2021 Wheel size vs fuel economy

Discussion in 'Gen 4 Prius Fuel Economy' started by Antbe, Jul 25, 2021.

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  1. Antbe

    Antbe New Member

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    Hello,

    I recently made an order for new Prius - in my country 2021 is still the one we can order.
    I was looking for a more recent thread on how the wheel size affects fuel efficiency or any official statement from Toyota.

    In here when I order higher trim level car comes with 17" wheels. I am double guessing myself if maybe I should have picked the package with 15" as well but I did not want the sunroof which it comes with.

    I would really appreciate some information how much the 17" affects the mpg. Also I have read somewhere that OEM wheels are better than the ones you can buy from the other companies, is that true?

    Kind regards.
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    welcome!
    the 17" are costing you 3-5 mpg depending on weight. and i doubt the odometer is recalibrated for them (i could be wrong)
    oem are not better or worse than aftermarket across the board. it depends on the aftermarket wheel.
     
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  3. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Underfoot

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    The OD of the 17's is virtually the same, very slightly less than the 15's. The difference is more-or-less l"ost in the noise" (negligible).

    I concur re mpg drop, well maybe 3 mpg drop. Depends on tires brand/condition too.
     
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  4. Antbe

    Antbe New Member

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    I see. Thank you for the replies. Could you also advise on how the wheel size affects other things? I have read about the comfort difference however this will be my first car so I have no real point of reference.
     
  5. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    This is generalizing but …

    • wider tyres can be noisier but it really depends on the tread pattern.
    • The sidewall height determines how cushy your tyres are and how much road imperfections they can absorb. A 17” wheel on a Prius typically runs 215/45R17. So the sidewall height is 45% of 215mm. That’s low profile. Compare that to the 15” option of 195/65R15 where the sidewall height is 65% of 195mm
    • The 17” rims are heavier which adds to the unsparing weight which can slightly reduce acceleration times (<0.5 sec difference)
    • However, a wider tyre can improve braking performance because there’s more rubber contacting the road.
     
  6. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    Every Journalist test that I've read was with 17" equipped cars - my guess because they handle better. But they still manage good economy, and positive comments. Here, a 17" car is $7800 dearer!!!!!!!!!!
     
  7. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Not sure if that was the case in Australia but in North America, at launch, the 17” wheel equipped Prii also had “touring spec” (i.e. stiffer springs, shocks and bushings) so they did handle better.

    Our 2016 Touring is noticeably stiffer than my Prime. It also doesn’t lean as much but I suppose the Prime is also heavier (in conjunction with the softer suspension setting). Both still handle significantly better than the Gen 2 or 3, however.
     
  8. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    Oddly, I've never seen a 17" version - only seen maybe a dozen 15" - they just weren't marketed well in Australia - they're never in dealerships. I just checked on all the TOYOTA dealers in Brisbane, and the only PRIUS listed in stock is a base "v" (7 seater).
     
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  9. Billy56

    Billy56 Member

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    Taller, skinnier tires are a big advantage if trying to maximize MPG. The stock 195 65 15 are worth about 4 MPG over the 17 inch. I drive fairly slow, am not a racecar driver, so have NO need for the fad look of wide, low profile wheels/tires.
     
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