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Are 20-inch Tyres Better Than 18-inch Tyres?




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When it comes to getting Pirelli tyres Birmingham for your truck or SUV, you may think bigger is better, such as 20-inch vs. 18-inch tyres, for instance. But when trying to choose between 18- and 20-inch tyres, there are a lot of different things than simply choosing a larger tyre. We break down 18-inch tyres vs 20-inch tyres to help you ensure the best decision for your vehicle.

In this blog post, we are going to talk about what is plus sizing and we also discuss which tyre size is better for your vehicle: 18 inches or 20 inches. If you want to know more about plus sizing, then keep reading.

Plus-Sizing Your Wheels

Plus-sizing happens when drivers go for larger-diameter wheels with a shorter sidewall over their stock equipment wheels. But plus-sizing does not impact the outer diameter of the tyre, so the speedometer and other vehicle hardware continue to work as normal.

Keep in mind that when we say tyre, we are talking about the rubber that comes into contact with the road surface. When we say wheel, we are talking about the steel or aluminium alloy rim that sits inside the tyre and is attached to the axle and hub. 

As per the Consumer Reports, plus-zing your vehicle tyres might result in a performance improvement, specifically in handling and cornering. The idea is that the smaller the tyre sidewall, the more solid the ride you will get.

The possible plus size can be in plus one, plus two or plus three. Let’s break down each one. Plus one means you increase your wheel’s diameter and the width of the tyre an inch larger than the stock equipment wheel. Plus two would add two inches to the tyre width and wheel diameter, and so on. If you are planning to go from 18-inch wheels to 20-inch, you are in a plus-two sizing category. 

It’s important to know that making any update or change to your wheel and tyre size that is not according to the manufacturer’s recommendations could impact the speedometer, ADAS features and other important aspects of your vehicle. 

Advantages of 20-inch Wheels & Tyres

While up-sizing is generally is not recommended, plus-sizing from 18 to 20-inch tyres may normal depending on things like your vehicle’s make and model, the depth of the wheel, and more things. The key is to stick to the recommendation provided in your owner’s manual. We have mentioned a few advantages that 20-inch wheels may offer.

They Can Be Visually Appealing

Visual appealing is the most common reason for upsizing your wheels & tyres. The 20-inch tyres have thin sidewalls and show more of the alloy wheel, which some drivers find to be more aesthetically pleasing by giving the vehicle a bold look.

They Can Provide Extra Control

Since 20-inch tyres typically have a thinner sidewall, they tend to retain relatively more rigidity on the road. The extra rigidity may give drivers of certain vehicles slightly better handling when cornering. 

Disadvantages of 20-inch Wheels & Tyres

They May Decrease Acceleration

Due to the bigger size in both weight and diameter with 20-inch tyres, your engine may have to work harder when accelerating. But, this difference can be quite minimal and difficult to notice.

They May Provide Less Comfort

Because of a thin sidewall, the 20-inch tyre can increase the discomfort you feel when driving over potholes, speed bumps, graveland other road hazards. If you are planning to go off-road, then 20-inch tyres may not be the best option for you.

Advantages of 18-inch Wheels & Tyres

They Can Provide a More Comfortable Ride

Due to 18-inch tyres having a larger sidewall, they are usually more flexible compared to ones with a smaller sidewall. Your tyres work as shock absorbers and give you more cushion when driving over bumps and potholes.

They Can Be Easier on Your Engine

Compared to 20-inch tyres, 18-inch tyres weigh much less, so your engine may not have to work as hard to help your car speed up. Smaller tyres may also help decrease wear on the suspension and brake systems.

Disadvantages of 18-inch Wheels & Tyres

They May Not Be As Aesthetically Appealing

Smaller tyres might not look aesthetically pleasing or aggressive compared to larger tyres. Some drivers see smaller tyres as more functional than fashionable especially when equipped on a larger SUV or truck.

How to Choose The Right Wheels & Tyres for Your Vehicle?

While 18-inch tyres might not offer a more comfortable ride, 20-inch tyres may handle better. But which one should you go for and how do you know if your vehicle can handle smaller or bigger tyres?

First, check your owner’s manual. Your vehicle manufacturer knows best when it comes to tyre size. They designed and engineered your vehicle with specific features in mind.

Know your vehicle and avoid making dire tyre mistakes to make sure your wheels are safe and provide your vehicle with the best levels of traction possible. 

We recommend you to get help from a tyre specialist. Compare 18 and 20-inch tyres online and consult a tyre professional at your local garage about choosing the right size tyres. They will help you pick the right car tyres Birmingham for your vehicle and needs so you can drive your vehicle more confidently. 


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