Being a passionate car owner, you would be on the hunt for viable ways to spruce up the aesthetics and performance of your vehicle. While trying to muscle up your asset, it makes sense to explore the pros and cons of staggered wheels. Read on to know some relevant facts about staggered tire setup.
A staggered wheel setup in your car implies that you would have different sized tires in the front and rear. This is different from the normal square setup, where all the tires come in equal sizes at the four corners. While the front wheels in a staggered setup are narrow, the rear ones are wider and larger.
Cars like Audi, BMW, Infiniti G35, VW, Ford Mustang, Nissan 350Z, and Mercedes come with staggered wheels. However, whether or not to go for such a setup largely depends on what you expect from your car, your handling preferences, driving style, and the terrain you would drive it on.
Read on to know the advantages and disadvantages of installing your car with staggered wheels.
Pros and cons of staggered wheels
- The primary benefit of installing your car with staggered wheels is enhanced grip on the wheels that you get to enjoy. Particularly, if you own a high-performance RWD car, it’s logical to go for staggered tires. This helps the vehicles to maintain proper grip in the rear part. Wider tires have more rubber, ensuring better grip through road contact. The process endows the driver with better comfort in braking and handling the car.
- Wider tires also ensure better balance to RWD cars, as they come with more horsepower. Besides, the car would have more grip when it accelerates. Considering better aesthetics, car owners often go for staggered wheels.
- Cars with larger diameters at the back generally tilt forwards. This significantly shortens the turning radius of the vehicle. Drivers enjoy the liberty of better handling and cornering, considering improved weight distribution. Staggered wheels have a subtle impact on the center of gravity and aerodynamics. Even, you would enjoy faster car launches off the line.
- Apart from the cost factor, drivers need to prioritize the validity of the car warranty before installing staggered wheels. Especially, if you have just purchased your car, the manufacturer might consider staggering wheels as a modification and nullify the warranty.
- Certain experts believe that wider rear wheels can put the driver to risk. In case you push excessively hard, the vehicle might understeer. The reason is, the car would have a lower frontal grip with the road due to the narrower contact at the front.
- Don’t try driving with staggered wheels if your goal is to optimize the value of tires. The rear wheels are likely to wear out faster, which would prompt you to replace both pairs.
Are staggered wheels better?
Whether staggered wheels suit your car largely depends on your driving habits. Of course, these wheels come with several perks and aesthetic value. While these tires might be ideal for some drivers, others might settle for square wheels.
First, you would enjoy a better grip on the road, ensuring improved vehicle control. Better grip also implies faster acceleration. The mechanism behind staggered wheels is that larger tires at the rear support better braking, and cornering, and add more muscles to your car. In the end, you would love the excellent traction on dry pavements in the summer.
A staggered tire setup can enhance your car handling experience, preventing oversteering during turning. Car remains rooted solidly on the rear wheels to the road’s surface. You would also appreciate the enhanced straight-line performance as a result of better tire patch width.
Are staggered wheels bad?
The answer to whether or not staggered wheels are bad depends on how you maintain your car, and where you drive it. Given that you cannot interchange the front tires with the rear ones, and vice versa, you have to carry out tire rotations on each axle. Moreover, staggered wheels do not perform well in snow as the thicker rear wheels find it difficult to cut through the terrain. If you drive in a place experiencing frequent snowfall, a staggered setting might put your car to risk. Therefore, if you are fancying the idea of sporting the car during winter, it would be wise to switch to a square setup for a few months.
Lastly, your car should have adequate torque when you go for staggered wheels. As the wheels would have more surface contact, inadequate power might cause them to drag and eventually slow down.
Are staggered wheels worth it?
Staggered wheels are definitely worth installing if you have the corresponding driving preferences. However, if you prefer to be economical with your car’s maintenance, you should settle with square wheels.
Firstly, research on the mechanical design of your car before making any kind of modification. Check out whether your car has any factory performance package available for it. Investigate the wheel and tire sizes available with different trim levels.
Now, if you find that your car qualifies for a staggered application, there’s a good probability that someone has already tried it out. Once you check it out personally, you can proceed with confidence.
Do staggered tires wear out faster?
Yes, the rear wheels in a staggered application would undergo wear and tear faster than the front wheels. This is because they are more powerful and have a larger surface contact. As a result, drivers need to replace all the wheels more frequently, as they wouldn’t prefer different performance levels from the tires.
If you favor staggered wheels, check out the treadwear rating before making the modification. This would tell you how well the tire compound can resist wear. With a higher rating, you can expect a longer lifeline from the tires before you replace them together.
If you are ready to endure a few pitfalls of staggered wheels like maintenance costs and the difficulty while driving through snow, staggered wheels would serve your car better. Again, you must prioritize your car handling abilities and driving style before getting such tires. RWD car owners habitually drive with staggered wheels, as these cars have such a setting by default. If you are passionate about cars, you can go for the modification even if your car doesn’t come under this category.