Many car enthusiasts have started to prefer wider tires since they perform better in some ways, such as cornering grip, more traction, and sharper braking. On top of all that, they even look better according to current aesthetic standards — so it makes perfect sense that the wide-tire trend is growing fast.
So, are wider tires genuinely better than conventional ones? Well, many passionate car enthusiasts are divided on that question. In this article, we’ll look at their established pros and cons to see if they’re superior. Let’s get started!
1. Better Cornering Performance
Thanks to a wider contact patch, these tires offer more grip in sharp corners. They also have stiffer sidewalls which result in a less noticeable body roll as you maneuver through the corners. So yes, wider tires are better in the corners — but we’re only getting started.
2. More Traction
Traction comes from either of two things:
- The width of your tire’s contact patch
- The amount of pressure per square inch
Wider tires might take the win on the first one for obvious reasons, but skinny tires can still have more pressure per square inch thanks to a narrower contact patch. There’s no way you can enhance both of those at the same time because widening the contact patch reduces the pressure per square inch.
Therefore, wider tires might have more traction due to a broader contact area, but skinny tires aren’t far behind thanks to a higher pressure per square inch.
3. Shorter Braking Distances
Here’s an area where wider tires take the clear victory over skinny ones — braking performance. Upsized car tires will have more tread in contact with the road, which means the vehicle stops at shorter distances. The effect is especially noticeable on dry roads.
4. Aesthetic Appeal
This one’s subjective, but upsized tires generally look better. They add a sporty touch to your car’s overall look, so they’re seen as a significant design upgrade. Many car owners get wider tires installed in their vehicles just for aesthetic purposes.
Here are a few disadvantages of wider tires.
1. More Expensive
The larger your tire is, the more material it’ll have, which means it’ll be costlier to make. Wider tires are noticeably more expensive than narrow tires across all categories in the tire market.
2. Inferior Fuel Economy
The fuel economy goes up and down with the amount of friction and rolling resistance your tire produces. An upsized tire produces more friction since a larger area gets into contact with the road. Hence, larger tires lead to increased fuel consumption.
Upsized tires are also heavier, which means the engine has to work harder to move the vehicle. So, the added weight also plays its part in worsening the fuel economy.
3. Slower Acceleration
If you’re a petrolhead, you’d know that weight is bad. Not only for fuel economy, but also for speed and acceleration. Bigger tires are obviously heavier, which translates to sluggish acceleration.
Wider tires offer significant improvements in performance and looks, but they’ve also got their downsides. It’s the same with narrow tires. Any choice you make for your vehicle will have its pros and cons.
Customization always comes down to your personal preferences. With the information shared in this article, we hope you can make an informed decision about whether or not wider tires suit your car. All the best!