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I plan on purchasing a 2012 LTZ in the Fall and see that the standard wheels size is 18" and 19" is optional. I asked the dealer where I test drove a 2011 model if there would be a noticable difference in feel, handling rough ride etc with the 19" wheels and he said "Yes, you'll get a somewhat harsher ride". Any input from you folks on this??
 

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Yup, he is right. All of the wheel/tire options have the same outside tire diameter, so going to a bigger wheel, you are replacing rubber & air (tire sidewall) with metal (bigger wheel).

So, ride will be more harsh, tires will be more expensive, however, handling (cornering & wheel responsiveness) will improve.

Personally, I am ordering my 2012 with 17's.
 

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It only stands to reason that a lower profile tire (which comes with larger diameter wheels) will improve handling response somewhat, but will also have less cushioning effect on bumps/broken pavement. There is debate here about exactly what you ask, some say that the 18"-19" wheels don't give you a harsher ride than the stock 17"....but then again how many people have experience with both sizes other than maybe a short test drive at the dealership? If it were me, I would base my decision on the condition of roads/highways where most of your driving will be done. If you live in a land of mostly smooth as silk blacktop, then 18", 19" or even 20"+ wouldn't be any big deal. On the other hand, if you live somewhere that has a lot of concrete pavement or where harsh winters beat up the roads...you might want to consider a smaller size with a higher sidewall. I know that it is possible to get the 17" wheels even on the LTZ...a poster here posted pics as proof one time.
 

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' A poster here posted pics as proof ONE time '
Our 2011 LTZ has the 17" wheels..which is the standard wheel(even on the LTZ). Not so uncommon in this area of Indiana...at all. We prefered them..! ;D
 

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IceMan said:
' A poster here posted pics as proof ONE time '
Our 2011 LTZ has the 17" wheels..which is the standard wheel(even on the LTZ). Not so uncommon in this area of Indiana...at all. We prefered them..! ;D
Yeah, I have the 17" wheels on my 2LT....and I preferred them (as far as looks) to the 18"-19" wheels available at the time.
 

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NoobNox said:
It only stands to reason that a lower profile tire (which comes with larger diameter wheels) will improve handling response somewhat, but will also have less cushioning effect on bumps/broken pavement. There is debate here about exactly what you ask, some say that the 18"-19" wheels don't give you a harsher ride than the stock 17"....but then again how many people have experience with both sizes other than maybe a short test drive at the dealership? If it were me, I would base my decision on the condition of roads/highways where most of your driving will be done. If you live in a land of mostly smooth as silk blacktop, then 18", 19" or even 20"+ wouldn't be any big deal. On the other hand, if you live somewhere that has a lot of concrete pavement or where harsh winters beat up the roads...you might want to consider a smaller size with a higher sidewall. I know that it is possible to get the 17" wheels even on the LTZ...a poster here posted pics as proof one time.
Thanks guys for the good information!! This is turning out to be a valuable site.
 

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Barry said:
I plan on purchasing a 2012 LTZ in the Fall and see that the standard wheels size is 18" and 19" is optional. I asked the dealer where I test drove a 2011 model if there would be a noticable difference in feel, handling rough ride etc with the 19" wheels and he said "Yes, you'll get a somewhat harsher ride". Any input from you folks on this??
Hi Barry,

I purchsed my 2011 LTZ with stock 17". I recently upgraded to OEM 19". Besides looking AWSOME, I noticed no (zero, zilch, nada) harsher of a ride. I had the 17" for almost 6 months prior to the upgrade, giving me ample time to experience the 17" wheels. :cheers:
 

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Far be it from me to argue w/ a redhead! BUT, sorry, the laws of physics say no way, nada, zip, zilch can this be so. I believe your impressions, but something else is happening. Maybe your tire pressure was high on the orig tires and low on these new 19's??

I test drove both 18 and 19's and saw a definite difference. Not terrible but about a 10% absolute difference.
But don't take my word for it folks, TEST DRIVE before ya buy!

Good luck.

MM
 

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...Yep,like I said on another thread..we drove several 6 cyl.s with the 18s...and also 4s with the 17" wheels over a period of months before we ordered the '11 LTZ 4. I didn't really notice any great harshness with the 18s..just mainly the tire clomp. Since we liked the looks of the 17s better anyhow..we figured...case closed.
 

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I've got the 18" wheels on my V6 (not by choice) and I'd say the vehicle rides harder than either my '97 Taurus (15" wheels) or '02 Impala (16" wheels). After a few upcoming long hauls I'll let you know if this really makes any difference - because it's NOT going to make any real difference just driving around town...
 

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Colt Hero said:
I've got the 18" wheels on my V6 (not by choice) and I'd say the vehicle rides harder than either my '97 Taurus (15" wheels) or '02 Impala (16" wheels). After a few upcoming long hauls I'll let you know if this really makes any difference - because it's NOT going to make any real difference just driving around town...
Seems like you are comparing apples and oranges when you compare the ride of an SUV with a car, right ? The wheel size may be part of the explanation, but not all of it.
 

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RIT333 said:
Seems like you are comparing apples and oranges when you compare the ride of an SUV with a car, right ? The wheel size may be part of the explanation, but not all of it.
Size actually has little to do with it....

Weight has everything to do with it.

Larger rims/tires will cause a rougher ride, lower acceleration, less later G's, and lower MPG due to weight. Its basic physics really

A Car and Driver comparsion for you http://www.caranddriver.com/features/10q1/effects_of_upsized_wheels_and_tires_tested-tech_dept
 

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grometsc said:
Size actually has little to do with it....

Weight has everything to do with it.

Larger rims/tires will cause a rougher ride, lower acceleration, less later G's, and lower MPG due to weight. Its basic physics really

A Car and Driver comparsion for you http://www.caranddriver.com/features/10q1/effects_of_upsized_wheels_and_tires_tested-tech_dept
Not only that, but the Nox/Terrain sit up higher than a car and therefore has to have firmer suspension than a low slung car to avoid dragging the doorhandles around corners, and keep the back from squatting too much when towing.
 

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I certainly agree with the weight being a factor in acceleration and economy, however, it appears that larger wheels do help handling, according to the Car and Driver report (and my experience with lower profile tires/larger wheels).

Now, the subjective ride quality remains to be proven, but I still stand by less rubber/air will provide a more firm ride.
 

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Patronus said:
I certainly agree with the weight being a factor in acceleration and economy, however, it appears that larger wheels do help handling, according to the Car and Driver report (and my experience with lower profile tires/larger wheels).

Now, the subjective ride quality remains to be proven, but I still stand by less rubber/air will provide a more firm ride.
It reached a threshold though...

18's did better then 19's in later G. I would expect the same downward trend to happen as they kept going higher and higher in wheel/tire weight. And I really shouldnt say 18's, it was 51lbs vs 54lbs. As you add more weight to the wheels, your going to eventually cause the weight>width/profile which will cause the car to actually cornor worse. What I found interesting was the .8mpg reduction in 3lbs....The 19" factory rims weight 34lbs, while the 18" factory are 28lbs (thats a 6lb difference). The tires will as well be heavier....

I do wish I had the factory 19" option on my NOx though, but I would've removed the tires/wheels and sold here to purchase some ligher aftermarkets, I wanted the final drive upgrade on the V6
 

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RIT333 said:
Seems like you are comparing apples and oranges when you compare the ride of an SUV with a car, right ? The wheel size may be part of the explanation, but not all of it.
I'm just telling you what MY experience is. It's definitely a harder ride. I wish I had another SUV to compare it to, but I don't. If someone is coming from a car to the Equinox, then this might be useful information for them. I know it's not a direct answer to the OP's question, but it's still relevant. The Equinox has a pretty hard ride with the 18" wheels. Is it harder or softer than the 17's or 19's? I don't know. But if you're buying the 18's, expect a hard ride.
 

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My roadster has 18" low profiles and the Nox with 18 wheels rides like a limo in comparison. I traded a Tracker LT with 16" that road worse than the Nox... I know there is a relation to wheel size/ride -- but suspension plays into that as well. But I am just a driver... :shrug:
 
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