the car and check that it fits. I don't think there will be any significant performance difference, as long as the total overall diameter is the same - you'll have slightly more unsprung mass, but not enough to make a huge impact.

In general, I'd recommend having less wheel and more rubber in the winter anyway, as there's more likelihood of hitting potholes etc.

  • Thanks for the insight! hadn't thought about it but you're right for the potholes, I live in Montreal and I'm sure we have the crappiest roads in North america! Now hopefully alloy won't be damaged by winter and salt Commented Aug 23, 2019 at 14:57
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    I think the only way to avoid/mitigate corrosion is to wash them frequently. Or just accept that the winter wheels will look a bit crappier than the summer ones!
    – Nick C
    Commented Aug 23, 2019 at 15:04

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