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I'm waffling between the 17" wheels and the optional 16" wheels with the all-season radials. While the 17" wheels look better, I believe the 16" wheels are going to give better handling in foul weather. Also concerned about cost associated with the 17" wheels.

Questions for owners with 17" wheels:
- How much mileage are you getting out of them? (I'm not thrilled about replacing tires every 20,000 miles.)
- What kind of cost to replace them?
 

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I have the 17's and I can point out one thing that has just bit me - tire bubbling. It doesn't take much of a hole in the road to cause one of thes 215/45 tires to bubble. I have the Bridgestones 040's (some have Dunlops), so it may be a tire issue. I am going to replace them in the winter with some Bridgestone RE950s high performance all season. The 17s do look great though, much better than the 16s look.

I'd say to get the 17s if you drive carefully to avoid pot holes and just keep in mind you'll want to change the tires (especially if their the Bridgestones) for the winter. The 040s seem to have very poor cold weather performance (although warm weather is phenomenal). Even in a cold rain storm I noticed a lot of slipping even going in a straight line. That was a little unnerving. I think the stock Bridgestones should get about 20,000 miles before replacement.
 

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If you’re going to get the 17" you have to and I mean HAVE TO get 16" snow/all seasons rims/tires. During this past winter I tried to go around my block in about 2" of snow. I barley made it out my driveway and got stuck @ the end of my street. I got a push and after 15 min my bro in his Pathfinder had to pull me to get me going. I went down the end of the next street and almost got stuck again. Turned to the next street and I was done. My bro had to pull me again back to my house. Then once I got to my house I had to get pushed back into my driveway. NEVER AGAIN.
I got the 17" because I wanted look's. IM actually going to pickup a set of 16" with snow tires very shortly.

As for the mileage issue, It all depends on how you drive. I have 18,000+ on my car in less than a year (I picked my baby up on Aug 26). On each tire there is a 'wear indicator' between the tread. now with me having 18,000+ on my tires I still have another 5-7000 left at least.

As for cost I haven’t researched that yet. I'll wait till the time comes.
 

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I'm running the 16" and although ugly as sin, they get the job done... but that's a bit of a conundrum since I got the car both for looks and as a daily driver... I do a LOT of winter driving, some of which is on dirt roads. I've bubbled the 2 front tires, but the wheels are rock solid.
I would recommend getting the 17" and a 2nd set of 16 w/ snow tires if your budget allows for the extra set... If you DO NOT drive a lot in snow, I'd get the 17" and just swap rubber for the winter months.
 

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I just got 16-inchers put on mine, and I love 'em. With the OEM 17" tire/rim combo I had *3* bent rims in less than a year, with less than 2000 miles on the car, and without having ever hit any noticeable "road hazards." I don't drive through construction, giant holes, etc. The guy at the dealership was trying to tell me that I shouldn't drive over any railroad crossings with the 17" 'cause it can bend the rims. Uh, excuse me? Wellll, that's a little more careful than I'm willing to be (and, frankly, Lexus' whole attempted explanation sounded completely ridiculous).

Re: the 16's, I've actually gotten quite a few compliments on them; I think they look good. The car seems to grip the road better and ride smoother. Handle better for me on slick streets. Guess it all comes down to your personal preferences and goals. Like so much else in life.
 

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wow... sounds like you guys live in some hazardous areas... haha i never have to worry about snow, i live in southern california... perfect weather and roads...

i have 18`s and never had a problem with them... dont even have to worry about decreasing MPG because my 18`s are lighter than my 17`s...
 

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I'm gonna go through one more winter on the 17" summer tires. I don't drive the car when/if it snows. It only did it one morning last winter. I took the bus to work that day. I'll replace the tires with all season ones in the Fall of 2002. These Potenzas will be just about worn out by then anyway. I've got 7500 miles on them over the past 8 months.
 
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