Winter Tire Size Debate - Club Touareg Forums
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post #1 of 42 Old 09-17-2018 Thread Starter
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Question Winter Tire Size Debate

Hello all,

I've used wheel-size.com to find out the various wheel sizes that fit a touareg:
https://www.wheel-size.com/size/volk.../touareg/2012/

Here they recommend using either th 17" or 18" wheel size as the tires will be skinnier and taller which is better for plowing through snow. I live in Toronto, and am currently debating if I really need this benefit. It does snow a bit (3-4 snow storms in a winter season), but I'm really interested in slapping on 20" wheels with winter tires.

My question to you all, are there people who have put on 20" winter tires (or bigger!) and what is your experience? Have you had 18" wheels with winter tires before, and what difference, if any have you experienced.

Some background as well, I also looked at the wheel sizes for cayennes on wheel-size.com, and the website has several recommendations for winter tires up to 21". What's the difference between the touareg and cayenne that a touareg should have 18" winter wheels.
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post #2 of 42 Old 09-17-2018
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I have 2 sets of 20s, one with summer tires and one with winter tires. Both are stock size. The width is not ideal, nor is the low profile for snow driving. Traction is good, but the ride is harsh. They don't carve through the snow like a narrow tire would. My recommendation is to stick with 18's for winter tires. Go as narrow as possible. Swap them out as soon as it warms up. 20's look better, but ultimately it comes down to safety, comfort and performance.

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post #3 of 42 Old 09-17-2018
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I used 18" winter tires, I can plow out my own lane in 10 inch deep snow. they are great. I never used 20" snow tires on Touareg so I can't compare. But I do know the best thing about 18" compared to 20" is they are cheap. For regions that see snow and salt, winter tires and wheels experience the most extreme conditions, physically and chemically. If you are not trying to match your existing wheels, go for 18", I would just buy the cheapest things from mass market brands, ex. Sports Edition wheels and narrow&tall Bridgestones Blizzaks. They won't offer you the best high speed performance but you also won't feel bad if they are damaged.

what year and model do you have? 17" might be cheaper but might not fit all, for one, Hybrids use 360mm front rotors with 6-piston calipers, minimum they can fit is 18". There are also some variations in T1 and T2.

2012 Touareg Hybrid
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post #4 of 42 Old 09-17-2018 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scubacruiser View Post
I have 2 sets of 20s, one with summer tires and one with winter tires. Both are stock size. The width is not ideal, nor is the low profile for snow driving. Traction is good, but the ride is harsh. They don't carve through the snow like a narrow tire would. My recommendation is to stick with 18's for winter tires. Go as narrow as possible. Swap them out as soon as it warms up. 20's look better, but ultimately it comes down to safety, comfort and performance.
Have you driven with 18" winter tires on your car before trying the 20" winters? If so, did you feel a difference?

When you mention that the ride is harsh, is that in winter city conditions? I have a 2012 touareg, but mostly will be driving the city (close to a lake, so not too much snowfall). My biggest concern is road ice, and I've rationalized that thicker tires would escape better from a icy road condition. However, thinner tires are better for driving through 10" of snow, which I know I'll never really drive my touareg through that.

I'm using pmctire.com to buy my wheels and tires, and the price difference between 18" and 20" is not that crazy (~$200-300 difference per set)
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post #5 of 42 Old 09-17-2018
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I have only had the 20s on my Touareg, but I've always gone an inch or 2 smaller in rim size on other vehicles. The main issue for me is the harsh ride over icy, rutted roads like we get here in Winnipeg. Even the 275mm wide tires will get me through most of the snow I need to, but the 40 series profile (on my T2) is just not enough rubber. For both my T2 and T3, the snow tires came with the car in the stock 20" size.

We also get massive potholes in the spring. The extra rubber may mean preventing a cracked rim or a broken suspension component.

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post #6 of 42 Old 09-17-2018
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I run 275/40-19 Conti DWS, and 265/65-17s Toyo Open Country A/T IIs. And, Iíve used both for a full winter season + in the northeastern states. Both were very impressive in the colder months. The Conti wasnít all that great before the roads were plowed. But, they did the trick, and never left me hanginí.


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post #7 of 42 Old 09-17-2018
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We have 255-55-19 Hakka R2 SUV winter tires and 265-65-17 Cooper Discover AT3 for the rest of the year.

No deep snow or wet traction issues at all with the larger winter tire.

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post #8 of 42 Old 09-18-2018
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For another data point I ran the following:

T2:
winter - 275/40R20 Michelin Alpin Latitude (came used with the car)
summer - 275/40R20 Pirelli Scorpion (came used with the car)
summer - 275/40R20 Hankook Ventus ST RH06 (bought new)

T3:
winter - 275/45R20 Michelin Alpin Latitude (came brand new with the car but have yet to try)
summer - 275/45R20 Yokohama Parada (came used with the car)

I am not impressed with the Michelin winter tires, but they came used with my T2 and brand new with my T3. And they are better than "all-season". But once they get down about half way, they lose about 75% of their traction.

Nokian makes the best winter tires hands down. If you can get them, they are worth every penny!

Obviously the extra 5% sidewall profile on the T3 tires will make for a less harsh ride.

"Callie" - 2013 Touareg TDI Execline, Cool Silver on Titan black
"Sophie" - 2010 Touareg TDI Highline, Campanella white on Anthracite - sold back to VW
"Celeste" - 2009 Eos 2.0T DSG Lux, Candy white on Anthracite
"Simone" - 2002 Golf GLS TDI, 5 speed, HID projectors
"Rocinante" - 1990 JDM HDJ81 Toyota Landcruiser turbodiesel, 5 speed, RHD
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post #9 of 42 Old 09-18-2018
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I ran 2 sets of 17's on my T2 summer and winter - 255/60/17 - summers were Nokian WRG2 SUV and Winters were a set of Blizzaks. 17's were way squishy for summer - too much sidewall.

On my T3, I run 20's in the summer (275/45/20 Conti Extreme Contact DWS) and 18's in the Winter (255/55/18 Nokian Hakka R2 SUV).
20's are just too wide for deeper snow and slush - they want to ride up over the top instead of cutting down in and gripping the road. You can feel the difference.
The 18's definitely ride a little better over rougher roads / ice. More sidewall and softer rubber of the Hakka helps a lot.

My advice - I wouldn't run 20's in the winter. On top of what is listed above, 20's just cost more too. So less performance for more money. No thanks.

For my winter set up, I grabbed a set of 18" Tacora's from a guy here on CT (bobby) and had them powder coated black. It's a nice break from the 20" silver Pikes Peak rims for summer.

Good luck!
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post #10 of 42 Old 09-18-2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by czup View Post
Hello all,

I've used wheel-size.com to find out the various wheel sizes that fit a touareg:
https://www.wheel-size.com/size/volk.../touareg/2012/

Here they recommend using either th 17" or 18" wheel size as the tires will be skinnier and taller which is better for plowing through snow. I live in Toronto, and am currently debating if I really need this benefit. It does snow a bit (3-4 snow storms in a winter season), but I'm really interested in slapping on 20" wheels with winter tires.

My question to you all, are there people who have put on 20" winter tires (or bigger!) and what is your experience? Have you had 18" wheels with winter tires before, and what difference, if any have you experienced.

Some background as well, I also looked at the wheel sizes for cayennes on wheel-size.com, and the website has several recommendations for winter tires up to 21". What's the difference between the touareg and cayenne that a touareg should have 18" winter wheels.
I agree, use 17 or 18. On 17" I use 245/70/17, I live in Flagstaff, one of the coldest spots in the US and surprisingly a good amount of snow. 200++ a year. You want skinner and you want some sidewall. You also want to be able to lower the PSI in heavy snow for more traction. A higher sidewall also gives you more traction than low sidewall larger tire with wide patch. Again not good for snow or anything else. Not even really good for performance on dry tarmac!

20"+ is not a great size for snow. It's wide and has no sidewall. So basically it makes your Touareg into a nazi sled. 20"+ is just bling, no more. Not really that functional.

on 18" stick to around same specs as the 17" above.

I have very good performance with the 17" tires above.

10' TDI
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